The Temporary Chairman
Before calling the first Amendment selected on the Schedule, I would inform the Committee that as a result of representations made earlier, the Chairman has selected Amendment No. 9, standing in the name of the right hon. Member for Birkenhead (Mr. Dell). It will therefore be called after the next group of Amendments.
§ Sir D. Renton
On a point of order, Mr. Brewis. Amendment No. 184 stands in the name of the hon. and learned Member for Montgomery (Mr. Hooson), who is not present in the Chamber. I do not know whether that means that we shall automatically be allowed to discuss it, but I should have thought that as his Amendment has been selected he should be here to move it.
The Temporary Chairman
The Amendment has been selected and it is in order for any hon. Member to move it.
§ Mr. Stanley R. McMaster (Belfast, East)
On a point of order, Mr. Brewis. During the whole debate on this subject only one Amendment has been tabled covering the Ulster Unionist position, namely Amendment No. 444. That Amendment deals with a matter of particular concern to Ulster Members. Would it be in order to discuss that in connection with Amendment No. 184?
The Temporary Chairman
No. I regret to say that I cannot help the hon. Member. The question of selection of Amendments is solely for the Chairman.
§ Rev. Ian Paisley (Antrim, North)
On a point of order. I seek your guidance, Mr. Brewis. Am I to take it that hon. Members will not be permitted to discuss a matter of great interest to Members from Northern Ireland when we are discussing the next group of Amendments?
The Temporary Chairman
The hon. Member would be out of order if he discussed that Amendment with one which is now to be moved by the hon. Member for Nottingham, West (Mr. English).
§ 7.45 p.m.
§ Mr. English
I beg to move, Amendment No. 184, in page 20, line 27, leave out'punishable with imprisonment for more than two years or'.
The Temporary Chairman
With this Amendment it will be convenient to discuss also the following Amendments:
§ No. 410, in page 20, line 28, leave out 'two years' and insert 'three months'.
No. 185, in line 29, leave out
'with imprisonment for more than three months or'.
§ No. 411, in line 30, leave out '£400' and insert '£50'.
§ Mr. English
Had I been drafting the Amendment, together with its companion Amendment No. 185, I am not sure that I would have drafted it in this particular way. But it is clear that this Amendment and the others we are discussing have a basically simple object.
In drafting the Bill the Government have felt the necessity to limit the powers conferred by Clause 2. In particular they have chosen four ways of limiting it. Those four ways seem to go back, as hon. and learned Members will realise, to discussions which took place before and immediately after the war about the legislative powers that Ministers should have. The four ways, therefore, are limitations on the power of increasing taxation, on retrospective legislation, of conferring further powers to legislate on other people and on creating substantial criminal offences.
It is a pity that the drafting of these limitations has been related solely to the discussion which took place in relation to the law of England in times past, more than a quarter of a century ago. It is a pity because these limitations do not relate themselves to subjects which might come to be the subject of orders in accordance with the Treaty of Rome. For example, there is no limitation on the power of the Government to make an order relating to elections. Yet I should have thought this to be of vast importance. The Treaty of Rome contains a provision that we could have direct elections to the European Assembly but there is no limitation in the Bill on that being implemented by the Government by an order which would not even come before the House of Commons.
325 I can see how the Schedule has come to be drafted as it is. It is drafted somewhat in line with the instructions we give as a standing instruction to our Statutory Instruments Committee, for example, to report on certain types of order if they are made. But it is a great pity that it has been thought out obviously by an English draftsman in relation to the law of England without considering the peculiarities of the Treaty of Rome.
To take sub-paragraph 1(d) to which all these Amendments relate, the Government have felt it necessary to limit their power to create criminal offences. In effect, they have said that a criminal offence punishable with imprisonment for more than two years or, if on summary conviction, with imprisonment for more than three months or a fine of more than £400, etc., as the paragraph goes on to say, should not be imposed by mere order unless the Government take some other action, such as an order which comes before the House of Commons.
That is all very well and good, and I am glad that the Government have thought in those terms. The substance of the four Amendments is simple. It is that we believe that, for example, an offence punishable with two years' imprisonment is a substantial one. We have seen examples recently of people—though not in this case the Government—lightheartedly attempting to put other people in gaol without adequate evidence. One fears that sometimes Executives have a desire to create criminal offences which would subsequently have the same effect as an individual court decision, only on rather more people, and which might put individuals in gaol for up to two years.
We all believe—whether the hon. and learned Member for Montgomery (Mr. Hooson) or my hon. Friends on the Front Bench—that these are penalties too great to be entrusted solely to the Executive. The sole point therefore of these Amendments is that very simple distinction, which would easily be acceptable to any person, irrespective of his views for or against Britain's entry of the Common Market. It has no relation to that, because the Schedule already limits the power of the Executive. Slightly narrowing that limitation would not prevent us from entering the Common Market. It would simply provide that, in relation to 326 any criminal offence, the penalties should be very limited if they are decided solely by the Executive and that only the Executive plus the House of Commons should decide upon them if they are wider than those limitations.
§ Mr. Powell
We are now starting to endeavour to discuss the contents of the Second Schedule in a period of just over three hours, minus any time which may be spent upon Divisions. It is additionally clear from the announcement which you have just made to the Committee, Mr. Brewis—that, in the discretion of the Chairman, a further Amendment has been selected as appropriate for discussion—that there is no possibility whatever of our accomplishing that task with any decency.
I should have thought that the events of recent days, if not weeks, would have made clear to my right hon. Friends, as I hope that they will make clear to any Administration, the unwisdom of any legislation—let alone major legislation, let alone legislation designed to alter the constitution of the country—reaching the Statute Book without the opportunity for the House of Commons to address itself to every provision in that legislation. We have lived through a fiasco, indeed a series of fiascoes, which arose from the provisions of a Part of an Act to which this House had never been permitted to direct its attention. I am not seeking to assign particular blame for that; I am simply drawing a conclusion which is equally mandatory upon both sides of the Committee.
Therefore, I cannot refrain from pointing out that this is a most important Schedule which we now approach. It contains vital safeguards which we shall not be able properly to consider, and it contains one of the few references, as has already been pointed out by my hon. Friend the Member for Belfast, East (Mr. McMaster), to the special relation of the constitutional changes in this Bill to a part of the United Kingdom—namely, Northern Ireland.
Without in any way trespassing upon your ruling or upon your patience, Mr. Brewis, with respect, it is right that that fact should be put on the record and that we should realise in advance all the difficulties into which we will run and of which there have been recent precedents, as a result of attempting to change 327 the law in fundamental respects without the House of Commons being able to consider what is being done.
I agree with the Amendments before us. I would prefer the wider form in which the absent Liberal Party put forward its proposals, but I would gladly assent to the more narrow and precise forms which stand in the name of right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite.
Incidentally, although we have not—no doubt for necessary and unavoidable reasons—had the advantage of the presence of the father and author of the Amendment under discussion to propose it to the Committee—that task was ably performed in his stead by the hon. Member for Nottingham, West (Mr. English)—I hope that the Liberal Party, of all parties, will think it right to limit so far as possible the scope for subordinate legislation and in particular the penalties which can be imposed upon individual subjects in this country as a result of subordinate legislation, and that, too, subordinate legislation—this is perhaps a matter which we shall not have the opportunity to consider—which, as the Bill stands at the moment, will in many cases go through with the opportunity of only a negative Resolution.
It is entirely right that the limitations in the first paragraph of the Schedule should be further strengthened in one or other of the ways proposed. After all, in no other context would we give these powers to a Government in general terms to be exercised by subordinate legislation. No doubt one could find Acts of Parliament under which some important matters, perhaps going beyond these limitations in some cases, can be brought into effect by subordinate legislation. But they would be Acts for specific purposes, which had been debated in legislative form by this House. We have to remember that the powers of subordinate legislation which we are giving under Clause 2(2) are to be used for purposes that we cannot know. They are to be used simply to implement Community obligations at any time in future.
All the more jealously, therefore, ought we to limit what can be done by Statutory Instrument under Clause 2, under terms of reference which are so formless and vague; all the more jealously should we guard and enforce the requirement 328 that, where important burdens are to be placed upon the subject and new offences of a serious character created, that should be done by legislation, even though it is to be in fulfilment of a Community obligation.
The general attitude of the Executive in this matter, is that that does not matter. "Provided that something is a Community obligation", they say "what are we arguing about? What matter in what form it is actually implemented?'' That is not a point of view which I am sure commends itself to either side of the Committee. I would hope, therefore, that there would be general support for the proposal in these Amendments to limit the scope of the subordinate legislation designed to implement Community obligations.
However, there is a cruel irony which presents itself to our minds as we contemplate paragraph (1). The Schedule refers to Clause 2(2); and in it we set limits—I hope we shall set more narrow limits—to the power of Her Majesty's Government, of Ministers and Departments, to enact subordinate legislation. But I should be grateful to hear from the Minister whether any of these limitations will apply to the law which is to be made in this country under Clause 2(1).
The Minister thinks it right that subordinate legislation, made by the Executive in this country and placed before this House, should not impose or increase taxation. Can he say that taxation will not be imposed and increased directly without the House having any say in the matter? I do not believe he can, because that would be in conflict, amongst other things, with Clause 5. So we have the irony that while we are limiting what the Administration can do by instruments which would have to be presented to Parliament, and forbidding them to impose or increase taxation by such means, we are in the very same Bill allowing an authority outside this country unrestricted power to impose or increase taxation.
We come to sub-paragraph (b). Are none of the self-enacting provisions of the Community likely to be retroactive? The Minister thinks it right, and I am sure the Committee thinks it right, that Statutory Instruments under Clause 2(2) should not be retroactive. Has there been 329 any understanding that Community law itself shall not be retroactive? We have been considering—
The Temporary Chairman
Order. We are considering one specific Amendment and the right hon. Gentleman must restrict his remarks to that Amendment.
§ Mr. Powell
I understood you to say, Mr. Brewis, that we were considering four Amendments together—Amendments Nos. 184, 410, 185 and 411.
The Temporary Chairman
The right hon. Gentleman was applying his remarks to subparagraph (b) which is not related to any of these Amendments.
§ Mr. Powell
I hesitate to dispute that proposition in whole, though I do so, with great respect, in part. I was glancing at subparagraph (b) on my way from sub-paragraph (a), to which the first Amendment relates, to subparagraph (d) to which the other Amendments under discussion relate.
§ Colonel Sir Tufton Beamish (Lewes)
They all relate to subparagraph (d) and are nothing to do with subparagraph (a).
§ Mr. Powell
In that case, I was nearer to the truth than I have supposed in my brief interchange with you, Mr. Brewis. I hasten on to sub-paragraph (d); and again I ask the Minister, since he believes that there should be these limitations upon offences created by Statutory Instruments which will be approved, or not disallowed, by the House, whether he is satisfied that no such offences and penalties will arise as a result of self-enacting Community legislation.
It would be an irony amounting to absurdity that we should here be debating what ought to be the limitations upon subordinate legislation under Clause 2(2), over which we have some control, while we are apparently content that what is done by an authority entirely external to this country and uncontrolled by this House shall be subject to no such limitation and to none of these restrictions. The Amendments, therefore, though they are limited in their scope, cast their own light as so many of the Amendments we have discussed have done, upon what is happening in this legislation and upon the enormity of it. Each successive Amendment or group of Amendments provides the Committee with an oppor- 330 tunity to mark its sense of the loss of control for the future which is being demanded of the House, loss of control over the laws by which the subject in this country will be governed. I hope that on this group of Amendments we shall at any rate go as far as we can, which is severely to limit the subordinate legislation which can be imposed under the umbrella of Community obligations, even by the Executive in this country, even when acting with the sanction of the House of Commons.
§ Mr. Michael Foot
I will be extremely brief because we have a whole series of matters to deal with, which we are forced to discuss this evening. I certainly agree with every word that the right hon. Member for Wolverhampton, South-West (Mr. Powell) has said about the outrage that is being perpetrated on the Committee in having to deal with such important questions in such a short space of time, questions which could perfectly well require a full day's debate, because they go very far and affect issues which on previous occasions the House has insisted upon debating fully.
It is scandalous therefore that we should be debating the matter in these terms and with these kinds of restrictions. That has been further illustrated by the interventions of hon. Members who are being denied proper debate on the Clause which relates to Northern Ireland. I fully appreciate their feelings on the matter, and I hope they understand that it is no desire of ours that they should be deprived of the proper right to discuss the subject. However, we are bound to concentrate on sub-paragraph (d), although the Schedule deals with provisions on subordinate legislation.
We are bound to take into account the fact that the position about subordinate legislation is in a more serious state of impasse, or deadlock, or, more accurately, congestion, than the House has ever known in its history. I do not know whether the Committee fully appreciates the position, but during the past year or so, and particularly during recent months the accumulation of subordinate legislation has gone ahead far faster than we have ever known before. Many more Statutory Instruments subject to the negative Resolution procedure are failing to receive debate at a time when they should properly be debated. It is 331 only by arrangements between the two sides that debates on these negative Instruments are taken, when they cannot be effectively debated.
Moreover, the guillotine Motions which a majority of the House, including the Liberal Party, sought to impose on this and other Bills, have denied to the House continuously the possibility of a debate on Statutory Instruments. That is part of the reason for the congestion. What I am saying is strictly relevant to the Amendment, Mr. Brewis, because we are now surveying what will be the position of subordinate legislation under the Bill, when already the subordinate legislation that we have coming from other Bills cannot be dealt with. The subordinate legislation under the Bill relates to the critical question of whether people are sent to gaol or not. It is an important matter and I agree with what other hon. Members have said, that we would have expected the Government to be sensitive on these questions.
I hope the Government will accept the Amendments in the spirit in which they are proposed. The Government certainly cannot say that they create any difficulty for our entry into the Community. They cannot say there is no requirement to deal with the matter in the way proposed in the Amendments. It is solely the Government's decision that penalties of up to two years' imprisonment should be imposed for offences that are not yet described and that we do not yet know of. They could accept the Liberal Amendment. I hope we shall have the support of the Liberal Members in the Lobbies, even if we do not have their eloquence in the debate. It would be an extraordinary day in the history of the Liberal Party if, having put down such an Amendment to try to protect the liberty of individual citizens, Liberal Members did not turn up first to move their Amendment and secondly to vote for it. We shall have to see how they propose to comply with the traditions of the Liberal Party in this respect.
I hope the Government will give an immediate response to the proposals from both sides of the Committee by accepting the Amendments. We may then be able to move to the other extremely important aspects of the matter. Let no hon. Member imagine that we are deal- 332 ing with a small affair, because the way in which the House is to deal with subordinate legislation of our own is of paramount importance for the future of the House. Here we are making provision for a huge welter of fresh legislation to come upon us when we cannot even deal with the legislation we already have. I hope the Government will realise that we are making a serious demand, and that it is a serious step to push through the House with such speed new penalties for offences which we do not know and which have not even been defined. If the Government responded to our appeal we should be able to examine the other extremely important matters that fall to be debated on the Schedule.
§ Sir D. Renton
Anyone who objects as strongly as the hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Michael Foot) to the provisions of Clause 2 should welcome with open arms paragraph 1 of the Schedule. As the hon. Member for Nottingham, West (Mr. English) so accurately said, the Government have taken power in the Schedule to limit their own power to create offences. However, we are entitled to ask, especially in relation to the two Liberal Amendments, the drafting of which I agree is rather strange, where the power to create new offences in the circumstances envisaged arises at all.
We should ask ourselves that partly because of the query raised by my right hon. Friend the Member for Wolverhampton, South-West (Mr. Powell), who said in effect that subordinate legislation cannot—he may have meant "should not"—be used for creating new criminal offences. In fact, it frequently has been done under express powers granted by Statute. What has been objected to so often is the use of the "grandchildren" for the purpose, in other words, the sub ordinate legislation itself giving power to someone else to create new offences. That matter has come before the Select Committee on Statutory Instruments, which has frowned upon it, and the practice has been abandoned. Therefore, there is power under our present long-standing practice to make new criminal offences by subordinate legislation.
I must confess that when I was trying to understand the Amendments, and where the Government obtained the 333 power to make new criminal offences at all, I had to look back to Clause 2. We must rely on the provisions of Clause 2(4), the words of which are very wide. It says:The provision that may be made under subsection (2) above includes, subject to Schedule 2 to this Act, any such provision (of any such extent) as might be made by Act of Parliament…Generally, when we are giving power to create new offences, we do it by creating an express power to do it. Here we have not done it in that way; we have done it by much wider words. In my opinion—I do not hold myself out as being the only person with a sound opinion on these occasions—although we have not done it in the usual way we have done it by choosing such wide words as are referred to in Clause 2(4). So much for the generalities of the matter with which the Amendment deals.
I come to the two specific Labour Amendments dealing with maximum penalties. Maximum penalties are designed for the worst examples that can be imagined of the offences to which they relate. It is fairly rare for the courts to impose the maximum penalty for any offence laid down by Parliament. It is the exception rather than the rule. Our system of criminal justice gives discretion to the court to fix the penalty within the maximum so that it fits not only the offence but the offender. It is important for us to remember that system of ours. It means that those who offend against what the Community is trying to achieve will be dealt with by our courts in accordance with our own system. They will be dealt with for offences against Orders in Council and other subordinate legislation referred to as regulations. That is nothing new. It gives the lie to those outside the House who have said—it has not been said here tonight, because no one would have the temerity to say it as it is not true—that if we join the European Community our system of criminal justice will not be applied and a continental system will be. As regards offences created by this subordinate legislation, that would not be true.
It is generally difficult to decide what the maximum penalty should be for any offence. It is a matter of judgment as to what the worst examples of a particular type of offence might be. It is not mere guesswork but a judgment formed 334 on past experience of comparable offences and their penalties, a judgment which must also be formed with a knowledge of the type of mischief which the penalty is designed to prevent. Bearing that in mind, and that the offences with which this legislation will be concerned are mainly trading offences, I suggest that £400 on summary conviction is much nearer the mark, much more realistic than the £50 that the hon. Member for Ebbw Vale is asking the Committee to approve. The figure of £50 was for many years the upper limit of jurisdiction in the magistrates' courts but over the last 30 years many trading offences have had a maximum penalty far exceeding £50 and sometimes as much as £5,000. There are numerous examples of trading offences of that kind with the maximum penalties adjusted accordingly to them.
I believe, therefore, that £400 on summary conviction is about right. For these reasons, I would not consider that the limitation of the powers contained in Schedule 2—the limitation on the Government's power to create new offences—would be improved by acceptance of the Amendments.
§ Mr. Waddington
I tried to intervene when the hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Michael Foot) was speaking. I know that he would not wish to mislead the Committee, but in fairness to the Liberal Party it should be put on record that there are two Amendments standing in the name of the hon. and learned Member for Montgomery (Mr. Hooson). No other Liberal Member is supporting those Amendments and it is perhaps fair for us to recognise that the hon. and learned Member has not always agreed with the other Liberal Members during the progress of the Bill.
I agree very much with much of what was said by my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Huntingdonshire (Sir D. Renton) about the maximum permissible penalties laid down in Schedule 2. A few moments ago I glanced through Archbold's "Criminal Pleading, Evidence and Practice", and in particular at the schedule towards the back of that volume in which is set out virtually all the offences known to English law and the maximum penalties which can be inflicted in the case of each of those offences. Some hon. Members may be 335 surprised to hear that very few offences known to our law are punishable with a maximum penalty of less than two years' imprisonment. The vast majority of offences known to English law are punishable by life imprisonment or 10 or seven years' imprisonment, and only a handful of offences are punishable with a maximum of only two years.
The main point, however, is that made by my right hon. and learned Friend when he pointed out that the bulk of the offences we are concerned with when we consider Schedule 2 are trading offences and that one has to compare this type of offence with, for instance, offences such as those created under the Trade Descriptions Act. It would be ridiculous to deal with offences under that Act with a maximum penalty of £50, which is the maximum financial penalty suggested in Amendment No. 411.
