§ Order for Second Reading read.
§ 7.11 p.m.
§ The Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. David Ennals)
I beg to move, That the Bill be now read a Second time.
Every visitor to this country tells us— as if we did not already know—that we do not get enough sunshine. Perhaps that was why there was a pretty negative response to the proposal that what the Bill calls British Standard Time should be called permanent Summer Time. It is not just that we do not have enough sunshine. Our geographic position ensures that we do not get enough daylight during our long winter months. The further north and east we live, the more this is so. In midwinter, London has only seven hours 51 minutes between sunrise and sunset. In Inverness, there are only six hours 36 minutes. Daylight is so precious that we must make the best use we can of it.
The Bill does not legislate to give us more daylight—one might suppose from the arguments of Sir Alan Herbert in The Times that we were seeking to reduce the hours of daylight. But it does recognise that ways of life have changed since 1884, when Greenwich mean time was established. We are now, like it or not, primarily a town-dwelling society, increasingly dependent upon overseas commerce. There have for many years been indications that the old time system, framed for a different type of community, was becoming less suited to our needs and that the time was approaching for a change such as the Bill introduces.
It is, in fact, the culmination of a long process, starting with adjustments made originally purely for the summer. Hon. Members will be aware that it was Mr. William Willet who first conceived the idea of advancing the clocks by one hour. He was the real pioneer in daylight saving. It was as a result of his persistence that in 1908 a Bill, called the Daylight Saving Bill, was laid before the House and found its way to a Select Committee which reported favourably on the Measure. However, despite the untiring efforts of Mr. Willet and his supporters—there were repeated attempts to 291 introduce such Measures—the proposal did not receive sufficient support. Legislation was eventually passed only in 1916, as a war time measure primarily to save fuel. The system was designated Summer Time, and so it has remained.
Since then, although the period has varied, there has not been a break in the operation of Summer Time for almost 52 years, and few of us in the House— certainly not I—will admit to being able to recall the time—over half a century ago— when our clocks kept Greenwich mean time throughout the year. During the last war Greenwich mean time did not operate at all. Summer Time was extended throughout the year and in addition, for a time, there was a period of double summer time.
In 1947, during the serious fuel crisis, an Act was passed which provided for the period of summer time laid down in the Summer Time Acts of 1922–1925 to be varied for any year by Order in Council. In recent years, this power has been regularly used, and it is in use now, so that the clocks will be put forward —permanently if the Bill is passed—on 18th February. We are now enjoying—or perhaps I should use the neutral word, "experiencing"—the very last month of Greenwich mean time.
In recent years there has been growing public support for a longer period of Summer Time. It was the inquiry undertaken in the winter of 1959–60 which originally sparked off the Bill. About 180 organisations, representing a wide variety of interests all over the country, were consulted. The replies indicated two outstanding preferences: first, that there should be Summer Time all the year round, and second that the period of Summer Time should begin earlier and end later.
Numerically, there was a slight preference for the first, but those against this choice included some important special interests, the chief of which I shall name, so as to illustrate the profound shift of opinion that has since occurred. In addition to agriculture, the majority of the trade unions were—at that time— opposed to change; so, too, were the majority of the educational interests and the electricity generating industry, which feared for the effect on the morning peak load.
292 It was thus decided, partly as an experiment and partly to test public reaction, to stop short at an extension of Summer Time, to operate from the end of March to the end of October, seven months. The public having tested this, increased pressure arose during recent years for yet a further extension and indeed for Summer Time all the year round. Further consultations were, therefore, undertaken in the winter of 1966–1967 to bring up to date the views obtained in the earlier inquiry. These consultations covered both the social and economic aspects of a change.
Views were obtained from about 80 organisations, including those representing both sides of industry and agriculture, teachers, local authorities, sporting interests, the police, the Consumer Council and various women's organisations. It is as a result of these consultations that this Measure is being introduced. It was clear that there had been a substantial shift of opinion, with a mounting desire for a change, particularly for social reasons.
§ Mr. W. H. K. Baker (Banff)
Were the consultations in England paralleled by consultations with similar bodies in Scotland?
§ Mr. Ennals
Yes, indeed. I shall deal deal thoroughly with the consultations in Scotland. There were probably more organisations consulted in Scotland, as I shall mention.
Broadly representative groups of organisations were consulted. I emphasise that not only because of the hon. Gentleman's question but because the hon. and learned Member for Buckinghamshire, South (Mr. Ronald Bell), when we were debating the Summer Time Order last July, suggested that the sole reason for the Government's decision was the commercial advantage it would bring by enabling people in Britain to work to the same time schedule as those on the Continent. This is, I believe, a common view, but it is quite misconceived. It was one factor only—though an important one—in favour of the change. There is no doubt that the change should benefit our commercial transactions with the Continent, and bring solid benefits by way of increased exports to the E.E.C. and E.F.T.A. countries. There could hardly be a more important time to undertake this Measure when the battle for exports is at the centre of our country's economic struggle.
293 We estimate that the gain in business contact hours during the winter would be as much as 20 per cent. The Confederation of British Industry and the Association of British Chambers of Commerce were among those consulted on this aspect, and comments were also offered by the National Export Council and the London Commodity Exchange. The general consensus of opinion was strongly in favour of the change we are now making.
Permanent co-ordination of time between the United Kingdom and Europe will also provide greater convenience in travel and in business arrangements generally. It will be an advantage to the airlines, not only in simplifying the task of preparing time-tables but in harmonising their schedules with the continental operators. It will help the railways in much the same way, and it should be of considerable benefit to the ports, particularly those such as Dover—my constituency—and others dealing with the Continent. I shall have more to say later on the question of road accidents, which is primarily a human and social problem. But it is manifest that transport undertakings in general will benefit from the change, and so—if only marginally—will the tourist industry.
But I have no wish to overpitch the economic arguments. We have found that, considering the whole economic aspect, the advantages and disadvantages are pretty evenly matched. It is a matter of delicate judgment. We cannot dispute that there will be some difficulties, though they are sometimes exaggerated. The outdoor industries—agriculture and construction—will certainly be affected. We believe that there is a tendency to underestimate what can be done through changes in working hours. Farm work itself is changing and mechanisation and modernisation provide more scope now for work in conditions of cold and darkness than was the case even a few years ago. It is perhaps partly for this reason that the opposition of the National Farmers' Union is discernibly less strong than it was in 1960, and it is of significance that the National Union of Agricultural Workers now approves of what we propose.
The effect on the fuel industry, we are advised, will be neutral, except that as regards electricity generation there will be a shift of much of the peak load from 294 the late afternoon to the morning. In fact, the morning peak may well become larger than the afternoon peak is at present. But this should not now give rise to any significant problems. It certainly did in 1960, but it will not do so now since by next winter there should be ample generating capacity to cover any small excess.
§ Captain Walter Elliot (Carshalton)
What does the hon. Gentleman mean by his reference to the late afternoon peak? What time is he contemplating, six o'clock or four o'clock?
§ Mr. Ennals
The peak starts at the time when it gets dark and it is clear that if one brings the timing much earlier, there will be a bigger peak in the morning than in the evening, because when people get home from work and children come home from school, they are more likely to come home in the hours when it is light. This is more so as one moves towards February and March and also in October and November.
§ Mr. Quintin Hogg (St. Marylebone)
I am not sure that I understand that part of the hon. Gentleman's observation. Before the equinox the more the hour is put forward the earlier darkness falls. After the equinox the opposite must be true in a sense because of course one gradually gets to a period when on any view there will be light. How can what the hon. Gentleman has just said be true about the period before the equinox?
§ Mr. Ennals
Certainly during the middle of winter—and people are most concerned about the change during the middle of winter—it is quite clear that we shall be getting up when it is darker and therefore using more electricity in the morning, and there will be less electricity used in the end of the afternoon and in the early evening. That is confirmed by the electricity industry which has been studying this matter.
§ Captain W. Elliot rose——
§ Mr. Ennals
I must proceed. No doubt the hon. Gentleman will catch Mr. Speaker's eye and be able to develop his argument.
There was concern about this situation in 1960, but we are now quite satisfied 295 that there will be ample generating capacity to deal with any small excess. Nor will industries' costs and the average price to the consumer be significantly affected.
Had we relied solely on economic considerations, it would have been less easy to reach the conclusion we have reached. The Government would probably still have concluded that the change was desirable, but the decision would have been fine. This is not solely, however, nor perhaps primarily, an economic issue. There can be few issues which more directly affect every individual in the country, working or retired, in his or her domestic or social habits.
We were surprised in the course of our social review to discover how far the balance of opinion has swung in favour of change. There were no doubt many differing factors contributing to this, but I propose particularly to mention two, about which, it appears, there is still a good deal of misunderstanding, which I would like to remove.
It seems to be fairly commonly believed that the change will increase the danger of road accidents. In fact, taking morning and evening together, it should lead to more travel in daylight and to less in darkness than under the present system, even on the least favourable assumption that the traffic will not adjust itself in any way. There are, of course, other considerations—more ice and fog in the mornings, greater travel weariness in the evenings—but the best expert assessment we have is that the reduction of accidents in the evening will be somewhat greater than any increase in those in the morning.
The Road Research Laboratory's assessment was that, had British Standard Time been in force in 1964, there would have been about 580 extra fatal and serious accidents on weekday working mornings and about 870 fewer such accidents in the evenings. This, together with fewer weekend accidents gives an estimate of 390 fewer fatal and serious accidents. It is the view of R.O.S.P.A., the British Medical Association and the police that the new time will reduce road accidents, and this is a serious consideration.
When we talk about road accidents, we naturally think of our children. The 296 House will, therefore, be interested to know that all the principal teachers' organisations in England and Wales support the change, as do most of the education authorities. They consider it preferable for our children to go to school rather than come home in the dark, when they tend to loiter and when they may be exposed to a variety of dangers.
§ Mr. Thomas Steele (Dunbartonshire, West)
My hon. Friend has spoken of education authorities in England and Wales; has he any report to give about Scotland?
§ Mr. Ennals
If my hon. Friend will be patient, I shall deal especially with Scotland where, it is recognised, there are serious problems.
§ Mr. John Tilney (Liverpool, Waver-tree)
Will the hon. Gentleman point out that local education authorities have the power to shorten luncheon breaks so that children can go home earlier?
§ Mr. Ennals
This is a matter which has been discussed particularly with education authorities in the North of England and it is under review in Scotland. The changing of the timing of school, whether by shortening the luncheon break or by a slightly later starting, is something to be decided by the local authority. Our discussions with chief education officers in the North have shown that this is something very much in their minds.
Hon. Members will not dispute that the change will have advantages for all outdoor sport, entertainment and leisure time activities, although it is true that in the depths of winter these advantages may be apparent only at weekends. Even so, on the shortest day in Glasgow the sun will not set until a quarter to five instead of, as at present, a quarter to four. This should enable father to take the family for a run in the oar or for a walk after lunch without having to rush back quickly because of the fading light. Daylight up to a quarter to five in Glasgow, and till nearly five o'clock in the South, should be a boon to the housewife and to the old-age pensioner in their afternoon activities; and earlier in the winter, and as the days draw out in February and March, the same benefits 297 will be enjoyed by many office and factory workers who are deprived of them now.
Opponents of this change are all too prone to concentrate exclusively on the winter solstice and close their eyes to all benefits both then and more particularly in the earlier and later winter months. This, no doubt, is debatable ground which hon. Members will discuss. What I can say, however, is that in England aid Wales the change had clear majority support among every single section of opinion whom we consulted on its social implications—the Trade Union Congress, the local authority associations, the Consumer Council, the Women's Royal Voluntary Service, the sporting interests, and many others.
In Scotland, where winter daylight is shorter and dawn comes later, opinion was understandably more divided, but we ware surprised at the degree of support there, too. While the local authorities, educational authorities and teachers' organisalions were in general, although by no means unanimously, against the change, the Scottish Trade Union Congress and the Scottish Office of the Confederation of British Industry, were as categorically in favour of it as their English counterparts. So, too, were certain of the women's organisations, such as the Scottish W.R.V.S. and the Townswomen's Guild. What I said earlier about school children must apply particularly in Scotland, but I repeat that any difficulties can almost certainly be reduced by an alteration of school hours.
§ Mr. James Ramsden (Harrogate)
Is the distinction that the hon. Gentleman seeks to draw between Scotland and the rest of the country really valid? It depends on the latitude. Things in the North of England are every bit as difficult as things in the South of England. When he talks about opinion in England and Wales, the hon. Gentleman ought really to analyse matters in the North and in the South. It seems to be very material to the argument.
§ Mr. Ennals
That is absolutely true, and it is also true that the division is not so much a geographical one as occupational. It has been found that business, office and industrial workers in England, Scotland and Wales are in favour of the change but there are greater 298 doubts among the country folk, the farm folk and those involved in building operations in England or Scotland. Naturally there is a greater sense of concern about this change where the hours of daylight are less.
No one will doubt that we have not just been consulting the wishes of London and the South-East about this. We have consulted those people in Scotland and the North-West. As I indicated earlier, proportionately more bodies were consulted in Scotland than England and Wales. I am told that is not an uncommon practice. I have no wish whatever to discount the geographical considerations, which are most important. Occupational considerations are more important.
A matter which seems to have aroused much interest and some feeling is the name for the new time system. Hon. Members will recollect that when the Government's intention to introduce legislation to bring about this change was announced the right hon. and learned Member for St. Marylebone (Mr. Hogg) asked whether further consideration could be given to the name. This was done and over a hundred suggestions were received from hon. Members, the general public, the Press and various organisations They were all carefully considered and there was also consultation with those concerned with astronomy, meteorology, shipping and navigation In the end the choice of British Standard Time has been made There has been some objection to this choice in the Press and in another place when the Bill was first considered This has, it seems, come mainly from the specialists concerned with astronomy, and navigation, on the ground that the name will cause confusion through the specialist and technical meaning which the term "standard time" has acquired.
We have given all due weight to these opinions but it must be remembered that we are not legislating here for specialists but for the general public, the man in the street. There is an evident, general wish, firstly for the word "British" to be in the title. Secondly, the word "Standard", I think the House will agree, indicates clearly and concisely the object of the measure, which is to prescribe the time for general purposes.
There can be no justification for suggesting that in making this choice we are 299 in any way detracting from the unique world-wide status of Greenwich Mean Time. On the contrary, the special position and uses of Greenwich Mean Time have been preserved in the Bill, as it deals with astronomy, meteorology, navigation and kindred subjects.
It is not, I am sure, necessary with so short and concise a measure to give the House any explanation or resumé of its provisions. I should perhaps mention that Clauses 2 and 3 apply the measure to Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, in accordance with their wishes. Since the subject is within their own jurisdiction, they are at the same time given power to replace it by enactments of their own. Our understanding is that none of the territories wishes to do anything different from Great Britain, but certain of them do wish to enact their own legislation.
We are naturally preoccupied at present with the economic condition of the country, but we must not allow ourselves on this account to be distracted from lesser but nevertheless important reforms, such as this. Of course there will be difficulties for some people in this change. No one would try to pretend that this is not so. Parliament can very rarely legislate to please everyone, and the Government believe that for the country as a whole this is a beneficial Measure and that it will find support from the majority of our population. I ask the House to follow the action of those in another place, thereby placing this Measure upon the Statute Book.
§ Mr. Speaker
Perhaps I had better announce to the House that I have not selected the Amendment standing in the name of the hon. and learned Member for Buckinghamshire, South (Mr. Ronald Bell) and his hon. Friends. That will not in any way cramp the debate.
§ 7.38 p.m.
