§ 3.54 p.m.
§ Debate resumed.
§ LORD CACCIA
My Lords, I must also apologise for not being able to be present throughout yesterday's debate. Like the noble Lord, Lord Beswick, I have read it with the greatest interest and am all too conscious that it is most unlikely that I shall be able to make any new contribution on this subject, or change any minds on the object of the debate. All the same, I shall end my speech with a plea. But I am glad of this opportunity to stand up and be counted, particularly as absence overseas prevented my attending the debate on the White Paper. I regret that particularly, as I was at one time a Permanent Secretary and one of those involved in our first application.
I must confess that I am not one of those who in the 1950s thought that we should or indeed could enter at that time the Coal and Steel Community, or the European Defence Community, or accede to the Treaty of Rome. Politics is the art of the possible and it did not seem to me at that stage to be possible, although now I render due acknowledgement to those whose vision stretched beyond the 1381 1950s to the practicalities of the 1970s. On the first point Mr. Macmillan said:One thing is certain, and we may as well face it. Our people will not hand over to any supranational authority the right to close down our pits or our steel works".So we did not join the Coal and Steel Community. Equally, on the European Defence Community, General Eisenhower, then Supreme Commander of NATO in Europe, told Mr. Eden, then Foreign Secretary, that Britain should help from without rather than participate from within. Finally, when the Treaty of Rome came to be debated in the other place, your Lordships will remember the then Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr. Macmillan, met no opposition when he said that he did not believe that that House of Parliament would ever agree to our entering into arrangements which, as a matter of principle, would prevent our treating the great range of imports from the Commonwealth at least as favourably as those from European countries. Mr. Jenkins, rising to reply to the same debate, said that he fully agreed with Mr. Macmillan, and to enter into such arrangements would not mean only whittling down Imperial preferences, but introducing anti-Imperial preferences. That was the 1950s ; but to my mind the world has changed a great deal since then.
Nor was I one who thought that the terms of our entry were irrelevant. On the contrary, they seemed to me to be important, and for this reason: no self respecting country should adopt any cause of which it would have reason later to be ashamed. This in the context of the negotiations meant a special regard for such things as New Zealand, Commonwealth sugar, and fishing, which have been much discussed in your Lordships' House. I must say, and here be counted, that I am satisfied that honour and the best possible negotiable arrangements have been reached in the Treaty. It is of no surprise to me that this is so, for the present Prime Minister was in charge of our original negotiations and handled them with such skill and determination that it needed a special veto from General de Gaulle to prevent success at that particular stage.
In my judgment—and this is a matter of judgment—I consider that in the present circumstances, and on the terms negotiated, we should with all judicious 1382 speed pass this Bill. It is an illusion to think that these terms can be renegotiated, and Dr. Mansholt did us a service in flatly saying so. That does not of itself mean that all debate on the clauses is a waste of time and is of no help to the Government ; on the contrary, within wide limits constructive debate may be of the greatest help in clearing the public mind, and of assistance to the Government of the day for the time when we are in the Market and have a capacity to influence decisions from the inside. But only then and not before.
Politically, the phrase is sometimes used of the Government " leading us into Europe ". Economically, this is rather a mode of speech than a reality. Let us look at the figures, or at least some of them. From 1955 to 1970 our exports to Australia rose from £284 million to £346 million. Our exports to South Africa from £167 million to £332 million. In the case of New Zealand they went down from £139 million to £129 million. Compare this with the growth of exports to the major European countries which now represent much larger markets than the Commonwealth countries. United Kingdom exports to Belgium rose in the years 1955 to 1970 from £63 million to £290 million. Exports to Germany rose from £77 million to £504 million. Exports to the Netherlands rose from £106 million to £380 million. Exports to France rose from £71 million to £340 million. Exports to Italy rose from £58 million to £240 million. It is I think fair to draw a deduction from this and from an earlier phase of our history. In that earlier phase it was said that trade followed the flag. Maybe. But who planted that flag? Usually it was not the Government of the day, but men and private enterprise from Cook to the Hudson Bay Company, from the East India Company to Rhodes and others. In much the same way merchant adventurers and financiers have led the way into Europe. This is our traditional way of doing things and we have already done it again. These enterprising men have by now had quite long and wide experience of working with Europeans. Since my retirement as a diplomat, I have been involved in such joint ventures in the industrial, investment and banking field. I have not found, and I have not 1383 heard from others in and out of your Lordships' House who are much better qualified to speak on this, that there is not profit and honour in these partnerships. With this degree of practical experience to go on why should there be any pretence—for that is what I think it is—that our political leaders are not of the same stuff and are less able to look after our national interests if they now decide to follow where merchant adventurers have already gone before? Indeed, are the Governments in the Six, on recent form, out to beggar their new adherents or indeed the non-candidate members? At this point may I welcome very much the statement just made by the noble Baroness showing that quite the contrary is their objective and that they have come to an arrangement on what was again a matter of honour for us. I am delighted, as I hope many of your Lordships are, that this has been achieved before the question of our entry comes up.
What now is the alternative? Is it a special relationship with the United States? For reasons of history, language and law there will always be a special or natural relationship, but things have changed since the time when we could speak to the United States on terms. For instance, until the last twelve months of the war we had more divisions under command in Europe and in the Mediterranean theatre than the United States. In the Burma campaign we engaged more Japanese than the Americans at any time in the war on any front. Even since those days and since we lost control of the Indian Army, we most successfully carried out an operation in Malaysia in the 1950s and later in confrontation with Indonesia. These were exercises of worldwide power. But since the last Government made their declaration on our position East of Suez and since the present Government have only modified that in a limited manner, we are in the awkward predicament of having world-wide trading and other interests in jeopardy with little residual power and capacity to protect them or to put high claims on a relationship with the United States no matter how natural it may be. Therefore I should not think that this is an alternative policy for this country in the 1970s.
1384 Alternatively, could we go it alone like Japan? The circumstances are quite different. First of all, we should ask ourselves if we have the will or if we should have the will to do any such thing. I would answer " No " to both, for this reason among others. Japan, although like ourselves composed of offshore islands to a continent, is faced basically by a hostile continent. On the contrary, we have the good fortune to be faced by a continent which shares many of our ideals and hopes. Therefore it is neither sense for us nor within our will to try to emulate the economic achievements of Japan. I do not think this is an alternative policy for the 1970s.
What, then, are the other alternatives? Should we continue as we did through the 1960s and see a still greater decline of our material position and influence in the world? After all, we started the 1960s as by far and away the richest country in Europe judged on any standards, whether of individual wealth or gross national product ; taken any way we were the richest country in Europe. What was the spectacle by the end of the 1960s? Many of our European friends had overtaken us and it seems all too likely that if we were to continue on our own in the way of the 1960s that decline would go on.
Some noble Lords have asked what guarantee there is that even if we join the Community the economic future will be more rosy. We cannot guarantee these things. We can have an opportunity. That, this Bill and the Treaty provide but it is only an opportunity. We can either take it or fail to take it which would be a tragedy for us and indeed for Europe. It is at this point, if they will bear with it, that I would, with all respect, make a plea to those noble Lords who speak from the Opposition Benches against this legislation. Perhaps it is right that it should come from these Benches. I started in the Foreign Office under a Labour Foreign Secretary, the honoured father of a much respected Member of your Lordships' House. I also ended my service under a Labour Foreign Secretary. They are the alternative Government.
How do we judge foreign Governments? Surely we ask ourselves always three prime questions. Do we understand what they say? Do we believe it?
1385 Can we rely on it? If we are to make a political contribution to Europe I should have thought that we should stand up and be ready to be judged by these simple standards which we so rightly exercise on others. When it comes to this question both Governments applied for membership of the E.E.C. We have not applied for membership of a new constituent assembly to create some other body. That is not what either Government did. Therefore, if we are to retain credibility and have consequence in our foreign policy we should, when entering the Market, turn all our efforts on all sides to making it work.
Some noble Lords have spoken, and no doubt others will, about the many unresolved questions facing the Community. Knowing from experience of serving in the master and servant relationship to Labour Governments of the skill, the knowledge, the sympathy and the many other great qualities which they have brought to our public life, I would very much hope that after all the sound and fury of this debate they will bend their minds not to seeing how the Community can be disrupted, by trying to form a new constituent assembly—
§ LORD SHEPHERD
My Lords, before the noble Lord concludes his lecture perhaps he would refer to the concluding remarks of my noble friend Lord Greenwood yesterday.
§ LORD CACCIA
My Lords, that is exactly what I was going to do if the noble Lord had given me time. I was going to say that I had gained encouragement from hearing the concluding words of the noble Lord, Lord Greenwood, because I happened to be here for that part of the debate. I would hope that this will be the tone, manner and way of approach which his Party will adopt when we are in the Community.
May I end by saying, as the noble Lord, Lord Alport, the noble Viscount, Lord Watkinson, and others said yesterday, that everyone has now to stand up and be counted. On this I would end with a quotation which is perhaps peculiarly appropriate as I happen to be the Provost of Eton. It is a definition of the proper objects of foreign policy by a Foreign Secretary who, as an Harrovian, quoted with approval, the 1386 words of a previous Foreign Secretary who was an Etonian, said:If I might be allowed to express in one sentence what ought to guide any English Minister, I would adopt the expression of Canning and say that, with every British Minister, the interests of England ought to be the shibboleth of his policy.My Lords, I think the interests of England lie in the passing of this Bill.
§ 4.10 p.m.
THE EARL OF BESSBOROUGH
My Lords, as another old Etonian I am very happy to follow the noble Lord, Lord Caccia, and particularly so because happen to agree with every word he said. I do not intend at this stage in these protracted proceedings to recapitulate the many advantages which I believe will accrue to our membership of the Community. I say " many advantages " because they are many, despite the fact that, having not joined the Community at the outset, we have inevitably had to accept most of the rules which were originally laid down by the club of the Six. It might even be said that we might have had to accept, on late entry, all the conditions attaching to club membership. It is quite remarkable that my right honourable friend Mr. Geoffrey Rippon was able to negotiate so many concessions in regard to the Commonwealth and EFTA, as is shown in to-day's Statement by the noble Baroness. There is no doubt in my mind that a united Western Europe will greatly strengthen the free world. If we in this country have to make certain sacrifices, we must come to understand that the viability of the enlarged Community as a whole will be more important than the purely national interests of any one of its members. This may be going further than some in this country would wish, but it is none the less my firm belief, in line with Field Marshal Smuts's concept, that the whole will be greater than the sum of the parts.
Like my noble friend Lord Alport (I am sorry he is not here this afternoon), I have recently returned from an intensive two-day course on how the Common Market works in Brussels. This was quite admirably organised by my noble friend Lord Drogheda and his staff at the Financial Times. I would take this opportunity of paying a tribute to what they are doing to help get Britain closer to the Continent by organising these very 1387 well-attended seminars. We were addressed by a most distinguished series of Commissioners and Directors-General, starting with Dr. Sicco Mansholt, the President of the Commission. My own remarks at this meeting were confined mainly to answering the views of Signor Altiero Spinelli, whom I understand the noble Lord, Lord Beswick, saw yesterday, who is the Commissioner concerned with industrial and scientific policy. And it is on this subject that I would wish to say just a very few words this afternoon.
The opportunities for the advanced technologies of Britain, and even for the more run-of-the-mill industries, are one of the main reasons why I favour joining the E.E.C. It is the opportunities for economic expansion and the successful exploitation of British scientific and technological achievements which, in my mind, justify our joining. On the other hand, I feel that I should now—it is good to speak out at the outset—make it clear that, while in general sympathy with Signor Spinelli's views on European research and development, I cannot disguise the fact that I do not think that we in Britain will be able to go the whole way with him. But I think we can influence him. One of his main proposals is for the conversion of Euratom's Joint Research Centre in Italy into a great general purposes research and development establishment for the Community. As many of your Lordships know, there is a long and difficult history to the Euratom Centre, and I would argue that it would be better to treat this difficult problem in its own right, rather than insist on the imaginative and far-reaching proposals of Commissioner Spinelli. Speaking for myself, I certainly would not favour Spinelli's proposal for the establishment of this large centre covering a wide range of industries ; and in this I think I am right in saying that our French and German friends are substantially with us. I would much prefer to conceive of Community research and development more on a polycentric basis.
Leaving aside the more glamorous industries of atomic energy and aerospace, which I gather the noble Lord, Lord Beswick, was discussing—industries on which there has already been a considerable degree of technological co-operation 1388 and on which so much research and development money has been spent in more than one country since the second world war—there are, in addition to these industries, in this country a number of research establishments largely coming within the purview of the Department of Trade and Industry, but also under the Department of the Environment and the Ministry of Agriculture. These are either wholly or partly financed by Government funds. They are of great interest to me at the moment as Chairman of the Committee of Inquiry into the Research Associations—and one of our terms of reference is to examine the role which these research associations should play within the enlarged European Community. Many of these associations, covering virtually all the bread-and-butter industries so important to our exports, welcome subscribers from other countries, either from firms or from Governments abroad. They may derive their funds from abroad either in the form of subscriptions towards non-confidential co-operative research, or from confidential contract research undertaken specifically for individual Governments or firms. Without prejudicing any recommendations which our Committee may make, and speaking at this moment entirely personally, I would hope that, provided suitable subscriptions or fees can be agreed, these arrangements, which at present apply mainly within Britain and the Commonwealth, might suitably be extended within the enlarged European Community.
If it is to be the European Investment Bank, which as your Lordships will have seen is referred to in the Financial Effects of the Bill on page v, which will be the agency through which research would be funded for the benefit of the Community as a whole, then I would agree with the noble Lord, Lord Energlyn, who spoke yesterday, and would hope, perhaps going further than he, that that Bank would support existing research and development centres of excellence in each industry in whichever country they already exist, including Britain, but that the Community would not create large new establishments for this purpose. What I like about these research associations in particular is that they are very closely linked to the day-to-day functions of the industry which contributes to their upkeep.
1389 To be frank, this cannot be said of Signor Spinelli's great Joint Research Centre, which in many ways is far too removed even from the nuclear industry which it ought to be serving.
For the E.E.C. all this points to flexible and variable forms of co-operation dependent on the particular jobs to be done. We should examine carefully specific proposals in regard to each industry, looking at them in a hard, businesslike way and applying, so far as we can, the customer/ contractor principle enunciated by Lord Rothschild and confirmed in the Governments White Paper last week. One of the important ideas which Spinelli put to me—and I do not know whether the noble Lord, Lord Beswick, also received these ideas—and with which I am in sympathy is that the Community should be given more scientific capacity within itself. As I said in Brussels, we all know that there are a lot of lawyers in the Community, and I think we all know that scientific management is not really a job for lawyers.
If the Community is to get into the business of co-ordinating—if not actually managing—scientific and technological work on a European basis, it seems to me to be highly desirable that they should be able to recruit a small—and I repeat " small "—highly-qualified advisory staff to assist them. But I am not convinced of the need of a European scientific foundation as a formal institution, which is another body proposed by Signor Spinelli, nor am I in favour of his proposed European telecommunications corporation, which I do not think at this stage is a practical proposition. On computers, however, I hope that now I.C.L. is to receive some £14 million worth of British Government money they will be able to find suitable partners on the Continent so that a truly viable European computer industry can be built up.
I would not object either to a broad discussion of priorities in meeting social and environmental needs on the lines of another of Spinelli's proposals. Perhaps in the past we had not got our priorities entirely right. But above all I believe that our immediate priorities in the industrial policy should now be the removal of non-tariff barriers to trade, such as technical standards, sizes, weights and measures, and the removal of fiscal 1390 barriers to cross-frontier mergers. There should be a degree of helpful harmonisation of company law and also, although of somewhat less priority perhaps, the development of a raw material's policy for the Community as a whole.
During our meetings in Brussels I was, like my noble friend, Lord Alport, impassed by the ability of the members of the Commission and the Directors-General who addressed us—and we heard from them all—but I was surprised by the lack of progress in certain fields and the fairly frequent answer, " We hope to resolve that when you have joined us ". The most significant progress seemed to me—and this was a surprise to me—to have been made in competition policy and the anti-trust rules. It was explained to me that this had come about because these were matters which could be decided at the official level and did not need to be referred to the Council of Ministers.
The officials in Brussels certainly gave me the impression of being influential. I think they are conscious of the fact that they can be criticised on these grounds while the European Parliament has no extensive control over them, nor legislative powers. Clearly, it will take a long time to develop a European legislative body of the kind that we have in Britain. And I could not help feeling while in Brussels that Europe was in a sense in the same sort of position as Britain was—believe it or not—in the middle of the 13th century when Simon de Montfort was pressing for regular meetings of Parliament and no taxation without representation. The Burghers and the Knights of the Shires turned up, it is true, but the power still rested largely with Henry III and, of course, after the Battle of Evesham with Simon de Montfort and his barons, who were described in a popular song of the time as " right good men ". " Right good men ", too, are the Commissioners in Brussels, but they are not elected. At all events Simon de Montfort's community of the realm is now replaced by the Communities in Brussels, and we must accept that fact.
It took many generations to unite Britain and develop a sovereign Parliament in this country. I do not think it will take quite so long in a united Europe.
1391 Things move faster in this 20th century, and will no doubt move even faster in the next. But we must think in terms of a few generations or so before a European Assembly becomes effectively sovereign. The election of the European Parliament certainly presents complications for us in this country. I agree with my noble friend Lord Alport that it should be directly elected. However, I do not know a single Member of another place who thinks that he would have time to be a Member of another place and also to spend over 100 days in Strasbourg, Luxembourg or Brussels.
I had a talk with one of the officials in Brussels concerned with this matter and I put to him the idea, which has been much mooted, that the British contingent of 36 members might be drawn from the House of Commons and a few from your Lordships' House, but that those who came from the Commons might resign from their British constituencies and be selected as candidates for the European Parliament on a regional basis of. say, 20 constituencies at a time. The E.E.C. official to whom I was speaking said he appreciated our difficulties but that he thought it was essential that all members of the European Parliament should also represent constituencies in their own country. In regard to Members of your Lordships' House, he saw no objection to their standing for the European Parliament because they were, after all, already Members of Parliament in Britain. But they, too, should be elected, perhaps in the way I have suggested.
Perhaps as far as another place is concerned we might adopt a system of alternates or running-mates for those members also elected to the European Parliament. These " No. 2's ", chosen perhaps by the constituency Party associations, might look after the constituency in the absence of the originally elected Member. At all events, whatever the system adopted, it seems to me important that Members of either House should be elected, not merely nominated, and that these elections should take place in this country, perhaps at the same time as the General Elections, with the names of the regional candidates standing for the European Parliament given on the ballot papers underneath the names of those 1392 who are standing for that particular British constituency. I shall be interested to know what my noble friend the Leader of the House thinks about these suggestions, and what he considers may be the most suitable system.
My Lords, let us go into the enlarged Community wholeheartedly and without fear and play our full part in a strong and united Europe. I hope this Bill goes through the House with record majorities, as when last time we debated the subject. I would urge those opposite who oppose entry to take fresh courage—and the noble Lord, Lord Beswick, has been alone there, although he is now joined by a noble Baroness of great distinction, and I would urge him to take fresh courage.We fearful saints, fresh courage take, The clouds ye so much dread Are big with mercy and shall break In blessings on your head."I hope that the noble Lord, Lord Beswick, is now sprouting a halo and that he will not be a fearful saint but a courageous one.
§ 4.30 p.m.
§ LORD WALSTON
My Lords, I too welcome the Bill and if it goes to a Division at the end of the debate I shall vote in support of it. I shall do so partly—primarily I suppose—because I believe fundamentally in European values and in the contribution that Europe as a whole can make to the world, and partly because of the contribution that we in this country can make to Europe. Europe will be a stronger place with us in it, and the world will be a better place if the voice of Europe sounds with the greatest force and clarity.
I support the Bill also because it presents us with a challenge which is worth taking up, a challenge which we must take up if we are to retain our self respect and influence in the world. It is the sort of challenge which all of us as individuals must face at various times in our lives. We start as individuals in a small environment coming into contact with a very small number of people. As we grow older we go to school, come into contact with a new environment and meet more people. We must adapt ourselves to those new people and circumstances in such a way that we take the best that there is out of them and give the best we have to them, 1393 at the same time retaining our individuality. In other words, we do not simply become a member of the herd but remain individuals. This process goes on throughout our lives, through marriage, business and other activities.
We are periodically faced with the sort of challenge of which I have been speaking. The strong man succeeds and emerges stronger for having met the challenge. Only the weak man who does not meet it is submerged and loses his individuality. It is the sort of challenge which we in Britain have met over the centuries, unwillingly in most cases but willingly in others. We had the challenge of the Danish and Norman conquests. By taking some of their better points we became richer as a country and in return we contributed to the lives of our conquerors. More recently the United Kingdom grew and became enlarged with the accession of Scotland, resulting in our becoming an even stronger nation. That is what we are now facing. It is a great challenge and we must meet it to-day.
We had a similar challenge after the First World War with the establishment of the League of Nations. My noble friend Lord Beswick said he was an internationalist, and so he is ; I think that all my noble friends are internationalists. We must accept that however much we wished the League of Nations to succeed, it failed, perhaps because it was too large a concept for us at that time. We could not embrace it and make it work. Later we had the United Nations, and although we cannot say that it has failed it has certainly not reached the heights of power and influence that we would wish it to reach. We are now trying a different form of international co-operation. It is not the great concept that we would all like to see, but a more realistic one. It is the gathering together of countries which over the centuries have been neighbours, partners, opponents and enemies, which have learnt during that time to speak the same language in the sense of values and which have the same objectives and ideals. It is now up to us to ensure that we meet this challenge and that this time we make it succeed. After that we can carry on with the wider ideals of world government, the United Nations and the rest.
1394 Included in this wider challenge are many subsidiary but nevertheless important aspects, to some of which noble Lords have referred and to a few of which I will refer briefly. There is the challenge of the Common Agricultural Policy. My noble friend Lord Donaldson of Kingsbridge dealt with this issue yesterday ; and I had hoped that the noble Lord, Lord Woolley, would have done so, but unfortunately he was prevented from speaking. We all join in our criticism of the CAP. It is not a good policy and in our criticism we are joined not only by people in this country but by the creator of the policy, Dr. Mansholt, and by virtually everyone in the Community who has had experience of the policy. The weaknesses of the CAP are well known and it will be up to us in the enlarged Community to improve it to the best of our ability.
