Complaint of Privilege

Ballot for Notices of Motions – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 6th July 1965.

Alert me about debates like this

3.33 p.m.

Photo of Sir Harry Hylton-Foster Sir Harry Hylton-Foster , Cities of London and Westminster

Yesterday, the hon. Baronet the Member for Manchester, Withington (Sir R. Cary) made a complaint to me of breach of privilege founded on words which the Chancellor of the Exchequer was reported to have used in a speech at Swansea as set out in the Daily Telegraph of 5th July. They were read to the House.

I have considered the hon. Member's complaint. In my view, it does raise a prima facie matter of privilege.

Photo of Mr James Callaghan Mr James Callaghan The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Member, Labour Party National Executive Committee

Mr. Speaker, I am sure that you have ruled on the hon. Baronet's complaint in accordance with precedents. He has made a very serious charge. It is 20 years since I was elected to the House of Commons—[Interruption.] Before this matter is committed to the care of the House I am empowered and entitled under normal custom to make a statement on it. I repeat that it is 20 years since I was first elected to the House of Commons—yesterday—and I never expected to have a charge like this made against me. However, it has been made.

I have spent most of my adult life in this House, and in these circumstances I feel that I should say to the House that I have always been very proud of my membership of it and have always felt that one of the greatest things that one could do was to become a Member of the House of Commons. I feel that very much indeed now. Therefore, I should like to take the opportunity forthwith, at the earliest opportunity that I have, of saying that nothing in my speech at Swansea was designed, intended, or meant to reflect upon the House of Commons—nothing at all.

It is now for the House to decide what it chooses to do. In accordance with usual practice, I propose, with your permission, Mr. Speaker, to withdraw from the Chamber.

3.35 p.m.

Photo of Mr Herbert Bowden Mr Herbert Bowden , Leicester South West

In view of your Ruling, Mr. Speaker, it falls to me, as the Leader of the House, in accordance with past practice, to move, That the matter of the complaint made by the hon. Baronet the Member for Manchester, Withington (Sir R. Cary) of passages in the speech of the Chancellor of the Exchequer at Swansea on 3rd July, reported in the Daily Telegraph on 5th July, be referred to the Committee of Privileges. It would, I think, be in the interests of the House as a whole now if it were decided that no further debate should take place at this stage.

Photo of Mr Willie Hamilton Mr Willie Hamilton , Fife West

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. May I seek your help and guidance? Can you tell me how an hon. Member can get an invitation to give evidence in front of the Committee of Privileges, because I have some very interesting evidence that I should like to give in support of the Chancellor?

Photo of Sir Harry Hylton-Foster Sir Harry Hylton-Foster , Cities of London and Westminster

That will be a matter for the Committee if and when the matter is referred to it. At present, the Question before the House is the Motion just proposed by the Leader of the House.

Photo of Mr Selwyn Lloyd Mr Selwyn Lloyd , Wirral

I think that this is the right course to take, Mr. Speaker, and that it would be very much better that no further comment should be made at present.

3.37 p.m.

Photo of Mr Michael Foot Mr Michael Foot , Ebbw Vale

I fully appreciate the appeals that have been made on both sides of the House that this Question should not be debated, but this is a debatable Question, and I hold the opinion very strongly that I am doubtful whether it is correct, right and wise in the interests of the House of Commons that Motions moved by the Leader of the House in circumstances such as these should be accepted by the House without discussion, as we have been invited to do.

As I understand it, the position is that you, Mr. Speaker, have ruled that a case brought to your attention constitutes a prima facie case of breach of privilege. It is then open to the House of Commons to say, first, whether it agrees with your view that it does constitute a prima facie case, and if the House decided that it did not constitute a prima facie case of breach of privilege that would not be a reflection upon you but would merely mean that the House was holding and stating a different view from the one you had stated. So, first, I say that obviously the procedure is such—it is evident and cannot be disputed—that it is quite open to the House of Commons to say that it dissents from your view that certain words constitute a prima facie breach of privilege.

My second point is that it is perfectly open to the House of Commons also, after you have ruled, Mr. Speaker, that a matter does constitute a prima facie case of breach of privilege, to say, "Well, even though we may think that it does, we still think that it would be wrong or inadvisable for the matter to be referred to the Committee of Privileges". On either of those two grounds, or on other grounds, it is open to Members of the House to argue that a matter should not be referred to the Committee of Privileges.

Further, I also think that it would be a very serious interference with the proper rights of this House if it were accepted that when the Leader of the House or others propose, following a Ruling by Mr. Speaker, that a matter should be referred to the Committee of Privileges, that should be accepted as automatic by the House of Commons. I think that we all have a right to give our views on this matter, particularly as any question of privilege is not in any sense whatsoever a party matter. It is entirely a matter for the House of Commons and for individual Members as Members of the House.

In this case, concerning what the Chancellor of the Exchequer has said, I must say that I was extremely doubtful whether the matter should be referred to the Committee of Privileges when I first heard it. I am even more doubtful after I have heard the dignified statement by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the subject today. Moreover, when I look at the statement that has been made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, I think that those who say that this constitutes a prima facie breach of privilege, and who claim that they are injured, are showing themselves extremely thin-skinned, and that if such matters were referred to the Committee of Privileges, and, even worse, if they were automatically referred to the Committee of Privileges without any debate, it might injure the whole process of free speech both within this House and outside it.

