Orders of the Day — Clause 2. — (Imposition of Standstill After Increase of Prices or Imple- Mentation of Award, but Before Publication of Board's Report.)

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 10th July 1967.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr Charles Fletcher-Cooke Mr Charles Fletcher-Cooke , Darwen 12:00 am, 10th July 1967

I beg to move Amendment No. 15, in page 2, line 18, to leave out from 'settlement' to 'the' in line 19 and to insert 'from'.

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

With this Amendment we can take Amendment No. 20— in page 3, line 1, leave out from 'effect' to 'for' in line 3.

Photo of Mr Charles Fletcher-Cooke Mr Charles Fletcher-Cooke , Darwen

After 14 hours on Clause 1 we now move to Clause 2, which is infinitely more complicated and difficult to understand than Clause 1. If I fail to explain it to the crowded House I hope that hon. Members will forgive my speech for deteriorating, in the immortal words of my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Knutsford (Sir W. Bromley-Davenport)—

Hon. Members:

Where is he?

Photo of Mr Charles Fletcher-Cooke Mr Charles Fletcher-Cooke , Darwen

The purpose of Clause 2 might be described as to pounce back upon persons who either on account of wages or prices have not observed the general request by the Department of Economic Affairs to notify increases in wages or prices. I think that is the purpose. It is difficult, I agree, to square with the White Paper, because in paragraph 8 of the White Paper, which is now the Schedule to the 1966 Act, the last sentence reads: In the light of this review, it is the Government's intention that the existing general request for advance notification of price increases made in paragraph 9 of the White Paper that is, the previous White Paper: should lapse … ". Therefore, there is no general request for advance notification in the Statute or in the Government's policy. Be that as it may, it is evidently considered by the Government to be important that people should notify, because it is upon that basis that the whole process of Part II of the 1966 Act depends.

Clause 2 is very important, because it enables the Government to operate even though no notification has been made, and even though no notification was known of by the person who should have notified. No duty to notify is established, owing to the White Paper, but nevertheless, anyone—and here this Clause puts everyone in the country at risk—who raises his prices or raises his wages is liable to be pounced upon, even though there is no legal obligation to notify the rise under the operation of Clause 2. It is a very strong Clause. It is retrospective to that extent.

Previously, only those against whom Orders had been made under Section 7, in the case of prices, or Sections 13 or 14, in the case of wages, were under any liability. Since they had already been identified, they presumably knew of their obligations. Now, however, the whole country is at risk in having this pounce-back operation performed upon it.

Although it is difficult to compress the explanation, and one has to refer back to the Act and several parts of it, roughly what is envisaged by the Clause is that if anybody raises anybody else's wages, or if somebody raises his prices, the Government can make a direction by which those prices or wages have immediately to come back to what they were before they were raised. In that process, there is then a reference to the Prices and Incomes Board.

The Clause is not retrospective as the First Secretary explained in Committee in the sense that wages or prices which had been paid during the interim period stood and there could be no claw-back of the excess of the wage or of the price during the, for example, six or eight weeks, as it might be. Thereafter, however, as soon as the direction has been made, the prices and the wages have to come back to what they were previously.

That is an enormous power, because it enables the Government to dispense completely with any notification machinery or the like. They merely have to cast their eye round and see what has happened and tell everybody to stop doing it and go back to where they were. It is, therefore, the strongest Clause in the Bill, and it has great dangers. It is an invitation either to favouritism or to revenge.

The method of selection of who is to be pounced upon in the whole of the operation is difficult and questionable. Under the old system, somebody would at least know before he had committed anything wrong or before the whole weight of the Government was brought upon him, because an Order would have been made under Section 7 or 13 of the 1966 Act, as the case might be, and would know that he could not raise wages or prices after that. Now, however, people do not know until after they have done it. Therefore, the opportunities for favouritism or revenge are very great.

Hon. Members opposite who have put down Amendment No. 37, suggesting that the Bill should be rechristened the anti- A.S.S.E.T. or the anti-D.A.T.A. Bill, might take a close look at the Clause, because it opens up rich fields for the Government to pounce back upon anybody who has no legal obligation to notify, against whom no Order has been made and who, in many cases, may have acted completely in ignorance of the vague and totally unenforceable request for information. It may be used, not only against unions and associations, but against private persons who do not have the benefit of reading HANSARD and who simply do not know that they are not supposed to increase any price or any wage.