§ Mr. Ronald Bell (Buckinghamshire, South)
If the speech to which we have just listened, glowing and confident as it was throughout, had been the prospectus for a trading company, the hon. Gentleman's Department would have been very much concerned about it. I do not think that one could have discerned from that speech, delivered as I am sure it was in the utmost good faith, that there is deep and widespread doubt, and outright op- 300 position to the proposition contained in this Bill.
The first question that one asks oneself when faced with a Bill like this is: why has it been brought forward at all? When I put in my notes that the first reason really was what I called the extrapolationist view of progress—that is that all change is progress and that if one has Summer Time for half the year, then to have it the whole year is more progress—I thought that I was being a little bit lawyer-like. Any doubts that I had about that have been entirely dissipated by the hon. Gentleman's speech.
The speech made by his colleague the noble Lord, Lord Stonham in another place included a quotation from Dr. Philpots in 1907 who advocated this. He said:…it has taken us some sixty years to adopt his idea.This is accepting, of course, by a simple glide of thought, that this must be progress because someone suggested it and now it was being adopted. Another distinguished supporter of the Bill has described this as:…an inevitable development of what has taken place over the last sixty years."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, House of Lords, 23rd Nov., 1967; Vol. 286, c. 1192.]Today the hon. Gentleman said that the old time system established in 1884— that is enough to damn it—has become less suited to our needs and he described the Bill as the culmination of a long process, and said the time had come for a change.
He finished by calling it a reform. There are all the famous code words which replace thought in a matter like this. The next reason given for this, in spite of all the disclaimers from the hon. Gentleman, is the belief, encouraged by the terms employed and generally held in the corners of some people's minds, that this sort of Bill will produce some extra daylight.
Lord Stonham in another place, quoting this Dr. Philpots, who appears to be the cornerstone of this operation, quoted him as saying that better than Mr. Willett's summer time.…would be for all Western Europe to adopt what is known as 'middle Europe time'. This would result in giving that part of the world one hour's more daylight during a substantial part of the year…301 The right hon. Lady the Minister of State, in the debate upon the Summer Time Order, in July, said:This extra hour of daylight in the five weeks from February to the end of March…"—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 21st July, 1967; Vol. 750, c. 2692.]Therefore, however much people disclaim it, there lurks in the minds of many of them the belief that some extra hours of daylight will result from this operation.
The third reason is what I call the death wish, which is that anything British is due for the ditch, that anything specifically British must be anomalous, insular and, indeed, retrograde, so that Greenwich Mean Time is inevitably due for supersession in the same way as duodecimal systems of measurement. This was epitomised in a quite remarkable utterance by Sir Richard Powell of the Institute of Directors, who said:We have been out of step for years. It is about time we abandoned this insular attitude and conformed with the rest of Europe.The fourth reason is the "into Europe" movement—the Common Marketeers. It is true that Lord Stonham, when introducing the Bill, denied this and said:My Lords, it is not true that the Government's decision to adopt permanent Summer Time has been dictated by what might be termed Common Market considerations.… this is only one factor in the equation, to which due weight has been given, but no more ".—[OFFICIAL REPORT, House of Lords, 23rd Nov., 1967; Vol. 286, c. 1182–40.]I will not comment on that, at any rate at present, but I have no doubt that this has been the principal lobby in favour of the Bill.
Then there is the question of business advantage, about which we have heard a good deal, and, in a sense, I am glad that we have. During the Minister's speech, I collected one delightful phrase, which was that there would be a 20 per cent, advantage in business contact hours brought about by the Bill. That is a delightful expression which I should like to unbutton. I wonder what it means. Am I right in thinking that it means nothing other than advantage in telephoning? [Interruption.] I am obliged for that reassurance. It sounds so much more impressive when it is called "business 302 contact hours". No doubt it has come from America via a business consultant.
The final reason—and this is what the hon. Gentleman leant on more than anything else—concerns the allegation of public support, the great shift of ideas. One shift which there has been is that in 1960 the Government consulted 180 organisations. Last year, they consulted 80, a drop of 100. I wonder whether those were the unfriendly ones. In any case, is it a useful operation to ask organisations questions like this? All sorts of things happen. Such questions are dealt with in the most haphazard way. The answers which I saw given in the Press were just on the lines of the five items which I have just mentioned. Words like "overdue" were used. There were such phrases as, "It is time we got into step with Europe, if we are going into Europe"—and, by the way, we are apparently. "Extra daylight would be useful". "There will be business advantage in telephoning". I have recounted those because they exhaust the motives which have prompted the introduction of the Bill.
The burden of refuting these grounds does not lie on those who oppose the Bill, because we are defending the established system—established in this country and by international agreement. But I will deal with them quite shortly as though the burden lay upon us.
The first—and it is hardly necessary to say it—is that not an extra second of daylight can be produced by any such measure as this. Secondly, in considering progress and the question of being modern, the true analysis is that if we live on a globe and our life is regulated by the apparent movement of the sun across the sky round that globe, we have a problem of computing time which we can resolve in two ways: first, by having a single world time and by doing different things in different parts of the world at the same time; and, secondly, by having time belts so that eight o'clock, for example, has the same general and social meaning everywhere, but clocks change as one goes round the world.
The first is logically possible, but it has always been generally rejected. In a leading article in The Times on 2nd October, 1884—perhaps I can have the attention of the Minister; I suppose that "no" is the answer to that rhetorical question— 303 when amid the welter of chaos in this matter the nations of the world decided to examine it fundamentally and reach a decision this was said:…no international standard could be adopted without complete disruption of the ideas which are now universally associated with this or that much o'clock.…It is manifest that each country must still use its own meridian, or some selective meridian within is limits, for the regulation of domestic time".This view wholly prevailed during the International Prime Meridian Conference which ran through the rest of that month in Washington. No one saw any sense in the clocks striking together all round the world.
On the next question—that of deciding the optimum size of time belt—there was general consensus that time belts one hour or 15 degrees of longitude wide were the best solution, and so, by agreement among virtually all the civilised nations, a system of 24 time belts, 15 degrees wide, based on the Greenwich meridian was recommended. It was adopted by the world and has been used ever since.
I emphasise that the system then adopted was not merely that the time used should be based on Greenwich Time in the sense that it should differ from it by a whole number of hours, but also that the time used should be the time of the appropriate zone. It is from that system that we are, by the Bill, asked formally and permanently to depart. I cannot see that that is progress. It was progress to replace chaos by an ordered and generally agreed system. Is it not retrograde to slip back into anarchy and chaos? If three or four in the regiment fall out of step, is the regiment out of step with them, and should we conform with the renegades; or should not they return to the general and useful system?
§ Mr. Ennals
Would not the hon. and learned Gentleman agree that if there has been deviation we have been deviating for 51 years? Has this led to chaos and confusion throughout the last half century?
§ Mr. Bell
The hon. Gentleman has evaded the obvious point. I did not like the partial deviation, but at least it was a seasonal variation from the accepted standard time of the zone. What is 304 proposed now is something quite different: the total abandonment of zone time and the adoption of zone minus one Central European Time as the proper permanent time of these islands. It is, therefore, a clear departure from the Convention of 1884.
Then, what about the European Community? That is the motive which underlies all this. We are not in it, and we do not seem to be on our way into it. If we were, would it have any relevance? The answer is, "None".
When 15 degree belts of one hour each were agreed, they were agreed by reference to the greatest variation in local apparent noon which could be tolerated without a divorce in social habits from the familiar hours of the clock. That was the test and the criterion internationally agreed, accepted and applied. It was obvious that 15 degree belts would mean that a large country would work by more than one time and that several small countries might use the same time.
When I asked the Home Secretary some time ago why Europe should find difficulty where the United States found none, he replied that it was absurd to compare Europe with a country 3,000 miles wide. I wonder why. Europe is 3,300 miles wide, stretching over 57 degrees of longitude and into five time belts. By a strange coincidence, the United States also extends over 57 degrees of longitude and has four main time belts. Americans seem to manage very well and to do a lot of business with each other, and I think that they would laugh to scorn the proposition that they should all use the same clock time.
The proposal is that Britain should use time appropriate to a meridian which runs east of Berlin and is intended to be convenient for the inhabitants of Warsaw and Belgrade. It is misleading to say that it is the same time as France, because France is already in breach of the system. But France can at least say that she extends to 8½ degrees east and is partly in the Central European Time zone, whereas the United Kingdom lies almost entirely west of the meridian of Greenwich and a very small part of it is actually in the next zone time west. Since that is our geographical position, since we are the fulcrum of the whole system and since there are only a few rogue elephants, with 305 the rest of the world conforming to it, it is particularly disgraceful for us to abandon our zone time in this way.
How is this extraordinary step justified? We are told that we shall get an extra hour of daylight in the evening, and extra contacts of 20 per cent, with Europe. Let us look at the context of the 20 per cent., first. What does it mean? The executive comes into his office at 10 o'clock, sometimes. If the hon. Gentleman thinks that telephone wires to Paris, Berlin and Milan are humming with important business calls at 9 o'clock, I ask him to accept that he is mistaken. What will happen if we introduce Central European Time in the winter? Does he think that business executives will come in in the dark? What will happen is that offices in the City will not open at 9 o'clock but at 9.30, splitting the difference. They will slide half an hour. The executive will arrive not an hour later, as now, but one and a quarter hours later, catching just one train later than at present. In other words, if it is a gain at all, it will be a gain of 15 minutes.
What is the strength of the argument? Supposing that the kind of people who make international telephone calls come in at 10 o'clock. There is one hour's difference. Let us say that they work from 10 to 5. That gives them seven hours. Is this really a matter of very serious importance when one reflects that a good many people want to telephone the United States of America, where the difference is five hours? If the difference is increased to six hours, then, to adopt the hon. Gentleman's splendid phrase, which I shall never forget, of "business contact hours", does he realise that there will be virtually none between Britain and the United States or, at best, one? When one balances that out, I am not sure that I see very much advantage.
Now I come to the hour at night and the hour in the morning. This is the most fatuous argument ever addressed to the House. Does the hon. Gentleman know that there is frost and sometimes fog and often both together in our winter mornings? Does he know that the hour around sunrise is the worst for both of them? Of course, he does. Why, then, is he proposing that sunrise should be made later? Does he know, for example, that if this Bill comes in, sunrise may be as late as 10 o'clock in Scotland, and not just in Caithness and 306 Sutherland but in the central Lanarkshire belt running right across the country? As one comes south, it is still very late. Even in the latitude of London it will be at about 9 o'clock.
The hon. Gentleman said that school children will be able to come home in daylight. I do not know what teachers' organisations he has consulted. Perhaps I have a little more immediate experience than the hon. Gentleman. Does he not know that all children under 11 come home at 3.30, in daylight, in the winter months? If the teachers' organisations told him something different from that, they told him nonsense. At present, they come home in daylight and they go to school in daylight.
If the Bill is passed, they will go to school in the dark, and they will come home in daylight, as they do now. There is bound to be an increased danger. The darkness in which they will go to school is the darkness of the morning rush hour. Whether they come home now in the dark or in daylight, it is not in the rush hour, even at 4 o'clock, and, though it might be getting dark in the north of England, it is not the rush hour. They will be going to school in the dark, perhaps in frost and fog, and in the morning rush hour. If that does not lead to more children being killed and injured, I shall be delighted, but astonished.
Let us remember that we had a taste of this during the war, for five years. Particularly during the two cold winters of 1940 and 1944, it was a most disagreeable experience and, even before the war ended, in October, 1945, we abandoned it, and went back to Greenwich time for the winter.
The nature of this operation is very simple. The Government have decided that we ought to get up an hour earlier. They do not want to change the time system, in spite of the fine phrases with which the hon. Gentleman introduced the Bill. They will not change to a world time, or anything like that. They will keep to the time system at present established but, by introducing Central European Time, they hope that everyone will get up an hour earlier and do the things that they do now one hour earlier. My short answer is that it is a lot of nonsense and will not work, because people are regulated in their lives by the sun. In summer, it does not matter, because 307 there is a lot of elbow room on both sides and time can be pushed round a little. In winter, it will not happen.
Strangely enough, the hon. Gentleman said that when people looked at the difficulties he thought that there was a tendency to under-estimate what can be done by changing hours of work. If this problem is resolved by people changing hours of work, he might as well have saved himself the trouble of introducing the Bill, because he will finish up where he started.
If the Bill goes through—as I am sure it will—everything will just move along. It will take about five years, but it will move along and we can come back to the House and say, "Let us go back to zone time. Everybody will do the same things at the same time, but we will go back to Greenwich Mean Time as before." It is probably the only way in the end in which we could ever get rid of Mr. Willis, which is what I have always wanted to do, and that will be a slight solace. However, the trouble is that in the first few years, if it lasts so long, there will be great hardship and danger brought about by this foolish Bill.
I hope, after one bad winter, that it will go into limbo and be forgotten. If it is not, after a number of people have been killed and injured, we shall drift back to doing things an hour later and the whole thing will be a nullity and can be cancelled.
This is just the sort of Bill that I expect to be brought in by that lot of conscious and purposive planners opposite. It is just about their level and it will finish up, as all their other plans have finished up, as publishers' remainder like the National Plan. I have no hope that we shall defeat the Government, but I hope that the House will register a protest which will show that at least some hon. Members on this side have sufficient independence of mind to know sugar from sand when they see it.
§ 8.2 p.m.
§ Mr. Eric S. Heffer (Liverpool, Walton)
I have one or two comments to make on the speech of the hon. and learned Member for Buckinghamshire, 308 South (Mr. Ronald Bell). I found his speech rather like the curate's egg—good in parts and bad in parts. I agree that there is certainly deep and widespread doubt about this new Measure, but I reject completely that the Bill is being introduced because of a preoccupation with getting into the Common Market. Under the present circumstances that was hardly a justified remark to make about the introduction of the Bill.
I am not opposing the Bill in principle, but I want to draw attention to the fact that it can have very serious effects on the building and construction industry.
The noble Lord, Lord Stonham, Minister of State, when introducing the Bill in the other place, said very much the same as my hon. Friend has said this evening. The noble Lord said:If we consider the whole of the economic field—including effects on productivity and the consumption of fuel and power no less than communications and transport—the general conclusion that emerges is that the advantages and disadvantages of the change will be pretty evenly balanced. We would not dispute, for instance, that it will cause some difficulties to the outdoor industries of agriculture and construction, though less than has often been supposed."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, House of Lords, 23rd November, 1967; Vol. 286, c. 1184.]
§ Mr. Ennals
Would my hon. Friend accept that when the noble Lord was saying that it was evenly balanced, he was speaking only of the economic considerations and not the social considerations which, as he said, were by no means evenly balanced?
§ Mr. Heffer
I have quoted the economic part of his speech as a matter of fact. I agree that in that particular passage he was talking about the economic advantages and disadvantages. The point was that the noble Lord was speaking, as my hon. Friend was this evening, on behalf of the Government.
The difficulties, which were brushed aside, have been much too lightly passed over. It is all very well saying that there will be some difficulties in the building and construction industry without analysing what those difficulties are likely to be. I looked at the speech of the noble Lord in the other place and subsequent speeches supporting the Bill and, I must say, speeches opposing it, but very few of them referred to the construction industry. 309 There was no real analysis of what was likely to happen in that sphere.
In the first place, during the winter months the building worker begins his work at eight o'clock—I have worked in the building industry—but, as a matter of fact, he cannot begin at eight o'clock in the morning because it is not possible. It is about quarter past eight before he can actually begin work, because it is then just becoming light. If the Bill is brought into operation it will become quarter past nine before the building operative can begin his work. I know the answer will be that light must be provided, that we must ensure that there is s sufficient artificial light provided on building contracts to make certain that the building operative can begin work at eight o'clock.
