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The hon. and learned Member should really complain to his own party, for it was they who caused the delay in Standing Committee C. In any case, he has three more Supply Days this week in which to convince his colleagues on the Front Bench that they ought to give time for the important affairs of Scotland.
The truth is that the Opposition deliberately set out to make it impossible for the Government to carry out their duty, a duty which is recognised on both sides of this House. Except in the case of one or two hon. Members, such as the hon. Member for Ealing, North, the reason the Opposition took the line they did was clearly stated by the hon. Member for Bristol, South (Mr. Wilkins) on Thursday last at our morning Sitting, when he said:
This is the first of the destructive proposals which the Tory Party are bringing forward. If it were a constructive Measure I could understand the desire of the Home Secretary and his hon. Friends to push it forward. Yet it is simply a means of destroying the legislation of previous Governments."— [OFFICIAL REPORT, Standing Committee C, 17th July, 1952; c. 112.]
The Opposition were afraid that the Government would be successful in carrying through the first of the de-nationalisation Measures upstairs. It is the "sacred cow" of de-nationalisation which has so disturbed and shaken the
Opposition. The prolonged discussions have had little to do with the sincere reasons of temperance reform or prohibition. The Opposition have been determined to stop, if they possibly could, the policy being carried through which we put before this country at the General Election, and on which we won the Election—the policy of de-nationalisation. That is why the Opposition have made the fuss they have done in Standing Committee C. Confirmation of that came from the hon. Member for Dudley (Mr. Wigg) who, in an interjection this afternoon, asked, "Why not?" when one of my hon. Friends was complaining about the tactics adopted upstairs by the Opposition.
That is the reason we have had to bring in this Guillotine Motion which I hope will be carried through as successfully as the previous one. I also hope that the Opposition will find, as they did previously, that this opposition to a necessary Bill will do their party no good in the country.