Photo of Mr Laurie Pavitt Mr Laurie Pavitt , Willesden West

I heard most of this argument in Committee on the Question, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill". I am trying to relate it to the Amendment. Will the hon. and learned Gentleman explain how it relates to the Amendment?

5.30 a.m.

Photo of Mr Charles Fletcher-Cooke Mr Charles Fletcher-Cooke , Darwen

It would take a long time to do so. I assure the hon. Gentleman that the effect of the Amendment is to stop the pounce-back. That being so, we shall revert to what is more in consonance with natural justice, namely, that people shall already know what they have or have not to do before, rather than after, they have done it. That is why by the Amendments we wish to remove the power of the pounce-back.

I know that the First Secretary's justification for this is that it would otherwise encourage people to jump the gun, to fail to notify, to do these things—I will not say secretly, but quietly, and that they would then be in a better position than those who have observed the moral obligation, as the right hon. Gentleman puts it, to ask his Department before they do this, because those who observe his request are liable, since it has come to the notice of the right hon. Gentleman, to have the old procedure invoked against them—that is, a specific Order or a general Order under Section 7 or Section 13 of the 1966 Act—whereas those who do not observe his request and who simply do it will be in a better position.

Superficially that is an attractive argument. I will put the counter-argument that it will cause more ructions and dissent than if the right hon. Gentleman had omitted to take this power. I well remember a wise trade unionist, the late Lord Dukeston, who was formerly General Secretary of the General and Municipal Workers Union, telling me that what really provoked strikes and labour disputes of a bitter kind was not so much denying rises in wages as taking away rises that people had already got. That is what causes the great trouble, as it did in 1926, 1931, and at other times. The removal of the enjoyment of wages already granted, rather than the denial of an increase in wages, causes labour disputes.

That is exactly what the "pounce-back" Clause enables the First Secretary to do. A body of workers may well have been enjoying for eight weeks or more a rise in wages. Then, by the operation of the rather complicated machinery in the Clause, the First Secretary issues his direction and specifies a date three months previously. Then the wages must go back, after they have been enjoyed for eight weeks and after various hire purchase and other commitments have been entered into, not merely on the strength of a promise of an increase in wages, but on the strength of wages actually received during that period. I cannot imagine a situation more likely to produce industrial unrest.

I ask the First Secretary to consider whether, in his attempt to achieve a principle of fairness, he will not, by reducing wages that have been enjoyed for two months or more, be producing unrest and trouble that will put the whole of the voluntary system, the whole of the public support for the policy, into such disrepair that the last state will be much worse than the first.

It is for this, among other reasons, that I ask my hon. and right hon. Friends to support these Amendments, because it will produce a better system if we revert to the principle that it is only against those whom Orders have been made, and who know what they have to do, that this machinery should apply, and not by, this retrospective operation, which means that those who may not even know what they are supposed to do, but have, nevertheless, done it, find that they are subsequently hit on the head.

Photo of Mr Michael Maitland Stewart Mr Michael Maitland Stewart , Fulham

The hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Darwen (Mr. Fletcher-Cooke) has moved his Amendment very fairly and persuasively, and has accepted that, on my side, there is a formidable argument for doing what the Bill sets out to do. He endeavoured to show that there was a more formidable argument the other way, and I would invite the House to consider this. There would be two ways in which the necessity for what he described—I do not necessarily accept the words that he has used—as this "pounce-back" power could have been dispensed with.

One would have been that when Part II of the 1966 Act is activated, one could then use the power under Part II to make Orders, and thrust out Orders for notification in every direction, making the notification compulsory all round. That would have removed one of the hon. and learned Members objections, and people could not have said that they did not know.

We discussed this matter with the unions and it was quite clear from those discussions that that procedure would be unwelcome to a point when it would be unworkable. It is much more sensible and practical, although one brings Part II into force, which one needs to do for other reasons, that we should not then issue Orders making people notify all round. It is understood that that is what people are asked to do. The hon. and learned Member argued that people would not know, but that will not stand up.

This has been a matter for public discussion for a considerable time. The detailed provisions of the Bill have been known for some time and the Act bringing Part II into operation has to be done by Order in Council. The Order has to be mentioned in the London Gazette and it would be as well known as any Order under Part II of the Act, that it had been brought into operation, and why.

