Adjournment (Summer)

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 24th July 1968.

Alert me about debates like this

Motion made, and Question proposed,That this House, at its rising on Friday, do adjourn till Monday, 14th October.—[Mr. Peart.]

Several Hon. Members:

rose

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

May I remind the House that ahead of us is a debate on the Consolidated Fund Bill.

7.56 p.m.

Photo of Sir Peter Emery Sir Peter Emery , Honiton

I cannot agree with the Motion without asking for certain questions to be answered, I hope quickly and briefly, by the Leader of the House. I shall be brief because I realise that there is considerable business to be conducted and that the Consolidated Fund must be safeguarded.

In the south-west of England there have, as the House knows, been major floods, causing catastrophe to many homes and many farms and businesses. Certain questions to Ministers and inquiries which have been made both in the House and privately have not as yet been answered, and it is to ensure that we may have answers before the House rises, or that the House should come back early if sufficient answers are not tendered by the Government, that I am speaking now.

I ask the Leader of the House to assure me that the assurance given by the Minister of Housing and Local Government that generous aid would be given tobona fide relief funds, those funds having been established to give relief to those who have suffered hardship caused by the catastrophic flooding, will be fulfilled and that those grants from the Government will be sent to the relief funds during the next week.

There is hardship being suffered at the moment and the disbursement of money to those people is being limited by the inadequacy of the money available, and, therefore, to the people in Devon the need for a major contribution as promised by the Government is immediately essential.

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

Order. If we come back early the hon. Member may be able to debate that, but he cannot now. The argument now is whether we should adjourn till 14th October. The hon. Member must not on this Motion debate the merits of what he would like to debate.

Photo of Sir Peter Emery Sir Peter Emery , Honiton

I will try very hard not to, Mr. Speaker, but you will realise that it is difficult when there is so much hardship and so much at stake.

My reason for not agreeing to the Motion is that I do not think that it would be right to adjourn till I can have the answers to these questions. Will that money be sent? If we cannot have an answer I am quite willing to stay here on behalf of my constituents till we do, and to do everything in my power to keep the House here to look after the interests of the people of Devon.

Will the Minister give an assurance that the Minister of Agriculture will make a statement about the compensation which will be paid to farmers for loss of crops? I have been pressing this issue with the Parliamentary Secretary in private—may I thank him for the manner in which he received my representations?— but the House will rise at the end of the week if this Motion is carried, and hon. Members will appreciate how the cold concrete of the Treasury may well set on the generosity of the compensation given to meet this hardship.

The Leader of the House has experience in agriculture, and he will realise that the arrangement of compensation in respect of damaged crops is not always easy. In this case we are concerned not so much with the crops which have not been harvested as with those which have been harvested—feedstuffs and hay, for example—and which, in many cases, have been ruined or swept away by flooding.

I want an assurance that the Government will make a fuller statement about the aid which they will give to the people of Honiton and others in Devon. Will the Minister also see that such a statement contains an assurance—which I believe has been tacitly meant but never given—that any compensation will be made available to meet not only individual hardship but also the hardship of those in business, because certain businesses have suffered losses of stocks which no inurance cover would have met. Moreover, the agricultural losses are great not only in crops, but in damage to roads, banks and fences, many of which have been swept away.

The question which I should like to put and. to have answered before I can vote for the Motion is whether the Government will consider that, where an agricultural improvement grant would normally be given for the replacement of such damaged facilities as roads, fences and banks, claims will not be limited to sums above £100. It is important that we should have a statement immediately, and before the House rises, because if such a statement is not given it is likely that many people will not immediately be able to do their repairs and maintenance and to replace their banks and fences. Secondly—and here I am protecting the Treasury—unless that assurance is given, it is likely that farmers and other agricultural interests will be inclined to push up their repair costs to above £100 in order to qualify for the grant and to get the payment from the Minstry. The last thing that I or the Government want to do is to encourage people to inflate their claims in respect of improvement grants to a figure above £100 in order to meet the qualifications. Would the Government make it clear that people will be able to make their claim for the grant in respect of any sum, perhaps, above £30 rather than above £100?

If the Government cannot give me an assurance about these issues, then I must vote against the Motion, because I should then wish to try to keep Ministers here so that the people of Devon were properly served.

8.5 p.m.

Photo of Mr John Lee Mr John Lee , Reading

At the end of the summer Session inevitably there are a number of loose ends, but possibly on this occasion we have rather more than usual and they are rather more urgent than usual. I shall speak for only a few minutes because today the business of the House has been dislocated and, moreover, many hon. Members wish to speak on the Consolidated Fund Bill.

But I draw attention particularly to our obligations in respect of the continuing crisis in Biafra, which represents one of the reasons against our adjourning at the end of the week and for the period indicated in the Motion. We have had two debates on this subject in the last few weeks, one under Standing Order No. 9 and the other, a few days ago, on the Adjournment of the House.

Almost every hon Member will agree that these debates served a very useful purpose and, at a time when perhaps the House is not at its greatest height of public prestige, they may well have demonstrated to the public that the House of Commons cares about matters of great importance in which humanitarian considerations are at a premium. In such debates we perhaps see ourselves at our best.