I think that the speech on Saturday by the Chancellor was admirable. It showed his usual care for accuracy com- bined with a remarkable degree of moderation—two qualities which I always admire. I have listened to a number of speeches in defence of the Finance Bill and I think that my right hon. Friend's was the best of the lot. It would, therefore, be very difficult for me to concur with a suggestion that this matter should be referred to the Committee of Privileges.

I should be very surprised if all other hon. Members were to agree that the matter should be referred to the Committee. During recent months we have had several debates on the question whether matters should be referred to the Committee. A few weeks ago, there was the case raised by my hon. Friend the Member for Ashfield (Mr. Warbey), in the debate in which I participated. I must say that I was in two minds about the arguments then, as I tried to reveal. I thought that very powerful arguments were applied during the debate against the proposition that some of us were arguing that the matter should be referred to the Committee.

But, whoever was right or wrong, I think that if this House decides that the matter raised against my hon. Friend the Member for Colne Valley (Mr. Duffy), who had referred to the condition of sobriety in which hon. Members always attend the House, and this matter, involving the Chancellor of the Exchequer, should be referred to the Committee but that the matter raised by my hon. Friend the Member for Ashfield—following, in my opinion, an attempt to reflect upon his political honour as an hon. Member—should not be referred to the Committee, we shall be getting into an extraordinary state of affairs.

The best solution is the one I was diffident enough to suggest at the time of the earlier debate—that we should try to reduce the number of privilege cases generally. I thought that a large number of hon. Members on both sides of the House, irrespective of party, concurred with that view. The right hon. Member for Enfield, West (Mr. Iain Macleod), for example, did not attend that debate, but wrote a most powerful article in his journal, the Spectator, in which he said that we must be most sparing and reluctant in referring any matters to the Committee of Privileges and invoking the question of privilege.

I hope that we shall have his support on this occasion, but I also hope that, because we have his support, it will not deter all the other hon. Gentlemen opposite from coming with us. I think that the right hon. Gentleman still has a few followers left and we would like to have the whole lot in the Lobby with us. If the right hon. Gentleman would be prepared to act as Teller with me, I would be gratified for that very brief association.

I suggest seriously to the House that it would be very much better not to refer this matter to the Committee of Privileges. Then the matter could be argued out. If hon. Members do not like the Chancellor's statement, I gather that there is a little time left on the Finance Bill in which they can argue it out. If they do not like his arguments, let them produce better ones. If they do not like his invective, let them produce better invective. The right hon. Member for Enfield, West has tried his hand at it. There should be some competition in these matters. I am not in favour of competition at all times, but let there be competition in argument, in invective, but not competition in trying to send issues to the Committee of Privileges.

Let us consider what will happen if this matter is referred to the Committee. The Committee may, in its wisdom, come to exactly the view I hold. I would not rule that out; indeed, I cannot understand why the Government have not made me a member of that Committee already, for I would rather be a member of it than of the Select Committee on Procedure. If the Committee does come to my view that this is not a case of privilege, the whole thing will be finished and we shall be back where we are now.

The Committee may say, on the other hand, "We think that, in a technical sense, this is a breach of privilege, but we recommend that nothing should be done about it." In that case, all the time of many of the most eminent of right hon. and hon. Members will have been wasted to no result whatever and the only conceivable result, as far as I can see, is that marginally we shall have injured the whole acceptance of what can be freely said both in debate in this House and at large in the country.

So, if there is any other hon. Member on either side of the House—and I even accept a Liberal for this purpose—who is prepared to tell with me against this Motion, I will tell against it—and I hope that a majority of hon. Members, as individual hon. Members, will, in the interests of free speech, throw out the Motion.

Photo of Mr Samuel Silverman Mr Samuel Silverman , Nelson and Colne

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Reference has been made by both my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House and by my hon. Friend the Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Michael Foot) to your having ruled that there is a prima facie case. Surely a prima facie case involves a value judgment, and assessment. Am I not right in thinking that your Ruling does not involve any such thing and that Mr. Speaker's Ruling on these questions never has involved any such Ruling?

Am I not right in saying that this decision means that there is sufficient in the point to enable the Motion which my right hon. Friend has moved to take precedence over the rest of the business of the day and that your Ruling does not involve any opinion at all, one way or the other, as to whether this is a matter of breach of privilege?

Photo of Sir Harry Hylton-Foster Sir Harry Hylton-Foster , Cities of London and Westminster

It is not for the Chair to rule whether any breach of privilege has occurred or no. The whole effect of its ruling about a prima facie case is to give to the complaint in question precedence over the Orders of the Day. That is all.

3.46 p.m.

Photo of Mr Emlyn Hooson Mr Emlyn Hooson , Montgomeryshire

I entirely agree with the view expressed by the hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Michael Foot). I think that the House is far too sensitive about these matters. Far too many matters are being referred to the Committee of Privileges. It is incumbent upon the House to take a far more robust view and to have competition in invective, and so on, as the hon. Member suggested.

I say across the Floor of the House that I am prepared to join the hon. Member in telling against the Motion.

3.47 p.m.