The other argument of the hon. and learned Member, which is not one to be dismissed offhand, was that this was vexatious and liable to provoke industrial dispute if one required a wage which has already reached a certain level to come down again. I can imagine circumstances in which that would be true, but I ask the hon. and learned Member to consider what the particular circumstances are here. These are circumstances in which the very great majority of employees will not have agreed to their wages going up without notification. They will not have tried to jump the gun in this fashion. We are entitled to say that in view of the situation of the past 12 months. Much as people have disliked many aspects of the policy, the great majority of them cooperated in its working out. Those for whom it was necessary to make Orders were a very small group. We can reasonably anticipate that the great majority of the people will show that they will not try to jump the gun, but will notify.

If, when the great majority of people have done this, and limited numbers try to beat the gun one would have to turn round to the majority and tell it that not only were those who had jumped the gun and got away with it to continue to get away with it for a few weeks before it was stopped, but that they would get away with it for the whole period, that I would have thought, would have been more irritating and provocative than what the hon. Gentleman calls the "pounce-back" power. I think, therefore. I must still rest on the argument that I advanced in Committee.

The House has already agreed to Clause 1 of the Bill which would mean that certain settlements could be referred to the Prices and Incomes Board and that in certain circumstances a standstill could be ordered. It agreed to that for Clause 1, and that will cover everybody who notifies a proposed increase. If we do not have Clause 2 as it stands we should in effect be saying that while that is what happens under Clause 1 to everybody who does notify, if people decide they will try to dodge this we should be telling them, if we accept the hon. Gentleman's Amendment, that they will get away with it, not only for a few weeks but throughout the whole period of the standstill.

I cannot believe that that would be right from anyone's point of view. I think it would be more likely to be vexatious and to cause industrial than the Clause as it stands now. It is a deliberate invitation to people not to acquiesce in and work with the policy. It is creating a situation in which it would be necessary to make more and more Orders. I cannot think this would be right, and I would ask the hon. Gentleman to withdraw his Amendment.

Photo of Mr Terence Higgins Mr Terence Higgins , Worthing

I very much hope that my hon. Friend will not withdraw his Amendment. It seems to me that the arguments he put forward were extremely cogent, and that they were in no way adequately answered by the First Secretary.

The right hon. Gentleman says there are two reasons why this Clause would be needed. If he looks at his arguments in retrospect I think he will find that they combine into one reason. He says, on the one hand, that it would be necessary for everyone to notify wage increases compulsorily, or alternatively one would not do this, one would ask them to volunteer. But the crux of the whole point is that the right hon. Gentleman is asking, people to volunteer when in very many cases they are not at all clear what they are volunteering for, and therefore I think the arrangement he feels is workable is not likely to be equitable in practice.

We had earlier the case of what people should do when a wage claim included the National Insurance contribution, and we still have not had this point adequately clarified. Are we to understand that people must volunteer to notify an increase if they think it justified on other grounds but it includes National Insurance contribution? We do not know what the whole of this voluntary scheme involves, and we do not feel that the "pounce-back" provision is justified on these grounds.

It is very important that we should also be clear about the point which came out in Committee and which the right hon. Gentleman has not referred to here except by implication. What this particular Clause does is this: supposing one has a wage or price which is at a certain level before there has been any notification, reference to the Board or anything else. Let us say it is a wage of 10 a week, or a price of 10s., and then the person concerned feels he is justified in raising that wage by agreement with his employer from £10 to £12, or in the case of the price, raising it from 10s. to 12s.

The Government can then come along and say, "We feel, after all, you ought not to have been allowed to do this and we are going to impose an Order on you, and you must go back to the original level." What will happen is that the wage that was £10 and was increased for a short period to £12 will suddenly be reduced to £10 again. I am sure that my hon. Friend is right in saying that this is likely to cause considerable unrest, far more, we suggest, than the unrest which the right hon. Gentleman envisages. A price would go up from 103. to 12s. and then the right hon. Gentleman would say, "It must be reduced to 10s. again."

5.45 a.m.

