§ 7.14 p.m.
§ Mr. James Wellbeloved (Erith and Crayford)
I beg to move,That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the Civil List (Increase of Financial Provisions) Order 1975 (S.I., 1975, No. 133), dated 5th February 1975, a copy of which was laid before this House on 12th February, be annulled.This is not a debate about the Monarchy as an institution. There is wide support in the country, in the light of contemporary history, for British constitutional practice with the restraints, checks and balances which exist upon the power of the Head of State and which have led to its being far preferable to some other countries' systems. One has only to look at the experience of the United States over the activities of the former President, Mr. Nixon, to realise that other systems have great faults. If one looks at the antics of President Amin one can see that a serving president is not infallible.
This motion is, therefore, neither an anti-Monarchy nor a pro-republican device. It is about the allocation of resources and the purposes to which those resources are applied. I shall seek to show that the order should be annulled on four basic grounds. The first is the manner of its presentation to Parliament. The second is the effect that it has on the social contract. The third is the absence of any detailed evidence of the effect on wage and salary rates of employees of the Royal Household. Fourth is the availability of other sources of revenue to finance certain requirements of the Royal Household.
I deal first with the manner of presentation. I believe, and I regret, that my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has fallen below his normal standard of care and sensitivity in the way in which he has dealt with the presentation to Parliament of this order. Both the Prime Minister and my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer are Royal Trustees under the terms of the Civil List Act. Parliament has laid upon them both the difficult responsibility of keeping under review the Civil List expenditure.
If in their opinion expenditure of the Royal Household seems likely to exceed 576 the amount voted by Parliament under the Civil List the Royal Trustees are required to make a report to the Treasury. To whom do they report in the Treasury? One person is the Commissioner of Her Majesty's Treasury, none other than the Prime Minister, and the other is, of course, the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The silly situation therefore exists in which the Royal Trustees look at the expenditure of the Royal Household, form an opinion and then present their report to themselves.
They then have another duty. Once they have reported their views to themselves they are required under Section 5 of the 1972 Act to lay a copy of the Royal Trustees' report before the House of Commons. What they are not required to do under the law is simultaneously to give effect to the recommendations contained in the Royal Trustees' report to the Treasury. But that is what they have chosen to do and it is that to which I take exception.
That report of the Royal Trustees laid before Parliament on 12th February this year could have been debated by this House. The crux of my criticism of the Prime Minister's handling of this issue is that by laying this order he has removed from this House the opportunity of expressing an opinion on the report of the Royal Trustees and on all the matters contained therein.
However, he has done something even more serious. He has denied himself the benefit of the advice of this House on these grave matters of State.
All the views expressed to us by our constituents on this matter, many of them deeply held and seriously conscientious, and the views of right hon. and hon. Members on both sides of the House, could have been adequately debated and could have been taken into account by the Prime Minister before he made the order. In not choosing to handle the matter in that way he has made more difficult the situation we now face, because we are to a degree confined in our debate, subject to your ruling, Mr. Speaker, according to the rules of statutory instrument debate.
The elected representatives of the people have, I believe, been denied the opportunity of full debate on the proper provision of finance for the Head of 577 State, and that is regrettable. There may be some souls in the Chamber less generous than mine who might believe that that was the object of the exercise, but I believe that my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has allowed a chance to slip through his fingers. He has allowed to develop on the financing of the Royal Household a controversy that is damaging both to the Monarchy and to the social contract, because it leaves unanswered many questions that arise in the minds of hon. Members and their constituents. That is sufficient reason why the order should be annulled tonight. It denies the fundamental right of the House fully to debate in the widest aspects money being voted by Parliament.
It is not my intention to refer to the leak of documents relating to the Queen's finances which has appeared in a national newspaper, other than to say to my right hon. Friends the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer that as an ex-plumber I share the Prime Minister's view that nothing justifies a leak. I have no doubt that other hon. Members may wish to enlarge on that aspect of the matter if they should catch the eye of the Chair.
I turn to the second basis of my submission to the House. The order must be seen against the backcloth that this country and our people face a period of acute economic difficulty. The order must be seen through the eyes of the people outside who see Parliament prepared to make available a substantial increase in the Royal Household finances while they are being asked to tighten their belts. In my household, and, I am sure, in every other average domestic household, there is another sovereign, namely, the housewife, who is struggling to keep her family afloat in the turbulent sea of inflation. Her interests have to be taken into account. We must consider how she will react to the announcement in the order.
The order also has to be seen in the context of the reaction of organised workers who are in the midst of negotiations on wage claims and who are being constantly reminded—quite rightly—of the vital need to keep within the guidelines of the social contract.
What are the worthy citizens of this realm to believe when in the midst of 578 exhortations from Ministers, including the Chancellor of the Exchequer, they observe the following two things? On the very day that the House went into the Christmas Recess the Government slipped through, in the form of a Written Answer, an announcement of increases in top salaries. What a reply that was to hon. Members and people throughout the country who were trying to encourage people to act within the guidelines of the social contract! Now we have this order put forward without a full opportunity to debate the Royal Trustees' report, and without the full explanation which ordinary men and women are entitled to receive before they give approval to such an order.
However justified the increases may be in the minds of Ministers who have this difficult and invidious responsibility, they are not so easily justified in the minds of average citizens, whether they be Members of Parliament or electors, who do not have before them the full information which the Ministers had when they came to the decision to bounce the order before us alongside the Royal Trustees' report.
My contention is that the Prime Minister, both by the top salaries award and now by the order, has allowed unnecessary damage to be inflicted on the social contract. Even at this late stage I appeal to him, through my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer, to rectify that mistake and to minimise the damage by withdrawing the order. Let us have a proper presentation of all the relevant facts about the financial provision for the Royal Household.
It is my belief, and I am sure that it is the belief of all those who support me tonight in the Prayer, that the British people are sensible and fair-minded, and that if they are given the facts they will respond in the way that those facts demand, but if there is an attempt to conceal the facts, to edge away from full disclosure of all aspects of income, Civil List expenditure and payments from the Civil List to the Royal Household, they become suspicious, and when they become suspicious they become resentful of the institution itself.
It is not enough to rely on the fact that Her Majesty has offered to provide for one year from her own private income £150,000 to offset the initial impact of 579 the increased cost of the Royal Household. What are the private resources available to Her Majesty? Are they something which we are not entitled to take into account?
I believe that the real impact that has to be suffered is the impact on the social contract which we are trying to uphold. The only way to soften or to offset that impact and to get understanding from the country as a whole for this increase is to give full disclosure to Parliament and to the people. That is the second ground for my Prayer for the annulment of the order. The order must be judged on its effect on the social contract. The social contract was a central and crucial factor in Labour's election manifesto, and it ought to have been taken into account when the order was presented to the House.
The third ground upon which I make my submission is the complete absence of detailed evidence to justify the orders being laid before the House. I shall put to my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer three or four questions in the hope and expectation that he will be able to give some answers.
First, can the Chancellor show that the 75 per cent of this increased expenditure which the Government claim is for wages and salaries is going to the lower-paid workers in the Royal Household, or is an unreasonably high proportion going to employees at the top of the tree'? We are entitled to at least that information.
Secondly, what consultations have taken place with the Civil Service unions and other appropriate trade unions, about members in the employ of the Royal Household, in respect of the allocation of these extra resources? What discussions and negotiations have there been on the appropriate rates of wages and conditions of service?
Thirdly, I hope that the Chancellor will also tell us the average hourly rate of pay for people engaged in the grades of employment in the Royal Household as set out in Appendix 21 of the report of the Select Committee on the Civil List in the Session 1971–72. Those grades include porters, kitchen staff, gardeners and all the people who do the useful work of the Royal Household. I hope 580 that he will tell us what their present hourly rates are and what he believes will be the effect of this increase in the Civil List expenditure. That may go some way to relieve our apprehension.
Fourthly, can the Chancellor tell the House how the Prime Minister proposes to operate the new way in which he hopes to deal with Civil List expenditure, which he set out briefly on 12th February 1975 and recorded in column 384 of the Official Report? That is a matter upon which we are entitled to a further explanation.
If it can be shown that many of the increases are going to that sort of wage-earner and are within the guidelines, my right hon. Friend will have done much to allay some of the fears which are now held. If he can show that a full and wide-ranging debate that will enable us to deal with the income and expenditure from this and other sources of other members of the Royal Family, and their position under the proposed changes in the law which the Government have in mind, is but a short while away, he may even persuade some of us to respond to any plea that he might make as regards setting up an inquiry into the total financing of the Royal Household.
I now come to my fourth ground in my Prayer to annul the order. I believe that consideration has to be given to the other sources of revenue that are available to certain members of the Royal Household. There is widespread concern that the Sovereign's income is immune from taxation. There is widespread concern that estate duty and the proposed capital transfer tax do not apply to members of the Royal Household. [Interruption.] I say to Conservative Members, who now and again awaken from their slumbers to growl, that if they were to get away from their clubs and go into the highways and byways to meet the working men and women they would find that away from their tea parties and soirees, even in their own constituencies, there is some apprehension in some quarters on these matters. Let them not live in the thought that everybody else is in the same slumbery dreamland which they seem to wish to occupy. There is widespread concern.
People are asking why it should be that Her Majesty should be exempt from 581 taxation when working men and women, in their efforts to boost the nation's productivity, work overtime and have to pay tax on their overtime earnings. These are real problems which the House must face. The taxation of our Sovereign and other members of the Royal Family cannot be excluded for much longer from the most serious consideration. In my view, action must be taken by this Parliament to bring equality to bear on the taxtaion of all the citizens of the United Kingdom from the Sovereign down to the humblest working men and women in the realm.
§ Mr. John Lee (Birmingham, Handsworth)
Does my hon. Friend not think that a possible explanation is that Conservative Members are really crypto-Republicans who are trying to bring the Monarchy into disrepute in that they have been led by one social upstart followed by a new social upstart? Does that explain their position?
§ Mr. Wellbeloved
I shall not take up all my hon. Friend's strictures. [Interruption.] I join him in that I believe that those who decline to take seriously the widespread and genuine concern about the taxation of Royal income do so at the peril of the Monarchy itself.
§ Mr. Speaker
Order. I hope that this debate will be conducted with decency and without sedentary observations.
§ Mr. Wellbeloved
I share that hope, Mr. Speaker, but nine years' experience has led me to believe that hope is not always fulfilled as regards Conservative Members.
§ Mr. Wellbeloved
What I said, Mr. Speaker, also applies to both sides. I do not argue tonight that the private income of the members of the Royal Family should be published in full detail any more than I would argue that the tax returns of ordinary citizens should be made available for scrutiny. It would be indefensible if we demanded of the Sovereign and her family more than we are prepared to submit to ourselves. I would not be prepared to submit my own private tax returns to the scrutiny of every Tom, Dick and Harry. It is right that every one of us should submit a 582 tax return that should be assessed by a tax inspector and that taxation should be levied according to the laws passed by Parliament. It is equally indefensible that any individual should be immune from taxation.
I turn briefly to the position of other members of the Royal Family and their income from the Civil List. We all know that Her Majesty at the moment receives £980,000 and that that is to be increased to £1,400,000. That is not subject to tax because it is claimed to be paid to meet all the expenses of the Household. We also know that the Queen Mother receives £95,000 that is subject to tax. The Queen Mother lives in Clarence House. In the last financial year £36,000 of public money was spent on Clarence House to bring it into a state suitable for the Queen Mother's residence. The Duke of Edinburgh receives £65,000—
§ Mr. Speaker
Order. This debate is limited. There are certain matters which are dealt with under Section 2 of the Act which are not germane to this order. The hon. Gentleman is out of order in his last two examples.
§ Mr. Wellbeloved
I am just coming to the examples which I think may be in order. I shall now refer to those people who are in receipt of funds under the order and whose income would be increased from £60,000 to £85,000. I refer to the members of the Royal Household who do not receive other payments from the Civil List, such as His Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester, who under the order would be entitled to receive £5,000 per annum tax free for carrying out his duties. In passing, I might just say that he lives in Kensington Palace. That palace has just had £1,435 of public money expended on it to bring it into a condition fit for the Duke of Gloucester's residence. Then there is His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent. Under the order he will be entitled to a tax-free income of £30,000 per annum. He lives in St. James's Palace. Over the past 12 months it has had £5,472 of public money spent on it to bring it into a fit state for his residence. Then there is Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra, who, under the order, will receive an income of £22,000 a year tax free. Finally, Her Royal Highness Princess Alice will 583 receive the modest sum of £3,000 per annum, albeit tax free.
There are other members of the Royal Household who I would have been delighted to have cast my respectful remarks upon had it been possible to have a full debate. I am critical of my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister because in laying this order with the Royal Trustees' report he has denied us the opportunity to examine respectfully but diligently the income and the expenditure of members of the Royal Family. In my view, there must be grounds for a full debate so that tax liability and related matters concerning other sources of revenue available to the Sovereign and her family can be properly aired and debated.
If that were done it might be at the end of the day, and in the light of the information revealed, that the House would wish to continue with the present level of Civil List expenditure. We cannot take that view this evening because we do not know the facts. What I seek to do is not to attack the Monarchy as an institution but to encourage the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer—I wish that my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister were here; he is a Royal Trustee and should have been here for the debate—to ensure that the full facts are given to the people and to give vent to what I believe is the serious concern felt by many people that the Prime Minister has not handled the matter properly. I believe that he has handled it very badly and in a damaging way both to the social contract and to the Monarchy.