Photo of Mr Reginald Paget Mr Reginald Paget , Northampton

I also support my hon. Friend the Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Michael Foot). As I understand it, the gravamen of the charge against the Chancellor is that he said that certain hon. Members spoke for interests when those interests were effected in the passing of the Finance Bill. Does anybody doubt that that is true? Of course it is—and what is wrong with it?

There are various of my hon. Friends, for instance, who speak for the interests of the National Union of Mineworkers when its interests are affected. Does anybody doubt that? Equally, does anybody doubt that there are hon. Members who put the bookmakers' point of view when the interests of bookmakers are affected? Does anybody doubt that there have been hon. Members who have put the Stock Exchange's point of view, or the point of view of finance?

What is wrong with this? For us to proceed, as we are asked to do, to refer as a breach of privilege a statement which in our hearts we all in this House know to be true is to make a fool of the House, and we should not do it.

3.50 p.m.

Photo of Mr Charles Hale Mr Charles Hale , Oldham West

I agree so much with every word said by my hon. Friend the Member for Devonport—[Laughter]. I should have said my hon. Friend the Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Michael Foot). Perhaps my lapse of memory was because the last time I was a Teller with him was when he was the Member for Plymouth, Devon-port and we were telling against a Labour Government. I have only two sentences to add and I say them to hon. Members opposite with sincerity.

For one who has been very active in political and polemical life for 20 years, my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer has a remarkable reputation for not having been accused of making statements normally involving the character or reputation of anyone, and he has a very high reputation for abstaining from anything like the more critical form of polemics.

Secondly, if this matter is to be referred to the Committee of Privileges, and that Committee is to be called upon to look into the accuracy or lack of accuracy of the statement and to hear evidence, only two things will suffer—the dignity and reputation of the House of Commons, and the cause of freedom of speech in this country.

3.51 p.m.

Photo of Mr Willie Hamilton Mr Willie Hamilton , Fife West

I do not care very much whether the issue goes to the Committee of Privileges or not. In some ways I hope that it does, because that will enable some of us to put on record some of the facts to which my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer referred in his speech on Saturday. I was appalled by its moderation.

I have taken the trouble to get in detail the evidence to which he referred in sketch form in that speech and I do not mind very much if the issue goes to the Committee of Privileges. If my hon. Friend the Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Michael Foot) chooses to vote, I shall vote with him, but if the Motion is defeated, I hope that every hon. Member on this side of the House will take the trouble to get the Sunday Telegraph of 13th June, where he will find a list of hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite with vested interests on which they spoke on the Finance Bill time after time. I hope that each of my hon. Friends will go with that list to the research department of the Library where he will get the list supplemented and where the evidence will be enormously increased and that he will then proceed to insist on giving that evidence to the Committee of Privileges, so that we get it on the record properly.

Almost every right hon. Gentleman on the Front Bench opposite is implicated and almost every hon. Member on the back benches opposite is implicated. If this issue is taken to the Committee of Privileges, let hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite be warned that we will get all the evidence on the record.

I invite my hon. Friend to take this matter to a Division, in which case I almost hope that he loses.

3.53 p.m.

Photo of Mr Jo Grimond Mr Jo Grimond , Orkney and Shetland

I had certainly not intended to speak on this matter. As a member of the Committee of Privileges, I would have thought it improper to express any view upon a particular matter before the House. [HON. MEMBERS: "Why?"] Because the Committee of Privileges, as has been said, is supposed to some extent to act in a semi-judicial way, and for me to express an opinion on this case even before it has reached the Committee, if it does, would be improper. There is nothing wrong with that and it seems to me a defensible point of view.

I have sat on this Committee for a very short time compared with some other hon. Members, but I have listened to cases brought by members of the Labour Party against members of the Conservative Party and by members of the Conservative Party against members of the Labour Party.

Photo of Mr Ronald Lewis Mr Ronald Lewis , Carlisle

On a point of order. Is it right for a right hon. Member who is a member of the Committee of Privileges to speak at this time?

Photo of Sir Harry Hylton-Foster Sir Harry Hylton-Foster , Cities of London and Westminster

The proposition is debatable and nobody is debarred from debating it.

Photo of Mr Jon Rankin Mr Jon Rankin , Glasgow Govan

Further to that point of order. As the right hon. Gentleman whose conduct is under review has had to withdraw, why should not any Member who must sit on this case remain in the Chamber while the discussion is going on?

Photo of Sir Harry Hylton-Foster Sir Harry Hylton-Foster , Cities of London and Westminster

The Chancellor of the Exchequer acted strictly in accordance with our best traditions and withdrew. His absence does not affect the fact that this Question is debatable.

Photo of Mr Jo Grimond Mr Jo Grimond , Orkney and Shetland

It is important to distinguish between this and the wider matter of privilege. I believe that there is a widespread feeling in the House that the whole matter of privilege needs to be reexamined, but I doubt whether it should be decided in relation to a particular case. I suggest that the House should consider whether it any longer needs the very wide privileges to which it sometimes lays claim. This is a matter on which a Committee should report to the House, and I think that it will be found that the general feeling of the House is that most of our privileges are now out of date.