But both those debates left one question unanswered—the continuation of the sale of arms to the Federal Government of Nigeria. I am prepared to accept more excuses from the Commonwealth Secretary than from many other Ministers, because he is a very good Minister who has tried very hard in difficult circumstances to make a useful and constructive contribution to the abatement of that horrible war and to offering methods for its termination. Nevertheless, I am left dissatisfied with the Government's answers to this question. It has been argued several times that as long as we sell arms to Nigeria, this enables—

Photo of Mr Sydney Irving Mr Sydney Irving , Dartford

Order. The hon. Member is going into the merits of the case. He can only indicate reasons why he does not wish the House to adjourn, and he has probably done that adequately already.

Photo of Mr John Lee Mr John Lee , Reading

I have tried to keep my remarks in order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. Several excuses have been given why arms should continue to be sold to the Federal Government, but many of us would like to see the supply of arms cut off. Until and unless we are given an adequate answer to this question, I am prepared to see the adjournment of the House deferred. It has been argued that the supply of arms continues our influence with the Government of Nigeria, but it could as easily be argued that if we sold arms to Biafra, that would give us a certain influence over Colonel Ojukwu. That is a logical argument, although I am sure that the Government would not accept it. My right hon. Friend the Leader of the House will have to persuade his right hon. Friend the Commonwealth Secretary that many of us remain deeply dissatisfied with the answers which we have had on the subject. We are loath to adjourn because of the failure of the Government to provide a convincing answer for the continuance of this policy.

There are a number of other matters of uncompleted business. The situation in Czechoslovakia is fraught with the gravest possible consequences. Between now and October anything could happen and hon. Members in all parts of the House, and particularly those who are proud to be on the left of the Labour Party, are profoundly disturbed by the pressures that are being applied to that country.

What is the attitude of Her Majesty's Government towards these developments and what policy would they follow in the event of certain eventualities occurring? I will not enlarge on this difficult situation, except to appeal to the Leader of the House to assure us that in certain circumstances the House would be recalled to consider the crisis. In some ways this is the most important problem looming over us.

I do not pretend that the other matters I have in mind are of comparable importance. The other day the hon. Member for Belfast, East (Mr. McMaster) sought unsuccessfully to raise, under Standing Order No. 9, the question of the operation of the takeover code of the City of London. Some of us are pardonably sceptical of the ethics of takeovers and, realising that there must be certain tributes to dignity inherent in that code, we should like to hear the views of the Government in general and the Board of Trade in particular about the gradual reduction of competition in private enterprise—competition which, we are told in capitalist mythology, regulates and makes the private enterprise system more efficient, a private enterprise system which the Labour Party is pledged to end.

I do not know how long my right hon. Friend intends to give for consideration of the Transport Bill when it emerges in a somewhat mangled state from another place. Many of my hon. Friends would have liked to have made short shrift of many of the Amendments manufactured by otherwise not overworked Members of the other place. We must ensure that there is no further obstruction when the Bill is sent there for a second time.

The Government are pregnant with proposals dealing with another place and we look forward to hearing more of those proposals in greater detail. We trust that the rash of radicalism which followed the rejection of the Rhodesia Order by the other place a few weeks ago is still being sustained and that the Government have not had second thoughts or want to parley with the other side on this issue. A number of my hon. Friends could give some short, sharp answers to some suggestions that might come from the Opposition.

8.14 p.m.

Photo of Mr Jeremy Thorpe Mr Jeremy Thorpe , North Devon

I rise to make only one request to the Leader of the House, and it relates to Czechoslovakia.

We are being asked to rise the day after tomorrow for 10 weeks and during that time hon. Members will not have an opportunity to ask Questions in the House about developments in Czechoslovakia. We have a distinguished permanent representative at the United Nations and it is open to the Foreign Secretary to give him instructions.

I urge the Leader of the House to accept that in the present situation there is a threat to the security of the world and to world peace and that, therefore, consideration should at least be given by the Foreign Secretary to the question of what advice and instructions should be given to Lord Caradon, our permanent representative at the United Nations. I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will say that a statement of the Government's intentions in this matter will be made before we adjourn.

The record of Britain toward Czechoslovakia has not been very distinguished in the past. Munich, 1938, and the events of that year will stink in the nostrils of many people for many years to come. In 1948, many of us felt, after thecoup in Czechoslovakia, that we were powerless to act. Perhaps today the force of world opinion may bring more successful pressure to bear on those who at present are bringing pressure to bear on Czechoslovakia. I appeal to the right hon. Gentleman to urge his right hon. Friend to make a statement before we adjourn.

We are not unmindful of the reference to Czechoslovakia made by the Foreign Secretary when we debated foreign affairs recently. It was moderate and it was appreciated in all parts of the House. It was a wise, statesmanlike approach to the problem. But many of us remain desperately worried about developments in Czechoslovakia. We would not like to feel that we are adjourning powerless to intervene in the House and express our views on the matter. While I appreciate that the Leader of the House cannot commit himself, I beg him to use his best endeavours to persuade the Foreign Secretary to make a statement before we adjourn for the Recess.

8.17 p.m.