The Prayer is also clear notice of intent by a small, but none the less significant—if I may say so with modesty—group of hon. Members, and a significant and growing number of people in the country, that they seek a wider debate on the whole question of the provision of finances for the Royal Household, and in particular that they seek, and will achieve, a change in the tax exemptions for the Sovereign and her family.
§ 7.40 p.m.
§ Mr. Paul Dean (Somerset, North)
I am glad that the hon. Member for Erith and Crayford (Mr. Wellbeloved), in introducing the debate, said that it should not be an anti-Monarchy debate. I pro- 584 foundly hope that will be so. The hon. Gentleman asked certain questions, and I hope that the answers which he receives from the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he catches your eye, Mr. Speaker, will satisfy him so that a vote on the issue can be avoided.
I regret that in the run up to the debate in recent days and weeks efforts have been made by anti-monarchists, by a Communist newspaper and by leakers of Government documents to obscure the real issues, to cast aspersions on the Monarchy and members of the Royal Family and involve the Queen in political controversy. These disreputable efforts will boomerang, and millions of people will rejoice when they do.
The value of the Monarchy cannot be weighed by a balance sheet or in cold money terms. We are talking about something which is much deeper than that. We are talking about an appeal which is as strong overseas as it is at home, as we can see from the tour in which Her Majesty is now engaged. The Queen and the Royal Family are the best ambassadors that Britain and the Commonwealth could possibly have, and at home the Queen symbolises the unity and continuity of the nation. She brightens our lives on great ceremonial occasions, which we in this country manage to perfection, and also on informal occasions, such as walkabouts in shopping centres. At Buckingham Palace alone the Queen entertains about 30,000 people each year, ranging from Heads of State to local councillors. Indeed, in this debate we are speaking of an asset beyond price.
The debate is not about the leakage of Government documents—and I do not wish to say anything about that—nor is it about the Queen's pay. Some organisations, including the BBC, which should know better, have persisted in talking about the Queen's pay and the Queen's salary. A few days ago I had occasion to write to the BBC, and I am glad that in this morning's bulletin the BBC had it right and talked about the expenses which the Queen incurs. The debate has nothing whatever to do with pay; it is about the expenses that the Queen incurs in carrying out her official duties.
The Queen is paid no salary. As part of the origins of the Civil List going back to 585 the seventeenth century, the Crown agreed to surrender certain Royal revenues in return for a Civil List, and a strong case can be made for saying that the State has had a good financial bargain from that transaction.
The real point of the debate is the effect of inflation on the Royal Household, as on any other employer. Approximately three-quarters of the Civil List expenditure is on wages and salaries. That is all official, not private, expenditure, and under the Civil List arrangements all that expenditure should be met by Parliament. The Queen now meets over £60,000 from her own resources, and she will contribute £150,000 from her own resources in 1975. To deny an increase in the Civil List is either to say that wages and salaries of the Household staff should not be increased or, alternatively, that the Queen should meet public expenditure out of her private pocket.
We all agree that the Royal staff should have reasonable increases, along with other employees. That is one of the arguments put forward by the hon. Member for Erith and Crayford, and no doubt the Chancellor of the Exchequer will be able to give us more information on that. We all agree that the Household staff should not suffer in their wages and salaries because they happen to be Royal employees. Equally, I do not see why the Queen should meet expenditure of this character, any more than we expect employers or trade union leaders to meet wage bills out of their private pockets. I believe that the Government have made out a case, and I shall support the order if, unhappily, there is a Division.
The best arrangement for the Civil List is that it should be fixed at the beginning of each reign. Unfortunately, inflation has defeated that arrangement. The report of the Select Committee which considered the matter in 1971 is embodied in the present arrangements contained in the Civil List Act 1972. But inflation has also defeated that, in the sense that the Royal Trustees have had to come back to Parliament earlier than was envisaged by the Select Committee in 1971.
The Government propose that further increases should be financed by grants-in-aid voted in accordance with the normal Supply procedure. That could 586 be the thin end of a dangerous wedge. The 1971 Select Committee brought powerful arguments against the annual involvement of Parliament in the Civil List, and those arguments are as strong as ever they were. The proposals for the future represent a big step, and, in my judgment, a wrong and unhappy step, in that direction.
I hope that other possibilities will be considered, in particular the consideration, to which the Select Committee gave attention, and admittedly turned down, of some form of index linking. Many of the arguments which were used against index linking in 1971 are now defeated. That applies particularly to wages and salaries. Since 1971 we have had index linking in various forms, often ad hoc, in wages and salaries in many areas both in the public service and in the private sector. Indeed, many of the Royal Household salaries are linked to appropriate Civil Service grades. It should be possible to revise index linking at least for three-quarters of the expenditure which is involved in wages and salaries.
I hope that in giving consideration to the order the Government will also consider the fears which I have expressed as to the way in which these matters should be conducted in the future. I profoundly hope that when the House has had more information from the Chancellor the order will be approved without a Division. If, unhappily, there is a Division, I shall support the Government and the order.
§ 7.50 p.m.
§ Mr. Michael Stewart (Fulham)
It is right and wise that this nation should maintain and uphold the institution of the Monarchy and that, although we should not be extravagant about it, it should not be skimped. There is no point in having a Monarchy if we do not do it in style.
Therefore, so far as the substance of the order goes there is not a case for refusing approval. The greater part of it is made up of increases in wages and salaries, and it is necessary if the Monarchy is to continue to be maintained in the style to which the House agreed some years ago when the relevant legislation was passed. If we want to alter that style we should look at the whole question afresh and not chop off a part of it by refusing to agree to the motion.
587 No doubt we shall find—this will be confirmed in the speech of my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer—that the wage and salary increases which are proposed are not in any way in breach of the social contract; but, having said that, we have to face the extraordinary fact that the money which we are debating is not enough to meet the wage and salary increases. It is not enough, because we rely on the Queen to meet the balance out of her private resources. We can say that Her Majesty can afford to do so because she is immune from the payment of income tax, and, indeed, successive sovereigns are immune from the payment of estate duty. What we do in all these transactions is to provide for the Monarchy in two ways—first, by voting the Civil List, and, secondly, by forgoing tax which would be collected from any other individual but is not collected from Her Majesty.
The difficulty in discussing this question is that we do not know how much tax is being forgone and how much the nation is spending to maintain the Monarchy. Some members of the Select Committee made a determined attempt to find out, but beyond the information that the Queen's private fortune was not as much as £50 million they were not able to get any further. When I use the phrase "private fortune", I use it in the strictest possible sense. I am talking not about Buckingham Palace, the Crown Jewels, the Royal collection of pictures or any of the things which successive sovereigns hold in trust for the nation, but about the purely private fortune, which is immune to tax.
We are saying that we know that we are not voting enough money for what we agreed in the last Act of Parliament but that the situation is satisfactory because of the Royal immunity to tax. My contention is that this is a slovenly and unsatisfactory way of handling the problem. It is unsatisfactory, first, because it means that the nation as a whole does not know what it is paying for the upkeep of the Monarchy. All those hon. Members who are anxious to see that the Crown is not subject to unjustified criticism want the facts to be known.
The second objection is that it is bound to lead to speculation and argument about exactly what is the size of the Queen's 588 private fortune. For all the Queen's subjects their private incomes are their private business between them and the Inland Revenue, but the immunity to tax makes the size of the Queen's private fortune a public question. I think that the situation is unfair to the Queen and is generally unfortunate.
The third reason for saying that the situation is unsatisfactory was developed in the speech of my hon. Friend the Member for Erith and Crayford (Mr. Well-beloved), who spoke of the "people outside". He was somewhat ridiculed by the Conservative benches. I invite those who disagree with him to consider the situation a little more carefully. I believe that there is a steady and growing concern about this matter of the Royal immunity from taxation. I do not suggest that it is a vast mass movement, but I believe it is growing because we are now living in a community where we are always exhorting each other to show respect for the law, to have some sense of national unity and to have a fair sharing of burdens. The spectacle of the example of a Head of State who is immune from that part of the law which requires us to pay taxes is unfortunate. Since I tabled an Early Day Motion on this topic I have received a large postbag, and opinion on this topic is extremely varied, but I believe that there is a growing number of people who strongly want to maintain the Monarchy and who have the greatest personal respect for Her Majesty, but who do not see why this personal immunity from taxation should remain.
Hon. Members who ridicule these views should remember our history. Those counsellors of Kings and Queens who advised them to ignore the tides of opinion were never their most loyal subjects or their wisest advisers. The advisers who told King Canute that he could command the tides do not figure very well in our history, nor were they useful adjuncts to the Monarchy.
There are two ways of getting out of this situation. One is by disclosing the Queen's private fortune so that we should know how much the nation pays for the Monarchy by forgoing tax. However, it has been pointed out that there is an obvious objection to that course. Why should the Queen alone be subject to this 589 rule? The other and much better way through the difficulty is to ensure that the Queen's private fortune is subject to tax, like anybody else's income. I believe that this would have, as a first advantage, that, on balance, the nations' finances would be the gainer. We should have to grant a larger Civil List because, since the Queen would no longer be immune from tax, we could not ask her to foot the bill which is necessary to keep the Monarchy in style; but the tax on the private fortune would go into the Exchequer. On balance, the nation's finances would be decidedly the gainer, and it would remove the Queen's private fortune from argument and speculation and would make it, as it should be, a private matter between her and the Inland Revenue.
§ Mr. Carol Mather (Esher)
Should not we bear in mind one small but important factor? Is not the cost of the upkeep of the Queen and the Monarchy smaller than the cost of the upkeep of our embassy in Paris?
§ Mr. Stewart
It would not surprise me if, before long, my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer was looking at embassies, along with other parts of public expenditure. But I do not think that the hon. Gentleman has quite grasped the point. I am not talking about the size of the bill; I am saying that immunity from tax exposes the Monarchy to unnecessary criticism. I am saying that this way of paying for the Monarchy by granting an inadequate Civil List, because the Queen does not have to pay income tax, is slovenly and an undignified way of going about the matter.
§ Mr. Brian Sedgemore (Luton, West)
Is my right hon. Friend aware that an amendment has been tabled to the Finance Bill, on Report, aimed at making the Queen subject to the new capital transfer tax?
§ Mr. Stewart
I am aware of that amendment and I am interested in it. However, I shall not pursue the point now because I do not want to take too much time.
I conclude by making a historical and constitutional point. There is one objection which could be raised to my proposal by those who believe that the basis of our constitution and our Monarchy is that the Sovereign is the fountain from which 590 all law, justice and honour flow, and that she cannot be subject to the law. I should like, first, to point out that we have already breached that concept in practice. Rates are paid on Sandringham and Balmoral, and when the selective employment tax was imposed Her Majesty paid it on her employees. Therefore, the principle has been breached in practice. Also, the idea that the Monarchy can in no sense be subject to the law is contrary to a true reading of our history and ignores the way in which opinion is now moving.
Let me briefly state the historical argument. For centuries successive sovereigns at their coronations have taken an oath to respect the laws. The eminent jurist Bracton, in the thirteenth century, wrote that the sovereign has a superior—the law, by which he was made sovereign. Two centuries later, Lord Chief Justice Fortescue argued—his view is now generally accepted—that the realm of England was not, to use his phrase, "Dominium regale"—a Royal Government. It was a "Dominium politicum et regale"—a Royal and constitutional Government—a Monarchy acting within the framework of law.
I believe that this view of our constitution—that in the last resort the supremacy of the law should apply to the Sovereign—is the correct one and is more in line with a real understanding of the English people and the kind of Government that they have created.
Walter Bagehot, writing in the last century, said that the Monarchy would survive as long as men's hearts were stronger than thear heads. However, today, with the rising standards of knowledge and political awareness among our people, the maintenance of the Monarchy will require the assent of heads as well as of hearts. I believe that that can be done. I believe that a case can be made out for the Monarchy on the twin grounds of emotion and reason. I regard both as a necessary part of the argument. If we are to receive the assent of the head as well as the heart we shall do well to get rid of this immunity to tax, which is a stumbling block to many people who want the continuation of the Monarchy and which produces this extraordinary muddled financial way of providing for its necessary and proper expenses.
591 Therefore while I believe that it is right that the Government should obtain this order, I most earnestly urge my right hon. Friend, when he speaks, to indicate that the Government look favourably on the idea which others and I have put forward, so that the matter can be straightened out, and so that in future we can place the Monarchy on the solid basis of the assent both of the head and the heart of all its subjects.
§ 8.2 p.m.
§ Mr. John Pardoe (Cornwall, North)
I agree with much that has been said by Government supporters in criticism of the way in which this matter has been handled. To that extent I agree with the case made tonight in this Prayer.
Anyone who is not shocked by the announcement of this increase, in these economic circumstances, is curiously insensitive. I therefore think that it is right that we should be debating the matter, since I sympathise with most of the points made.
We must ask why it is necessary for the Government to announce this increase now. That was certainly my first reaction, since I could hardly believe that they had sufficient reason for doing so. I am not concerned with arguments which derive from a sleazy and envious republicanism. I hope that such arguments will not be advanced in this debate.
Following the point made by the right hon. Member for Fulham (Mr. Stewart) about the distinction between heart and mind, in matters of the Monarchy it is always well to be plain utilitarian rather than emotional. We must have a Head of State. Putting it at its worst, I would prefer what we have got to a superannuated politician posing in the rôle. We do not have to go through a list of names. Most of us can imagine the sort of person who would get the job. Most of the people in the list would be singularly unpleasing. A president would cost a lot of money, probably at least as much as the Monarchy, and, indeed, in many countries presidents cost a great deal more than our Monarchy.