We are not talking about factories; we are talking about building operations outside. I agree that artificial light can be provided, particularly on the larger contracts, but even on the larger contracts we have to look at the real situation. It would be very difficult to provide sufficient light so that every part of a building could be lit up to give the worker safety in relation to his operations.
If anyone has ever stumbled around at seven storeys high in the middle of winter on a scaffold, he knows that there is not much pleasure in it and there is certainly a great deal of danger involved.
I have worked in the building industry under artificial light when we have at times been engaged on contracts half way through the night trying to get work done by a certain time. The point is that although one might be able to light up a ladder and parts of a scaffold, there is the danger of falling bricks and tools on a building site which can become much more dangerous at night. During the day an operative can see them coming and take the necessary action to get out of the way fairly sharply. This cannot happen at night or during periods of darkness. Therefore, the safety factor is much more serious in the dark than it can possibly be during the light hours.
§ Mr. John M. Temple (City of Leicester)
The hon. Member has been talking about the safety factor. Would not he care to add that the coldest hour is fie hour before drawn and this proposal 310 will add to the frost dangers that the building workers will face?
§ Mr. Heffer
This is perfectly true.
I want to draw attention to something else concerning artificial light. I accept that we can make certain that a large contractor has sufficient artificial light on his jobs. But what about the small builder? This was a point made by my hon. Friend. He said that industrial costs will not be significantly affected. I am sure that is true in most industries, but it is not true in the building industry, because the provision of artificial lighting and other things concerning safety and so on will put up the cost. The small builder would, therefore, find it very difficult on small contracts to provide sufficient light.
What about house repair work? The chap at the end of the street who puts the tiles back on people's houses after a storm, does a little bit of plumbing for them, and so on, will find it very difficult to provide the sort of lighting that will be required.
The difficulty that is likely to arise in the building industry is that some of the workers will be able to work from 8 o'clock, provided that there is sufficient artificial lighting, while others will not be able to start work then. It will mean building operatives starting work at different times, with all the difficulties about national agreements that this is likely to cause.
There is another factor which we must consider. If a number of building operatives go to work at 9 o'clock, it will mean that they will finish work an hour later than they do now. They will have to go to work at the same time as office workers, which will make the roads even more congested at that hour of the day than they are now, and they will return home under similar conditions.
What about the building operative who will get home an hour later than he does now? Many building workers travel long distances to their place of employment. I remember having to travel for about an hour and a quarter each way, morning and evening, which meant that I spent between two and a half and three hours travelling every day. If a worker finishes work at 6 o'clock, and if he has a long journey, he may get home at about 7.30 311 This is the wrong end of the day for him for leisure purposes. He does not want to spend an extra hour in bed in the morning. He wants to have an extra hour at home in the evening with his family. One must consider, too, the delivery of materials for the building industry. Great efforts are being made to get materials delivered first thing in the morning so that work can begin immediately. If work is not to begin until 9 o'clock, this factor, too, will help to increase congestion on the roads.
Although the majority of opinion is in favour of a change, and I agree that it will be beneficial from a commercial point of view, I think that there are other factors which must be considered. I thought that the speech of the hon. and learned Member for Buckinghamshire, South, who has just left the Chamber, was an indictment of the executives in industry. If they are concerned about getting orders from Europe, they should get up a little earlier and make their telephone calls a little earlier. They do not have to go to work at 10.30 They can get up at 7 o'clock, the hour at which most workers set off to work.
§ Mr. Heffer
It would be better if they made their telephone calls earlier than that, because we might then have a better export record than we have now. I do not think that the hon. and learned Gentleman's argument is a serious one.
This is a good Bill in the sense that it will be beneficial economically, but there are real difficulties which have to be faced. I have been in touch with representatives of the N.F.B.T.O. and the employers. Discussions are going on about this matter. I suggest that the Bill should be operated for a trial period. Let us see precisely what happens. Let us see whether the difficulties which will arise in building and agriculture can be overcome. If they can be, all well and good.
§ Sir Spencer Summers (Aylesbury)
Has the hon. Gentleman overlooked the fact that this system was tried during the war, 312 and that despite the experience then it was decided to abandon it?
§ Mr. Heffer
I do not think that wartime experience is necessarily the same as that which we would have now. Let us have the Bill for a trial period. Let us see whether the genuine difficulties, not the artificial ones which have been put forward today, can be overcome. If they can be, the case for the Bill will have been proved, and we can go on from there. If they cannot be, the Bill can be dropped, and we can revert to the present system.
My hon. Friend said that he thought road accidents would be reduced. It is very easy to quote figures to prove anything. My hon. Friend may be 100 per cent, right, I do not know, but I do know that if building operatives begin work in the dark great difficulties will arise. As the hon. Member for the City of Chester (Mr. Temple) said, the hour before sunrise is the worst hour of the day, and there will be an increase in the number of accidents in the building industry. The present level of accidents is scandalous enough. There are far more than there ought to be, and this is one of the real problems in the industry. Road accidents may decrease, although I doubt it, but I am convinced that accidents in the building industry will increase unless there are many more safeguards than there are at the moment.
I ask my hon. Friend to take note of the serious points that I have raised. I have not raised them frivolously. I have raised them because I am an ex-building operative, and in this sense I must declare an interest in the matter. I am concerned about the lives of building operatives, and the conditions under which they work. I am sure that they will be seriously affected once the Bill comes into operation.
§ 8.18 p.m.
§ Mr. Michael Noble (Argyll)
A number of hon. Members want to take part in the debate. I shall therefore try to keep my speech short and, I hope, to the point.
I listened with great interest and attention to what the hon. Member for Liverpool, Walton (Mr. Heffer) said about the problems of the building industry. I would like in the first part of my speech to follow what he said by explaining 313 some of the difficulties which will arise in other industries where people have to work out of doors, and of which I have personal experience.
The Minister made it clear, and repeated it both on his own account and, as it were, quoting his noble Friend in another place, that economically the pluses and minuses of this operation were closely balanced. If this is so, I find it difficult to understand why the C.B.I, and ether people are wildly in favour of it, because if they are equally balanced one might have thought that their view was equally balanced, too.
But whether that is so or not, the Minister said that it was not so much a difference between one part of the country and another as between one kind of worker and another. He explained that the people who were most in favour of this change were office workers. God bless them. I do not mind in the least if they find this convenient, because they have the easiest life in the world. I am prepared to admit that they sometimes travel in crowded trains, but, generally, they move from warm homes to warm offices which are provided with electric lighting and all modern conveniences and it does not matter very much to them whether they start at 5 o'clock in the morning or 5 o'clock in the afternoon. Their working conditions are level, modern and easy.
But the people who matter in an affair of this sort are those whose conditions are totally different because working and travelling circumstances of that kind cannot be provided for them. The hon. Member for Walton spoke of building operatives. I shall say something about farm workers and people who work in forests, quarries, fishing and so on. They form a not inconsiderable proportion of our working community, and, what is more, they are a class of person whom it is becoming harder and harder to keep in the countryside because working conditions in offices are so much easier and more attractive.
If this Government stay in power much longer, before many years have passed 90 per cent, of the population will be in the Civil Service, but no one thinks that that would be an altogether desirable end. If Britain is to be a viable economic unit, we must make conditions 314 reasonably attractive for those who have to work outside. Many shipyards nowadays have far more modern conditions than they had at one time, but a great deal of work still has to be done on a ship outside, and I am sure that much the same picture is to be found in shipbuilding as the hon. Gentleman described in the building industry.
Perhaps, as my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Buckinghamshire, South (Mr. Ronald Bell) said, in a year or two everyone will shift an hour and we shall be back where we started. If so, there is no earthly point in enacting this Bill. But, during the period while that is happening, those who cannot start work at the right time because of the dark hours—workers in forestry, quarrying, agriculture, building and outside work in shipyards—will inevitably finish an hour after everyone else, the office workers, civil servants, and so on have got home. Moreover, as the hon. Gentleman said, many such people have to travel considerable distances to work. As a consequence, they will be an hour late for a good many leisure recreations, television, the cinema or whatever it may be, because such recreations or entertainments are organised to suit the great majority of people. As the Minister said, the great majority are office workers, and they want the change.
In my view, the Government are being stupid and unfair to a very large and important section of the community who already have a harder life than do the office workers who favour the change.
The Minister assured the House that the Government had consultations with as many people as possible, and, towards the end of his speech, he told us that, when the consultations took place in Scotland, a great many more were against the change. He was, naturally, talking of organisations of many kinds. I can tell him that the great bulk of people in Scotland do not even know that it is proposed to make the change, but, when they are told, they do not want it. I have not come across a single person yet who is in favour of it. Perhaps I move in circles rather different from those familiar to the Minister and I talk rather more easily to people in the countryside than he does. But I cannot find anyone who wants the change once he is told 315 what the Government intend to do; and in any case, as I have said, the vast majority have no idea that the Government have it in mind.
§ Mr. Emrys Hughes (South Ayrshire)
Has the National Farmers' Union of Scotland a decided policy on it?
§ Mr. Noble
I would think that extremely doubtful, but, if it has, I suspect that it is almost solidly against, particularly in those parts of Scotland rather different from the areas to which the Minister referred, where livestock is the main product, not arable farming. In arable farming, one can have lights on tractors and one can avoid some of the difficulties if one wishes.
To return to my main theme, in Scotland as a whole we have a much more serious problem than in England south of the Wash. I include a good deal of the north of England when I speak of our problem in having less daylight. Furthermore, we have to travel a great deal further for almost everything than in necessary in England because the distances are far greater. Last week, a Minister told us that the various provisions of the Government's new transport policy were entirely satisfactory for the bulk of the country. Today, we have a Minister saying that total darkness in Scotland till ten o'clock, and in some places till 11 o'clock, is entirely satisfactory to the rest of the country. I assure him that it is not entirely satisfactory to those of us who live in Scotland. It will not be entirely satisfactory, whether this change is tried for one year, as the hon. Member for Walton suggested, for six months, for three months, or for any time the Minister likes.
I am certain that this proposal will be unpopular. It will work against the best interests of Scotland. In a matter of this sort, if the English south of the Wash want it, let them have their own time, and let us keep ours.
§ 8.27 p.m.
§ Mr. Brian Parkyn (Bedford)
I have been most interested in hearing some of the arguments used in the debate, particularly those used by the hon. and learned Member for Buckinghamshire, South (Mr. Ronald Bell). With at least two of the hon. and learned Gentleman's 316 arguments I agree. First, we must not believe that everything that is English is, therefore, wrong and we must automatically conform with other countries. I agree with that very strongly. I am a duodecimalist. I agree also that, after a time, we may well wish to move right away from the idea of having time zones and decide to adopt one time throughout the world.
I say that for this reason. Whenever one travels east or west long distances by air, and one has to do a good deal of it, as I have during the past 20 years, one soon becomes accustomed to not changing one's watch. One finds oneself very muddled if one constantly changes one's watch forward or back two or three hours. One does not know where one is or when breakfast time or lunch time was. One tends to leave the watch alone so that one is living according to one's own time, whatever the local time may be. I suspect that, as more people travel in that way, we shall come round more to the idea of having one time throughout the world, as the hon. and learned Gentleman suggested.
I do not agree with the hon. and learned Gentleman, however, when he argues that, in due course, if we have the proposed new standard time, in common with Western Europe, people will adjust themselves in various occupations until, in the end, things go back to where they were. Some industries and occupations will adjust themselves, but this has been true in other countries —countries where one finds that people live lives not conditioned to the sun time in the same way as our lives are conditioned. There are variations, and they provide some of the diversity one finds.
I sympathise with the views so strongly expressed by my hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool, Walton (Mr. Heffer). I appreciate his great experience of the building industry, but it does not seem to me to be a particularly serious draw back if, with this new legislation, the building industry decided to change its hours. It does not seem to alter the argument if the building industry changes its hours or if the schools change their hours to obviate the problem presented by dark mornings——
§ Mr. Ronald Bell
The suggestion is that schools should change their hours 317 so that the children can go to school in the daylight, but how does the working mother carry out that operation? If she has to go to work an hour earlier in the darkness, she cannot take her child to school an hour later in daylight.
§ Mr. Parkyn
That is a very fair point, end I do not know the answer to it. There may well be some adjustment all the way through.
The overwhelming reason for making this change is the vast volume of traffic and of people between this country and Western Europe. There is a vast traffic every day, with people going backwards and forwards all the time. The traffic is not only in people but in telephones. Anybody involved in this traffic, either as a person seeing people, or with telephones, will be greatly affected and benefited by this move. Even if everyone else were to adjust themselves back to where we are at present, the Measure would be well worth while just for that kind of people and for those greatly concerned with industry. That is why it is supported by a good deal of those in industry. It will benefit them a great deal.
My one concern with the Bill is the name, and here I associate myself with all the able, learned and eminent people who have raised the same point. I can only assume that the name "British Standard Time" was cooked up in order to conform with B.S.T.—British Summer Time—in order to preserve the same initials.
I cannot understand why my hon. Friend should say that, somehow, the word "British" should come into the tide. It is confusing and it will lead to confusion. The nation of Newton, Hadley, Hadley, Hooke, and John Harrison, the nation which almost invented longitude and time measurement, must be very careful not just to be traditionalist but to ensure that the name we use is not specifically tied to England. As the hon. and learned Member for Buckinghamshire, South (Mr. Ronald Bell) pointed out, this Measure quite clearly places us out of our agreed time zone. The reference should be to European Time, West European Time, or something like that. The word "British" should not be in the title.
318 I want to refer to the Republic of Ireland, because those who have stood on the West Clare coast in the summer time and have watched the sun setting at about midnight must understand how dark it will be in the morning if the Republic of Ireland adopts a similar Measure. I feel, again, that because of the vast amount of traffic between the Republic and this country it would be unwise for the Government to consider going ahead with the Measure—and, I think, unfair in these days of internationalism—without considering the matter with the Government of the Republic. I would hope that the Government of the Republic would also adopt this change, but I should like an assurance that our Government have first sought the views of the Government of the Republic of Ireland on a Measure of this kind.
§ 8.34 p.m.
§ Sir Spencer Summers (Aylesbury)
One cannot make a bad Bill better by giving it a better name, nor do I think it a redeeming feature that the Measure is to come into operation on my birthday. We are told that there is very little argument one way or the other on the economic side but that there is overwhelming advantage on the social side. I do not believe either statement. We have heard some very cogent arguments about how the Bill will affect the building industry, and if the facts are as revealed, and I am certain that what has been said is based on sound judgment and experience, the change must have a bad effect on the output of the building industry. It will affect accidents and supervision. My right hon. Friend the Member for Argyll (Mr. Noble) told us about those who work outside. I do not believe that all concerned with farming, be it arable or livestock, will start an hour later and end the day an hour later to overcome the Government's mismanagement. People will not want a different day's schedule, just because they happen to work out of doors, to that of the rest of the community who might live in the next cottage or house, but work in a town.
As a result, there will be anything up to an hour in the morning when those concerned with agriculture cannot do as much as they have been doing. I sought out some information to show what, on average, would be the time of sunrise in 319 London in each of the four winter months, November, December, January and February. It works out as follows: November, 8.20; December, 9 o'clock; January, 8.55; February, 8.15. Those affected—not by the lighting up time, which, except for a very few minutes, is the same in Scotland as in England, and heaven knows why—know that those times will be anything up to 45 minutes or more later in Scotland than they are in London.