The important point is that the right hon. Gentleman does not propose to do anything about actual contracts carried out during the period when the price is higher. We on this side do not believe that he should; but it is grossly inconsistent of him to say that he does not propose to do so within the framework of his absurd policy. In the case of a wage increase he is not on this account and under this Clause going to say that the amount must be paid back. But he has had no scruple whatsoever under Part IV about clawing back, or attempting to do so, increases which have taken place in some previous period. Similarly, if there is a price increase which has to be down to the previous level, he is not proposing to say that all the transactions which took place at the higher price are invalid and that refunds must be made.

So essentially we have the right hon. Gentleman, even within his own policy, being extremely inconsistent. I do not think that the fact that we are against the policy as a whole should in any way inhibit us from criticising his inconsistency. Above all else, it strikes at the question of universality, on which the whole of the Part IV Orders have been justified. He is saying "It will not be universal in many cases. There will be exceptions, and it will take us some while to catch up with them." It is typical of the way in which the policy is not universal but discriminates against groups and is applied in an inconsistent manner. For these reasons, I hope very much that my right hon. and hon. Friends will join me in the Division Lobby with my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Darwen (Mr. Fletcher-Cooke).

Photo of Mr John Biffen Mr John Biffen , Oswestry

I want to say a few words which arise from the remarks of the First Secretary. My hon. and learned Friend the Member for Darwen (Mr. Fletcher-Cooke) rightly said that this was a Clause of very considerable significance which deals with the whole question of notification.

It is clearly the argument of the First Secretary that the requirements are widely appreciated and understood and that one needs these powers for the backsliders who have not conformed to what is obviously the indicated wish of the Government. But it is not clear—not even in the Government's White Paper. Paragraph 28 of the White Paper entitled Prices and Incomes Policy after 30th June 1967, speaks about notification about claims and proposed settlements with regard to income. It states: Information about claims and proposed settlements will continue to be required, whether at national, local or company level, in all cases covering 200 employees or more". So far that is understood. Any company presumably can reasonably interpret whether it falls within or outside that designation. The paragraph proceeds: and in other cases— that is, where it is fewer than 200 employees— which are regarded as significant either because of the nature of the claim or because of the possible repercussions on the pay of other groups. Regarded as significant by whom? Regarded as significant by the Department of Economic Affairs, or by the employer on the possible repercussions it might have on the level of employment incomes of competitive or neighbouring firms? These things are left entirely unresolved. To suggest that the Government have so set the external disciplines within which they wish people to operate that they can then proceed with the powers which they are seeking in Clause 2 which my hon. and learned Friend seeks to limit is an invitation which suggests something perilously near the kind of government by invitation which rightly causes disquiet in all parts of the House.

Question put, That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Bill:—

The House divided: Ayes 139, Noes 106.