I wish to ask some fundamentally important questions which arise out of the Civil List which we are being asked to approve. In 1972 Parliament provided an 592 annual payment of £980,000, which was not very long ago. That was thought sufficient to last for five years. The expenditure in 1972 was about £881,000 and there was a surplus of about £99,000. It was thought by the Royal Trustees, Parliament and the Select Committee that if that sum was accumulated and invested it would cover the deficits which would probably occur as a result of inflation in the four other years. How is it that that estimate, made in 1972, went so chaotically wrong in so short a time? The simple answer is inflation. However, we ought to beware of simple answers.
We are told that the Civil List expenditure in 1975 is likely to be £1,380,000. That is an increase of £498,000 on 1972, or an increase of 561½ per cent. Inflation has been rapid, but not all that rapid. If we take the period January 1972 to January 1975 the retail price index has increased by 44.7 per cent. We must therefore go beyond the simple answer of inflation to the component parts of the increase.
It is in these component parts that I think we find fundamental problems and difficult questions. I hope that the Chancellor will be able to give us one or two comments from the Government's point of view on those points. The position is made clear in the Report of the Royal Trustees, paragraph 4 of which states:Almost three-quarters of the total is disbursed on salaries on the staff working in the Royal Household. The majority of these staff are paid salaries which are directly linked to those of comparable grades in the Civil Service and since 1972 they have received salaries similar to those awarded to members of the Civil Service.It goes on:This is the principal cause of the increase in Civil List expenditure.Here we are dealing with the crux of the matter. This is one of the major scandals of public administration, and is a point on which I wish to dwell. Looking at Appendix II of the report, it is not difficult to calculate that, while the total Civil List expenditure rose between 1972 and 1974 by 33.9 per cent, the non-salary expenses of the household rose by 2038 per cent, while the salaries rose by 41.3 per cent., which is twice as fast.
If we look at the Palace estimates for 1975, the comparison is even more alarming. Between 1972 and 1975 total Civil List expenditure rose by 56½ per cent., 593 but Household expenses rose by only 32.3 per cent. while salaries rose by 69.8 per cent., which is more than twice as fast. Since we are told by the Royal Trustees that the majority of the salaries are linked to Civil Service grades, there is nothing that the Palace can do about that part of the increase. It has cut the number of staff. The number of full-time employees has dropped from 375 in 1970 to 337.
I do not know whether any hon. Member is in a position to comment on whether that is a sufficient drop. However, outside consultants have been called in who seem to have produced, on the whole, a fair bill of health and efficiency. If the Palace has no control over the increase in salaries, which accounts for 80 per cent. of the total increase in expenditure which we are being asked to vote, Parliament should exercise control and cast a jaundiced eye over what has happened to Civil Service salaries, and, therefore, Palace salaries, in recent years. We have not considered this matter sufficiently. If this sort of expenditure increase has occurred in the Royal Household, Heaven knows what has happened in every Department of State.
If we start to look at the individual costs of administration in the Departments, we can see that the Civil Service has managed to run rings round any kind of expenditure control which this House is meant to operate. We can see it in the Boyle Report on top salaries, and that repays a close study. As I say, too little attention has been given to it. Obviously, we cannot debate the question of Civil Service salaries. It is a pity that we cannot. But it is a major part of the increase with which we are concerned and, therefore, it seems to me to be directly relevant.
All that the Government have done is to accept the recommendations of the Boyle Report for the Civil Service, and that has had an effect on Palace finances. At the same time, the Government have rejected the Boyle Report's recommendations for the nationalised industries. So we have one law for the administrators and another for those who create the wealth and who run our nationalised industries.
Do we have to pay the Palace staff this money? Do we have to pay our civil servants this kind of money? Other 594 countries do not. That is the important point which we have to consider.
§ Mr. J. W. Rooker (Birmingham, Perry Barr)
The hon. Gentleman is making a very good point about the 80 per cent. on salaries, but that still leaves the question of the other 20 per cent. Does he not think it significant that we are presented in the report of the Trustees with an itemised account of the 20 per cent. which breaks down the total into items like the expenditure on flowers and other trivia, but that we do not know where the salaries figure went? That is the matter which my hon. Friend the Member for Erith and Crayford (Mr. Wellbeloved) raised. We do not know the make-up of the 80 per cent.
§ Mr. Deputy Speaker (Sir Myer Galpern)
Order. Before the hon. Member for Cornwall, North (Mr. Pardoe) replies to that intervention, I ought to remind the House that the Front Bench speeches are to begin at nine o'clock and that there are still 10 hon. Members who are anxious to take part in the debate. I hope that hon. Members will be reasonably co-operative.
§ Mr. Pardoe
I take that point, Mr. Deputy Speaker, but I am sure that you will be aware that it is no fault of back benchers that so little time has been given to consider matters of very great importance to people throughout the country. I am asking the Government some serious questions about the way in which they have handled the affairs of the nation in terms of public administration, and I hope that we shall be given some answers by the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
It is not necessary to pay these civil servants and these Palace officials this kind of money. I hope that the Chancellor of the Exchequer will answer the question posed by the hon. Member for Erith and Crayford (Mr. Wellbeloved).
If we look at the comparisons, we see that in this country in 1973 a permanent secretary, a top grade civil servant, was paid £15,900. The equivalent rank in Belgium was paid £9,790, and in France £9,565. It may be that we have higher rates of tax. But it is quite possible to do the calculation from the Boyle Report and compare the net salaries of industrialists against the net pay after tax of the permanent civil servant—
§ Mr. Deputy Speaker
The hon. Gentleman is well outwith the scope of the debate. We are not referring to civil servants.
§ Mr. Pardoe
I must remind you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, that it says in page 3 of the report of the Royal Trustees:Almost three-quarters of the total is disbursed on salaries of the staff working in the Royal Household. The majority of these staff are paid salaries which are directly linked to those of comparable grades in the Civil Service …If Civil Service salaries are not relevant to this debate, I should like to know what is.
§ Mr. Deputy Speaker
In my opinion, the salaries paid to permanent civil servants are outwith the scope of the matter that we are debating. A passing reference may be made to them. But the hon. Gentleman is referring to people who are not employed in the Royal Household and who, therefore, do not come within the ambit of this debate. I do not see any reason why the hon. Gentleman should be so het up about it.
§ The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. Denis Healey)
Perhaps I may help the hon. Member for Cornwall, North (Mr. Pardoe). Only eight of a total of 337 full-time members of the Household are linked to civil service grades for which increases were recommended in the Boyle Report. I shall be giving further figures when I reply to the debate.
§ Mr. Pardoe
I am not challenging that. I am simply using the figures in the Boyle Report as a comparison. The Chancellor of the Exchequer is one of the signatories to the Trustees' Report. It says that the majority of the staff of the Royal Household are paid salaries which are directly linked to comparable grades in the Civil Service. It is part of my case that the reason why the Boyle Report had to recommend increases is that the pay of civil servants lower down the scale had also been increased and that that is why the Palace staff had to have their salaries increased.
I bow to your ruling, Mr. Deputy Speaker, though I must say that if this House proposes to conduct matters affecting public finance in this shoddy and half-hearted way we shall not be able to exercise control over public expen- 596 diture, which is our first and foremost function. Certainly it is mine, and I intend to pursue it whether or not I get hot under the collar about it.
We do not need to pay these salaries. They are vastly in excess of any salaries paid for similar jobs elsewhere. It is an investigation of the Civil Service for which we should look if the Chancellor of the Exchequer is to try to cut down on the escalation of Royal Household costs in the future. As the right hon. Gentleman has said, these two matters are directly linked.
§ 8.16 p.m.
§ Mr. John Lee (Birmingham, Handsworth)
I feel that we ought to make it clear what this debate is about. It is not about the existence or otherwise of the Monarchy. It is not about the Civil Service—though I have some sympathy with the views of the hon. Member for Cornwall, North (Mr. Pardoe). It is about open government.
When I hear Opposition Members expressing disbelief or derision at some of the remarks made by my hon. Friend the Member for Erith and Crayford (Mr. Wellbeloved) about the way in which this matter has been slipped in at the end of business on a Friday in a Written Answer, I am bound to say that if that attitude is representative of their point of view, never again can they complain about other statements of Government business which have been introduced in that way.
I deplore the way in which any controversial statement is included in a hole-and-corner way. All Governments have been guilty of this practice, and it is one which back benchers ought to curb. I find it strange that right hon. and hon. Members who get so indignant about the lack of proper monitoring of public expenditure should think that when we are concerned with the position of the Monarch's finances those principles must fall aside.
My right hon. Friend the Member for Fulham (Mr. Stewart) made his position clear. He said that he was a Monarchist. I make my own position clear. I take the view that this country will remain a Monarchy for the foreseeable future. I am much more concerned with abolishing capitalism than with changing the structure of the headship of State. As 597 my right hon. Friend indicated, some of the people who speak most stridently in favour of the Monarchy are its worst supporters, because in trying to protect them from the scrutiny of this House they are inevitably bringing the Monarchy within the scope of public controversy.
A point which needs to be emphasised, and which my right hon. Friend did not develop to the full, is that ours is no longer a deferential society. More and more frequently authority is being questioned. Some manifestations of the challenge to authority are unreasonable and unpleasant. One way in which authority is being challenged is manifest in the growth of crime. But there are other ways in which our society is a questioning one, and in that sense it is healthy. We no longer defer to the boss, to the priest—
§ Mr. Lee
No, we do not defer to them, either. I know not whether that was intended as a facetious intervention, but it amply illustrates the point of view that within the last 15 years more and more hon. Members have been prepared, for one reason or another—good or bad—to defy the authority of the Whips. Why should the Monarchy be exempt from this? To put it another way, would it help the Monarchy if we were to prevent this happening? I do not believe that it would help at all.
I accept and endorse the argument that if we are to have a Monarchy we should do it properly. I do not know whether I shall get into trouble with the Chair for saying this but I have never thought that Queen Juliana's bottom on a bicycle was a particularly romantic object, or one likely to secure the allegiance of her people. I do not believe the Monarchy should be abolished without, dare I say it, the full-hearted consent of Parliament and people.
While we have a Monarchy it is right that it should be properly maintained. What cannot be right is that there should be licence, under the cloak of secrecy, for what may well be wasteful expenditure. As some of my hon. Friends as well as Conservative Members have urged, it may be that if all the facts about the Monarch's wealth were known it would 598 be seen that the order was amply justified. Until those facts are known we cannot take that for granted.
As the hon. Member for Cornwall, North (Mr. Pardoe) pointed out—taking perhaps a rather unrepresentative segment of expenditure but using it quite properly to challenge the Chancellor—we are led to the strong suspicion that we do not know, and that if we did know more about the expenditure it would be embarrassing, because waste would be revealed. While the portion of total Government expenditure on the Monarchy is minute, it is an unfortunate situation, to put it no higher, that this kind of order should be sprung upon the House at a time when the Government are seeking to sustain the social contract.
Some of us may feel that the social contract should be overturned. I do not subscribe to that view, but some of my hon. Friends do, and there are certainly quite a number of people in the country who do. This kind of tactless, insensitive behaviour—this maladroit way in which the Government have behaved—is just the kind of thing that will fuel that discontent. It will do the Government no good, it will do the economy no good, it will do the Monarchy no good, and it will do the country no good.
§ 8.25 p.m.
§ Mr. Anthony Kershaw (Stroud)
It is a matter of satisfaction to everyone that every speaker in the debate has made protestations to the effect that the question of the Monarchy is not before us. I agree with the hon. Member for Birmingham, Handsworth (Mr. Lee) that society today is not deferential in the way we have used that expression in the past. Still society today, and everyone in it, needs standards to look up to. I dare say that each person or institution has some other personal institution which they admire or pretend to admire. I dare say that even the hon. Gentleman in court pretends to admire the judge, in the interests of his client no doubt.
Despite these protestations, I cannot rid myself of the feeling that this evening will in the long term be seen as an attack upon our constitution and way of life. There are those, not many, who lose no opportunity to bring into doubt or contempt the institutions which uphold our democracy. The opportunity to attack 599 the Monarchy seldom arises, except for the hon. Member for Fife, Central (Mr. Hamilton), who can attack the Monarchy twice before breakfast without any reason at all.
§ Mr. Kershaw
This is a chance to discuss the financial aspects of the Monarchy, and it is not to be passed up. It is a pity that rational argument carries no weight. Those who protest the difficulties of the Monarchy give all the good arguments freely to those who support it. It is in vain that we point out how cheap the Monarchy is in comparison with other systems. It is useless to indicate the advantages of a non-political head of State. There is no point in saying that the existence of several members of the Royal Family allows more representational work to be done than could be accomplished by one president.
It is in vain also to refer to the position of the Crown in relation to the Commonwealth and the dependent territories. It is useless to refer to the excellence of the Monarch herself, because every day that she enhances her post is just what the Left do not want. Arguments of that sort are of no avail. All those outside the House who wish to see these attacks succeed are happy in the thought that something of what they wish will be accomplished tonight. However, the vast majority of us are satisfied at the way in which the Monarchy discharges its duties. It has dignity and decorum which are revered in the whole country. We do not want a shabby Monarchy, as the hon. Member for Birmingham, Handsworth said.