When I first looked at this part of Schedule 2 I said to myself that it seemed to be going a little too far to set in motion a procedure whereby there might be created dozens of new criminal offences punishable by as much as two years' imprisonment, but I can only repeat that one has to cater for the worst type of the offence in question and that, when one looks at the penalties which can be inflicted on persons guilty of criminal offences in this country, one finds that the vast majority of offences are punishable in the worst cases with very much more than two years imprisonment.
§ Rev. Ian Paisley
On a point of order, Mr. Brewis. You gave a ruling at the beginning of the debate on these Amendments which affected hon. Members who represent Northern Ireland. You said that it would not be possible for them to deal with a matter which very much concerned them. Could I draw your attention to the fact that the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster made a promise to hon. Members from Northern Ireland that on Schedule 2 we would be allowed to discuss this very important point. I refer you to HANSARD of 14th June, in column 1588, in which a specific promise was given to hon. Members from Northern Ireland that on Schedule 2 we would be entitled to discuss this matter.
336 I should like you to consider this matter and see whether you cannot in some way permit hon. Members from Northern Ireland to discuss this matter. After all, we are dealing with an Amendment to Schedule 2 and surely in some way we should be able to discuss a matter which is of such concern to us.
The Temporary Chairman
The hon. Gentleman must know that th Amendment in question—No. 444—has not been selected, but there is no reason why it should not be discussed on the Question, "That the Schedule be the Second Schedule to the Bill". The operation of a guillotine is not within my responsibility.
§ Mr. Arthur Lewis
Further to that point of order, Mr. Brewis. Is it not the case that the hon. Member for Antrim, North (Rev. Ian Paisley) is in order in raising the point he has made but that he should know, as Ministers know, that when they make a promise such as that it is a dishonest promise because they know that they cannot decide what the Chair will or will not allow? Of course we know that the Government make promises in the knowledge that they can and will and do break them. Therefore, it is up to the hon. Gentleman to raise with the Government the fact that they have deliberately broken their promise and knew when they made it that they had no intention of keeping it.
§ Mr. Michael Foot
On a point of order, Mr. Brewis. Perhaps I misheard what you said. It would surely be in order for hon. Members to raise these matters in the debate on the Schedule as a whole. Unfortunately, of course, it may be that we shall have very little time for that debate. We had originally hoped that there would be some time for it, and one of the matters which would arise on it would be the Northern Ireland question. Unfortunately, it appears that it will be very difficult indeed to get an adequate debate unless we can all co-operate in trying to ensure that we do get some time for it. Certainly we on this side of the Committee think that it would be a great outrage, particularly in view of the promise given to hon. Members opposite, if they were denied the right to raise this matter. It is an extremely 337 important matter, as the Government themselves know.
There is a very simple way in which the Government could carry out their pledge if they wanted to. They could agree to a Report stage for the Bill. The Report stage is in our procedure so that the Government can carry out their promises. If the Government wish to prove themselves honourable in discharging their obligations to those to whom they gave their pledge, they have a simple way of doing it. I submit that it is perfectly possible for these matters to be debated on the Schedule as a whole, but that if we are denied the right to have that debate it is possible for the Government to ensure that we have time to debate them by allowing a Report stage. A Report stage is a familiar opportunity to put such matters to the Government when a Bill is going through the House.
The Temporary Chairman
Questions about the Report stage are not for me to decide, but, of course, it would appear that the point raised by the hon. Member for Antrim, North (Rev. Ian Paisley) would be in order in the debate on the Schedule as a whole. Perhaps we shall get to that debate rather quicker if hon. Members do not raise lengthy points of order.
§ Mr. Michael Havers (Wimbledon)
May I deal briefly with this subparagraph, which is confined entirely to penalties? I will consider the Amendment tabled by the hon. and learned Member for Montgomery (Mr. Hooson) and read the subsection as he would have it amended. It would read:to create any new criminal offence punishable on summary conviction with a fine of more than £400 (if not calculated on a daily basis) or with a fine of more than £5 a day.That means that no question of imprisonment would follow and it would mean that this paragraph would be entirely emasculated and pointless. If we then look at Amendments 410 and 411 it would read:to create any new criminal offence punishable with imprisonment for more than three months or punishable on summary conviction with imprisonment for more than three months or with a fine of more than £50…and so on. That does not seem to make sense anyway.
If left like that does it mean that the first lot of three months can be tried on 338 indictment because that would seem pointless? What it really means is that it is only three months, whether on indictment or on summary trial. The penalty of £50 is now the maximum fine for a speeding offence and, I think, half the maximum fine for careless driving. When we look at this, we have to keep these suggested penalties in perspectve and these two Amendments make a nonsense of the whole paragraph.
§ [SIR ALFRED BROUGHTON in the Chair]
§ 8.30 p.m.
§ Mr. W. R. Rees-Davies (Isle of Thanet)
I want to endorse what my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Wimbledon (Mr. Havers) has said. I am afraid that the arguments addressed by my right hon. Friend the Member for Wolverhampton, South-West (Mr. Powell) were completely wrong, as were those of the hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Michael Foot). They both arose out of a complete misapprehension of every single word they were saying. The situation is plain beyond peradventure. The Amendment in the name of the hon. and learned Member for Montgomery (Mr. Hooson), who is not here tonight—he must have appreciated what the Amendment would do—would produce exactly the reverse effect. He sought to reduce from two years to three months the term of imprisonment and this arises out of a misapprenhension.
In a criminal trial there are two methods of trial. One is trial on summary jurisdiction and the other is on indictment. With summary trials it has been provided that there will be three months or a fine of £400—incidentally a very moderate fine nowadays for any commercial offence and it is likely that commercial offences would be the subject of this subparagraph. If there is indictment the minimum amount of imprisonment which may be awarded is seldom, if ever, less than two years. In my experience, two years is about the minimum. That does not mean that any sentence of imprisonment will be provided, it may well be a fine.
Therefore, the provisions contained here are simple and minimal. They are not at all excessive. The Amendment although not out of order, was completely pointless and it was far from a liberal 339 Amendment, it was grossly illiberal because by removing what he sought to remove the hon. and learned Member would give the Government the power to impose any sentence, however great, on indictment. I merely wish to underline what was said far more briefly and with consummate accuracy by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Wimbledon. I add to it only so that the public will recognise what the Liberal Amendment would do which is to increase the powers of the Government and not to decrease them by giving this large, punitive power on indictment.
The Amendments tabled by the Opposititon are derisory and of no point at all. The fines would be like those imposed for running up a number of parking offences. It is for these reasons that it is wrong of my right hon. Friend the Member for Wolverhampton, South-West to suggest that this is a matter which needed to be debated at any length. I go so far as to say that had the matter been explained by the Government in two minutes at the beginning of the debate, as no doubt my right hon. and learned Friend would have done, we would not have needed to waste time on the debate at all, for all that my hon. and learned Friend and I have had to do is to put the record straight.
§ The Lord Advocate (Mr. Norman Wylie)
As the hon. and learned Member for Montgomery (Mr. Hooson) is not here perhaps I should refer briefly to the Amendment in his name. My understanding of the position is as it has been explained by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. Waddington). I do not think that this is an official Liberal Amendment. I think the Liberal Party as a whole has dissociated itself from the Amendment. As has been properly pointed out, the effect of the Liberal Amendments Nos. 184 and 185 would be precisely the opposite of what the hon. and learned Member intends.
What has to be borne in mind is that the provisions of paragraph 1(l)(d) do not positively deal with the imposition of penalties or the power to impose penalties. That is done negatively. It imposes fetters on the wide power contained in Clause 2(2).
340 By taking out any reference to a limitation on penalties of imprisonment, either under proceedings on indictment or proceedings taken summarily, these Amendments would impose no limit on the power to make a Regulation under Clause 2(2) without any limit on the penalty of imprisonment which could be imposed. I am sure that the hon. and learned Member for Montgomery intended no such result.
The two Amendments in the name of the official Opposition are properly focused in the sense that they seek to narrow further the restrictions which the legislation is imposing on the exercise of a power under Clause 2(2). The Government have all along recognised that the wide powers contained in Clause 2(2) have to be restricted. The whole effect of Schedule 2 paragraph 1(d), is to impose restrictions on the power to create offences which impose penalties.
The only question is to what extent that power should be cut down. My right hon. Friend the Member for Wolverhampton, South-West (Mr. Powell) and other hon. Members would seek to have that power cut down still further. I am bound to say that my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Wimbledon (Mr. Havers) and other hon. Members have correctly stated the position. The maximum penalty referred to either by way of monetary penalty or imprisonment is entirely in accordance with current practice. Regarding the imposition of penalties, as has already been pointed out by a number of hon. and learned Members, it is quite usual in this sphere.
My hon. and learned Friend the Member for Nelson and Colne referred to the Trade Descriptions Act, 1968. In Section 18 of that Act, the penalties which may be imposed are precisely the same as those which may be imposed in the Schedule, except that they are less in the sense that there is no reference to imprisonment on summary proceedings. On summary conviction there is provision for a fine not exceeding £400 and on conviction on indictment to a fine or imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.
§ The Lord Advocate
I shall finish this point and then readily give way. I shall not take up too much time on this matter.
341 These penalties are typical of the kind of penalties which are imposed by Statute in the sphere with which we are concerned in the exercise of powers contained in Clause 2(2).
A much closer analogy will be found in the provisions of Section 7 of the Mineral Workings (Offshore) Installations Act, 1971. As my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Huntingdonshire (Sir D. Renton) pointed out, there are many examples of Parliament delegating responsibility and power to create offences by regulation and to impose penalties. The provisions of Section 7 of the Mineral Workings (Offshore Installations) Act, 1971, operate in that direction. Subsection 2(a) of that Section makes the following provision:may provide for the creation of offences and for their punishment on summary conviction or on conviction on indictment".It continues in the following subsection to deal with the maximum penalties which can be imposed in the exercise of that delegated power. It says:The punishment for an offence created by regulations under this Act shall be—It is a question of judgment what the upper limit should be. The provisions in the Schedule are inline with numerous examples of similar exercises of powers.
- (a) on summary conviction a fine not exceeding £400,
- (b) on conviction on indictment imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years…".
§ Similar problems arise under other legislation.
§ We are dealing with the maximum penalty which can be imposed in the exercise of that regulation-making power. It does not follow that every regulation or instrument made under Clause 2(2) would in practice have a maximum of two years' imprisonment on indictment or a fine of £400 or three months' imprisonment on summary conviction. That is the upper limit beyond which the regulation or instrument could not go. But whatever penalty was imposed or applied in the regulation or instrument under the exercise of these powers, it is always a matter for the court to decide what penalty should in any particular circumstances be imposed.
§ This is not one of the major issues in our discussions on the Bill. I submit that the maximum levels that have been struck here are right. They introduce the necessary flexibility for the proper exercise of the regulation-making power which has to consider not only the bad offence, but the second offence. Second offences also have to be taken into account. Therefore, there must be some flexibility and latitude. I submit that the levels that have been struck here are right, and I invite the Committee to accept them.
§ Question put, That the Amendment be made:
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 269; Noes, 274.345
|Division No. 231.]||AYES||[8.44 p.m.|
|Abse, Leo||Buchan, Norman||Deakins, Eric|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Buchanan, Richard (G'gow Sp'burn)||de Freitas, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey|
|Allen, Scholefield||Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)||Dell, Rt. Hn. Edmund|
|Archer, Peter (Rowley Regis)||Callaghan, Rt. Hn. James||Dempsey, James|
|Armstrong, Ernest||Campbell, I. (Dunbartonshire, W.)||Doig, Peter|
|Ashley, Jack||Cant, R. B.||Dormand, J. D.|
|Ashton, Joe||Carmichael, Neil||Douglas, Dick (Stirlingshire, E.)|
|Atkinson, Norman||Carter, Ray (Birmingh'm, Northfield)||Douglas-Mann, Bruce|
|Bagier, Gordon A. T.||Carter-Jones, Lewis (Eccles)||Driberg, Tom|
|Barnett, Guy (Greenwich)||Castle, Rt. Hn. Barbara||Duffy, A. E. P.|
|Barnett, Joel (Heywood and Royton)||Clark, David (Colne Valley)||Dunn, James A.|
|Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood||Cocks, Michael (Bristol, S.)||Dunnett, Jack|
|Bennett, James (Glasgow, Bridgeton)||Cohen, Stanley||Eadie, Alex|
|Bidwell, Sydney||Concannon, J. D.||Edelman, Maurice|
|Biffen, John||Conlan, Bernard||Edwards, William (Merioneth)|
|Bishop, E. S.||Crawshaw, Richard||Ellis, Tom|
|Blenkinsop, Arthur||Cronin, John||English, Michael|
|Boardman, H. (Leigh)||Crosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony||Evans, Fred|
|Body, Richard||Crossman, Rt. Hn. Richard||Ewing, Henry|
|Booth, Albert||Cunningham, G. (Islington, S.W.)||Faulds, Andrew|
|Bottomley, Rt. Kn. Arthur||Cunningham, Dr. J. A. (Whitehaven)||Fisher, Mrs. Doris (B'ham, Ladywood)|
|Boyden, James (Bishop Auckland)||Dalyell, Tam||Fitch, Alan (Wigan)|
|Bradley, Tom||Davies, Denzil (Llanelly)||Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston)|
|Brown, Bob (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne,W.)||Davies, Ifor (Gower)||Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)|
|Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan)||Davis, Clinton (Hackney, C.)||Foley, Maurice|
|Brown, Ronald (Shoreditch & F'bury)||Davis, Terry (Bromsgrove)||Foot, Michael|
|Forrester, John||Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.)||Rees, Merlyn (Leeds, S.)|
|Fraser, John (Norwood)||Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson||Rhodes, Geoffrey|
|Freeson, Reginald||McBride, Neil||Richard, Ivor|
|Gilbert, Dr. John||McCartney, Hugh||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)|
|Ginsburg, David (Dewsbury)||McElhone, Frank||Roberts, Rt. Hn. Goronwy (Caernarvon)|
|Golding, John||McGuire, Michael||Roderick, CaerwynE. (Br'c'n&R'dnor)|
|Gordon Walker, Rt. Hn. P. C.||Mackenzie, Gregor||Rodgers, William (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Gourlay, Harry||Mackintosh, John P.||Roper, John|
|Grant, George (Morpeth)||Maclennan, Robert||Rose, Paul B.|
|Grant, John D. (Islington, E.)||McMaster, Stanley||Ross, Rt. Hn. William (Kilmarnock)|
|Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside)||McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.)||Rowlands, Ted|
|Griffiths, Will (Exchange)||McNamara, J. Kevin||Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-under-Lyne)|
|Hamilton, James (Bothwell)||Maginnis, John E.||Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney)|
|Hamilton, William (Fife, W.)||Mahon, Simon (Bootle)||Short, Rt. Hn. Edward (N'c'tle-u-Tyne)|
|Hamling, William||Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.)||Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)|
|Hannan, William (G'gow, Maryhill)||Marks, Kenneth||Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich)|
|Hardy, Peter||Marsden, F.||Sillars, James|
|Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)||Marshall, Dr. Edmund||Silverman, Julius|
|Hart, Rt. Hn. Judith||Marten, Neil||Skinner, Dennis|
|Hattersley, Roy||Mason, Rt. Hn. Roy||Smith, John (Lanarkshire, N.)|
|Healey, Rt. Hn. Denis||Mayhew, Christopher||Spearing, Nigel|
|Heffer, Eric S.||Meacher, Michael||Spriggs, Leslie|
|Hilton, W. S.||Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert||Stallard, A. W.|
|Horam, John||Mendelson, John||Stewart, Donald (Western Isles)|
|Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas||Mikardo, Ian||Stewart, Rt. Hn. Michael (Fulham)|
|Howell, Denis (Small Heath)||Millan, Bruce||Stoddart, David (Swindon)|
|Huckfield, Leslie||Milne, Edward||Stonehouse, Rt. Hn. John|
|Hughes, Rt. Hn. Cledwyn (Anglesey)||Mitchell, R. C. (S'hampton, Itchen)||Strang, Gavin|
|Hughes, Mark (Durham)||Moate, Roger||Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R.|
|Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen, N.)||Molloy, William||Swain, Thomas|
|Hughes, Roy (Newport)||Molyneaux, James||Taverne, Dick|
|Hunter, Adam||Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire)||Thomas, Rt. Hn. George (Cardiff, W.)|
|Irvine, Rt. Hn. SirArthur (Edge Hill)||Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)||Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)|
|Janner, Greville||Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)||Thomson, Rt. Hn. G. (Dundee, E.)|
|Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas||Morris, Rt. Hn. John (Aberavon)|
|Jeger, Mrs. Lena||Moyle, Roland||Tinn, James|
|Jenkins, Hugh (Putney)||Mulley, Rt. Hn. Frederick||Tomney, Frank|
|John, Brynmor||Murray, Ronald King||Torney, Tom|
|Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.)||Oakes, Gordon||Tuck, Raphael|
|Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.)||Ogden, Eric||Turton, Rt. Hn. Sir Robin|
|Johnson, Walter (Derby, S.)||O'Halloran, Michael||Urwin, T. W.|
|Jones, Dan (Burnley)||O'Malley, Brian||Varley, Eric G.|
|Jones, Rt. Hn. Sir Elwyn (W. Ham, S.)||Oram, Bert||Wainwright, Edwin|
|Jones, Gwynoro (Carmarthen)||Orbach, Maurice||Walden, Brian (B'm'ham, All Saints)|
|Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, W.)||Orme, Stanley||Walker, Harold (Doncaster)|
|Judd, Frank||Oswald, Thomas||Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek|
|Kaufman, Gerald||Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, Sutton)||Wallace, George|
|Kelley, Richard||Padley, Walter||Watkins, David|
|Kerr, Russell||Paisley, Rev. Ian||Weitzman, David|
|Kilfedder, James||Palmer, Arthur||Wellbeloved, James|
|Kinnock, Neil||Pannell, Rt. Hn. Charles||Wells, William (Walsall, N.)|
|Lambie, David||Parker, John (Dagenham)||White, James (Glasgow, Pollok)|
|Lamborn, Harry||Parry, Robert (Liverpool, Exchange)||Whitehead, Phillip|
|Lamond, James||Pavitt, Laurie||Whitlock, William|
|Latham, Arthur||Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred||Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick|
|Leadbitter, Ted||Pendry, Tom||Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)|
|Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick||Pentland, Norman||Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchin)|
|Leonard, Dick||Perry, Ernest G.||Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)|
|Lestor, Miss Joan||Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch||Wilson, Rt. Hn. Harold (Huyton)|
|Lever, Rt. Hn. Harold||Prentice, Rt. Hn. Reg.||Woof, Robert|
|Lewis, Arthur (W. Ham, N.)||Prescott, John|
|Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)||Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Lipton, Marcus||Price, William (Rugby)|
|Lomas, Kenneth||Probert, Arthur||Mr. Joseph Harper and|
|Loughlin, Charles||Rankin, John||Mr. Donald Coleman.|
|Lyon, Alexander W. (York)||Reed, D. (Sedgefield)|
|Adley, Robert||Berry, Hn. Anthony||Burden, F. A.|
|Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash)||Biggs-Davison, John||Butler, Adam (Bosworth)|
|Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead)||Blaker, Peter||Campbell, Rt. Hn. G. (Moray&Nairn)|
|Amery, Rt. Hn. Julian||Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S.W.)||Carlisle, Mark|
|Archer, Jeffrey (Louth)||Boscawen, Robert||Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert|
|Astor, John||Bossom, Sir Clive||Cary, Sir Robert|
|Atkins, Humphrey||Bowden, Andrew||Chapman, Sydney|
|Awdry, Daniel||Braine, Bernard||Chataway, Rt. Hn. Christopher|
|Baker, Kenneth (St. Marylebone)||Bray, Ronald||Chichester-Clark, R.|
|Balniel, Lord||Brinton, Sir Tatton||Churchill, W. S.|
|Barber, Rt. Hn. Anthony||Brown, Sir Edward (Bath)||Clark, William (Surrey, E.)|
|Batsford, Brian||Bruce-Gardyne, J.||Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe)|
|Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton||Bryan, Paul||Cockeram, Eric|
|Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay)||Buchanan-Smith, Alick (Angus, N&M)||Cooke, Robert|
|Benyon, W.||Buck, Antony||Coombs, Derek|
|Cordle, John||Iremonger, T.L.||Pym, Rt. Hn. Francis|
|Corfield, Rt. Hn. Frederick||James, David||Quennell, Miss J. M.|
|Cormack, Patrick||Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford)||Raison, Timothy|
|Costain, A. P.||Jessel, Toby||Ramsden, Rt. Hn. James|
|Crouch, David||Johnson Smith, G. (E. Grinstead)||Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter|