Division No. 441.]AYES[5.51 a.m.
Alldritt, WalterForrester, JohnMason, Roy
Armstrong, ErnestFowler, GerryMilne, Edward (Blyth)
Ashley, JackFraser, John (Norwood)Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)
Atkins, Ronald (Preston, N.)Freeson, ReginaldMorris, John (Aberavon)
Bacon, Rt. Hn. AliceGardner, TonyMurray, Albert
Bagier, Gordon A. T.Garrett, W. E.Noel-Baker, Francis (Swindon)
Barnes, MichaelGray, Dr. Hugh (Yarmouth)Oakes, Gordon
Baxter, WilliamGrey, Charles (Durham)Ogden, Eric
Bence, CyrilHamilton, James (Bothwell)O'Malley, Brian
Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony WedgwoodHannan, WilliamOwen, Dr. David (Plymouth, S'tn)
Binns, JohnHarrison, Walter (Wakefield)Page, Derek (King's Lynn)
Bishop, E. S.Hart, Mrs. JudithParkyn, Brian (Bedford)
Blackburn, F.Haseldine, NormanPavitt, Laurence
Bradley, TomHattersley, RoyPentland, Norman
Bray, Dr. JeremyHazell, BertRees, Merlyn
Brooks, EdwinHerbison, Rt. Hn. MargaretReynolds, G. W.
Brown, Rt. Hn. George (Belper)Hooley, FrankRoberts, Albert (Normanton)
Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan)Howarth, Robert (Bolton, E.)Roberts, Gwilym (Bedfordshire, S.)
Brown, Bob (N'c't1e-upon-Tyne, W)Howell, Denis (Small Heath)Robinson, W. O. J. (Walth'stow, E.)
Brown, R. W. (Shoreditch & F'burn)Howie, W.Roebuck, Roy
Buchan, NormanHoy, JamesRose, Paul
Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, sp' burn)Huckfield, L.Shaw, Arnold (Ilford, S.)
Callaghan, Rt. Hn. JamesHunter, AdamShore, Peter (Stepney)
Carmichael, NeilJackson, Colin (B'h'se & Spenb'gh)Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)
Coe, DenisJohnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.)Slater, Joseph
Coleman, DonaldJones, Rt. Hn. Sir Elwyn (W. Ham, S.)Stewart, Rt. Hn. Michael
Conian, BernardJones, T. Alec (Rhondda, West)Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley
Crawshaw, RichardJudd, FrankSwingler, Stephen
Crosland, Rt. Hn. AnthonyLeadbitter, TedTaverne, Dick
Crossman, Rt. Hn. RichardLedger, RonTinn, James
Dalyell, TamLee, Rt. Hn. Frederick (Newton)Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne Valley)
Davidson, Arthur (Accrington)Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Davies, Harold (Leek)Lomas, KennethWatkins, David (Consett)
Dell, EdmundLoughlin, CharlesWatkins, Tudor (Brecon & Radnor)
Dempsey, JamesLyons, Edward (Bradford, E.)White, Mrs. Eirene
Dewar, DonaldMcBride, NeilWhitlock, William
Dobson, RayMacCoil, JamesWilley, Rt. Hn. Frederick
Doig, PeterMacDermot, NiallWilliams, Alan (Swansea, W.)
Dunn, James A.Mackenzie, Gregor (Rutherglen)Williams, Alan Lee (Hornchurch)
Dunwoody, Mrs. Gwyneth (Exeter)Mackie, JohnWillis, George (Edinburgh, E.)
Dunwoody, Dr. John (F'th & C b' e)Mackintosh, John P.Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)
Eadie, AlexMaclennan, RobertWoodburn, Rt. Hn. A.
Edwards, Robert (Bilston)McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.)Woof, Robert
Ellis, JohnMcNamara, J. Kevin
English, MichaelMallalieu, J.P.W. (Huddersfield, E.)TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Ensor, DavidManuel, ArchieMr. Alan Fitch and
Evans, Ioan L. (Birm'h'm, Yardley)Mapp, CharlesMr. Joseph Harper.
Fernyhough, E.Marquand, David
NOES
Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash)Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.)Kaberry, Sir Donald
Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead)Glover, Sir DouglasKershaw, Anthony
Astor, JohnGlyn, Sir RichardKing, Evelyn (Dorset, S.)
Atkins, Humphrey (M't'n & M'd'n)Goodhew, VictorKirk, Peter
Baker, W. H. K.Gower, RaymondKitson, Timothy
Balniel, LordGrant, AnthonyKnight, Mrs. Jill
Biffen, JohnGrant-Ferris, R.Lambton, Viscount
Brewis, JohnGriffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds)Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. Sir WalterGurden, HaroldMacArthur, Ian
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath)Harris, Reader (Heston)Macleod, Rt. Hn. Iain
Bruce-Gardyne, J.Harvie Anderson, MissMaude, Angus
Carr, Rt. Hn. RobertHawkins, PaulMawby, Ray
Chichester-Clark, R.Heseltine, MichaelMaxwell-Hyslop, R. J,
Clegg, WalterHiggins, Terence L.Maydon, Lt.-Cmdr. S. L. C.
Dance, JamesHiley, JosephMills, Peter (Torrington)
Dean, Paul (Somerset, N.)Hill, J. E. B.Miscampbell, Norman
Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F. (Ashford)Hirst, GeoffreyMitchell, David (Basingstoke)
Dodds-Parker, DouglasHolland, PhilipMore, Jasper
Eden, Sir JohnHordern, PeterMorrison, Charles (Devizes)
Elliott. R.W. (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, N.)Howell, David (Guildford)Munro-Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh
Emery, PeterHunt, JohnMurton, Oscar
Errington, Sir EricHutchison, Michael ClarkNoble, Rt. Hn. Michael
Eyre, ReginaldIremonger, T. L.Onslow, Cranley
Fisher, NigelJenkin, Patrick (Woodford)Page, Graham (Crosby)
Fletcher-Cooke, CharlesJohnson Smith, G. (E. Grinstead)Pardoe, John
Fortesoue, TimJopling, MichaelPage, John (Harrow, W.)
Peel, JohnSinclair, Sir GeorgeWhitelaw, Rt. Hn. William
Pink, R. BonnerSmith, JohnWilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Price, David (Eastleigh)Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M. (Ripon)Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick
Prior, J. M. L.Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)Wright, Esmond
Pym, FrancisTaylor, Edward M. (G'gow, Cathcart)Wylie, N. R.
Ridley, Hn. NicholasThatcher, Mrs. MargaretYounger, Hn. George
Royle, AnthonyTurton, Rt. Hn. R. H.
Russell, Sir Ronaldvan Straubcnzee, W. R.TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Scott, NicholasWalker, Peter (Worcester)Mr. Bernard Weatherill and
Sharples, RichardWebster, DavidMr. Hector Monro.
Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)Wells, John (Maidstone)