While we are condemning the CAP do not let us run away with the idea that our agricultural policy is without blemish. It is some months, if not years, since we had a debate on agriculture in this House, but it is rare on such occasions to find universal approbation for our agricultural policy. If noble Lords have any doubts about this I urge them to ask farm workers, with their new wage of under £17 a week, if they are satisfied with our agricultural policy. Or ask the marginal farmers—and some of the not so marginal ones in many parts of the country—if they think it is without fault and not in need of correction. I am not running down our agricultural policy. I agree with my noble friend Lord Donaldson of Kingsbridge that for our purposes it is infinitely superior to that of the Community's policy, but it is not perfect and it is very much in need of improvement.
I come to regional policy as mentioned by noble Lords yesterday. Here we also have a long way to go. There is much that we can learn, and some of it we can learn from the countries of the Community. The unemployed of Glasgow and Tyneside and the school leavers of the North-West, not to mention those in my area of East Anglia who are without work, know that our regional policies leave a great deal to be desired. The Italians have had to face this problem in an even more acute form, and it is my 1395 belief that given the circumstances from which they started, they have made greater progress, though it is not for me to compare one country with another. I mention this only to show that we have similar problems and that, with our partners in the Community, we must learn to overcome them. We must accept that we in Britain have not reached the pinnacle of perfection or that anything we do to change our policies to conform with those of the Community must be a backward step. We have far to go.
My noble friend Lord Greenwood of Rossendale and other noble Lords spoke of the Commonwealth. Few of us do not pay lip service to the Commonwealth, and few of us do not pay something very much deeper than lip service to it. Some, it is true, say that it is all broken up and a useless institution. I do not agree with them. In my view the Commonwealth still has an enormous part to play. It is not an economic community trading between itself and improving its own material wellbeing. Its trading pattern goes far beyond the Commonwealth. This is one of its strengths. It is not a defence community existing simply to look after its own military preparedness. It lives in many parts of the globe ; and different parts of the Commonwealth have different ties, some more close than others, with different countries. But it is something much more amorphous than that, and in many ways it is much stronger than that. Because we are a member of the Commonwealth, and a strong and an old member of the Commonwealth, the part that we can play in the Community is that much more valuable. Do not let us forget, my Lords, that we are not the only Member of the enlarged Community that has had an Empire. Even though the French did not translate their former Colonial possessions into a Commonwealth they still have ties with many other parts of the world. Those ties are in some ways even closer than our ties, although in other ways they are less close. But there again, we have one of our future partners with the same problems trying to work out the best way of converting something which arose in the nineteenth century and was of value then into something,which will be of yet greater value in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
1396 My Lords, from the Commonwealth we come to the developing countries, again so rightly mentioned by my noble friend Lord Greenwood of Rossendale. He told us of the Commonwealth Sugar Agreement and he praised it, as well he should. It is one of the proudest achievements of this country in a realistic and effective exercise to help the countries of the world which need help most. Of course, the Commonwealth Sugar Agreement is put in jeopardy by our entry into the Community ; but do not let us forget that it has only two more years to run in any case, and even if we were not to enter into the Community it would still have to be renegotiated. Who can say what form it will take with our present Government, or even with a future Government? There is no guarantee that the Commonwealth Sugar Agreement is a permanent fixture and will continue exactly as it is. I hope it will, but it is not something which is there regardless of what happens or would be there if it were not for our entry into the Community.
But even if it were, sugar is not the only commodity produced in the developing world. There are many other commodities which are of even greater importance than sugar. What about cocoa? What about coffee? What about oil seeds or bananas, let alone tin, rubber and copper? Those are the commodities upon which the welfare of the developing world depends, and far more important than a narrow perpetuation of the Commonwealth Sugar Agreement to the exclusion of all else, is the much wider distribution of the consciousness of the responsibility of rich countries towards the developing countries with regard to all their major primary products.
If we think that we have a monopoly of virtue in our dealings with the developing countries, I would refer your Lordships once more to the debates which from time to time we have in this Chamber on development aid. I seem to remember hearing from many noble Lords (mainly my noble friends here but some on the other side of the House too) very serious criticisms of the present Government's policy, and sometimes unfavourable comparisons of the efforts of this country compared with those of European 1397 countries who are Members of the Community. What about the last UNCTAD in Santiago? Did the United Kingdom emerge from that as the champions of the under-developed countries while the greedy rich man's club of Europe was turning its back on them? Ask any of the developing countries, my Lords, and you will find that if they have to allocate marks, France in the Community would receive far higher marks than the United Kingdom out of the Community. There again, do not let us think that here virtue is on our side and there lurks the devil that we are going to join.
§ BARONESS LLEWELYN-DAVIES OF HASTOE
My Lords, may I interrupt my noble friend for a moment? I do not think that France acted as she did because she was in the Community. It happened to be an accident that France was in the Community. I quite agree about the bad record of our own Government at Santiago, but I do not think that the noble Lord's argument holds water.
§ LORD WALSTON
My Lords, I am not sure that I would agree with my noble friend that it was an accident that France was in the Community ; but I agree with what I think the noble Baroness is saying: that it was not because France was in the Community that she was specifically so good, or relatively good towards the developing countries. The only point I wish to make, and which I think the noble Baroness will accept from me and will agree with, is that virtue is not on the side solely of the countries outside the Community and lack of virtue on the side of those who are within the Community. If we wish to help the developing countries we shall, when we join, find valuable allies within the Community, and we shall not automatically be held back simply by our membership of it.
My Lords, those are all important points, but they are subsidiary ones. The most important challenge of all, which has been mentioned specifically by the noble and learned Lord, Lord Diplock, and also by my noble friend Lord Beswick, is what one may call the democratic processes. It is here, without being unduly Chauvinistic, that I believe we have our greatest contribution to make to the Community. We have a far longer tradition of democracy and 1398 democratic Government in Britain than have any of the other present Members of the Community. We can contribute greatly to the spread of true Parliamentary democracy, and they know it ; and that is one of the reasons why they wish us to come in. But there is much that we can learn from the very wise speech of the noble and learned Lord, Lord Diplock, in this respect. It is no good waiting until the regulations have been evolved by the Commission, have been accepted by the Council of Ministers and are then presented to the national Parliaments. That is not the way in which to ensure that democratic processes really work.
I should like to quote to your Lordships one short sentence from the very valuable report of the Working Party examining the problem of the enlargement of the powers of the European Parliament. In that report, the Vedel Report, there is this sentence:By a sort of coming and going between the European Parliament and their national Parliament members of the European Parliament could build a bridge between national democracy and community democracy.I believe that that is where the key to this whole vital and important problem lies. It is in the formative stages through the European Parliament and its committees that our democratically elected representatives from this country, and those from our partners in the Community, must bring influence to bear in the first instance on the Commission, on the Commissioners and their officials, to ensure that the regulations which are proposed, and which eventually appear, reflect the true wishes of all the countries concerned.
My Lords, I believe that we can do this in two ways. We can do it in Strasbourg in the European Parliament and through its committees which in the future must be in constant touch with the Commission and must work with the Commissioners and their staffs to ensure that the regulations are sound, realistic and workable and are not simply bureaucratic pipedreams put forward for administrative convenience rather than in order to conform to the wishes and the interests of the people. And in Westminster those same members of the European Parliament, when they come home, must bring 1399 to the notice of their colleagues—possibly through special Committees or a special Committee set up for relations with the European Parliament—those matters which are being discussed in Brussels and in Strasbourg. In that way our own Members of Parliament in Westminster can bring such pressure as they think fit to bear upon the appropriate Ministers in our own Government so that they can take the feelings of the British Parliament back to their colleagues in Brussels.
My Lords, this is a somewhat new form of democratic activity. It is not something which we have actually practised in this country—we have never had to. But, as I said earlier, the greatest contribution we can make is our experience over the centuries in evolving democratic forms and realities in accordance with the needs of the time. We must be prepared to change our own methods, and we must be prepared to fight to see that the Commission, the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers change theirs also ; and our success in this fight will depend above all upon the calibre of the men and women we send to the European Parliament.
The noble Earl, Lord Bessborough, mentioned the difficulties of such people: the dual job and the great pressure on their time. That is true. But there are, I believe, sufficient—after all only 36 are needed—who can be found and who have the ability, the experience and the energy, and the desire, to meet this challenge. And upon them will rest the responsibility for bringing into the Government of the Community as a whole not only a belief in the democratic processes but a belief in their actual implementation. My Lords, that is the great challenge which faces us. I believe that we shall succeed.
§ 4.52 p.m.
§ THE EARL OF LAUDERDALE
My Lords, I am sure that the noble Lord, Lord Walston, will forgive me if I offer one minor correction to his history. It was not, of course, the case of Scotland acceding to England ; it was the case of a Scottish Sovereign becoming the Sovereign of this country as well. There as a union of the Crowns which lasted more than a century and which spread over two very different dynasties, and 1400 it was that union which became the Great Britain of to-day.
I hope that neither the noble Lord, Lord Walston, nor other noble Lords will believe I am in any sense anti-European. I have family ties with Germans, French and with Yugoslavs. I count in the Clan Maitland Dutch members who wear my tartan with my express permission ; I have travelled or have worked in Europe for 50 years. I have visited every one of the countries West of the U.S.S.R. except Iceland, Denmark and Sweden. I have at one time or another been reading newspapers in six or seven languages. In my cups I have been fluent if ungrammatical in three. So I hope it will be accepted that I am not anti-European. Indeed I voted last October for that loosely-worded Motion which we are now told committed the honour of the nation. I am happy that, in doing so, I specifically reserved my position on the Bill. For the degree, surely, to which we committed the honour of our country in that vote is to be measured by the honourable frankness with which the case at that time was put.
At no single stage do I recall this House being plainly told that this project meant a constitutional revolution on the scale of 1688. Then we changed a Sovereign ; now it is proposed that we keep our Sovereign but invent new interpretations of sovereignty. Despite all the assurance that we remain as free as ever to do what we like, good or bad, we now have a Bill which, as I understand it, unamended, means that Britons submit to foreign laws ; that, unamended, it means that Community law will prevail over future Acts of our Parliament ; that, unamended, it means we lose Parliamentary control over some of our tax ; that, unamended, it means some expenditure will be incurred without an annual vote of Parliament ; that, unamended, it means we lose that critical component of Parliamentary power which is the power to withhold supply unless grievances have been at least aired if not put right.
As I understand it, my Lords, unamended, this Bill means that the Executive gains a new power to disclaim responsibility—it happens often enough as we know at Question Time when B.E.A. and nationalised industries are 1401 mentioned. As I understand it, this Bill, unamended, means that the Executive gains new power to disclaim responsibility by hiding behind Community decisions ; unamended, it means that we bind ourselves to accept future Treaties as yet unwritten ; unamended, it means that such future Treaties, as yet unwritten, but accepted in advance, could sweep us into a monetary union, with loss of control over the money supply and hence the loss of control over our employment, regional and other policies.
§ LORD GLADWYN
My Lords, may I interrupt the noble Earl, Lord Lauderdale, for a second, to ask him—while not accepting everything he said in the way of interpretation of the present Bill—what he thought was going to happen when he voted for our accession to the Treaty of Rome?
§ THE EARL OF LAUDERDALE
My Lords, I am much obliged to the noble Lord, Lord Gladwyn. I knew I would get him to his feet within about three minutes. The noble Lord gave us 29 minutes of his wisdom yesterday, and I think it will become evident, if he does me the courtesy of listening to me further, what my thoughts are on the point.
My Lords, as I understand it, this Bill, unamended, means we lose the power to change policy because even where a Government, let alone a Minister, falls the Council and the Commission carry on. As the Master of the Rolls has written:Once this sovereignty is given up it is given up for ever, beyond recall ; there is no pulling out.Yet the effective self-government of the electorate is the power to reverse decisions.
Maybe this is a right and meet course to take. But that brings me to the functions of your Lordships' noble House. In a great constitutional matter—and it is no longer denied that this is such—it is surely well to seek to comply with the spirit of the law no less than its letter. The Parliament Acts of 1911 and 1929 preserved your Lordships' veto power over any tampering with the quinquennial Act ; in other words, those Acts confirm our duty to protect the Constitution or, shall we say, to protect the electorate, because it is their interests that are at stake in the quinquennial Act. As Sir Winston Churchill once said: 1402It is not the function of the House of Lords to govern the people, but to make sure that the people have the right to govern themselves ".That, of course, is surely the inwardness of the pledge that we would only do this thing with the full-hearted consent of Parliament and people.
Indeed, our functions in this House have surely been common ground, at any rate since the Bryce Commission some 55 years ago ; our functions as set out and accepted in that Report, which commanded general assent for its opinions, are, first, to revise Bills, especially those not fully debated elsewhere, and next to impose such delay as may be needed to assess national opinion. The Bryce Commission stressed the next point with particular emphasis. The Report reminded us that the exercise of these two functions, revision and delay, is " specially " needed on Bills affecting " the fundamentals of the Constitution ", or else introducing " new principles of legislation ", or " raising issues whereon the opinion of the country may appear almost equally divided ". Or as my noble friend Lord Carrington said from the Opposition Benches when we were debating, I think I am right in saying, the House of Commons Redistribution of Seats Bill,The main justification for a Second Chamber is to prevent a Government abusing its power and its temporary majority in another place ".The great exception, of course, is what is known as " mandated legislation ". Indeed, ever since 1945 the Tory Party stand, as I understand from reading the late Marquess of Salisbury and others, has been as follows:We would not marshall our inbuilt majority derived from the hereditary succession in order to frustrate the public will made clear at a General Election, but "—and this reservation was explicit—should measures be proposed that had not been spelled out in the Government's Election Manifesto, then our Party said in Opposition that it would reserve full liberty of action.Here is the limit of the present Government's mandate in the field that we are now discussing. I quote textually from the Tory Party Manifesto, which I myself stumped the streets of Glasgow and of Scotland, and indeed of South Wales, at the last General Election to proclaim. Here are the critical excerpts.
1403 Certain policies would strengthen Britain—so that we can negotiate with the European Community confident in the knowledge that we can stand on our own if the price is too high.A further passage contains these words:If we can negotiate the right terms, we believe that it would be in the long-term interest of the British people for Britain to join the European Economic Community, and that it would make a major contribution to both the prosperity and the security of our country.It continued:Obviously there is a price we would not be prepared to pay. Only when we negotiate will it be possible to determine whether the balance is a fair one, and in the interests of Britain.Our sole commitment is to negotiate ; no more, no less.A Conservative Government would not be prepared to recommend to Parliament, nor would Members of Parliament approve, a settlement which was unequal or unfair.There is the extent of the mandate. Compare that with the constitutional revolution that we are now invited to approve.
It is simply not good enough to say that the issue has been under debate for a decade ; we have known this Bill but a matter of months. Is it to be charged—I pray God never!—that the Tory Party parade one conscience in Opposition and another in Office? And yet the test of performance in another place, the test of performance elsewhere, has been that every measure has been employed to rally a majority to resist Amendment after Amendment. If the performance of the Government in another place is to be believed, and is the signal of what we may expect or fear, then one has grave reason for fearing that our Party leaders may seek to rally our inbuilt hereditary majority to do a work which our leaders solemnly abjured in 1945. I pray to be spared such a masquerade, such a danse macabre. It would really amount, as I see it, to single-Chamber government.
So I do appeal most sincerely to my noble friend the Leader of the House to convince me, and to convince the House, that his approach is going to be more generous than a mere formal promise to look at each Amendment " on its merits ". I hope that he will be able to assure us, 1404 and convince us, that he will treat this Bill like the Industrial Relations Bill ; that he will acknowledge the fallibility—if that has not been proved of late, I do not know what has been—of Government and draftsmen alike ; that he will offer to join with this House in making this a more fitting enterprise ; and indeed that he will sincerely seek the wisdom of this House as a true cross-Party Council of State, which is how the late Marquess of Salisbury described our House in 1945.
Considering the functions and obligations that lie upon us in this House, I pray that our duties may, in Lord Asquith's phrase, " Be discharged with a fair mind and an even hand ". But, failing sufficiently convincing assurance—and it is widely said that we must stand up and be counted—I am afraid I would feel bound to follow the Tory precedent (on a constitutional issue) of voting against the Second Reading of the 1948 and 1949 Parliament Bills. Thus, should a Division be called to-night, I should feel bound to go into the Opposition Lobby. I could only do it—and I only speak now—with a heavy heart.
Some of your Lordships were ennobled by desert ; more were ennobled by the accident of birth ; and in my case the untimely death of a brother. Focused upon the hereditary Peers for the judgment of our successors there burns the hot laser beam of history. For the accident of hereditary ennoblement is the accident of being pricked by the finger of destiny for jury service in the national cause at large. To discharge this service, to discharge it aright, is humbly to seek to deserve some of the many privileges of our estate, conscience alone being the test.
§ 5.9 p.m.
§ LORD BOWDEN
My Lords, it is extraordinarily difficult to follow such a magnificent oration, and I think that the best service that I can perform for your Lordships' House is to speak briefly about some of the implications of the Common Market legislation as I have observed them, and particularly to talk about the way in which the Common Market is already beginning to have effect upon universities both in Europe and potentially in this country in a manner which may prove, I suspect even 1405 yet, to be disastrous. I have seen something of the operations of the Commission over a period of many years, and I can best describe them as being a mixture of the purest farce and the most evidently dangerous and hazardous operations.
My Lords, the Treaty of Rome does not expressly concern itself with education at all. On the other hand, it very specifically concerns itself with what it calls the mobility of professional men. In other words, it discusses at great length the question of how professionally qualified men—that is to say, doctors, medical auxiliaries, architects, pharmacists or anything else—may obtain qualifications which enable them to move freely throughout Europe. With this idea in mind, the Community has found itself extremely concerned with the operations of the universities in which these men are trained. For the last ten years—in fact ever since 1962—a Commission in Brussels has been attempting to define in great detail the conditions which a man must satisfy if he is to be, for example, a professional architect or a professional pharmacist. There are 40 directives altogether. They prescribe, for example, that if a man is to be a pharmacist he must have done (I think) 4,712 hours spread over five years, 45 of which must have been experimental chemistry, 92 of which must have been theoretical physics and 5 of which must have been practical physics. None of the pharmacists in this country is so qualified. I am happy to say that, of the 40 directives, every single one has so far been rejected by the Commissioners, for whom the body is supposedly working. So far, perhaps, so good.
On the other hand, I went myself to a conference which was convened a month ago in the great technical university in Delft—a university which ranks among the great technical institutions of Europe. Present at that meeting were representatives of almost every university on the Continent, including those from countries which are in the Market, which are not in the Market, which are coming into the Market and which have no intention of joining the Market. It was an extremely representative body. I may say that I represented this country, together with the noble Lord, Lord Penney, and two or three other people. We began to discuss at some length, as we very properly might, 1406 the vexatious question of the difference between lengths of course, standards of admission and so on. In the middle of our deliberations, we were interrupted by someone who said that he spoke for the Commission in Brussels. He said, " This whole matter has expressly been reserved for the Commissioners. The universities have nothing to do with it. In my opinion, you are wasting your time, and you had better let the matter drop." I felt that this was outrageous, and I said so. I said it was intolerable. It is inconceivable to me that any university anywhere in the world, and certainly not in this country, would countenance a proposal that its operations should be prescribed for it in detail by Commissioners sitting in Brussels, who, as I subsequently discovered, had not consulted the universities at all.
The argument became a little heated, and in the end I was told that the Treaty of Rome expressly reserved these matters for the Commission and not for the universities. I said—and I hope the noble Earl who is to wind up the debate will forgive me for saying it—" Be damned to the Treaty of Rome. We cannot allow this to happen. It is intolerable that universities anywhere should be subjected to a perfectly preposterous set of rules of this kind." In the end, I am afraid that I earned the undying enmity of at least one of the officials in Brussels, and I found only yesterday, on reading the minutes of a meeting which he subsequently addressed, that he bitterly criticised the foundation of a university group of people, as we were, who, he said,have no standing in the Community and have therefore no right to speak for the universities. They were only directors of universities: they have no sanction from the Community.My Lords, this I regard as the purest farce. It is inconceivable that such proposals can go through. Nevertheless, this is the kind of thing which the universities are being subjected to, and will to a growing extent be subjected to, if the Commissioners in Brussels have their way. It is proposed, for example, that no man can practise, let us say, pharmacy unless he has had the type of instruction that I have described. No British pharmacist so rates. It is proposed, on the other hand, that an optician shall be admitted anywhere in 1407 Europe after having satisfied a course much less difficult, much less complicated and much shorter than ours—in fact, a course of about two years, whereas ours is about three or four years. These international standards are judged entirely quantitatively, in terms of the numbers of hours spent on different topics, and bear no relation at all to the ability or the initial training of men who go up to university. They ignore totally the quality of the teaching, the number of students in a class, the number of students in a laboratory and the opportunities they may have to do any useful work. All these things are ignored in the otherwise quantitative assessment. Yet it is proposed, on the one hand, that people who have satisfied such requirements shall be able to go anywhere in Europe. An even more dramatic proposal which the Commission would like to implement (though, I must say, to do the Commission justice, it doubts whether it will be allowed to do it) is to make it impossible for people to practise their profession in their own country unless they have satisfied the universal requirements of the European Commission.
My Lords, this sort of thing has been happening for some ten years or so, and we have only just heard of it because it has been done by the Commission in Brussels. I have discussed the matter at considerable length with the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, who says it is almost certain that nothing will come of it because the Commissioners are so totally in disagreement and because the Council of Ministers is totally in disagreement with them, too. So it is very probable that this particular attempt to put a straitjacket on the universities will fail. I therefore mention it to your Lordships, not because I suspect that our universities are going to be immediately subjected to diktats from Brussels, but because this is the kind of thing we have to fear, and it is this sort of thing which is implicit in the Treaty of Rome and which, sooner or later, we are bound to encounter in many subjects other than those which are expressly covered by any part of the Treaty or in any part of the documents before us this afternoon.
§ LORD PEDDIE
My Lords, before my noble friend leaves that point, may I ask 1408 him a question? I am quite at a loss to understand the point he is making. Is he complaining that the professional standards that will be imposed by the Common Market will be too high for professional people in this country to accept?
§ LORD BOWDEN
Not at all. All I am complaining is that no responsible university anywhere can allow its course, its syllabus, its teaching programme, and the subjects with which it concerns itself to be determined for it by anybody other than itself—except, as often happens in England, of course, that there is consultation with the professional bodies. For example, the General Medical Council always discuss with the universities the nature of the syllabuses for which they are responsible. There has always been the possibility, as the noble Lord, Lord Todd, knows very well, that there might have been a crisis in the teaching of medicine if the Medical Council had refused to accept a particular syllabus offered, for example, by the ancient University of Cambridge. But, by a curious coincidence which seems inevitable in England, it always seems to be the case that the Professor of Medicine or the Dean of Medicine, or somebody, is a member of the Council responsible for determining the syllabuses in London ; and so, by a most remakable circumstance, this sort of castastrophe in fact never occurs. I do not think the same safeguards will be available to us when we have the dictation from Brussels and the universities are scattered all over Europe.