Photo of Mr Stanley Henig Mr Stanley Henig , Lancaster

We should not adjourn until my right hon. Friend has given certain assurances. I echo the remarks of my hon. Friend the Member for Reading (Mr. John Lee) about the situation in Nigeria. While I will not, on this occasion, discuss the merits of the matter, my right hon. Friend will be aware that only yesterday the Leader of the Federal Government in Nigeria, General Gowon, announced that he might want to resort once again to a policy of crushing the rebels. That was the tenor of his speech, although it was reported in a somewhat lenient fashion.

Her Majesty's Government have aligned themselves with the Federal Government to the extent of supplying them with arms. We are, therefore, held to be involved. Although this has been an Executive act, my right hon. Friend would, I am sure, not wish to pursue the policy of supplying arms to the Federal Government if it were known that the majority of hon. Members here were against it.

If the House now rises for 10 weeks it is possible that there will be a flare-up of the fighting in Nigeria at a time when hon. Members will not be able to state their views in the House about whether or not we should continue the supply of arms. Whatever view one may take of the wisdom or otherwise of supplying arms, it would be wrong, in the event of a major flare-up, if the House were prevented from fulfilling its function of directing the actions of Ministers.

I want an assurance that if serious fighting starts again in Nigeria, and Her Majesty's Government wish to continue to implicate themselves by supporting and arming one side, Parliament will be recalled so that hon. Members may determine whether or not they approve of this policy.

To speak in more general terms, it seems to me quite wrong that we should adjourn now for 10 weeks. My right hon. Friend has the responsibility in these matters. Does he think it a very good idea that Parliament should rush business and have all-night sittings, that week after week he should say that there is no time to discuss this or that subject, and that he should then propose, at this time in July, that the House should not meet again until October? If hon. Members need to refresh themselves they can do so and still be back in September—and even by the beginning of September.

I use as an illustration one matter that has been mentioned before and on which there has been some, but not enough, assurance. The Divorce Reform Bill has not yet completed its progress, so that the House as a whole has not had a chance to give its judgment on the Measure. I cannot discuss the merits of the Bill here, but I do not think that any one would disagree that the House has a responsibility. Thousands of people will be affected by the provisions of that Bill if it is enacted, or by lack of them if it is not. Hon. Members are getting scores of letters asking when the House will make up its mind. In reply, one has to write, "I have made up my mind, and I think that everyone else has, but we cannot discuss the Bill because we are going off for 10 weeks' holiday." It would be quite easy to dispose of a Bill like this by staying here until next Monday.

Is my right hon. Friend satisfied that, after telling the House repeatedly that there was no time to discuss all sorts of serious matters, he should, shortly afterwards, suggest that we go away for 10 weeks because there is nothing for us to do? I hope that my right hon. Friend will reply to these points. Unless he does, I shall feel compelled to vote against the Motion.

8.22 p.m.

Photo of Mr William Rees-Davies Mr William Rees-Davies , Isle of Thanet

I should first like to reply very briefly to one interesting point. The hon. Member for Lancaster (Mr. Henig) must realise the difference between Government legislation and private Members' legislation. It has always been an accepted tradition of the House that we pay very great attention to strong minority views on a Private Member's Bill. Whilst I am largely in support of both the Measures that have been held up for want of time, I do not think that in the long term it is harmful that those holding very strong minority views should be able to defeat a Measure by virtue of their feeling. Government legislation is very different.

I have no doubt that the sponsor of the Divorce Reform Bill might have succeeded had he not been so obdurate in relation to one Clause. It is because of that that he has not been able, perhaps, to achieve the success he sought.

Photo of Mr Neil Marten Mr Neil Marten , Banbury

Perhaps my hon. Friend the Member for the Isle of Thanet (Mr. Rees-Davies), in criticising the hon. Member for Lancaster (Mr. Henig), has not recalled that the hon. Gentleman was or is a lecturer in politics. Perhaps that is why the hon. Gentleman did not understand the difference between the two types of Bill.

Photo of Mr William Rees-Davies Mr William Rees-Davies , Isle of Thanet

The point I want to make arises from the same disease from which we are all suffering. We have been suffering from what I call "Government by ordeal" for the last three months, and that ordeal has arisen because of the vast amount of indigestible legislation with which we have had to cope. One of the direct and admitted effects is that the Government and, in particular, the President of the Board of Trade, wanted legislation the import of which the right hon. Gentleman set out in a rather rough and ready fashion in Cmnd. 3633—"Hotel Development Incentives". That White Paper states in plain language that the Government propose to introduce legislation to carry into effect the terms broadly set out therein.

The only reason why we have not had that legislation this Session, and will not see it at any rate until after the Queen's Speech, is the Transport Bill and the other Measures which have so clogged the wheels of the Parliamentary machine as to make it impossible for the House to turn to issues which would be supported by all parties. But unless there is very early legislation this White Paper will cause considerable difficulty in the trade. I therefore ask the Leader of the House, as a matter of urgency, to draw this subject to the attention of the President of the Board of Trade and give an undertaking that he will make an announcement forthwith clarifying the present proposals.