|Crowder, F. P.||Johnston, Russell (Inverness)||Redmond, Robert|
|Davies, Rt. Hn. John (Knutsford)||Jones, Arthur (Northants, S.)||Reed, Laurance (Bolton, E.)|
|d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry||Jopling, Michael||Rees, Peter (Dover)|
|d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Maj.-Gen. James||Joseph, Rt. Hn. Sir Keith||Rees-Davies, W. R.|
|Dean, Paul||Kaberry, Sir Donald||Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David|
|Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F.||Kellett-Bowman, Mrs. Elaine||Ridley, Hn. Nicholas|
|Dixon, Piers||Kershaw, Anthony||Ridsdale, Julian|
|Dodds-Parker, Douglas||Kimball, Marcus||Rippon, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey|
|Douglas-Home, Rt. Hn. Sir Alec||King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.)||Roberts, Michael (Cardiff, N.)|
|Drayson, G. B.||King, Tom (Bridgwater)||Roberts, Wyn (Conway)|
|du Cann, Rt. Hn. Edward||Kinsey, J. R.||Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks)|
|Dykes, Hugh||Kirk, Peter||Rost, Peter|
|Eden, Sir John||Kitson, Timothy||Royle, Anthony|
|Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke)||Knight, Mrs. Jill||St. John-Stevas, Norman|
|Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton)||Knox, David||Sandys, Rt. Hn. D|
|Elliott, R. W. (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne,N.)||Lambton, Lord||Scott, Nicholas|
|Emery, Peter||Lamont, Norman||Sharples, Richard|
|Eyre, Reginald||Lane, David||Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)|
|Fenner, Mrs. Peggy||Langford-Holt, Sir John||Shelton, William (Clapham)|
|Fidler, Michael||Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry||Simeons, Charles|
|Finsberg, Geoffrey (Hampstead)||Le Merchant, Spencer||Sinclair, Sir George|
|Fisher, Nigel (Surbiton)||Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)||Skeet, T. H. H.|
|Fookes, Miss Janet||Longden, Gilbert||Smith, Dudley (W'wick & L'mington)|
|Fortescue, Tim||Loveridge, John||Soref, Harold|
|Foster, Sir John||Luce, R. N.||Speed, Keith|
|Fowler, Norman||MacArthur, Ian||Spence, John|
|Fox, Marcus||McCrindle, R. A.||Sproat, Iain|
|Fry, Peter||McLaren, Martin||Stainton, Keith|
|Galbraith, Hn. T. G.||Maclean, Sir Fitzroy||Stanbrook, Ivor|
|Gardner, Edward||Macmillan, Maurice (Farnham)|
|Gibson-Watt, David||McNair-Wilson, Patrick (NewForest)||Steel, David|
|Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, C.)||Maddan, Martin||Stewart-Smith, Geoffrey (Belper)|
|Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.)||Madel, David||Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M|
|Glyn, Dr. Alan||Marples, Rt. Hn. Ernest||Stokes, John|
|Goodhart, Philip||Mather, Carol||Stuttaford, Dr. Tom|
|Goodhew, Victor||Maudling, Rt. Hn. Reginald||Tapsell, Peter|
|Gorst, John||Mawby, Ray||Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)|
|Gower, Raymond||Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.||Tebbit, Norman|
|Grant, Anthony (Harrow, C.)||Meyer, Sir Anthony||Temple, John M.|
|Gray, Hamish||Mills, Peter (Torrington)||Thatcher, Rt. Hn. Mrs. Margaret|
|Green, Alan||Mills, Stratton (Belfast, N.)||Thomas, John Stradling (Monmouth)|
|Grieve, Percy||Miscampbell, Norman||Thomas, Rt. Hn. Peter (Hendon, S.)|
|Mitchell, Lt.-Col. C. (Aberdeenshire, W)||Thompson, Sir Richard (Croydon, S.)|
|Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds)||Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)||Tilney, John|
|Grimond, Rt. Hn. J.||Money, Ernle||Trafford, Dr. Anthony|
|Gummer, Selwyn||Monks, Mrs. Connie||Trew, Peter|
|Gurden, Harold||Monro, Hector||Tugendhat, Christopher|
|Hall, Miss Joan (Keighlay)||Montgomery, Fergus||Van Straubenzee, W. R.|
|Hall-Davis, A. G. F.||More, Jasper||Vaughan, Dr. Gerard|
|Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury)||Morgan, Geraint (Denbigh)||Vickers, Dame Joan|
|Hannam, John (Exeter)||Morgan-Giles, Rear-Adm.||Waddington, David|
|Harrison, Brian (Maldon)||Morrison, Charles||Walker, Rt. Hn. Peter (Worcester)|
|Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye)||Mudd, David||Wall, Patrick|
|Haselhurst, Alan||Murton, Oscar||Walters, Dennis|
|Hastings, Stephen||Nabarro, Sir Gerald||Ward, Dame Irene|
|Havers, Michael||Neave, Airey||Warren, Kenneth|
|Hawkins, Paul||Nicholls, Sir Harmar||Weatherill, Bernard|
|Hayhoe, Barney||Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael||Wells, John (Maidstone)|
|Heath, Rt. Hn. Edward||Nott, John||White, Roger (Gravesend)|
|Heseltine, Michael||Onslow, Cranley||Wiggin, Jerry|
|Hicks, Robert||Oppenheim, Mrs. Sally||Wilkinson, John|
|Higgins, Terence L.||Osborn, John||Winterton, Nicholas|
|Hiley, Joseph||Owen, Idris (Stockport, N.)||Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard|
|Hill, James (Southampton, Test)||Page, Graham (Crosby)|
|Hill, John E. B. (Norfolk, S.)||Page, John (Harrow, W.)||Woodhouse, Hn. Christopher|
|Holland, Philip||Pardoe, John||Woodnutt, Mark|
|Holt, Miss Mary||Parkinson, Cecil||Worsley, Marcus|
|Hordern, Peter||Peel, John||Wylie, Rt. Hn. N. R.|
|Hornby, Richard||Peyton, Rt. Hn. John||Younger, Hn. George|
|Hornsby-Smith, Rt. Hn. Dame Patricia||Pike, Miss Mervyn|
|Howe, Hn. Sir Geoffrey (Reigate)||Pink, R. Bonner||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Howell, David (Guildford)||Price, David (Eastleigh)||Mr. Walter Clegg and|
|Howell, Ralph (Norfolk, N.)||Prior, Rt. Hn. J. M. L.||Mr Hugh Rossi.|
|Hunt, John||Proudfoot, Wilfred|
§ Question accordingly negatived.347
§ Mr. S. C. Silkin (Dulwich)
I beg to move Amendment No. 9, in page 20, line 32, at end insert:'or(e) to make any provision for the purpose of implementing any Community obligation of the United Kingdom, or enabling any such obligation to be implemented under section 2(2)(a) of this Act unless before such obligation arose any proposal by virtue of which such obligation arises has been laid before Parliament and a Committee of each House of Parliament has reported thereto upon such proposal'.May I, through you, Sir Alfred, begin by thanking the Chairman of Ways and Means for responding to the request made to him by my right hon. Friend the Member for Birkenhead (Mr. Dell) to select this Amendment. I appreciate that it will absorb time which would have been allotted to later Amendments and I apologise to right hon. and hon. Members concerned with them. However, my right hon. and hon. Friends and I who put down the Amendment on the day the Bill received its Second Reading are convinced that it raises an issue of fundamental importance. It is concerned not only with parliamentary control over the Executive but with the reality of parliamentary participation in the decision-making processes in Brussels. Because it is concerned with that participation, it is inevitably concerned also with our relations with our future partners in the Communities.
There are those who take the view that the best form of participation will be in the European Parliament. I respect that view, but as one who had close experience over several years of European parliamentary assemblies I cannot disguise from myself that for many years to come the real participation and the real control must be here at Westminster.
Right hon. and hon. Members in the Committee may differ sincerely on whether we should enter and on the terms of entry, but we must surely all accept that if we are to become partners in the Communities it is essential that our relations with our partners should be as smooth as possible. We must surely agree that if hon. Members do not feel themselves to be in the fullest sense participants in the decisions taken in Brussels, decisions which will create new obligations on our fellow citizens, the likelihood of a smooth relationship will be frustrated.
Hon. Members in all parts of the Committee, whether they are in favour of 348 entry or against it, must appreciate that if obligations which are entered into on our behalf, and which we here representing our constituents have had and will have no genuine opportunity to consider or to debate, are given the force of law by procedures which fail to provide us with any practical way of suggesting the method which is most advantageous or least harmful to our constituents, that will be the surest way of creating dissatisfaction, frustration and ultimately unwillingness to co-operate.
It is because the Amendment seeks to create better opportunities of parliamentary particpiation in the decision-making process that we regard it as of fundamental importance. It is concerned with the method by which we shall give effect to the obligations which are created by or arise under the treaties and which are of such character that the treaties leave to the discretion of Parliaments the methods of giving effect to them.
If we examine paragraph 1 of the Schedule, we see that it is evident that the Government have accepted the principle that obligations of this character need not all be dealt with by a single procedure. Still less need they all be dealt with by the "accept or reject" process which is familiar to us in subordinate legislation. The Government have decided to exempt four categories of enactments from this "accept or reject" process. We applaud that decision. We believe it is right that the ordinary process of legislation should be invoked, with all the powers of debate and amendment available to hon. Members, where the intention is to give effect to obligations which, in the words of paragraph 1 of the Schedule, involve taxation, retrospection, delegation or serious offences.
It is right that Parliament, while not seeking to depart from our obligations, should be able to alter the proposed tax system, challenge the retrospection, reconsider the procedures of delegation and scrutinise the offences and the penalties. But we do not believe this goes far enough. As the Bill stands, in no other case will Parliament have this power. Obligations affecting our regional policies, agricultural polices and the whole process of harmonisation which will ensue after membership may fall quite outside the four exempted categories. In all those cases, if they do not fall within the 349 exempted categories, Parliament s power of control—not of the obligation alone but also of the method of giving effect to it—will be no more than the theoretical power to accept or reject. I say "theoretical" because the power will be exercisable in circumstances in which rejection will be a breach of our obligations already entered into.
Thus, in practice Parliament will be able to reject for one purpose and for one purpose only, that of hoping to persuade the Government to come forward with a fresh order or regulation using a different form or method. Surely no one will dispute that that is neither an effective nor an economical use of parliamentary time, assuming that the time will be available at all, when matters of great importance require decision. Certainly it cannot be even suggested that the four exempted categories together embrace all the matters of importance which may arise out of the obligations which we shall be called upon to perform. We know, however, from long experience how frustrating it is to those who are not Ministers of the Crown to seek to debate, discuss and effect changes under the subordinate legislation procedure.
In matters of great importance, it is only reluctantly and as a temporary expedient that we accept this procedure, as we did recently in the crisis situation in Northern Ireland, for a limited period only. In this Bill, however, we are creating what is intended to be the future framework of a new system of parliamentary control over our future new relationship with the Communities. For this we surely need something better than that which may be appropriate as a temporary expedient.
That was why we put down this Amendment at the outset of discussion on the Bill. Its effect would be that Committees of this and the other House would have the duty to examine proposals and to report on them to Parliament before our Ministers accepted obligations based upon them in Brussels. Some may think that this is a very modest proposal. In this respect, we do no more than adapt to our own procedure a system which, as I understand it, operates successfully in the Federal Republic of Germany and in the Netherlands. Those countries recognise the need to bring 350 Parliament into the decision-making process before and not after their obligations are entered into. Their Parliaments act in the closest contact with their Ministers, both before and after the decisions are made.
Our Amendment is a very moderate one. It does not even compel the Government in all cases to consult the Committees which would be set up or Parliament to which they would report. We recognise that this might not always be possible. But where it is not possible or is not done, surely it is in just those cases that parliamentary control is most required of the method of giving effect to the obligations entered into without that procedure having been gone through beforehand. That is why our Amendment would require that if Parliament had been unable to consider proposals for an obligation before it was entered into, the ordinary parliamentary process of legislation would be required to give effect to the obligation.
Thus the basic principle of the Amendment is that Parliament should be able to scrutinise and control our obligations, either before they are entered into at the proposal stage or afterwards at the stage of giving effect to them. By accepting the categories which I have described and which are comprised in paragraph 1(1) of the Schedule, the Government have accepted the principle of this scrutiny and control. But they have created an artificial limitation to the cases in which they should be exercised. This Amendment pursues the Government's principle to its logical conclusion. It removes the artificial boundaries. It asserts the right of Parliament properly to supervise Ministers who intend to accept obligations on our behalf.
It is an Amendment which should be acceptable to all right hon. and hon. Members, whether they call themselves pro-Marketeers or anti-Marketeers or neither. It is about Parliament first and Europe second. It deserves Parliament's support.
§ Sir T. Beamish
I listened with great interest to the hon. and learned Member for Dulwich (Mr. S. C. Silkin). On thinking back over what he said, and on thinking back over our debates, I cannot help feeling that there has been a failure on the part of the Committee to concentrate properly on the whole question of 351 subordinate legislation and the power to make regulations exercisable by Statutory Instrument, as modified by Schedule 2.
Until now the Opposition have been opposed in principle to discussing exactly how Parliament should scrutinise Community legislation—[Interruption.] That is true, and I shall explain why. I am not pulling this out of the air. I believe it is true that the Opposition have refused in principle to discuss with the majority of the Committee who are in favour of our joining the Community the best way in which both Houses should scrutinise Community legislation, and I warmly welcome the fact that we now have an Amendment, put down at the last minute, and surprisingly called, which makes one suggestion about how we should do this.
I think it was inevitable that up to this stage there should be a lack of co-operation between those against our joining and those in favour, simply because the Front Bench spokesmen for the Opposition, the right hon. Member for Stepney (Mr. Shore) and the hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Michael Foot), have both been opposed from the outset to our joining the Community.
§ Mr. Michael Foot
I am sure that the hon. and gallant Member for Lewes (Sir T. Beamish) would not wish to misrepresent the situation. We have had a whole series of debates on matters on which we have voted and on which we made proposals for controlling Statutory Instruments and the way in which the House of Commons should deal with these matters. We had one Amendment which dealt with the proposal for an ad hoc committee, and we voted on that. It dealt with much the same thing dealt with by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Dulwich (Mr. S. C. Silkin) in the Amendment which he has just moved. It is not the case that we have not put forward proposals which could have dealt with this problem. The Government could have responded to them instead of refusing every Amendment. The majority of our Amendments could have been accepted even by those who wish to secure entry to the Common Market.
§ Sir T. Beamish
I am glad that the hon. Gentleman has intervened, because 352 it gives me the opportunity to say that the reason why I have been against all these different suggestions is that they would all have had the effect of tying the hands of the House in this legislation.
What I have wanted all along, and what hon. Members on both sides of the Committee have wanted, is discussions between those who favour going in and those who are against entry, between the Government and the Opposition, about the best way in which we should handle these matters. To try to write every syllable and comma into the Bill seems to be a great mistake, and that is why I feel sure the Committee will reject the Amendment.
But there have been ample opportunities ever since last October when the House voted by a majority of 112 in favour of joining, at a time when the terms were known in almost every detail, apart from the inshore fishing regulations, for both sides to get together and discuss these matters.
§ Mr. Michael Foot
The principle upon which we have insisted, and upon which we still insist, is that if provision is to be made for parliamentary scrutiny of Instruments of any form that should be incorporated into the Bill and approved by Parliament. That is the principle on which we insist, and we believe that it is a good one.
§ Sir T. Beamish
That is precisely the principle with which I do not agree, because there are many different ways in which this delegated legislation can be handled. For instance, these matters could be discussed by the ad hoc committee which my right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy suggested many months ago but which opponents of the Bill refused to countenance. They could be discussed in the Brooke Committee, which is considering the whole question of delegated legislation and Statutory Instruments. This would be a perfect opportunity of haying the whole matter considered without the necessity of altering the Bill. There was an opportunity for this matter to be discussed in the Select Committee on Procedure of which my right hon. Friend the Member for Thirsk and Malton (Sir Robin Turton), the Father of the House, is Chairman.
353 What does Germany do about Community legislation which must be incorporated into German domestic law? It so happens that I know the answer to that fairly well, but the Committee should be told. What do Italy, Belgium and Holland do? We should have all this information. The Select Committee on Procedure should have collected it by now. I deplore the fact that it has not done so. We have, quite unnecessarily, kept ourselves in the dark.
I was very pleased that when my right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy suggested last week that a Select Committee should be set up to consider this matter and the kindred matter as to how we should select Members for the European Parliament—that is a very important matter, because they will be able to act as a link between the institutions of the Community and this Parliament—it was not rejected out of hand as his proposal that a ad hoc committee should be set up was rejected out of hand.
I do not think that this is a good Amendment. It would have the effect of tying the hands of both Houses of Parliament unnecessarily. These matters should be discussed through the usual channels. I hope that the proposal to set up a Select Committee to consider the whole question of delegated legislation and the selection of Members for the European Parliament will be followed up by every hon. Member who wants to make a success of Britain's joining the Community, whether he is opposed to our entry in principle or whether he is in favour of it.
§ Mr. William Molloy (Ealing, North)
The submissions made by the hon. and gallant Member for Lewes (Sir T. Beamish) were most astounding, because he has spent a great deal of time in the Committee and he must have known of the endeavours of my right hon. and hon. Friends, and indeed of many of his own hon. Friends, to probe and to try to illustrate how important are the quintessentials of the Amendments which have arisen time and time again in previous debates.
Whether we are in favour of the Measure or whether we are against it, we are united in acknowledging that this is one of the most important Measures ever dis- 354 cussed on the Floor of the House of Commons. The last thing we want to be doing with such an important Measure is considering any aspect of it in any little hole or corner of the Palace of Westminster. The whole matter should be ruthlessly and scrupulously examined on the Floor of the House so that the nation can know what is going on. These matters should not be conducted for the convenience of any group of Members.
The hon. and gallant Member said that we have had opportunities to raise these issues. From listening to the debate, no innocent person would dream that we are debating this Measure under the threat of a guillotine. No innocent person would think that we must finish by 11 o'clock tonight and that we must adopt a system of priorities in deciding what we will say.
The Amendment goes to the heart of one of the grave apprehensions of many of us about the whole issue of Britain joining the Community. I am sure that hon. Members on the Government side listened carefully to what my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Dulwich (Mr. S. C. Silkin) said. There are those who sincerely wish to enter the EEC. The proof of their sincerity is that henceforth they cannot go along with the Government unless this Amendment is acceptable to them.
We have come this evening to one of the most vital issues we have discussed. Those hon. Members who may be passionately in favour of entering the EEC will be unable to continue their support. Much of their apprehension was voiced by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Dulwich. That applies to hon. Members on both sides of the Committee. We are now about to witness one of the most crucial matters in these debates, as to whether the Government are prepared to accept the Amendment. If they do not, everyone, whether pro-Market or anti-Market, must join together and save not only the House of Commons but the nation's entire future.
§ 9.15 p.m.
§ Sir D. Walker-Smith
I rise to intervene for only a few moments. I hasten to assure the hon. Member for Ealing, North (Mr. Molloy) that there is no danger of the guillotine falling upon my speech.
355 This is an interesting and important Amendment because it is concerned with one aspect of what is, perhaps, the greatest and certainly one of the most intractable problems which faces the EEC, whether or not Britain enters. In any event, there is a great problem before the Community, of which it is very conscious, of seeking to improve the democratic elements of decision-making within the Community. If Britain enters the Community—we have to make that assumption in our discussion of the Bill—we have a special interest in seeing that the task of democratising the decision-making within the Community is successfully pursued.