The sums asked for are necessary to replace the ravages of inflation. If the civil servants are being too highly paid, as the hon. Member for Cornwall, North (Mr. Pardoe) said, that matter can be settled in the usual union ways. It is not the fault of the Crown. If the Crown is to maintain the degree of state which is consonant with our own self-respect and the position of this country, it is necessary for these sums to be made up. No more is being asked for than is necessary to make up for inflation. The Secretary of State for Employment can be confident that this is within the social contract.
§ Mr. Rooker
The hon. Gentleman said that no more was being asked for than to meet the ravages of inflation. How does he account for an 800 per cent. increase in one year on the Royal Gardens itemised on page 7 of the Royal Trustees' Report?
§ Mr. Kershaw
Some expenditure falls in one year but not in another. It is stated in the text of the report before us that that is what inflation demands.
I turn now to the leakages which have been mentioned in the Press. The fact that there were leakages is disgraceful, but what was leaked was in no way reprehensible. It is obvious that Heads of State and international institutions should not be involved in take-over manoeuvres. The clause which would have been debated in both House of Parliament seems not only necessary but desirable.
I hope that this debate will not be the precursor of many another. I agree with my hon. Friend the Member for Somerset, North (Mr. Dean) that if we could have an index-linked way to deal with the Monarchy in future, it would be much better for our tempers and for the Monarchy, which every speaker in the debate has upheld.
§ 8.30 p.m.
§ Mr. William Hamilton (Fife, Central)
That stops now, because my views on the Monarchy are well known.
I should like to remind the House and the country that less than three hours ago I was chairing the Select Committee on Violence in Marriage, which was considering the problem of battered wives and children. These people giving evidence before that Committee said that their principal centre in Chiswick needed a few thousand pounds to maintain it alive at all. Yet, looking at Appendix IV of the Trustees' Report—the figures were quoted by my hon. Friend the Member for Erith and Crayford (Mr. Wellbeloved) in moving the Prayer—we find that Princess Alexandra got £22,000, tax-free, in 1974. Less than half of that sum would have enabled that home in Chiswick to survive and prosper and make happy 100 or 200 battered women and children.
The Duke of Kent received £30,000, tax-free, in 1974. [Interruption.] I promise to devote only a few minutes to 601 what I want to say, because I have said a lot on these matters elsewhere.
It is obscene and indefensible that at any time we should grant this money to this kind of person in the present economic and social situation of this country.
This House and, I am afraid, my right hon. Friends, agreed that we should have no more Select Committees to go into detailed expenditure on the Monarchy. Therefore, we are now having to resort to this kind of debate, which my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister said we are to have annually. So long as we have a debate of this kind annually, I shall seek to take part and say what I feel must be said.
Let no one believe that the people of this country are any other than evenly divided on the institution of the Monarchy. [Hon. Members: "Rubbish ".] I challenge any hon. Member to open my mail any morning. I guarantee that the majority of letters on this subject are against the Monarchy as an institution and are particularly against what are called the hangers-on.
§ Mr. Hamilton
No, I shall not give way. I promised to be brief. I intend to say my piece.
When we debated the report of the Civil List Committee a year or two ago, the only amendment which the Labour Party officially divided on was on the question whether or not we should create a Crown Department of State. This is the answer. I hope that the Government, and the Prime Minister particularly—he is the nigger in the woodpile in all this—will follow that vote and decide to set up such a Department. Then, all these things could be laid out, including income and expenditure; we could have annual debates, and Ministers could be questioned. Then, there would be the degree of public accountability which is necessary for this institution.
There is no magic about the Royal Family. They are no more than glorified civil servants, one of them with a crown on her head. They open things, close things and eat things—and that is about it. We can have all the pomp and colour and pageantry along with it if 602 that attracts Yanks and Germans, and anybody else. Leave that alone, and let them come and see our wonderful museum. But let us have none of the nonsense about their being divinely ordained, and things of that sort.
I could go on for two hours easily, but I shall be brief. I see in this morning's newspapers that the Prime Minister has threatened to withdraw his patronage from junior Ministers if they do not toe the line in the vote tonight—and there will be a vote tonight. Ministers can have a free vote on the Common Market, but, by God, when we come to this matter all the payroll votes along the Government Front Bench have got to toe the line, or else they will get their snouts taken out of the gravy bowl. Let them stand up and be counted. They have stood up on Chile, and they have stood up on apartheid. Now let them stand up on this miserable little thing.
My right hon. Friend the Chancellor will no doubt give us a marvellous speech about the service rendered by the Palace household. Of course I do not deny that the gardeners, the butlers, the valets, and all the rest, do a good public service. All right—so do all civil servants. But let them sit the Civil Service exams; 90 per cent. of them would probably fail. Let us put it on that kind of footing.
My right hon. Friend the Member for Fulham (Mr. Stewart) suggested taxation of the Royal Household. Let us have a referendum on it. We are establishing the principle of a referendum, are we not, on another issue? Let us have one on this matter and see what the result is.
One item in the report of the Civil List Committee deserves publicity. It is said—the Prime Minister said it in his statement a week or two ago—that the Queen would contribute some of her private income. How is that private income obtained, other than by the freedom from taxation that she is granted? She gets a payment from the Duchy of Lancaster, which is presumed to be her own private property. She got £230,000, tax-free, from that in 1968–69 and it is now up to £300,000, tax-free.
§ Mr. Hamilton
The hon. Lady must keep cool.
To get a net income of £300,000—that is, unearned income—one would need a taxable income of over £14 million. That is the kind of cost of the Monarchy that we are talking about. It is these facts that the public should know, and they are going to get them in the annual debates, to which I am looking forward very much.
§ 8.40 p.m.
§ Dr. Alan Glyn (Windsor and Maidenhead)
The hon. Member for Fife, Central (Mr. Hamilton) is one of the few hon. Members who are not afraid of going into either Lobby, whichever he thinks fit. He is certainly not worried on that score.
Both the hon. Member for Erith and Crayford (Mr. Wellbeloved) and the right hon. Member for Fulham (Mr. Stewart) paid tribute, rightly, to the tremendous work done for this country by the Monarchy and the whole of the Royal Family. I do not believe that anyone who has spoken in this debate has not recognised that, but today we are talking about the way in which that Monarchy should be supported. This is the crux of the whole situation.
I happen to believe that we shall do very good service to ourselves and everybody else if we remove this matter once and for all from party politics and remove the Civil List from party politics if that is possible. We had a debate on this in 1972, and many hon. Members who were present thought that that probably would be the last of such debates. But, as we all know, inflation has overtaken us, and it is for that reason that we have had to revise the estimates. I do not think anybody in this House would deny that this debate has been made necessary by something which none of us foresaw when that last debate took place. We could not have done so.
Surely, the best way of regulating this is to do it once in a reign and leave it, for it cannot be a good thing continually to debate this subject or to go into such details every single year or every few years. It is a waste of time and it is unnecessary. We ought to decide what is necessary for the reign and then make any adjustment for inflation. After the last debate representatives of the civil 604 servants union wrote to me and said they were very impressed that some hon. Members had paid tribute to the work done by those who are employed in the Royal Palaces. They work extremely hard, and I should like to pay tribute to them for that.
We have now to take intermediate action to remedy the position and to deal with the immediate problem. That is exactly what the Government are doing. We welcome the generous donation of £150,000 which Her Majesty the Queen has given. If we want to maintain the dignity of the Monarchy we have to pay for it. If we look round the world I believe we shall find that we maintain our Royal Family at very much lower cost than many other countries do their Head of State.
We have to distinguish also between personal wealth and the amount of money we actually spend on maintaining the Monarchy. It is for that reason that I take issue with a point made by the right hon. Member for Fulham. I do not believe that in any State a Head of State should be liable for personal taxation, because taxation emanates from that Head of State.
§ Dr. Glyn
If one goes carefully through the constitution one finds that the Monarchy is the foundation of all taxes and all wealth. This particular system has served us very well. From time to time the Royal Trustees will have to adjust any form of income. I should have thought that the alternative would be one which has been suggested by the Crown Estates, for more revenues to be made available to the Monarchy so that there would be no need for us to have to come back to debate this subject every year or every five years. We in this country do not want to have to debate this subject continuously. It is only because of the rate of inflation in this country that we are obliged continuously to come back to this matter and look at it again. It would be far easier to make the revenue from the Crown Estates available to the Monarchy with a percentage being made available for its use. We should not then have continuously to debate this in this House. The pattern has always been that this should be done once in a reign. It is only because of the very rapid rise in the rate 605 of inflation that we are forced to do this again.
§ Mr. Eddie Loyden (Liverpool, Garston)
If we accept the arguments made by the hon. Gentleman in relation to that, and that the central point is the question of income and so on, does he not agree that we have established a way of doing this known as the means test, and that this would be the best way of meeting the situation?
§ Dr. Glyn
The hon. Gentleman has a very good point. The reason why we have to come back to the House on this matter is purely and simply the rate of inflation. Normally this matter is dealt with once during a reign. But if we continue with this rate of inflation, we do not want to have to return to the House continually to readjust the income of the Sovereign. That is wrong. We should do this once during a reign. If that is not possible, the easiest way to deal with the matter is to make the revenues of the Crown Estates available to the Monarch, or a reasonable proportion, adjustable to inflation, should be made available.
I hope that the next step will be to make sure that we fix this matter so that we do not continually debate it, for it does not do the country or the Monarch any good. It wastes parliamentary time. Let us revert to the system of fixing the sum once during a reign and adjusting it according to inflation.
§ Mr. Deputy Speaker
Order. Has the hon. Member for Windsor and Maidenhead (Dr. Glyn) finished his speech or is he giving way?
§ Mr. Palmer
Surely historically, in the nineteenth century these allowances throughout Queen Victoria's reign were continually debated.
§ Dr. Glyn
The hon. Gentleman is right. But this is not the right way of doing it. The best way is to fix it for a reign and to adjust it for inflation. The only easy way to do this is to make the Crown Estates available to the Monarchy, with 606 automatic methods of adjustment. It does not do the Monarchy or Parliament any good to debate this matter every five or 10 years.
§ 8.47 p.m.
§ Mr. R. C. Mitchell (Southampton, Itchen)
I am a very strong believer in the maintenance and continuation of the constitutional Monarchy in this country. The large majority of the Royal Family, including those most disliked by my hon. Friend the Member for Fife, Central (Mr. Hamilton), do a very thankless task in very difficult circumstances. I do not believe that any other system would be preferable or more desirable, nor do I believe that any other system would be cheaper. If we examine other systems throughout the world, we find that nearly all are more expensive than our constitutional Monarchy.
Furthermore, we do not want to skimp unnecessarily on the Monarchy. It is no bad thing for our people occasionally to have a little pomp and circumstance, which some of my intellectual friends so often decry. It is very interesting to note that when the Queen visits any town, the flags are put out very largely in the working-class areas rather than in the intellectual middle-class areas. A certain amount of this pomp and circumstance is not a bad thing.
Having said that, I believe that there are certain economies that we should examine very carefully, particularly on the fringes. I am not sure whether all the Royal residences around the country are necessary in this modern age. I am certainly not sure that the vast sums of money which are spent on the Royal yacht are necessary, but I agree that the Queen needs more money to maintain the essential fabric of the Monarchy and to pay her staff.
I query very much with the Government—as did my hon. Friend the Member for Erith and Crayford (Mr. Wellbeloved)—the moment of the announcement of this increase. It could not have come at a worse psychological moment. Whatever Opposition Members may say, it has a psychological effect, just as the top salaries award had a psychological effect earlier in the year. I am a strong believer in the maintenance of the social contract. When I talk to trade unionists in my constituency and tell them 607 what the Chancellor of the Exchequer is telling them regularly—"You really ought to try to moderate your wage claims as much as possible in the interests of the nation, otherwise there will be massive unemployment"—they say to me "You are saying that to me, when I am earning £40 a week, but what about the money you are giving to the Queen, and giving in top salaries?" It is very difficult to answer that question.
An important point was made by my right hon. Friend the Member for Fulham (Mr. Stewart). If it is found that we need to increase the sum in the Civil List by a certain amount, it is very undignified that we should expect the Queen to pay part of it by some sort of backstage deal. If we agree on a certain figure as the rate for the job, we, as a country and as a Parliament, should pay it. I shall oppose this order and vote against the Government unless we can get certain undertakings.
The real point was made by my right hon. Friend the Member for Fulham. I cannot see the justification, in this age, for the private fortune of the Royal Family to be free of tax. In my opinion, they should pay income tax, capital gains tax, capital transfer tax and, when it is introduced, wealth tax. Then there could be no criticism at all, and we could adjust what we, as a nation, pay the Royal Family through the Civil List. We might even increase the amount, but we should be doing it fairly. We would not receive the sort of criticism which many of us now get, that the Royal Family get away with it in respect of taxes. This is even more important, now that the Government are bringing in capital transfer tax and wealth tax. If the private fortunes of the Royal Family were exempt it would be a scandal.
My vote tonight will depend fairly and squarely on what the Government's answer is. I am not asking for a full disclosure of the private wealth of the Monarchy. I do not think it is our business, any more than it is our business how much the Prime Minister made out of his autobiography, or how great is the private wealth of the Leader of the Opposition, or, for that matter, the royalties which my hon. Friend the Member for Fife, Central (Mr. Hamilton) will make out of his book. That is none of our 608 business. But we want to be assured that it is the business of the Commissioners of Inland Revenue. If the Queen and the rest of the Royal Family were subject to tax, through the Inland Revenue, in the same way as every other citizen in this country, I would happily vote for the order. I do not want some vague assurance that the matter will be considered in the future. I want something definite, otherwise I shall vote against the order.