We had an undertaking that we would have a statement. I cannot say that it was absolutely explicit that we would have it by the end of July but that was expected. In paragraph 44 of the White Paper, the Government state: The arrangements for administering the Hotel Development incentive Scheme will be determined in the light of decisions to be reached on these matters. The Government intends to announce its conclusions later this year. The White Paper was issued at the beginning of May.

As a result, further statements were made. The Minister of State, Board of Trade was seen by those of us of all parties who are concerned in the matter, and we were told that we would have an early announcement in the House, at any rate clarifying the position. The Leader of the House will realise the difficulty when I refer to just one paragraph. In order to save time I do not propose to refer to any other paragraph because I think that when the President of the Board of Trade has his attention drawn to the one item he will recognise that other matters, too, require an explanation.

Paragraph 13, in page 5, which deals with one of the most important proposals, states: Moreover grants and loan assistance will only be available for establishments which already, or after taking advantage of the scheme, will regularly provide at least 10 bedrooms for the accommodation of travellers and short-term visitors and have at least one public room available for their common use at all reasonable hours. That statement leads to very great ambiguity as to whether it means that hotels must have 10 rooms available for daily visitors, or whether they have to keep some available, and, if so, how many. Or is the accommodation to be available only for the package type of tour or the one-night stand—

Photo of Mr Sydney Irving Mr Sydney Irving , Dartford

Order. The hon. Gentleman is getting to the merits of the case rather than dealing with the Question before the House.

Photo of Mr William Rees-Davies Mr William Rees-Davies , Isle of Thanet

I hope not, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I am not asking for a decision one way or the other. All I am asking for is what we were promised, a clear explanation of the policy laid down, bearing in mind that anyone who carries out this work at this time has been told that he should keep accounts and he will be paid retrospectively if and when legislation is carried into effect. It is most unusual even before we have seen such a Bill to be told that the matter will be dealt with retrospectively. Those concerned should be fully informed im-mediately about where they stand.

I could name other examples which arise in the White Paper but as they are well known and I have adverted to them previously, I shall not deal with them now. I hope that we can have an early statement. It must be well known in the Ministry what is required. If before we go into Recess we could have an assurance of what is in the mind of the Government we could perhaps have some definite date given with reference to the proposals.

I have been asked by members of the trade to draw attention to these matters, which are of great importance. The whole of the tourist industry, which is one of the most successful industries in the country, depends on having an abundant supply of accommodation of the right type and quality as early as possible. We shall be losing a great deal of overseas earnings and will not be able to get the benefit we should get at home if earl yaction is not taken on these matters. I therefore hope the Leader of the House will draw the attention of his right hon. Friend to them tonight so that we may have a decision as soon as possible.

8.30 p.m.

Photo of Mr Clifford Kenyon Mr Clifford Kenyon , Chorley

I support this Motion. Unlike my hon. Friend the Member for Lancaster (Mr. Henig) I have not come to look upon a Recess as a holiday. If one takes one's duties in a constituency seriously one is not allowed to have a holiday.

I speak on this occasion as chairman of the Selection Committee. I want to put to my right hon. Friend a few points which I have considered over the last year to see if the congestion which has arisen in the last three months of this Session, and which arises every year, can be avoided. With better planning by the Government I think it certainly can. I think the blame for the unfinished legislation lies both with the Government and with hon. Members. We have only ourselves to blame very often for the frustration we find at the end of a Session.

I should like the Government, especially the Leader of the House, to consider that at the beginning of a new Session he should have prepared and ready major Bills for immediate introduction. If a start were made on major Bills in November and they were sent to Committee we should not have the long delays which cause us at this time of the year to rush things, or try to rush things. We should not be in the position in which we find ourselves today with unfinished legislation both Government and Private Members' Bills.

Photo of Mr Sydney Irving Mr Sydney Irving , Dartford

Order. I am reluctant to stop the hon. Member but he is not speaking to the Motion. We cannot have a debate on the business of the House. We can debate only matters related to the Motion, which says that we should adjourn on the date mentioned.

Photo of Mr Clifford Kenyon Mr Clifford Kenyon , Chorley

I accept your Ruling, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I was afraid that I was out of order, but I did not want to find it necessary to speak again in the debate on the Consolidated Fund (Appropriation) Bill, when any subject can be raised.

I hope that my right hon. Friend, during the Recess, will consider what I have said. From his predecessor we had a promise that he would meet the Selection Committee at the beginning of this Session. I want the present Leader of the House to say that he will do the same because, if we can co-operate better, we shall not find ourselves in this sort of situation.

Photo of Mr Sydney Irving Mr Sydney Irving , Dartford

Order. Has the hon. Gentleman finished? Mr. Bruce-Gardyne.

Photo of Mr Sydney Irving Mr Sydney Irving , Dartford

I am sorry, I thought that the hon. Member had finished. If he has not, I must indicate to him that while the House would be interested to hear these matters, this is not the occasion to discuss them.

Photo of Mr Clifford Kenyon Mr Clifford Kenyon , Chorley

Compulsorily, Mr. Deputy Speaker, I will finish and I will speak on the Consolidated Fund Bill.

8.35 p.m.