The Amendment deals with part of this problem because in essence there are two problems, one of which lies outside the ambit of the Amendment. The first part of the problem is to try to see that more of the edicts of the Community are made by way of directive than by way of self-enacting regulation, because if they are made by self-enacting regulation none of these procedures can apply. The only way in which the self-enacting regulations can be made more democratic in the decision-making is by processes within the Community The second part of the problem, however, is to try to get, with the larger number of directives—if one successfully pursued the first part of the problem—a greater degree of parliamentary scrutiny and thereby of democratic control.
The hon. and learned Member for Dulwich (Mr. S. C. Silkin) proposes a method in the Amendment, which I do not find unattractive. But this is a task which is taking place all over Europe, with varying degrees of success. The hon. and learned Gentleman cited Germany and the Netherlands, which have probably the best system going as yet, but there is a variety of committee patterns in the countries of the Community striving to do this.
I do not quite agree with my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Lewes (Sir T. Beamish) that we are altogether in the dark on this matter, because, although it has not been done by the Select Committee on Procedure, Mr. Michael Niblock's Chatham House study gives a clear account of the various ways in which the countries of the Community are trying 356 to deal with this problem. The solution proposed by the hon. and learned Gentleman comes close to the German and the Dutch method of dealing with it.
The Committee has to ask itself whether there is anything in the Amendment inimical either to proper executive processes or to the workings of Parliament. On the face of it, it is clear that the Amendment is designed to improve our parliamentary control of directives in regard to which we have a control only as to the form and not as to the substance. Nevertheless, it is important
§ Mr. Russell Johnston (Inverness)
Surely one also has to ask whether such pattern of consultation as may be evolved, and, as the right hon. and learned Gentleman said, is evolving in the Netherlands and Germany, need necessarily be written specifically into the Bill.
§ Sir D. Walker-Smith
If one could be sure that it would be done without it, I agree that there would be no necessity to write it into the Statute. But the ordinary way in this country of providing for a machinery is to legislate it in an Act of Parliament. I throw back the question of whether there is any harm in putting on to the Statute Book such a provision as this. The only possible harm that I can see is that there is no definition here of a Committee of each House of Parliament. I do not think that the hon. and learned Member for Dulwich discussed the form of Committee he had in mind.
One of the difficulties which has been found in the countries of the Six is the setting-up of committees for these purposes in that the directives necessarily cover such a very wide range of subject matter. Therefore, their subject matter falls not within the compass of what would in the ordinary way be a single functional Committee of the House of Commons; it falls into a series of Committees. I do not know precisely what the hon. and learned Member has in mind as to the Committee which he envisages reporting upon the proposal before there is discussion in the House.
§ Mr. S. C. Silkin
I am grateful to the right hon. and learned Gentleman for making that point. All that the Amendment requires is that a relevant proposal 357 should be laid before Parliament and that a Committee of each House should report to Parliament. That embraces or could embrace a number of different Committees dealing with different points, but any specific proposal must have been considered by a Committee.
§ Sir D. Walker-Smith
I am obliged to the hon. and learned Gentleman. He makes it clear that he intends a flexible statutory provision, so that the best way of dealing with it could be evolved in practice, which to some extent meets the point of my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Lewes.
As I said in a debate last week, these are aspects of the matter which in the conduct of the Bill we ought to be considering and which we perhaps get rather fewer chances to consider than we would wish. I like the tone of the Amendment and certainly the thought and the spirit behind it, which I understand is to improve the democratic element in the decision-making machinery and give greater scope for parliamentary action.
§ Mr. Edmund Dell (Birkenhead)
The Chairman's decision to include this Amendment for discussion deprives other hon. Members of opportunities to speak to their Amendments, but I should like to make a few brief points, particularly in reply to the right hon. and learned Member for Hertfordshire, East (Sir D. Walker-Smith) and the hon. and gallant Member for Lewes (Sir T. Beamish). The right hon. and learned Member for Hertfordshire, East said that the Amendment dealt with only part of the problem, and I entirely accept that. It is just another example of the way in which the Bill should be improved as a basis for entry into the Common Market. The right hon. and learned Gentleman described it as an intractable problem, and it is an intractable problem of the Community. I say that as one who has for long believed that this country should join the Common Market. The democratisation of European institutions is a very difficult problem, given the constitutional character of the Community.
In practice, I see the only realistic form of democratic control which can be developed in the foreseeable future as a realistic control by national Parliaments over their Government. I do not see an attempt to develop realistic control 358 through a European Parliament as providing a practical potentiality for control of the European institutions. Maybe far in the future that will be possible, but it could work the other way if one were not careful because if, under cover of marginal increases in the power of the European Parliament, there were very real additional concentrations of power at the centre, one would achieve not democratisation but anti-democratisation.
Therefore, to me it is of vital importance that we should have a suitable method by which the House will control the British Government in the negotiations in Brussels. I hope that the other national Parliaments within the EEC will develop, as the Germans and the Dutch have done, their own effective means for democratic control of their own Governments. When the negotiations have taken place and when the agreement is made, then too we will want to interview the Minister, as they do in the German Bundestag, to see why it was necessary to arrive at this specific agreement. This seems to me to be the only realistic hope.
The hon. and gallant Member for Lewes asked why should we tie the hands of the House in this way and why is it necessary to write this proposal into the legislation. I do not see how the Amendment ties the hands of the House. It says only that obligations shall be looked at by Committees of both Houses before they are entered into. How does this tie the hands of the House? Is it not necessary that the House should know what agreements are likely to be entered into on this country's behalf through the European institutions? Is there any form of such agreement about which the House would wish to be ignorant? All we are saying is that there should be a Committee and that the Committee should report to the House—nothing more. It is the most flexible instrument conceivable. There are other Amendments on the Order Paper which might be said to tie the hands of the House if they were adopted. We could not have a more flexible method of control, or one which was more directly related to the essential point, than that proposed in the Amendment. The essential point is that we require to have the opportunity of discussing in advance what the Government will enter into on our behalf.
Mr. Russell Johnson
I very much sympathise with what the Amendment is seeking to achieve but would the right hon. Member for Birkenhead (Mr. Dell) agree, if he thinks that an essential feature of democratisation within the Community lies in controlling national Governments by national Parliaments, that this is something which could be done at any time, and perhaps after broader and more thorough consideration has been given to the proposal than might be possible within the confines of this Bill?
§ Mr. Dell
I noted the hon. Member's intervention during the speech of the right hon. and learned Member for Hertfordshire, East when he asked whether such a provision should be written into the legislation. I will answer that question in this way. It is certainly true that the House subsequent to this legislation could decide upon a mechanism such as this. Indeed, I hope that, if this legislation is passed and we enter the Community, such a system will be set up. But it is impossible to argue, and I as a pro-Marketeer would not argue, that the country is overwhelmingly in favour of this exercise. Therefore, it is desirable, for reasons of public confidence, if for no others, to write into the Bill a guarantee for this Parliament's control over the British Government in their European negotiations. It is wrong that we should pass the Bill without having the least idea what the Government have in mind in that respect.
It has been useful to have this debate, if for no other reason than that we may receive from the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster something more than a repetition of his offer of an ad hoc committee. What have the Government in mind? Let him tell us that at any rate. They must know what system of control they intend to propose to Parliament.
That apart, I return to my main point to the hon. and gallant Member for Lewes. The Amendment ties the hands of the House in no way. It provides a flexible means of control. It is a guarantee of the availability of a system of control. I cannot see the least reason why the Government should not accept the Amendment, or at any rate suggest an Amendment which will provide the 360 same effect but, if they wish it, in a different way, which we can then discuss.
§ Sir Gilbert Longden (Hertfordshire, South-West)
Like my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Huntingdonshire (Sir D. Renton), I am surprised at the Opposition's hostility to the Schedule. After all, its whole purpose is to attempt to retain some part of the sovereignty by which they set such store.
The hon. and learned Member for Dulwich (Mr. S. C. Silkin), who moved the Amendment, called it moderate but it seems to involve an enormous widening of the Schedule. It seems to me to exempt practically everything from Clause 2(2) and to be an infringement of the treaties we have signed. But I wholly agree with the right hon. Member for Birkenhead (Mr. Dell) that we want to find a method whereby the House of Commons can control our Ministers. The countries of the Six have done so, and our Parliament also can act in close touch with our Ministers.
The truth is that when we enter the European Economic Community we shall cede some sovereignty over our own affairs. Our task must be to see how Parliament can maintain as much control as possible over that. We still have to devise methods of sending Members of the House of Commons to the European Parliament. I have long held that it will be impossible for a Member here also to be a member of the European Parliament. It will be out of the question for any Member to spend one-third of the year in Brussels, Luxembourg or wherever that Parliament may be. He cannot do his duty here by his constituents if he also has to do that. All these things must be discovered.
Meanwhile, we must accept that joining the Community means a yielding up of sovereignty. I commend to the Committee the words the right hon. Member for Fulham (Mr. Michael Stewart) recently wrote:If Britain cuts herself off from the possibilities of growth inherent in a united Europe, she restricts that freedom of action and choice which is the real substance of sovereignty.He also said:Westminster cannot, by a mere exercise of sovereign power, guarantee to Britain a healthy balance of payments or the certainty of economic growth. It can approve policies which will help these aims; but their realisation depends 361 on what is happening overseas, and especially in Western Europe.That is the message which I consider that the Committee should send out to the country, at the same time devising means whereby we can maintain control over our Ministers, who after all will have a powerful voice in the Council of Ministers—as powerful as if not more powerful than any other. That is what I wish to achieve. As the right hon. Member for Fulham also said, this whole business combinesthat regard for present reality with an open door to the future which is the recipe for success in the art of politics.I believe that the Amendment is far too wide of the mark and therefore I shall certainly not vote for it.
§ Mr. Rippon
The Amendment seeks to enshrine in the Bill a procedure whereby Parliament should examine certain Community proposals before they are accepted and become binding upon the United Kingdom. I think that the difference between us is about what is appropriate to put in the legislation. It is right that we should be very much concerned with the very serious issues raised by the hon. and learned Member for Dulwich (Mr. S. C. Silkin) and by the right hon. Member for Birkenhead (Mr. Dell). As my hon. Friend the Member for Hertfordshire, South-West (Sir Gilbert Longden) has said, these are matters which must concern Parliament. Indeed, we have had several debates in Committee on this issue.
The hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Michael Foot) says that the procedure should be in the Bill. I have consistently taken a different view, as has the Committee. On 14th March, I said:It is important that there should be a distinction between what goes into legislation and what is for procedural arrangements—a distinction between what is in the Bill and what is for"—in that case—the ad hoc committee. This distinction goes to the root of the Government's objections to this Amendment because it proposes to embody in legislation what is not suitable for legislation. I hope that the Committee will accept that that is so. It would not be in the interests of Parliament itself to depart from accepted arrangements by determining parliamentary procedure and to make such procedural provisions in statutes which themselves could be amended by a Bill. I should have thought that many hon. Members on 362 either side of the Committee would accept that parliamentary procedures need to be much more flexible, especially in the developing situation after we have become members of the Community."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 14th March, 1972; Vol. 833, c. 483.]I think this point, which was taken also by the hon. Member for Inverness (Mr. Russell Johnston) is valid. We can deal with these things in any way we like. We do not have, and we should not try, to write a provision of this kind into the Bill.
We have discussed frequently the importance of Parliament having the opportunity to express a view while a matter is still going through the Commission or the Council of Ministers or the European Parliament and before a regulation or directive which may be binding on us has been made. That aspect I set out on 25th April, and it is in column 1345 of HANSARD. We were then talking about the whole range of directly applicable Community instruments. Of course I realise that this Amendment is of more limited application. It does not attempt, as previous Amendments have done, to provide for the approval or re-enactment of directly applicable instruments. It relates only to the instruments which will be implemented under Clause 2(2). Nevertheless, I suggest that there are strong grounds for opposing it.
On Second Reading and throughout the Committee stage, the Government have fully accepted that there is a need for Parliament to make special arrangements by which we can deal with these matters, and there is no reason of course why parliamentary awareness should be limited to instruments which are to be implemented under Clause 2(2). We do not want limitations of the kind this Amendment suggests.
Apart from that it is wrong to try to write into a Bill which is concerned, as I have repeatedly said, with fulfilling our treaty obligations, parliamentary procedures which could and perhaps should be changed from time to time. It is for us, like the Germans or the Dutch who have not had to write this into any ratification procedure, to work out our own arrangements in the light of the various considerations which have been dealt with in debates.
My hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Lewes (Sir T. Beamish) referred to 363 the efforts that we have tried to make—it does not matter whether or not it is an ad hoc committee—to induce the Opposition to consider the sort of procedures which would enable this Committee to have the fullest opportunity to consider all these matters as they come up and as the Community evolves. I hope that the Opposition will give us an opportunity as soon as possible to begin fruitful discussions.
§ Rev. Ian Paisley
The right hon. and learned Gentleman has said that it is his desire that this Committee should have the fullest possible discussions on these matters. I wonder whether he would be able to give some satisfaction to hon. Members from Northern Ireland on the point raised earlier, reminding him of his promise to us that on this Schedule we would have the opportunity to discuss something that is of vital constitutional concern in Northern Ireland today.
§ Mr. Rippon
As I indicated on the occasion to which my hon. Friend refers there is an opportunity on this Schedule or on Clause 4 for constitutional matters to be raised. I certainly had not envisaged that we would spend a lot of time this afternoon in a debate upon the Community budget which we have thrashed out over and over again. That was the time available to raise new points, I should have thought. On the occasion that has been referred to I did give a firm assurance that there was nothing in the Bill affecting the constitutional position of Northern Ireland either at present or in future. I referred to what the Minister of State had said when he was dealing with this. Constitutional matters are adequately covered by the Bill, and my hon. Friend need have no anxiety on that score. The point raised by my hon. Friend the Member for Belfast, East (Mr. McMaster), relating to the safeguarding of employment, does not arise in this context.
My right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Hertfordshire, East (Sir D. Walker-Smith) talked about what he described as a flexible statutory provision. I would suggest that this is exactly what a statutory provision should not be. It should be precise and the legal consequences should be known. Under the Amendment it is not clear where the pro- 364 posal will arise. These matters are going through various stages in the Community and they change right up to the moment before adoption by the Council of Ministers. There would be considerable practical difficulties in the way of accepting the Amendment. There are two points on the Amendment which demonstrate the need for a much more flexible approach to the problems of procedure.
If we try to build flexibility into the Bill it will not work. It simply becomes restrictive and inflexible. We have had a discussion already, in which my right hon. Friend the Member for Wolverhampton, South-West (Mr. Powell) took part, about the major and minor matters and how to draw a statutory distinction between them. The House will have to find ways of determining the proper procedure to be adopted when it faces a particular proposal from the Commission or the Council of Ministers. I do not think we want to write into the Bill something which would force a certain procedure to be adopted not only in respect of major matters but in respect of minor matters too. To require a Committee of each House to report on every proposal requiring implementation under Clause 2(2) which is primarily for matters of a subordinate nature would mean that a disproportionate amount of time would have to be wasted in considering items of little consequence. The volume of work would be entirely disproportionate to the benefit which might be acquired. It would cause terrible delay if there we reconsideration by a Committee of each House on every matter, and we might find ourselves in breach of Community obligations for mechanical reasons because we have forced upon ourselves something which would simply clog parliamentary time.
The limitation of parliamentary procedure to matters requiring implementation under Clause 2(2) means that either the Committee would need to consider and report on every proposal under consideration by the Commission in case Clause 2(2) powers were later involved, or that a long-term decision would need to be made on the use of Clause 2(2). All that would raise considerable practical difficulties, and for no benefit at all because the House retains all the time the control over its own procedures and the way it deals with these matters.
365 For these practical reasons, as well as for the issue of principle which we have debated over and over again, I cannot advise the Committee to accept the Amendment.
§ [MR. E. L. MALLALIEU in the Chair]
§ 9.45 p.m.
§ Mr. Michael Foot
I know that all hon. Members may wish to proceed at a fairly rapid pace to the other extremely important matters we wish to discuss. However, I must take one or two minutes to reply to what the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster has said.
We on this side strongly support the Amendment and we hope that hon. Members in all parts of the Committee will support it. It cannot be said by any hon. Member that this is an Amendment which has been put down by those who are actuated by antagonism to the Common Market or anything of that sort. The Amendment is supported by hon. Members on this side because we believe that it is important for Parliament.
The right hon. and learned Gentleman has made a poor response to the proposals that have been made. He has said that the House can always alter its procedure or invent procedures for dealing with matters as they arise and that we always have the opportunity to do so. That seems to be the right hon. and learned Gentleman's main reply. It could be asked "Why should we take any action now because the House can always do it?" The fact is that the House is giving away a host of powers. The question is whether we shall take action at the same time as yielding those powers, either to the Executive here or in Europe, to ensure that we retain our powers. If we do not take positive steps to retain our powers, we shall not retain them. The history of Parliament is of the insistence by Parliament that it should retain its powers.
If we go back 300 years, it was said by our predecessors "We do not need to lay down any rules about the satisfaction of grievances before Supply. We do not have to have any provisions about that because Parliament can always come forward and say 'We would rather like to raise this matter with the Monarch—Charles I—if he is doing it wrongly', and we have ways of dealing with it in an 366 Adjournment debate." The history of England would be a different affair if we had not insisted on precise arrangements or powers.
There are two main reasons why we say this is so, and these are the main bones of contention between us on the matter, apart from the general reason which I have given that it should be put in the Bill. It is only if it is put in the Bill that the power of Parliament over the Executive is guaranteed. There is no guarantee if it is not in the Bill as it depends on the good will of the Government. At the moment it depends whether the Government like to come forward and give Parliament the power. It is only if Parliament insists now that we are absolutely certain of having the guarantee. That is the first reason.
The second reason why we on this side of the Committee—I should have thought hon. Members on both sides of the Committee, particularly back benchers, and I still regard myself as an honorary back bencher, would be opposed to this—are thoroughly opposed either to the question of representation of the Assembly being settled outside the Floor of the House of Commons or to any question of the form of the restriction of the Statutory Instruments that are coming forward—the matters that are supposed to be dealt with by the so-called ad hoc committee—is that it means that they will be dealt with by the usual channels. The usual channels, perfectly proper organisations, are required to ensure that the House can do its business, but there are matters with which the usual channels are not qualified to deal.
Right hon. and hon. Members on both sides know that over the years there have been many arguments and criticisms about and of Patronage Secretaries when hon. Members have said that the selection of Members to go to certain bodies should not be left to the usual channels to decide.
There was an article in The Guardian recently complaining that the Labour Party had misbehaved in this matter in some way or other. The Guardian should have noted that we are proposing, as we argued before, means whereby this matter could be overcome. If we write into the Bill ways of dealing with the matter we remove it from the final 367 sanction of the usual channels and put the responsibility where it should belong—on the Floor of the House of Commons.
There should be no misunderstanding about the so-called ad hoc committee. We opposed it when it was first suggested. We said that the very matters which should be debated and decided in the House of Commons were now being proposed to be discussed by a private committee outside the House of Commons. We said that there was no objection to such discussions as long as matters were brought back to the House for decision.
At an earlier stage we put down an Amendment—I do not suggest that it was magnificently, brilliantly, infallibly framed—suggesting that the result of the ad hoc committee should be brought back to the House of Commons for decision, but the Government voted against it. That Amendment was not brilliantly framed but it was an arrangement designed to ensure that the final power over these matters should be retained by the House of Commons.
We are not prepared to accept the breezy word of the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster that we can deal with the matter in some other way at a future date by means which are not defined, particularly as the right hon. and learned Gentleman has gone out of his way, not merely on one Amendment but on about 100 Amendments, to reject the precise ways for dealing with the matter that we have tried to write into the Bill.
Many of our Amendments would have touched on matters which the Government could say would be delicate for the operation of the Common Market. I can understand that. However, not one of them was a wrecking Amendment. This Amendment does not touch on those matters, so the Government could perfectly well accept it. The Amendment does not interfere with the Government's obligations to the Common Market. The question facing the Committee is this: will the House of Commons insist on this last remnant of control by having words in the Bill, or will it leave the matter and accept the right hon. and learned Gentleman's assurances which do not mean anything? That is the question we have to face, and on that basis we can come to only one decision.