Photo of Mr Kenneth Lewis Mr Kenneth Lewis , Rutland and Stamford

On a point of order. Since you instructed me, Mr. Deputy Speaker, that I might find a more appropriate moment to raise the point of order that I raised about half an hour ago, I notice that the Leader of the House, having been absent for a very long time, is now back.

May I, through you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, ask the Leader of the House whether he will make a statement about the Wednesday morning sitting? In view of the long sitting that we have had tonight, and the long sitting that we are likely to have tomorrow night, the position will be that we then go on to a morning sitting. As this matter not only affects Members of the House, the staff, the Press and others, could we have a comment from the Leader of the House?

6.0 a.m.

Photo of Mr Sydney Irving Mr Sydney Irving , Dartford

When the hon. Gentleman raised this matter before, I suggested that the middle of debates on a Bill was not the appropriate time. He may well find that he will have an opportunity to raise it on a Motion which may come before the House in a few minutes.

Photo of Mr Robert Carr Mr Robert Carr , Mitcham

I beg to move Amendment No. 17, in page 2, line 35, to leave out 'but' and to insert 'and'.

Photo of Mr Sydney Irving Mr Sydney Irving , Dartford

With this it may be convenient to take Amendment No. 18, in page 2, line 38, leave out 'not', and Amendment No. 19, in line 38, leave out from 'apply' to end of line 41.

Photo of Mr Robert Carr Mr Robert Carr , Mitcham

At this time of the day I shall not attempt to explain the Amendment at any length. Rather I wish to move it shortly and then, according to the response, we may seek further clarification.

My hon. and learned Friend the Member for Darwen (Mr. Fletcher-Cooke) has explained the general "pounce-back" characteristics of the Clause to which we have taken exception because of the general unfairness and capriciousness which they seem to imply. The Amendment deals with one nasty feature. As subsection (2,a) stands, the Government would seem to have power to ban increases in prices or wages which had already taken effect before the passing of the Bill or this Clause.

That seems to be retrospection in its most blatant form and we are therefore proposing in effect to leave out the whole of the parentheses at the end of subsection (2,a) which would give the Government power to make a direction in connection' with references published before the coming into force of the Clause or the Bill. We regard that retrospective element as unfair and capricious and we wish it to be removed.

Photo of Mr Frederick Lee Mr Frederick Lee , Newton

Like the right hon. Gentleman, I shall not go over the discussion which took place a few minutes ago. Obviously, in that respect there is a difference of principle between us and we will not get over that difference by any discussion of these Amendments.

Clause 2 is meant to deal with two things. First, it applies a Part II standstill before the relevant reference has been made to the Board and, secondly, it seeks to apply that standstill where the breach occurs after the time when reference has been made, in other words, where there is a voluntary standstill which, before the Board can report, is breached.

In the first case the requirements of Section 8(1) or 15(1) as to simultaneous publication in the Gazette can be met, but, clearly, when the breach occurs after the reference, this would obviously be impossible. Therefore, with the Amendments it would be utterly and completely impossible to apply either point to which the Clause refers.

It may be that the Opposition wish to do that, but, quite clearly, this is where there is a great difference in principle between us. Obviously, the Amendments would wreck completely the second reason for Clause 2 and for this reason we cannot accept them.