§ 8.53 p.m.
§ Mr. John Stokes (Halesowen and Stourbridge)
I do not wish to intervene in the internal differences which have appeared in the Labour Party on this subject. May I say, although the Leader of the House is not here, how disappointed many back-bench Members are that apparently the Front Benches have decided to have one hour in which to sum up and that the rest of the House is to have one and three-quarter hours. That does not seem to me to be a fair balance. However, that is not a matter for me, or for you, Mr. Speaker.
I oppose the Prayer, which is unsound, uncivilised and somewhat mean and carping. After all, we are debating something which most hon. Members opposite hold dear as an institution—incidentally, the oldest institution in Europe, with the exception of the Papacy. It is certainly something of which most people in this country are proud as a vital part of our constitution. As many hon. Members have said, it is marvellous value for the money. Most of us count ourselves fortunate, as do our constituents, that we have such a dedicated Queen and Royal Family to set an example to the whole nation.
It has been made clear time and time again, although not understood apparently by the BBC and others, that we are today debating not the Queen's pay or personal income but necessary payments to be made by her to her Household to enable her to discharge all her public duties in a fitting manner. All of us in this House know only too well that costs for everyone have gone up enormously, and the Queen's official expenditure cannot be immune or isolated from this trend. I am amused by the protests of some hon. Members opposite, because if this Prayer were to succeed there would have to be 609 a reduction in the numbers employed by the Royal Household, so there would have to be a diminution of the functions held. Having seen many hon. Members opposite enjoying themselves—quite rightly—at the afternoon parties. I fear these are things which they would themselves very much miss.
I disagree entirely with hon. Members opposite who say that their views are echoed by the general public. My views on the issue of Monarchy, as on the House of Lords, are well known, and I can tell you, Mr. Speaker, that I have not received a single letter opposing either the Monarchy or the House of Lords. We know that most people love and enjoy the Royal pageantry flowing from the Royal house. It plays a very important part in our public life, which might otherwise be somewhat drab if the public saw only us poor politicians. As previous speakers have said, it reminds the nation of our history, it unites us all as a people and it gives us a standard and something to live up to. Ceremony and splendour are very important, and those of us who watched the Prime Minister's visit to Russia will realise, remembering the Napoleonic uniforms of the Russian Guards, their marching, the bands and the banners, that in Russia too these things are regarded as important.
I believe the argument is specious that the Queen should pay out of her private moneys for the upkeep of the Monarchy. We do not ask the Prime Minister or any other official to do that, so why should we ask the Queen?
Many hon. Members opposite have made much of the fact that the Queen, who levies taxes—the taxes are all levied in her name—should tax herself. That, I believe, would be a constitutional absurdity.
Finally, for all the moderation which we have heard from speakers on the other side of the House, I am very much afraid that this Prayer is nothing but a veiled attack on the Monarchy without, I believe, either substance or justice. I hope the House will reject it with the contempt it deserves.
§ 8.59 p.m.
§ Mr. Neil Kinnock (Bedwellty)
I have repeatedly been astonished this evening to hear four hon. Members from the 610 other side of the House—the hon. Members for Stroud (Mr. Kershaw), Somerset, North (Mr. Dean), Windsor and Maidenhead (Dr. Glyn), and now, indeed, Halesowen and Stourbridge (Mr. Stokes)—asking, indeed advocating, that we take the whole business of the awards, pay—call it what you will—of the Monarchy out of the business of this House.
It appears to me that a great deal of time—in fact, hundreds of years of time—and a great deal of blood and courage were expended on drawing the relationship that we now have with the Monarchy, which indeed makes it a constitutional Monarchy, of this country. If we are not fit people to decide on an annual basis what and how the Queen shall be paid and what her accompanying appurtenances should receive, there is no one fit to do it because we are the elected representatives of the people and we draw our particular constitutional status and situation from our relationship with the Monarchy.
If there is a constitutional absurdity it is that we should try to fix, according to the suggestions that have been made, the pay or awards to the Crown on the basis of a reign with increases simply indexed during the course of it. We should have a Crown Department so that we could give proper and full attention to the whole matter on an annual basis and clear away the many mists that surround the whole question of the Queen's personal and private wealth and the taxpayer's contribution to the Queen and the remainder of the Royal Household.
Therefore, I shall be giving the strongest possible support to my hon. Friend the Member for Erith and Cray-ford (Mr. Wellbeloved) in the Lobby as well as in what I have to say. We are now considering paying an extra award to the richest woman in Britain, one of the richest women in the world. Do not let anyone fool himself into believing that this is not a pay award. If it is not a direct payment it is an immense relief against the kind of outlay that Her Majesty would have to make were it not for the generosity of the British taxpayer and the generosity of Parliament in terms of the order.
If, as my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister said in his statement on 12th 611 February, we are considering this question merely because Her Majesty has been afflicted by all the inflationary problems which afflict large employers, I seriously consider that it is time we undertook a job inspection of Her Majesty as an employer. First, there are widespread rumours that much of her staff is seriously low paid, and there is also a widely held feeling that those who presume to be senior executives in what I may call "The Crown Limited" are outrageously overpaid, some of them being relieved of tax and others getting too much for doing nothing.
I speak, of course, of the close relations of Her Majesty the Queen who get such enormous sums from the public purse in one way or another. Some of them have been mentioned by my hon. Friend the Member for Erith and Crayford. This does not fall strictly within the question of the Civil List and I do not wish to stray out of order. Perhaps I could simply say that they receive sums of between £22,000 in the case of Princess Alice of Gloucester and £65,000 in the case of the Duke of Edinburgh. These are taxed but nevertheless they receive gratuitous awards for no fixed job that my hon. Friends and I and many people outside the House can understand, and it is not a fair payment for what they do.
Apart from the question of whether Her Majesty is a major employer and whether there is a case for a major pruning of the upper echelons of those who are in the service of the Crown, there is also the question of the immense riches of which we are talking. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister drew attention in his statement on 12th February to the fact that the Queen was disposed to make a £150,000 contribution towards the expenses of the Civil List in 1975. The thought that sprang immediately to my mind and to my lips was "What a magnificent example to us all." Would it not be wonderful if we could all make that proportionate contribution to the care which the State provides for our parents, our children or ourselves? What a magnificent example such a contribution is—and I say this without irony—to the people in our country, to the 3 million homeless, to the 7 million pensioners and to those who, even though they are in 612 work, are under the most immense strain of poverty and near poverty. I cannot accept that Her Majesty's contribution is a source of virtue or that it is particularly praiseworthy. And in the circumstances of our nation at this moment, with the social and economic problems we face, we can do nothing other than make our protest and make our opinions felt by voting against the order tonight.
§ 9.5 p.m.
§ Mr. Jonathan Aitken (Thanet, East)
The hon. Member for Bedwellty (Mr. Kinnock) spoke of the blood that had been shed in past centuries in battles between the Monarchy and Parliament, and in defining the rôle of those two. Listening to the speeches of the hon. Gentleman and the hon. Member for Fife, Central (Mr. Hamilton) I rather wished that Charles I had won the Civil War, if only because he would have succeeded in his main aim of clipping the wings of one or two obstreperous parliamentarians.
§ Mr. Aitken
Although many of the speeches have been couched in the dulcet language of Inland Revenue accountants, I believe that the spirit behind the moving of the Prayer has been that of an envious pack of Republican wolves rather ineffectively disguised in tax-snoopers' clothing. We have heard a lot of phoney protest about the social contract, which is in tatters anyway, and there has been a demand for full disclosure of Royal finances. These moves conceal the real effect of the Prayer, which would be to set us one small but significant step down the slippery slope of changing the institution of the Monarchy towards a different institution, fully accountable to Parliament.
If we attack and criticise the privileges of the Monarchy as it has been attacked tonight, we shall have the bad effect of stripping it of some of its mystique and prestige.
Although we have heard a lot about the swelling ranks of discontented constituents, worried about the state of the 613 Monarchy, we have heard no evidence, other than the details of the rather dubious postbag of the hon. Member for Fife, Central, to suggest that they are anything but a phantom army.
I believe that the overwhelming majority of our people think that the Monarchy should have certain privileges. They do not mind whether it has certain privileges in law, or is immune from taxation. Only envy has brought us to this low point in British politics.
Since so many of the arguments have concentrated on the mercenary side of the question, I shall try briefly to put forward some points which show that even on a balance-sheet basis the Monarchy is still a desirable asset for the country. It costs us peanuts. The Civil List today costs less than 3p per head of population. The costs of doing the job has gone up because even the Royal Household is not immune from inflation. That is why we have had the increases. It is humbug for hon. Members, who were so silent when we put up our own allowances for secretaries because we could not afford their cost, to make such a song and dance when the Royal Household salaries have also increased, because the Queen's staff were unable to do the job properly on their previous salaries.
The Monarchy gives us tremendous value for money. If we count up the engagements fulfilled, the ceremonies performed, the good will visits and the Heads of State received in this country, we come to the conclusion that we could not have a more diligent and hardworking Monarch, who could give the country better value. When we weigh up what the Queen does for the nation and what she costs the nation, we come to the conclusion that we are getting a wonderful bargain, and we should stop making such a fuss about it.
§ 9.10 p.m.
§ Mr. William Molloy (Ealing, North)
It is becoming demonstrably clear from the speeches that we have heard from Conservative Members that they seek to imply that certain of my hon. Friends, such as my hon. Friend the Member for Erith and Crayford (Mr. Wellbeloved) and my right hon. Friend the Member for Fulham (Mr. Stewart) are orgiastically anti-Monarchy. That is not the situation at all.
614 It is disturbing that only a few weeks ago we were debating the question whether some old-age pensioners should have the right to earn an extra couple of bob in addition to their pension. We were told that the Government could not afford to allow them to earn that extra money without deduction. That is what we were told, and that argument was supported by some Conservative Members. If the contents of this measure were known, and if people understood that the Government are asking for an increase of the financial provision of the Civil List, it would be appreciated that I could present perhaps a couple of thousand similar orders on behalf of the old-age pensioners in my constituency.
The result of the absurd arguments that we have heard tonight is that it may seem that all my hon. Friends are anti-Monarchy. It must be realised that throughout the country many people genuinely believe as I do that it is infinitely preferable to have our Monarchy than some of the shady presidents that exist in other countries. Very often that sort of president is much more expensive. The fact that that sort of president exists in other places is no reason for us not to protect the good name of our monarchical system and to allow it to fall into disrepute.
Owing to the unfortunate behaviour of the Government in presenting this matter the wrong impression may be gained outside the House. We all know that were it not for the present inflationary period and the difficult economic situation this issue would probably not have arisen. It has arisen now only because there is a considerable discussion taking place outside the House on the question whether or not one of the richest people in the world should be excused paying tax. It is an issue that has arisen at a time when there is a great argument about the level of taxation that we have to impose on the crippled, the infirm and the old-age pensioners. That is what ordinary people cannot understand.
It would be wrong if people were anti-Crown and anti-Monarchy for the wrong reasons. We have a responsiblity to try to explain the situation in precise terms.
§ Mr. Molloy
No, I am not giving way. I understand that I must conclude within two minutes. I regret to say that unless people read carefully the submissions of my hon. Friends the Members for Erith and Crayford and Bedwellty (Mr. Kinnock), and my right hon. Friend the Member for Fulham—they have made major contributions in outlining the reality of the situation—there is the danger that their speeches will not be properly interpreted as the best contributions that have been made in defence of the Monarchy against some of the absurdities that we have heard from Conservative Members.
I sincerely believe that were it not for the difficult economic situation which we now face—I believe that the House will accept this point of view, with the possible exception of my hon. Friend the Member for Fife, Central (Mr. Hamilton)—this debate would probably not have taken place. That does not mean that it is not a good thing that it has taken place. I hope that my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer will pay particular attention to the pleas that have been made by my hon. Friends that consideration be given to the establishment of a Crown Department of State, so that we can end some of the absurdities and stupidities that now exist in relation to the Monarchy and the Queen's statutory position as Head of State. Let us get this done once and for all, so that we can be proud of our Monarchy, and so that the hangers-on and the "grace and favour" people can be brushed away, leaving the system much better for it.
§ 9.15 p.m.
§ Sir Geoffrey Howe (Surrey, East)
As the Home Secretary said in an earlier debate on this subject, it is not easy to find such a debate either enjoyable or exhilarating. I say that not because I have any doubts about the substance of the order against which the Prayer is made; indeed, I offer whole-hearted support for the order, as I am sure do all my hon. and right hon. Friends. My unease arises because of the extent to which a debate of this kind exposes Her Majesty and members of the Royal Family who are not merely a central feature of our constitution but part of the 616 fabric of our nation's life, to criticism and abuse which, for all the protestations of hon. Members opposite, they do not deserve to have to bear.
The hon. Member for Erith and Cray-ford (Mr. Wellbeloved) said that he was asserting his argument respectfully and diligently. His diligence was a great deal more evident than was his respect. Then we came to the familiar rehearsal of the observations of the hon. Member for Fife, Central (Mr. Hamilton), some of which, even in the short time he allowed himself, were as ill-mannered as they were ill-informed—and I use that word advisedly.
The second reason for regretting the debate is the extent to which it demonstrates the impact of inflation on the Monarchy as on every other aspect of our national life.