368 We know that the Minister and the Government do not consider these matters on their merits. The right hon. and learned Gentleman's reply to the debate is further proof of the accusation we have made throughout. My sympathies are strongly with hon. Gentlemen representing Northern Ireland constituencies who raised these matters. They have every right to insist that they should be debated. As I said in an intervention earlier—perhaps I was out of order then, but I am absolutely in order now—the purpose of a Report stage in the House of Commons is to assist the Committee stage. To ensure a proper Committee stage there must be the possibility of a Report stage later, particularly when operating under the guillotine.
If we have a Report stage, the pledge given to hon. Gentlemen could be carried out. The Government would not have to dishonour their pledge, as they are doing; they would be able to honour it. If there were a Report stage the right hon. and learned Gentleman would not have to reply in the terms he did to two of my hon. Friends—my right hon. Friend the Member for Birkenhead (Mr. Dell) and my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Dulwich (Mr. S. C. Silkin)—who, as is known, are sympathetic to our entry into the European Economic Community. If we had a Report stage, the Minister would not have had to reply in those terms. He could have said "I do not like the exact wording, but I am prepared to accept the Amendment and I shall be happy to put forward on Report a Government Amendment which will incorporate the minor adjustments".
§ Mr. Rippon
I am not saying that I do not like the precise wording. I am saying that what is proposed is wrong in principle.
§ Mr. Foot
The right hon. and learned Gentleman says, "I do not mind having parliamentary control as long as it is not precise enough to guarantee that the Government must observe it". As long as it does not commit him, he is prepared to give any kind of vague assurances which mean nothing.
But the Minister went on to say that he objected to certain aspects of the Amendment. The Government do not seem to understand our procedures. A Report stage is not only a question of 369 the time available. It is necessary to ensure the proper procedures over the previous stages of the Bill. If we deny the House of Commons the possibility of returning to matters which have been debated in Committee, we disrupt the Committee stage. The Government, because they have made up their mind not to have a Report stage, are casting reflection upon and injuring the way in which most of the Amendments are discussed in Committee. As the Committee stage proceeds, more and more Members are finding that their interests are injured. We on this side have thought that our interests have been injured. Some hon. Members on the Government side who have been righting a similar battle to ensure proper parliamentary protection have claimed that their interests are injured. Members from Northern
§ Ireland say that in the Bill their interests are being impaired, despite the obligation which the Government have entered into.
§ The Government are making a very grave error if they think that this is the right way to force through a Bill of this significance. I urge them to accept the Amendment. If, however, they are not prepared to accept it, I appeal to the Committee to accept it. If the Committee is not prepared to vote for a modest Amendment of this character which is designed to protect Parliament's rights, Parliament will be cutting its own throat.
§ Question put, That the Amendment be made:—
§ The Committee divided: Ayes 267, Noes, 278.373
|Division No. 232.]||AYES||[10.0 p.m.|
|Abse, Leo||Davis, Clinton (Hackney, C.)||Huckfield, Leslie|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Davis, Terry (Bromsgrove)||Hughes, Rt. Hn. Cledwyn (Anglesey)|
|Allen, Scholefield||Deakins, Eric||Hughes, Mark (Durham)|
|Archer, Peter (Rowley Regis)||de Freitas, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey||Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen, N.)|
|Armstrong, Ernest||Dell, Rt. Hn. Edmund||Hughes, Roy (Newport)|
|Ashley, Jack||Dempsey, James||Hunter, Adam|
|Ashton, Joe||Doig, Peter||Irvine, Rt. Hn. Sir Arthur (Edge Hill)|
|Atkinson, Norman||Dormand, J. D.||Janner, Greville|
|Bagier, Gordon A. T.||Douglas, Dick (Stirlingshire, E.)||Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas|
|Barnett, Guy (Greenwich)||Douglas-Mann, Bruce||Jeger, Mrs. Lena|
|Barnett, Joel (Heywood and Royton)||Driberg, Tom||Jenkins, Hugh (Putney)|
|Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood||Duffy, A. E. P.||John, Brynmor|
|Bennett, James (Glasgow, Bridgeton)||Dunn, James A.||Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.)|
|Bidwell, Sydney||Dunnett, Jack||Johnson, Walter (Derby, S.)|
|Biffen, John||Eadie, Alex||Jones, Dan (Burnley)|
|Bishop, E. S.||Edelman, Maurice||Jones, Rt. Hn. Sir Elwyn (W. Ham, S.)|
|Blenkinsop, Arthur||Edwards, William (Merioneth)||Jones, Gwynoro (Carmarthen)|
|Boardman, H. (Leigh)||Ellis, Tom||Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, W.)|
|Body, Richard||English, Michael||Judd, Frank|
|Booth, Albert||Evans, Fred||Kaufman, Gerald|
|Bottomley, Rt. Hn. Arthur||Ewing, Henry||Kelley, Richard|
|Boyden, James (Bishop Auckland)||Faulds, Andrew||Kerr, Russell|
|Bradley, Tom||Fisher, Mrs. Doris (B'ham,Ladywood)||Kilfedder, James|
|Brown, Bob (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne,W.)||Fitch, Alan (Wigan)||Kinnock, Neil|
|Brown, Hugh D. (Glasgow, Provan)||Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston)||Lambie, David|
|Brown, Ronald (Shoreditch & F'bury)||Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)||Lamborn, Harry|
|Buchan, Norman||Foley, Maurice||Lamond, James|
|Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn)||Foot, Michael||Latham, Arthur|
|Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)||Forrester, John||Leadbitter, Ted|
|Callaghan, Rt. Hn. James||Fraser, John (Norwood)||Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick|
|Campbell, I. (Dunbartonshire, W.)||Freeson, Reginald||Leonard, Dick|
|Cant, R. B.||Gilbert, Dr. John||Lestor, Miss Joan|
|Carmichael, Neil||Ginsburg, David (Dewsbury)||Lever, Rt. Hn. Harold|
|Carter, Ray (Birmingh'm, Northfield)||Golding, John||Lewis, Arthur (W. Ham, N.)|
|Gordon Walker, Rt. Hn. P. C.||Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)|
|Carter-Jones, Lewis (Eccles)||Gourlay, Harry||Lipton, Marcus|
|Castle, Rt. Hn. Barbara||Grant, George (Morpeth)||Lomas, Kenneth|
|Clark, David (Colne Valley)||Grant, John D. (Islington, E.)||Loughlin, Charles|
|Cocks, Michael (Bristol, S.)||Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside)||Lyon, Alexander W. (York)|
|Cohen, Stanley||Griffiths, Will (Exchange)||Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.)|
|Coleman, Donald||Hamilton, James (Bothwell)||Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson|
|Concannon, J. D.||Hamilton, William (Fife, W.)||McBride, Neil|
|Conlan, Bernard||Hannan, William (G'gow, Maryhill)||McCartney, Hugh|
|Crawshaw, Richard||Hardy, Peter||McElhone, Frank|
|Cronin, John||Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)||McGuire, Michael|
|Crosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony||Hart, Rt. Hn. Judith||Mackenzie, Gregor|
|Crossman, Rt. Hn. Richard||Hattersley, Roy||Mackie, John|
|Cunningham, G. (Islington, S.W.)||Healey, Rt. Hn. Denis||Mackintosh, John P.|
|Cunningham, Dr. J. A. (Whitehaven)||Heffer, Eric S.||Maclennan, Robert|
|Dalyell, Tam||Horam, John||McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.)|
|Davies, Denzil (Llanelly)||Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas||McNamara, J. Kevin.|
|Davies, Ifor (Gower)||Howell, Denis (Small Heath)||Maginnis, John E.|
|Mahon, Simon (Bootle)||Parry, Robert (Liverpool, Exchange)||Stewart, Rt. Hn. Michael (Fulham)|
|Mallalieu, J. p. W. (Huddersfield, E.)||Pavitt, Laurie||Stoddart, David (Swindon)|
|Marks, Kenneth||Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred||Stonehouse, Rt. Hn. John|
|Marsden, F.||Pendry, Tom||Strang, Gavin|
|Marshall, Dr. Edmund||Pentland, Norman||Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R|
|Marten, Neil||Perry, Ernest G.||Swain, Thomas|
|Mason, Rt. Hn. Roy||Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch||Taverne, Dick|
|Mayhew, Christopher||Prentice, Rt. Hn. Reg.||Thomas, Rt. Hn. George (Cardiff, W.)|
|Meacher, Michael||Prescott, John||Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)|
|Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert||Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)||Thomson, Rt. Hn. G. (Dundee, E.)|
|Mendelson, John||Price, William (Rugby)||Tinn, James|
|Mikardo, Ian||Probert, Arthur||Tomney, Frank|
|Millan, Bruce||Rankin, John||Torney, Tom|
|Miller, Dr. M. S.||Reed, D. (Sedgefield)||Tuck, Raphael|
|Milne, Edward||Rees, Merlyn (Leeds, S.)||Turton, Rt. Hn. Sir Robin|
|Mitchell, R. C. (S'hampton, Itchen)||Rhodes, Geoffrey||Urwin, T. W.|
|Moate, Roger||Richard, Ivor||Varley, Eric G.|
|Molloy, William||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)||Wainwright, Edwin|
|Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire)||Roberts, Rt. Hn. Goronwy (Caernarvon)||Walden, Brian (B'm'ham, All Saints)|
|Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)||Roderick, Caerwyn E. (Br'c'n&R'dnor)||Walker, Harold (Doncaster)|
|Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)||Rodgers, William (Stockton-on-Tees)||Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek|
|Morris, Rt. Hn. John (Aberavon)||Roper, John||Wallace, George|
|Moyle, Roland||Rose, Paul B.||Watkins, David|
|Mulley, Rt. Hn. Frederick||Ross, Rt. Hn. William (Kilmarnock)||Weitzman, David|
|Murray, Ronald King||Rowlands, Ted||Wells, William (Walsall, N.)|
|Oakes, Gordon||Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-under-Lyne)||White, James (Glasgow, Pollok)|
|Ogden, Eric||Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney)||Whitehead, Phillip|
|O'Halloran, Michael||Short, Rt. Hn. Edward (N'c'tle-u-Tyne)||Whitlock, William|
|O'Malley, Brian||Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)||Willey. Rt. Hn. Frederick|
|Oram, Bert||Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich)||Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)|
|Orbach, Maurice||Sillars, James||Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchin)|
|Orme, Stanley||Silverman, Julius||Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)|
|Oswald, Thomas||Skinner, Dennis||Wilson, Rt. Hn. Harold (Huyton)|
|Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, Sutton)||Smith, John (Lanarkshire, N.)||Woof, Robert|
|Padley, Walter||Spearing, Nigel|
|Paisley, Rev. Ian||Spriggs, Leslie||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Palmer, Arthur||Stallard, A. W.||Mr. Joseph Harper and|
|Pannell, Rt. Hn. Charles||Stewart, Donald (Western Isles)||Mr. James Wellbeloved.|
|Parker, John (Dagenham)|
|Adley, Robert||Clegg, Walter||Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.)|
|Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash)||Cockeram, Eric||Glyn, Dr. Alan|
|Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead)||Cooke, Robert||Goodhart, Philip|
|Amery, Rt. Hn. Julian||Coombs, Derek||Goodhew, Victor|
|Archer, Jeffrey (Louth)||Cooper, A. E.||Gorst, John|
|Astor, John||Cordle, John||Gower, Raymond|
|Atkins, Humphrey||Corfield, Rt. Hn. Sir Frederick||Grant, Anthony (Harrow, C.)|
|Awdry, Daniel||Cormack, Patrick||Green, Alan|
|Baker, Kenneth (St. Marylebone)||Costain, A. P.||Grieve, Percy|
|Balniel, Rt. Hn. Lord||Crouch, David||Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds)|
|Barber, Rt. Hn. Anthony||Crowder, F. P.||Grimond, Rt. Hn. J.|
|Batsford, Brian||Davies, Rt. Hn. John (Knutsford)||Gummer, J. Selwyn|
|Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton||d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry||Gurden, Harold|
|Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay)||d'Avigdor-Goldsmid,Maj.-Gen. James||Hall, Miss Joan (Keighley)|
|Benyon, W.||Dean, Paul||Hall-Davis, A. G. F.|
|Berry, Hn. Anthony||Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F.||Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury)|
|Biggs-Davison, John||Dixon, Piers||Hannam, John (Exeter)|
|Blaker, Peter||Dodds-Parker, Douglas||Harrison Brian (Maldon)|
|Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S.W.)||Douglas-Home, Rt. Hn. Sir Alec||Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye)|
|Boscawen, Robert||Drayson, G. B.||Haselhurst, Alan|
|Bossom, Sir Clive||du Cann, Rt. Hn. Edward||Hastings, Stephen|
|Bowden, Andrew||Dykes, Hugh||Havers, Michael|
|Braine, Sir Bernard||Eden, Sir John||Hawkins, Paul|
|Bray, Ronald||Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke)||Hayhoe, Barney|
|Brinton, Sir Tatton||Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton)||Heath, Rt. Hn. Edward|
|Brown, Sir Edward (Bath)||Elliott, R. W. (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne,N.)||Heseltine, Michael|
|Bruce-Gardyne, J.||Emery, Peter||Hicks, Robert|
|Bryan, Sir Paul||Eyre, Reginald||Higgins, Terence L.|
|Buchanan-Smith, Alick (Angus, N&M)||Fenner, Mrs. Peggy||Hiley, Joseph|
|Buck, Antony||Fidler, Michael||Hill, John E. B. (Norfolk, S.)|
|Burden, F. A.||Finsberg, Geoffrey (Hampstead)||Hill, James (Southampton, Test)|
|Butler, Adam (Bosworth)||Fisher, Nigel (Surbiton)||Holland, Philip|
|Campbell, Rt. Hn. G. (Moray&Nairn)||Fletcher-Cooke, Charles||Holt, Miss Mary|
|Fookes, Miss Janet||Hordern, Peter|
|Carlisle, Mark||Fortescue, Tim||Hornby, Richard|
|Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert||Foster, Sir John||Hornsby-Smith, Rt. Hn. Dame Patricia|
|Cary, Sir Robert||Fowler, Norman||Howe, Hn. Sir Geoffrey (Reigate)|
|Chapman, Sydney||Fox, Marcus||Howell, David (Guildford)|
|Chataway, Rt. Hn. Christopher||Fry, Peter||Howell, Ralph (Norfolk, N.)|
|Chichester-Clark, R.||Galbraith, Hn. T. G.||Hunt, John|
|Churchill, W. S.||Gardner, Edward||Iremonger, T. L.|
|Clark, William (Surrey, E.)||Gibson-Watt, David||James, David|
|Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe)||Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, C.)||Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford)|
|Jessel, Toby||Morgan-Giles, Rear-Adm.||Skeet, T. H. H.|
|Johnson Smith, G. (E. Grinstead)||Morrison, Charles||Smith, Dudley (W'wick & L'mington)|
|Johnston, Russell (Inverness)||Mudd, David||Soref, Harold|
|Jones, Arthur (Northants, S.)||Nabarro, Sir Gerald||Speed, Keith|
|Jopling, Michael||Neave, Airey||Spence, John|
|Joseph, Rt. Hn. Sir Keith||Nicholls, Sir Harmar||Sproat, Iain|
|Kaberry, Sir Donald||Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael||Stainton, Keith|
|Kellett-Bowman, Mrs. Elaine||Normanton, Tom||Stanbrook, Ivor|
|Kershaw, Anthony||Nott, John||Steel, David|
|Kimball, Marcus||Onslow, Cranley||Stewart-Smith, Geoffrey (Belper)|
|King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.)||Oppenheim, Mrs. Sally||Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M.|
|King, Tom (Bridgwater)||Osborn, John||Stokes, John|
|Kinsey,J. R.||Owen, Idris (Stockport, N.)||Stuttaford, Dr. Tom|
|Kirk, Peter||Page, Rt. Hn. Graham (Crosby)||Tapsell, Peter|
|Kitson, Timothy||Page, John (Harrow, W.)||Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)|
|Knight, Mrs. Jill||Pardoe, John||Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)|
|Knox, David||Parkinson, Cecil||Tebbit, Norman|
|Lambton, Lord||Peel, John||Temple, John M.|
|Lamont, Norman||Peyton, Rt. Hn. John||Thatcher, Rt. Hn. Mrs. Margaret|
|Lane, David||Pike, Miss Mervyn||Thomas, John Stradling (Monmouth)|
|Langford-Holt, Sir John||Pink, R. Bonner||Thomas, Rt. Hn. Peter (Hendon, S.)|
|Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry||Price, David (Eastleigh)||Thompson, Sir Richard (Croydon, S.)|
|Le Merchant, Spencer||Prior, Rt. Hn. J. M. L.||Tilney, John|
|Lewis Kenneth (Rutland)||Proudfoot, Wilfred||Trafford, Dr. Anthony|
|Longden, Sir Gilbert||Pym, Rt. Hn. Francis||Trew, Peter|
|Loveridge, John||Quennell, Miss J. M.||Tugendhat, Christopher|
|Luce, R. N.||Raison, Timothy||van Straubenzee W. R.|
|MacArthur, Ian||Ramsden, Rt. Hn. James||Vaughan, Dr. Gerard|
|McCrindle, R. A.||Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter||Vickers, Dame Joan|
|McLaren, Martin||Redmond, Robert||Waddington, David|
|Maclean, Sir Fitzroy||Reed, Laurance (Bolton, E.)||Walker, Rt. Hn. Peter (Worcester)|
|Macmillan, Rt. Hn. Maurice (Farnham)||Rees, Peter (Dover)||Wall, Patrick|
|McNair-Wilson, Patrick (New Forest)||Rees-Davies, W. R.||Walters, Dennis|
|Maddan, Martin||Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David||Ward, Dame Irene|
|Madel, David||Ridley, Hn. Nicholas||Warren, Kenneth|
|Marples, Rt. Hn. Ernest||Ridsdale, Julian||Weatherill Bernard|
|Mather, Carol||Rippon, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey||Wells, John (Maidstone)|
|Maudling, Rt. Hn. Reginald||Roberts, Michael (Cardiff, N.)||White, Roger (Gravesend)|
|Mawby, Ray||Wiggin, Jerry|
|Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.||Roberts, Wyn (Conway)||Wilkinson, John|
|Meyer, Sir Anthony||Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks)||Winterton, Nicholas|
|Mills, Peter (Torrington)||Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)||Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard|
|Mills, Stratton, (Belfast, N.)||Rost, Peter||Woodhouse, Hn. Christopher|
|Miscampbell, Norman||Royle, Anthony||Woodnutt, Mark|
|Mitchell, Lt.-Col. C. (Aberdeenshire, W)||St. John-Stevas, Norman||Worsley, Marcus|
|Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)||Sandys, Rt. Hn. D.||Wylie, Rt. Hn. N. R.|
|Money, Ernle||Scott, Nicholas||Younger, Hn. George|
|Monks, Mrs. Connie||Sharples, Richard|
|Monro, Hector||Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES|
|Montgomery, Fergus||Shelton, William (Clapham)||Mr. Hamish Gray and|
|More, Jasper||Simeons, Charles||Mr. Oscar Murton|
|Morgan, Geraint (Denbigh)||Sinclair, Sir George|
§ Question accordingly negatived.375
§ Mr. Laurie Pavitt (Willesden, West)
I beg to move Amendment No. 446, in page 20, line 32, at end insert—'(e) to alter the structure of the National Health Service'.
The Second Deputy Chairman
It will be for the convenience of the Committee if, with this Amendment, we discuss new Clause 10—National Health Service:Any alteration of the National Health Service which may be necessary to implement the obligations of the United Kingdom under the Treaties shall be made by separate enactment.
§ Mr. Pavitt
On a previous occasion I said that Britain's terms of entry into the Common Market should be included in the Guinness Book of Records as the greatest pig in a poke of all time. In examining the possible effects of entry upon the National Health Service, I have come to the conclusion that it is also providing the greatest illusion since the days of Maskeleyn and Devant of a bureaucracy magically appearing as a participating democracy. Pharmacists, doctors, opticians, dentists—a myriad of committees has been set up sending people dashing backwards and forwards between the United Kingdom and Brussels, with negligible results on centralised decisions.