The other point I make, also very strongly, is that any attempt to do this kind of thing will totally inhibit academic experiment and will totally prevent any kind of development in any sort of subject at all, except those which have already ossified into a state from which they can never be changed. So I feel the whole idea is outrageous. It is totally at variance with our traditions. It makes no allowance at all for the fact that our universities are much more unlike those in Europe than the universities in Europe are unlike each other. We have short, intensive courses in which people are very well taught in small classes ; the laboratories are sufficiently small and sufficiently well built that people can get into them ; and every man has a place in which to sit 1409 down. All these things are almost unknown in many European universities, and it is totally impossible to compare them with our own.
At the same conference an Italian professor came up to me and wept on my shoulder. My Lords, this was a remarkable experience. He said that he had just been worsted by the administration and by the students of his university. He had announced a course of 74 lectures on some aspect of electrical engineering and the students had said that this was too many. They had forced the administration to compel the professor to reduce the course from 78 lectures to 24 lectures—on the understanding that the students passed the examination at the end, anyway! This casts a great doubt on the nature of the men whom we may be required to accept if in fact they are approved by the Commission in Brussels. There are all sorts of other problems.
§ LORD ANNAN
My Lords, may I intervene to ask the noble Lord a question? While I quite agree with the kind of description and criticism which he has given of the kind of idiocy in the Council in Brussels is it not nevertheless the case that these problems have been overcome in the U.S.A., where, although each State has its peculiar institutions and even its own standards, some sort of common standards have been achieved by mutual agreement?
§ LORD BOWDEN
My Lords, this is a very technical problem, and, rather than inflict my views on your Lordships, I should discuss it with the noble Lord, Lord Annan, himself. Many American States do not recognise the qualifications of other States. Many of them insist that men must be re-examined before being allowed to practise. But the point is that nowhere in the United States of America is there an attempt by some anonymous administrators who are themselves not academics to dictate in detail the procedures which go on in the Universities.
There are all manner of other points to which I can draw the attention of the House. One of them is that in an attempt to increase mobility, it is required of all Member States that they shall admit students with appropriate qualifications for university entrance in the country 1410 from which they come. In other words, a man who has an Arbitur may in future go to any university in Europe if his qualification is sufficient for admission to a German university. Our own universities are immune from this trouble. They are able to reject or to accept students at their own discretion. This enormous privilege makes it possible to keep our universities, our student body and facilities in balance. It may be interesting to know that the polytechnics do not have this power; they are required to admit students who are appropriately qualified. So it may be that in the near future we shall find thousands of students from Europe coming to be educated at the polytechnics because the Treaty prevents us from keeping them out. If they want to come and their entrance qualification is acceptable by their own national universities, we cannot exclude them. The Minister of Education now has an open-ended commitment of which she is probably unaware.
It is remarkable in this connection that some of the countries in Europe have evaded the responsibility for educating their own students by sending them elsewhere. More than half the students at the universities in Lausanne and Geneva are French-speaking students who go there because they cannot find a place to sit down, even if they managed to get into the Sorbonne. The Swiss have traditionally accepted all qualified students who apply to them and now they are performing, to their great indignation, an enormously valuable service for France by paying the cost of educating several thousands of young men every year ; and towards this cost the French Government make no contribution at all. This may be one of the incidental consequences of acceptance of the Treaty of Rome.
I do not know, neither does anybody know, what are our commitments under the Treaty of Rome. For this reason I am anxious and worried that, if we accept this Bill in its present form, we may be accepting obligations the nature of which we have no idea and the consequences of which we do not understand, but which, in principle at least, might be totally disastrous.
It has become almost sport to taunt and criticise Mr. Harold Wilson for his vacillating political posture over the 1411 Common Market. Six or seven years ago when we first contemplated going into it, I said to him that I doubted whether we could afford it because we should be taking the subsidies that we now give our British farmers (then about £300 million a year—in effect, the net income of the farming industry at that time) and handing over the whole lot to the French. Mr. Wilson told me that I was wrong on two points. First, he said that the whole matter was negotiable ; and, secondly, that the sum in question was much smaller than I said. In practice, my Lords, I find that the figure is a bigger one, nearer £600 million than £300 million ; it is not negotiable ; it cannot be negotiated now and we cannot, in principle, negotiate it in the future. The French have shown great skill in the way in which they have kept us hanging outside the door until all the Common Market countries are totally committed to this extraordinary Common Agricultural Policy from which the French farmers benefit so greatly.
I was in France at the time when M. Pompidou was conducting his campaign for a referendum. It was interesting to see that the posters in the campaign showed an enormous tricolour with Marianne standing beside it ; all the other countries indicated by tiny flags—presumably intended to become subordinate parts of the French empire. I spoke to several Frenchmen about the matter. All of them told me frankly and firmly that they felt it appropriate that we are now going to pay to France several more millions a year as a consequence of a series of little incidents starting with Crecy and ending with Waterloo, and not excluding a few remarks from Winston Churchill to General de Gaulle.
I was interested to see furthermore that not only were the French farmers going to be the beneficiaries of this extraordinary generosity of the British taxpayer but also, I suspect, are many Frenchmen of considerable wealth. I spoke to several of them. I could find no one who could remember the last time he paid any income tax. One said that he had not paid income tax for 25 years. When I asked how and why, he said that it is cheaper to hire a good lawyer and, anyway, " You can arrange 1412 with a civil servant to put your file at the bottom of the basket once a day." Furthermore; he said, it is always, " Very agreeable to me to be engaged in a controversy with the Department of Inland Revenue ". I ask him whether I should take it that evading income tax has now become his second most popular indoor sport. He drew himself to his full height and said, " Frankly, at my age it is now my most popular indoor sport."
This is the normal attitude of the French taxpayer and we must face that fact. We are now going to subsidise them too by the enormous sums which will pass across the exchanges for the benefit of French farmers and to France as a whole. Although the sum of money has not been precisely calculated, it will be of the order of £400 million, £500 million or £600 million a year when the situation is finally consolidated. Some experts say that the sum is going to be small, less than 1 per cent. of the gross national product ; there are others who say that it will be so large that we cannot pay it. My Lords, it is about as great as the value of our total exports that we make of motor cars. In effect if we had been able to join the Free Trade Union which was signed two or three days ago we should not be getting the political advantage which goes with full membership, but we could afford to take every motor car that we sell abroad and give it to a French farmer. The price of membership is extraordinary. We are buying the largest pig that was ever put in a poke.
§ 5.30 p.m.
§ LORD SHINWELL
My Lords, after a succession of speeches, all designed to prove that unless we enter the Common Market nothing but disaster will overtake us, we have just had a breath of fresh air, an effective antidote against the euphoria associated with the Common Market. I regret my inability to fortify my noble friends' contentions about the errors of judgment on the part of members of the Commission and those associated with the Treaty of Rome, particularly on the topic of education with which I am in no way familiar. I never had any myself and therefore do not intend to talk about a subject of which I know little or nothing.
1413 The majority of the speeches to which we have listened bring me to the inevitable conclusion that there can be no Assembly up and down the land which could produce such a collection of Jeremiahs in the context of the future of our country. All that we have heard, with some honourable exceptions, is the decline of Britain, the futility of our efforts, defeatism all the way. We had an example in the speech of the noble Lord, Lord Caccia, an ex-civil servant, who demonstrated to his own satisfaction how impossible it would be to produce an alternative to entering the Market: anything in the nature of an alternative—association with the United States, with an Atlantic free trade union or anything of the kind ; or standing on our own feet—would be nothing but disastrous.
Of course this country has suffered a decline. From a great Empire with supremacy over most countries in the world, and exercising a challenge to the world in industry, civilisation, and democracy, we have declined rapidly to a country which relies primarily on its ingenuity and traditions. That appears to be all that is left. But who is responsible? We have been told that for years we have had the finest Civil Service in creation. The noble Lord, Lord Caccia, was one of that Service ; the noble Lord, Lord Gore-Booth, was another. Indeed, there are several Members of your Lordships' House who in the past were associated with the Civil Service. Some of our leaders were in Governments, some in industry, and some are industrial tycoons. The noble Viscount, Lord Wilkinson, told us that he was going to relate the facts and had no intention of indulging in rhetoric. Yet all he was able to tell us was something about his business associations with people in France and Germany. We have people of that kind in your Lordships' House. There are also many outside, but I will deal with the situation here.
Who are we to talk about decline unless we are prepared to expose those who were responsible? Right from the beginning of the century, almost from the end of the Boer War which I can recall, there were the Balfours, the Salisburys, the Asquiths, the Lloyd-Georges and, if you like, the MacDonalds—the whole lot of them. And where do we find ourselves? 1414 If this country has suffered a decline it is mainly the fault not of the people of the country but of its leaders, and Lord Caccia was among them. So it is not a question of an alternative, but of whether we can recover from the errors of judgment, the blunders, the grievous mistakes for which all those people were responsible.
But I want to deal with another aspect of the problem. The noble and learned Lord the Lord Chancellor, when he indulged yesterday in an analytical exposition of the legal subtleties associated with the Bill under review, was gracious enough to express the opinion that those in this Assembly, and presumably those outside, who were opposed to Britain entering the Common Market were acting and speaking with sincerity. For that we are exceedingly grateful. But the noble and learned Lord asked that we, in turn, should appreciate with similar grace the sincerity of those who wish this country to enter the Common Market. Without exercising any authority—I am just a humble Back-Bencher in this assembly—I give him the assurance that we appreciate both the integrity and the sincerity of those who wish to drive us into the Common Market. There is no question of malice, prejudice, bias or partisanship—nothing of the sort. It is a wrong notion on the part of those who wish to enter. They are of course entitled to their opinion, but so are we. But no longer are we accused of being Little Englanders, a bunch of eccentrics and, in my case, an ancient Briton.
Where do we go from there? I listened to every speech which was made yesterday with one exception, namely, the speech by the noble Baroness, Lady Tweedsmuir of Belhelvie, who wound up the debate on behalf of the Government. I apologise to the noble Baroness, but by that time I had had enough ; I had sat through it all. Nobody could suffer any more than I did, so I thought I had better go home. But be it noted that by that time, unlike previous debates we have had in this assembly since I arrived—a matter of two years ago—the euphoria, if it had not completely vanished, had weakened. No longer were there the highfalutin pretensions: " Just go in and everything in the garden will be lovely." There was nothing but doubts and reservations yesterday.
§ LORD SHINWELL
Almost every speaker had doubts, some of a legal character. I took note, as no doubt all noble Lords did, of the remarkable speech of the noble and learned Lord, Lord Diplock, and indeed of the one made by my delightful friend and colleague, the noble Lord, Lord Stow Hill. I regret that I must disagree with him. But I could not disagree with him yesterday because I could not understand him. Note the reservations.
The most remarkable speech of all, which impressed me so much, and the most logical speech of all, strange as it may seem, was delivered by the noble Lord, Lord Gladwyn. I have debated with him at the London School of Economics where he packed the place in order to defeat my motion. He has it all in his memoirs. He ought to have it corrected, but that is an aside. His was the most logical speech of all. I have been saying for years what he has waited all this time to say. I said it right from the beginning, long before Macmillan made the announcement in Parliament to which I listened at the end of 1959 ; long before 1961 when we on the National Executive of the Labour Party and the Attlee Government, of which I was a member, debated the matter. Mr. Churchill himself came to see me at the War Office to ask whether I could persuade the Labour Party to support this concept of a united Europe—though he never went so far as Mr. Heath has gone. His concept of a united Europe was not one which meant the abdication of the Commonwealth. He made that abundantly clear. It was a wide ranging concept he had in mind.
A long time ago I conceived the notion that if we were at some time or other to have a united Europe it must not be based essentially and solely on an economic union related to trade, commerce and tariffs, but must go all the way in the direction of political unity. The noble Lord, Lord Gladwyn, argued that yesterday. He said in effect, " Go in, but it will not work unless you go all the way." How right he is. That is precisely my objection, because going all the way means not merely, as the noble Earl, Lord Bessborough, and others said very eloquently and learnedly, that we could assist economically, politically and electorally 1416 by sending some Members of the House of Lords there. He also said, " Send a number of Members from the other place there." That is all very well.
The matter goes very much further than that. In fact it means a united Europe. But what do we mean by " unity "? Would somebody give me a definition? Unless it means industrial unity, trade unity, cultural unity so far as is practicable, and political unity, with a supranational Parliament whether elected or nominated (the personnel would not matter except that we would want people of high calibre there), what does it mean? This is what the noble Lord, Lord Gladwyn, is driving at: but he is doubtful about getting it ; he has reservations. He had an article in the publication Europe which I read very carefully. It was called, " Go into Europe, but—." He spoke in the same strain yesterday. He recognises what the destination is if the Common Market is going to work effectively. It cannot work effectively without political direction, any more than this country could work effectively without political direction. Some say it does not work effectively even with political direction—perhaps it gets the wrong kind of political direction. But even when Governments change the problems continue, and very depressing it is.
So where do we go? Not merely in the direction of political integration, with subordination of this country in almost every particular. But also in defence? And where do we go from there? The noble Viscount, Lord Watkinson, told this Assembly that he had an association with NATO and the French. I ventured to ask him whether he was aware that the French contracted out of NATO, and could he give me the reason why? He said, " I do not know." Nor does anybody know. My noble friend who has just spoken also referred to the French. It is sometimes said that some of us are anti-European—anti-German, anti-French and the like. What a lot of nonsense. Of course we are not ; but we are just realistic about some of them.
I wonder whether your Lordships would permit me to quote from something I jotted down. It is not something I said—it would not matter very much what I said. It was said by somebody who, in spite of the allegations against him, some 1417 of which in my judgment with hindsight were not justified, was revered by members of the Conservative Party. I refer to Neville Chamberlain. In a biography of Neville Chamberlain by Mr. Keith Fielding I read something of Mr. Chamberlain's diary. What did he think of the French, the people we are expected to associate with? The noble Lord, Lord Bowden, has said that tax evasion and all the rest of it is common over there. But what did Neville Chamberlain say? In 1940 he referred to the total disintegration of the French and their separate peace with the enemy. That was in May, 1940. In June, 1940, he said, " I am sure the French are already beaten in spirit ". On June 17 he said, " The French Army ceased fighting about mid-day. We are heading for a crisis ". And he added, " We are clear of obligations to the French who are nothing but a liability. It would have been better if they had been neutral from the beginning ". Now that war is over, but it is a mistake to forget, and if we are asked to associate with another nation we ought to be cautious about it.
Now I want to say a word about what is to happen to-night. Some of my noble friends—and I speak without offence ; I hope they will all understand me—have announced almost triumphantly and I detect overtones of defiance, that they are going to vote with the Government. That is a matter of judgment. They are entitled to vote with the Government. I give them reassurance, having a full knowledge of the Labour Party's constitution, that they will not be expelled from the Party. They need not worry about their constituents. They will not be put on the mat outside the Cabinet Room and be called in when the caucus think it wise. They may do as they like ; this is a free country. But they are going to get no credit or kudos. The more votes we have on the other side, strange as it may seem—this may seem a peculiar contention to advance—and the greater the number of your Lordships who vote with the Government in favour of entry to the Common Market with all that it means, the better it is for democracy. After all, who do we represent here? Nobody but ourselves. We do not represent anybody in the country ; we do not represent the 50 per cent. of the people who in public opinion polls vote against Britain enter- 1418 ing the Common Market. It is just as well that the country should know what the House of Lords thinks about the situation, more particularly because of the other place. The Government there had majorities of only eight votes, four votes, sixteen votes. Here there will be an overwhelming majority in favour of entering the Common Market, in an Assembly that cannot claim to be democratic and acts in defiance of public opinion. So much the worse for your Lordships' House. I regret it ; it is a mistake ; but there it is. If my noble friends intend to go into the Lobby in support of the Government, they will surely raise no objection if I go into the Lobby against the Government—not in a spirit of malice, except that I should like the Government to be out as soon as possible. I am not peculiar in this opinion, which is held by many others.
So we shall have our vote. Euphoria has practically vanished. Now we have to deal with the hard, practical facts of the situation. There will be the legal subtleties—and your Lordships can imagine what a paradise it will be for the legal fraternity. Take the industrial relations position. The Government cannot produce legislation to define and explain the law. What about this legislation? Are we going to be in a situation five months, six months or twelve months from now, in the Common Market, with the lawyers bickering one with another as to the interpretation of various clauses in the legislation and the Acts of the Commission? Are we to be placed in that situation? No. I would rather have it the other way, and say to the people of this country: " Stand on your own feet " ; and to say to the industrial tycoons, civil servants, Ministers and everybody associated with the life of this country: " Stand firm and seek to recover, as you can do if you have the will ".
§ 5.52 p.m.
THE LORD BISHOP OF CHICHESTER
My Lords, I am grateful for the opportunity of speaking from these Benches this afternoon and I must apologise for the mistake whereby I was on the list of speakers yesterday. Even to-day, as in our earlier debates, there is an ebb and flow in the argument. Now it is the hopes of Utopia that are brought before us, and more recently it was the fears of Armageddon or something like that taking its 1419 place. I recognise that this debate is really on legal and constitutional matters, but that, quite rightly, has not deterred any of your Lordships from referring to other questions, economic and political, because they are part of the background of the actual decision that we are making.
I should like to refer, quite briefly, to another part of that background, which has already been touched on very well by the noble Lord, Lord Walston. I think that behind the planning of the Economic Community there has also been the dreaming: the dreaming about a United States of Europe, or a step towards a united Europe as a contribution towards a united world. I do not think we ought to discount this element in the scene, as well as the higher calculations. We think to-day much more in terms of continents than of countries, and anything that can put before us more seriously a conception of Europe within the framework of continents as our present world unfolds seems to me to be most important.
How does Europe appear to many other continents? It has exported to them all the evils of the slave trade ; it has exported to them many of the consequences of colonialism ; it has exported to them two world wars ; it has exported to them many theological and ideological differences which have torn the world apart. That is, if you like, part of the way in which Europe presents itself. But there are other aspects which have been touched upon. There is the potential power of Europe in the younger countries, with its wealth and its know-how ; its cultural background and its ideas ; its political experience and, I dare say, its religious insights, which have helped in the understanding of man in the modern world. This is what I once heard one European call "the other face of Europe". I think the desire in our day to be able to present something of this to the world and make a particular contribution to it is an important factor in the scene. I think it has to be taken into account when we face an acute question—and it has been treated as such even more in the debates in another place than here—that seems to deal with the limitation of our national sovereignty.
I listened carefully to the noble Lord, Lord Beswick, on this point, and I recognise with him that whereas there will be 1420 some limitations on national sovereignty in almost every relationship, yet there is a point—perhaps we do not quite know where—where the line must be drawn. The noble Lord reminded us of the quotation:Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's.But he did not actually finish the quotation. Had he done so, he might equally have reminded us that the limitations of sovereignty, of Caesar's claims, are the limitations imposed by the claims of God upon man. In a world that has become rather more secular, and in which those divine claims are not recognised, inevitably the claims of absolute preponderancy on the part of the existing Caesar, the nation as it is, become all the more supreme. So much so that the supreme power and authority of the independent and individual nations has almost become an absolute and sacrosanct thing in our world. We have grown up in a long process of evolution in which we can to a large extent understand and limit this ; but we have been in the process of exporting this conception to many younger peoples all over the world. We can think of the embarrassment, for instance, it has caused in the United Nations as one after another of this increasing number of young, independent peoples come to take their place with their own different views and opinions.
We must ask ourselves: is this multiplicity of an increasing number of nations, all claiming the same independence to their own national entity, the foundation upon which we can ever hope to build a kind of world order? Indeed, in terms of a world order, can we see any prospect at all if the concept of a nation State with all its claims to absolute supremacy is the last word in our political development? In fact, as we have been reminded, there are many limitations on the sovereignty of nations even now, partly by necessity and partly by mutual agreement.
Most of the major problems with which the world is faced to-day, and which will be the nightmare of our successors, are questions which cannot be solved, even if they are present within the scale of the nation: population, race, armaments and war, pollution and want. These are the critical questions which most people are worrying about, and if the retention of 1421 complete national authority could solve them better than in any other way, there would be very good reason for perpetuating them. But the arguments, on the whole, are the other way round. It is only by a growing inter-relationship and inter-dependence of nations that we shall, even with these limitations as they evolve, ever be able to cope with these questions. Again here is an opportunity of dealing with this.
It is remarkable that, whereas no doubt institutions do not in themselves change people, yet the institution of the Common Market has changed very largely the relationship between France and Germany, and effected, or helped to create, a reconciliation which did not exist before. Situations can be changed as national relationships change. I think that history is on the side of those who see a possibility within one area of some experiment in national inter-dependence being achieved. The willing surrender of some part of the sovereignty of free nations—I would rather say the willing pooling together and the sharing of that sovereignty—cannot be regarded as a retrograde step. I would say it is the best kind of example we could give to the younger nations of the world, which are still so immature in their nationhood that they will be tempted to perpetuate some of the evils out of which we hope we are growing ourselves.
This moving into the distant future perhaps seems to relate very little to constitutional problems of the moment. But I think it is only in the light of the objectives we can hope for that we can really face the present. Men are like that—they are formed half of hopes and half of practicalities of every day: neither one nor the other alone. I was delighted that the noble Lord, Lord Shinwell, adumbrated a far greater integration on the levels of life between the nations of Europe because I think only on this level shall we be able realistically to accept the immediate consequences. I side more immediately with the pessimists than with the optimists over immediate consequences, though not of ultimate objectives. Perhaps it is rather a pity to talk about joining a rich man's club, because if you do that you may only increase your standard of expenditure without finding that the others will pay your bills for you, and nothing in the early stages, nothing in the way of 1422 future hopes, is going to take the place of present exertions.
There are many issues which your Lordships have noted already and because of the length of the list of speakers I shall not dwell on certain points which I should have liked to mention. However, I only want to pick up the reminder that has been made: that with all the professions in the world we shall find it difficult, within the new framework, not only to increase the contribution we make to the developing world but even to maintain it as it is. This was drawn out by an expert on this subject, Mr. Reginald Prentice, in another place, when he reminded us that by 1977 our contribution to the Community Budget would be appreciably nearer to the actual net contribution we are making now to the developing nations. Shall we be able to take this, or, if prosperity comes, as we hope it will, will it be shared prosperity, will it be extended to Associated States, will the depressed industrial areas of our country have their share, will there be justice in the use of resources?