The Leader of the House, who is a member of the Committee, has proposed, in accordance with procedure, that this particular matter should be referred to the Committee of Privileges. Although, as a member of the Committee, I would not vote, I would very much regret it if I felt that this particular issue might be decided on rather party lines which might obscure the very important general point with which I have the widest sympathy. I would strongly recommend the Leader of the House to give some indication that this whole matter of privilege may be reconsidered, because that might go some way to meet what I believe to be the very sincere general feeling of the House that the whole position is unsatisfactory.

3.55 p.m.

Photo of Mr Samuel Silverman Mr Samuel Silverman , Nelson and Colne

I suggest that my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House withdraws the Motion. I know that if he did so he would not be acting in accordance with what has been the traditional practice, but there is no rule of the constitution that the traditional practice must always be honoured. It is already sufficiently clear from what has taken place that the House is deeply and seriously divided as to whether this matter should go to the Committee of Privileges. A Division has already been promised, or threatened, and I venture the opinion that if a Division is called there will be many many Members who will not feel able to support the Motion which my right hon. Friend has thought it his duty to move.

It is surely not desirable that a matter should go to the Committee of Privileges when there is a very serious division of opinion about whether any privilege is involved. In support of that view, I refer to a case mentioned by my hon. Friend the Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Michael Foot), namely, the case of my hon. Friend the Member for Ashfield (Mr. Warbey) on which you ruled, Mr. Speaker, that it was not a matter which could take precedence. However, the Government found time for a Motion which I moved and which suggested that the matter should go to the Committee of Privileges.

On that occasion, there was a very serious debate. The right hon. and learned Member for Wirral (Mr. Selwyn Lloyd) opposed my Motion and the Solicitor-General also opposed it and by a small majority the House decided that it should not go to the Committee of Privileges, although it was common ground that what was challenged was the honour and integrity as to his Parliamentary duties of my hon. Friend the Member for Ashfield.

It is not invariable that the traditional practice is followed. In parallel circumstances, if an hon. Member is in defiance of the Chair, the Leader of the House moves a Motion that the Member be expelled from the House for the time being, suspended. It is common practice that all Members support that Motion, but it has not always happened. In my own case, when I was suspended, the Division was on strict party lines, with all the Labour Party, then in opposition, voting against the suspension and all the Tories voting for the suspension. As the Tories had a majority, the Motion was carried.

But surely this is not the way in which the dignity and rights of the House are properly protected. Matters should go to the Committee of Privileges on two conditions. One is that the Speaker decides, or the House otherwise decides, that the question might raise such a point, and the other is that the overwhelming opinion of the House shares that view. We have the first of those conditions here, but we do not have the second. A great many people may support my right hon. Friend's view, out of loyalty to the Government or out of some sense of confomity, or something of that kind, but a great number will vote against it. Some Liberals will vote against it. I do not know what the Leader of the Liberal Party will do, but he is clearly not happy about it, and I doubt whether anybody in the House is happy about it.

I appeal to my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House to consider this matter, and to see whether he should not withdraw his Motion.

Hon. Members:

Vote.

4.1 p.m.

Photo of Mr John Biggs-Davison Mr John Biggs-Davison , Chigwell

I shall not detain the House for more than a minute. I sympathise very much with what has been said by the right hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland (Mr. Grimond), but I would not go quite so far as to say, with him, that nearly all our privileges are out of date. However, they are certainly overdue for reform. I would hope that perhaps from this incident there may come a new impetus towards reform.

I agree with the right hon. Gentleman that it would be quite wrong, in reference to a particular case, to try to change the rules. What is more, it would be utterly wrong to try to change the rules because a member of the Treasury Bench is involved. [Interruption.] I have not said that anybody has suggested that; I am giving my opinion that it would be wrong for the House to appeal to change the rules in regard to a particular case in which a member of the Treasury Bench was involved. That is all that I wished to say, because the House is impatient to proceed to further business.

4.2 p.m.

Photo of Mr Emrys Hughes Mr Emrys Hughes , South Ayrshire

I will not detain the House for very long, except to say that serious students of politics in this country during the last hundred years will wonder why the Chancellor of the Exchequer should be accused of saying anything very new or very outrageous. In my young days, when I first became interested in politics, there was a fierce controversy between the two sides of the House—the Liberals and the Conservatives—about the landlords. When Mr. Asquith was Prime Minister, and Mr. Winston Churchill and Mr. Lloyd George were distinguished members of the Liberal Party, it became almost a platitude to say that Tory Members of the House of Commons represented the great landed vested interests of this country. [HON. MEMBERS: "They still do."] They still may. That is all that the Chancellor has said.

Let me give one more illustration. In those days it was freely alleged that the Tory Party was the party of the brewers. I remember an eloquent speech from Mr. Winston Churchill in which he said that the Tory Party represented a brewer's dray blocking the road to progress. I say that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has merely brought these accusations up to date.

4.4 p.m.

Photo of Mr Eric Lubbock Mr Eric Lubbock , Orpington

I agree with my right hon. Friend when he said that at least this case will have done one thing: whereas the last few privilege cases have concerned back-bench Members, and issues of principle have not been ventilated, we are now considering a case that concerns the Chancellor of the Exchequer himself, and when the attention of the House will be focused on the very issue of privilege itself, and the question whether we have not gone too far in this respect.