Photo of Mr Jock Bruce-Gardyne Mr Jock Bruce-Gardyne , South Angus

The matter which I wish to raise is a comparatively narrow one, but it is of considerable importance in Scotland and it is one about which we must have discussions before the House rises for the Summer Adjournment. It concerns a Statutory Instrument tabled by the Government a week or two ago, the Schools (Scotland) Code (Amendment No. 1) Regulations, 1968.

The purpose of that Statutory Instrument is set out in the accompanying Explanatory Note, which explains clearly that the effect of the passage of the Regulations will be to require local authorities in Scotland to dismiss teachers in primary schools who have not registered with the General Teaching Council by 1st August and to dismiss teachers in secondary schools who have not so registered, except in exceptional circumstances, for which special provision is made.

Photo of Mr David Steel Mr David Steel , Roxburghshire, Selkirkshire and Peeblesshire

On a point of order. I apologise to the hon. Member for South Angus (Mr. Bruce-Gardyne). I appreciate his argument, but I understand that he is one of those who have been successful in the Ballot for debates on the Consolidated Fund (Appropriation) Bill on precisely this topic. Is it in order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, to pre-empt a later debate?

Photo of Mr Sydney Irving Mr Sydney Irving , Dartford

I do not think that there is anything out of order in what the hon. Member is doing. None the less, I think that such a custom is undesirable and that if there is to be a further debate during the day an hon. Member should reserve his opportunity for that moment.

Photo of Mr Ian MacArthur Mr Ian MacArthur , Perth and East Perthshire

Further to the point of order. My hon. Friend's subject for discussion later tonight is very far down the list. It is the thirty-first subject selected for debate. While it is possible that the subject might be reached, precedent would suggest that that is unlikely. This is the last occasion when we have an opportunity to raise this im- portant matter for Scotland before the House adjourns. I hope very much, Mr. Deputy Speaker, that you will allow my hon. Friend to develop his argument to some extent, as there will not be an opportunity for him to raise it later tonight.

Photo of Mr Sydney Irving Mr Sydney Irving , Dartford

I have not ruled the hon. Member out of order. In any event, he cannot discuss the merits of the matter. I merely indicated that it would be a little unfair to other hon. Members if anybody took an occasion like this to discuss the merits of a matter which is to be discussed later in the day.

Photo of Sir Arthur Harvey Sir Arthur Harvey , Macclesfield

Until my hon. Friend was interrupted by a Liberal Member, he was not, I understand, out of order. Surely it is —[Interruption.] I wish that the Liberal Party would keep quiet. [Interruption.] I wish that you would rebuke the Leader of the Liberal Party, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I am putting a serious point of order.

My hon. Friend was making a point which is of concern to Scotland. He was interrupted by a Liberal Member after having been called to speak. It seems absolutely wrong that the Liberal Member should question the authority of the Chair.

Photo of Mr Sydney Irving Mr Sydney Irving , Dartford

The hon. Member will, I think, realise that I have not ruled his hon. Friend out of order.

Photo of Miss Peggy Herbison Miss Peggy Herbison , Lanarkshire North

Further to the point of order. May I have your advice, Mr. Deputy Speaker? I understand that the hon. Member for South Angus (Mr. Bruce-Gardyne) wishes to discuss a matter because we will not be able to have it discussed on the Floor of the House before we adjourn for the Recess. His hon. Friend the Member for Perth and East Perthshire (Mr. MacArthur), who intervened, made the point that he wanted to discuss the merits of the Regulations. [HON. MEMBERS: "NO."] If the hon. Member for South Angus wishes to discuss the merits, I also would wish to do so, because I take the opposite view from the hon. Member.

Photo of Mr Sydney Irving Mr Sydney Irving , Dartford

I have merely endeavoured to indicate the procedural question of order. Nothing that the hon. Member has said so far has been out of order. I have, however, indicated that on this Motion we cannot go into the merits of any other matter, but should speak to the Motion, which deals with whether we should adjourn between the dates proposed.

Photo of Mr Jock Bruce-Gardyne Mr Jock Bruce-Gardyne , South Angus

I know very well that we cannot discuss the merits of the issue on this Question, and I have no intention of trying to do so. But my hon. Friend the Member for Perth and East Perthshire (Mr. MacArthur) was right to point out that there is no prospect of reaching the debate which I have set down for business on the Consolidated Fund Bill. What I am about to do— if the right hon. Lady the Member for Lanarkshire, North (Miss Herbison) will give me a chance—is to argue that we should have opportunity to discuss a Prayer which has been put down against the Regulations. I have no intention of discussing the merits of the matter because I fully accept that we cannot do so at this stage.

On a matter of considerable importance to the teaching profession in Scotland, regardless of the view we may take on the merits, we should have been given, and we should be given, an opportunity to discuss the Prayer which has been put down by my right hon. Friend the Member for Argyll (Mr. Noble) and certain of my hon. Friends against the Regulations, but I understand that no such opportunity is to be given before the Houses rises for the Summer Recess.