These are admittedly such difficult questions to resolve that I suppose many people are tempted to say that we should be better to stay where we are—" better the devil you know than the devil you do not know ". But many of these questions will be still here, even if we remain where we are. I should hate to think. particularly having in mind the solemn call to courage that the noble Lord has just issued to us, that we lack the courage of our convictions in coming within the framework of a partnership of other nations which have themselves surrendered that element of sovereignty which we cling to ourselves ; that we should not have the power or the determination so to influence decisions of the Community ; that we should find ourselves swamped or indeed overwhelmed by our neighbours. This seems to be the advice of despair and not of hope—that we dare not go in.
In my heart, I would certainly support this step, yet I cannot fail to say how concerned I am about the way in which we shall be engaging the people of this country in this new enterprise. This is in a sense an action of Governments and not yet an action of peoples, yet ultimately it is a drawing together of peoples 1423 in the Community that really matters. On the face of it, this step seems to be, within our own country, a divisive one. But in fact, whether we are in the Community or outside it, the divisions are there anyhow. I think we have to take to heart the warning given by Disraeli nearly 100 years ago of the possibility of our country becoming two nations. Whether it is for one reason or another, it is not within the framework of this debate to analyse. Whether it is in the sharing of responsibility or of prosperity ; whether it is in the different objectives that we hold among ourselves and which might be thought incompatible with one another, whether it is that certain sections of the community feel deprived in relation to the whole—whatever the reason, we are giving the world the appearance of a country that, in its modern context, has not yet become one people.
Because of that, every question of public policy is a matter of acute internal division. We recognise that it is not the moment to deal with this, though it would certainly be accepted by us all, and indeed by all sections of the community that have any influence they can bring to bear, as a matter of acute urgency for our own people. I mention this now because it colours our discussions about this particular decision. Whatever divides us as a people at home will not be solved by our remaining outside the Community, any more than it will be solved by our going into it. On the contrary, I think there is in fact a chance that since part of our internal difficulty is a loss of confidence in ourselves—a loss perhaps of the sense of a role or objective that can draw our people together—in that sense, in spite of the problems that may arise, I would say that this step provides a contemporary role for our country which would tend to lift us out of the malaise of our present divisions.
This is not the only role we have to play in the world but it is an immediate and practical one which will demand much from us. I conclude by endorsing warmly the words used by the noble Lord, Lord Greenwood, yesterday in calling upon us to make this a major effort—far greater really than the decision we are called upon to make to-day—and that we should see that it is our people 1424 who come to make their contribution to a Europe which, in its turn, may make a better contribution to the world and the continents round it.
§ 6.8 p.m.
§ LORD BLYTON
My Lords, in the five months between the Second and Third Readings of this Bill in another place, the Government at no time were able to pull their full majority there. With over 90 Divisions that took place on the Committee stage of the Bill, and with an overall majority of 35, including the Liberals who now believe in food taxing, and the guillotine, the Government's majority was less than 20 in 56 of them. There were 17 Divisions when the majority was less than 10 ; and in another six Divisions the majority was six or less. In fact, if it had not been for the support of the Labour Party dissidents who abstained on the matter of their own Parliamentary Party's policy, the Conservatives would have been defeated on the most important parts of this Bill. In the light of the Prime Minister's statement on the Second Reading of this Bill, that if he did not get it he would have an Election, the odium rests upon those Socialist dissidents who have sustained in power the most reactionary Government we have had since 1926. This cannot be regarded as the " full-hearted consent " that the Prime Minister said he wanted in the initial stages of these negotiations. Another remarkable feature is that the Government did not accept one Amendment, and the Bill did not get to Report stage in another place.
Probably, that policy will be pursued in this House. If that is so, then it will be a mockery of our House. It will mean, with the huge majority in this House on the Government side, that we will go through the exercise of moving Amendments and arguments will be of no avail so far as the Government are concerned. It seems to me that that is what the Government intend to do. I am certain that the performance in the Commons, if followed in this House, will cause great damage among the public to the repute of Parliament and of politicians. The inability of the Commons to reflect public opinion, the contempt shown by Socialists, in particular, for such public opinion, the non-acceptance of Amendments with a guillotine on the 1425 Bill, together with an obstinate Prime Minister pressing on with a policy rejected by the majority of the country—despite his own insistence upon the full-hearted consent of Parliament and the people—cannot but lower further the esteem in which Parliament and its system is held. This, I believe, will turn out to be the most damaging of all the effects of the present political situation created by the European adventurers.
Parliament has had a say, but the people have not had theirs. If the Government are not prepared to have an Election or a referendum, it can only be because they do not believe they would succeed in either. It means that the Government know that this policy does not command that full-hearted consent of the people and Parliament which they held as a pre-requisite for entry. Until such full-hearted consent is obtained by letting the people decide—the people whose lives, and those of future generations, are involved for years ahead—then we should oppose this policy which has been undemocratically arrived at, is detrimental to our country's interests, is destructive of our liberties, privileges and culture, is socially and politically divisive, and is destined, if carried through without the consent of the people, to failure.
This Bill cannot bind us. While my Party does not go all the way with me, they have made their position clear in their new policy which comes up for ratification this year. They say, " If negotiations do not succeed, then we shall not regard the Treaty obligations as binding upon us." They further say that they will put to the British people the reasons why they find the terms unacceptable, will ask them about the advisability of negotiating our withdrawal from the Communities and will accept a decision of the people. Dr. Mansholt has told us that the terms embodied in this Bill are not negotiable, that the other six Governments would not agree and, especially where the unanimity rule prevails, that a Labour Government would be vetoed. It is right that Dr. Mansholt should know that, in circumstances like this, the people would be asked by the Labour Party to come out of the Community.
The full enormity of this constitutional outrage is now apparent in this Bill. The Bill now before us will deprive the British 1426 Parliament and people of the democratic rights which they have exercised for centuries. There are 42 volumes of Common Market rules and regulations. Also, the five Treaties involved are to be imposed on us in toto. They cannot be altered or amended in any way, and this whole matter is to be rushed through Parliament in a short, derisory Bill of only 12 clauses. My Lords, it is an act of moral courage to try to read through the volumes which stand three foot high. I do not know why the Government allow a debate on this Bill when they did not allow any of it to be altered in the other place. I do not think we will get any alterations here. This Bill is a graphic illustration of the loss of independence involved, and of the way Parliament will be transferred into a rubber stamp for Brussels.
This violation of Parliament is proposed not only for the acceptance of all the existing regulations of the Common Market, but also for the imposition, without Parliamentary scrutiny, of all future regulations. We are being asked to sign a blank cheque to bind future generations and rob them of their many rights of self-government. Clause 2 of this Bill gives the force of law in the United Kingdom to present and future Community law which, under the Treaties, is to be given legal effect without further enactment. It may be said that British Ministers will participate in framing future decisions. This is hardly adequate, because Parliament can frequently disagree with the views of Ministers. Again, much of the power is in the hands of unelected officials of the Commission, not in the hands of the Council of Ministers of the E.E.C.
The stark proposal of this Bill is to hand over power to legislate for, govern and tax British people in perpetuity to bodies outside the country. This will emasculate the British Parliament into a pale shadow of its former self, and this means taking away the powers of the electorate. It is really taxation without representation. This Treaty of Accession, which takes away the sovereignty of Britain and accepts that a body abroad can legislate, govern and tax British people, does not belong to the Government or any particular Government ; nor does it belong to any group of leaders in any Party. It belongs to the people, and 1427 it cannot be bartered away by the Government because it is not theirs to give. This attempt to submerge Britain into the Common Market will fail when it collides with the basic principle of our Constitution: " That each Parliament is sovereign and therefore no Parliament can bind its successors." The Rome Treaty, therefore, because of its irrevocable character, is incompatible with this principle of our British Constitution. I am sure that the people of this land, when given a chance, which is bound to come sooner or later, will decide that our Constitution prevails over the Treaty, and I can assure the Government that when the Election comes this will be a main issue. All experience and history shows that British people will accept Government only from their own elected Parliament and not from any remote, faceless men on the Continent.
The terms which we are asked to accept are terms of surrender to France. Just a few weeks ago the French President said that Britain could not come into the Market if the pound was still floating. He said that we had to stand by the Community rules. This is humiliating. The floating of the pound was hailed by the Conservatives and the Press as a great achievement. They had found a new word for devaluation. Yet hardly had the plaudits died before we had capitulated to the French President, and we are to observe the Community rules by next year.
Then the Germans are making inquiries about our Industry Bill. In their arguments they are quoting Rule 92, which deals with the rules of competition. It would be ironic indeed if the Industry Bill gets on to the Statute Book this year and its contents are mauled next year if the Commission says that we are in breach of the Community's rules. The Commission has laid it on the table because we are not yet members, but it remains clear that when we become members this Industry Bill, which will by then be an Act, will be subject to Rule 92 of the Treaty of Rome. I am of the opinion that the European Court will find some parts of the Industry Act incompatible with the Common Market. This will most certainly affect our regional policy on employment.
1428 It must also be remembered that the Commission in Brussels is not elected by anybody. It is not even responsible to the Council of Ministers or to any national Government. Commissioners have to promise on appointment not to represent any country or to seek or accept instructions from any national Government. Therefore this Bill and the Treaty of Rome together impose on the British people a bureaucracy—the rule of irresponsible, unelected officials.
Furthermore, the Common Market is committed in future to a common currency and a directly elected Parliament. The financial regulations already agreed by the Six will impose a federal-style budget by 1980. All this must mean that a central Common Market Government will be established and the member countries will then be States or Provinces. In these circumstances, Britain will cease to be an independent sovereign State. That will be the position, as I see it, in the years that lie ahead. What are we to pay to the exchanges as the total annual subscription to this club? The Government, through Mr. Rippon, say that it will be £500 million. Economists say that it will be anything between £800 million and £1,000 million per year. Whatever the figure may be, we cannot carry this inordinate burden to keep the Community's Agricultural Fund solvent ; but we have accepted these heavy obligations in this Bill.
Much has been said about Harold Wilson and his attitude to the Market. At least in fairness to him it must be made clear in this House that when he spoke in 1967 in another place as Prime Minister he said:It is the Government's view that the financial arrangements which have been devised to meet the requirements of the Community's agricultural policy as It exists today"—that was in 1967—would, if applied to Britain as they now stand, involve an inequitable sharing of the financial cost and impose on our balance of payments an additional burden which we could not in fairness be asked to carry.In a speech in Vienna only last month he told the Socialist International Conference that this had been made clear to the Six and to the Commission ; he said that had he not received assurances on this he would not have asked the Labour Cabinet to seek entry. He makes 1429 it perfectly clear that he would not have accepted these terms.
How does the Bill affect our food? Rises have already been imposed on the British public in preparation for entry and to take account of the burden of value added tax on food. Some economists say that the rise will be 25p or probably up to 50p in the pound, as against the Government's figure of 16p. It is estimated that bread, meat, butter, cheese and sugar will go up by from 50 to 80 per cent., and that flour and eggs will go up by 20 per cent. Old people and large families will be cruelly hit, since these rises will be additional to the rises we shall have to suffer anyway due to inflation. Not only will food prices rise, but the heavy new tax, value-added tax, will be imposed on virtually all the necessities of life. All this will set wages and prices chasing one another faster than ever before.
What effect will it all have on our balance of payments? We shall have to carry a staggering, permanent, and unnecessary new burden. If we are to be strong and speak vigorously in the world's counsels we must pay our way in the world. Joining the Common Market on the conditions of the Treaty of Accession and of this Bill will make this impossible. The extra burden of higher food prices and tribute payments to the Brussels agricultural relief funds will cost from £500 million to £600 million per annum. We shall lose exports all over the world because of high labour costs and lost preferences in the Commonwealth and EFTA. It is estimated by competent authorities that we shall lose exports worth at least £500 million a year. The gain in exports to the Six will be more than cancelled by the rise in imports from them. The total world market for British industry will be permanently narrowed and the cost of the extra burden that we shall have to face will be between £900 million and £1,000 million per annum. This is sure to force future British Governments into squeezes, freezes and new borrowings from abroad. The White Paper was grossly deceptive on this issue.
Again, the White Paper, quite dishonestly I thought, pretended that the acceptable high level of food prices outside the Common Market in 1971 was 1430 likely to last. The truth is that world food prices are expected to fall in the years ahead. That trend is now showing. Even the Economist, no friend of the Socialists, said that last year there were excellent grain harvests which were already bringing down grain prices outside the Common Market. Meanwhile, food prices in the Market are continuing to rise. The indications are therefore that the gap between E.E.C. food prices and the lower world food prices will widen in the future and the advantage of Britain staying out will be even greater then than now.
There are no solid or lasting safeguards on vital issues for the Commonwealth countries such as New Zealand, the Commonwealth sugar countries, or for British fisheries. We were always told by the Marketeers and the Government that there would be special arrangements for New Zealand trade with Britain. What have we got for them? New Zealand will be allowed to send special exports of butter and cheese up to 1977. After this there are no special arrangements for cheese exports to continue, and none for butter, without the unanimous consent of all the E.E.C. countries. France alone can veto that. As to the sugar-producing Commonwealth countries, the promises made by Britain to these countries are not in the Treaty of Accession, so no safeguards remain after 1975. It is the same for fisheries: no protection of Britain's inshore fishermen is assured beyond 1982, and any arrangement after that depends on the agreement of the other E.E.C. countries.
We have to erect new steps and, in the case of agricultural goods, prohibitive tariffs against Commonwealth countries which are our traditional and natural trading partners. They have done large and mutually beneficial trade with us for generations and have built their economies on the expectation that this would last. We shall find in the future that there will be resentment against us, instead of their friendship: that will be the inevitable result. Countries in the Caribbean, dependent upon exporting bananas and sugar to the United Kingdom market, face financial ruin unless special conditions are negotiated. For them there is security for two years after our entry ; and no guarantee beyond that—only a 1431 statement that the Community shall safeguard the interests of those economies dependent on sugar. Why then, I ask, if this is the contention, was it not put in the Protocol? The Sugar Agreement ends in 1974. The sugar beet industry of Europe is expanding fast and by 1975 it will want to sell its surplus here. It looks as if this undertaking is not much valued.
What of our trade? Trade is an important factor in this issue. The proportion of our exports to the Common Market in 1971 was 21 per cent. ; to EFTA it was 15 per cent. ; to the sterling area, 29 per cent. ; to North America, 16 per cent., and to the rest of the world it was 18.9 per cent. So, if we take the total figures, we exported 79 per cent. of our goods to the outside world and only 21 per cent. to the E.E.C. Even in our " invisible " trade—that is, shipping, tourism and other items—65 per cent. of it was with the Commonwealth and EFTA and only 15 per cent. with the E.E.C. in 1970. In that year Britain earned an " invisible " surplus of £576 million, of which no less than £529 million was with the sterling area. The biggest element in Britain's balance-of-payments surplus is our large " invisible " earnings with the overseas sterling area. So what we face is putting a tariff on imports from the rest of the world which takes 79 per cent. of our exports, to get a tariff relief on 20 per cent. of our exports to the E.E.C.
My Lords, I regard the Treaty of Accession and this Bill as extreme folly and madness. The supreme folly of it all is shown by the fact that members of EFTA not wishing to join the E.E.C.—Sweden, Switzerland, Finland, Austria and Iceland—are getting industrial free trade with the E.E.C. without the crushing burdens of the Common Agricultural Policy and the Brussels bureaucratic straitjacket. These countries will get the advantages by staying outside, without carrying any of the burdens—an arrangement which would be favourable to Britain and which we could have had if we had remained outside and had not made haste to get inside the E.E.C. as we have done.
The terms of entry, as they will operate, affect wages. Although it is not in the Treaty of Accession, it is part of the acceptance. Trade unions will fight for 1432 wages when the cost of living goes up. Let there be no mistake about that! But what has happened to the brash marketeering propagandists? They are quiet now about this myth ; there is nothing in the terms about this. What has happened to them? Have they been struck dumb by seeing that their bubble has burst and that the Common Market countries have all hit an economic depression? Their growth rates are dropping and a major slump is feared. We were always told that by joining we should get dynamic growth. Britain's growth rate is currently higher than that of the Six. Perhaps someone will explain whether our Common Market entry now is to mean our growth level sinking to theirs and our workers having slimmer pay packets. The real fact about wages is that, with the exception of Germany, Britain's wages are higher. I could quote the figures but I do not want to do so.
My Lords, to the terms of this Bill I am utterly opposed. The choice for Britain is clear. We have two issues to face. Either we maintain our freedom and a democratic way of life, our close and valued associations overseas, and help with others in shaping world policies and institutions that are needed in the years ahead—not by the people in the Six or Ten countries of the E.E.C. but by all in the world—or we accept to-day, against our own interests and sentiments, to enter Europe on disastrous terms and join an exclusively Continental association, doomed to strive for a unity and power which I believe is beyond their reach. I read with interest last week an article in the Financial Times, taken from a paper called Vision and written by Leo Brawand, on Britain's entry into the Market. This is what he said:Quite frankly the Island dwellers will have to think in terms of hard work if they do not want to run the risk, despite their undisputed skills, of being relegated to those tasks which are mainly undertaken by Turkish emigrants in Germany at the moment. It is time they learned their lesson after genera-rations spent mainly as foremen in khaki dealing with Colonial labourers.This writer does not seem to accept the Common Market propagandists' case or the Government's case, that we shall lead Europe once we are in. He may be written off as a Continental troublemaker, but at least he does not paint an El Dorado for us on entry.
1433 This Bill and the Treaty are a reversal of our national way of life. In my 27 years in Parliament I have seen us renounce our Imperial past. We have granted self-government to 700 million people, and we ourselves have developed successful self-government. We are asked to-day to abandon to the European Community much of our independence and our democracy, without even consulting or asking the people whose lives, freedoms and privileges are at stake. I am sure that the British people, like myself, believe that the right decision for us is to maintain an independent Britain and to stay out of this European set-up. In future, as in the past, we can make our own way; and I know no nation who can do better. In our lifetimes we have faced many storms in the world. We have lived and thrived in the world. The British people, after much sacrifice, won democratic rights which are now to be given abroad, even without consultation, and that is something to which I cannot agree. I shall oppose the Bill and shall vote against it. The Government may win the battle but I am sure that in the end they will not win the war.
§ 6.41 p.m.
§ LORD BETHELL
My Lords, the noble Lord, Lord Davies of Leek, Lord Shinwell and Lord Blyton, have told us that there will be a Division to-night and I am not quite sure how I react to that piece of news. One thing is certainly excellent—it is boring to preach to the converted—and this debate to-day and yesterday would have been a useless undertaking had there not been a gallant band of men who still oppose our entry into the Common Market under these terms. So for this at least we have to be grateful to them.
It is also true that many of the arguments that they have put forward are in some respects valid objections to our accepting the present terms. There have been bitter pills that we have had to swallow. No one denies that—least of all those who support Britain's entry into the E.E.C. most sincerely. But against these points of detail, touched upon, for instance, in the last speech and in other speeches by opponents of the Bill, I would submit that there are overriding considerations which make this Bill absolutely essential and make the prospect of refusing it a Second Reading to-day quite 1434 inconceivable. I should like to mention two of them.
Since the end of the British Empire we have been, in the oft-quoted words of Mr. Acheson " a country without a role ". We have been on the outside looking in to this growing, burgeoning, impressive unit on the Continent, which consisted then of 150 million people and now looks like being 250 million, and we have felt slightly like a sore thumb in the North Sea. This Community is about to be born, and it is surely impossible that we should not participate in what is about to happen, and, in some spheres of activity, even lead. I think it is particularly appropriate that to-day, at the time of this debate, the success of the EFTA negotiations should have been announced.
The Swedish Minister of Foreign Trade said last Saturday that it would open up in five years a tariff-free market for industrial goods covering 16 countries and 300 million people. So again we have moved from 250 million to 300 million people—a tariff-free market. In terms of population this is by far the biggest economic unit in the world—bigger than the United States of America and bigger than the Soviet Union. In many respects it is second only to the United States, but in certain respects—for instance in the production of steel, the production of automobiles and in the share of foreign trade—it will be the biggest in the world. This is only the Ten, not counting the Six who have associated themselves with the new arrangements.
§ LORD DAVIES OF LEEK
My Lords, if I may interrupt—and I do beg the noble Lord's pardon—I should like to point out that there are nearly 700 million or 800 million people in China who are moving and developing and in comparison with which the United States has a completely different outlook. I think it is worth getting that on the record.
§ LORD BETHELL
My Lords, again we are not confined to the 16 countries which have associated themselves. There are separate arrangements. There are the former French dependent territories which 1435 are completely outside Europe. The noble Lord, Lord Blyton, mentioned an exclusively continental community, but there are associated countries in Africa and I imagine that next year, when Commonwealth countries are invited to associate themselves a number of them will agree to do so and we shall be expanding this association even further.
In my view it is particularly important to emphasise this point because it gives the lie to the often suggested theory that this is a rich man's club concerned only with the developed, industrial countries. The Six have an excellent record of giving aid to underdeveloped countries, both on a bilateral basis and on a Community basis, and ally country that associates itself fully with the E.E.C. under the new arrangement will be entitled to Community aid as well as bilateral aid. This will create a completely new source of association and will, I would submit, pave the way to levelling off the difference between the rich and the poor.
This expansion would have happened, and will happen, whether or not we join the E.E.C. That is surely the main point. If we had stood still we would simply have marked time while the association built itself up and while it spread out its feelers like a spider's web over the world, without our participation and without our leadership. This is what would happen—and will happen—unless we ratify the Treaty. Can we honestly conceive the prospects of isolating ourselves from it now that we have very little alternative, very little in the way of other countries in the world with which we can associate ourselves and build up an alternative system?
We are already well represented in the councils of the E.E.C. ; we are consulted on all the E.E.C. questions as a result of having given, through Parliament, general approval to the terms by an overwhelming majority of both Houses. We are consulted, not as an associate or even as a new boy but as one of the most important members. For instance, in October there will be the summit meeting in Brussels, at head of government level, at which really important questions will be decided, affecting the whole of Europe and the whole of the world—European economic union, monetary 1436 union, regional policy and the relations of the E.E.C. with the rest of the world. Surely it would be a disaster if we were not represented there, and represented at a very high level, as we will be, and with an important voice—one of the three most important voices in the Community.