I also agree with what my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Montgomery (Mr. Hooson) said, namely, that we have become far too sensitive, and that anything which is said relating to the interests of a Member is suspect and can almost automatically be referred to the Committee of Privileges.

I happen to be an engineer, and I often speak in debates on technology with the interests of the engineers in mind. I do not care whether any hon. Member opposite says that I represent the interests of the engineers. I am proud of this. I dare say that many hon. Members opposite who represent coal-mining constituencies, for example, are proud to have it said of them that they stick up for the interests of the coal miners in this House or outside. I cannot understand why any hon. Member should complain when it is said of him that he represents investments trusts, or the holders of gilt-edged securities.

During the last few days we have been discussing nothing but the Rent Bill, and it has been said, not once but time and again, that the Opposition Front Bench represents the interests of the landlords. We do not have to look back to the time of Lloyd George or Asquith to find examples of the kind mentioned by the hon. Member for South Ayrshire (Mr. Emrys Hughes).

It is an absolute mystery to me why this matter has created such an enormous fuss. I think that we should not wait for the inquiry which my right hon. Friend has asked for, valuable though that would be; we should take a step to whittle down the privileges which this House has by voting against this Motion on the spot.

Photo of Mr Eric Ogden Mr Eric Ogden , Liverpool, West Derby

Those who have spoken so far have been here much longer than I have. Equally, those who sent me to this place last October, believe, as I did, that I was sent here to speak the truth, as I saw it, and shame the devil. On this question of privilege, the devil seems to be winning. Those who stand on their privileges and dignity have little else on which to stand. I support what has been said by my hon. Friend the Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Michael Foot).

4.7 p.m.

Photo of Mr Robin Maxwell-Hyslop Mr Robin Maxwell-Hyslop , Tiverton

We heard from the Chancellor before he withdrew what he did not mean, but we have yet to hear from him what he did mean. It would seem that unless this question does go to the Committee of Privileges we will have no opportunity of hearing and discussing, if necessary, what he did mean. If, when he made that speech, he meant nothing a all, it is right that the matter should drop, but if, instead of making a speech that meant nothing at all—with the intention that it should mean nothing at all—he meant to imply a criticism of some members of the Opposition, he should have the opportunity of making clear in what way it is that he believes the Opposition to have conducted themselves wrongly.

It cannot be that the Chancellor objects to individual Members representing outside bodies, since it will be within the recollection of many hon. Members that the Chancellor himself, from the Front Bench, spoke on behalf of an outside body. Incidentally, he spoke without even telling the House whether he had a financial interest in speaking for this outside body. It cannot be this of which he disapproves. Therefore, it is absolutely right, for the good name of this House, that this case should go to the Committee of Privileges, so that we may know what it was that the Chancellor meant to say when he said it.

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Easington

rose in his place and claimed to move, That the Question be now put.

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Easington

It is about time, anyway.

4.10 p.m.

Photo of Mr John Mendelson Mr John Mendelson , Penistone

I rise to make an additional appeal to my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House and to make no comment on the issue itself. As is generally accepted, the Leader of the House acts on these occasions for all Members of the House of Commons and not as a member of the Government. It is on that basis that I should like to support the appeal made by my hon. Friend the Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. Sydney Silverman). When, acting for all Members as Leader of the House, my right hon. Friend moves a Motion and then finds that there is a very large body of opinion in the House—not confined to any one side of the House— which does not wish the matter to be proceeded with in that way, he is perfectly entitled to reconsider his opinion. This has nothing whatever to do with the fact that the case concerns a member of the Treasury Bench, as was suggested by one hon. Member. This has to do with a series of applications which have been discussed in recent weeks.

If this matter is referred to the Committee of Privileges, there will be a sense of injustice among many hon. Members. It is on those grounds that I repeat the appeal to the Leader of the House to withdraw the Motion.

Question put:

The House divided: Ayes 254, Noes 248.