The Statutory Instrument was tabled on 12th July, to come into operation on 1st August. In other words, there was barely a fortnight of Parliamentary time in which a Prayer against it could be debated, and this at a time when the Parliamentary timetable was heavily charged. On the Business Question last week, I asked the Leader of the House whether he would ensure either that time was provided to debate the Prayer or that the coming into operation of the Instrument should be deferred. The right hon. Gentleman replied—this is column 1674 of the OFFICIAL REPORT—that he would give the matter consideration and certainly have a discussion with his right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland. I have endeavoured to ascertain whether there has been any result from such discussions, but I have heard of none. I still hope that the right hon. Gentleman will give an assurance that there will be opportunity to discuss the Prayer.

I can show the importance by reference to an Answer which I received today, which discloses that 4,500 teachers in Scotland who were known to be teaching in schools at the end of the last school session have not paid a registration fee to the General Teaching Council. This means that, unless these 4,500 teachers have paid the fee by 1st August, they will be liable under the Statutory Instrument as it now stands to lose their jobs. I do not for a moment suggest that they will lose their jobs, and that that is the way the Regulations will be applied, but I do say that it is a matter of great importance and that we should have an opportunity to discuss the merits before we rise for the Recess, in view of the implications which the Instrument appears to have for all those teaching in Scotland.

In tabling the Regulations in the way they have and in giving such ludicrously inadequate time for a Prayer against them to be debated, the Government have not treated the House with adequate courtesy. I appreciate that we may be able to debate the Prayer in the hangover period after we return, but by that time the Instrument will have been in operation for about two and a half months. That, therefore, is no adequate answer.

There is considerable anxiety on this matter in the teaching profession in Scotland. We should have opportunity to debate the Prayer, and I hope that the Leader of the House will assure us that time will be made available to debate it before the House rises for the Recess.

8.45 p.m.

Photo of Mr David Steel Mr David Steel , Roxburghshire, Selkirkshire and Peeblesshire

I have no wish to enter into the many matters which the House might wish to discuss before it rises for the Summer Recess. I can appreciate that the only hon. Member who supported the Motion was the hon. Member for Chorley (Mr. Kenyon). I understand his anxiety to visit his constituents, for we have seen some of the letters that he has written to them in the Press recently.

I shall confine myself to one matter, since I do not want to try the patience of the Leader of the House, who is a very patient man. It is an important constituency matter which I have tried to raise on the Adjournment, but I have been unsuccessful in obtaining an Adjournment debate. I want to take this opportunity of asking whether the Minister of Transport could come here to explain his decision to close the railway line between Edinburgh and Carlisle, through my constituency. I was surprised that he chose to make the announcement in a Written Answer last week.

The Minister should make a statement to explain why he made the decision when the public inquiry established by the Scottish Transport Users' Consultative Committee under the 1962 Act came to the conclusion that substantial hardship would be caused if the line were closed; when the Borders Economic Consultative Group set up by the Secretary of State for Scotland to advise him on matters in this region advised that the line should be retained; when the Scottish Economic Planning Council, another part of the Government's machinery, advised that it should be retained; and when the Government's own consultants from Edinburgh University into the economy of the region advised that its closure would have an unfortunate effect on planning targets.

The Minister should explain why he took the decision to close the line, despite all the evidence he received from those quarters, especially when a compromise solution had been put forward to him that he might, in view of the expense of keeping the whole line, retain the branch line to Hawick.

Photo of Mr Sydney Irving Mr Sydney Irving , Dartford

Order. The hon. Gentleman is now going into the merits of the case.

Photo of Mr David Steel Mr David Steel , Roxburghshire, Selkirkshire and Peeblesshire

I shall finish very quickly, Mr. Deputy Speaker.

I am only pleading that before the House rises for the Summer Recess, a further explanation should be given to hon. Members. I know that this plea will strike other Members as a purely constituency point, but it is of considerable national importance that such a decision can be taken and announced merely in a Written Answer, when we have just spent a great deal of time debating the Transport Bill, which enables grants to be given to uneconomic lines in areas where they are socially and economically justified. Here is an area which the Government themselves have earmarked for economic development. This is a matter of national interest, and I hope that the Leader of the House will give me some satisfaction in his reply.

8.48 p.m.

Photo of Mr Emrys Hughes Mr Emrys Hughes , South Ayrshire

I want to raise one short but important point. I do not intend to vote against the Motion, but between now and the rising of the House I should like my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House to consider, with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland, whether the Scottish Grand Committee should meet in Edinburgh in October.

Photo of Mr Emrys Hughes Mr Emrys Hughes , South Ayrshire

I believe that this could be done during the Recess without interfering with the ordinary procedure of the House.

Photo of Mr Emrys Hughes Mr Emrys Hughes , South Ayrshire

I suggest that the Scottish Grand Committee should be called in October, when the party conferences are not meeting, that Scottish Questions should be asked there and Scottish Motions submitted by Scottish Members should be considered there. There is in Scotland at present a demand that the whole question of the administration of Scottish affairs should be considered.

Photo of Mr Sydney Irving Mr Sydney Irving , Dartford

Order. The hon. Gentleman is going far too wide of the Motion. He said that he does not oppose it. What he is saying has nothing to do with the Recess as such, which is what we are concerned with.

Photo of Mr Emrys Hughes Mr Emrys Hughes , South Ayrshire

I understand that, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I understood that I was on the fringe of being in order, and I overstepped the mark.

