Selective Employment Payments Bill (Allocation of Time)

Part of Bill Presented – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 18th July 1966.

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Photo of Mr Michael Foot Mr Michael Foot , Ebbw Vale 12:00 am, 18th July 1966

I am all in favour of my right hon. Friend the Member for Easing-ton (Mr. Shinwell) making his reply, but I wish that he would not make it in my speech. He should choose some other occasion. Perhaps he can get into the debates which we have in other places. I cannot, so I have to come here to make my speeches. I will be making an appli- cation to my right hon. Friend at some future date.

I am sorry if my speech was not as precisely in order as I always desire my speeches to be. I got into these difficulties because I wanted to reply to the speech of the right hon. Member for Flint, West. No one who heard his speech could doubt that the opposition of right hon. and hon. Members opposite to this Motion is bogus. No one who heard this speech could question that they are using this occasion merely for the purpose, as they think, of prosecuting their political animosities rather than for arguing the Parliamentary question of whether the Guillotine should be imposed in these circumstances. That is my judgment of the right hon. Gentleman's speech, and I would ask for the support of every hon. Member who heard his speech in my belief that he did not use his time to apply his mind to the Motion. But I will.

The hon. Member for Wokingham said that one of his objections to the Motion is that the Finance Bill is, in effect, two Bills and that this is one of the reasons why we have got into these difficulties. He says that the Government introduced financial measures which could not be put in the Finance Bill and therefore we had to have a second Bill on which the Government had to introduce an allocation of time Motion. But this has been done on many occasions. It may be regrettable that Governments, particularly Chancellors of the Exchequer, do not always arrange in advance that all their budgetary proposals are put in one Bill. It may be objectionable; but it has been done on many occasions.

I can remember that the Guillotine was imposed when a Budget was introduced in the midst of a financial crisis and when the previous Government, at the same time as they introduced their Finance Bill, introduced measures which imposed charges on the Health Service. That happened on two or three occasions. The right hon. Member for Enfield, West (Mr. Iain Macleod) was responsible in previous economic crises for imposing charges on people who had to buy surgical boots, and the rest, which makes us rather dubious about his lamentations of interest in the hardship imposed on disabled people by these measures.