The second overwhelming consideration is one less often advertised than the first: the question of security and defence. Whatever happens in the American election in November I would suggest that it is most likely that the United States will, in the next few years, disengage itself to a certain extent from its involvements in Europe, and particularly its defence involvements. In this event there could possibly be a power vacuum in Western Europe. One need only look at the map to see what a tiny appendage we are in Western Europe—on the end of the vast European-Asian land mass—and how potentially vulnerable we are. I am not saying that there is any real threat at the moment, but at present we are defence-wise not in a position to challenge the super-Powers, or the potentially threatening super-Powers, the Soviet Union and China. I agree that the threat is only a potential one, but against it we have the potential strength to protect our security and defend ourselves. We will have an economic base which will be immense and, using this economic base, we could, if the balance of power were to shift, increase our defence capability and be able to defend ourselves in a way that would not be possible if we were not economically united. Thus, our potential defence in the E.E.C. is equal to the potential threat, and this is extremely important.
It is for those two considerations that I am convinced that I should vote for the Second Reading of the Bill. I suspect, however, that I have not converted anyone on either side of the House, and so I will adduce one further argument that does not apply to me but might conceivably apply to them. This is based on what I thought was the admirable speech of the noble Lord, Lord Greenwood of Rossendale, yesterday in which he said:… if, in spite of our efforts, the Government are obdurate … and the Bill passes unamended—it will be our duty, as I have said before, to work inside the Community in a way which will reflect our history, our traditions and our standards, and in doing so 1437 seek to serve Britain, Europe and the world."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 25/7/72 ; col. 1240.]I emphasise the phrase, " work inside the Community ". I ask those who are considering voting against the Second Reading to consider whether we have not passed the point of no return. Is it not a preferable course to follow at this stage to decide to work within the Community, within the context of entry on the present terms and along the lines of the Bill? Would it not be politically more sensible to take this course? I still doubt whether I have converted anyone, but that is my argument.
I was about to suggest to noble Lords opposite that they should refrain from dividing the House, but first of all I think it unlikely that I would succeed in such a suggestion, and secondly, after the speech of the noble Lord, Lord Shinwell, I think that perhaps it would be a bad thing if he were to refrain from dividing. There is a time when a large majority is more impressive than unanimity and it will look better, not in our newspapers because we shall not have any, but in the newspapers on the Continent—
§ LORD BETHELL
It will look better in the newspapers generally when it is seen what a large majority has voted for the Second Reading. If we were to pass it without a Division it would probably not even be mentioned. I am therefore grateful to noble Lords who are thinking of dividing the House because it will be a demonstration of support for the Bill by an overwhelming majority in at least one of the Houses of Parliament. Our decision to-night may be that of ourselves alone, an unrepresentative body, but it will have one advantage over that taken in another place—namely, it will not have been influenced by appeals to Party loyalty and adulterated by other quite unconnected Government legislation. It will be a decision taken on the Bill itself, on the principle of the Second Reading. It will be our honest opinion and it will be seen as such in Europe. The majority will not be gross, as the noble Lord, Lord Beswick, said of the vote on the White Paper. It will, however, be very large simply because almost all of us believe that our future lies in Europe and the E.E.C. on the present 1438 terms. Personally, I hope that this House is given an opportunity to express this belief.
§ 6.55 p.m.
§ LORD CHORLEY
My Lords, I hope that the noble Lord, Lord Bethell, will forgive me if I do not comment on all the points that he made, though later on I will come to his remarks about the House dividing on this issue. On the whole this debate has taken the same course as the debate on the White Paper a year ago—namely, the speakers have divided themselves purely on the question not of whether this is a good Bill, but whether we should go into Europe. I made my speech on this subject on the previous occasion, which the noble and learned Lord, Lord Diplock, said was the real Second Reading debate, and I do not propose to go into the pros and cons of the issue again to-night.
Like all of your Lordships, I have since that occasion had a tremendous amount of material put before me from both sides, but mainly from the opponents obviously designed to make me change my mind. Most of it has been drivel. Sometimes it has been eloquent drivel, but I am afraid that for the most part it has been just plain drivel. Indeed, it has become rather unpleasant drivel of late, because as the steam has been worked up it has become a dangerous sort of demagogy. I was driven—by the White Paper of my Party's Government in 1967, and particularly by the speech of Mr. Wilson in connection with it in the House of Commons—to the conclusion that it was essential in the national interest of this country that we should not only go into Europe but that we should go in with zest and good will. None of the material that has been put before me in the last year or so has in any way caused me to change my mind.
In the interval, it has become more than just a question of the national interest. It is now a question of national honour, because we have signed the Treaty which this Bill has been introduced to implement and it would be a betrayal of our honour were we now to go hack on that Treaty. It seems clear from the speech of the noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack and from the speech of the noble and learned Lord, Lord Diplock, that whether or not this 1439 Bill is perfect, it effectively implements the Treaty. I feel rather ashamed to hear so many people saying that we should not go on with it because to do so would be against our national interest. When one has made a commitment one must stick to it, whether or not it is against one's national interest, though in this case I think that on the balance of argument it is in our national interest.
In considering this matter my mind goes back to another July, to July, 1914, when we were faced with a similar crisis. On that occasion a great nation chose to break its solemn treaty obligations, which its Chancellor described as " a mere scrap of paper ", and hurled its armies into undefended Belgium. I look back with pride on the fact that we then stuck to our Treaty obligations, although even at that time many of us realised that it was not going to be to our national interest to do so, except perhaps in the very long run, and that we were letting ourselves in for a very bad time.
My Lords, as I have said, this Bill is designed to fulfil the Treaty, and I am appalled, as I said a year ago, that we have allowed Party politics to blind us to our obligations in respect of this matter. It is a great pity that from first to last—over the last two or three years, at any rate—the whole of this matter has been upset by the fact that Party politics have come into it. As I have said, I am not going to discuss the pros and cons of going into Europe, but as a result of what has been said so much during the last two days I should like to refer to this recurrent and persistent note which has been struck by opposing speaker after opposing speaker that we sacrifice our sovereignty, and indeed that we sacrifice our country. That was very obvious in the speech of the noble Lord, Lord Blyton, only a few minutes ago, and it was recurrent throughout his speech. Of course, it is not unnatural, and has happened down the centuries, that this patriotic gambit has been invoked by politicians looking for a stick with which to beat their opponents. As long ago as the 18th century Dr. Johnson said that patriotism was the last refuge of scoundrels. It has been continued to be used in that way, as a political gambit, 1440 ever since, and it is a great pity. Among the material which I have referred to as being sent to me—and I am sure others of your Lordships received it—was a letter from a distinguished ex-officer of the Armed Forces asking me in effect whether I realised that I was a traitor. That is typical of the way this campaign against Europe has been carried on.
I was brought up as a young Socialist to believe that this nationalism which is so obvious in this discussion, both in Parliament and outside, was one of the great dangers which confronted the world ; and nothing that has happened since has made me feel that that view was wrong. I think it was Lord Alport who yesterday indicated that two world wars in effect had resulted from this spirit of nationalism, and that is undoubtedly a very true observation. Here it is again putting up its ugly head at the present time, and it has spread. If there is anything which Karl Marx would have deplored, it is the way in which nationalism has eaten up the U.S.S.R. and is in the process of eating up another Communist country, China. That was only too obvious in some of the speeches which were made from my own Front Bench both yesterday and to-day. I would remind your Lordships that racism and nationalism are bedfellows and it is no accident at all that Mr. Enoch Powell is regarded by hundreds of thousands of the more simple people of this country as the symbol of racist feeling and at the same time as a leader of those who are opposed to going into Europe.
In my view, the European movement is the first great breakthrough which we have had against this spirit of nationalism, the first serious attempt in Europe to settle affairs on non-nationalist lines. I do not say that it abolishes nationalism even inside (as Lord Gladwyn showed yesterday, nationalism can go on), but this is a breakthrough, and I very much agreed with what was said by my noble friend Lord Walston earlier this afternoon: that it is what one might call the more mature nations of the world, the nations of Western Europe, which have taken up this Common Market and the inevitable results, both politically and culturally, that will follow from it.
My Lords, all that we really have to consider in this debate is whether the Bill which is before us meets the needs 1441 of the Treaty to which we have set our hands. I listened very carefully to what the noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack said and I listened also with very great interest to what the noble and learned Lord, Lord Diplock, said and it seems to me quite clear that it does—and nobody throughout this debate has suggested that it will not have that effect. Even the noble Earl, Lord Lauderdale, who attacked the Bill hip and thigh, did not suggest that it would not achieve its object. His argument was that it is a bad object, and that has been the argument of almost everybody who has attacked the Bill. That being so, I am satisfied that this Bill will achieve its object. It could be improved in a number of ways, and I should like to say a word more about that in a moment. But although your Lordships might say, " Well, if he is satisfied with the Bill why doesn't he sit down?", there are two more matters to which I would refer before I take that action.
First of all, I want to say something about what was referred to a moment ago by the noble Lord, Lord Bethell, and was very prominent in the admirable speech of my noble and learned friend Lord Stow Hill. I refer to the problem of whether your Lordships' House should divide against a Bill which has come to it from the Commons with a majority—whether large or small—behind it ; a Government Bill which comes here to your Lordships' House as a revising Chamber. My noble friend Lord Stow Hill said that it was " our general custom " not to divide in such a case. The noble Lord, Lord Greenwood of Rossendale, used another phrase—" our normal practice ". My Lords, it has gone beyond just a " normal practice ". It has become, or is becoming, a constitutional convention and it is important that we should realise this. I should like to bring that home to those of my noble friends who have said that they will divide against this Bill.
§ LORD WYNNE-JONES
My Lords, will my noble friend permit me to put one question to him on this matter? Is it not generally considered that this House has not only the right but the obligation to give the country a second chance to think about something, especially when it is fairly clear that there is a substan- 1442 tial majority in the country which has a feeling against this Bill?
§ LORD CHORLEY
No, my Lords, it certainly is not and has not been. It is a very long time since this House divided against a Second Reading of a Bill coming from the Commons. Certainly during the time of the Labour Government, when Mr. Harold Wilson was in power, there was no such move on the part of the Conservative Opposition. I cannot remember that even in the great times of Lord Atlee's Government, when one important nationalisation Bill after another was passed, there was any Division against those Bills on a Second Reading.
§ LORD SHEPHERD
My Lords, perhaps I may correct my noble friend. There was a case from the other side of the House on the Burmah Oil Bill. On that occasion the Government were given a majority by the vote of the Conservative Front Bench.
§ LORD BEAUMONT OF WHITLEY
My Lords, I have never from these Benches, subscribed to this view, and I have divided the House in this Session on a Second Reading.
§ LORD CHORLEY
I still submit it is a very wrong thing in your Lordships' House for noble Lords to take such action. This is an important convention. Amend Bills, by all means, if you can persuade the Government to accept Amendments, as we have often done. That is what noble Lords are here for ; but not to turn down what has been done in the other place. I would remind my noble friends that if they once begin to betray what I think is now the basic job of your Lordships' House, which is the revision of legislation ; if noble Lords once embark upon this dangerous course of turning down what has been done in the other place, that will be the end of your Lordships' House as it exists at present, because there is great feeling which continually makes itself evident in the House of Commons that it is now altogether outside the prerogative of the House of Lords, however much it may 1443 be technically possible, to throw out Bills which have received the assent of that Chamber.
My Lords, I would therefore, for this reason, and even at this late hour, suggest to my noble friends who are proposing to divide against this Bill that they should not do so. The statement made by my noble friend (Lord Shinwell, was it?) yesterday, that this would occur immediately caused a number of noble Lords on these Benches to say: " Well, if there is a Division we shall vote with the Government." That, I think, shows how unfortunate it will be if this convention is not accepted or followed by them on the present occasion.
The other point I wish to make is again one which was very evident in the speech of my noble friend Lord Stow Hill ; namely, that there are a number of ways in which this Bill could be very much improved. I hope that the Government spokesmen will indicate they are not set against Amendments as a matter of determined policy. My noble friend Lord Greenwood, in a rather sarcastic passage in his speech—a most polished and eloquent speech, if I may say so, perhaps the best I have heard from him—stressed how not a comma or a word in the Bill had been changed as it went through the House of Commons ; that it came to your Lordships' House in exactly the same state as it entered the Commons. He said that that was because, the Government thought it was a perfect Bill ; and he even suggested, I think unfairly, that the noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack had taken the view that this Bill was " perfect " draftmanship. I heard the noble and learned Lord's speech, and I read it again very carefully, and I do not think he said anything of the sort. I should be surprised if he did not think this Bill or any Bill was capable of Amendment.
What I am afraid of is that he may say: " Well, there is not time. We are very near the end of the time available ". I hope he will not say that, but it will not surprise me if he does, because so much time was wasted in the other place. And it was wasted not in attempts to improve the Bill but by people who wanted to throw the Bill out altogether and wanted to take advantage of the 1444 tactical situation to do so, and who were aiming not at improving the Bill but at getting a General Election. Those are fair political tactics, but it is not then fair to say that this Bill was not amended when it was in the Commons. I think that the right honourable Member, Mr. Wilson, gave way too much to that clique of people whose object was to destroy the Bill, not to amend it.
§ LORD CHORLEY
It would not surprise me if the Government said: " Well, you had enough time there, and if you had co-operated with us we could have made this Bill very much better. But you would not co-operate ". That would be the true fact of the case. Notwithstanding that, I hope they will say: " There is just enough time to do some important amending ". I hope the Government will indicate that they are seriously prepared to consider some of the Amendments which will be put down. We who have supported them throughout this campaign to go into Europe deserve, I think, a certain amount of consideration. This is the last thing I shall say in this speech: that I hope the Government will have some regard to what we, the pro-Europeans, both here and in the House of Commons, have done to help and will allow us, even at this late stage, to amend this Bill.
§ 7.18 p.m.
§ LORD RHODES
My Lords, the debate on entry into the Common Market has now been raging for many years and it really is time that we came to a conclusion about it otherwise it will go stale on us. I make no bones about it—I am a pro-Marketeer, but I have a few questions to put to the Government about a particular industry I have been associated with since I was 12 years old. It affects the livelihood of one million people in the textile industry and the clothing industry. I make no apology for what I have to say. We have been painfully familiar for years and years about the import of cheap materials into this country from newly industrialised countries all over the world. Who knows more about it than we do? Who has suffered more and who has been more philosophical throughout the world in the admission of cloth than us?—nobody. But we are in a position today where we 1445 are the largest importers of textile products of any country in the world. In fact our problem is more acute now than was that of the U.S.A. when the President of the United States introduced quotas last year which upset and disturbed the whole balance of imports and exports of textiles world wide.
But that is nothing in comparison to the other problem that we have now been faced with for several years. The noble Lord, Lord Caccia, mentioned the example of Japan, and may I say that, in my opinion, Japan will be a bigger menace than she has ever been in the history of the world, through the magnification of her growth which is cumulative—100 per cent. last year, 109.6 per cent. this year, and next year it will be 9.6 per cent. on 109.6. The time will come when she will have to try to dominate and flood the markets of the world in order to keep her status quo, and her discipline inside her boundaries.
We in this country are familiar with a customs and economics union. It is a simple and small one ; it is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Here goods pass freely over the frontiers of the constituent countries. This freedom of movement of goods without check is not, as yet, common practice in the E.E.C. countries. There are many reasons for this, and I will give two. First, there is the necessity to repay value-added tax to the exporter in the exporting country, and to charge it to the importer in the receiving country. Secondly—and this applies particularly to textiles—there is, as yet, no common textile policy towards imports of textiles from Asiatic countries and State trading countries.
Just think, my Lords, about what this is likely to mean. There is no common policy. At the moment, every country in the E.E.C. has its own set of rules and restrictions at varying levels of liberality or illiberality, according to how you look at it. For example, France will not allow Hong Kong goods imported into Germany to pass from Germany into France. If we are to have a proper Common Market, then of necessity there must be an agreed common import policy. This is absolutely and utterly obvious. Any textiles which have entered the Common Market and have paid the appropriate common import duty ought to circulate 1446 freely in the enlarged Ten Common Market countries, as they do here in the United Kingdom. I do not think that there is any difference of opinion on this point between the Department of Trade and Industry and the main United Kingdom trade organisations. All of them have gone on record in support of it on many occasions. It may be that the Department of Trade and Industry has made a brave effort to try to influence the other Common Market countries about the necessity for stepping up their own imports. But St. Paul in his mission to the Ephesians had nothing like the task that the Department of Trade and Industry has in trying to convince the Common Market countries and get them to adopt this new method.
What the trade would like to know briefly is this. How far have Her Majesty's Government got in the negotiations? First, have they secured recognition by members of the Community of the fact that there is a real need for a viable textile industry within the Community? It sounds a simple question, but it is a very important one. Secondly, how far have the Government progressed towards an understanding with the E.E.C. countries about the necessity for quota restrictions for hard-pressed sections of our industry and of their industry? Thirdly, if quantitative restrictions are in operation, have they obtained acceptance of the principle of free circulation? If the principle of free circulation has not been accepted in the E.E.C., there will be grave difficulties for our exporters.
What response is there to the proposal that there should be a new general agreement similar to the long-term agreement for cotton, but including man-made fibres? Has any attempt been made in the negotiations with the countries of the E.E.C. to persuade them, on the basis of averaging, to reach an appropriate level for imports to the Community as a whole? What concerns the trade is that the present level of textile imports is regarded as so high, and Her Majesty's Government's policy is regarded as so liberal by the French and the ethers that they will never agree on a common import policy. We are afraid that the free circulation of textiles will be postponed indefinitely. I sincerely hope that the negotiations will not end with the United Kingdom still persisting in an 1447 over-liberal policy, with the other countries refusing to move.
I have cut down what I had intended to say, but there are two points which I should like to mention, and they apply specifically to Clause 5(8) ; certificates of origin. Since the inception of EFTA the trade has enjoyed a simple system of certification which has been successful. Goods are despatched without delay to-day. Orders are received in this country by merchants who do an enormous business with the Common Market, and they can pack up their goods and deliver them easily because they have a simple system of certification. They do not need a Chamber of Commerce certificate at the moment, but under the new arrangements Her Majesty's Customs will be doing the certification, and anybody who has had anything to do with Her Majesty's Customs on certification will know that it can be a very long time before they get clearance. We are apprehensive about how long it will take to certify, verify and pass on the documents.
This matter requires urgent attention, as it becomes operative on January 1 next year. I want to ask the Government whether they appreciate what this means. In fact, a document required for export to the E.E.C. as from January next will be a movement document, rather than a certification of origin. This is very important. This new system will be perfectly all right in relation to industries which have a common import policy within the E.E.C. ; but if the goods happen to be textiles, and because there is no common import policy, they will not be free to circulate. What then? Will there be collapse of the system? I do not think the Government could do better than peg imports into this country at the 1969–71 level. Hold them for a while. Remember that employment and investment are at stake. We are pouring out money galore all over the place, in the hope of rejuvenating or increasing our growth. In many aspects, it has been a miserable failure. It is important to keep jobs to-day. We shall have difficulty in maintaining even the jobs we have, and let us not forget that most of the organisations in this country could dispense with 10 per cent. of their employees to-morrow without hurt to their production. We must look after our own, and 1448 make certain that what has already been invested in this industry is safeguarded, or we shall rue for a long time to come.
§ 7.31 p.m.
§ LORD GEORGE-BROWN
My Lords, as one textile man following another, much more deeply engaged textile man, may I say how much I hope that the Government and the D.T.I. (if there is on this day anything left of the D.T.I.) will take account of what my noble friend has said. Seriously, this is a great industry. It takes care of a large part of the country. It has, like the mining industry, taken part in and contributed to an intelligent and rational winding down. It is not being much else at this very minute, and I urge Ministers to listen closely to what my noble friend has said ; he would do it well. We are in danger of doing more for the underdeveloped world—and maybe the noble Lord, Lord Brockway, will take note of this—than any other three, four or five European countries put together. My noble friend and I do not mind doing well by them, but we take a slight exception to doing more than any other three, four or five put together. That is what my noble friend is saying, and I support him.
My Lords, we have had a debate which, to me, has vascillated. It is about a tremendous issue—I suppose one of the the few really great issues that Parliament has ever had to bother its head about. We have been discussing it, it seems, since ever. That is not true, but it has been for a time and the size of the issue, the grandeur of the issue, justifies that. Yet we give at times a sense of getting bored with it. Somebody actually said yesterday, " the great bore ". It should not be so. At times, the debate has been, it has seemed to me, cognisant of the issue ; and I thought, if I may say so with respect, that the speech of the noble Lord. Lord Chorley, was just that. At other times it has seemed to become so involved with minutiae, with detail, as though either we thought it was over or we did not think it was that big at all.
I want to establish my own position again—and yesterday I was very happy to hear the speech of the noble Lord. Lord Gore-Booth, who used to write me minutes, not all of which I received with the same pleasure as that with which I heard his speech yesterday. I must admit 1449 that I said to his wife afterwards, " That was a very civilised, responsible way of expressing what British foreign policy at its best has always been about." I should like to say to the noble Lord, Lord Shinwell—not here at the moment, but never mind—that there is a great difference between what is said by some of those who arrogate to themselves the right to say what British policy should be, meaning what they think the Ancient Britons intended it to be and, if I may say so, what my noble friend the Permanent Secretary for a couple of years (till I let him down) said British foreign policy always had been, which was to march and to move with the times, and to he sure that Britain was always there in the new times.
As an international Socialist (I do not include the noble Lord, Lord Gore-Booth, in that description, unless he wants to be included), I myself think that this is the road of British foreign policy. It is not to dig in ; it is not to adopt postures long since gone. It is, in fact, always to be there in the context of the times when you are there. It is no use being with yesterday ; it is much less use being with a century ago ; it is no use being, as the noble Lord put it yesterday, with two of the three circles when two of the three circles, the Commonwealth and the Americans, have left. The only circle remaining is our European Continent, of which we are part. And let me say that we have always managed to lead any circle in which we were. But we can do that only if we move into it with keenness, enthusiasm and understanding. That is where I start this from. I was not ever thus: I was a little later than some. But in 1950 I came to this view, and that is how I have remained—and everything that has happened since, I say to anybody who wants to contest it with me, has led me to the view that this is the right position.
Now that is the general approach; and I repeat that it is sad that so many speeches seem not to see this. This is a challenge. It is the only challenge Britain has to face. It is the only opportunity Britain has. It is the one thing that will alert young people. Looking at the way the present Government are behaving, and at the inability of the Opposition to provide any answers to the very same problems which they would face if they were 1450 to be elected, does anybody believe that young people are going to be excited about domestic politics? Not a chance! But young people could be excited about a new vision of what Britain could do in the world.