Indeed, if the Government had wanted to introduce a Bill which would encourage Scottish Nationalism, they could not have devised one which was more likely to do so and to lead to their insisting that arrangements for Scots should be made by Scots, not leaving such matters to Westminster——
§ Sir S. Summers
We are told, among other things, that the Road Research Laboratory is confident that as many people would not have been killed in 1964 if this timetable proposed in the Bill had been in force. I think this is absolute nonsense. I say that with some feeling, having spent many hours over the last few months investigating the Road Research Laboratory. When I find, for instance, that by improved traffic arrangements, so many million pounds could be saved for the nation and inquire why, I discover that the calculation is based on the proposition that a man's time is worth 18 shillings an hour. This saving of so many hours by speeding up so many vehicles an hour to something rather faster is translated into several millions of pounds on the assumption that every hour saved is calculated at 18 shillings.
The question is, what are people going to do with the time saved? Many will not be able to put it to any good use. Thus, I have no faith in the assertion that fewer lives will be lost because of some mythical calculation based on an unknown formula of the Road Research Laboratory.
In dealing with this matter on a supposedly scientific basis, I am reminded of an incident from the days of steel control during the war. A departmental manager concerned with a particular pro- 320 duct presented the steel controller with the figures upon which a rise in price should be based. The controller said, "I am very busy: what do they show?" He replied, "They show that they deserve £1 a ton increase in price." The controller said, "I have no time to see the figures. Give them 10 shillings." When it all came out in the wash, it was clear that 10 shillings was too much.
Thus, it is possible to be far too scientific in arriving at solutions which require a great deal more common sense than is sometimes applied to them. Now we are told that this change is going to make it easier for travel agents and others to compile schedules, because they will no longer have to allow for the fact that the time in this country differs from that in Europe. If the Government cannot find better arguments than that in support of the Bill, they should withdraw it. The truth of the matter is that the Government do not understand the countryside and its problems.
Reference has been made to the fact that schoolchildren will be going to school in the dark. I am certain that many mothers will be extremely concerned at the risk to their children. I admit that I have had little or no correspondence on the subject, no doubt because the vast majority of people have no idea of what is planned and what will be the consequences of the Bill. However, when they find out, hon. Members who have not taken part in the debate and who have not pointed out the risks and difficulties inherent in the Bill will be blamed for not giving adequate warning at the appropriate time.
At present we have 21 weeks of natural time and 31 weeks of artificial time.
§ Sir S. Summers
If the right hon. Gentleman likes to think of working by the sun artificial, he is welcome to do so. At present we have 21 weeks in accordance with Greenwich Mean Time and 31 weeks of artificial time. It may be that the dividing line between these two arrangements could, with advantage, be changed, so that there were fewer weeks in the winter. I should have thought that four months were ample in which to go by the sun and eight months to go by an artificial hour's difference. This would mean instead of changing the clock in 321 March change it at the end of February, and then there would be only November, December, January and February when Greenwich Mean Time applied.
I am sure that when experience of the Bill comes to be felt next winter there will be far more opposition to the Measure than now exists. When the Minister tells us that the inquiries made in 1960 from various organisations produced relatively little enthusiasm, while six years later there was a great deal more enthusiasm, I strongly suspect that what accounted for that difference was the fact that many people who remembered the experience of this during the war no longer took part in the latter discussions or thought that they were worth-while.
I believe this proposal to be a profound mistake. The right answer would be to reduce the period during which Greenwich Mean Time operates and, if given an opportunity, I shall vote against the Bill.
§ 8 43 p.m.
§ Mr. Emrys Hughes (South Ayrshire)
I am in rather a dilemma about the Bill because of the different arguments that have been adduced from either side of the House. I hope that we will get a clear statement from a Scottish Minister to show exactly how the Measure is likely to affect Scotland.
I am reminded in this discussion of what happened to a Russian friend of mine, Mr. Samuel Marshak, the translator of the poems of Robert Burns into the Russian language. Hon. Members who know the Russian language will be aware that there is no definite article in Russian. My friend, when a student in London, once found himself in Hyde Park without a watch and wanting to know the time. He stopped a nice gentleman coming towards him and asked, "What is time?" The gentleman replied, "Young man, you have asked me a profound philosophical question", and passed by. I rather suspect that some of us have thought that there is an element of philosophical disquisition in all this.
The right hon. Member for Argyll (Mr. Noble), to whom we always listen with interest on these occasions, said that there had not been a great deal of lobbying or interest in the Bill and he mentioned that the Scottish N.F.U. had, as 322 far as he was aware, taken no interest in the Measure.
§ Mr. Ronald Bell
The hon. Member should not say that. My right hon. Friend certainly did not say that. What he said was that, without being certain, he thought the National Farmers' Union was strongly against it.
§ Mr. Hughes
I put the definite question to the right hon. Gentleman. I always listen to him on questions of farming because he is a farmer in Argyllshire, across the Firth of Clyde from the constituency which I represent. I put the definite question, has the National Farmers' Union a policy on this? He said he did not know whether it had or had not. If the National Farmers' Union of Scotland has not an opinion or does not take a definite line on this, I am rather surprised because it has very definite opinions, ideas and policies about everything under the sun.
I cannot remember getting any request from the National Farmers' Union in Scotland to take a particular line on this question, but I represent other sections of workers and I wonder how this change may affect them. How is it likely to affect the miners? I keep very closely in touch with the National Union of Mineworkers of Scotland. They are very assiduous in attending to everything connected with the work of miners. I have not heard an argument about miners similar to the one about the building industry on which my hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool, Walton (Mr. Heffer) spent so much time. I wish to know from the Minister the policy of the National Union of Mineworkers and of the Scottish Trades Union Congress on this matter.
§ Mr. Hughes
And of the N.F.U. If the proposal is to have a great effect on our life, I should like to be informed. So many of the miners may be so accustomed to working in darkness that probably some of them think it will not affect them in any way.
I am an open-minded person. The hon. Member for Aylesbury (Sir S. Summers) asked why this question could not be discussed in Scotland. Why 323 should it not be discussed in Scottish Grand Committee? Then we could have the views of these organisations. I am an agnostic in this matter. I should be convinced by any person who could state authoritatively and definitely the point of view of Scottish organisations on this issue.
§ 8.47 p.m.
§ Mrs. Winifred Ewing (Hamilton)
First as to the name; if we are to have a change to Central European time we should call a spade a spade and call it Central European time. We are adding to the nomenclature. It is complicated enough for laymen. I see no point in using a misleading term. It is just as misleading as calling Scotland England, which has even happened in this debate once already.
The present arrangements are better than the proposals. The proposals mean that for five months, from October to March, it will be dark in the morning instead of at night. I do not think we need sound out many people. It is a perfectly simple proposition. Dawn is later in Scotland. It will not break in some parts of Scotland until 10 a.m. I do not want to repeat all the points about children going to school; they have been made already. I agree with those who have made those points.
I want to make some additional points. First, I predict, basing my prediction on common sense and on observation, that it is against nature to get up in the dark. It is hard enough to get up, anyway. There will be a drop in attendance at work. Many people in business have predicted this to me. Time will tell.
Secondly, it is dangerous to tamper with daylight, because it affects people's character and their cheerfulness. Things are reasonably well arranged as they are. The Bill will make no improvement. Change is not necessarily improvement.
On the question of road accidents, on many winter evenings there is ice, which thaws in daylight hours. In many parts of Scotland where it is very cold for much of the winter, there will be many more road accidents. I base that prediction on a common-sense premise. Did the Road Research Laboratory give overall statistics for the United Kingdom, or did it separate its predictions relating to Scotland? Did the police give overall statis- 324 tics? Policemen to whom I have spoken have not favoured this change. Are the medical statistics overall statistics, or have they been separated for Scotland so that we in Scotland can judge the separate points of view?
I have received 52 letters against the Bill from individuals in Scotland. They have been mostly from the north, from the Highland line upwards. Many letter have been from schoolteachers and from parents. No one to whom I have spoken in my constituency or in Glasgow favours this proposition. Teachers, parents and children in Scotland will not benefit from the Bill. Farmers, of whom there are a few in my constituency, tell me that cows just will not understand Central European time. Agriculture is the largest employer of labour in Scotland. It is vitally important, because it can produce Scotland's basic foodstuffs.
We have already had a full explanation of the effect on the building trade. There is a national housing emergency in Scotland. We now have a disaster. Building is vitally important. Nothing should be done to prejudice it at this time. When other gales come in February and March, as they usually do, I fear that many people may lose their lives in crumbling tenements.
I have read that the C.B.I. favours this change because it is in favour of conformity. I see no future in conformity for its own sake. Italy does not conform. She has altered her time to two hours ahead. Finland does not conform, because she has Eastern European time.
I have read that the view of the trade unions is based partly on two points—first, that there would be extra daylight for returning from work in the evening. They take no account of the situation in Scotland, where many people will inevitably return in the dark, anyway. They take no account of shifts. I do not believe that this is a sensible proposition applied to Scotland. The trade unions' second reason concerned sports facilities. In Scotland in winter football matches tend to be held on Saturday afternoons. If they are held mid-week, the grounds are floodlit.
The Bill may fit the needs of some parts of England. That is not so much my concern. I believe that the majority of people in Scotland are against it, or 325 would be against it if they knew about it. We are in a different geographical position. We are further north and west. Our dawn comes later. Greenwich is already too far east for us, and now we are proceeding to go further east than ever. We already have an economic twilight, please do not put us into a physical one for five months of the year as well.
§ 8.55 p.m.
§ Mr. William Small (Glasgow, Scotstoun)
I have reflected upon some of the contributions to the Bill and I have made my own estimates of the requirements of modern times. I do not think that something should be sanctified simply because it has been in existence for a long time. Naturally this Measure will require a great deal of adjustment. As an industrial worker for many years I know that men have got up in the dark and have worked in the steel works all their lives. This has happened for the last 500 years.
The right hon. Member for Argyll (Mr. Noble) instanced shipbuilders. We now have the introduction of the three-shift system within the shipbuilding industry, and this has shown that people are able to adjust to changes in their working lives. I can see the point about the concern over children and the inconvenience that may be caused through there being longer hours of darkness in school assembly or in the evening. I have seen this myself recently in the area where I lived and felt concerned about the extension.
Clause 1(2) of the Bill deals with:… the construction of any document referring to a point of time in connection with any of those purposes".It is intriguing to look at certain legal points in such documents. Let me give an illustration of what can happen. There is a house for sale, at £600 to start with, in order to attract a large audience. One makes one's bid at one minute past 11— which time is this? Is it British Mean Time or British Standard Time? I notice hon. Members opposite frowning. I know of at least three sales that have taken place when, because one bidder was in time, the auctioneer had to accept the bid although he was expecting three times the price offered in that first bid. I am simply illustrating some of the intriguing 326 facets. The documents speaks of international usage. I should be interested to have an interpretation of such matters. How will this affect me when I go on my annual trip to Sothebys and bid for a Goya? I support the Bill generally, accepting that there have to be adjustments in the community.
§ 9.0 p.m.
§ Mr. W. H. K. Baker (Banff)
One thing that we have missed in this debate was an announcement by the hon. Member for Hamilton (Mrs. Ewing) during her speech as to what will be her party's policy on this Bill. I am sorry that she has left the Chamber now. We will possibly not know for some time what the policy will be. At the same time I was extremely interested in the remarks of the hon. Member for Glasgow, Scotstoun (Mr. Small) and his comments on Goyas and what Goya could do with light. It seems that the Government in bringing this Measure forward have been literally casting around in the dark, looking for light. The Government seem to think that merely altering the time of the clock will in some way conjure up an extra hour. If there is any doubt, let me tell them that that is simply not so.
They have told us that many people when questioned said that they were in favour of the introduction of this legislation, but what the Government have not told us is what prompted them to bring it forward in the first place. To give him his due, the Under-Secretary made out a case, but he made it out on all the wrong grounds. As my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Buckinghamshire, South (Mr. Ronald Bell) said, the next stage will be a shift in working hours so that next year the Government will be introducing a Bill to make Double Summer Time the order of the day. I do not know where this will end.
Summer time, as George Gershwin said, is the time when livin' is easy. The mere fact that we are to get this change of time will not making the livin' any easier for the farmer or farm worker, and it is already a fact that the majority of farmers, certainly in the North of Scotland, start their work in darkness for four if not five months of the year. Such is the climate and such is the farming economy up there that in the course of time they have become adapted to starting work in the dark.
327 However, as my right hon. Friend the Member for Argyll (Mr. Noble) said, the animals which they look after already form a large part of the economy and it will be well nigh impossible for farmers to operate in an economic and proper manner of animal husbandry if the Bill goes forward. It is impossible to alter the farming economy any further. The Under-Secretary spoke of mechanisation and modernisation making the change easier for farming, but I do not agree, if for no other reason than that the Bill will put up agricultural costs, and they are already very high.
He mentioned Glasgow and all his emphasis was on the result of the Bill on the central belt of Scotland. Much of Scotland's population lives a great deal further north. The hon. Gentleman spoke of children going to school in the dark, but in my constituency they already do, for they have to leave for school at 7.30. The Bill will make things even worse. Even now in February and March the children go to school in twilight and when the Bill goes through, for at least six months of the year they will have to go to school in complete darkness. The hon. Gentleman said that the teachers were consulted. All the teachers with whom I have discussed the subject have been absolutely opposed to the Bill. I agree that the ideal answer would be time zones for North and South, but in a small island like this we obviously cannot go in for things of that sort.
The hon. Gentleman said that the islands of Jersey and Guernsey and the Isle of Man would be given power to make their own enactments if they so desired. I was under the impression that this House of Commons had no power whatever to legislate for Jersey, Guernsey, or the Isle of Man. It is a grave effrontery to them to be told that they can make enactments if they like but must otherwise abide by the enactments of this House. I am sure that that is wrong, and perhaps the hon. Gentleman will confirm that when he replies.
§ 9.5 p.m.
§ Mr. George Willis (Edinburgh, East)
I have listened to the debate to try to make up my mind on the merits or demerits of the Bill. Having heard a great deal of the criticism of it, I have not 328 been persuaded. The hon. Member for Banff (Mr. Baker) has just spoken of the difficulties it will create in farming. I cannot follow that argument. You do exactly the same things at exactly the same period of the day. All that is different is the time on your watch. This already happens in agriculture during summer time, and where I come from in Norfolk it was common for people not to change their clocks.
§ Mr. John Farr (Harborough)
May I put it in the simplest possible way to assist the right hon. Gentleman? The point is that in the early winter mornings you go out to look for a herd of cattle or a flock of sheep and you cannot see them in the dark. Your men go wandering all around the fields, or the hills in Scotland, with flashlights, and still cannot find them.
§ Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Sydney Irving)
Order. I hope that the right hon. Gentleman and the hon. Gentleman will use the traditional form of address.
§ Mr. Willis
The hon. Gentleman is not telling me anything about agriculture or about Scotland. He is apparently very ignorant of Scotland. As his hon. Friend said, such work is already done in the dark in the north of Scotland, where darkness extends in the middle of winter from about ten in the morning to three in the afternoon—[Laughter.]—or rather, the other way around, from three in the afternoon until ten in the morning. The hon. Member for Banff knows that quite well. Even in Edinburgh darkness extends from 4 p.m. until 9 a.m. Therefore, what the hon. Gentleman says does not really apply. Farmers are already faced with these difficulties. Where the farmer's difficulties arise is not so much in connection with running his farm but in trying, when he must, to fit his life in with that of people in the community who are acting at different hours.
Having spent a considerable time in Norfolk, I appreciate the difficulties. I well remember when Summer Time was first introduced, the problems when one went to the market town. Probably one had not bothered to change one's clock and one found that the time was different in the town. But Summer Time makes no difference to the operation of farming nor does it make a great deal of 329 difference to many of industry's operations. In Scotland, men already start work in the dark, leaving home at seven and half-past seven in the morning. In Edinburgh it is dark until 8.30 or 9 a.m. in the winter, so that the change does not make a great deal of difference there either. People will have an hour longer of darkness at that end of the day, but as we pass from winter to summer they have the benefit of the lighter hours earlier in the year. That is the point which nobody has made. As we pass from one to the other, so we get the benefit of the longer period of light earlier. The school children will be coming home in daylight much earlier I than they would have been coming home if the Bill had not been introduced.