Division No. 232.]AYES[4.11 p.m.
Agnew, Commander Sir PeterDrayson, G. B.Kershaw, Anthony
Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash)du Cann, Rt. Hn. EdwardKilfedder, James A.
Allan, Robert (Paddington, S.)Eden, Sir JohnKimball, Marcus
Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead)Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton)King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.)
Anstruther-Gray, Rt. Hn. Sir W.Elliott, R. W. (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, N.)Kirk, Peter
Astor, JohnEmery, PeterKitson, Timothy
Awdry, DanielEyre, ReginaldLagden, Godfrey
Baker, W. H. K.Farr, JohnLambton, Viscount
Balniel, LordFell, AnthonyLancaster, Col. C. G.
Barber, Rt. Hn. AnthonyFisher, NigelLangford-Holt, Sir John
Barlow, Sir JohnFletcher-Cooke, Charles (Darwen)Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry
Batsford, BrianFletcher-Cooke, Sir John (S'pton)Litchfield, Capt. John
Bell, RonaldFoot, Sir Dingle (Ipswich)Lloyd, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey (Sut'nC'dfield)
Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay)Foster, Sir JohnLloyd, Rt. Hn. Selwyn (Wirral)
Berkeley, HumphryFraser, Rt. Hn. Hugh (St'fford & Stone)Longden, Gilbert
Berry, Hn. AnthonyFraser, Ian (Plymouth, Sutton)Lucas, Sir Jocelyn
Biggs-Davison, JohnGammans, LadyMcAdden, Sir Stephen
Black, Sir CyrilGibson-Watt, DavidMacArthur, lan
Blaker, PeterGiles, Rear-Admiral MorganMcLaren, Martin
Bossom, Hn. CliveGilmour, Ian (Norfolk, Central)Maclean, Sir Fitzroy
Bowden, Rt. Hn. H. W. (Leics S. W.)Gilmour, Sir John (East Fife)McMaster, Stanley
Box, DonaldGlover, Sir DouglasMcNair-Wilson, Patrick
Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hn. J.Glyn, Sir RichardMaginnis, John E.
Braine, BernardGodber, Rt. Hn. J. B.Maitland, Sir John
Brewis, JohnGoodhart, PhilipMarten, Neil
Brinton, Sir TattonGoodhew, VictorMathew, Robert
Gower, RaymondMaude, Angus
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. Sir WalterGrant, AnthonyMaudling, Rt. Hn. Reginald
Brooke, Rt. Hn. HenryGrant-Ferris, R.Mawby, Ray
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath)Gresham Cooke, R.Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.
Bruce-Gardyne, J.Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds)Maydon, Lt.-Cmdr. S. L. C.
Bryan, PaulGriffiths, Peter (Smethwick)Meyer, Sir Anthony
Buchanan-Smith, AlickGurden, HaroldMills, Peter (Torrington)
Bullus, Sir EricHall, John (Wycombe)Mills, Stratton (Belfast, N.)
Burden, F. A.Hall-Davis, A. G. F.Miscampbell, Norman
Butcher, Sir HerbertHamilton, Marquess of (Fermanagh)Mitchell, David
Buxton, RonaldHamilton, M. (Salisbury)Monro, Hector
Campbell, GordonHarris, Frederic (Croydon, N. W.)More, Jasper
Carr, Rt. Hn. RobertHarris, Reader (Heston)Morrison, Charles (Devizes)
Cary, Sir RobertHarrison, Brian (Maldon)Mott-Radcliffe, Sir Charles
Channon, H. P. G.Harvey, Sir Arthur Vere (Macclesf'd)Munro-Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh
Chataway, ChristopherHarvey, John (Walthamstow, E.)Murton, Oscar
Chichester-Clark, R.Harvie Anderson, MissNeave, Airey
Clark, Henry (Antrim, N.)Hastings, StephenNicholson, Sir Godfrey
Clark, William (Nottingham, S.)Hawkins, PaulNoble, Rt. Hn. Michael
Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmth, W.)Heath, Rt. Hn. EdwardNugent, Rt. Hn. Sir Richard
Cole, NormanHiggins, Terence L.Onslow, Cranley
Cooke, RobertHill, J. E. B. (S. Norfolk)Orr, Capt. L. P. S.
Cooper, A. E.Hirst, GeoffreyOrr-Ewing, Sir Ian
Cooper-Key, Sir NeillHobson, Rt. Hn. Sir John
Corbet, Mrs. FredaHopkins, AlanOsborn, John (Hallam)
Cordle, JohnHordern, PeterOsborne, Sir Cyril (Louth)
Corfield, F. V.Hornby, RichardPage, John (Harrow, W.)
Costain, A. P.Hornsby-Smith, Rt. Hn. Dame P.Page, R. Graham (Crosby)
Courtney, Cdr. AnthonyHoward, Hn. G. R. (St. Ives)Pearson, Sir Frank (Clitheroe)
Craddock, Sir Beresford (Spelthorne)Hutchison, Michael ClarkPeel, John
Crawley, AidanIremonger, T. L.Percival, Ian
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. Sir OliverIrvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)Peyton, John
Cunningham, Sir KnoxJenkin, Patrick (Woodford)Pickthorn, Rt. Hn. Sir Kenneth
Currie, G. B. H.Jennings, J. C.Pike, Miss Mervyn
Dalkeith, Earl ofJohnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.)Pitt, Dame Edith
Dance, JamesJohnson Smith, G. (East Grinstead)Pounder, Rafton
Davies, Dr. Wyndham (Perry Barr)Jones, Arthur (Northants, S.)Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch
d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir HenryJopling, MichaelPrice, David (Eastleigh)
Dean, PaulJoseph, Rt. Hn. Sir KeithPrior, J. M. L.
Dodds-Parker, DouglasKaberry, Sir DonaldPym, Francis
Doughty, CharlesKerby, Capt. HenryRamsden, Rt. Hn. James
Douglas-Home, Rt. Hn. Sir AlecKerr, Sir Hamilton (Cambridge)Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter
Redmayne, Rt. Hn. Sir MartinStainton, KeithWall, Patrick
Rees-Davies, W. R.Stanley, Hn. RichardWalters, Dennis
Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir DavidStudholme, Sir HenryWard, Dame Irene
Ridley, Hn. NicholasTalbot, John E.Weatherill, Bernard
Ridsdale, JulianTaylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)Webster, David
Roberts, Sir Peter (Heeley)Taylor, Edward M. (G'gow, Cathcart)Wells, John (Maidstone)
Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks)Teeling, Sir WilliamWhitelaw, William
Roots, WilliamThatcher, Mrs. MargaretWilliams, Sir Rolf Dudley (Exeter)
St. John-Stevas, NormanThomas, Sir Leslie (Canterbury)Wills, Sir Gerald (Bridgwater)
Sandys, Rt. Hn. D.Thompson, Sir Richard (Croydon, S.)Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Scott-Hopkins, JamesTiley, Arthur (Bradford, W.)Wise, A. R.
Sharples, RichardTilney, John (Wavertree)Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick
Shepherd, WilliamTweedsmuir, LadyWoodhouse, Hon. Christopher
Sinclair, Sir Georgevan Straubenzee, W. R.Wylie, N. R.