I move from that, my Lords, to discuss the first of two general issues. Many of your Lordships have spoken about the economic advantages or disadvantages—mostly about the disadvantages: there must be some—of joining. Any industry which is laying back, any industry which has not already been going ahead, is bound to meet a bit of trouble. The textile industry has not been doing that: it will go ahead ; the motor car industry will not. But the point I want to make to my noble friends (I was asked to calm the debate ; I am doing my best, so I will talk to those who are not in the House rather than to those who are in it) is this. How do we think we are going to provide jobs for our people if we stay out of the Market and face a 22½ per cent. (or whatever the figure is) tariff? How? I will tell you what the people with whom I am concerned will do. They will go inside and produce there. How does that increase job opportunities here? It is not meanness, not capitalist meanness ; it is the obvious and only thing to do. We go into the Market. We get the advantages ; tariff barriers come down ; we get their market as part of our domestic market. We make for 250 million people. Ours are only 50 million—plus. We write off R. and D. costs so much more quickly and we can produce here. Why was EFTA, of which the noble Lord, Lord Hankey, was one of the founder fathers, not such a great success from our point of view? It was so from other people's point of view. It was because we provided a market of 55 million and they provided 40 million. It was not for us a domestic market. We extended EFTA's domestic market. We are talking economics ; but if we are talking nationalistically the point about the E.E.C. is that it extends our domestic market.
I simply do not understand any trade union leader concerned with the prosperity and the future of his people saying that he does not want to go into the Market—unless it is that he has other, deeper, motives for being against it. I 1451 often ask myself that if it were the COMICON that we were being asked to join and not the E.E.C. whether the same trade union leader would be quite so much against it. The bigger the market, the greater the job opportunities. I heard the noble Lord, Lord Stokes, the other day. We can face in all parts of our industry anything that they can face us with. So economically I cannot possibly see the argument against it. Inevitably I speak as a trade unionist and inevitably as a Socialist—I do not know any other walk of life—and I cannot see from the point of view of my people how it can possibly be wrong.
Then it is said that we shall have to pay so much on entry. Of course we shall. If we had gone in ten years earlier, we should not be paying anything like so much. If we stay out another five years we shall be paying that much more. But the arguments of some—I am still trying to clam the debate—who took part in the debate seem to suggest that this is a static Community which we are to join and that nothing changes after we join it ; that we are just the inheritors of whatever the Community has done. That is true to this point: that that is our fault ; we are ten years late. But once we and four others join, you have a new Community, a totally new Community. As the noble Lord, Lord Gore-Booth, said yesterday, the votes are different, the weightings are different. You can then not only have an impact on what is settled from here on ; moments will arise for reviewing that which will have to be done.
I heard somebody this afternoon quoting Dr. Mansholt, a great fellow. The point Dr. Mansholt was making when he said to Mr. Wilson, " You cannot renegotiate"—and to those of my friends who think that you can, remember that we were supposed to re-negotiate Polaris—was that you cannot re-negotiate your entry. He went on to say, " You can lend your weight to re-negotiate the Common Agricultural Policy ". This is the sort of thing that we British may not say too loudly until January 2. But on January 2—as though we, do not know all about how to use block votes ; and my noble friend Lord Henderson knows a wee bit about that—we shall have the means. Then you can seek allies, and then 1452 changes can be made. I say to my noble friend, Lord Beswick, whom I have known for so long: Please do remember that when we arrive and the Irish, God bless them, arrive—
§ LORD GEORGE-BROWN
—and the Danes, and the Norwegians, and if the Germans do not like something or if some other people do not like something else, then it will be a new Community. It will be not only new about what we do from here on, it will be new from the point of view about what we could review of what has gone before. That is why General de Gaulle did not want us in. Economically I cannot see the case going against us in terms of job opportunities, in terms of prosperity, in terms of changing the policies that we think we do not like.
My Lords, the other point—and I promise to keep it as short as I can—is the political argument. I devoutly hope that we shall lift our eyes from the floor. Of course we have to look after our people's interests ; of course we have to look for prosperity and employment and all that. But that does not mean that we have to become old-fashioned, downward-looking nationalists. Most of us, I imagine, want to net rid of a world divided by narrow nationalistic thinking. Every step you take on that road loses a little bit of national sovereignty. It has to. I cannot understand my internationalistically-minded Socialist colleagues (I am still calming the debate, I repeat), not in this House but outside, who speak internationalism, who breathe it, who preach internationalism and who then come into this House and complain that we are going to give some part of our sovereignty, some part of our Parliamentary control, to somebody else. Why then did we ever espouse the cause of internationalism?
As I said once before, I cannot understand the fellows who say, " I want it all. I want wholly universal world government, but I am not willing to take what this Bill provides, which is a government for part of it." Politically it is fascinating, exciting and challenging. Mistakes will be made. We shall be sad at times, but heavens! are we not sad now? How did we get into the world wars that we got into?—because we were so 1453 nationalistic or so internationalistic? We got there because we did not have the ability to influence what went on. Every step we can take towards a bit more internationalism in our decisions and our authorities, I am for it.
How do we arrange for the British Parliament to be represented there? We can solve that. I personally like Michael Stewart's idea, but there may well be others. In any case, I am sure we can solve the problems so that we shall be there, listening and hearing. I am sure we could arrange for the Clerk's Department somehow to be expanded to give us the information we need. It may be a good idea to have a Select Committee of one House or both Houses of Parliament to review the situation. That is not a problem. What I do not think is possible is to plead for nationalistic isolationism. If Mr. McGovern were to win the election, and announce an isolationist policy and bring all the American boys back home, he would be denounced in this House by the very people who want us to adopt an isolationist attitude. I am still calming the debate. I promise that one would hear these things from some directions.
May I go on in the same spirit of calm and comfort to say that I do not think the Third World will get fair and just treatment from the rich part of the world until the rich part combines its resources. The idea that any one of us can do that much is ridiculous. The noble Baroness, Lady Tweedsmuir, must have had a very rough ride at the conference in South America. Am I not right?
§ LORD GEORGE-BROWN
What can we do? How much can we do? But how much could Europe do as a grouping for the Third World? As my noble friend Lord Chalfont said yesterday, what could we do inside NATO to make a real alliance of it and a real use of our resources inside it? Internationally it seems to me to offer so many opportunities for changing the level on which we discuss these things at present. I feel deeply about this. It is not the level at which we have been dealing with it. We can argue about the details ; we may or may not agree about them. But this raises the situation to a new level and offers new possibility at home 1454 and abroad. It matches the challenge of the world to-day. If the farmers and New Zealand have to be looked at, all right! Those are details within a vision, a globe. Can we just look at the globe and assume that we are still clever enough to deal with the details? We shall not be any less clever than any of the countries already in the Community or any of those which are going in.
For these reasons—reasons which are different from those of some of my noble friends—I shall, of course, vote for the Bill tonight. Indeed, I should have voted for it in another place where I should have had a constituency Party to take care of.
§ 7.55 p.m.
§ LORD DAVIES OF LEEK
My Lords, I have heard many Aunt Sallies put up to-night in a speech which has nothing to do with what we are debating. We are debating the Second Reading of the European Communities Bill. One of my pleas concerning my attitude to the Comman Market is that I am amazed that my noble friend Lord George-Brown has elected to be like Horatio, standing on the bridge, with my noble friend Lord Chalfont on one side and my noble friend Lord Chorley on the other. But nobody is attacking the bridge. My noble friend Lord Chorley said that it was wrong to question a Treaty which has been signed. He has been a civil servant and has a marvellous war record. He has been a brilliant legislator and yet he puts forward a completely wrong doctrine—in the House of Lords of all places—that it is wrong to question a Bill. That is the whole purpose of Parliament. And so I completely destroy that argument at a stroke.
The Government went abroad and brought this back. Ostensibly the Bill was to be put before Parliament with 12 clauses for discussion, approbation, modification or whatever we might wish to do with it. That is the normal procedure in a democratic Parliament. What has happened to this noble House and to another place? They have become almost a Reichstag. We have had a Bill put before us like the Immaculate Conception—so perfect that it must not be soiled with the words of the Commons or the Lords. We are not supposed to suggest Amendments, or to challenge the Bill by way of Division. The latter is 1455 the most insolent thing of the lot. I have never heard such humbug. I shall divide, even if I am the only one in the Lobby. Actually I will probably get another one.
§ LORD DAVIES OF LEEK
I cannot help it. This is a free country. My colleagues who think differently have a right to go into the Lobby of their choice, but do not let them talk down to me and to this House, as my noble friends Lord George-Brown and Lord Chorley did.
One of the most excellent speeches we have heard, putting forward the point of view of those of us who are concerned about this Bill, came from the noble Earl, Lord Lauderdale. It was a constructive speech. The noble Earl must have spent hours considering it. I could quite easily delay the House by taking up the points of that speech and showing its constitutional value, but I will not do so. Let noble Lords look around them. The ceiling of this Chamber has on it the arms of the Barons who signed the Magna Carta. Look around at some of the people in this House with dignified names who throughout history, whatever one may think about them, have struggled for the liberties of which this nation is so proud. In spite of the criticism of those of us who are Socialists, we are proud to be living in this nation. It was men like that who helped to lead the mass of the proletariat (to use a Marxist word) or the workers, to use a good old-fashioned English word. To-night some noble Lords are abandoning that lead which was given to the nation before the mass of my people had the opportunity of education or the opportunity to think. I believe that those who vote en bloc for this Bill to-night—" betray " is the wrong word ; of course they would not be doing that—will be making a fundamental mistake.
Mr. Heath made a promise in 1969 when he said: " What I promise to do is to give individual people the maximum choice possible. They want to be able to choose for themselves the sort of life they are going to live ". What choice have we got? If we look in depth into Clause 1 of the Bill and the Short Title, it commits us to seven major Treaties 1456 plus 100 ancillary Treaties, each of which deserves a Bill of its own, and which this House and the other place have not been able to discuss. No provision is made in this immaculate Bill for Parliamentary examination of any of the Treaties, and this is not just a Bill to approve the Treaty of Accession. I missed two speeches yesterday and I missed two to-day, for which I apologise, so I do not know what the noble Lord, Lord Diplock, with his learned knowledge, may have said. I am out of my depth discussing law, but Clause 1 and the Short Title spike us down to accept any future Treaty that the Market may sign. Future Treaties, provided they are described by an Order in Council as Community Treaties, will be automatically binding without Parliamentary discussion.
Neither the noble Lord, Lord Charley, nor anybody else can tell me that we must go through this House like a lot of nanny goats, ignoring the right that we fought for centuries to discuss these vital issues. We are changing this country as it has not been changed since Cromwellian days. We are asked to be docile, and it seems to be assumed that we do not know what we are talking about. We receive intellectual insults from people who ooze intellectuality and lack of wisdom. I refuse to do that, and if I am told that we are destroying this place, I refute that argument. We in this place act as a watchdog for the other place, and I consider that we must not be dragooned or drummed by fear of consequences into abstaining if we feel that we ought to vote this evening.
I promised to be fairly brief and, therefore, having listened to the debate, I will deal with things that have not been said before because otherwise (a) it would be pedantic ; (b) I would only be telling people what they know better than I do and (c) I am looking for arguments which they do not know better than I do—and I think I have found a couple. That is fair enough. I have heard people speaking to-day as if some of us were three years of age and had not knocked around. They have static minds. They are talking as though we are a vigorous country. Do not think that I enjoy criticising whatever Government is in trouble when we have strikes, threats of unemployment, high cost of living and inflation.
1457 That is nothing for anybody to cheer about. All I am saying is that if I were going into this deal I would select a time when we were strong and able to add up a few runs, whereas we do not seem to be able to stand up straight in our crease at the moment. We are going in at a time of roaring inflation ; we are selecting a time to go in when there will be a European Monetary Conference and at that Conference everybody who has had anything to do with economics will know that the important thing will be to get a unitary outlook on the monetary system.
The pretence is that this is Europe, but it is not. Originally the Six seemed to be Six nations in search of an enemy. We were told a few moments ago what we could do if we joined. We were in NATO ; we have been in SEATO and in CENTO. CENTO was strong. SEATO was neither a Treaty nor an organisation. God knows what it was except a dream of Foster Dulles! Now we admit that it is useless, and as soon as President Nixon gets over the Presidential Election we shall have a new outfit in South-East Asia. We are looking at six-odd nations in Europe and pretending that it is Europe. That is not European unity ; it is creating a new dichotomy in Europe. The noble Lord, Lord Caradon, said: "Now we will have to set up a new Defence outfit ". What was NATO? Are we going to have a new one on top of NATO? The trouble is that we have been living above our means. The price, ray Lords, is too high.
This is one of the places where we can rescue the nation from its folly, and I hope that on the Committee stage we will work for all the reasonable and constructive Amendments we can find. I was a Member of the Statutory Instruments Committee for years, and a member who took an interest in the public accounts, but no longer shall we have the right as a Statutory Instruments Committee to look into these pieces of delegated legislation that will come across the Channel ; no longer will we have the right to send Estimates Committees around to look at expenditure in the Common Market, to which we will be contributing hundreds of millions of pounds.
Some may smile inwardly, but every noble Lord in this Chamber knows that 1458 I am not stating an inaccuracy about the constitutional position in this Bill in relation to individuals. I do not care what erudition or what blinding intellectuality is poured upon us, those are the facts. People will have no control over the taxes which they have to work so hard to pay. Correct? I am giving the noble Lord the opportunity of interrupting. No interruption? Yet noble Lords are going into the Lobbies. Take it from me that what I say is accurate. The power of that Commission is such that if they bring out a regulation and it is written in their journals it has influence in this country whether or not we talk about it in this House. That can be taken as read.
Take the Common Agricultural Policy. As a man who has represented a constituency for 26 years, with 3,000 farms covering 1,000 square miles, and who for years has struggled for the right of the farmer living on a small acreage, no matter what his politics, and having come from them myself and knowing the Welsh colliers, I worked for years for justice and aid to be given to these people. They are the salt of the earth. There are 80,000-odd of these small farmers whose production per acre is greater than that of anybody in Europe. We did not have to be told that our farming was some of the finest in the world. I am ashamed of the National Farmers' Union for doing a double somersault, so far as the small farmers are concerned. Maybe the day of small farming and small acreage is finished. Nevertheless, I have never known such an idiotic agreement as the Common Agricultural Policy. I will not go into it, because a number of noble Lords on both sides have explained it and it is well known by all of us. I have never known an agreement where they do not even know how much they are going to pay out. This is the South Sea bubble par excellence. "Let's have your money. It's a wonderful project." " What is it going to be? " " I do not know." Does anybody contradict that statement? Of course not, because it is a fact. And here we have had people ululating about the dream of six nations.
Now EFTA. We have had a Statement. I did not interrupt. Perhaps noble Lords missed it, but I noticed—ah! the noble and learned Lord the Lord Chancellor: 1459 I like his lucidity and sense of humour ; thank God for it, for it is a saving grace in this House. But what we were not told was that the EFTA Agreement deals with industrial goods and not agricultural commodities. Agricultural commodities are of vital importance to us. I could quote it—I have it here all coloured and beautifully illuminated—on the Danish bacon agreement. We are having a terrific struggle about the subsidies and the prices of bacon. The Common Market wanted a different set-up. So the poor British housewife will have to face this again, if there should be the chance of a discussion on this EFTA Agreement. What I agree is that if we join on the EFTA Agreement it is much better than one where we are throwing our political sovereignty away and paying about £1,000 million to do it.
We talk about the Europeanisation of the world when for 300 years we have done that. The European people are a great people. We are in Europe. We need not join the Common Market to be of Europe. Thank God, we helped to make history in Europe. We helped to give it individuality in religion, in the Reformation period, for a start. We helped to explore this world, along with Arab and other explorers. Wherever you go, European influence is there. What is this pretence about Europe's power? Whether you like America or not, 99 per cent. of America's dynamic influence in the world has come up from the European races of all sorts—Latin, Celts, Gaels, the lot. What is all this talk about Europe being finished? Europe is on the map for the whole period of history. Here we are pretending that the Common Market is going to be something wonderful. We get in it weak-kneed, inflated and with problems and suddenly, by magic, something will happen.
I noticed that my noble friend quoted (I do not want to be caught, and I take the magazine) Vision. Have a look at it in the Library. You will see this:Not long ago Britain's Minister of Labour was in Bonn talking about sending British workers to Germany. It would be a good thing if he let as many as possible make the trip across the Channel.What's the matter with the man? Does he think that we do not have enough money to go on holiday? There are 1460 more workers going all over Europe now, in their jalopies and their cars, thank God!, despite our difficulties, than ever before in our history. Mr. Brawand went on:As a foretaste of free movement of labour in the E.E.C. it would give the British an idea of how people work on the continent—that is to say, how much harder they work.and that is headed:Over here, mate, we work.Then we have a further comment:It is high time that the British learnt this lesson after generations "—this is the ugly bit—spent mainly as foremen in khaki dealing with colonial labourers. An advance contingent of several thousand British workers with German companies have already discovered that they must radically change their habits.Thank you very much Mr. Leo Brawand, for your advice! But I also happen to know in two world wars, which I lived through, of some 5 million men in khaki, a million or two of whom died with their khaki sodden with blood and of others who were maimed, for what they believed in—democracy. Am I being too emotional? Say " Yes " if you dare!
§ LORD DAVIES OF LEEK
That's all right. It is lovely to know that you have the unemotional aristocrat who wants us to follow him like piggy-wiggies into the Kingdom of Heaven which he calls the Common Market. I will continue with my quotation:Quite frankly, the island dwellers will have to think in terms of the hard work usual on the Continent if they do not want to run the risk, despite their undisputed skills, of being relegated to those tasks which are mainly undertaken by Turkish immigrants in Germany at the moment.I know plenty of kindly, good Germans, like everybody else, but I am sure that some members of the European groups think that way about Britain, and it is well worth while, before we go any further, to look into it in depth.
Therefore I would say that the Common Market is being formed, and we are rushing into it without thought and without depth. There is no fool like an educated fool, and this is what is wrong at the present moment: an over-educational approach to it without the down-to-earth discussions and opportunities to thresh it out in the country.
1461 Whether the Labour Party or the Tories win the next Election, we should not go into the Common Market without the people having a chance to discuss it. If they decide they are sovereign, we are taking their sovereignty away. That is what the debate is about: it is about the quality of life, and about how we shall live. The Common Market knows the price of everything but the value of nothing. What shall it profit us if we gain the whole world and lose the individuality and the soul of what we call the British way of life?
I like the idea of the Liberals' telling me, " Time!". I have been speaking for about fifteen minutes, and I will finish in two minutes. One of the strangest things that we are now going in for is this value-added tax, which the Minister in another place has admitted will need another 6,000 civil servants ; and there will be collection points of about two million. We shall have legislation galore about this stupid tax—one of the most regressive taxes in history—which will switch the burden of taxation on to the consumer. And we do this to please the Common Market! This is in the Bill. We are not allowed to put Amendments to it. We have a few in, and we are having discussions. But we should be able to talk and divide about this.
So I beg your Lordships to-night to look at our previous greatness, which has been destroyed through two world wars, at the changes in the pattern of living. If we spent as much effort trying to cement together again the Commonwealth within the United Nations, using this as a real international organisation, it would be a far greater concept of human living than this one of buying cheap and selling dear in a Common Market which we are not allowed to amend or discuss in this noble House.
§ 8.20 p.m.
§ LORD BEAUMONT OF WHITLEY
My Lords, the noble Lord, Lord Chalfont, remarked yesterday that to the public the European debate has become a " cosmic bore "—though not to the noble Lord himself, I think, and certainly not to me. I am still young enough and naïve enough to find what we are doing this evening exciting. The noble Lord, Lord Shinwell, said that the euphoria had 1462 gone out of the debate and that every speech was accompanied by qualifications and queries. I, too, shall have my qualifications and my queries, but that does not mean that I am not fully conscious of the step we are taking.
Not the least important is the fact that, as certain noble Lords who were criticising the Bill have said, this may be one of the last debates that we shall have in a Parliament which can regard itself as wholly sovereign. They have said that with disapproval. I say it with considerable approval. And I do not think that we should gloss over the difficult question of sovereignty, as the Conservative Government from time to time have been tempted to do. I am worried about this because I think it throws a certain amount of doubt on what the Government's intentions are when they are in the Common Market and what kind of European Community they want to see.
It is true that the arguments they are putting forward—and I must say that I think the Foreign Secretary has put them forward most ably—are to the effect that what we are doing is in a way tending to increase our sovereignty and certainly to increase our power in the world. That is valid. We shall have a say as a partner in a serious world Power, which is something that we cannot look for outside Europe. To those who say this is fainthearted and that we should be able to stand on our own feet, all I can say is that what makes them believe that is the fact that we are on the whole good fellows, together with the fact that we have twice in the last two generations fought and saved democracy and European lives. What makes them think that this armours us against the universal laws that seem to have governed all empires and all countries since the dawn of time?
Professor Toynbee has been quoted in this debate, and I think it is very true that if you look at his Study of History there are certain lessons here that we can learn. We have met the challenge of empire and have produced a response—a magnificent response—by giving up our Empire. We are not now called upon to face a similar challenge but a completely different challenge: that of a Britain in Europe. I believe we can meet it with an equally vigorous response. But do not let us fool ourselves that we shall not be losing sovereignty in a limited 1463 sense, in the sense that there will be decisions and discussions—some at first and more later—where our only influence will be influence, where we have not the final decisions in our hands as to what will happen. Of course this has happened already. No one who has studied the economic crises of the last two years can really kid himself that this country, or any other country for that matter, is really sovereign. Interdependence in our small world has become not only morally right but practically essential. We long ago learned that no man is an island ; we are now realising that not even an island is an island.
At this stage I should like to look very briefly—and I shall not be detaining your Lordships for very long—at one or two of the arguments which are put most convincingly against this Bill and against our accession to the Common Market. I want to look at an argument which was put by the noble Lord, Lord Soper, who, although he has not taken part in this debate and despite the fact that he is not here to-night, has in fact spoken on this matter earlier. I have his permission to quote his argument. He is sorry not to be here to-night. He has an unavoidable previous ecclesiastical engagement, but he is, as the noble and learned Lord so aptly said, " here in spirit ". His argument goes that while he is in principle in favour of world government and opposed to the nation State, the European bloc is a bigger and worse version of the nation State.