There has been a considerable amount of opposition for opposition's sake. I can understand this, because we are interfering with long-established personal habits. We get used to getting up at a certain time, whether it is light or not light. We do not like changing our habits. We do not like to be told that we shall have a longer period of darkness in the morning and perhaps a little longer period of light at night. This is an established tradition and we do not like departing from it.
What I should like to know is the opinion of all the representative bodies in Scotland.
§ Mr. Willis
I have not had a single letter in my constituency about the Bill. I have not received one representation from any organisation about the Bill. I do not think that many people in Scotland know that we are discussing it tonight. But I should like to know from the Government more definitely—I understand that my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State said something about this—the opinions of the representative organisations in Scotland. Are they in favour of it? Are they clamouring for it? [Interruption.] I do not think that I shall win or lose a single vote at the next election because of the Bill. Are those organisations which are not opposed to the Bill clamouring for it? Is anybody demanding it?
§ Mr. Willis
I am asking the Government, not the hon. Gentleman. I have great respect for him, but when I ask about the representations which have been made I address my question to the Government and not to him. I have heard no demand for any alteration. Neither have I heard a very strong case against the Bill. Like my hon. Friend the Member for South Ayrshire (Mr. Emrys Hughes), I remain an agnostic in this matter. I am still waiting to be persuaded one way or the other. None of the arguments adduced seems to be very convincing. I should like to hear something much more convincing to enable me to make up my mind about the Bill.
§ 9.13 p.m.
§ Sir Ronald Russell (Wembley, South)
I shall be brief as I know that many other hon. Members wish to speak.
There is one rather surprising thing about the Bill. Until the right hon. Member for Edinburgh, East (Mr. Willis) spoke, nobody, apart from the Under-Secretary of State, was in favour of the Bill. I am not sure whether the right hon. Gentleman is in favour of it.
§ Mr. Willis
I said that my mind was still to be made up. But the hon. Gentleman should not forget my hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow, Scotstoun (Mr. Small): he was in favour of it.
§ Sir R. Russell
The opinion of the House does not seem to reflect the opinion which the Under-Secretary of State said was held in the country.
I should like to ask the Under-Secretary of State some questions about the list of organisations which he said were consulted by the Home Office before the Bill was produced. I have the list before me—at least, the list given to me by the former Home Secretary in answer to a Question on 30th June. There are about 75 of them. The right hon. Member for Edinburgh, East asked about Scottish organisations. I should like to ask about the building trade organisations as building was mentioned by the hon. Member for Liverpool, Walton (Mr. Heffer). There are four of them in the list. They are the Federation of Associations of Civil Engineering Contractors, the National Federation of 331 Building Trade Employers, the National Federation of Building Trade Operatives, and the Winter Building Advisory Committee. I wonder what that Committee thought of it, in particular, but I should like to know what all those organisations thought.
In his answer, the Home Secretary said:The results showed a clear preponderance in favour of the change."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 30th June, 1967; Vol. 749, c. 145.]Could we be told what "a clear preponderance" means? There are 75 organisations listed, and presumably the Government know those who were for, those who were against and, possibly, those who would not express any opinion or who were divided.
The hon. Member for Edinburgh, East asked what was the real motive behind the Bill and who wanted it. I echo that question. I cannot help feeling that there is a sort of Common Market motive behind it, that we want to align ourselves with Europe because we hope to go in, although the hope is slender at the moment.
Mention has been made of telephone traffic, but the proportion of telephone traffic with Europe of all such traffic in the country is exactly 0.11 per cent. I obtained that figure from an answer given by the Postmaster-General on 30th June, when he said that 87 per cent, of the telephone calls made in the country were local, 12.59 per cent, were inland trunk calls, 0.11 per cent, were Continental, and 0.01 per cent, were calls overseas outside Europe. If we are legislating for European telephone calls, they represent a very small proportion of the total number of calls made.
Less than 30 per cent, of our overseas trade is with Europe, and I doubt whether all of that is done by telephone. After all, we have been trading with Europe for years, long before there were such things as continental telephone calls at the price now possible as a result of subscriber trunk dialling. In any event, a business man who has to make a call to France before 9 o'clock in the morning, if he has not left home by that time, can always make the call from his home. Most executives likely to make such telephone calls will have telephones 332 in their homes. I am sure there is a way of getting round the problem without submitting the whole country to inconvenience. I am unconvinced by the arguments in favour of the Bill, and I hope that the House will reject it.
§ 9.18 p.m.
§ Mr. Ted Leadbitter (The Hartle-pools)
The Bill is tremendously important. It will affect the lives of many millions of people. It will affect the habits of a great range of workers and the conduct of our business in the ports, the airline systems, our internal transport systems, and so on. It is possible that it will raise a fairly interesting and, at this stage, perhaps vexing question about the effects upon the generating industry.
The people must accept that it means a very serious change for many of them in their habits and working lives. Nevertheless, we have gained sufficient experience over the years, including the war years and those immediately following, to know the remarkable degree of adaptability of people and that certain benefits flowed from the establishment of Summer Time.
Having said that, it is not important for our people whether the proposed time is known as British Standard Time or Western European Time. The name is irrelevant. Once the proposal becomes an Act of Parliament, what I have said will apply, and it is then that people will do the thinking.
During the course of this debate hon. Members on both sides of the House have asked questions about who has been consulted, to what kind of conclusions they have come, and what is the base upon which the Government have decided to bring the Bill before the House.
In the winter of 1966 some 80 organisations—22 of them in Scotland—were asked to consider this matter. I understand that it has been assesed—and on such a matter I am open to correction—that the range of opinion on this subject then weighed more favourably towards the proposition of this standard time than had persisted in 1960. It was rather interesting to observe that the National Union of Agricultural Workers approved the proposition and that the opposition of the National Farmers' Union was noticeably less than it had been hitherto. It was also interest- 333 ing to note that the Scottish Trades Union Congress was in favour of the proposition and that the Trades Union Congress here was also strongly in favour of it, as was the Confederation of British Industries.
In another place it was stated:And even in Scotland, where, as is understandable, opinion was a great deal more divided than South of the Border, we were surprised at the considerable degree of support to be found.Here, I think, comes an important rider:The local and education authorities in Scotland were generally opposed, though not all of them were; and, as I have just mentioned, the Scottish Trades Union Congress were as much in favour as their English colleagues."—OFFICIAL REPORT, House of Lords, 23rd November, 1967; Vol. 286, c. 1186.]The question now before the House must be: to what extent can we place weight upon this evidence? I suggest that we should take great care about the weight we presume to place upon this kind of evidence. I recall being present at a meeting when I presume the members were discussing questions in connection with this survey, which was the basic cause, as I understand, of the Government favourably bringing forward this Bill. When I observed the members discussing it, to my great surprise I found two matters which worried me. First, they seemed to have very little concern about the consequences of what they were saying; and, secondly, they did not seem to be understanding what they were talking about.
It is only after a Bill like this gets its Second Reading that the country as a whole becomes more sharply concerned with the implications of it. Therefore, I suggest that the Government must not place too much weight upon this survey. They must take into account the concern of the House, because it is at this point that the first impulse of proper, careful scrutiny is being seen to work which is the preliminary of a more national expression of opinion. If that be the case, one of the things I would have liked in the Bill would have been some indication of a temporary measure. There is a proviso here, that a temporary measure will create complications for other people. Diarists and publicists involved with matters relating to calendar and time might find some difficulty on a one-year time base as a temporary experiment. There could be a suggestion of a three-year base, but, whatever base 334 might have been useful as an experiment to enable us to make a proper assessment of the habits of people following the propositions in this Bill, I think that it might have been wiser to have done that.
Having said that, I must tell the House that it is my intention to support the Second Reading of the Bill.—[Interruption.]—I cannot see the point of the right hon. Member for Argyll (Mr. Noble) laughing. He has, quite rightly, courteously listened to an evaluation of the position, and not said very much for or against the Bill. I have tried to analyse its consequences. The right hon. Gentleman's contribution was received as courteously as mine has been so far, but he has let himself down by sniggering like a fool.
§ Mr. Leadbitter
The right hon. Gentleman is not offending me. He is offending against the conduct and habits of the House. I support the Bill because experience over the years has shown that Summer Time has its advantages. Because of the contributions which have been made from both sides of the House, I am certain that the advantages will outweigh the disadvantages.
§ 9.27 p.m.
§ Mr. Quintin Hogg (St. Marylebone)
I thought that the hon. Member for The Hartlepools (Mr. Leadbitter), who in the earlier part of his speech presented a highly intelligible set of arguments, was a little harsh, and even pompous, with my right hon. Friend the Member for Argyll (Mr. Noble) when he showed surprise, and even a little anger, at the mockery which greeted his conclusion. I do not think that it offends against the practice or dignity of the House if one is slightly amused when a speech which appears to be tending in one direction by an almost irresistible process of logic suddenly ends in the opposite conclusion. It is, I think, natural that we should find that funny.
§ Mr. Leadbitter
I do not think the right hon. and learned Gentleman can 335 claim that I spoke against the Bill. On the contrary, I claimed that between 1960 and 1966 opinion had altered in its favour.
§ Mr. Hogg
I thought that the hon. Gentleman's argument tended irresistibly to the conclusion that it was a bad Bill, until at the end he declared his intention to support it. We all know why. I shall not detain the House for very long. I dissociate myself wholly from the real reasoning underlying the hon. Gentleman's speech. This sort of thing, in a civilised assembly, ought not to be a matter for the party Whips at all.
If we really conducted our affairs in a rational way, the House would make up its mind, and the Government would feel no hurt or shame if the House decided against their judgment. The Government of the country would become neither easier nor more difficult if they were beaten. The real reason underlying the hon. Gentleman's speech is that, consciously or unconsciously, he knows that this is a bad Bill, or thinks that it is a bad one, but realises that the Government Whips are on, and that he will have to vote for it or be excluded from party meetings. I assure my hon. Friends that no one will be excluded from the 1922 Committee, whichever way he votes, and the views which I shall express about the Bill should have no weight with them other than the force of logic, if any, which they possess.
The first point to appreciate is that it is purely arbitrary or conventional, whichever one calls it, what figure one puts against the hour when the sun reaches its highest point. One can, as men have done over centuries, call it noon, or one can call it one o'clock. It makes no difference to anyone, provided that all use the same terminology. What does make a difference, however, as the debate has plainly shown, to the convenience of individuals, classes of people and localities is the time at which one gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night in relation to what the sun is doing. The sun is the fact of life. The terminology of the clock is pure convention.
I believe—this is the one point on which I differ somewhat from my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Buckinghamshire. South (Mr. Ronald 336 Bell)—that the institution of Summer Time has proved a success in saving daylight. Saving daylight, we call it, not extending daylight. But this is so because, for 51 years, we have practised an innocent deception on one another. We call the point at which the sun reaches its highest point in the day one o'clock at one part of the year and 12 noon at another part of the year. The reason it saves daylight is that, so long as we call it something different in the different months, people do not change their actual habits.
The logical fallacy underlying the Government's thinking and that of organisations they have consulted which have supported their proposal is their failure to realise that, if we do the same thing throughout the year, the effect on people's habits created by the innocent deception must in the long run disappear. It will no longer be a deception. It will simply be an alteration of the convention under which we were working.
No one knows precisely what governs people's habits, the habits of the farmer, the office worker, the Member of Parliament, the member of a profession, the building trade operative. The total effect of the habits of the population has not yet been fully evaluated. But what we do know is that, by and large, they are the product of infinitely complex natural forces, forces which, as I say, have never been evaluated by any effective method of computation.
Two results can be predicted, however, if we alter the convention throughout the year. The first is that, during a certain period, the balance of the natural forces as they have operated in the past will be to some extent dislocated, and, after a period, the natural forces will resume their natural sway. It was for this reason that I felt that the right hon. Member for Edinburgh, East (Mr. Willis) was not being his usual self in failing to appreciate the argument which fell from my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Buckinghamshire, South. If we do the same thing throughout the year and allow the natural forces to operate, which is what is proposed ultimately, they will in the end resume their force and people will go on operating by the old clock because, throughout the year, they will be operating by a new convention, and the innocent deception, as I have called it, will no longer produce its effect.
337 On the other hand, in the immediate future there will be a good deal of dislocation of the type that was illustrated in one vein by the hon. Member for Liverpool, Walton (Mr. Heffer), who talked about the building trade, and in another vein by my right hon. Friend the Member for Argyll who spoke of outdoor workers, and particularly those in agriculture; and by numerous hon. and right hon. Gentlemen, and one hon. Lady, who spoke of the different parts of the country in degrees of latitude. Those people will be dislocated to some extent. Although not one of those groups of people probably represent a majority, they are—and this point has been made, and should be remembered—particularly vulnerable. This is what is not fully appreciated by the Government.
The people who have to get up in the dark and work in the open are more vulnerable than the office workers to inconvenience, and even to personal danger. The school child going to school in the dark is more vulnerable than the adult. Most of us are insulated from the sun. Here we are in this House, and we do not know whether it is dark or light except by looking at the clock. But those of whom we are talking are not insulated from the sun, and cannot be insulated from the sun, and one of the questions we have to ask ourselves is whether for a period—which must be limited, because the effect will wear off— we are justified in exposing the vulnerable classes to inconvenience and, perhaps, to danger in the interests of those who, whatever is done, are relatively invulnerable to the effects of the weather. On the face of it, it follows that a case has not been made out for doing this, partly because of their vulnerability, and partly because, inevitably, once we have abandoned what I have ventured to call the "innocent deception", the effects will wear off.
What is quite certain is that at one time or another the supporters of the Bill have used arguments that will not stand the light of scrutiny. For instance, the argument of conformity with Europe has been blown sky-high by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Buckinghamshire, South. It may be true that there are—what was it?—more hours of business contact time, which means that if one likes one can make a 338 telephone call at 8 o'clock instead of at 11 o'clock and so get one's export order three hours earlier, but has it ever been thought that on the Continent of America the people in Chicago or San Francisco really suffer much business inconvenience or loss by having to telephone to New York at a time which, on the hands of the clock, is markedly different? Are the movements of aircraft in America—the busiest country in the world from the point of view of internal airlines—markedly obstructed by the fact that they operate according to the zone time which, after all, corresponds with the facts of life?
I should have thought that the answer was obvious. Yet we are now being invited to operate at a time calculated somewhere East of Berlin, and asked to pass an enactment for a move which, so far as I can judge, will make the same clock time applicable, in effect, from Berlin to somewhere in the west of Ireland—a distance of nearly 3,000 miles and I do not know how many degrees of longitude, bearing in mind that 15 degrees of longitude represent about one hour of sun time. Of course, although the Under-Secretary made a very competent and good-tempered speech, he did not talk much about the facts of life, which are that the earth rotates on its own axis in such a way that the sun rises at one point of position on the globe at a different moment from that at which it rises at another. This is the first fact that he has not hoisted in.
The second is that, during the summer, there is actually more daylight than during the winter. He has assumed that there is something beneficial in using the same time all the year through, when the whole object of having Summer Time is to recognise the fact of life that, in summer, the day is longer. The third fact which he has not hoisted in is that, in my hon. Friend's constituency in Cumberland, the sun rises at a different hour from that at which it rises in my constituency of St. Marylebone, and that what may be tolerable with London Transport, when one can travel to work underground, is rather more difficult if one has to catch a train or bus, travel for half an hour to one's work and then stumble across the fields in the dark. It is not the same thing. It is much nicer in St. Marylebone than in 339 Penrith. I know both towns. When one gets to Caithness and Sutherland, the facts are different again.