I will say a word about the position of the Monarchy. Many hon. Members have paid tribute to its importance, some with less conviction than others. This certainly has not been, and should not be, a matter of political controversy, and I am certain that outside the House amongst the majority of the people it is not.
The hon. Member for Birmingham, Handsworth (Mr. Lee) advanced a curious argument against some of the speeches made by my hon. Friends when he asserted that by trying to protect the Monarchy they were bringing it into the area of controversy. He was almost accusing Androcles of trying to pick a fight with the lion. It is not those who seek to defend the Monarchy, as do the great mass of people outside the House, who bring the Monarchy and the institution into controversy; it is the unrepresentative handful who assert the case so unattractively against it.
It is right in a debate of this kind that I should reassert that the Monarchy is a central feature of our constitution. The great mass of our people recognise and acclaim the fact that we are governed by the Queen in Parliament and recognise the important constitutional rôle of the Monarchy as a unifying factor for the entire people. The fact that we are a Monarchy and not a republic helps to emphasise that the issues which divide are far less important than those which unite us as a nation.
617 It is not simply that the Monarchy is more inspiring than a presidency, although it is certainly that. It is not just that—as my hon. Friend the Member for Stroud (Mr. Kershaw) pointed out—it is more efficient and less expensive than any system for the election or selection of a president, although it is certainly that. It is more important than either of those things because it is a less divisive and more secure foundation for a constitutional democracy founded in the rule of law than is any alternative that anyone has been able to devise in its place.
It is made manifest near at home in Scandinavia, and around the world in all those Commonwealth countries which still owe allegiance to Her Majesty, that it is indeed a firm foundation for a democratic society.
§ Mr. Lee
The right hon. and learned Gentleman has extended his argument at some length as to the reasons why he regards the Monarchy as important. Will he answer this question, which is perhaps pertinent: does the new Leader of the Opposition intend to resume the creation of hereditary peerages, and will they be confined to members of the Royal Family?
§ Sir G. Howe
The hon. Gentleman made a speech of some prolixity. I am sorry that I allowed him to make another.
§ Sir G. Howe
The fact is that Her Majesty and the Royal Family—and it is a fact that it is the family that is important—play an infinite variety of rôles in our national life. The Queen is a better promoter of the cause and reputation of Britain abroad—I hope I shall not be misunderstood if I make this comment as a former Minister who had responsibility in this direction—and her efforts are infinitely more valuable and far less expensive than all the efforts of the Export Credit Guarantee Department and the British Overseas Trade Board put together.
I am sure that the whole House wishes to congratulate Her Majesty and her family on the outstanding success of their current visit to Mexico. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] Within this country, on a quite different scale, the Queen is an 618 inspiration—and this point was made by the hon. Member for Southampton Itchen (Mr. Mitchell). In hundreds of communities and institutions, small and large, throughout the length and breadth of the land, she fulfils hundreds of engagements a year in every area of national life—from sport to charity, from moments of national rejoicing to moments of local tragedy and disaster. The hon. Member for Fife, Central, laughs.
§ Sir G. Howe
The hon. Gentleman represents a mining community. Let him reflect on the extent to which the people who were stricken by the tragedy of Aberfan, with which I was closely concerned, were heartened by the prompt attendance in that tragic community by members of the Royal Family.
§ Sir G. Howe
It is quite wrong to suggest as some Labour Members seek to do, that the Monarch presides over a court of isolated wealth and privilege. It is a court, if that is the right word, which is in daily contact with the life of ordinary people for whom those hon. Members claim to speak. It involves a weary routine for the Monarch herself—a volume of work and a degree of strain which few, if any, in this House would be able, or would wish, to bear in her place.
Of course hon. Members and people outside the House are entitled to ask whether the institution is unduly extravagant, incompetently-managed or lavishly-financed. I would say that it is none of those things. [AN HON. MEMBER: "How do you know?"] I am asked how I know. Let us look at the facts. The facts are analysed at enormous length in the report of the last Select Committee on this topic. The management of the Royal Household has also been subject to two management studies, it has been closely scrutinised since then by a report of the Royal Trustees. They came to the conclusion that further economies are still being made. The facts 619 are fully set out for hon. Members to study.
Against that background, we must face the fact that the expense of maintaining the institution has inevitably increased. Of course, it is right that the proposals that are now before the House should be scrutinised with care. But when we scrutinise them, as the Royal Trustees have done, what do we see? We find proved beyond a peradventure, as was pointed out by my hon. Friend the Member for Somerset, North (Mr. Dean), that this is in no sense a Royal pay rise. On the contrary, the results of those recommendations represent, if anything, a decline in real living standards of the Monarch and her family—[HON. MEMBERS: "Oh".] The noises from the Labour benches demonstrate the extent to which the real nature of the extra payments which are now proposed is misunderstood by those hon. Members.
The hon. Member for Itchen said that he had received complaints from people who were talking about "All this money you are giving the Queen." He said that there were complaints from people as to whether the increase proposed in the Civil List represents a proper assessment of the rate for the job. He should have said instantly to those people that they wholly misunderstood what was happening. There is no increase in the payment to the Queen. It has nothing to do with the rate payable for the job which she does. The sum proposed will meet the huge rise, because of inflation, in the Queen's expenses, which she incurs as a result of her official functions and duties. The Civil List provides only for the huge rise in expenses since 1972.
It was suggested that there should be an investigation into the position of the Queen's employees, seeking to imply that the Queen might be underpaying some of her employees, and that some other members of her staff were hopelessly overpaid. Both of those propositions are false.
The Queen's staff are represented by the Civil Service Union. That union has secured substantial pay rises—the hon. Member for Cornwall, North (Mr. Pardoe) may be right—of up to 70 per cent., but in line with Civil Service pay scales. There is no suggestion that those staff are under- 620 paid. The representative of the union, in giving evidence to the Select Committee, said that his union was quite happy to go along with the unique nature of this employment. I understand that. There is no suggestion of inflation in the number of staff, since there has been a steady staff reduction from 421 to 337 in the past 12 years.
The order deals with one other matter, which was mentioned by the hon. Member for Fife, Central. I refer to the increase from £60,000 to £85,000 in the sums payable under Section 5 of the 1972 Act. The hon. Gentleman referred to it as a tax-free addition to the incomes of the people whose work and activities he seeks to denounce. How many times does one have to set out in black and white what this is? In any case it does not justify the application, under the cloak of parliamentary privilege, of petty epithets such as "obscene" which the hon. Gentleman used. Those sums are paid as a contribution to the expenses of the people in question. Those sums are not subject to income tax any more than are the contributions paid towards the expenses of hon. Members for the employment of secretaries. The report of the Trustees makes that clear.
According to the answer of the Minister last Monday, those expenses are more than absorbed by the people employed by members of the Royal Family.
§ Sir G. Howe
There is nothing with which to enlarge the Privy Purse. There is nothing here with which to improve living standards. On the contrary, Her Majesty has agreed to pay, from her own resources, £150,000 towards the expenses of the Civil List in the current year. This should not be described as a Royal pay rise. I hope that that phrase will never again be used. This sum is no more than a proper and inevitable increase in the sum the nation agrees to pay for the maintenance of the institution of the Monarchy. It was bizarre to hear the hon. Member for Fife, Central saying that there should be a referendum on whether the sum should be paid. It is odd that members of a party which is pledged to a referendum that will cost the country up to £8 million should find 621 it difficult to agree to the payment of £280,000.
There is one other matter which was raised in the thoughtful speech of the right hon. Member for Fulham (Mr. Stewart). It relates to the non-disclosure of the size of the Royal private fortune and the limited immunity of the Monarch from taxation. I was glad to hear that no Government supporter sought to deal with that by pressing for disclosure of the Queen's private fortune and private expenditure, and that the alternative suggested was a change in the tax system.
Here, too, there is a misunderstanding. Apart from the Queen herself, the Prince of Wales is the only member of the Royal Family who enjoys any exemption from liability to tax—
§ Sir G. Howe
It will be confirmed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer that that immunity relates only to the revenue of the Duchy of Cornwall, half the income of which His Royal Highness makes available to the Treasury again. Every other member of the Royal Family is taxable, like every private citizen.
The position raised by the right hon. Member for Fulham was founded on two arguments why we should make a change. First, he said that by taxing the revenues and capital of the Crown we should save the Exchequer some money. That would happen only if we were seeking thereby to bring about a lowering in the standards of the Monarchy. It would not be possible overall to save the Exchequer money and to reduce the net outflow from the Exchequer to the Monarch without lowering the standards of the Monarchy.
The right hon. Member for Fulham sought also to argue that there was some legal reason for the immunity and that that was perhaps the foundation. I do not seek to found a defence of the continuance of that immunity upon aspects of antique medieval law, though I was interested to hear the right hon. Gentleman's comments. I found the present and continuing immunity of the Monarch from taxation on the unique nature of the Sovereign and the unique nature of the Royal Prerogative—upon the fact that the sovereign position of the Queen makes it unacceptable and un- 622 necessary that she should be liable to pay tax.
It is absurd to deal with the position of a Monarch upon those foundations by egalitarian premises. It is the unique nature of the institution which makes those arguments irrelevant and unacceptable.
That is the background against which I conclude my remarks by saying a word or two about the allegations which have been made upon the basis of documents recently and quite improperly disclosed. The allegations are related to this aspect of the disclosure or non-disclosure of the Queen's fortune.
It was the intention of the last Conservative Government to introduce certain important changes in company law. In the White Paper foreshadowing those, we said that it was no part of our purpose to inhibit normal and honest transactions. The proposal in question was designed to curtail the practice of "warehousing" whereby some people acquired by stealth a dominant position in a company.
The proposal as finally refined was contained in Clause 19 of our Companies Bill, and it is worth noticing that the present Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster did not even like the proposal. It is also worth asserting that I should have been more than prepared to defend the clause as well as the exception about which some comment has been made.
Let me explain exactly what that exception was. In relation to that draft legislation, as to any other, the advisers of the Queen, as they do as a matter of routine, examined the Bill to see whether it contained, inadvertently or otherwise, any curtailment of the Royal Prerogative. There is nothing unusual, sinister or underhand about that. They drew the Government's attention to the possibility that the provision might impose an unreasonable and unnecessary burden on the Queen and her advisers, who were hardly likely to practise the mischief at which it was aimed.
Those who consider the country's wider financial and economic interests also suggested that the obligation could be similarly unecessary and vexatious for international organisations, foreign Governments and Heads of State whom we 623 would not wish to discourage from investing in this country. Hence, the proposal contained in our clause, as I explained in the letter which I wrote to the then Lord President, was designed to confer a similar reasonable protection on Heads of State in and outside this country, and I am sure that the right hon. Member for Fulham will appreciate, in the country's present economic situation why that is necessary.
Those provisions were sensibly designed for the sake of the Monarch as our Head of State as well as for the economic interests of the country. Not one aspect of that can, or should be, regarded as a matter of regret, and not one aspect was in any way discreditable. It was entirely right.
There is only one thing to be regretted about the entire incident, and this also applies to some of the speeches in tonight's debate. It is that a small and unrepresentative minority has chosen yet again to use it as a means of launching a quite unjustifiable attack on the Monarchy and, indeed, upon certain members of the Royal Family.
I have no doubt that the great majority of our countrymen join with me in deploring what has been said by some hon. Members and, equally, I have no doubt that they join with me in deploring what sometimes seems to be an almost endless campaign to knock and chisel away at institutions that are the heart of this nation's history.
The danger to our institutions does not always come from violence and force. They can also be imperilled by indifference, malice and abuse, of which we have heard, unhappily, too much tonight. I invite my hon. and right hon. Friends to join with me in rejecting the Prayer.
§ 9.36 p.m.
§ The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. Denis Healey)
I hope I can start by reducing the temperature and by welcoming the right hon. and learned Member for Surrey, East (Sir G. Howe) in his new rôle. I look forward to a developing relationship with him. I hope he continues as he has begun and that the support he offers to Her Majesty's Government tonight will continue through the months ahead.
624 The Monarchy is the most ancient institution in the story of mankind. Its origins are shrouded in the mists of prehistory. It goes back to the dawn of religion. It is not surprising that the constitutional Monarchy, as we have come to know it in twentieth century Europe and, indeed, in north-west Europe, contains many elements of paradox. For example, there is an extraordinarily close relationship between constitutional Monarchy and social democratic Government. There are very few social democracies which do not have a constitutional Monarchy and there are no constitutional Monarchies which have not had Socialists in government.
Many anomalies of this nature are found in the institution. But anomaly or not, there is no question but that the majority of British people greatly prefer their Head of State to be an hereditary Monarch rather than an elected president. The welcome that the Queen receives in other countries, and which she is receiving in Mexico, shows that the British people are not alone in appreciating their Monarchy.
In dealing with an institution which is as unique and as anomalous as the constitutional Monarchy, there is no doubt that too loose an application of normal standards can damage the institution. In many countries it has destroyed the institutional Monarchy. On the other hand, too rigid an application could be self-defeating.
The history of a recent attempt to reform the House of Lords may have lessons here. It is not an easy matter to achieve a balance, and the right point of balance may shift as the years pass. The balance in the application of standards for the British Monarchy has shifted enormously in the last two centuries, and there is no evidence that it has suffered as a result.
Contrary to the views held by the right hon. and learned Gentleman, I believe that this House has the duty as well as the right to debate these issues. This gives the country and the Monarchy a chance to form a judgment of the nation's changing mood. I am grateful to my hon. Friend the Member for Erith and Crayford (Mr. Wellbeloved) and my right 625 hon. Friend the Member for Fulham (Mr. Stewart) for the moderation and rationality with which they presented their case. I shall try to answer one by one the questions they raised.