Question put, That "but" stand part of the Bill:—

The House divided: Ayes 142, Noes 103.

Division No. 442.]AYES[6.6 a.m.
Alldritt, WalterFowler, GerryMilne, Edward (Blyth)
Ashley, JackFraser, John (Norwood)Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)
Atkins, Ronald (Preston, N.)Freeson, ReginaldMorris, John (Aberavon)
Bacon, Rt. Hn. AliceGardner, TonyMurray, Albert
Bagier, Gordon, A. T.Garrett, W. E.Newens, Stan
Barnes, MichaelGray, Dr. Hugh (Yarmouth)Noel-Baker, Francis (Swindon)
Baxter, WilliamGrey, Charles (Durham)Oakes, Gordon
Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony WedgwoodHamilton, James (Bothwell)Ogden, Eric
Binns, JohnHannan, WilliamO'Malley, Brian
Bishop, E. S.Harper, JosephOwen, Dr. David (Plymouth, S'tn)
Blackburn, F.Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)Page, Derek (King's Lynn)
Bradley, TomHart, Mrs. JudithParkyn, Brian (Bedford)
Bray, Dr. JeremyHaseldine, NormanPavitt, Laurence
Brooks, EdwinHattersley, RoyPentland, Norman
Brown, Bob (N' c' tle-upon-Tyne, W)Hazell, BertRees, Merlyn
Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan)Herbison, Rt. Hn. MargaretReynolds, G. W.
Brown, R. W. (Shoreditch & F'bury)Hooley, FrankRoberts, Albert (Normanton)
Buchan, NormanHowarth, Robert (Bolton, E.)Roberts, Gwilym (Bedfordshire, S.)
Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn)Howell, Denis (Small Heath)Robinson, W. O. J. (Walth'stow, E.)
Callaghan, Rt. Hn. JamesHowie, W.Roebuck, Roy
Carmichael, NeilHoy, JamesRose, Paul
Coe, DenisHuckfield, L.Shaw, Arnold (Ilford, S.)
Coleman, DonaldHunter, AdamShore, Peter (Stepney)
Conlan, BernardJackson, Colin (B'h'se & Spenb'gh)Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)
Crawshaw, RichardJohnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.)Slater, Joseph
Crosland, Rt. Hn. AnthonyJones, Rt. Hn. Sir Elwyn (W. Ham, S.)Stewart, Rt. Hn. Michael
Crossman, Rt. Hn. RichardJones, T. Alec (Rhondda, West)Summer-skill, Hn. Dr. Shirley
Dalyell, TamJudd, FrankSwingler, Stephen
Davidson, Arthur (Accrington)Leadbitter, TedTaverne, Dick
Davies, Harold (Leek)Ledger, RonTinn, James
Dell, EdmundLee, Rt. Hn. Frederick (Newton)Urwin, T. W.
Dempsey, JamesLewis, Ron (Carlisle)Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne Valley)
Dewar, DonaldLomas, KennethWalker, Harold (Doncaster)
Diamond, Rt. Hn. JohnLoughlin, CharlesWatkins, David (Consett)
Dobson, RayLyons, Edward (Bradford, E.)Watkins, Tudor (Brecon & Radnor)
Doig, PeterMacColl, JamesWhite, Mrs. Eirene
Dunn, James A.MacDermot, NiallWhitlock, William
Dunwoody, Mrs. Gwyneth (Exeter)Mackenzie, Gregor (Rutherglen)Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick
Dunwoody, Dr. John (F'th & C'b'e)Mackie, JohnWilliams, Alan (Swansea, W.)
Eadie, AlexMackintosh, John P.Williams, Alan Lee (Hornchurch)
Edwards, Robert (Bilston)Maclennan, RobertWillis, George (Edinburgh, E.)
Ellis, JohnMcMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.)Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)
English, MichaelMcNamara, J. KevinWoodburn, Rt. Hn. A.
Ennals, DavidMallalieu, J.P.w. (Huddersfield, E.)Woof, Robert
Ensor, DavidManuel, Archie
Evans, Ioan L. (Birm'h'm, Yardley)Mapp, CharlesTELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Fernyhough, E.Marquand, DavidMr. Neil McBride and
Fitch, Alan (Wigan)Mason, RoyMr. Ernest Armstrong.
Forrester, JohnMillan, Bruce
NOES
Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash)Fisher, NigelHutchison, Michael Clark
Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead)Fletcher-Cooke, CharlesJenkin, Patrick (Woodford)
Astor, JohnFortescue, TimJohnson Smith, G. (E. Grinstead)
Atkins, Humphrey (M't'n & M'd'n)Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.)Jopling, Michael
Baker, W. H. K.Glover, Sir DouglasKaberry, Sir Donald
Balniel, LordGlyn, Sir RichardKershaw, Anthony
Biffen, JohnGoodhew, VictorKing, Evelyn (Dorset, S.)
Brewis, JohnGower, RaymondKirk, Peter
Bromley-Davenport, Lt. -Col. Sir WalterGrant, AnthonyKitson, Timothy
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath)Grant-Ferris, R.Knight, Mrs. Jill
Bruce-Gardyne, J.Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds)Lambton, Viscount
Carr, Rt. Hn. RobertGurden, HaroldLewis, Kenneth (Rutland)
Chichester-Clark, R.Harris, Reader (Heston)MacArthur, Ian
Clegg, WalterHarvie Anderson, MissMacleod, Rt. Hn. Iain
Dance, JamesHawkins, PaulMaude, Angus
Dean, Paul (Somerset, N.)Heseltine, MichaelMawby, Ray
Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F. (Ashford)Higgins, Terence L.Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.
Dodds-Parker, DouglasHiley, JosephMaydon, Lt.-Cmdr. S. L. C.
Eden, Sir JohnHill, J. E. B.Mills, Peter (Torrington)
Elliott, R.W. (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, N.)Holland, PhilipMiscampbell, Norman
Emery, PeterHordern, PeterMitchell, David (Basingstoke)
Errington, Sir EricHowell, David (Guildford)Monro, Hector
Eyre, ReginaldHunt, JohnMorrison, Charles (Devizes)
Munro-Lucas-Tooth, Sir HughRoyle, AnthonyWalker, Peter (Worcester)
Murton, OscarRussell, Sir RonaldWebster, David
Noble, Rt. Hn. MichaelScott, NicholasWells, John (Maidstone)
Onslow, CranleySharples, RichardWhitelaw, Rt. Hn. William
Page, Graham (Crosby)Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Page, John (Harrow, W.)Sinclair, Sir GeorgeWolrige-Gordon, Patrick
Pardoe, JohnSmith, JohnWright, Esmond
Peel, JohnStoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M. (Ripon)Wylie, N. R.
Pink, R. BonnerTaylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)Younger, Hn. George
Price, David (Eastleigh)Taylor, Edward M.(G'gow, Cathcart)
Prior, J. M. L.Thatcher, Mrs. MargaretTELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Pym, FrancisTurton, Rt. Hn. R. H.Mr. Jasper More and
Ridley, Hn. Nicholasvan Straubenzee, W. R.Mr. Bernard Weatherill.