Smith, Dudley (Br'ntf'd & Chiswick)Vaughan-Morgan, Rt. Hn. Sir JohnYates, William (The Wrekin)
Smyth, Rt. Hn. Brig. Sir JohnVickers, Dame JoanYounger, Hn. George
Spearman, Sir AlexanderWalder, David (High Peak)
Speir, Sir RupertWalker, Peter (Worcester)TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Mrs. Slater and Mr. Lawson.
NOES
Abse, LeoFoley, MauriceMcBride, Neil
Albu, AustenFord, BenMcCann, J.
Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)Freeson, ReginaldMacColl, James
Alldritt, WalterGalpern, Sir MyerMacDermot, Niall
Atkinson, NormanGarrett, W. E.McGuire, Michael
Bacon, Miss AliceGeorge, Lady Megan LloydMcInnes, James
Bagier, Gordon A. T.Ginsburg, DavidMackenzie, Alasdair (Ross & Crom'ty)
Barnett, JoelGourlay, HarryMackenzie, Gregor (Rutherglen)
Baxter, WilliamGregory, ArnoldMackie, George Y. (C'ness & S'land)
Bence, CyrilGriffiths, David (Rother Valley)McLeavy, Frank
Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony WedgwoodGriffiths, Rt. Hn. James (Llanelly)Mahon, Peter (Preston, S.)
Bennett, J. (Glasgow, Bridgeton)Hale, LeslieMahon, Simon (Bootle)
Binns, JohnHamilton, James (Bothwell)Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.)
Bishop, E. S.Hamilton, William (West Fife)Manuel, Archie
Blenkinsop, ArthurHamling, William (Woolwich, W.)Mapp, Charles
Boston, T. G.Hannan, WilliamMarsh, Richard
Bottomley, Rt. Hn. ArthurHarper, JosephMason, Roy
Bowen, Roderic (Cardigan)Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)Maxwell, Robert
Braddock, Mrs. E. M.Hart, Mrs. JudithMayhew, Christopher
Bradley, TomHazell, BertMellish, Robert
Bray, Dr. JeremyHeffer, Eric S.Mendelson, J. J.
Brown, Hugh D. (Glasgow, Provan)Henderson, Rt. Hn. ArthurMikardo, Ian
Buchan, Norman (Renfrewshire, W.)Herbison, Rt. Hn. MargaretMillan, Bruce
Buchanan, RichardHobden, Dennis (Brighton, K'town)Miller, Dr. M. S.
Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.)Holman, PercyMilne, Edward (Blyth)
Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)Horner, JohnMolloy, William
Carmichael, NeilHoughton, Rt. Hn. DouglasMonslow, Walter
Carter-Jones, LewisHowarth, Harry (Wellingborough)Morris, Charles (Openshaw)
Castle, Rt. Hn. BarbaraHowarth, Robert L. (Bolton, E.)Morris, John (Aberavon)
Chapman, DonaldHowell, Denis (Small Heath)Murray, Albert
Coleman, DonaldHowie, W.Neal, Harold
Conlan, BernardHoy, JamesNewens, Stan
Craddock, George (Bradford, S.)Hughes, Cledwyn (Anglesey)Noel-Baker, Francis (Swindon)
Crossman, Rt. Hn. R. H. S.Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire)Noel-Baker, Rt. Hn. Philip (Derby, S.)
Cullen, Mrs. AliceHughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)Norwood, Christopher
Dalyell, TamHunter, Adam (Dunfermline)Oakes, Gordon
Darling, GeorgeHunter, A. E. (Feltham)Ogden, Eric
Davies, Ifor (Gower)Hynd, H. (Accrington)O'Malley, Brian
Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)Jackson, ColinOram, Albert E. (E. Ham, S.)
Delargy, HughJanner, Sir BarnettOrbach, Maurice
Dell, EdmundJeger, Mrs. Lena (H'b'n & St. P'cras, S.)Orme, Stanley
Dempsey, JamesJenkins, Hugh (Putney)Oswald, Thomas
Diamond, Rt. Hn. JohnJenkins, Rt. Hn. Roy (Stechford)Owen, Will
Dodds, NormanJohnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.)Padley, Walter
Doig, PeterJohnston, Russell (Inverness)Page, Derek (King's Lynn)
Driberg, TomJones, Dan (Burnley)Paget, R. T.
Duffy, Dr. A. E. P.Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham)Palmer, Arthur
Dunn, James A.Jones, T. W. (Merioneth)Pannell, Rt. Hn. Charles
Dunnett, JackKerr, Mrs. Anne (R'ter & Chatham)Pargiter, G. A.
Edelman, MauriceKerr, Dr. David (W'worth, Central)Park, Trevor (Derbyshire, S. E.)
Edwards, Robert (Bilston)Leadbitter, TedParker, John
English, MichaelLedger, RonParkin, B. T.
Ennals, DavidLee, Miss Jennie (Cannock)Pavitt, Laurence
Ensor, DavidLever, Harold (Cheetham)Pearson, Arthur (Pontypridd)
Evans, Albert (Islington, S. W.)Lever, L. M. (Ardwick)Pentland, Norman
Evans, Ioan (Birmingham, Yardley)Lewis, Arthur (West Ham, N.)Perry, Ernest G.
Fernyhough, E.Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)Popplewell, Ernest
Finch, Harold (Bedwellty)Lipton, MarcusPrentice, R. E.
Fitch, Alan (Wigan)Lomas, KennethPrice, J. T. (Westhoughton)
Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)Loughlin, CharlesProbert, Arthur
Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston)Lubbock, EricPursey, Cmdr. Harry
Floud, BernardMabon, Dr. J. DicksonRandall, Harry
Rankin, JohnSteel, David (Roxburgh)Watkins, Tudor
Redhead, EdwardSteele, Thomas (Dunbartonshire, W.)Weitzman, David
Rees, MerlynStonehouse, JohnWells, William (Walsall, N.)
Rhodes, GeoffreyStones, WilliamWhite, Mrs, Eirene
Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon)Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R. (Vauxhall)Whitlock, William
Robertson, John (Paisley)Summerskill, Hn. Dr. ShirleyWilkins, W. A.
Rodgers, William (Stockton)Swain, ThomasWilley, Rt. Hn. Frederick
Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)Swingler, StephenWilliams, Alan (Swansea, W.)
Rose, Paul B.Symonds, J. B.Williams, Clifford (Abertillery)
Ross, Rt. Hn. WilliamTaylor, Bernard (Mansfield)Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchin)
Rowland, ChristopherThomas, George (Cardiff, W.)Williams, W. T. (Warrington)
Sheldon, RobertThomas, Iorwerth (Rhonnda, W.)Willis, George (Edinburgh, E.)
Shinwell, Rt. Hn. E.Thomson, George (Dundee, E.)Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)
Shore, Peter (Stepney)Thornton, ErnestWinterbottom, R. E.
Short, Mrs. Renée (W'hampton, N. E.)Tinn, JamesWoodburn, Rt. Hn. A.
Silverman, Julius (Aston)Tomney, FrankWoof, Robert
Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)Tuck, RaphaelWyatt, Woodrow
Skeffington, ArthurUrwin, T. W.Yates, Victor (Ladywood)
Slater, Joseph (Sedgefield)Varley, Eric G.
Small, WilliamWalden, Brian (All Saints)TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Snow, JulianWalker, Harold (Doncaster)Mr. Hooson and Mr. M. Foot.
Soskice, Rt. Hn. Sir FrankWallace, George