First my hon. Friend complained about the timing and manner of presentation of this order. Unfortunately, the statute imposes a statutory obligation on the trustees. I was as surprised as the House, no doubt, to find that the Chancellor of the Exchequer is one of the trustees, along with his other responsibility as Master of the Mint and some undisclosed responsibilities relating to the Manor of Northstead. However, I have imposed on me, and so has the First Lord of the Treasury, the Prime Minister, a statutory duty to report to the House if further money is needed before the end of the year in which the existing money is likely to be insufficient. Therefore, we had no alternative but to lay this order before the House before 1st April. We chose to do so well before 1st April precisely to give the House a chance to discuss these proposals well in advance.
Next year we plan to change the procedure, as the Prime Minister told the House recently. We propose to move any future increase which is needed in provision for the Royal Household through the normal Supply Vote. The necessary legislation for this change in procedure will be laid before the House at the beginning of the next Session, and that will provide the opportunity for a longer and more wide-ranging discussion of the problem.
The Prime Minister indicated the Government's intention to seek parliamentary authority for future increases in the various provisions made under the Civil List Act to be provided by means of a grant in aid made to the Royal Trustees by the Treasury, which would be included in Estimates and voted as part of the normal Supply procedure. I think that from all points of view—including the point of view of the House and of the Monarchy—that is a better procedure than the present one.
The order, which we had no alternative but to produce in this form at this time, in no way provides for an increase in the Queen's pay. I agree with the 626 right hon. and learned Member for Surrey, East and others who have spoken that the order provides for an increase in money to permit the Queen to increase the wages and salaries of existing members, officials and staff of the Royal Household. Three-quarters of the sum that the House is asked to approve is for wages and salaries of members of the Household and only one-quarter for other expenses which relate to official duties of the Monarchy. Thanks to economies in administration, these will have increased by only 32 per cent. by the end of a period in which the RPI may have increased by about 40 per cent.
As I said, wages and salaries account for three-quarters of the increase which the Prime Minister and I, and the Royal Trustees, are asking the House to approve. Most of the staff concerned are engaged in manual and clerical work.
At the end of 1974 there were 337 staff employed full-time in the Royal Household—10 per cent. fewer than in 1970. Only 7 per cent. receive salaries of £4,000 or more a year. That is now one and half times average earnings. The average salary or wage paid to the remaining 93 per cent. was about £1,600 a year, or £30 a week.
With respect to the hon. Member for Cornwall, North (Mr. Pardoe), the somewhat bombastic fantasies with which he regaled the House, suggesting that the increases in the pay of higher civil servants were responsible for the increases in the pay of the Royal Household, were very far from the truth.
Of the 337 full-time members, only eight are linked to Civil Service grades for whom increases were recently recommended in the Boyle Report, 82 are linked to Civil Service grades, ranging from typist to Assistant Secretary, 19 are messengers and domestic staff linked to Civil Service or National Health Service grades, and 228 are domestic, garage, stable staff and gardeners without a firm link to Civil Service grades, but whose pay increases strictly follow the percentage rate of increase awarded to linked staff. In all these cases, the increases being granted to these members of the Royal Household staff are increases which have been negotiated, directly or indirectly, by trade unions and, following 627 up a question which has been asked, within the social contract.
To give an example to try to meet the point raised by one of my hon. Friends, the provision includes the wages of a score of housemaids whose annual salaries vary between £1,091 and £1,293—or between £21 or £25 a week—and who receive increases in line with those awarded to the lower grades of the Civil Service. I do not believe that any hon. Member would wish to deny these mainly very low-paid working men and women an increase in line with that which is being received, after negotiations within the limits set by the social contract, by their analogues in other parts of the Civil Service.
The whole of the money that we are now discussing is concerned exclusively with official functions and duties. Nevertheless, in the light of the economic situation the Queen has agreed to contribute £150,000 towards the additional £420,000 required, which means that the Exchequer and the taxpayer are being asked to contribute only £270,000—an increase of only 27 per cent. above the provision made three years ago. None of us can regard that as unreasonable in the circumstances.
A number of hon. Members have raised what I know to be an issue on which there is deep feeling—the question of the Sovereign's immunity from personal taxation. The constitutional position whereby the general Crown exemption from taxation extends to the Sovereign personally has always been recognised in setting the amount to be provided through the Civil List at the beginning of each reign. It was one of the many factors taken into consideration by both Select Committees which reported in 1952 and 1971.
The present occasion is not a fundamental review such as a Select Committee conducted as recently as 1971. The order and the proposed legislation are designed only to cone with the demands made by an unprecedented rate of inflation on the purely official element of the financial arrangements made with the Crown.
No one who has listened to this debate or who reads the report as the days pass will doubt that there is deep feeling among some hon. Members that there might be advantage in a change. But con- 628 sideration of the relationship and nature of the various elements in this arrangement would be appropriate only as part of a fundamental review of the scale and style of Royal functions and occasions similar to the reviews undertaken in 1952 and 1971. As I said, the opportunity for further discussion of this matter will arise when the proposed legislation is brought before the House later in the year. That will give us a chance for a longer and more wide-ranging discussion than we have had today.
Today, we are concerned with a proposal to increase expenditure on that part of the Queen's official duties which is represented by the Royal Household. Even with this increase, the Royal Household costs us a lot less than does the Science Museum, in London, and the total expenditure by the Exchequer or the taxpayer from all sources on the Monarchy is about the cost of one General Election.
I know that there are strong and genuine feelings about the aspects of financing the Monarchy which are not directly raised in the order, but the order makes provision for financing an essential part of the Monarchy as an official institution by enabling the Royal Household to pay those who serve it the trade union rate for the job. Of all those at present employed by the Royal Household, 93 per cent, are now receiving an average wage of £30 per week. I believe that even those who feel the doubts so well expressed by so many tonight must find it difficult to justify voting against a provision whose only purpose is to enable humbly-paid men and women to receive the trade union rate for a necessary job.
§ 9.50 p.m.
§ Mr. Wellbeloved
I thank my right hon. Friend the Chancellor for the very full and fair way in which he has replied to the debate. Before I turn to the substance of his arguments and express a view upon them, perhaps I might deal with a point raised by my hon. Friend the Member for Fife, Central (Mr. Hamilton).
My hon. Friend referred to the enormous volume of correspondence he has received on this subject. I, too, have received a fairly substantial volume of correspondence. I do not know whether my hon. Friend has observed about his what I have observed about mine, that 629 some of the more extreme letters expressing views in support of the Monarchy have been unsigned and have contained sentiments which I am quite sure would have brought a blush to Her Majesty's face despite the educational efforts of His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh.
Tonight we have heard speeches from the Conservative Party which seem to put up not arguments directed against the views and the facts that have been adduced by myself and hon. Members on this side of the House but complete Aunt Sally's based on views they had committed to paper probably hours or days before they entered the Chamber to participate in this debate.
§ Mr. Wellbeloved
I would refer particularly to the views of the hon. Member for Thanet, East (Mr. Aitken), who said that we had witnessed tonight the politics of envy. Far from being the politics of envy, they have been the politics of the twentieth century, a clear demonstration of open government, whether referring to the Government of Her Majesty exercised as the Sovereign or the Government exercised by my right hon. Friend with the support of a majority in this House. They have been the politics of democracy, a demand by speaker after speaker from this side of the House that the democratic process in this country in 1975 should mean that all citizens of the realm are equal under the law as far as taxation and duties are concerned. Far from being the politics of envy and an attempt to undermine the Monarchy in this country, they have been politics and the sentiments, shared by so many of our citizens, that in this day and age there should not only be open government and equality of taxation but that these are right and proper subjects for full debate in this House.
Having dealt with the irrelevant arguments of the Opposition, I turn to the substance of the comments of my right hon. Friend the Chancellor. I believe he has shown quite clearly that in respect of this order the extra money which is being provided is to go to pay the salaries of those people for whom I expressed concern in my opening remarks. But I do not believe that he has dealt with what has been the main theme of the arguments from this side of the House, 630 the question of taxation of the Royal income. I cannot accept that the restraint that is to come in the legislation that the Government are to bring forward will provide the opportunity to bring out into the gaze of this House the real facts in relation to income from private wealth resulting from the immunity of the Sovereign from taxation.
Therefore, as much as I would have liked, because of my great respect for the Chancellor of the Exchequer, to advise my hon. Friends and, perhaps, some of my right hon. Friends not to oppose the order, I cannot do that. I believe that by voting tonight, however many or however few follow me into the Lobby in support of the Prayer, we are voting not to deny the workers and employees in the Royal household their justice, not as a blow against the Monarchy, but in support of the Monarchy, because we are trying to demonstrate the belief that is held on the Government side of the House that the strength of the constitutional relationship between the Queen, Parliament and the people of this country can best be preserved by the right of Parliament and the representatives of the people in a free Parliament to question the expenditure that goes from this House in moneys voted by this Parliament for the use of the Sovereign.
I believe that this vote tonight will strengthen those links and will demonstrate to the Government that sooner or later in this Parliament they will have to bring forward legislation—be it in a Finance Bill or in some other way—which will enshrine equality under the law of taxation for all the citizens of this realm.
§ 9.56 p.m.
§ Mr. Ian Gow (Eastbourne)
It would be appropriate for the House, before we vote tonight, to place on record the astonishing gulf between the Labour Party and the people, because if ever there was a gulf between the views expressed by some Labour Members and the innermost convictions of the British people, that gulf has been demonstrated in the debate this evening.
We from the Opposition benches would like to place on record that we are entitled, as my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Surrey, East (Sir 631 G. Howe) said, to speak for the overwhelming majority of the British people in rejecting the Prayer.
§ 9.57 p.m.
§ Mr. Norman Tebbit (Chingford)
We are about to witness one of those strange occasions when the opposition within the Government is going to troop into the Lobbies to prevent the Government paying a decent sum of the money to the employees of the Crown, and will do so, according to the hon. Member for Erith and Crayford (Mr. Wellbeloved), on the ground that the they will be supporting the Monarchy as they follow him into the Lobby to deny the Monarchy the money which it needs to carry out its constitutional functions. There have been claims tonight that they are Her Majesty's loyal subjects. They are not. They are Her Majesty's most soiled objects who will be following the hon. Member for
§ Erith and Crayford into the Lobby tonight.
§ My right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Surrey, East (Sir G. Howe) has spoken tonight not merely for the Conservative Party but for millions of supporters of the Labour Party, the Liberal Party and the nationalist parties in the country at large. What is more, he has spoken for Her Majesty, for the Government, for the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Prime Minister. I trust that the House will reject the Prayer soundly and well.