Individual hon. Members have spoken about particular interests and I have given a reason for thinking, as I do, that those particular interests, whatever their numerical strength—which no one has tried to measure—are worth a little more consideration than their numbers would suggest, because they are more vulnerable. But they have also introduced a piece of legislation in which there is a logical fallacy, which is that it is wrong to suppose that what works if one has two different clocks, one for the summer and the other for the winter, will work equally well if one makes one clock, whatever it be, operate for the whole year.
Therefore, whatever the Government Whips may do, we do not intend to punish our Members for voting according to their consciences, but, if my hon. Friends divide the House on the Bill, I at least shall vote against it.
§ 9.43 p.m.
§ The Under-Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. Bruce Millan)
I should make it clear immediately that I am not trying to wind up the debate, since I understand that one or two hon. Members still wish to speak, but I should like to say something from the Scottish point of view, since a number of speeches have raised points about Scotland.
It has been generally recognised that the problems which will arise if the Bill is eventually passed are related to the fact that the balance of advantage and disadvantage in Scotland is rather different to that in the more southern regions. I shall leave my hon. Friend to deal with some of the wider issues which the right hon. and learned Member for St. Marylebone (Mr. Hogg) raised in his interesting speech. Some of his points certainly had considerable validity.
I will begin with industry and agriculture in Scotland. I have been asked by a number of hon. Members what the attitude of the Scottish National Farmers' Union is. I am surprised that I should have been asked, and particularly that the right hon. Member for Argyll (Mr. Noble) should not know what that attitude is. I should have thought that if 340 the N.F.U. had the sort of strong feelings about the Bill that have been voiced today, they would have taken good care, as they have done on numerous occasions, to ensure that at least the right hon. Gentleman—not to mention every other Scottish hon. Member—knew the views of the Scottish N.F.U.
The fact that the N.F.U. have not done so demonstrates that perhaps the strength of feeling about the matter which has been voiced is not quite as great as a number of hon. Members have suggested. Having said that, I must in honesty now tell the House that the Scottish N.F.U. is against the proposal. However, I gather that it is representing in that not so much a distinctive Scottish view but a general view which is held by the farming community as a whole, since I understand that the N.F.U. of England and Wales is also, but perhaps with not the same strength of feeling, against the change.
On the other hand, there is no doubt that if one is counting heads and measuring the strength of opinion in different quarters, one can say that, generally speaking, commerce and industry are in favour of the change. This certainly applies in Scotland as well as elsewhere.
For example, the S.T.U.C. on the workers' side has expressed its support. So has the Scottish Council for Development and Industry and the Scottish division of the C.B.I. Thus, the balance is certainly in favour of the change. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] I take die point made by the right hon. and learned Member for St. Marylebone that, in weighing up what may seem superficially to be majority and minority interests, one must to some extent give weighting to the more vulnerable sections of the community. This is a balance which must be given and it particularly applies to, for example, the building and agriculture industries. But even in Scotland I believe that the balance of opinion is in favour of the Bill.
When considering the view of local authorities, it is noteworthy that the District Councils Association is in favour of the change, but without very great enthusiasm. The county councils are, on balance, against it, but an interesting fact is that among the county 341 councils in Scotland in favour of it are Aberdeen, Banff, Moray and Orkney. This is interesting in view of what the hon. Member for Banff (Mr. Baker) said. In other words, despite his remarks, his own county council is in favour of the change. Perhaps it did not let him know, either.
§ Mr. Millan
I do not know, but I take it that that intervention means that it is against it. Among the cities in favour of the change is Aberdeen. These are interesting facts because they demonstrate——
§ Mr. Millan
Edinburgh is against the change, but I cannot go through every local authority in Scotland. The division in Scotland is not between the North and the South because a number of northern counties are in favour of the change.
§ Mr. Millan
On the whole, it did not think that it would be a suitable change for Scotland.
I do not want to labour this point further. The balance of local authority view in Scotland is against the change. I say that frankly. On the other hand, among those in favour are some who, one would expect, would be rather against it so it is not a simple North-South division.
I must also tell the House that the balance of opinion among educational interests is against the change. From the educational point of view—and I have some responsibility in this sphere—it is true that the change will mean that, for a longer period in the year, many children will have to go to school in the morning in the dark. However, it will equally mean that, for a longer period in the year, they will be able to come home in the afternoon in the light. The balance here is a rather fine one. Speaking as a 342 parent, I am not sure that I am convinced that it is better to go to school in the light than to come home from school in the light. If there are disadvantages there are also compensating advantages in the afternoon.
§ Mr. Noble
When talking about these things, has the hon. Gentleman borne in mind, as I am certain teachers have, that over a great range of Scotland children have to go in school buses to get home? As long journeys are involved, they will be leaving and getting home in the dark for a great period of the winter.
§ Mr. Millan
The right hon. Gentleman cannot have it both ways. Unless the school hours are changed what one loses in the morning one must gain in the afternoon. This is regardless of whether one travels by bus, on foot, by bicycle, or what-have-you. As the right hon. and learned Member for St. Marylebone pointed out, this does not affect the hours of daylight one little bit.
To please my hon. Friend the Member for South Ayrshire, I may now say that Ayrshire County Council is in favour of the change.
Again, from the educational point of view, it is perfectly possible—I am not sure how this applies in England and Wales, but it is certainly true in Scotland —for education authorities to vary school hours as they wish. This is not something which is laid down centrally and there is a great deal of variation at the moment. It is perfectly possible for education authorities which feel they would be at a considerable disadvantage if the change were made to make a change in the school hours to compensate, or partly to compensate, for the change in the time.
Road safety is the only other specific point which has been put to me. The chief constables are in favour of the change. They believe that the improvement in the situation in the afternoon from the hours of daylight point of view, will be greater than any disadvantage in the morning so far as we can estimate what the numbers of accidents are likely to be. This is the kind of estimate that cannot be made with complete authority. All we can do is to make certain statistical calculations and take into account in making any forecast how 343 people's habits may change if this legislation goes through. Any calculation of this sort must necessarily be tentative. In all this one has to take some account of the attitude of those concerned with road safety. My hon. Friend the Under-Secretary mentioned earlier the attitude of road safety organisations and I have given the attitude of the chief constables in Scotland.
I make the final point that although there are obviously special difficulties in Scotland it would be far too simple a view to take that there is some policy which would be right for England and Wales and some other which must be right for Scotland. In fact, the divisions of opinion are less between North and South of the Border than they are between different interests which consider that their businesses, their commerce and their working day will be affected by a measure of this sort. I hope that I have made it clear that while there is a Scottish aspect, there is by no means an overwhelming case on one side or the other for including or excluding Scotland. Despite the rather jocular reference by the right hon. Member for Argyll, this is a change which has to be applied to the United Kingdom as a whole.
§ 9.54 p.m.
Earl of Dalkeith (Edinburgh, North)
I shall deal with some of the points made by the Under-Secretary of State for Scotland a little later in my speech. I oppose the Bill. Every blessed thing that this Government have touched has come to grief. I plead with the Government to at least keep their hands off the clock. This is a regrettable Measure. I am staggered, as most of the population will be staggered, that the Government, at a time when the country is at its last gasp, have introduced a Measure like this which will do nothing to help to modernise Britain or to get her out of her difficulties.
The question of the name of the Bill is not one which I want to debate particularly, because I should like to see the Bill torn up. However, knowing that the Bill will be pushed through the House by the Whips, we have no alternative but to accept that it will go through, in which case a sensible name should be chosen. We could hardly do better than to call 344 the new time which we are to have "Labour Time" as a permanent memorial to the follies of this Government.
Very little consideration can have been given to the consequences of the Bill on those who live further north. The Under-Secretary referred to one or two points, but others deserve consideration. One is the question of fuel consumption. Everybody knows that the coldest hours of the 24-hour period are the two hours before dawn. This is the time when people will be rising and using fuel to keep themselves warm. Their rising an hour earlier than before will mean a greater demand for fuel. This will affect Scotland in particular, where prices of fuel are already higher than they are in other parts of the British Isles.
The second point is the psychological effect of having a longer period of darkness in the mornings and the depression which this can easily cause. There is a well-known psychological effect known as darkness sickness. I have received a letter from a constituent referring to a research student in Lapland who made a broadcast in which he spoke of darkness sickness and of the inability to work in northern latitudes. She said that this may apply to the Orkneys and the Shetlands. It is a difficult psychological situation. I am sorry that the Under-Secretary did not refer to this, because he is responsible for medicine in Scotland.
§ Mr. Speaker
Order. There is no need for hon. Members to carry on loud conversation in the House when an hon. Member is speaking.
Earl of Dalkeith
I come to the question of schools. I ask the Minister to consider the health possibilities. If children have to rise an hour earlier to go to school at the coldest hour of the day, the health of some children may suffer. The Government are determined to force the Bill through, but have any discussions been held with education authorities to discover whether they are prepared to revise school hours? This may become necessary. What are the reactions of schoolteachers in Scotland to this?
I was very surprised to hear the Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department say that the Road Research Laboratory is apparently in favour of this change. With two lots of rush hours 345 taking place in hours of darkness or in twilight hours, instead of only one, the accident rate will be increased. Further, in the winter conditions of fog, snow and ice prevail. The hours just before dawn are the most dangerous. When are the road workers to have an opportunity to clear the roads of ice if everybody is on the roads an hour earlier than they were before?
I am sorry that the Under-Secretary of State has not, apparently, attached much importance to the views of the N.F.U. I am a member of the Scottish N.F.U. and I was never consulted about this. I would certainly support its views——
§ It being Ten o'clock, the debate stood adjourned.
§ Question again proposed, That the Bill be now read a Second time.
Earl of Dalkeith
Life and organisation on farms can become fairly complicated in view of the great many outdoor operations which can be carried out only in daylight—after 9.30 or 10 a.m. in many parts of Scotland. Part of the farm staff may have to get up at the usual time to complete the milking and dispatch of milk to the towns. Some members of the staff will be hanging around doing nothing, waiting until daylight, while others have to get up to conform with the time the Minister and the Government tell us suits the bulk of people in the urban districts. The same things apply to forestry. Those who work in it will be going to work at 9.30 or 10 a.m., and that will throw them out of gear with those who have other ways of life, such as shopkeepers.
The Minister talked of consultations, and gave a magnificent looking list of bodies he consulted. I agree that it is impressive and looks very democratic, but he did not tell us in great detail the result of the consultations. I am worried that in their three years' in office the Government have become so hardened to having heated passionate criticism of all their suggestions whenever they consult anybody that when a suggestion is merely 346 greeted with indifference they tend to assume that that is tacit acceptance.
If more publicity were given to the subject I feel that there would be a great wave of opposition, particularly in Scotland, where I believe there has been very little publicity so far. I hope that the debate will bring home to people what will happen to them.
The Minister admits that there are advantages and disadvantages and that there is a very fine balance in deciding whether the change should be made. No doubt if he represented a constituency in the North he would not have been biased on the question of proceeding with the legislation, as he may be now, representing as he does a constituency which is practically falling off the bottom of England. Although there may be advantages to some people in some parts of the country, they are heavily outweighed by the disadvantages to people in Scotland and the north of England, and I shall therefore oppose the Bill as hard as I can.
§ 10.4 p.m.
§ Sir John Gilmour (Fife, East)
It is a pity that the Second Reading of the Bill is before 18th February, the date of the experiment with the early introduction of Summer Time, because all of us would have been much better informed by our constituents if we were debating the subject a week after that.
Many of my hon. Friends have raised points which I was keen to make. One that I would particularly put to the Under-Secretary of State is that this winter London and the South have suffered two fairly severe storms, and I believe that many thousands of working hours were lost at great cost. I wonder what effect those conditions would have had if sunrise had been an hour later.
If we seek to improve our industrial production, we do not want to ask people to start work three hours before sunrise in mid-winter. Many people assure me that the average time for travelling to work is an hour, so that people would have to leave their homes four hours before the sun rises. This is what we shall be asking them to do in the winter.
Are the Government absolutely confident that this is the best way in which to ensure that factories start exactly on 347 time and that everyone is buzzing and getting on with the job at the time he should be there? I do not believe that that will be the result. I believe that the results will be entirely contrary to what should happen and that on the economic balance, which the Under-Secretary described as being so narrow, the Bill should be rejected, and I hope that it will be.
§ 10.5 p.m.
§ Mr. A. P. Costain (Folkestone and Hythe)
So much has been said which I would have said that I shall restrict my remarks to what I believe to be new points. The only argument in favour of the Bill is very narrow, and it has not been made by the Government for obvious reasons, and it is that if they go on for their full five years at least we shall have one hour less of them.
I wish to speak particularly about the building industry. If the Bill goes through, it will not be possible in the winter to start building projects unless they are centrally heated. What will probably happen is that customs will alter and builders will start work at 9 o'clock instead of 8 o'clock. The result will be an increase in peak-hour traffic, and if there is anything which the country wants to avoid it is an increase in peak-hour traffic.
It has been said that there has not been much protest about the Bill. Even while the debate has been going on, I have had a telephone call from constituents who have said that they did not realise that they had an option. As usual, the Government have announced this Measure as a fait accompli and people have not realised that by writing to their Members of Parliament and objecting to the Bill they had a sporting chance of getting it altered. This is typical of the dictatorial methods which the Government affect. No positive argument has been made for the Bill which we should reject out of hand.
§ 10.8 p.m.
§ Mr. Alick Buchanan-Smith (North Angus and Mearns)
I agree with what has been said about the complete lack of positive argument in support of the Bill, not only by the Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, but by his hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Scotland. Throughout the debate the 348 onus of proving that the Bill is wrong has been put on those who will suffer from its provisions. In so many different ways those sections of the community, the outside workers, the schoolchildren and others, are those who will have to adjust themselves and adjust their social habits and ways of work and hours of getting up, and all for no positive reason. It is utterly wrong that these sections of the community, particularly those in the remoter areas, should be put out for no very good reason.
Those who want the Bill to go through have a remedy in their own hands. All they have to do is to get up one hour earlier in the morning. But they are using the Bill as an excuse for not getting up an hour earlier. If they were prepared to do so, there would be no need for the Bill. They are using it as an excuse for fiddling with the hands of the clock.
§ Mr. Buchanan-Smith
I thoroughly enjoyed attending them.
There are two practical considerations. There has been a reference to the possibility of varying school hours. Already, in parts of Scotland, especially in country areas, in winter time schools start at halfpast nine. Is it seriously suggested that education authorities in those areas should put back the starting time of school to 10.30? This is the kind of thing which he is suggesting.
Secondly, in relation to the power industry, we have spoken about how peak hour usage will be transferred from the evening to the morning. Can the Under-Secretary of State give an assurance that there is sufficient generating capacity for this in Scotland and that the electricity boards will be prepared to adjust the times of their off-peak tariffs and take account of the extra requirements in the morning when it will be very much colder?
I support the view that if the Government succeed in winning the vote tonight —and I sincerely hope that they do not— I trust that they will consider operating the Bill for an experimental period of two or three years, and preferably only one year, to see how it works.
§ 10.11 p.m.
§ Mr. George Younger (Ayr)
As the debate has proceeded, I have become more and more astonished that the Government have introduced the Bill. I expected to hear telling arguments from the Government spokesmen giving reasons why the Bill has been introduced. Both Ministers have spoken very charmingly, but neither has produced anything in the shape of a convincing reason for the Bill.