Now I and my colleagues give way to no one in our belief in World Government. This is one of the aims which is written into our constitution, and I think I am right in saying that we are the only Party in this House with a constitution containing such a principle. But it takes no great study of history to realise that although it may be a long time before we get World Government, it is almost impossible to achieve it from the number of different sovereign States with various interests that we have to-day ; and it is only by the formation of bigger blocs that we can come nearer to that ideal, just as we have combined and widened from the family to the tribe and from the tribe to the nation.
There is the argument of the underdeveloped countries, but that was so ably 1464 dealt with by the noble Lord, Lord Walston, that I will not spend time on it. As he rightly said, what evidence is there of any kind that we can help the underdeveloped countries less by being in Europe than we can outside Europe? There is also the argument of regional development. Again it has already been pointed out that one of the main purposes of the whole European Economic Community is to help its outlying regions, and there is little doubt that this will happen. Of course the Community will demand a say in the nature of this help, but I am alarmed by the reaction that has occurred in certain quarters following a perfectly ordinary request from one of our future partners for information about some of our legislation. It is often difficult enough for us to discover things about our legislation. Why should we worry if they want to know about it?
My Lords, I am a European. I have been one for as long as I can remember. I think my only doubts have ever been at a time when I wondered whether enlargement of the Community might in fact damage it and whether it might not be a worthwhile act of self-sacrifice for us to stay outside. I no longer believe that. I believe that we have something very important to offer, and I believe that the other nations that will be coming in with us also have something very important to offer. We speak of the surrender of sovereignty as if it were unprecedented. Six of the great European nations with the same democratic traditions as our-selves surrendered sovereignty in exactly this way several years ago, and not one of them repents it. We are not really blazing a trail ; and it is partly because of the fact that we are surrendering some sovereignty that Liberals as a whole welcome this Bill. But—and I admit to the noble Lord, Lord Shinwell, that there is a " but "—I should not think in this way if it were not for what I see as the key to the democracy of the Community at the moment, the key to what we wish to attain when we are in the Community and, in a way, the key as to how we ourselves must behave. Now that is democracy. I am worried by the lightness with which democracy is regarded to-day, by the easiness with which we play " footie-footie " with dictatorships and despotisms of all kinds. I find in the European Community of 1465 these democratic nations a bloc dedicated to human rights and the rule of law.
Sir Winston Churchill has already been quoted in this debate, and he said that democracy is the worst form of government except any other. I do not say that this bloc is perfect—far from it! We have faults ; they have faults ; and we all know it. But at least there is a wholehearted determination in these countries to defend the democratic way of life, and that is something which is important in itself.
Secondly, there is the importance that we must attach to the European Parliament. I entirely agree with the noble Lord, Lord Beswick, when he says that we must have political control ; that you cannot have economic policy which is not responsible to politicians. We must fight and work for a working European Parliament with teeth and powers, preferably directly elected, along with the other civilised countries that we are going to join, by Proportional Representation. It is extremely important that in the long run we go back to the Treaty of Rome system of decisions in the Council of Ministers by weighted majority voting. I do not like the emphasis which is put by some defenders of Europe on the power of the veto resting in individual countries' hands. Much has been said about French chauvinism and a lot of it was much deserved ; but I have sneaking suspicions, even when this Bill is passed, about the chauvinism of the Tory Party.
Thirdly, although I am in favour of pooling sovereignty, I want to see this Parliament exercising as much power as it can. The speech of the noble and learned Lord, Lord Diplock, and points made by other noble Lords about this matter, are very important. We should have the power and ability to scrutinise Community instruments in draft as quickly as possible. That is essential. It is a pity that there was not introduced with this Bill more legislation along the Dutch lines to make certain that this happens. It is no contradiction to say that the more decisions get away from the individual, the more they are in Westminster rather than the town hall, the more they are in Brussels rather than in Westminster, the more power we must give to people over their own lives. If the big decisions are becoming remote, the small decisions must be made more available. People 1466 now want more power over their life and in their jobs. They want more power over their children's schools and more power over the housing estates in which they live. They want more power over their regions and regional planning. Any Government which does not realise that the two go together, that if you are building bigger and firmer authorities you should also be bringing democracy nearer the people, would be running into serious trouble. And appendant to this theme of democracy, I should like to see it honoured in the way we go into Europe.
The only way in which I differ slightly from my noble friend Lord Gladwyn is that I deplore what seems to be the desire of the Government not to admit any Amendments to the Bill. I hope that that will not be the case in this House. I remember asking a very senior Conservative Minister why the Bill was not a one-clause Bill. I said, " Surely, it cannot he amended because we have to follow the Treaties." He replied, " It can be amended ; there are all sorts of different powers that we can choose as to how we follow the Treaties and how we put these things into being." If that is so, let us be given the chance to do it. It is hypocrisy to put forward the Bill in this shape and not to allow Amendments. I do not say that this is going to happen in this House ; and this is something on which I should welcome a statement from the noble Earl the Leader of the House when he winds up.
I welcome the determination of some anti-Marketeers to vote against the Bill. It is true that it was with some amusement and interest that one listened to the noble Lord, Lord Wigg, defending the power of this House as against the House of Commons—but in a debate where the noble Lord. Lord Shinwell, can quote Neville Chamberlain with approval, anything can happen. I have given myself a self-denying ordinance on this point because I do not think that your Lordships would welcome a discussion of the powers of your Lordships' House on Second Readings. But I should not like the statement of the noble Lord, Lord Chorley, on this subject to go unchallenged, as I believe it to be factually constitutionally wrong. The doctrine of this country, is Sovereignty of the Queen and Parliament, not Sovereignty of the Queen and the House of Commons.
1467 Personally, I will honour those who, believing as they do, vote against this Bill.
We on these Benches will continue to press for greater democracy, greater political power, greater political control ; but we are quite clear on the principle. I hope that your Lordships will allow me to close with a little boasting. I know that that does not go down well in your Lordships' House as a whole, but I should not like this historical occasion to go by without it. It is with pride that I recall that we on these Benches, and our whole Party, have campaigned for this since 1950. It is with pride that I remember the work of people like Lady Asquith of Yarnbury, and the enormous amount of work that my noble friend Lord Gladwyn has put into this cause. It is with pride that I remember the behaviour of my colleagues in another place ; and it will be with pride, as well as with hope and faith, that we on these Benches will go into the Lobby tonight to take another step into making a reality of the dream which we have all held for so long.
§ 8.37 p.m.
§ LORD SHEPHERD
My Lords, it falls to me to make the concluding speech from this side of the House. I agree with my noble friend Lord Shinwell that the debate yesterday was very subdued. I do not know how far we can attribute this to the rather cold but very clear exposition of the nuts and bolts of the Bill. The noble and learned Lord must not provoke me by saying that this is a characteristic of the noble and learned Lord ; I know where the House will stand if there is a dispute between myself and the noble Lord on that particular matter.
The debate has come alive to-day and is worthy of the great significance, importance and historic character of the decision that has to be made this evening. We on this side of the House have over the months conducted a very anxious and serious debate. I believe that our doubts and existing divisions are to be seen through the nation as a whole. We have conducted our debate with very great tolerance and understanding. One of the characteristics of the Labour Party is that we always conduct our debates with very great vigour. It is often thought that when personalities are challenged within the Labour Party there is some degree 1468 of venom about it. This is a characteristic of the Party that I fear is often misunderstood. I can honestly say that, so far as my noble friends here this evening are concerned, there are no wounds to bind or scars to heal. We have our debates and we still have our divisions.
My noble friend Lord Greenwood, in a quite outstanding speech—I think this was recognised by all—laid particular emphasis on our debt to the Commonwealth. My noble friend Lord Beswick, who is a true internationalist, questions whether it is right and fit that we should hand over so much sovereignty. Nevertheless, he is still an internationalist and a European. There are others, like my noble friend Lord Blyton and my noble friend, Lord Shinwell, whose views are known. On the other side I have my noble friend Lord Shackleton, the Leader of the Opposition, my noble friend, Lord Champion, my noble friend Lord Diamond, and others who have passionately felt that Britain's future lies in an enlarged and united Europe.
We have conducted our debate with tolerance. This will be seen when we meet in Committee to consider this Bill. Divided we may be on the central issue, but we have a unity and a common concern on the need for greater Parliamentary control. The noble and learned Lord, Lord Diplock, himself drew the attention of the House to this point, with great clarity, yesterday. May I say to the noble Lord, Lord Beaumont of Whitley, how delighted I am that he endorsed the speech of the noble Lord, Lord Diplock, and expressed his willingness to see in Committee that this point is discussed and, if necessary, that an amendment is made?
If I may say so, the only speech yesterday which jarred in any way was that of the noble Lord, Lord Gladwyn: if we were to proceed with this Bill there was to be no truck whatsoever with Amendments to it. That attitude, from a Liberal and one who talks about this country providing the political leadership of a democratic Europe, was to me very strange. But I am glad that the noble Lord, Lord Beaumont, will be with the noble Lord, Lord Diplock, and many other noble Lords in seeking to create in this Bill a safeguard that Parliament will have a chance to consider, even in draft, legislation which will come before the 1469 Council of Ministers and which the British Parliament will be required to pass.
§ LORD SHEPHERD
My Lords, I am sorry ; time is pressing and I have not really attacked the noble Lord.
§ LORD GLADWYN
My Lords, I am sorry that the noble Lord should try to drive this great gulf between me and my colleague Lord Beaumont of Whitley. My simple point, which I took to be generally agreed, was that the Government, having taken the policy of pushing this Bill through the other place, will undoubtedly do the same thing here and cannot in the circumstances do anything else. They cannot admit even small Amendments because that would upset the whole timetable. Personally I do not believe that it matters very much. It might matter theoretically but in practice it does not matter much. That is my only point. As for the noble Lord, Lord Diplock—
§ LORD GLADWYN
—I myself first made the suggestion in this debate that there should be previous investigation of legislation in a joint Parliamentary Commission.
§ LORD SHEPHERD
My Lords, I did not drive a gulf between the noble Lord, Lord Gladwyn, and his noble friend. He will see it in the Record, and I suggest that the noble Lord reads the Record of yesterday and of to-day.
I have spoken of the division on my side. It is in no sense as a Party man that I find myself between my two noble friends on this issue. I have stated in previous debates that I have been a supporter of British entry into the European Community ; I have been a member of the Labour Society to this end. After much consideration and, I suppose, to a certain extent as a consequence of my Commonwealth connections, I have taken 1470 the view that the terms are unacceptable alongside the pledges which a Labour Government made, particularly to the Commonwealth countries.
I gather that the noble Earl, Lord Jellicoe, intends to say something about sugar this evening. That is what the noble Baroness, Lady Tweedsmuir of Belhelvie, told us last night. Sugar concerns the small islands of the Commonwealth. They have very little else but the growing of sugar. We gave a pledge to ensure a permanent position for Commonwealth sugar in this country. That is a pledge which a Labour Government gave when we commenced negotiations on entry into the European Economic Community. The terms that the Government have negotiated are for a period of two years. I believe that the undertaking will be honoured at the E.E.C. I am not certain whether the use of the veto will ensure a continuation of that arrangement. I can understand a veto to prevent a policy being implemented, but I do not understand how a veto is to be used in this case unless, as in the practice adopted by the French, it is used against one policy in order to ensure the acceptance of another. Only two years have to go by before the Commonwealth Sugar Agreement comes to an end. As this is a matter in which the banks are involved, because they need to lend money to the growers of sugar, what concerns me is whether, in the end, the assurances will be bankrupt. We hope to hear from the noble Earl on this matter this evening.
In terms of New Zealand, we said that an agreement should be of at least a generation, but it is of seven years. Therefore, so far as my Commonwealth honour is concerned, I am bound to say that the terms are inadequate. One could speak of the agricultural policy and the consequential burden upon this country, but a lot has already been said about that. I should like to turn to the question of honour. It is a phrase that the noble and learned Lord who sits on the Woolsack invariably uses when his case is obviously weak. The noble and learned Lord said that if we entered into negotiation and obtained a satisfactory agreement, then we were in honour bound to sign it and pursue it. Is there not also a question of honour to the people of this country? Did the noble Earl, Lord Lauderdale, not 1471 read the manifesto of the Conservative Party? There was one commitment—to negotiate and nothing else.
In a previous debate, I drew attention to the small number of Cabinet Ministers who in their election addresses mentioned the E.E.C. I also mentioned—and it was never disputed—that the present Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, speaking before he became a Minister and therefore subject to the advice of his officials, said that in his view the Conservative Party clearly had no mandate for entering into the E.E.C. So we have a question of honour to the people of this country by a Party who during their period of office laid great store on honouring pledges.
However, there was—was there not?—yet another pledge of the Prime Minister: that if this country was to enter the E.E.C. it would be inconceivable that any Government should take it there without the undoubted consent of Parliament and people. No one can really say in all honesty where the British people stand on this issue to-day, because, my Lords, they have never been tested ; the issue has never been put to them. Certainly neither political Party at the last General Election pledged the entry of this country into the E.E.C. ; it was all to be subject to negotiation. In Parliament the majority was thin. I should not have thought there could be any justification for the claim by any Government Minister that the Prime Minister's pledge to this country concerning the undoubted consent of Parliament and the people has been sustained.
So what should this House do? The noble Earl, Lord Lauderdale, drew attention to the attitude of previous Leaders of the Conservative Party—true, when in Opposition—that this House had an undoubted right and undoubted duty, where a Government had no majority and where there was an element of doubt among the electorate as to what their views were, to give the country an opportunity of deciding, by rejecting legislation. I was reminded by my noble friend Lord Henderson recently about, I think it was, the Iron and Steel Bill in 1950. I believe the noble Lord, Lord Carrington, himself spoke about this question on the Burmah Oil Bill and the legislation mentioned by Lord Lauderdale. I do not know how 1472 the Government and those who sit behind them square their position with what the Conservative leadership are on record as saying is the role of your Lordships' House.
So far as I am concerned. I have no double standards. I have taken a consistent view that it is not for this House to challenge the view of the elected Members of another place. Like my noble friend Lord Shinwell, I to-day speak here only for myself. Members of another place are answerable to those who elected them. I have taken the view, as a consequence of being brought up by my noble friend Lord Henderson, and others such as the late Lord Alexander of Hillsborough, and the late Lord Morrison of Lambeth, that it is wrong for this House to challenge the decisions of another place. And I would urge this, as I have done on previous occasions, upon my noble friends. Maybe there will be a constitutional crisis in which this House should be entitled to take action. In my view, however, this is not such an occasion. So I would plead with my noble friends, whatever their feelings may be on this issue this evening, to remember who we are and the House in which we sit, and to remember those who have the authority as a consequence of election, and, whatever we may feel about the legislation itself, not to challenge it.
However, my Lords, in Committee another situation clearly arises. I do not think there is much credit on another place for the way this Bill was examined there or the way it was taken through. It conies to us, and, as I have said on many other occasions, we are a revising Chamber. We on this side of the House will seek to amend this Bill. We shall be constructive ; certainly, there will be no intention of delay for delay's sake. But if we are to fulfil our intention, equally the Government must respond in the same constructive sense. There is an undoubted feeling in another place that the Government refused to accept Amendments as a consequence of the timetable ; in no circumstances was there to be a Report stage. Thanks to the noble Earl, Lord Jellicoe, our timetable has a degree of flexibility about it. If Amendments of merit are put forward, there is no difficulty in their being considered and included in a Bill and, if 1473 accepted by another place, becoming part of legislation. The time element is not a factor in your Lordships' House. Therefore I must put a specific request to the noble Earl the Leader of the House: that he will not countenance any order or instruction to any Minister, direct or implied, that, irrespective of their merits, Amendments are to be resisted because of the timescale. This House is entitled to demand an assurance on that from the noble Earl because this is a Bill of profound importance, not only to us of to-day but to posterity.
If this Bill goes forward I would echo the words of my noble friend Lord Greenwood of Rossendale, that we should co-operate with determination to ensure that our entry into, and the future of, the E.E.C. are matters of success for Europe, our own people, and the world. The noble Lord, Lord Caccia (and this I find so quaint from ex-civil servants), always seeks to preach a lecture to the Labour Party as though it were the Labour Party which was in office and had control of the country's affairs. I have no doubt—here I share the view of the noble Baroness, Lady Tweedsmuir of Belhelvie—that the road will be rough. If I had any criticism of those who support our entry into the E.E.C., it is that they have over-painted the lily. It was as though we were joining a club of Good Samaritans, that all our troubles would be over. In practice, those of us who are in business know that we are entering, true a club with an exterior tariff wall, but a club in which we shall be confronted with the most cut-throat, ruthless competition that this country has ever known. If we are to survive—and I have no doubt we can survive—we can do so only by a new sense of determination and co-operation between Government and industry and work-people. When I say " new ", I mean a really radical change ; because this atmosphere does not exist in this country to-day.
We on this side of the House feel that much of the responsibility must lie on the Benches opposite, because in our view they have adopted, intentionally or otherwise, quite divisive measures. They have created inequality where inequality already existed ; they have made hardship even worse than it was. And unless there is a sense of equality (and my noble 1474 friend Lord Beswick has spoken about this so often), a sense of fairness, a genuine sense of co-operation between the three pillars of the State, then our future in the E.E.C. will be a great deal rougher than even the noble Baroness herself promises.
It is for the Government to take the lead in this matter, and to-day we are all conscious of the dark and sombre clouds that hang over us. If the Government believe that this Bill and our movement into the E.E.C. will create opportunities that we could seize if we had the will to do so, then it is for them to create the right climate for this to be achieved. I know that many of my noble friends tonight will leave with a degree of unhappiness because your Lordships will have come to a particular view. I assume that the Vote will be the same as on the last occasion. Whatever feeling of saeness they or others may have, I hope that together we can make a concerted effort at the Committee stage of this Bill to establish that, while we may give up certain degrees of sovereignty, at least we can retain in our Statute Parliamentary control, so far as it can be devised, prior to legislation being considered by the Council of Ministers.
I have a feeling, my Lords, that the words I have delivered have been inadequate. This has not been the speech that I had intended to make to-night ; I did not think the occasion was one for the speech I had prepared. But if we are to succeed, if the worst forebodings of my noble friends are not to come about, while the responsibility may fall upon all of us in this matter, the real responsibility will lie with the Ministers who have negotiated these terms which we on this side of the House believe to be harsh ; with those who have negotiated this agreement and produced this Bill for us. That is their responsibility, and I hope for the sake of this nation and posterity that they are right.
§ 9.4 p.m.
My Lords, may I first apologise for my voice. I was somewhat amused last night when the noble Lord, Lord Donaldson of Kingsbridge, informed us that he reckoned he was the 91st speaker—I think it was—in this the third of our marathon debates on the 1475 Common Market—that marathon which began in July last year. In fact, I have been doing a little reckoning myself and I can inform the noble Lord that his mathematics were not strictly accurate. He was in fact the 231st runner in this long-distance race, a race in which a certain amount of elbowing has been used around the bends towards the end of our debate this evening. As the noble Lord, Lord Shepherd, has said, it has taken light and fire as a result of that. When he criticised himself—I think quite falsely—for the inadequacy of his speech, may I say that I do not agree with him, although at times I thought he was making a speech on an economic debate which I have heard before?
I have referred to the length of the road because it emphasises the fact that we are nearing the end of a pretty long road. That road has its roots deep back in history, in the work of those statesmen and those dreamers who, over the centuries, have had a vision of what a united Europe could mean for Europe itself and for the wider world. More immediately, it dates back to Sir Winston Churchill's clarion call for a united Europe in that great Zurich speech where he lit the torch which was so ably taken up by a trio of truly great European Statesmen—Adenauer, Schumann, de Gasperi—and by the unique personality of M. Jean Monnet. For us as a nation that road hitherto has been particularly frustrating. There was the frustration of our hesitation in the late 'forties and 'fifties ; there was the frustration of our unsuccessful application in the early 'sixties ; there was the frustration of our renewed and abortive application in 1967.
It is my belief that the Bill now before your Lordships' House represents a crucial link in this chain of circumstances. To me it means the end of the road in one sense, in that it shows that we are no longer knocking on the door of Europe in vain. But in another sense—and this is a better sense—it represents the start of the road ; the start, if we have the wit and we have the will, of a really effective British contribution to what I believe the majority of your Lordships wish to see—a united Europe making a generous and constructive contribution to the perplexing problems— 1476 and God knows they are perplexing—of this planet.
I recognise, of course, that contrary opinions are held in your Lordships' House. There are those who are against the principle of British membership, who have always been so, root and branch, hook, line and sinker. We know them very well: there is the noble Lord, Lord Shinwell, who speaks with such sincerity on these matters ; there is the noble Lord, Lord Blyton, and there are others grouped on the montagne, if I may so term it, opposite me at the present time. I recognise the sincerity of this view, and with equal sincerity I recognise that this view is held by a small minority of the membership of this House.
Then there are those, more numerous, who, while they accept the principle of membership, reject the terms we have negotiated. Like the noble Lord, Lord Chalfont, I would not claim for one moment that the terms are perfect. However, I am convinced, as I sense most of your Lordships are convinced, that the terms, after months of persistent and patient negotiation by my right honourable friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, are as good as, or better than, we could have expected to obtain both for ourselves and for our Commonwealth partners ; and there is plenty of independent testimony that this is the case.
I will not go into the pros and cons now at length because we debated this issue last October. I will only say that I agree in large measure with the general analysis given by the noble Lord, Lord George-Brown. Economically the terms give no guarantee, and I would not for a second claim any immediate economic bonanza for our country. The certain opportunities which in my view they present for British industry must be won and earned. The economic fruits of membership will not fall into our laps ; they must be shaken from the tree. But, provided we exploit our opportunities, I am convinced that there are great economic gains to be won. More particularly, politically, as I have made clear on more than one occasion in your Lordships' House, I feel that the case for membership is quite overwhelming if we wish our country to continue in constructive in- 1477 volvement with the affairs of the outside world.
If we accept the terms and the obligations which go with them, as an overwhelming majority of your Lordships demonstrated last October that you did, the remaining question to be asked and answered is whether this Bill suitably imports those obligations into our constitutional and Parliamentary bag and baggage. I can only state my belief that the Bill as drafted achieves what it is designed to do. My noble and learned friend on the Woolsack made this clear in his careful (" cool " was the word used by the noble Lord, Lord Shepherd to describe it) and comprehensive exposition to your Lordships yesterday. I suppose that some would claim that even Lord Chancellors may be partial, though I am sure that nobody would be so bold as to make such a claim in the case of my noble and learned friend.