I ask the Leader of the House to give this his earnest consideration because there is in Scotland a strong feeling that our Recesses are too long. It would alleviate that feeling if in the second week in October we met in Scotland to discuss Motions and have Scottish Questions answered.

Photo of Sir Arthur Harvey Sir Arthur Harvey , Macclesfield

Will the hon. Gentleman take note that the Conservative Party conference starts in the week of 7th October? Does he want a Labour Party meeting in Scotland in October, or does he want a meeting representative of the House of Commons?

Photo of Mr Sydney Irving Mr Sydney Irving , Dartford

Order. The hon. Member for South Ayrshire (Mr. Emrys Hughes) would be out of order if he answered that question.

8.51 p.m.

Photo of Mr Nicholas Scott Mr Nicholas Scott , Paddington South

I raise a point of importance in my constituency. I hope that the Leader of the House or the Minister of Housing and Local Government will be able to clear it up before the House rises.

It is caused by an anomaly which arises under the Leasehold Reform Act, 1967, and the Rent Act, 1968. The basic situation is that in London where a flat has a rateable value of below £400 and the rent is more than two-thirds of the rateable value it is illegal to charge a premium for the sale of the lease.

It is widely believed that rent in this context means all the payments which are made by the tenant to the Landlord, including service charge and, indeed, for example, excess charges which might be imposed when Selective Employment Tax is raised by 50 per cent. in September. The effect of this is that a very large number of good quality flats in London for which people have paid large prices for the benefit of a long lease are now unsaleable. A large number of sales have taken place, and it may well be that those who have taken part in them have acted illegally.

The Minister of Housing and Local Government recognises this anomaly and has said that he will make investigations and take an early opportunity to put it right. But we have had no statement. It would be wrong for us to go away for a Recess of this length without the Leader of the House or the Minister either clearing up the present legal position or making clear that retrospective legislation will be introduced when we return to ensure that such sales are brought within the law.

8.53 p.m.

Photo of Miss Peggy Herbison Miss Peggy Herbison , Lanarkshire North

One matter that I wish to raise is the Regulations affecting the teaching profession that have been laid by the Secretary of State for Scotland, which were mentioned by the hon. Member for Roxburgh, Selkirk and Peebles (Mr. David Steel). I agree with the hon. Gentleman that we ought to have a discussion about them.

From my knowledge of the Regulations and the history that led up to them, I am sure that when the hon. Member hears the debate he will agree that they are right, but because of the present discontent it is important for the teaching profession in Scotland that we should have time to discuss the Regulations. I ask the Leader of the House to consider giving that time even if it means that we have to continue a few days longer before we begin the Recess.

There is another point which I feel strongly. Scotland at present greatly needs highly-skilled and highly-trained people for its industries. It was agreed that we should have one of our Estimates days in the Scottish Grand Committee to deal with the important question of further education, particularly as it affects technical colleges. I am sorry that the hon. Member for Roxburgh, Selkirk and Peebles is not in his place because it was due to him and to the hon. Member for Hamilton (Mrs. Ewing) that all Scottish Members were denied the right to discuss this vital question of technical education. Since that is the case, and since it is of vital importance, not only for education but for the whole economic set-up in Scotland, that we should discuss these matters, I ask my right hon. Friend to give serious consideration to whether it is not possible to allow a few days longer before we rise for the Recess.

8.55 p.m.

Photo of Mr William Van Straubenzee Mr William Van Straubenzee , Wokingham

I am sure that I speak for many hon. Members on both sides of the House when I say that we all understand that the Leader of the House has had a particularly demanding Parliamentary day and that we do not want, out of humanity to him, to retain him here for longer than strictly necessary.

Photo of Sir Peter Emery Sir Peter Emery , Honiton

That is not the question.

Photo of Mr William Van Straubenzee Mr William Van Straubenzee , Wokingham

One must be kind and I have a great regard for fellow Gunners. It is very necessary, nevertheless, that two other matters should be put before the right hon. Gentleman as reasons why we should not adjourn on Friday for as long as is suggested. In case there are hon. Members opposite who doubt one's personalbona fides on this matter—there are none on this side —I may add that I shall be in London throughout August and that I am perfectly willing to attend the House.

I hope that every possible clamour will be made against the Government's slinking away at least a week early, trying to get away from the constant probing criticisms which it is the duty of this House to subject them to.

Photo of Mr Neil Marten Mr Neil Marten , Banbury

And before the House of Lords rises, too.

Photo of Mr William Van Straubenzee Mr William Van Straubenzee , Wokingham

As my hon. Friend says, they are going before another place rises. Since the other place will still be sitting, all the facilities of this place will be operating still and those distinguished people, who are not perhaps present at the moment, who cover our proceedings are going to be here.

There are two reasons why I am genuinely anxious. First, at this moment, there is taking place in Gibraltar a highly important constitutional conference. What I want to know is what arrangements are being made, if we are to adjourn on Friday, to keep the House in touch with what is proposed.