I should have thought that the rather piecemeal revelations of the Under-Secretary of State for Scotland as to who was in favour and who was against the Bill made a less than convincing case. He produced six organisations in favour of the change and four organisations against it. Although these organisations are important to the life of Scotland and to many people, in no way could it be said that they make up a broad spread in terms of the number of people they represent. Therefore, it is not possible to say from the figures on which the Government have been working that the majority of people in Scotland are in favour of or against the Bill.
I am utterly convinced that a clear majority of the ordinary people of Scotland if they have heard about this matter, are gravely disturbed because they see in it a needless interference with the habits which they have formed over a long time. I do not pretend that everyone will be in a state of alarm, horror and despondency, but this is a needless interference in the pattern of life which people have established. The system of changing time registered on the clock to represent the winter months difference from the summer months was introduced to make the daylight hours at their most convenient for people's lives. People's lives have not changed that much as regards the times when they stop or start doing things since this was brought in half a century or so ago.
From where did the great demand for this change come? Who was perpetually representing to the Government that it should be made? Who was repeating monthly or yearly demands that the Government should make this change? I suggest—I am sure that this is true, but I should like to have it confirmed—that virtually no one has been pestering the Government or anyone else for such a 350 change. It has been introduced as an afterthought to the European negotiations and it now appears to be irrelevant.
I wish to say one thing about the theory that business men are gravely inconvenienced by the fact that the lime at which we operate is an hour different from that in Europe. I have never heard a more fatuous argument. I cannot claim to be a person who often telephones to the Continent, but on occasion I have had to do it as a matter of business and I have never had the remotest difficulty in getting through and working out the complicated sums, for which no doubt the hon. Gentleman would need a slide rule, to discover when I am likely to find my customer on the other side of the Channel at his telephone.
To suggest that the one hour difference between here and Europe is vital to our export trade is the most fantastic over-statement that I have heard for a long time. Most of our exports do not even go to Europe, they go to places like the United States and Canada, where the difference in hours is infinitely greater, and to Australia and New Zealand, where it is greater again. It seems that the case to be made has been conspicuous by its absence.
This has become, or ought to become, something of a Parliamentary occasion. We are debating an important subject and virtually all speakers, with one or two exceptions have registered strong protests against this Measure. If the House of Commons means anything at all, and I thought that we were supposed to be on one of those rather luxurious evenings when we were on a free vote, then surely it means that the Minister ought to take careful note of all the points so tellingly made by all the speakers this evening.
If he just brushes them aside as being of no consequence, as being as his right hon. Friend said, just opposition for opposition's sake, he is making a grave mistake because I have never been more serious in my life than when I say that this is an undesirable Measure, possibly a small one, but one that the House of Commons should reject.
§ 10.17 p.m.
§ Sir Douglas Glover (Ormskirk)
It is scandalous that the House should be asked to debate this Bill and to find that 351 the Government have a Whip on. There is no party ideology involved in whether we have British Standard Time, Labour time or Greenwich Mean Time. There is no reason why it should be settled on a party basis. This is surely one of those occasions when the matter ought to be settled by the weight of the argument in the House.
There is no doubt that so far there have been no really powerful speeches from the other side of the House, and certainly not from the Government Front Bench—[Interruption.]—I was here this afternoon when the debate started and I came back again this evening. It does not lie in the mouths of hon. Gentlemen opposite to criticise the amount of time I spend on the benches in this Chamber. It is scandalous that a Measure of this sort should become a party matter.
I was enormously impressed by the speech of my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for St. Marylebone (Mr. Hogg). There are one or two points which showed the weakness of the Government's case. My hon. Friend the Member for Ayr (Mr. Younger) talked about the difference in time between us and Europe. Anyone who has been in commercial life will know that there is an actual advantage in this difference, because people, being creatures of habit, and having problems, say "Get me so and so on the telephone; get me so and so, and so and so." The result is that if everyone over a vast area had the same time there would be such an enormous pressure on telephone calls at the same time that it would be intolerable. If we have difference in time between us and the Continent we are much more likely to get through to our customer.
This is found in America with the difference in time scale between Eastern Time, Western Time and Pacific Time. It has been found that this staggers the weight of telephone calls. What has impressed me about the debate so far is the lack of appreciation on the Government side that in an urban society, as ours largely is, there are an enormous number of people who could not really care very much whether we are on Greenwich Mean Time or the new British Standard Time.
352 The advantages or disadvantages are marginal one way or the other. If a person has to go to work in the morning and work in a warm factory it does not make all that much difference whether he gets there at one hour on the clock or another.
I am surprised that the Government have not taken nearly enough notice of the interests of the minority of the population who will be affected adversely. We have heard enough about the agricultural community, but I have not heard anyone mention the problem of people like postmen and milkmen whose job it is to make their deliveries in the early hours. One hon. Member spoke about building workers. I would point out that it is much harder to do their job of work an hour earlier, when it is colder. If there has been a frost, the situation is more difficult an hour earlier than when working on our basic clock. A point which has not been made forcefully enough is that the efficiency of the nation is less in winter.
Anyone who drives a car late at night knows that we do not get all that number of snowstorms and keen frosts until after midnight. If there is a snowstorm, it takes time for the railways and local authorities to get matters organised. If the clock has been put on an hour, it means that they have that much less time to get the roads clear and the railway points working, because they will be dealing with them at the coldest period of the night rather than an hour later, as it is now.
I am in favour of British Summer Time, because it has a great many advantages, but not in the winter months——
§ Sir D. Glover
No, I will not give way. If the hon. Gentleman wants to make a speech, no doubt he will try to catch your eye, Mr. Speaker.
To alter the time in the winter months will reduce the efficiency of the nation rather than increase it and will put an extra burden on those who are really affected, whereas it will not bring any corresponding advantage to those working in decent conditions.
§ 10.22 p.m.
§ Mr. J. Bruce-Gardyne (South Angus)
I will not delay the House for more than a few minutes, because what I want to say can be said briefly. I listened to the arguments of the Under-Secretary of State 'or Scotland with interest. He made the point fairly that there is a division of opinion in Scotland and that die argument is evenly balanced either way. I think that part of the reason for it is that people in Scotland have not been very Widely informed about what is proposed. I do not think that it is realised what the Government have in mind. To my mind, this strengthens the case of my hon. Friend the Member for North Angus and Mearns (Mr. Buchanan-Smith) for making it, if we must have it at all, a temporary proposal to see how it works and the sort of reaction that we get. Incidentally, I think that there will be a powerful reaction against the proposal. My hon. Friend suggested that it might be tried for two or three years. I would prefer to see an experiment for one year.
The Under-Secretary of State pointed out that important bodies purporting to speak for industry in Scotland were in favour of the change. All the industrialists to whom I have spoken in my constituency about the proposal have been against it, without exception.
What I object to and what is my main reason for intervening in this debate is that this should be a matter debated on the other side of the House on the basis of a party Whip. I find it totally intolerable. Different representations are made to each of us, and this is the sort of proposal that should be debated and decided purely on its merits. Surely we shall not be told that the Government's whole programme, such as it is, will be blown aside because hon. Members opposite act in accord with their consciences or the opinions expressed to them by their constituents. I find it nauseating that a Measure of this kind should be forced through on a Government Whip.
I suppose the explanation is that the Government have cleared it with the manufacturers of diaries. So we have positions presented to the House of Commons as a fait accompli because the Government have arranged them with Messrs. Charles Letts and the diary manufacturers. I find this intolerable. 354 I cannot see any good reason why, on an occasion like this, we should not have a free vote and have the matter decided purely on its merits by hon. Members operating individually.
If I had any overwhelming doubts about the matter, even if I believed in it on balance, I would be strongly inclined to vote against it because hon. Members opposite are being frogmarched into the Lobby to support it. This is not the first time that this has happened in this Parliament. We had the same thing with the Decimal Currency Bill. I voted against that because hon. Members opposite were frogmarched into the Lobby in support of a decision that had been taken by the Government which they were not prepared to submit to the free opinions of hon. Members opposite. It is intolerable that an hon. Member opposite should be denied the company of his friends and relations in party committees upstairs because he breaks the ranks here tonight. I think that most of the meetings upstairs, from what we read in the Press, are highly disadvantageous. It might be better if they did not have them. But it is intolerable that hon. Members should be prevented from attending the meetings because they act in support of representations which may have been made to them by their constituents and vote against the Bill tonight. For that reason——
§ Mr. Speaker
Order. I believe we are talking about Standard Time. The hon. Member must keep to the subject.
§ Mr. Bruce-Gardyne
I apologise, Mr. Speaker. I was just coming to the end. I was about to say that for that reason above all, even if I had been impressed by the argument advanced by the Under-Secretary of State for Scotland, I should still vote against the Bill.
§ 10.27 p.m.
§ Mr. Emlyn Hooson (Montgomery)
As I listened to the hon. Member for Ormskirk (Sir D. Glover), who has often entertained the House late at night, I thought that he had never stated a more profound truth when he said that men are creatures of habit. I had it in mind that the party opposite had the Whips on, and this, I would have thought, is the greatest single argument against the Government's proposals.
355 There are advantages and disadvantages to the change. I think they can be summarised by saying that the advantages, by and large, accrue to the urban dweller and possibly to the indoor worker, but the disadvantages are very great to the rural dweller and the outdoor worker. As I represent a very rural constituency, I am against the Bill. Even though one might argue that the advantages and disadvantages are well balanced, the advantages surely depend on change of habit following upon the passage of the Bill, and habit takes a long time to change in this country for good or ill, as we know.
What is argued here is that we can adapt ourselves. The bricklayer and the plasterer were referred to. The bricklayer starts at 8 o'clock in the morning, but he cannot start his bricklaying until a considerable time has elapsed and the light has improved. The plasterer cannot start in the depth of winter until a good deal later. If they adapted their hours to the new Bill even for a year or two, the country would lose economically.
There is no doubt that there is everything to be said against the Bill in the agricultural sphere, because it means that farmers and farm workers will have to work a great deal in the hours of darkness in the morning.
I agree with a great deal of the speech of the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for St. Marylebone (Mr. Hogg). I do not often entirely agree, but I did so on this occasion in connection with schoolchildren. This is particularly so in a rural constituency. Some of the children in my constituency already have to be in the road to catch a bus well before 8 o'clock to get to school by 9 o'clock. I suggest that for them to do the equivalent of getting up and going down the road before 7 o'clock to get to school by 8 o'clock, which this will mean, is a tremendous hardship on them. The psychological difference to a child having to get up and go to school when the dawn is breaking will not be compensated for by the advantage of coming home in the daylight. What do children do at night in the winter? They go indoors and indulge in indoor activities. It will 356 make a great difference to them if they have to get up an hour earlier in the middle of the night.
I think that the psychological effect of the Bill has been ill thought out. I think that the Government should reconsider the matter. It shows the domination of the urban dweller, of the indoor worker, over the rural dweller and the outdoor worker. In the present state of our economic affairs, when so much is going wrong, and when everything the Government touch goes wrong, I think that they are extremely foolish, whatever the theoretical advantages of doing so, to tackle this now. They would be well advised to drop it.
§ 10.31 p.m.
§ Mr. John H. Osborn (Sheffield, Hallam)
I have come into the Chamber to listen to the debate, and not to make a long speech. I hope that this will be the shortest speech of my life in the House. I have listened to the speeches from both sides of the House, particularly during the latter part of the debate. Most hon. Members have spoken against the Government. I came in to vote for the Government, and discovered that I was likely to be one of the few Opposition Members to support them.
I come from a mixed constituency, industrial, urban, and rural, and many months ago I discussed this proposal with a number of people. The more progressive farmers have accepted this as of no great inconvenience in a modern farming environment. Urban and city dwellers are more and more working and living on a shift basis, and those on the early shift, finishing at 1 or 2 o'clock, welcome the opportunity of a longer afternoon one week in three, or whatever the arrangement may be. There are many other examples of a bit of extra daylight being welcomed by both office and factory workers.
I do not intend to redeploy the arguments which have been deployed by the Government, but, as most of the speakers to whom I have listened have been utterly opposed to the Measure, and as I intend to vote for it, I wish to speak to that effect and let it be known that not everyone on this side of the House is opposed to it.
§ 10.32 p.m.
§ Dr. M. P. Winstanley (Cheadle)
I have risen to speak for a few moments to point out that the extraordinary sentiments expressed by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Montgomery (Mr. Hooson) are evidence, not of the attitude of the Liberal Party to this Measure, but of the extraordinary freedom of expression which is allowed within our ranks. It is not only the Conservative Party which has a free vote on this issue. I agree that it is remarkable that a free vote is not allowed on the other side of the House, because if it were it would allow us to make a reasonable arithmetical calculation of where the balance of opinion lay.
Earl of Dalkeith
Will the hon. Gentleman tell the House what time the Liberal Party advocates we should keep, and what time its Members keep, which accounts for the hon. Gentleman's arrival at this debate exactly three hours late? No Member of the Liberal Party came here until three hours after the debate started.
§ Dr. Winstanley
I heard every word of the hon. Gentleman's speech. It was that which stimulated me into coming into the debate, and I felt that I had to express my view.
I have risen to point out that we, too, have a free vote. It ought to be made clear that the view expressed by my hon. aid learned Friend on behalf of his rural constituents is not a general view which is held within my party. Indeed, I do not accept that it is a view which is held generally in rural areas.
The argument about the farmer is illfounded. It may be a disadvantage to put the clocks forward, but I question the statement that the attitude of the N.F.U. is that there are many disadvantages in the proposed legislation. It would get farmers out of the appalling mess of having a biannual complete change in their routine, which, I am given to understand, is extremely upsetting for rural people, for farmers and many of those whom my hon. and learned Friend represents.
The hon. and learned Member for Buckinghamshire, South (Mr. Ronald Bell) attempted to show that the argument about European communications is entirely invalid. It is not. He referred 358 to the occasional telephone call which he makes to Europe. We are not talking about occasional telephone calls. We are talking about firms which are in constant touch with Europe. This change would at once give them three hours of additional communication time.
Before we vote on the Bill, it should be emphasised that industry, on the whole, is in favour of it. The Trades Union Congress has asked for it. The National Farmers' Union is in favour of it, whatever individual farmers may say. [HON. MEMBERS: "NO."] Yes; it has expressed that view not once but over and over again. The N.F.U. has said that there are disadvantages, but it is in favour of it. [HON. MEMBERS: "NO."] I have correspondence which suggests that, while the National Farmers' Union does not like it, it feels that it would be preferable to the present system under which there is a biannual disruption of agricultural routine. I accept that there are many farmers who do not like the proposed change, but that is the official view of the National Fanners' Union. [HON. MEMBERS: "NO."] Hon. Members may protest. They may not like it, but that is the view of the N.F.U.
Therefore, the balance of opinion is in favour of the Bill. We have listened to a great many speeches suggesting, somewhat sotto voce and quietly but none the less clearly, that something secret and not entirely acceptable has been done. In fact, many hon. Members, myself included, are strongly in favour of the Bill.
§ 10.36 p.m.
§ Mr. Ennals:
By leave of the House, I should like to speak again. I, too, regret that the hon. Member for Cheadle (Dr. Winstanley) did not come a little earlier to present his argument, particularly as, so I understand, he was leading something of a campaign in favour of the Bill by Motions before the House. It would have been helpful if he had given the weight of his argument earlier in the day.
The debate has had a number of advantages in that we have been able to draw upon the experience of hon. Members on both sides from different parts of the country and representing different interests. Several hon. Members claimed to represent interests, perhaps, without 359 much authority for so doing. I was interested to note that one hon. Gentleman seemed to speak on behalf of industry rather than the Confederation of British Industry.