It is essential that this Amendment should be accepted because of the fog of obscurity covering the Government's statements.
I start with the Government's categorical assurance in paragraph 90 of the White Paper (Command 4715). Of a total of 169 paragraphs, the National Health Service gets one short sentence at the end of a paragraph dealing mainly with pensions:Accession to the Community will not alter in any way the National Health Service.I pursued this matter with the Prime Minister. In an answer to me on 23rd May, the right hon. Gentleman said:Generally, the Common Market will move to a situation in which the costs of industry…are approximately the same."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 23rd May, 1972; Vol. 837, c. 1220.]If that happens, the way in which Britain pays for health may be drastically altered, because it could be claimed that it provided a subsidy to industry, giving unfair advantage to Britain as a competitor for EEC markets.
376 In about 20 minutes, we shall try to safeguard 25 years' work in building our National Health Service. However, that is the way that the guillotine works. For that reason, however, there is no time to give a complete analysis of the health provision in the Six countries, each different but all having in common one of the following three factors: direct payment by employers and employees; an insurance basis of coverage; only partial coverage, with some payments by patients and recovery on the claw-back principle.
To summarise some of the main points of difference, in Belgium, for example, the patient recovers only three-quarters of the fee for treatment and three-quarters of the cost of medicines. Hospitals are free, but one in 10 is private and not free. After 10 days in hospital, a special authorisation must be given.
France has the highest rate of contributions. There is a tariff of permitted treatment, and only those sums are reimbursed for doctors within the scheme. Doctors outside the scheme get only 80 per cent. reimbursement. The patient pays 30 per cent. of the cost of medicines except for a few life savers. He pays 20 per cent. of his hospital bill.
Italy organises through a number of sick funds each differing in the scale of its contributions and benefits. The best compare well with our National Health Service. Most medicines are free, but not proprietary medicines. In this country, some 75 per cent. of medicines are proprietaries. That gives the Committee a measure of the difference. The patient pays 50 per cent. of medical care.
In Luxembourg, as in Italy, benefits differ from one fund to another. There is an approved list of medicines, with only those on the list being approved, and funds must pay at least 75 per cent. On average, the patient pays between 10 and 20 per cent. on a reimbursement basis. The Netherlands scheme applies only to those earning less than £800 a year.
§ 10.15 p.m.
§ Mr. Rees-Davies
If the hon. Gentleman is going to read his speech, would he read it more slowly so that we may follow it?
§ Mr. Pavitt
I apologise to the hon. Gentleman and to the Committee, but I am endeavouring to get this and another Amendment through before the guillotine falls at 11 o'clock.
Only 50 per cent. of the doctors in the Netherlands are in the scheme. In Germany there is a prescription charge and doctors may prescribe free medicines up to a total limit of their drug bill. The Amendment is seeking to protect the National Health Service against the possible effect of harmonisation because, although this may take some years, my main concern is that the pressure towards an insurance system as opposed to our comprehensive system could lead to a serious erosion of the National Health Service.
I pay tribute to the Secretary of State for Social Services for putting his finger on my basic fear in my recent representations to him. I was raising with the Prime Minister the fact that Dr. E. Grey-Turner, the Deputy Secretary of the British Medical Association, and our British observer on the Standing Committee of the doctors of the EEC, spoke in Luxembourg and was widely reported in this country. He gave it as his opinion thatin order to overcome the financial problems of the health service and to harmonise with continental systems it would be likely in the long run that we should move more towards a system of direct charges and rely less on taxation for financing the Health Service.The Secretary of State sought to allay my fears, and I give the Committee his very forthright statement, for which I am most grateful. He said:I have made it clear in the House that there is nothing in the Treaty of Rome or in the Community Regulations which would require us to change the method of financing our social services. This is still the position. It may be of interest to note that there are proposals before the Italian Parliament to introduce a National Health Service financed out of taxation which appears to be a move towards our system.I welcome that assurance and I can see no reason why, in the light of that, the right hon. and learned Gentleman cannot support his right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Social Services by accepting the Amendment and making it obvious that there will be no change in the existing structure.
The Secretary of State for Social Services is right in putting his finger on the 378 most important fear that we have, and that is that the financing and provision of services will be altered drastically from the system that we have established. The best way in which a comprehensive health service can be financed is comprehensively by the Treasury. At the moment 85 per cent. of the bill comes from taxation. This is the fairest and simplest way in which it should be met.
The second area of concern with which I want to deal is no less important. There is a mass of directives which will affect doctors, dentists, opticians, nurses, mid-wives, pharmacists, and all the professions supplementary to medicine, such as radiographers, physiotherapists, and other para-medical staff. At the same time, the directives will alter the way in which these disciplines serve the patient in the National Health Service.
I have time to take up only one example, that of the directive on the freedom of establishment for doctors. If complete recognition of each other's qualifications takes place, United Kingdom standards could be endangered, and here I am indebted to the noble Lord, Lord Cohen of Birkenhead, for figures of comparability.
Qualified medical practitioners in the E.E.C. and those in the United Kingdom can be compared only when they take a common examination, and the only common examination for which we have statistics is the Educational Council for Foreign Medical Graduates in the United States of America, and I take the figures from the 1970 results.
France had 162 doctors sitting for the examination, of whom 78 passed, giving a failure rate of 51.9 per cent. Germany had 964 candidates, 490 of whom passed and 474 failed, giving a failure rate of more than 50 per cent. From Italy there were 530 candidates, of whom only 180 passed, giving a 66 per cent. failure rate. From the United Kingdom there were 566 passes out of 610 candidates, which was an 8.6 per cent. failure rate.
If there is that kind of comparability, it could be that we need to alter the legislation which governs the General Medical Council. That should be a matter for the House, and therefore the Amendment is necessary. Secondly, if there were to be free establishment across the borders we would be in danger of 379 standards here falling. No studies have been conducted of the effect in all these fields upon medical and para-medical manpower of our entering the Common Market.
To take a simple example, Italy has 90,000 doctors and the United Kingdom has 60,000 doctors, yet the population of both countries is approximately the same. It may well be that it would be a good thing for more Italian doctors to come here: we are short of doctors. As I say, no study has been conducted of the effect of this change and the Committee is able to devote only 20 minutes, after 10 o'clock at night, to discuss this important question.
It is a scandal and an affront to three quarters of a million devoted National Health Service workers that the Committee has no chance to challenge in depth directives which can change and erode a Health Service which is the finest in the world and which has taken a generation to build.
On medicines, EEC directive No. 2 has already had its effect. Our exports to the EEC dropped last year from an increase of 35 per cent. the previous year to only 8 per cent., because no British export was allowed unless the company had a factory in the Six. So British companies have put factories in the Six.
The concern amongst opticians is widespread. There has been a considerable amount of correspondence between their relevant organisations and the Department of Health and Social Security. I take little comfort from the letter I received from the Minister of State in which he said this:The Community will consult the candidate members…We have no reason to believe that the draft directives will reach a point where the Council of Ministers will give their approval to them before there is an opportunity to discuss them with the Community.A little while after that I read a Press report under the heading—EEC in a hurry on pharmacy directives".It continued:There was an impression that some people, particularly the EEC Commission, would like to get the directives concerning pharmacists and doctors through in 1972, Mr. H. N. Roffey of the Department of Health said recently.Therefore, we have the Minister saying one thing and a senior civil servant indi- 380 cating that there are grounds for real concern. The Amendment seeks to safeguard that concern.
There are so many peripheral matters. I accept that this whole subject is pheripheral to the major matters which have been under discussion in this Committee. The Committee will know I have been specially concerned about deafness and deaf people. In 1970 the National Health Service issued free of charge 255,258 Medresco hearing aids at a cost of£783,000. Phillips of Holland and West Germany manufacturing companies might regard the free issue of hearing aids in Britain as unfair competition because all those companies have export outlets here, and pressure might be brought to bear that charges should be made here in an attempt to harmonise with what is going on in other countries.
With this Amendment we are discussing new Clause No. 10 which would give the further safeguard that any changes that may be made to the National Health Service as a result of EEC harmonisation would have to be enacted in the House of Commons.
It must not be that, in addition to the exorbitant price we are to pay on these terms of entry, an additional charge will be the acceptance of lower standards of health care or that we resort to differing standards of health care so that those who are rich or heavily insured will be able to get a first class service and there will be a lower standard for the rest.
Because I want to retain our basic socialist principle of mutualacceptance—this has gone on for the last generation—that those healthy and earning pay for the sick, the disabled, the aged and the inadequate in their time of need, with no second payment demanded, I ask the Committee to accept the Amendment. The Government have already given me assurances in correspondence and in other ways. I ask that they should now ratify those assurances by accepting the Amendment. If the Amendment were carried, it would be some earnest of the Government's intention that a service which affects every man, woman and child in this country should not be eroded by our entry into the Common Market.
§ Mr. Nicholas Ridley (Cirencester and Tewkesbury)
I count myself fortunate to be called by you, Mr. Mallalieu, 381 especially when there are in the Chamber three of my right hon. Friends, who are opposed to the Bill and presumably in favour of the Amendment, who have all been Ministers of Health. But I see why they have not risen to the defence of the hon. Member for Willesden, West (Mr. Pavitt). The hon. Member put forward a case of such rubbishy nature that it deserves outright rejection by the Committee. He seemed to be implying that, because health was generally a worthy cause, it must be wrong for us to join the Community and be subjected to nasty foreign health services, administrations doctors, Pharmaceuticals and the like.
The hon. Gentleman seems to have so little faith in the form of change and radicalism. It is curious the way that the Opposition benches have become the repository of conservatism. With the Health Service strangled by lack of funds, short of resources, unable to modernise because the country cannot afford to devote what it should to the service, it is curious that the hon. Gentleman should cling doggedly to the present system of finance and close his mind absolutely to any change and, incidentally, close his mind to the possibility that the National Health Service and the provisions for health would gain from the increased wealth which might come from Community membership.
The hon. Gentleman's example of Socialist dogma in clinging to the particular system of financing of the Health Service we have had over the last 20 years shows how, in a curious way, the Labour Party is not prepared to accept Europe for reasons of clinging to the past and not being able to look to the future.
The hon. Gentleman's talk about doctors and the standard of admission to the doctoring profession alarmed me. His talk of the rejection rate in Italy, Germany and other countries seemed to illustrate just how high the standards were. But the inference of his remarks was that somehow or other we would become tainted by this flood of European doctors, which would influence our noble medical profession and bring down its standards.
As a country which has absorbed tens of thousands of doctors from all over the world, from Commonwealth coun- 382 tries and other countries, Britain can surely be proud of the open door she has held for our medical profession. To deny this now to the Europeans seems to smack of not only xenophobia but also of anti-Europeanism of a rampant sort.
When the hon. Gentleman spoke about hearing aids, he surprised me. He seemed to imply that because hearing aids were free in this country, that in some way would attract nasty foreign hearing aids on to our market to destroy manufacturers' profits and do no good service to the deaf. This was linked, as always, with the connotation that because the hon. Gentleman said it—he has a great interest in this matter and has done a great deal of work for the deaf; I freely acknowledge that—this would be wicked, wrong and misconceived.
That is not the way to argue about Europe. This is not the right sort of Amendment to table, let alone to press. Even if carried, the Amendment would simply mean that if the Community were to legislate upon health matters and the organisation of national health services, it would have to be done by a Bill going through Parliament rather than by an order under Clause 2(2). It would therefore in no sense impede the progress of the reform if the Government of the day were minded to accept the proposal, to agree to it in Brussels and to put the necessary legislation through the House. The Amendment was merely a peg upon which to hang a xenophobic argument, bringing out the worst anti-Europeanism on the Labour benches. It was an entirely bogus speech on an entirely bogus Amendment which I hope that, on reflection, the hon. Member will not press.
§ 10.30 p.m.
§ Mr. William Molloy (Ealing, North)
We have just heard one of the most appalling and dishonest speeches ever delivered in this House, [Interruption.] I have never heard the hon. Member for Cirencester and Tewkesbury (Mr. Ridley) utter a word on behalf of the blind, the deaf and the disabled. [Interruption.] I cannot understand why some hon. Members on the Government benches find so much humour in the subject of the crippled, the blind and the deaf. They should be ashamed of themselves.
Those hon. Members on the Conservative benches who take an interest in 383 these matters will know that my hon. Friend the Member for Willesden West (Mr. Pavitt) is one of the most devoted Members to the cause of the disabled, the blind and the deaf. It is in that context that I find the speech of the hon. Member for Cirencester and Tewkesbury so nauseating and disgusting. I give him only one thing in his favour. He is an authority on what should be rejected because he is a reject.
§ Mr. Molloy
Of course he is a complete failure. The only thing the Prime Minister has been able to recognise recently has been the total failure of the hon. Member. That is why the hon. Member was sacked.
We are asking in the Amendment that no power to alter the structure of the National Health Service shall be provided in Schedule 2. If the structure of the Health Service is safeguarded and cannot be altered we could encourage nations in Europe to emulate what we have done and improve their health services. We should in no way lower the standards of the Health Service in this country.
My hon. Friend advanced a remarkably good argument which should find favour with both pro- and anti-marketeers. Those who are apprehensive about our entry will have this safeguard and those who favour entry can say that Britain will take with her when she joins something to enhance the E.E.C.
§ Mr. J. Selwyn Gummer (Lewisham, West)
My hon. Friend the Member for Cirencester and Tewkesbury (Mr. Ridley) rightly pointed out that the hon. Member for Willesden, West (Mr. Pavitt) has a background of long and respected service to the House on the subject of the disabled. But that does not mean that we cannot point out that the argument the hon. Gentleman used tonight was clearly false and, what is more, dangerous. I am sorry to have to say that both he and the hon. Member for Ealing, North (Mr. Molloy) have used the fears which might arise in those who are disabled, deaf and ill in a cause which ill befits them.
I am very sorry that the hon. Member for Ealing, North used the words that he used. What he is doing, and what the Amendment is doing, is to raise wholly 384 unjustified fears in the minds of those in our community least able to sustain them. It was for that reason that my hon. Friend was so direct in his answer to what the hon. Member for Willesden, West said. Having listened to many speeches by the hon. Gentleman, I felt that on this occasion he fell away from his usual standard in addressing us, and I think that on reflection he will admit that.
It is wrong to raise on this Bill, and on an Amendment of the kind before us, fears which no one in his right mind could possibly raise. It has nothing to do with our entry into the European Economic Community that Philips, for example, manufactures hearing aids and might wish to continue to sell on the British market hearing aids which it already sells.
§ Mr. Pavitt
The hon. Gentleman has missed the point. Philips sells admirable hearing aids already. But the point is that in a system where there must be fair competition between the countries, if some countries need to sell aids and our country gives them away free, that provides an opportunity to say that there is unfair competition between those aids being given free and those being sold. Therefore, that can be regarded as a possible breaking of the basic principle of the Common Market.
§ Mr. Gummer
The hon. Gentleman has got it wrong. First, the position cannot be so regarded as long as Philips can tender for the free hearing aid service like any other company. When we enter the European Economic Community it will be able to tender for the Government contract on the same terms as everyone else, and no Amendment of the Schedule will make any difference to that. Secondly, Italy is thinking of implementing a system very similar to our own. Therefore, it ill behoves the hon. Gentleman to raise this unnecessary fear in people's minds. It has nothing to do with our entry into the Common Market, and the objection of many of us is to the raising of the matter at all. It is neither responsible nor fair of Members, particularly those who have a reputation in the field, to use this method of raising fears among people who can least sustain them.
The comments on doctors were deplorable. The suggestion that the medical competence of a Dutch doctor is ipso 385 facto lower than that of a British doctor is ludicrous, and it is very odd coming from a party supposed to be internationalist and from a representative who is both Labour and Co-operative, a party which is supposed to be in favour of our entry into the European Economic Community.
People must not jump on to any cheap bandwagon in order to attack the European Economic Community. It is most unfair in the discussion here to use the poorest and saddest members of our society to raise unnecessary fears.
The suggestion that British manufacturers were no longer able to sell within the EEC medicines they had been able to sell up to now, because the EEC was insisting that a large proportion of medicines should be sold from within the Six, is surely one of the best reasons for our entering the Community. When we are within the EEC we shall have open to us that market which the hon. Gentleman says is increasingly closed to us because we are outside. He cannot use that argument to suggest that we should change the Schedule.
§ Mr. Robert Hughes (Aberdeen, North)
Does the hon. Gentleman accept that there are genuine fears about what might happen to the National Health Service when we go into the EEC? Given that fact, should not the Government accept the Amendment and by doing so remove those fears entirely?
§ Mr. Gummer
The hon. Gentleman could stir up fears on any subject—for example, on the quality of milk when we enter the EEC, or about the number of greyhound tracks. He could put down a proposition that we should guard against those aspects. We believe that these fears are unnecessary—so unnecessary that anyone should be ashamed of stirring them up. When we are debating this very serious Bill, we should realise that there are genuine fears in the country. Many of them have been articulated honestly by hon. Members on both sides of the Committee who are opposed to our entry. But it does not help the case against entry to raise questions in this way which cannot, were not and will not be sustained by any hon. Member in logic.
§ Rev. Ian Paisley
On a point of order, Mr. Mallalieu. I want to seek your ruling. Hon. Members from Northern Ireland have tried all this evening to get in on the Committee stage. They have been ruled out of order in their wish to discuss matters concerning Northern Ireland and now the Under-Secretary of State will betaking time to reply to points related to the issue before the Committee. No hon. Member from Northern Ireland will be heard. The Government have given us a solid assurance that on Schedule 2 our voices could be heard. Why have they now gone back on their solemn promise, and why are we ruled completely out of order?
§ Rev. Ian Paisley
On a further point of order, Mr. Mallalieu. I refer you to what the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster said on 14th June last. Addressing the hon. Member for Belfast, East (Mr. McMaster), he said:My hon Friend should make sure that there is not a change in the majority in this House.On the constitutional point, there will be a further opportunity to debate this matter on Clause 4 and Schedule 2."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 14th June, 1972; Vol. 838, c. 1588.]We are now discussing Schedule 2 and therefore I suggest that it is in order for me to rise and ask why the promise solemnly made by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster is not going to be fulfilled.
The Second Deputy Chairman
I am afraid that is not a point of order. The hon. Gentleman may well have an opportunity to speak after the Under-Secretary of State has finished.
§ [SIR ROBERT GRANT-FERRIS in the Chair.]
§ Mr. Alison
The hon. Member for Willesden, West (Mr. Pavitt) made a characteristically well-researched speech in his expression of misgiving about the connection between the Bill and the future 387 of the National Health Service, but he was building very much too elaborate a superstructure upon a very narrow foundation of argument.
The Government have made it abundantly clear that accession to the Communities will not alter the National Health Service in any way. The hon. Gentleman complained that paragraph 90 in the White Paper stated these facts rather succinctly and briefly, as though it were some sort of insult to the N.H.S. that it should receive so cavalier, brief and casual a reference. The simple reason for the brevity of the allusion is simple. The treaties, including the Treaty of Rome, have little to say about health care. Within the countries of the existing Community, the health provisions vary a great deal, as they do between the Six and ourselves, not only in the form of services available to the public at large but also as social security benefits in kind provided in return for contributions by insured workers or beneficiaries and their families. Each country has a system of its own.
I am sure that the hon. Gentleman, who follows these matters closely, will recall the words of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Social Services in the House when he said:There is no legal requirement upon us to change in any way our social security system or health care system if we join the Common Market."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 22nd October 1971; Vol. 823, c. 1113.]The hon. Member for Willesden, West raised a point about the supply of hearing aids. I listened with some sympathy to his point, and with interest, because he has a point which bears on the welfare of the deaf. We both take a close concern in matters concerning the hard of hearing. I can assure him that providing We obey fair contracting rules in purchasing aids for the National Health Service sector, and we would be bound to do this, and we would do—we would consider Philips and Oticon, for example, as well as STC—it is not unfair competition to dispense National Health Service aids with a coexisting private sector. It is not inconceivable that the service—and here I am speaking entirely in a prophetic and hypothetical sense, which is a dangerous 388 thing to do—might at some stage even wish to give precedence to Philips or Oticon. However these matters, on which the hon. Member is an expert, lie very much in the future and we are confident that charges of unfair competition could not arise in any foreseeable situation.