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Easington

On a point of order. With great respect, Mr. Speaker, may I have your permission to put a question to my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House? [Interruption.] I hope that hon. Gentlemen opposite will be quiet. As I was saying, Mr. Speaker, I want your permission to put a question to my right. hon. Friend. [Interruption.]

Photo of Sir Harry Hylton-Foster Sir Harry Hylton-Foster , Cities of London and Westminster

I want to know what it is before I can rule whether or not it is in order.

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Easington

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I wish to ask my right hon. Friend whether, in view of the narrow majority in the Division which has just been taken, it would be wise to remit this question to the Committee of Privileges.

Photo of Sir Harry Hylton-Foster Sir Harry Hylton-Foster , Cities of London and Westminster

What the right hon. Gentleman has said will have been heard. That is the limit to which I can go.

Photo of Sir Rolf Williams Sir Rolf Williams , Exeter

Further to that point of order. In view of the fact that the Leader of the House has been completely let down by his party—[HON. MEMBERS: "No."]

Photo of Sir Harry Hylton-Foster Sir Harry Hylton-Foster , Cities of London and Westminster

If the hon. Gentleman has a point of order he should say what it is and not other things.

Photo of Sir Rolf Williams Sir Rolf Williams , Exeter

Since the Leader of the House has been completely let down by his side, would I be in order in inquiring whether he intends to give up his office?

Photo of Sir Harry Hylton-Foster Sir Harry Hylton-Foster , Cities of London and Westminster

No. I do not follow the exercise of the hon. Gentleman's intelligence—[HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."]—in thinking that that raises a point of order. It is highly desirable that hon. Members should not raise bogus points of order.

Photo of Sir Ronald Bell Sir Ronald Bell , Buckinghamshire South

Further to the point of order. It seemed that in answer to the point of order raised by the right hon. Member for Easington (Mr. Shinwell) you said that his comments had no doubt been heard or observed. Am I not right in thinking that the Resolution of the House now completely governs the matter and that the Leader of the House has no discretion in the matter at all?

Photo of Sir Harry Hylton-Foster Sir Harry Hylton-Foster , Cities of London and Westminster

I do not think that any point of order arises about it. That matter is concluded.