However, I do not rely only on the testimony of my noble and learned friend, although that is quite enough for me. I rely also on the impressive speeches made yesterday by the noble Lord, Lord Stow Hill, and the noble and learned Lord, Lord Diplock. Your Lordships will recall that the noble Lord, Lord stow Hill (I do not think I misrepresent him in saying this), gave his express view that the Government had adopted, broadly speaking, the right approach in the drafting of this Bill. It was clear from the words which fell from the lips of the noble and learned Lord, Lord Diplock, that he was also broadly of the same opinion. That being so, I was a little surprised to hear this Bill, having been endorsed by three of our great legal luminaries, described by the noble Lord, Lord Beswick, as a " Smart Alec " piece of legislation.
Several noble Lords have expressed the view that it is now time for us as a nation to take the plunge, and to take it quickly. We have been shivering in a somewhat undignified position on the brink of entry into Europe for a very long time now. Further delay and uncertainty can only be infinitely harmful to our national interest. I hold the view very strongly that all of us, whatever position we may take on the principle or on the terms, need to establish certainty on this matter both for home and, perhaps equally important, for foreign consumption.
1478 My Lords, those are the reasons why it is my hope, which I have stated briefly, that your Lordships will endorse this Bill massively this evening. Those are my reasons for hoping that your Lordships will decide also to take this Bill through all its stages without undue delay. But—and I emphasise this very carefully indeed—these are not reasons for this House in any way to shirk its clear constitutional duty to give this Bill, as it does all other important measures, the careful scrutiny it deserves. I do not think your Lordships need to be reminded of your constitutional duties, as at least one noble Lord from the Cross Benches was inclined to remind us yesterday. I happen to believe, as does my noble and learned friend, that the Bill as drafted achieves, and achieves in due constitutional form, and with proper regard to the Parliamentary proprieties, the purpose which the vast majority of your Lordships have willed ; indeed the purpose which a great majority willed in another place last October. I further believe that this view will and can be sustained as we debate the details.
In any event, my Lords, I should like to make it clear—standing back if I may for a moment from my position as a member of the Government and speaking as the Leader of our Lordships' House—that I do not regard your Lordships' House as a rubber stamp ; and never shall so regard it. That is one reason, despite the need for certainty of which I have spoken, why I have been at some pains (and I am grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Shepherd, for acknowledging this) to provide as much time and as fair a spacing between our stages for the consideration of this Bill as we can possibly wring out of our rather crowded calendar at the present time. And that is why we propose to argue the merits of any Amendments which noble Lords may care to put down—I hope they will not put down too many—and to argue them on their merits. May I assure my noble friend Lord Lauderdale, who gave us a fine, robust speech—and it does no harm to hear people speaking from the heart of their convictions (I was addressing my noble friend for a moment, as I have noticed from time to time Members on the Front Bench opposite tend to address their noble friends)—that that assurance is no 1479 mere formal promise. But it is, and I make no apology equally for saying this, my confident expectation that those who support the principles of entry, those who have accented the terms, and those who in general feel that this Bill accurately translates our resulting obligations into Statute, will, having listened to the explanations for which the noble Lord, Lord Stow Hill, among others, has called, feel able to support the Government in the Division Lobby.
My Lords, that represents my fundamental approach to the Bill, and I do not wish at this hour to give my voice unduly to embroider on my reasons. All I would say is that, having expanded on this general theme all too many times in the last two or three years, I myself feel that one of the best reasons for the consummation of our entry—so devoutly to be hoped for—that I can think of is that very shortly your Lordships will be spared the task of listening to the Leader of the House on this particular theme in this particular context.
Having said that and in the interests of brevity, I should like to concentrate rather briefly, but I hope not too summarily, on three aspects of the Bill, and what surrounds the Bill, that have engaged a great deal of attention from your Lordships' House in our two days of debate: the regional position, the position on the Luxembourg Communiqué and how that may relate to our obligations towards our Commonwealth associates and partners ; and also the very important issue of how this Bill impinges in its implications upon the working of our Parliamentary democracy.
My Lords, first regional policies. Several noble Lords, both yesterday and to-day, have expressed disquiet about our ability when we join the Community to do what we ought to do to help our regions. I recognise the importance of this issue. We are committed as a Government to the pursuit of strong and effective regional policies, and that is why, with the broad support of all Parties, a measure revising and intensifying regional assistance will become law in the very near future—that is, if the noble Lord, Lord Diamond, permits. That said, I believe that I may have two main 1480 questions here to answer. The first is whether, of itself, entry is likely to work against economic progress and development in the regions. That was a fear expressed by the noble Lord, Lord Hale, in a moving speech last night. My Lords, the only final proof of this pudding can be in the eating, but I personally believe that the fears are unjustified. In general, I am convinced that if, as I believe will be the case—and here again the proof of the pudding will be in the eating—entry brings an increase in general prosperity in this country, then, as always, the regions not least will stand to benefit. More particularly, our regions, with the attraction (if that is the right paradoxical word) of the valuable asset of sadly under-used but highly skilled industrial labour should, if we all play the hand properly, attract after entry substantial new investment both from within the Community and further afield.
But there is another question, and that is whether our existing policies and intensification of those policies embodied in the Bill now before Parliament are compatible with membership of the Community. They are certainly compatible with the Community's philosophy, as the Preamble to the Rome Treaty makes crystal clear. I know that noble Lords have cited the case of the German inquiry and of the Community's actions in the Belgian case and in the recent French case. Let us be clear about the context in these cases. If there is to be a genuine Common Market it is natural for the members to accept commonly agreed rules in order to avoid unfair competition and, perhaps more especially, what is even more dangerous, wasteful and undiscriminating bidding-up of incentives for international mobile capital. These are the common rules which are being applied to the cases referred to and it will be to our advantage that the rules should be applied equally in all Member States. I can assure your Lordships—and I have looked into this question, which of course does not come into my immediate Ministerial purview in any sense—that we have been in close touch with the development of Community regional policy and thinking for rather a long time. As a result of this, I can state quite categorically that we have no reason to believe that there is any 1481 conflict between our new regional measures and the obligations of Community membership.
On the question of sovereignty, may I confine myself to saying this? It is an area into which this layman ventures warily. I should only like to give my personal conclusion on this area, and that is that it is my belief carefully pondered, albeit in a lay way, that through a conscious decision to share sovereignty, in defined but important areas, we stand to gain real power in a real sense as a nation. The noble Lord, Lord Stow Hill, in his careful speech yesterday, suggested that the Luxembourg communiqué related only to a particular case in which one country insisted on disagreeing. This is the other side of the coin, as it were. I should like to point out to the noble and learned Lord that in fact the Luxembourg communiqué registered in general terms the political realities which have obtained and still obtain in respect of decisions affecting vital national interests.
In these matters, my Lords, I really do believe that it is important to look behind the strictly legalistic formulae and to try to discern the realities and the facts of the problem and the practical workings of the Community system. The practical posititon in the Community and the way in which the Community works, as most noble Lords know, is that in a situation in which a member State judges that its vital national interests are affected the Community, as it works at present, and is likely to work for some time to come, only proceeds by common consent. That, if I may say so, is where the Commonwealth Sugar Agreement renewal position, about which the noble Lord, Lord Shepherd, asked me a particular question, comes in. He asked my noble friend Lady Tweedsmuir yesterday what we would do if the Community should fail to reach an agreement on arrangements for imports of Commonwealth sugar after 1974. I am bound to say that I do not think that there are grounds for this pessimistic supposition. But take the hypothetical pessimistic case ; in a matter of such significance Her Majesty's Government have left the members of the existing Community in no doubt whatsoever of the importance which we attach to it. As my right honourable friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster has said, we have put down a very clear marker here. It is in- 1482 conceivable in our view that the Community would proceed to an agreement without the concurrence of each of the member States. It is also inconceivable in our view that the Community would not fulfil the very firm purpose which it has set itself in this context.
§ LORD SHEPHERD
My Lords, I posed the question, and the noble Earl sought to answer the hypothetical question if agreement could not be reached. Could the noble Earl say what would be the circumstances if agreement could not be reached?
My Lords, I have sought to express the reality of the position. But could I just add to that—and I wish to phrase my reply very carefully here—that I believe that is indeed the position as I understand it. This position could equally apply to the continuation of existing policy as it would to the introduction of new policy. I think, my Lords, I would prefer to leave it at that stage at this particular moment, but that is a carefully pondered reply.
I am glad that a good deal of attention has been paid in this debate to the impact on membership of our Parliamentary institutions. I think that the whole House welcomed the very notable contribution to our thinking on those matters made by the noble and learned Lord, Lord Diplock, yesterday. I should like to make one thing clear from the outset: the right of the Community institutions to issue binding instruments, whether directly applicable or non-direct in character, has been accepted from the start as an absolutely essential feature of the Common Market.
This means that it is not possible to expose Community secondary legislation to scrutiny and vote in Parliament after it has been adopted by the institutions of the Community. But it is quite another thing for Parliament to bring its influence to bear at the stage when Community instruments are in draft. I have myself felt for some time—and I apologise to the House again for my voice—that Parliament must examine, and examine urgently, how best it can tackle the flow of draft Community instruments as they wing their way between the Commission and the Council of Ministers. It was on this particular point that the 1483 contribution of the noble and learned Lord was so particularly valuable.
There are, of course, many channels open to Parliament to make its views known to Ministers on Community policies and proposals. There is Question Time in both Houses ; there is the questioning which arises from Statements which sometimes goes on a bit too long ; and there are formal debates. I would myself hope that your Lordships' House might be able to bring to bear on all these matters a rather particular experience and expertise. The noble and learned Lord suggested in addition to this that it was important to interpose some arrangements whereby Parliament could make certain that Ministers were confronted with the views of Parliament before decisions on draft regulations and directives were taken by the Council of Ministers in Brussels. This was the first function which he foresaw from some embryo mechanism which he proposed for Parliamentary scrutiny. The second function, as I understand it, was to enable Parliament to give preliminary consideration—before proposals became instruments—as to whether we require to make changes in our domestic legislation to accommodate those instruments from Brussels.
It is my belief, and also the Government's belief, that the noble and learned Lord has put his finger on a real problem, a very real problem, and one to which all of us who believe in the workings of our Parliamentary democracy need to bend our attention. He suggested, as I have said, that some special mechanism for scrutiny might be needed. We agree. He suggested that, while this matter was new, it was also urgent, but also eminently capable of solution. We agree. He suggested, furthermore, that the Committee which he proposed, be it an ad hoc Committee or some other form of Committee, might be joint between another place and your Lordships' House. We agree. He also emphasised that the possibilities could be studied and the necessary mechanisms set up without any change in the Bill at present before your Lordships' House. We also agree.
In short, my Lords, I should like to emphasise that I do not dissent in one whit on the essence of the problem as described by the noble and learned Lord.
1484 Nor do I dissent from his view that special arrangements are necessary to enable Parliament to deal with a unique problem. Indeed, many of your Lordships know that the Government have been anxious for some months to get a study of this matter under way in conjunction with the other Parties. I should like to take this opportunity to express the hope that, whatever our attitude may be towards this Bill, those of us who believe in Parliament should now back the noble and learned Lord in his plea that this study should be undertaken, and undertaken as a matter of urgency, on an all-Party basis.
My Lords, the other way in which Parliament will be able to mesh in with the work of the Community is, of course, through the delegates it sends to the European Assembly.
§ LORD BESWICK
My Lords, perhaps I may ask the noble Earl one question, as I was not quite sure about an assurance he gave earlier. If it is found necessary, through discussion here, to have an Amendment to the Bill to make the sort of provision to which the noble Earl has referred, will he give an assurance to his followers behind that he will have no objection at all on the grounds of time to that Amendment being embodied in the Bill?
My Lords, I think we should leave Committee stage to Committee stage. I have given an assurance, and I have given it in, I hope, not only careful but also forthright terms. I believe I should leave it at that at the present time.
A number of noble Lords have expressed the view that somehow the European Assembly must be made more effective. This could come through direct elections ; or it could come through increased powers ; or it could come through a combination of the two. There is a very widespread recognition among our future partners that the Assembly should develop, although there are a great many differing views about how that Assembly should develop. As your Lordships know, the Government have endorsed the Anglo-Italian declaration, signed by the last Government, that the Community should be sustained by an elected European Assembly, and that the latter's role should be enhanced. Our 1485 partners expect us—and here I very much agree with what the noble Lord, Lord Walston, said—given our tradition of Parliamentary democracy, to make a real contribution to thinking and action in this sphere. I believe that we should be doing less than justice to the Community, to ourselves and to Parliament if we in fact fail to respond in this sphere. It is therefore our wish to see a strong representation from this Parliament, gaining experience of the way in which the European Assembly works from the word " Go " in January ; and with this experience gained we should be in a much more effective position to discuss possible changes in the future.
My Lords, I also believe that there is another matter of urgency here, and that is a question for decision between the Houses and between the Parties about the means of nominating our delegation. Here again, I would very much hope that the Parties could join together, and join together without delay, possibly in a Select Committee, as has been suggested, to see what is the best method. I am prepared to leave it quite open as far as I am concerned, although I must confess to a personal prejudice that in this sphere, as in others, I believe that Members of your Lordships' House with particular expertise and particular experience have, perhaps, a particular contribution to make without treading on the territory of another place.
May I conclude with these thoughts? I am glad that it is no longer thinkable, if indeed it ever were, that our Parliament would reject this Bill. It would be a tragedy if this had occurred—not least because we are really wanted in Europe these days, not least by the Social Democratic Parties of Europe. To reject now, at 11.59, the opportunity proffered to us would be to strain our credibility as a nation on the whole international stage. By rejection we would have publicly demonstrated a lightness, a frivolity and a lack of consistency of national purpose which none of us should like to see associated with our country.
Rejection rejected, it is my hope, my Lords, that with the movement of this Bill from another place to this House, we may see in the weeks to come an increasing recognition of the desirability of abandoning some of the old, rather 1486 deeply dug and rather sterile trenches. That is why I was very glad to hear the noble Lords, Lord Greenwood of Rossendale and Lord Shepherd. Particularly was I glad to hear the noble Lord, Lord Greenwood, conclude a notable, but otherwise notably destructive, speech in the way he did. I am glad because I am convinced that, whatever our individual attitudes may be towards the principle of entry or the terms of entry or towards this Bill, it is now clearly in our national interest to embrace the opportunities of the entry that we are going to effect—and to embrace those opportunities eagerly and positively ; or with zest and goodwill, as the noble Lord, Lord Chorley, has said ; or with keenness and enthusiasm, as was said by the noble Lord, Lord George-Brown.
This has been an item on our national agenda for a couple of decades in the past ; but in the future I believe that this will remain a very important aspect of our national agenda. There is a great deal which has to be filled in on the agenda ; there are all the preparations we require to make within our island if we are to seize the opportunities ; there are the tasks awaiting us within the Community itself, the need to work with our partners to reap the gains which economic and monetary union should bring, including not least the construction of a coherent European industrial policy. The possibilities of joint endeavour are now lying within Europe's grasp in the field of science and technology. There is the clear requirement for us, together with our partners, to develop together progressive social policies and with this the need for strong Community regional policies ; and not least the obvious requirement to do all we can to arrest the impairment of the quality of our joint physical and social environment. Again within the context of the Communities themselves there is all we can do, working with our partners, to strengthen the institutions of the Community, and not least its Parliamentary institutions.
Moreover, since it is people, in the last analysis, who count, there is the obligation laid upon us to do all we can to help the Commission and the other institutions to recruit the best that we have to offer in human skills. If we are serious in this endeavour (and we are deadly 1487 serious) we must recognise that Europe demands the best in us and the best of us.
Finally, there are the particular contributions which our country can make towards the Communities' policies in the wider world. This will be the largest trading block, as my noble friend Lord Bethell pointed out, in the world. We have the opportunity of working with partners who can wield enormous political and economic leverage on the international scale. Together we can help to develop sensible and generous trading policies. Together we can solve the problem of striking a balanced trading relationship with the other two great free economic blocks, Japan and the United States. Together we can take concerted steps in achieving the large and overdue reform of the international monetary system.
But co-operation in these spheres extends beyond the purely economic. We must recognise (and we do recognise) the need over the years to develop common policies in the field of foreign policy. Likewise, we recognise the vast responsibility which will fall upon the expanded Community of building bridges across
§ that dangerous void which all too often separates our richer, more industrialised world from the poorer, developing Third World.
§ Finally, my Lords—and I make no apology for beating the drum of self-interest in my concluding remarks—we should be enabled, if we have the determination, to play a generous part in generous international policies from the platform of enhanced national prosperity and a higher standard of life for our own people. Quite shortly—and this is certainly my hope—we may feel able to raise our sights a little above our pressing and sometimes rather distressing day-to-day concerns. I would hope that the great positive constructive opportunities which entry into the expanded Community holds out for us, both at home and abroad, will, as the years roll on help to give us—above all, to give our younger people—that sense of national purpose and national unity which most of us in our hearts crave. It is in that spirit that I am proud to commend this Bill to your Lordships' House.
§ 9.41 p.m.
§ On Question, Whether the Bill shall be now read 2a?
§ Their Lordships divided: Contents, 189 ; Not-Contents, 19.1489
|Aberdare, L.||Brougham and Vaux, L.||Diplock, L.|
|Abinger, L.||Brown, L.||Donaldson of Kingsbridge, L.|
|Ailwyn, L.||Burton of Coventry, Bs.||Douglas of Barloch, L.|
|Airedale, L.||Byers, L.||Drogheda, E.|
|Albemarle, E.||Caccia, L.||Drumalbyn, L.|
|Allerton, L.||Carnock, L.||Eccles, V.|
|Alport, L.||Carrington, L.||Ellenborough, L.|
|Amherst of Hackney, L.||Cawley, L.||Elliot of Harwood, Bs.|
|Amory, V.||Chalfont, L.||Emmet of Amberley, Bs.|
|Auckland, L.||Chichester, L. Bp.||Enniskillen, E.|
|Baldwin of Bewdley, E.||Chorley, L.||Essex, E.|
|Balerno, L.||Clinton, L.||Ferrers, E.|
|Balfour, E.||Clwyd, L.||Ferrier, L.|
|Barrington, V.||Cobbold, L.||Fisher, L.|
|Beaumont of Whitley, L.||Coleraine, L.||Fortescue, E.|
|Belhaven and Stenton, L.||Colwyn, L.||Fulton, L.|
|Belstead, L.||Colyton, L.||Gage, V.|
|Berkeley, Bs.||Cork and Orrery, E.||Gainford, L.|
|Bessborough, E.||Cowley, E.||George-Brown, L.|
|Bethell, L.||Craigavon, V.||Gladwyn, L.|
|Birk, Bs.||Craigmyle, L.||Glendevon, L.|
|Bledisloe, V.||Crawshaw, L.||Gore-Booth, L.|
|Boothby, L.||Croft, L.||Goschen, V.|
|Bourne, L.||Cromartie, E.||Gowrie, E.|
|Brabazon of Tara, L.||Cullen of Ashbourne, L.||Greenway, L.|
|Bradford, E.||Daventry, V.||Grenfell, L.|
|Brecon, L.||Davidson, V.||Gridley, L.|
|Bridgeman, V.||De La Warr, E.||Grimston of Westbury, L.|
|Brooke of Cumnor, L.||Denham, L. [Teller.]||Grimthorpe, L.|
|Brooke of Ystradfellte, Bs.||Derwent, L.||Hacking, L.|
|Hailes, L.||Margadale, L.||Sandford, L.|
|Hailsham of Saint Marylebone, L. (L. Chancellor.)||Massereene and Ferrard, V.||Seear, Bs.|
|Merrivale, L.||Segal, L.|
|Hankey, L.||Mills, V.||Selborne, E.|
|Harvey of Prestbury, L.||Milverton, L.||Sempill, Ly.|
|Harvev of Tasburgh, L.||Monck, V.||Sherfield, L.|
|Hawke, L.||Monk of Bretton, L.||Simon, V.|
|Helsby, L.||Mountevans, L.||Southwark, L. Bp.|
|Henderson, L.||Mowbray and Stourton, L. [Teller.]||Stamp, L.|
|Henley, L.||Stonehaven, V.|
|Hewlett, L.||Moyne, L.||Stow Hill, L.|
|Hirshfield, L.||Napier and Ettrick, L.||Strathcarron, L.|
|Hives, L.||Nelson of Stafford, L.||Strathclyde, L.|
|Hood, V.||Netherthorpe, L.||Suffield, L.|
|Howard of Glossop, L.||Northchurch, Bs.||Swaythling, L.|
|Hylton-Foster, Bs.||Onslow, E.||Tanlaw, L.|
|Jellicoe. E. (L. Privy Seal.)||Orr-Ewing, L.||Terrington, L.|
|Kemsley, V.||Peddie, L.||Thomas, L.|
|Killearn, L.||Penrhyn, L.||Thorneycroft, L.|
|Kilmany, L.||Perth, E.||Trefgarne, L.|
|Kilmarnock, L.||Platt, L.||Tweedsmuir of Belhelvie, Bs.|
|Kindersley, L.||Polwarth, L.||Ullswater, V.|
|Kinloss, Ly.||Rankeillour, L.||Vivian, L.|
|Kinnoull, E.||Reay, L.||Wade, L.|
|Lansdowne, M.||Redesdale, L.||Wakefield of Kendal, L.|
|Limerick, E.||Reigate, L.||Waldegrave, E.|
|Listowel, E.||Rhyl, L.||Walston, L.|
|London, L. Bp.||Rochdale, V.||Ward of Witley, V.|
|Long, V.||Rothermere, V.||Windlesham, L.|
|Lothian, M.||Rowallan, L.||Wolverton, L.|
|Loudoun, C.||Ruthven of Freeland, Ly.||Young, Bs.|
|Lucas of Chilworth, L.||Sainsbury, L.||Younger of Leckie, V.|
|Macleod of Borve, Bs.||St. Davids, V.||Zuckerman, L.|
|Mancroft, L.||Saint Oswald, L.|
|Addison, V.||Macleod of Fuinary, L.||Taylor of Mansfield, L.|
|Balogh, L.||Maelor, L.||Watkins, L.|
|Blyton, L. [Teller.]||Ritchie-Calder, L.||Wells-Pestell, L.|
|Brockway, L.||Shinwell, L.||Wigg, L.|
|Buckinghamshire, E.||Slater, L.||Wise, L.|
|Davies of Leek, L. [Teller.]||Sudeley, L.||Wynne, Jones, L.|
§ Resolved in the affirmative; Bill read 2a, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House.