Had this not been so, had there been anything in the Treaty or something hidden in the small print, in the "back alleys" of the secondary legislation, which required us to make some fundamental alteration to the structure of the National Health Service, as the Amendment and the New Clause imply, the Government would not only have been bound to make this clear in the White Paper but we would have done so and would have included a suitable Clause in Part II of the Bill.
There is no such provision, either in the Treaty or the secondary legislation of the Communities—and I am sure that this was well known to the hon. Gentleman's party when it was in power and when it made the United Kingdom application to join the Communities in 1967. We can honestly assure the hon. Gentleman that nothing has changed since then.
If the object of the Amendment is to play on the fears of those members of the healing professions who are engaged in or in any way connected with, the National Health Service—this was implied by a most eloquent and penetrating speech by my hon. Friend the Member for Lewisham, West (Mr. Selwyn Gummer) who said that there was this element of motivation, a stirring-up of anxiety among those dedicated servants of the NHS at all levels and in all parts of it in the light of the uncertainties associated in the public mind over accession—I can only say that the movers of the Amendment are doing no service to those hard-working people or to the NHS as a whole.
§ Mr. Will Griffiths (Manchester, Exchange)
Despite the reference to the penetrating speech of the hon. Member for Lewisham, West (Mr. Selwyn Gummer), is it not a fact that entry to the Community envisages the free movement of labour, including labour in the professions? Will the Minister say whether the provisions, for example, of the Dental Act and the professional levels we insist upon for dentists, and the provisions of the Opticians Act, 1959, and the 389 professional skills we insist upon are to be applied to professional workers who will be able to come and work in this country when by general consent, despite what the hon. Member for Lewisham, West says, the same standards of training do not apply? That is a matter of some importance.
§ Mr. Alison
The hon. Member for Manchester, Exchange (Mr. Will Griffiths) and I have a number of contacts and friends in common in the optical world. He and I recently attended a big celebration at which, informally, these very matters were discussed. [Interruption.] These matters are of some concern, despite the casual barracking of hon. Members who take no close interest in them. We are very much in touch with the professional people to whom the hon. Member for Manchester, Exchange has referred and the misgivings which have been voiced by both the optical and dental professions. It is precisely to this point that I am now addressing myself.
It is true—let us hope that this was in the mind of the hon. Member for Willesden, West in tabling the Amendment and the new Clause—thatthe Community has prepared draft directives relating to the freedom of establishment of doctors, dentists, nurses, midwives and opticians as well as to activities in the pharmaceutical sphere. I can reassure the Committee that these are drafts. The stage of consultation and negotiation on such matters has not yet begun between the organisations of the Community and the acceding States, including ourselves. In preparation for that time we have been and will continue to be in the closest possible consultation with the registering bodies and the professional organisations concerned. The hon. Member for Manchester, Exchange will know what I mean by "the registering bodies and the professional organisations concerned." We share with them the determination that entry into the Community should not result in any diminution in standards of health care.
§ Dr. Miller
Is the Under-Secretary not seized of the fact that the British Medical Association, which is not an organisation well known for radical views on this matter, has come out clearly with a statement that it is afraid that medical standards will fall? Is the hon. Gentleman 390 aware that this fear has been expressed by the B.M.A?
§ Mr. Alison
I think the B.M.A. is treading on rather delicate ground in daring to use the future tense in such a categorical sense, because the regulations are in draft. They are still subject to discussion. We shall have a full opportunity of participating in the discussions which will lead to their conclusion. We have repeatedly expressed, and I reaffirm tonight, that the Government's view is that it is unacceptable that the regulations, when finalised, should result in any diminution of standards of health care.
§ Mr. Alison
This exercise of consultation and negotiation will continue at a pace which, judging from the time the draft directives have been under consideration, is unlikely to be hurried. There is nothing in the drafts so far involving any alteration in the National Health Service.
The hon. Member for Ealing, North, in a seated intervention, asked "Why not accept the Amendment?" I have already said that accession to the Communities will not entail any alterations in the National Health Service. I suggest that the argument that we should accept both the Amendment and the new Clause, based upon the contents of Clause 2(2), reveals a misconception of the nature of that Clause.
Part I of the Bill is intended to set up an enduring framework for our Community membership. It provides, contingently at least, for the whole sphere of Community policies. For this reason no attempt has been made to identify in advance the areas within which Clause 2(2) powers should operate or from which they should be excluded.
There are many matters in addition to the National Health Service with which this Amendment and the new Clause are concerned, which we can say categorically are outside the scope of the Communities and the Treaties as at present constituted. However, there is no occasion to specify all these matters which are excluded and to state expressly that Clause 2 shall not apply to them. That would be oppressively burdensome 391 and the list of exclusions would be limitless.
Clause 2(2) already confers power for instruments to be madefor the purpose of any Community obligation of the United Kingdom orfor related purposes. Where no such obligation exists, the Clause does not bite and it stands in no need of amendment.
§ Mr. Arthur Lewis
The Minister said that there will be discussions later in negotiations and that is one reason why he is not accepting the Amendment. Is he not aware—I think he is—that the Minister for Transport Industries has been having discussions on the question of heavy lorries. He has said that he is very annoyed and upset by the obduracy of the Common Market countries on this issue. If there were a Clause in the Bill which bound him to accept the will of the Committee on that matter, would not he be strengthened in his negotiations? Equally, if as may well be the case when later he negotiates on this issue, will he not be able to speak from strength if he is bound by the will and decision of the Committee on this issue?
§ Sir Gilbert Longden
May I for the record say that the Minister of Transport Industries has told me in the House that he has the necessary power to restrict
§ lorries in this country to 32 tons and that he will exercise that power?
§ Mr. Alison
I am obliged to my hon. Friend for his helpful intervention. I assure the hon. Member for West Ham, North (Mr. Arthur Lewis) that we have found neither obstinacy nor obduracy in the constructive tone in which the draft regulations have been discussed with the Community. We are fully confident that we shall without any difficulty be able to safeguard any interests which may arise under the National Health Service.
Without any hesitation, I invite the Committee to reject both the Amendment and the new Clause.
§ Mr. Pavitt
I have not time to reply adequately to the debate. I do not resent the swingeing attack of hon. Members opposite, but I wish to leave the Committee with this comment. I know the National Health Service. I have done my homework. I have seen the directives. I assure hon. Members opposite that I have raised this matter in no light way. I moved the Amendment in the sincere belief that the National Health Service is one of our great heritages which needs preserving. I am not looking at the past; I am looking at the future.
§ Question put, That the Amendment be made:—
§ The Committee divided: Ayes 265, Noes 278.395
|Division No. 233.]||AYES||[10.58 p.m.|
|Abse, Leo||Cant, R. B.||Douglas, Dick (Stirlingshire, E.)|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Carmichael, Neil||Douglas-Mann, Bruce|
|Archer, Peter (Rowley Regis)||Carter, Ray (Birmingh'm, Northfield)||Driberg, Tom|
|Ashley, Jack||Carter-Jones, Lewis (Eccles)||Duffy, A. E. P.|
|Ashton, Joe||Castle, Rt. Hn. Barbara||Dunn, James A.|
|Atkinson, Norman||Clark, David (Colne Valley)||Dunnett, Jack|
|Bagier, Gordon A. T.||Cocks, Michael (Bristol, S.)||Eadie, Alex|
|Barnett, Guy (Greenwich)||Cohen, Stanley||Edelman, Maurice|
|Barnett, Joel (Heywood and Royton)||Coleman, Donald||Edwards, William (Merioneth)|
|Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood||Concannon, J. D.||Ellis, Tom|
|Bennett, James (Glasgow, Bridgeton)||Conlan, Bernard||English, Michael|
|Bidwell, Sydney||Crawshaw, Richard||Evans, Fred|
|Biffen, John||Cronin, John||Ewing, Harry|
|Bishop, E. S.||Crosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony||Faulds, Andrew|
|Blenkinsop, Arthur||Crossman, Rt. Hn. Richard||Fisher, Mrs. Doris (B'ham, Ladywood)|
|Boardman, H. (Leigh)|
|Body, Richard||Cunningham, G. (Islington, S.W.)||Fitch, Alan (Wigan)|
|Booth, Albert||Cunningham, Dr. J. A. (Whitehaven)||Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston)|
|Bottomley, Rt. Hn. Arthur||Dalyell, Tam||Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)|
|Boyden, James (Bishop Auckland)||Davies, Denzil (Llanelly)||Foley, Maurice|
|Bradley, Tom||Davies, Ifor (Gower)||Foot, Michael|
|Brown, Bob (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne,W.)||Davis, Clinton (Hackney, C.)||Forrester, John|
|Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan)||Davis, Terry (Bromsgrove)||Fraser, John (Norwood)|
|Brown, Ronald (Shoreditch & F'bury)||Deakins, Eric||Freeson, Reginald|
|Buchan, Norman||de Freitas, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey||Gilbert, Dr. John|
|Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn)||Dell, Rt. Hn. Edmund||Ginsburg, David (Dewsbury)|
|Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)||Dempsey, James||Golding, John|
|Callaghan, Rt. Hn. James||Doig, Peter||Gordon Walker, Rt. Hn. P. C.|
|Campbell, I. (Dunbartonshire, W.)||Dormand, J. D.||Gourlay, Harry|
|Grant, George (Morpeth)||McElhone, Frank||Rees, Merlyn (Leeds, S.)|
|Grant, John D. (Islington, E.)||McGuire, Michael||Rhodes, Geoffrey|
|Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside)||Mackenzie, Gregor||Richard, Ivor|
|Griffiths, Will (Exchange)||Mackie, John||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)|
|Hamilton, James (Bothwell)||Mackintosh, John P||Roberts, Rt. Hn. Goronwy (Caernarvon)|
|Hamilton, William (Fife, W.)||Maclennan, Robert||Robertson, John (Paisley)|
|Hamling, William||McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.)||Roderick, Caerwyn E. (Br'c'n&R'dnor)|
|Hannan, William (G'gow, Maryhill)||McNamara, J. Kevin||Rodgers, William (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Hardy, Peter||Maginnis, John E.||Roper, John|
|Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)||Mahon, Simon (Bootle)||Rose, Paul B.|
|Hart, Rt. Kn. Judith||Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.)||Ross, Rt. Hn. William (Kilmarnock)|
|Hattersley, Roy||Marks, Kenneth||Rowlands, Ted|
|Healey, Rt. Hn. Denis||Marsden, F.||Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-under-Lyne)|
|Heffer, Eric S.||Marshall, Dr. Edmund||Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney)|
|Horam, John||Marten, Neil||Short, Rt. Hn. Edward (N'c'tle-u-Tyne)|
|Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas||Mason, Rt. Hn. Roy||Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)|
|Howell, Denis (Small Heath)||Mayhew, Christopher||Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich)|
|Huckfield, Leslie||Meacher, Michael||Sillars, James|
|Hughes, Rt. Hn. Cledwyn (Anglesey)||Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert||Silverman, Julius|
|Hughes, Mark (Durham)||Mendelson, John||Skinner, Dennis|
|Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen, N.)||Mikardo, Ian||Smith, John (Lanarkshire, N.)|
|Hughes, Roy (Newport)||Millan, Bruce||Spearing, Nigel|
|Hunter, Adam||Miller, Dr. M. S.||Spriggs, Leslie|
|Hutchison, Michael Clark||Milne, Edward||Stallard, A. W.|
|Irvine, Rt. Hn. Sir Arthur (Edge Hill)||Mitchell, R. C. (S'hampton, Itchen)||Stewart, Donald (Western Isles)|
|Janner, Greville||Moate, Roger||Stewart, Rt. Hn. Michael (Fulham)|
|Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas||Molloy, William||Stoddart, David (Swindon)|
|Jeger, Mrs. Lena||Molyneaux, James||Stonehouse, Rt. Hn. John|
|Jenkins, Hugh (Putney)||Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire)||Strang, Gavin|
|John, Brynmor||Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)||Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R.|
|Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)||Swain, Thomas|
|Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.)||Morris, Rt. Hn. John (Aberavon)||Thomas, Rt. Hn. George (Cardiff, W.)|
|Johnson, Walter (Derby, S.)||Moyle, Roland||Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)|
|Jones, Dan (Burnley)||Mulley, Rt. Hn. Frederick||Thomson, Rt. Hn. G. (Dundee, E.)|
|Jones, Rt. Hn. Sir Elwyn (W. Ham, S.)||Murray, Ronald King||Tinn, James|
|Jones, Gwynoro (Carmarthen)||Oakes, Gordon||Tomney, Frank|
|Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, W.)||Ogden, Eric||Torney, Tom|
|Judd, Frank||O'Halloran, Michael||Tuck, Raphael|
|Kaufman, Gerald||O'Malley, Brian||Urwin, T. W.|
|Kelley, Richard||Oram, Bert||Varley, Eric G.|
|Kerr, Russell||Orbach, Maurice||Wainwright, Edwin|
|Kilfedder, James||Orme, Stanley||Walden, Brian (B'm'ham, All Saints)|
|Kinnock, Neil||Oswald, Thomas||Walker, Harold (Doncaster)|
|Lambie, David||Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, Sutton)|
|Lamborn, Harry||Padley, Walter||Wallace, George|
|Lamond, James||Paisley, Rev. Ian||Watkins, David|
|Latham, Arthur||Palmer, Arthur||Weitzman, David|
|Leadbitter, Ted||Pannell, Rt. Hn. Charles||Wellbeloved, James|
|Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick||Parker, John (Dagenham)||Wells, William (Walsall, N.)|
|Leonard, Dick||Parry, Robert (Liverpool, Exchange)||White, James (Glasgow, Pollok)|
|Lestor, Miss Joan||Pavitt, Laurie||Whitehead, Phillip|
|Lever, Rt. Hn. Harold||Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred||Whitlock, William|
|Lewis, Arthur (W. Ham, N.)||Pendry, Tom||Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick|
|Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)||Pentland, Norman||Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)|
|Lipton, Marcus||Perry, Ernest G.||Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchin)|
|Lomas, Kenneth||Prentice, Rt. Hn. Reg.||Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)|
|Loughlin, Charles||Prescott, John||Wilson, Rt. Hn. Harold (Huyton)|
|Lyon, Alexander W. (York)||Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)||Woof, Robert|
|Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.)||Price, William (Rugby)|
|Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson||Probert, Arthur||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|McBride, Neil||Rankin, John||Mr. Ernest Armstrong and|
|McCartney, Hugh||Reed, D. (Sedgefield)||Mr. Joseph Harper.|
|Adley, Robert||Boscawen, Robert||Churchill, W. S.|
|Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash)||Bossom, Sir Clive||Clark, William (Surrey, E.)|
|Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead)||Bowden, Andrew||Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe)|
|Amery, Rt. Hn. Julian||Braine, Bernard||Clegg, Walter|
|Archer, Jeffrey (Louth)||Bray, Ronald||Cockeram, Eric|
|Astor, John||Brinton, Sir Tatton||Cooke, Robert|
|Atkins, Humphrey||Brown, Sir Edward (Bath)||Coombs, Derek|
|Awdry, Daniel||Bruce-Gardyne, J.||Cooper, A. E.|
|Baker, Kenneth (St. Marylebone)||Bryan, Paul||Cordle, John|
|Balniel, Lord||Buchanan-Smith, Alick (Angus, N&M)||Corfield, Rt. Hn. Frederick|
|Barber, Rt. Hn. Anthony||Buck, Antony||Cormack, Patrick|
|Batsford, Brian||Burden, F. A.||Costain, A. P.|
|Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton||Butler, Adam (Bosworth)||Crouch, David|
|Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay)||Campbell, Rt Hn. G. (Moray&Nairn)||Crowder, F. P.|
|Benyon, W.||Carlisle, Mark||Davies, Rt. Hn. John (Knutsford)|
|Berry, Hn. Anthony||Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert||d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry|
|Biggs-Davison, John||Chapman, Sydney||d'Avigdor-Goldsmid,Maj.-Gen. James|
|Blakar, Peter||Chataway, Rt. Hn. Christopher||Dean, Paul|
|Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S.W.)||Chichester-Clark, R.||Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F.|
|Dixon, Piers||Kaberry, Sir Donald||Redmond, Robert|
|Dodds-Parker, Douglas||Kellett-Bowman, Mrs. Elaine||Reed, Laurance (Bolton, E.)|
|Douglas-Home, Rt. Hn. Sir Alec||Kershaw, Anthony||Rees, Peter (Dover)|
|Drayson, G. B.||Kimball, Marcus||Rees-Davies, W. R.|
|du Cann, Rt. Hn. Edward||King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.)||Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David|
|Dykes, Hugh||King, Tom (Bridgwater)||Ridley, Hn. Nicholas|
|Eden, Sir John||Kinsey, J. R.||Ridsdale, Julian|
|Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke)||Kirk, Peter||Rippon, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey|
|Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton)||Kitson, Timothy||Roberts, Michael (Cardiff, N.)|
|Elliott, R. W. (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne,N.)||Knight, Mrs. Jill||Roberts, Wyn (Conway)|
|Emery, Peter||Knox, David||Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks)|
|Eyre, Reginald||Lambton, Lord||Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)|
|Fenner, Mrs. Peggy||Lamont, Norman||Rost, Peter|
|Fidler, Michael||Lane, David||Royle, Anthony|
|Finsberg, Geoffrey (Hampstead)||Langford-Holt, Sir John||St. John-Stevas, Norman|
|Fisher, Nigel (Surbiton)||Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry||Sandys, Rt. Hn. D.|
|Fletcher-Cooke, Charles||Le Merchant, Spencer||Scott, Nicholas|
|Fookes, Miss Janet||Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)||Sharples, Richard|
|Fortescue, Tim||Longden, Gilbert||Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)|
|Foster, Sir John||Loveridge, John||Shelton, William (Clapham)|
|Fowler, Norman||Luce, R. N.||Simeons, Charles|
|Fox, Marcus||MacArthur, Ian||Sinclair, Sir George|
|Fry, Peter||McCrindle, R. A.||Skeet, T. H. H.|
|Galbraith, Hn. T. G.||McLaren, Martin||Smith, Dudley (W'wick & L'mington)|
|Gardner, Edward||Maclean, Sir Fitzroy||Soref, Harold|
|Gibson-Watt, David||Macmillan, Maurice (Farnham)||Speed, Keith|
|Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, C.)||McNair-Wilson, Patrick (New Forest)||Spence, John|
|Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.)||Maddan, Martin||Sproat, Iain|
|Glyn, Dr. Alan||Madel, David||Stainton, Keith|
|Goodhart, Philip||Marples, Rt. Hn. Ernest||Stanbrook, Ivor|
|Gorst, John||Mather, Carol||Steel, David|
|Gower, Raymond||Maudling, Rt. Hn. Reginald||Stewart-Smith, Geoffrey (Belper)|
|Grant, Anthony (Harrow, C.)||Mawby, Ray||Stodart, Anthony (Edinburgh, W.)|
|Green, Alan||Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.||Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M.|
|Grieve, Percy||Meyer, Sir Anthony||Stokes, John|
|Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds)||Mills, Peter (Torrington)||Stuttaford, Dr. Tom|
|Grimond, Rt. Hn. J.||Mills, Stratton (Belfast, N.)||Tapsell, Peter|
|Grylls, Michael||Miscampbell, Norman||Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)|
|Gummer, Selwyn||Mitchell, Lt.-Col. C. (Aberdeenshire, W)|
|Gurden, Harold||Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)||Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)|
|Hall, Miss Joan (Keighley)||Money, Ernle||Tebbit, Norman|
|Hall-Davis, A. G. F.||Monks, Mrs. Connie||Temple, John M.|
|Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury)||Monro, Hector||Thatcher, Rt. Hn. Mrs. Margaret|
|Hannam, John (Exeter)||Montgomery, Fergus||Thomas, John Stradling (Monmouth)|
|Harrison, Brian (Maldon)||More, Jasper||Thomas, Rt. Hn. Peter (Hendon, S.)|
|Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye)||Morgan, Geraint (Denbigh)||Thompson, Sir Richard (Croydon, S.)|
|Haselhurst, Alan||Morgan-Giles, Rear-Adm.||Thorpe, Rt. Hn. Jeremy|
|Hastings, Stephen||Morrison, Charles||Tilney, John|
|Havers, Michael||Mudd, David||Trafford, Dr. Anthony|
|Hawkins, Paul||Murton, Oscar||Trew, Peter|
|Hayhoe, Barney||Nabarro, Sir Gerald||Tugendhat, Christopher|
|Heath, Rt. Hn. Edward||Neave, Airey||van Straubenzee, W. R.|
|Heseltine, Michael||Nicholls, Sir Harmar||Vaughan, Dr. Gerard|
|Hicks, Robert||Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael||Vickers, Dame Joan|
|Higgins, Terence L.||Normanton, Tom||Waddington, David|
|Hiley, Joseph||Onslow, Cranley||Walker, Rt. Hn. Peter (Worcester)|
|Hill, John E. B. (Norfolk, S.)||Oppenheim, Mrs. Sally||Wall, Patrick|
|Hill, James (Southampton, Test)||Osborn, John||Walters, Dennis|
|Holland, Philip||Owen, Idris (Stockport, N.)||Ward, Dame Irene|
|Holt, Miss Mary||Page, Graham (Crosby)||Warren, Kenneth|
|Hordern, Peter||Page, John (Harrow, W.)||Weatherill, Bernard|
|Hornby, Richard||Pardoe, John||Wells, John (Maidstone)|
|Hornsby-Smith, Rt. Hn. Dame Patricia||Parkinson, Cecil||White, Roger (Gravesend)|
|Howe, Hn. Sir Geoffrey (Reigate)||Peel, John||Wiggin, Jerry|
|Howell, David (Guildford)||Peyton, Rt. Hn. John||Wilkinson, John|
|Howell, Ralph (Norfolk, N.)||Pike, Miss Mervyn||Winterton, Nicholas|
|Hunt, John||Pink, R. Bonner||Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard|
|Iremonger, T. L.||Price, David (Eastleigh)||Woodnutt, Mark|
|James, David||Prior, Rt. Hn. J. M. L.||Worsley, Marcus|
|Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford)||Proudfoot, Wilfred||Wylie, Rt. Hn. N. R.|
|Jessel, Toby||Pym, Rt. Hn. Francis||Younger, Hn. George|
|Johnson Smith, G. (E. Grinstead)||Quennell, Miss J. M.|
|Johnston, Russell (Inverness)||Raison, Timothy||TELLERS FOR THE NOES|
|Jones, Arthur (Northants, S.)||Ramsden, Rt. Hn. James||Mr. Hamish Gray and|
|Jopling, Michael||Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter||Mr. Victor Goodhew|
|Joseph, Rt. Hn. Sir Keith|
§ Question accordingly negatived.397
§ It being after Eleven o'clock, The Chairman proceeded, pursuant to Order [2nd May], to put forthwith the Question necessary for the disposal of the business to be concluded at that hour.