Although some serious arguments against this Measure have been put to the House, they have been grossly exaggerated by some hon. Members. Moreover, it has been suggested that, somehow or other, the Bill has been introduced hastily, without consultation, for some strange and obtuse motive. In fact, the consultation which has led up to the Bill has gone on over many years, during the lifetime not just of this Government but of the previous Government, too. The consultation which was the basis of it in 1960 was before the Labour Government came into power, and the 1966 consultation sought to bring matters up to date and gain an assessment of opinion in the country from responsible bodies.
The hon. and learned Member for Buckingham, South (Mr. Ronald Bell) asked on what basis the consultation had taken place, and what was the purpose of it. The reason why there were 80 organisations consulted rather than the 180 which had originally been circulated was that we confined ourselves to the major interests, including especially those which had been opposed to the change, not those in favour of it, or those organisations whose views we had reason to believe, or we thought, might have changed during the period of five years. Most of those which were not consulted were organisations which previously had been in favour of it. Therefore, any suggestion that, somehow or other, we wanted to cook the books is quite untrue and unworthy.
Questions have been asked about pressure. There has been pressure from industry and from commerce. It has already been said that in England, Wales and Scotland the Confederation of British Industry is powerfully in favour of the Measure, and so, too, is the Trades Union Congress. It is interesting to note that when consulted in 1960 the T.U.C. was rather divided, but it has informed us that unions representing over five million members are now in favour of the change and that only a quarter of a million are opposed to it.
It was almost argued that there was a case for keeping ourselves separate from 360 the Continent of Europe, as though there was something almost immoral about having a time common with Europe. The hon. Member for Cheadle is quite right in saying that there is clear advantage, not only to business interests but to transport interests as well. The Bill has come before Parliament partly as a result of pressure but partly, also, as a result of the considered view of the Government that it would be in the general interest of the country.
There have been criticisms of the Government's case. Some hon. Members have argued that in introducing the Bill I put the case too positively and brushed aside the case against it. Other hon. Members opposite have said that no argument at all has been presented in its favour—such arguments came mainly from hon. Members who had not attended the earlier part of the debate.
The Government have tried to get the balance straight. It would be unreasonable to suggest that there is not considerable difference of opinion. I have weighed this up, and would now like to summarise the matter again. The Economic Review showed an almost equal balance of advantage and disadvantage. In general, the conclusion was that the change would be advantageous to commercial interests—particularly those with continental connections—to transport interests, whether domestic or overseas, to the ports, and marginally to the tourist industry. It would be disadvantageous to agriculture and to the construction industries, about which I should like to say something a little later. The strongest argument in favour came from the inquiry into the social consequences.
I have mentioned the Road Research Laboratory which, contrary to its opinion in I960, had reached the view in 1966 that the change would lead to some quite considerable reduction in accidents. I would also mention the changed attitude amongst the teachers' organisations.
Reference has been made to general public opinion. I do not think that any of us would place too much weight on public opinion polls, but one public opinion poll, conducted on a national scale, showed that 45 per cent. were in favour of the Government's proposal, 25 per cent, wanted to leave things as they 361 were, and 27 per cent. did not express an opinion.
§ Sir S. Summers
Are we to understand from what the hon. Gentleman says that in 1960 the Road Research Laboratory— whose advice, we understand, is based on scientific evidence—was against the proposition that there would be fewer accidents, but stated six years later that accidents would be reduced? Is it a fact that scientific evidence changed in such a short time?
§ Mr. Ennals
It is the fact that in 1960 the Road Research Laboratory was doubtful, but the research carried out from then to 1966 is in favour of the Government's proposal.
I recognise the difficulties that affect the North, and particularly Scotland. I reiterate the view expressed earlier that the main division is not just between north and south but between town, industrial and urban dwellers and the people living in the countryside. It would be absurd to pretend, and the Government would not pretend, that there will not be difficulties for those living in the countryside, and I should like, first, to look at the schools aspect. I was asked what consultation there had been with education organisations. Of the 13 teachers and local authority associations consulted, eight were in favour and five wished lo keep things as they were. It was interesting that while the views of the education authorities were divided, and the County Councils Associations, for instance, were against the proposal, all the principal teachers' organisations were in favour. This includes the National Union of Teachers, die National Association of Schoolmasters and the National Association of Head Teachers, who were all in favour of the changes that we are putting forward.
There are, of course, problems of children going to and from school, especially in the depth of winter. In many parts of the country, they will either go to school in the dark or come back in the dark. There are problems when children travel in the dark and there are problems concerning road accidents
There are problems of another nature. There are children who have been subjected to attacks, particularly in die country and on common land. The evi- 362 dence on this is that it is much more likely to happen late in the day than it does early in the day. In any event, children are more at risk from accidents late in the day because they loiter and play on their return home, whereas when going to school they go directly to school. This partly explains the view that from a road safety standpoint as well as for the general safety of children, this Measure will be advantageous.
It is quite wrong to suggest, as some hon. Members have done, that children automatically go straight back home from school at the end of the day. Apart from games which they may play, there are school activities which keep them late.
There are much greater doubts concerning children in the countryside with longer journeys to school—bus journeys, and so on—than there are for children in the cities, and we must recognise this. It was not unfair to have suggested, and it has been supported by a number of local authorities, that during certain periods of the year it is possible to make an adjustment in school times, as affecting both die time of starting in the morning and the period of lunch hour, to minimise the disadvantage of travelling at one or other end of the day in darkness. As to health and accidents, it was made clear that most of the bodies concerned with road safety, including the police, are in favour of the Measure.
My hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool, Walton (Mr. Heffer) made a point concerning the construction industry, and there are problems here. It is only fair to say that those involved in die industry are divided among themselves, although certainly die employers are against the proposal. The building trade unions, on die other hand, and the specialists and the subcontractors have said that they are in favour of the proposal.
I was asked the view of the Winter Building Advisory Committee. The majority of its members considered the advantages to outweigh die disadvantages for die building industry. The principal advantage which they saw in the change lies in the possibility that more hours of daylight could be made available for working in the winter 363 months. They said that on G.M.T. there are periods when there is sufficient daylight to begin work before 7.30 but that this cannot be used because 7.30 is the earliest normal acceptable starting time and that for this reason there would be more hours of daylight that would be worked if the change was carried through.
The hon. Lady the Member for Hamilton (Mrs. Ewing) said that people would not get up in the dark. I do not know what her contact is with workpeople. Quite apart from shift workers, during winter months already there are very many who get up in the dark. The supposition that people normally rise at 9 a.m. is simply not true and suggests that the hon. Lady is not in touch with the life of the ordinary working man.
§ Mrs. Ewing
I think that the hon. Gentleman his misquoted me. I made the fair point that there would be less inclination to do something which is already hard—getting up in the morning —if it has to be done in the dark. I warn the House that there will be a great deal of absenteeism as a result.
§ Mr. Ennals
I do not know about the hon. Lady, but I get up when the alarm clock rings, whether it is light or dark. The majority of her arguments had little validity——
§ Mr. Ennals
Yes, this applies to their wives as well.
We must also accept that there is a substantial difference of opinion about agricultural workers and that, although the National Farmers' Union is not in favour of this proposal, and I must make that clear—[HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."]—I did say and I adhere to it that its opinion is much less rigorous than it was and I hope that it is true that, if and
§ when the Bill is carried, it will see many of its advantages. It is also true, however, that the National Association of Agricultural Workers has come out in favour of it.
§ Therefore, the argument of hon. Gentlemen that this Measure does not command support has no foundation; I believe that it will command a great deal. One of the disadvantages for many hon. Gentlemen opposite is that they simply cannot tolerate the possibility of change. They cannot concede that it can be of advantage. None of us would propose a Bill whose only merit was a change, but we are convinced that this Measure will be in the general interests of the country.
§ Some have asked, why not an experimental Measure? If we were to try it out for a year, many contentions by hon. Gentlemen opposite would prove to be right. People would not attempt to adjust, as they must, to the change and it would be much more unsettling if they were not certain whether the old or the new arrangement would eventually apply. We are going in the dark here. We do not know what the consequences will be. We can make our studies and research on the best possible information with such details as we have, but it is obvious that only time will tell. If it were discovered in two years that the disadvantages rehearsed by hon. Gentlemen opposite prevailed, then we would have to take note of that.
§ The Bill is not the be all and end all, but the Government are convinced that, although it is a modest Measure, its advantages greatly outweigh its disadvantages and that it will be in the country's interests. I hope, therefore, that hon. Gentlemen will support the Government in the Lobby.
§ Question put, That the Bill be now read a Second time:—
§ The House divided: Ayes 179, Noes 61.365
|Division No. 32.]||AYES||10.54 p.m.|
|Albu, Austen||Bennett, James (G'gow, Bridgeton)||Bray, Dr. Jeremy|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Bidwell, Sydney||Brooks, Edwin|
|Alldritt, Walter||Bishop, E. S.||Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan)|
|Allen, Scholefield||Blenkinsop, Arthur||Brown, Bob(N'c'tle-upon-Tyne,W.)|
|Armstrong, Ernest||Boardman, H. (Leigh)||Brown, R. W. (Shoreditch & F'bury)|
|Atkinson, Norman (Tottenham)||Booth, Albert||Cant, R. B.|
|Bagier, Gordon A. T,||Boyden, James||Carmichael, Neil|
|Beaney, Alan||Braddock, Mrs. E. M.||Carter-Jones, Lewis|
|Bence, Cyril||Bradley, Tom||Coleman, Donald|
|Concannon, J. D,||Hughes, Emrys (Ayrshire, S.)||Moyle, Roland|
|Conlan, Bernard||Hughes, Roy (Newport)||Murray, Albert|
|Crossman, Rt. Hn. Richard||Hunter, Adam||Norwood, Christopher|
|Dalyell, Tam||Hynd, John||Oakes, Gordon|
|Davidson, Arthur (Accrington)||Jackson, Colin (B'h'se & Spenb'gh)||O'Malley, Brian|
|Davies, G. Ernest (Stretford)||Jeger,Mrs.Lena(H'b'n&St.P'cras,S.)||Oram, Albert E.|
|Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.)||Jenkins, Hugh (Putney)||Osborn, John (Hallam)|
|Dell, Edmund||Jenkins, Rt. Hn. Roy (Stechford)||Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, S'tn)|
|Dewar, Donald||Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.)||Owen, Will (Morpeth)|
|Diamond, Rt. Hn. John||Jones, Dan (Burnley)||Park, Trevor|
|DobSon, Ray||Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham)||Parkyn, Brian (Bedford)|
|Doig, Peter||Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, West)||Pavitt, Laurence|
|Dunwoody Mrs. Gwyneth (Exeter)||Judd, Frank||Pentland, Norman|
|Dunwoody, Dr. John (F'th & C'b'e)||Kenyon, Clifford||Price, Thomas (Westhoughton)|
|Eadie, Alex||Kerr, Dr. David (W'worth, Central)||Probert, Arthur|
|Edwards, William (Merioneth)||Lawson, George||Reynolds, G. W.|
|Ellis, John||Leadbitter, Ted||Robertson, John (Paisley)|
|Ennals, David||Lee, John (Reading)||Robinson, W. O. J. (Walth'stow, E.)|
|Evans, loan L. (Birm'h'm, Yardley)||Lestor, Miss Joan||Rodgers, William (Stockton)|
|Faulds, Andrew||Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)||Rose, Paul|
|Fernyhough, E.||Lomas, Kenneth||Ross, Rt. Hn. William|
|Finch, Harold||Loughlin, Charles||Shaw, Arnold (Ilford, S.)|
|Fitch, Alan (Wigan)||Luard, Evan||Short, Rt.Hn.Edward(N'c'tie-u-Tyne)|
|Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)||Lubbock, Eric||Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)|
|Foley, Maurice||Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.)||Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich)|
|Ford, Ben||McBride, Neil||Silverman, Julius (Aston)|
|Forrester, John||McCann, John||Slater, Joseph|
|Fowler, Gerry||MacColl, James||Small, William|
|Galpern, Sir Myer||Macdonald, A. H.||Spriggs, Leslie|
|Garrett, W. E.||McGuire, Michael||Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley|
|Gray, Dr. Hugh (Yarmouth)||Mackie, John||Swain, Thomas|
|Gregory, Arnold||Mackintosh, John P.||Taverne, Dick|
|Grey, Charles (Durham)||Maclennan, Robert||Tinn, James|
|Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)||McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.)||Tuck, Raphael|
|Hamilton, James (Bothwell)||McNamara, J. Kevin||Urwin, T. W.|
|Hannan, William||MacPherson, Malcolm||Vickers, Dame Joan|
|Harper, Joseph||Mahon, Peter (Preston, S.)||Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne Valley)|
|Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)||Mahon, Simon (Bootle)||Walden, Brian (All Saints)|
|Hart, Mrs. Judith||Manuel, Archie||Watkins, David (Consett)|
|Haseldine, Norman||Mapp, Charles||Watkins, Tudor (Brecon & Radnor)|
|Hattersley, Roy||Marks, Kenneth||Weitzman, David|
|Hazell, Bert||Marquand, David||Wellbeloved, James|
|Heffer, Eric S.||Mason, Rt. Hn. Roy||Whitlock, William|
|Herbison, Rt. Hn. Margaret||Mayhew, Christopher||Williams, Clifford (Abertillery)|
|Hilton, W. S.||Mendelson, J. J.||Willis, George (Edinburgh, E.)|
|Hooley, Frank||Millan, Bruce||Winnick, David|
|Horner, John||Miller, Dr. M. S.||Winstanley, Dr. M. P.|
|Houghton, Rt, Hn. Douglas||Milne, Edward (Blyth)||Yates, Victor|
|Howarth, Robert (Bolton, E.)||Mitchell, R. c. (S'th'pton, Test)|
|Howie, W.||Molloy, William||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Hey, James||Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)||Mr. Harold Walker and|
|Huckfield, Leslie||Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)||Mr. Eric G. Varley.|
|Baker, W. H. K.||Glover, Sir Douglas||Russell, Sir Ronald|
|Batsford, Brian||Godber, Rt. Hn. J. B.||Scott, Nicholas|
|Boardman, Tom||Gurden, Harold||Scott-Hopkins, James|
|Bossom, Sir Clive||Hogg, Rt. Hn. Quintin||Sharpies, Richard|
|Boyle, Rt. Hn. Sir Edward||Hooson, Emlyn||Stodart, Anthony|
|Bruce-Gardyne, J.||Jopling, Michael||Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M. (Ripon)|
|Buchanan-Smith, Alick(Angus,N&M)||Kitson, Timothy||Summers, Sir Spencer|
|Campbell, Gordon||Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry||Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)|
|Chichester-Clark, R.||Longden, Gilbert||Taylor,Edward M.(G'gow,Cathcart)|
|Clegg, Walter||MacArthur, Ian||Temple, John M.|
|Costain, A. P.||Mackenzie, Alasdair(Ross&Crom'ty)||Turton, Rt. Hn. R. H.|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Maclean, Sir Fitzroy||Ward, Dame Irene|
|Davidson, James(Aberdeenshire,W.)||Maude, Angus||Weatherill Bernard|
|Doughty, Charles||Mills, Peter (Torrington)||Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William|
|Douglas-Home, Rt. Hn. Sir Alec||Monro, Hector||Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)|
|Elliott. R.W.(N'c'tie-upon-Tyne.N.)||More, Jasper||Wylie, N. R.|
|Evans, Gwynfor (C'marthen)||NicholIs, Sir Harmar||Younger, Hn. George|
|Ewing, Mrs. Winifred||Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael|
|Farr, John||Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Galbraith, Hon. T. G.||Prior, J. M. L.||Mr. Ronald Bell and|
|Gibson-Watt, David||Ramsden, Rt. Hn. James||Mr. Michael Clark Hutchison.|
|Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.)||Royle, Anthony|
§ Bill accordingly read a Second time.
§ Bill committed to Standing Committee pursuant to Standing Order No. 40 (Committal of Bills).