That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the Civil List (Increase of Financial Provision) Order 1975 (S.I., 1975, No. 133), dated 5th February 1975, a copy of which was laid before this House on 12th February, be annulled:—
§ The House divided: Ayes 90, Noes 427.635
|Division No. 112.]||AYES||[10.0 p.m.|
|Allaun, Frank||Hunter, Adam||Rodgers, George (Chorley)|
|Ashton, Joe||Jackson, Colin (Brighouse)||Rooker, J. W.|
|Atkins, Ronald (Preston N)||Jeger, Mrs Lena||Rose, Paul B.|
|Bagier, Gordon A. T.||Johnson, Walter (Derby S)||Sedgemore, Brian|
|Bean, R. E.||Kelley, Richard||Selby, Harry|
|Bennett, Andrew (Stockport N)||Kerr, Russell||Shaw, Arnold (Ilford South)|
|Bidwell, Sydney||Kilroy-Silk, Robert||Sillars, James|
|Buchan, Norman||Kinnock, Neil||Silverman, Julius|
|Callaghan, Jim (Middleton & P)||Lambie, David||Skinner, Dennis|
|Canavan, Dennis||Lamond, James||Snape, Peter|
|Cartwright, John||Latham, Arthur (Paddington)||Spriggs, Leslie|
|Clemitson, Ivor||Lee, John||Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)|
|Cohen, Stanley||Loyden, Eddie||Thomas, Ron (Bristol NW)|
|Colquhoun, Mrs Maureen||McCartney, Hugh||Thorne, Stan (Preston South)|
|Conlan, Bernard||Madden, Max||Tierney, Sydney|
|Cook, Robin F. (Edin C)||Marquand, David||Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne V)|
|Corbett, Robin||Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)||Walker, Terry (Kingswood)|
|Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth||Mikardo, Ian||Watkins, David|
|Edwards, Robert (Wolv SE)||Mitchell, R. C. (Soton, Itchen)||Watkinson, John|
|Evans, Ioan (Aberdare)||Moonman, Eric||Weetch, Ken|
|Evans, John (Newton)||Newens, Stanley||Wellbeloved, James|
|Fernyhough, Rt Hon E.||Noble, Mike||White, Frank R. (Bury)|
|Flannery, Martin||Orbach, Maurice||White, James (Pollok)|
|Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)||Ovenden, John||Whitehead, Phillip|
|Forrester, John||Palmer, Arthur||Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)|
|Garrett, W. E. (Wallsend)||Pardoe, John||Wilson, William (Coventry SE)|
|George, Bruce||Park, George||Wise, Mrs Audrey|
|Grocott, Bruce||Parry, Robert|
|Hamilton, W. W. (Central Fife)||Price, C. (Lewisham W)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Hatton, Frank||Richardson, Miss Jo||Mr. Bob Cryer and|
|Hoyle, Doug (Nelson)||Roberts, Gwilym (Cannock)||Mr. William Molloy.|
|Adley, Robert||Banks, Robert||Biggs-Davison, John|
|Aitken, Jonathan||Barnett, Rt Hon Joel||Bishop, E. S.|
|Alison, Michael||Bates, Alf||Blaker, Peter|
|Amery, Rt Hon Julian||Beith, A. J.||Booth, Albert|
|Archer, Peter||Bell, Ronald||Boothroyd, Miss Betty|
|Armstrong, Ernest||Benn, Rt Hon Anthony Wedgwood||Boscawen, Hon Robert|
|Ashley, Jack||Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torbay)||Bottomley, Rt Hon Arthur|
|Atkins, Rt Hon H. (Spelthorne)||Bennett, Dr Reginald (Fareham)||Bowden, A. (Brighton, Kemptown)|
|Awdry, Daniel||Benyon, W.||Boyden, James (Bish Auck)|
|Bain, Mrs Margaret||Berry, Hon Anthony||Boyson, Dr Rhodes (Brent)|
|Baker, Kenneth||Biffen, John||Bradford, Rev Robert|
|Bradley, Tom||Ewing, Harry (Stirling)||Jessel, Toby|
|Braine, Sir Bernard||Ewing, Mrs Winifred (Moray)||Johnson, James (Hull West)|
|Brittan, Leon||Eyre, Reginald||Johnson Smith, G. (E Grinstead)|
|Brotherton, Michael||Fairbairn, Nicholas||Johnston, Russell (Inverness)|
|Brown, Sir Edward (Bath)||Fairgrieve, Russell||Jones, Alec (Rhondda)|
|Brown, Hugh D. (Provan)||Farr, John||Jones Arthur (Daventry)|
|Brown, Robert C. (Newcastle W)||Faulds, Andrew||Jones, Barry (East Flint)|
|Brown, Ronald (Hackney S)||Fell, Anthony||Jones, Dan (Burnley)|
|Bryan, Sir Paul||Finsberg, Geoffrey||Jopling, Michael|
|Buchanan, Richard||Fisher, Sir Nigel||Joseph, Rt Hon Sir Keith|
|Buchanan-Smith, Alick||Fitch, Alan (Wigan)||Judd, Frank|
|Buck, Antony||Fletcher, Alex (Edinburgh N)||Kaberry, Sir Donald|
|Budgen, Nick||Fletcher-Cooke, Charles||Kaufman, Gerald|
|Bulmer, Esmond||Fookes, Miss Janet||Kellett-Bowman, Mrs Elaine|
|Burden, F. A.||Fowler, Norman (Sutton C'f'd)||Kershaw, Anthony|
|Butler, Adam (Bosworth)||Fox, Marcus||Kilfedder, James|
|Butler, Mrs Joyce (Wood Green)||Fraser, Rt Hon H. (Stafford & St)||Kimball, Marcus|
|Callaghan, Rt Hon J. (Cardiff SE)||Fraser John (Lambeth, N'w'd)||King, Evelyn (South Dorset)|
|Campbell, Ian||Freeson, Reginald||King, Tom (Bridgwater)|
|Carlisle, Mark||Freud, Clement||Kirk, Peter|
|Carmichael, Neil||Fry, Peter||Kitson, Sir Timothy|
|Carson, John||Galbraith, Hon. T. G. D.||Lamborn, Harry|
|Carter, Ray||Gardiner, George (Reigate)||Lamont, Norman|
|Castle, Rt Hon Barbara||Gardner, Edward (S Fylde)||Lane, David|
|Chalker, Mrs Lynda||Gilbert, Dr John||Langford-Holt, Sir John|
|Channon, Paul||Gilmour, Sir John (East Fife)||Latham, Michael (Melton)|
|Churchill, W. S.||Ginsburg, David||Lawrence, Ivan|
|Clark, Alan (Plymouth, Sutton)||Glyn, Dr Alan||Lawson, Nigel|
|Clark, William (Croydon S)||Golding, John||Leadbitter, Ted|
|Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe)||Goodhart, Philip||Le Marchant, Spencer|
|Clegg, Walter||Goodhew, Victor||Lester, Jim (Beeston)|
|Cockcroft, John||Goodlad, Alastair||Lever, Rt Hon Harold|
|Cocks, Michael (Bristol S)||Gorst, John||Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)|
|Coleman, Donald||Gourlay, Harry||Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)|
|Cooke, Robert (Bristol W)||Gow, Ian (Eastbourne)||Lipton, Marcus|
|Cope, John||Gower, Sir Raymond (Barry)||Litterick, Tom|
|Cordle, John H.||Graham, Ted||Lloyd, Ian|
|Cormack, Patrick||Grant, Anthony (Harrow C)||Luard, Evan|
|Corrie, John||Gray, Hamish||Luce, Richard|
|Costain, A. P.||Grieve, Percy||Lyon, Alexander (York)|
|Cox, Thomas (Tooting)||Griffiths, Eldon||Mabon, Dr J. Dickson|
|Crawford, Douglas||Grist, Ian||McAdden, Sir Stephen|
|Crawshaw, Richard||Grylls, Michael||MacCormick, Iain|
|Critchley, Julian||Hall, Sir John||McCrindle, Robert|
|Cronin, John||Hall-Davis, A. G. F.||McCusker, H.|
|Crosland, Rt Hon Anthony||Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury)||McElhone, Frank|
|Crouch, David||Hamling, William||Macfarlane, Neil|
|Crowder, F. P.||Hampson, Dr Keith||MacGregor, John|
|Cunningham, G. (Islington S)||Hannam, John||Mackenzie, Gregor|
|Cunningham, Dr J. (Witeh)||Hardy, Peter||Mackintosh, John P.|
|Dalyell, Tam||Harper, Joseph||Maclennan, Robert|
|Davidson, Arthur||Harrison, Col Sir Harwood (Eye)||Macmillan, Rt Hon M. (Farnham)|
|Davies, Denzil (Llanelli)||Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)||McMillan, Tom (Glasgow C)|
|Davies, Ifor (Gower)||Harvie Anderson, Rt Hon Miss||McNair-Wilson, M. (Newbury)|
|Davies, Rt Hon J. (Knutsford)||Hattersley, Rt Hon Roy||McNair-Wilson, P. (New Forest)|
|Davis, Clinton (Hackney C)||Havers, Sir Michael||McNamara, Kevin|
|Deakins, Eric||Hawkins, Paul||Magee, Bryan|
|Dean, Joseph (Leeds West)||Hayhoe, Barney||Mahon, Simon|
|Dean, Paul (N Somerset)||Healey, Rt Hon Denis||Marks, Kenneth|
|de Freitas, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey||Henderson, Douglas||Marshall, Dr Edmund (Goole)|
|Delargy, Hugh||Heseltine, Michael||Marshall, Michael (Arundel)|
|Dell, Rt Hon Edmund||Hicks, Robert||Marten, Neil|
|Dempsey, James||Higgins, Terence L.||Mason, Rt Hon Roy|
|Dodsworth, Geoffrey||Holland, Philip||Mates, Michael|
|Doig, Peter||Hooley, Frank||Mather, Carol|
|Dormand, J. D.||Hordern, Peter||Maude, Angus|
|Douglas-Hamilton, Lord Jame||Howe, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey||Maudling, Rt Hon Reginald|
|Douglas-Mann, Bruce||Howell, David (Guildford)||Mawby, Ray|
|Drayson, Burnaby||Howell, Denis (B'ham, Sm H)||Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin|
|du Cann, Rt Hon Edward||Howells, Geraint (Cardigan)||Mayhew, Patrick|
|Duffy, A. E. P.||Hughes, Rt Hon C. (Anglesey)||Meacher, Michael|
|Dunlop, John||Hughes, Mark (Durham)||Mellish, Rt Hon Robert|
|Dunn, James A.||Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)||Mendelson, John|
|Dunnett, Jack||Hunt, John||Meyer, Sir Anthony|
|Durant, Tony||Hurd, Douglas||Millan, Bruce|
|Dykes, Hugh||Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)||Miller, Hal (Bromsgrove)|
|Eadie, Alex||Irving, Charles (Cheltenham)||Miller, Dr M. S. (E Kilbride)|
|Edelman, Maurice||Irving, Rt Hon S. (Dartford)||Mills, Peter|
|Eden, Rt Hon Sir John||James, David||Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)|
|Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke)||Janner, Greville||Moate, Roger|
|Elliott, Sir William||Jenkin, Rt Hon P. (Wanst'd & W'df'd)||Molyneaux, James|
|Ellis, John (Brigg & Scun)||Jenkins, Hugh (Putney)||Monro, Hector|
|Ellis, Tom (Wrexham)||Jenkins, Rt Hon Roy (Stechford)||Montgomery, Fergus|
|Emery, Peter||Moore, John (Croydon C)|
|More, Jasper (Ludlow)||Ridley, Hon Nicholas||Stradling Thomas, J.|
|Morgan-Giles, Rear-Admiral||Ridsdale, Julian||Strang, Gavin|
|Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)||Rifkind, Malcolm||Strauss, Rt Hon G. R.|
|Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)||Rippon, Rt Hon Geoffrey||Summerskill, Hon Dr Shirley|
|Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon)||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)||Tapsell, Peter|
|Morris, Michael (Northampton S)||Roberts, Michael (Cardiff NW)||Taylor, Mrs Ann (Bolton W)|
|Morrison, Charles (Devizes)||Roberts, Wyn (Conway)||Taylor, R. (Croydon NW)|
|Morrison, Hon Peter (Chester)||Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks)||Taylor, Teddy (Cathcart)|
|Mudd, David||Rodgers, William (Stockton)||Tebbit, Norman|
|Mulley, Rt Hon Frederick||Roper, John||Temple-Morris, Peter|
|Murray, Rt Hon Ronald King||Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight)||Thatcher, Rt Hon Margaret|
|Neave, Airey||Ross, Rt Hon W. (Kilmarnock)||Thomas, Rt Hon P. (Hendon S)|
|Nelson, Anthony||Ross, William (Londonderry)||Thompson, George|
|Neubert, Michael||Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)||Tinn, James|
|Newton, Tony||Rost, Peter (SE Derbyshire)||Tomlinson, John|
|Normanton, Tom||Sainsbury, Tim||Townsend, Cyril D.|
|Nott, John||St. John Stevas, Norman||Trotter, Neville|
|Oakes, Gordon||Sandelson, Neville||Tugendhat, Christopher|
|Ogden, Eric||Scott, Nicholas||van Straubenzee, W. R.|
|O'Halloran, Michael||Scott-Hopkins, James||Varley, Rt Hon Eric G.|
|O'Malley, Rt Hon Brian||Shaw, Giles (Pudsey)||Vaughan, Dr Gerard|
|Onslow, Cranley||Shaw, Michael (Scarborough)||Viggers, Peter|
|Osborn, John||Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-u-Lyne)||Wakeham, John|
|Owen, Dr David||Shelton, William (Streatham)||Walden, Brian (B'ham, L'dyw'd)|
|Page, John (Harrow West)||Shepherd, Colin||Walder, David (Clitheroe)|
|Page, Rt Hon R. Graham (Crosby)||Shersby, Michael||Walker, Harold (Doncaster)|
|Paisley, Rev Ian||Short, Rt Hon E. (Newcastle C)||Walker, Rt Hon P. (Worcester)|
|Parker, John||Silkin, Rt Hon John (Deptford)||Walker-Smith, Rt Hon Sir Derek|
|Parkinson, Cecil||Silkin, Rt Hon S. C. (Dulwich)||Wall, Patrick|
|Pattie, Geoffrey||Silvester, Fred||Warren, Kenneth|
|Pavitt, Laurie||Sims, Roger||Watt, Hamish|
|Pendry, Tom||Sinclair, Sir George||Weatherill, Bernard|
|Percival, Ian||Skeet, T. H. H.||Wells, John|
|Peyton, Rt Hon John||Small, William||Welsh, Andrew|
|Pink, R. Bonner||Smith, Cyril (Rochdale)||Whitelaw, Rt Hon William|
|Powell, Rt Hon J. Enoch||Smith, Dudley (Warwick)||Whitlock, William|
|Prentice, Rt Hon Reg||Smith, John (N Lanarkshire)||Wiggin, Jerry|
|Price, William (Rugby)||Speed, Keith||Williams, Alan (Swansea W)|
|Pym, Rt Hon Francis||Spence, John||Williams, Rt Hon Shirley (Hertford)|
|Radice, Giles||Spicer, Jim (W Dorset)||Wilson, Gordon (Dundee E)|
|Raison, Timothy||Spicer, Michael (S Worcester)||Wilson, Rt Hon H. (Huyton)|
|Rathbone, Tim||Sproat, Iain||Winterton, Nicholas|
|Rawlinson, Rt Hon Sir Peter||Stainton, Keith||Wood, Rt Hon Richard|
|Rees, Rt Hon Merlyn (Leeds S)||Stanbrook, Ivor||Woodall, Alec|
|Rees, Peter (Dover & Deal)||Stanley, John||Young, Sir G. (Ealing, Acton)|
|Reid, George||Steel, David (Roxburgh)|
|Renton, Rt Hon Sir D. (Hunts)||Steen, Anthony (Wavertree)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Renton, Tim (Mid-Sussex)||Stewart, Ian (Hitchin)||Mr. James Hamilton|
|Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon||Stewart, Rt Hon M. (Fulham)||Mr. David Stoddart.|
§ Question accordingly negatived.