§ Question put, That this Schedule be the second Schedule to the Bill:—
§ The Committee proceeded to a Division:
§ Rev. Ian Paisley (seated and covered)
On a point of order, Mr. Mallalieu. The Chancellor of the Duchy made a promise that, on this Schedule, an opportunity would be given to Northern Ireland Mem-
§ bers to discuss a very important constitutional point. If this vote is taken, there will be no opportunity for any further discussion on Schedule 2. May we have your assurance that the right hon. and learned Gentleman's other promise—that we shall be allowed to discuss the matter on the Question, That Clause 4 stand part of the Bill—will not be broken in a similar fashion?
The Second Deputy Chairman
I am afraid that the hon. Gentleman's point has nothing to do with the Chair.
§ The Committee having divided: Ayes 277, Noes 269.401
|Division No. 234.]||AYES||[11.10 p.m.|
|Adley, Robert||Douglas-Home, Rt. Hn. Sir Alec||Holland, Philip|
|Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash)||Drayson, G. B.||Holt, Miss Mary|
|Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead)||Du Cann, Rt. Hn. Edward||Hordern, Peter|
|Amery, Rt. Hn. Julian||Dykes, Hugh||Hornby, Richard|
|Archer, Jeffrey (Louth)||Eden, Sir John||Hornsby-Smith, Rt. Hn. Dame Patricia|
|Astor, John||Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke)||Howe, Hn. Sir Geoffrey (Reigate)|
|Atkins, Humphrey||Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton)||Howell, David (Guildford)|
|Awdry, Daniel||Elliott, R. W. (Nc'tle-upon-Tyne,N.)||Howell, Ralph (Norfolk, N.)|
|Baker, Kenneth (St. Marylebone)||Emery, Peter||Hunt, John|
|Balniel, Lord||Eyre, Reginald||Iremonger, T. L.|
|Barber, Rt. Hn. Anthony||Fenner, Mrs. Peggy||James, David|
|Batsford, Brian||Fidler, Michael||Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford)|
|Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay)||Finsberg, Geoffrey (Hampstead)||Jessel, Toby|
|Benyon, W.||Fisher, Nigel (Surbiton)||Johnson Smith, G. (E. Grinstead)|
|Berry, Hn. Anthony||Fletcher-Cooke, Charles||Johnston, Russell (Inverness)|
|Biggs-Davison, John||Fookes, Miss Janet||Jones, Arthur (Northants, S.)|
|Blaker, Peter||Fortescue, Tim||Jopling, Michael|
|Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S.W.)||Foster, Sir John||Joseph, Rt. Hn. Sir Keith|
|Boscawen, Robert||Fowler, Norman||Kaberry, Sir Donald|
|Bossom, Sir Clive||Fox, Marcus||Kellett-Bowman, Mrs. Elaine|
|Bowden, Andrew||Fry, Peter||Kershaw, Anthony|
|Braine, Bernard||Galbraith, Hn. T. G.||Kimball, Marcus|
|Bray, Ronald||Gardner, Edward||King, Eveyln (Dorset, S.)|
|Brinton, Sir Tatton||Gibson-Watt, David||King, Tom (Bridgwater)|
|Brown, Sir Edward (Bath)||Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, C.)||Kinsey, J. R.|
|Bruce-Gardyne, J.||Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.)||Kirk, Peter|
|Bryan, Paul||Glyn, Dr. Alan||Kitson, Timothy|
|Buchanan-Smith, Alick (Angus, N&M)||Goodhart, Philip||Knight, Mrs. Jill|
|Buck, Antony||Goodhew, Victor||Knox, David|
|Burden, F. A.||Gorst, John||Lambton, Lord|
|Butler, Adam (Bosworth)||Gower, Raymond||Lamont, Norman|
|Campbell, Rt. Hn. G. (Moray&Nairn)||Grant, Anthony (Harrow, E.)||Langford-Holt, Sir John|
|Carlisle, Mark||Green, Alan||Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry|
|Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert||Grieve, Percy||Le Merchant, Spencer|
|Chapman, Sydney||Griffiths Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds)||Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)|
|Chataway, Rt. Hn. Christopher||Grimond, Rt. Hn. J.||Longden, Gilbert|
|Chichester-Clark, R.||Grylls, Michael||Loveridge, John|
|Churchill, W. S.||Gummer, J. Selwyn||Luce, R. N.|
|Clark, William (Surrey, E.)||Gurden, Harold||MacArthur, Ian|
|Clegg, Walter||Hall, Miss Joan (Keighley)||McCrindle, R. A.|
|Cockeram, Eric||Hall-Davis, A. G. F.||McLaren, Martin|
|Cooke, Robert||Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury)||Maclean, Sir Fitzroy|
|Coombs, Derek||Hannam, John (Exeter)||Macmillan, Maurice (Farnham)|
|Cooper, A. E.||Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye)||McNair-Wilson, Patrick (New Forest)|
|Cordle, John||Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)||Maddan, Martin|
|Corfield, Rt. Hn. Frederick||Haselhurst, Alan||Madel, David|
|Cormack, Patrick||Hastings, Stephen||Marples, Rt. Hn. Ernest|
|Costain, A. P.||Havers, Michael||Mather, Carol|
|Crouch, David||Hawkins, Paul||Maudling, Rt. Hn. Reginald|
|Crowder, F. P.||Hayhoe, Barney||Mawby, Ray|
|Davies, Rt. Hn. John (Knutsford)||Heath, Rt. Hn. Edward||Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.|
|d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry||Heseltine, Michael||Meyer, Sir Anthony|
|d'Avigdor-Goldsmid,Maj.-Gen.James||Hicks, Robert||Mills, Peter (Torrington)|
|Dean, Paul||Higgins, Terence L.||Mills, Stratton (Belfast, N.)|
|Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F.||Hiley, Joseph||Miscampbell, Norman|
|Dixon, Piers||Hill, John E. B. (Norfolk, S.)||Mitchell, Lt.-Col. C.(Aberdeenshire, W)|
|Dodds-Parker, Douglas||Hills, James (Southampton, Test)||Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)|
|Money, Ernle||Rees, Peter (Dover)||Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)|
|Monks, Miss Connie||Rees-Davies, W. R.||Tebbit, Norman|
|Monro, Hector||Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David||Temple, John M.|
|Montgomery, Fergus||Ridley, Hn. Nicholas||Thatcher, Rt. Hn. Mrs. Margaret|
|More, Jasper||Ridsdale, Julian||Thomas, John Stradling (Monmouth)|
|Morgan, Geraint (Denbigh)||Rippon, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey||Thomas, Rt. Hn. Peter (Hendon, S.)|
|Morgan-Giles, Rear-Adm.||Roberts, Michael (Cardiff, N.)||Thompson, Sir Richard (Croydon, S.)|
|Morrison, Charles||Roberts, Wyn (Conway)||Thorpe, Rt. Hn. Jeremy|
|Mudd, David||Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks)||Tilney, John|
|Murton, Oscar||Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)||Trafford, Dr. Anthony|
|Nabarro, Sir Gerald||Rost, Peter||Trew, Peter|
|Neave, Airey||Royle, Amhony||Tugendhat, Christopher|
|Nicholls, Sir Harmar||St. John-Stevas, Norman||van Straubenzee, W. R.|
|Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael||Sandys, Rt. Hn. D||Vaughan, Dr. Gerard|
|Normanton, Tom||Scott, Nicholas||Vickers, Dame Joan|
|Onslow, Cranley||Sharples, Richard||Waddington, David|
|Oppenheim, Mrs. Sally||Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)||Walker, Rt. Hn. Peter (Worcester)|
|Osborn, John||Shelton, William (Clapham)||Wall, Patrick|
|Owen, Idris (Stockport, N.)|
|Page, Graham (Crosby)||Simeons, Charles||Walters, Dennis|
|Page, John (Harrow, W.)||Sinclair, Sir George||Ward, Dame Irene|
|Pardoe, John||Skeet, T. H. H.||Warren, Kenneth|
|Parkinson, Cecil||Smith, Dudley (W'wick & L'mington)||Weatherill, Bernard|
|Peel, John||Soref, Harold||Wells, John (Maidstone)|
|Peyton, Rt. Hn. John||Speed, Keith||White, Roger (Gravesend)|
|Pike, Miss Mervyn||Spence, John||Wiggin, Jerry|
|Pink R. Bonner||Sproat, Iain||Wilkinson, John|
|Price, David (Eastleigh)||Stainton, Keith||Winterton, Nicholas|
|Prior, Rt. Hn. J. M. L.||Stanbrook, Ivor||Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard|
|Proudfoot, Wilfred||Steel, David||Woodnutt, Mark|
|Pym, Rt. Hn. Francis||Stewart-Smith, Geoffrey (Belper)||Worsley, Marcus|
|Quennell, Miss J. M.||Stodart, Anthony (Edinburgh, W.)||Wylie, Rt. Hn. N. R.|
|Raison, Timothy||Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M.||Younger, Hn. George|
|Ramsden, Rt. Hn. James||Stokes, John|
|Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter||Stuttaford, Dr. Tom||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Redmond, Robert||Tapsell, Peter||Mr. Hamish Gray and|
|Reed, Laurance (Bolton, E.)||Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)||Mr. Kenneth Clarke.|
|Abse, Leo||Crossman, Rt. Hn. Richard||Grant, John D. (Islington, E.)|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Cunningham, G. (Islington, S.W.)||Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside)|
|Archer, Peter (Rowley Regis)||Cunningham, Dr. J. A. (Whitehaven)||Griffiths, Will (Exchange)|
|Ashley, Jack||Dalyell, Tam||Hamilton, James (Bothwell)|
|Ashton, Joe||Davies, Denzil (Llanelly)||Hamilton, William (Fife, W.)|
|Atkinson, Norman||Davies, Ifor (Gower)||Hamling, William|
|Bagier, Gordon A. T.||Davis, Clinton (Hackney, C.)||Hannan, William (G'gow, Maryhill)|
|Barnett, Guy (Greenwich)||Davis, Terry (Bromsgrove)||Hardy, Peter|
|Barnett, Joel (Heywood and Royton)||Deakins, Eric||Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)|
|Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood||de Freitas, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey||Hart, Rt. Hn. Judith|
|Bennett, James (Glasgow, Bridgeton)||Dell, Rt. Hn. Edmund||Hattersley, Roy|
|Bidwell, Sydney||Dempsey, James||Healey, Rt. Hn. Denis|
|Biffen, John||Doig, Peter||Heffer, Eric S.|
|Bishop, E. S.||Dormand, J. D.||Horam, John|
|Blenkinsop, Arthur||Douglas, Dick (Stirlingshire, E.)||Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas|
|Boardman, H. (Leigh)||Douglas-Mann, Bruce||Howell, Denis (Small Heath)|
|Body, Richard||Driberg, Tom||Huckfield, Leslie|
|Booth, Albert||Duffy, A. E. P.||Hughes, Rt. Hn. Cledwyn (Anglesey)|
|Bottomley, Rt. Hn. Arthur||Dunn, James A.||Hughes, Mark (Durham)|
|Boyden, James (Bishop Auckland)||Dunnett, Jack||Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen, N.)|
|Bradley, Tom||Eadie, Alex||Hughes, Roy (Newport)|
|Brown, Bob (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne,W.)||Edelman, Maurice||Hunter, Adam|
|Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan)||Edwards, William (Merioneth)||Hutchison, Michael Clark|
|Brown, Ronald (Shoreditch & F'bury)||Ellis, Tom||Irvine, Rt. Hn. Sir Arthur (Edge Hill)|
|Buchan, Norman||English, Michael||Janner, Greville|
|Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn)||Evans, Fred||Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas|
|Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)||Ewing, Harry||Jeger, Mrs. Lena|
|Callaghan, Rt. Hn. James||Faulds, Andrew||Jenkins, Hugh (Putney)|
|Campbell, I. (Dunbartonshire, W.)||Fisher, Mrs. Doris (B'ham, Ladywood)||Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.)|
|Cant, R. B.||Fitch, Alan (Wigan)||Johnson, Walter (Derby, S.)|
|Carmichael, Neil||Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston)||Jones, Dan (Burnley)|
|Carter, Ray (Birmingh'm, Northfield)||Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)||Jones, Rt. Hn. Sir Elwyn (W. Ham, S.)|
|Carter-Jones, Lewis (Eccles)||Foley, Maurice||Jones, Gwynoro (Carmarthen)|
|Castle, Rt. Hn. Barbara||Foot, Michael||Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, W.)|
|Clark, David (Colne Valley)||Forrester, John||Judd, Frank|
|Cocks, Michael (Bristol, S.)||Fraser, John (Norwood)||Kaufman, Gerald|
|Cohen, Stanley||Freeson, Reginald||Kelley, Richard|
|Coleman, Donald||Gilbert, Dr. John||Kerr, Russell|
|Concannon, J. D.||Ginsburg, David (Dewsbury)||Kilfedder, James|
|Conlan, Bernard||Golding, John||Kinnock, Neil|
|Crawshaw, Richard||Gordon Walker, Rt. Hn. P. C.||Lambie, David|
|Cronin, John||Gourlay, Harry||Lamborn, Harry|
|Crosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony||Grant, George (Morpeth)||Lamond, James|
|Latham, Arthur||Moyle, Roland||Sillars, James|
|Leadbitter, Ted||Mulley, Rt. Hn. Frederick||Silverman, Julius|
|Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick||Murray, Ronald King||Skinner, Dennis|
|Leonard, Dick||Oakes, Gordon||Smith, John (Lanarkshire, N.)|
|Lestor, Miss Joan||Ogden, Eric||Spearing, Nigel|
|Lever, Rt. Hn. Harold||O'Halloran, Michael||Spriggs, Leslie|
|Lewis, Arthur (W. Ham. N.)||O'Malley, Brian||Stallard, A. W.|
|Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)||Oram, Bert||Stewart, Donald (Western Isles)|
|Lipton, Marcus||Orbach, Maurice||Stewart, Rt. Hn. Michael (Fulham)|
|Lomas, Kenneth||Orme, Stanley||Stoddart, David (Swindon)|
|Loughlin, Charles||Oswald, Thomas||Stonehouse, Rt. Hn. John|
|Lyon, Alexander W. (York)||Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, Sutton)||Strang, Gavin|
|Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.)||Padley, Walter||Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R.|
|Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson||Paisley, Rev. Ian||Swain, Thomas|
|McBride, Neil||Palmer, Arthur||Thomas, Rt. Hn. George (Cardiff, W.)|
|McCartney, Hugh||Pannell, Rt. Hn. Charles||Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)|
|McElhone, Frank||Parker, John (Dagenham)||Thomson, Rt. Hn. G. (Dundee, E.)|
|McGuire, Michael||Parry, Robert (Liverpool, Exchange)||Tinn, James|
|Mackenzie, Gregor||Pavitt, Laurie||Tomney, Frank|
|Mackie, John||Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred||Torney, Tom|
|Mackintosh, John P.||Pendry, Tom||Tuck, Raphael|
|Maclennan, Robert||Pentland, Norman||Turton, Rt. Hn. Sir Robin|
|McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.)||Perry, Ernest G.||Urwin, T. W.|
|McNamara, J. Kevin||Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch||Varley, Eric G.|
|Maginnis, John E.||Prentice, Rt. Hn. Reg.||Wainwright, Edwin|
|Mahon, Simon (Bootle)||Prescott, John||Walden, Brian (B'm'ham, All Saints)|
|Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.)||Price, J. T. (Westhoushton)|
|Marks, Kenneth||Price, William (Rugby)||Walker, Harold (Doncaster)|
|Marsden, F.||Probert, Arthur||Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek|
|Marshall, Dr. Edmund||Rankin, John||Wallace, George|
|Marten, Neil||Reed, D. (Sedgefield)||Watkins, David|
|Mason, Rt. Hn. Roy||Rees, Merlyn (Leeds, S.)||Weitzman, David|
|Mayhew, Christopher||Rhodes, Geoffrey||Wellbeloved, James|
|Meacher, Michael||Richard, Ivor||Wells, William (Walsall, N.)|
|Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)||White, James (Glasgow, Pollok)|
|Mendelson, John||Roberts, Rt. Hn. Goronwy (Caernarvon)||Whitehead, Phillip|
|Mikardo, Ian||Robertson, John (Paisley)||Whitlock, William|
|Millan, Bruce||Roderick, CaerwynE. (Br'c'n&R'dnor)||Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick|
|Miller, Dr. M. S||Rodgers, William (Stockton-on-Tees)||Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)|
|Milne, Edward||Roper, John||Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchin)|
|Mitchell, R. C. (S'hampton, Itchen)||Rose, Paul B.||Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)|
|Moate, Roger||Ross, Rt. Hn. William (Kilmarnock)||Wilson, Rt. Hn. Harold (Huyton)|
|Molloy, William||Rowlands, Edward||Woof, Robert|
|Molyneaux, James||Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-under-Lyne)|
|Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire)||Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)||Short, Rt. Hn. Edward (N'c'tle-u-Tyne)||Mr. Joseph Harper and|
|Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)||Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)||Mr. Ernest Armstrong.|
|Morris, Rt. Hn. John (Aberavon)||Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich)|
§ Schedule 2 accordingly agreed to.
§ It being after Eleven o'clock The Chairman left the Chair to report Progress and ask leave to sit again, pursuant to Order [2nd May].
§ Committee report Progress; to sit again tomorrow.