Motion made, and Question proposed, That further consideration of the Bill, as amended, be adjourned.—[Mr. Frederick Lee.]

Photo of Mr Iain Macleod Mr Iain Macleod , Enfield West

We have arrived at the point which we agreed to reach, and I welcome the Motion.

I do not think that the Leader of the House was here at the time, so a large number of hon. Members will not be quite clear about what has happened. We therefore expect him to make a short Business statement at half-past three this afternoon.

Photo of Mr Richard Crossman Mr Richard Crossman , Coventry East

I shall certainly do that, and I shall bear in mind, also, the matter raised by the hon. Member for Lewis about morning sittings.

6.15 a.m.

Photo of Mr Eldon Griffiths Mr Eldon Griffiths , Bury St Edmunds

On a point of order. I had hoped to comment on the Motion permitting the Select Committee on Agriculture to go to Brussels, but I might then be thought to be objecting, which I am not. The House has been prevented from discussing this matter, first, because the Government did not put': it down in time—

Photo of Dr Horace King Dr Horace King , Southampton, Itchen

Order. The hon. Gentleman must seek some other opportunity of raising the matter.

Photo of Mr Kenneth Lewis Mr Kenneth Lewis , Rutland and Stamford

On a point of order. My constituency is not in the Hebrides; I am the Member for Rutland and Stamford.

Question put and agreed to.

Bill, as amended (in the Standing Committee), to be further considered this day.