I wonder if you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, have had the opportunity of appreciating just how potentially serious the situation in Gibraltar is and how, therefore, it impinges on our decision on whether or not to accept the Motion. I was recently privileged to spend five days in Gibraltar. The people of Gibraltar are under siege. The Spanish Government are behaving towards them in a way totally unforgivable in a civilised nation.

Our principal negotiator at this moment has been forced publicly to concede that there shall be written into a form of statute—an Order in Council— a declaration of the permanent link between the fortress of Gibraltar and this country, and the discussions are only half way through. That is why I raise this matter in relation to the question whether we should adjourn or not. But the significance of the position into which the Government's chief negotiator has been forced is that people simply do not accept in Gibraltar the word of Her Majesty's Government. The most awful experience any hon. Member can undergo —and I have just undergone it—is to assert firmly that the word of the British Government means what it says and then to find that the people there simply do not believe what one says.

Photo of Mr Sydney Irving Mr Sydney Irving , Dartford

Order. I am having difficulty in relating the hon. Gentleman's remarks to the Motion, which is concerned with the date of the Recess.

Photo of Mr William Van Straubenzee Mr William Van Straubenzee , Wokingham

I am much obliged. I was seeking to suggest that these negotiations were half way to their completion. I was pointing out why this declaration was necessary, but I shall not pursue that matter. Before we agree to adjourn, I want to know in relation to a very important fortress colony of this country, one to which certainly my constituents and, I suspect, many people throughout the country feel a special tie, what arrangements the Leader of the House is making so that we may be kept in touch with the progress of these negotiations.

How unwise it is that we should adjourn on Friday when obviously the negotiations will be only half way through their course! I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will have something clear and definite to say. I also hope that he will say that if as a result of the next stage of these negotiations the Spanish Government take further punitive measures towards Her Majesty's subjects in Gibraltar, which is not without foundation, he will not hesitate through the appropriate consultative channels to request Mr. Speaker to recall the House. Nothing else will do in this serious situation which confronts people in Gibraltar.

I want, secondly, to ask what arrangements the Leader of the House is making to keep us in touch with the clearly developing delicate situation in Rhodesia, one which potentially could lead—I cannot possibly explore this within the narrow confines of this debate—to a settlement honourable for both sides. It is plain to all of us that the situation in Rhodesia is fluid. It is plain to all of us that the skills of diplomacy could be used in the period covered by the Motion to secure for both sides a settlement which is honourable. I should like to know what arrangements the right hon. Gentleman is making if necessary to recall the House and if necessary to inform the House of the potential arrangements which could be made for a settlement between both sides.

You will understand, Mr. Deputy Speaker better than anyone how limited an hon. Member is in exploring these matters with appropriate deference to the Chair, but our constituents feel very strongly about them. I was here at the start of the debate and temporarily called out and then returned and so I have listened to most of the speeches. The Leader of the House can be assured that there are many hon. Members who are perfectly willing to continue work into August and who strongly resent partaking of a method of escape from public criticism in which apparently the Leader of the House is now engaged. While he smiles gently into his papers, let me say this to him. [Laughter.] He does not smile at a fellow Gunner like that and get away with it. If a vote is called, I shall back my words by my actions, and I hope that other hon. Members will do the same.

9.4 p.m.

Photo of Mr Peter Mills Mr Peter Mills , Torrington

I do not want to delay the House very long and I do not want to delay the House from its Recess for very long, but we ought to delay it for a short time so that several promised statements can be made. I feel rather guilty about going back to my home at this time and leaving a desk littered with unsolved problems, and I should have thought that the Government were in a similar position. There are many statements from various Ministries that we ought to have.

Quite frankly many people expect this. This is surely our duty. The Government ought to clear their desks and give us the statements we have been promised. In the South-West we want an answer to the inquiry on the Meldon Dam project, one of the most important projects in the South-West, supplying water over a very large area. The Ministry of Housing and Local Government keeps on saying, "in a day or so", but this is not good enough. The Minister ought to come to the House and give us a decision on this project.

My second point concerns the Minister of Agriculture. It is all very well for the former Minister of Agriculture to put his glasses on the end of his nose. This matter should have been cleared up before he left the Ministry. The present Minister promised to make a statement before we go into Recess on the control of imports of dairy products. We have heard absolutely nothing so far, and many dairy farmers are anxious to know what is to happen before autumn. Further serious damage could be done.

My hon. Friend the Member for Honi-ton (Mr. Emery) has already referred to my third point—floods in the South-West and the damage caused by them. Once again, it is the Ministry of Housing and Local Government which has promised a statement about what would be done, and what help would be given to the affected farmers. I do not want to return to the South-West to face them without knowing what the Government are to do. It is all very well for hon. Members opposite to sit there and smile, they have never experienced the sort of difficulties caused by such floods.

The Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Employment and Productivity ought to tell us exactly what they intend to do about the future of the Agricultural Training Board now that the National Farmers' Union has said "No" to the Board. We want to know what would be the future of this body and its chairman, and how it will be operated when two-thirds of farmers are not prepared to pay the levy.

My fifth point concerns a Motion on the Order Paper sponsored by my hon. Friend the Member for Honiton, which I had the privilege of signing, concerning television reception in the South-West. If ever there was a scandal it was this. We want to hear exactly what the Postmaster-General intends to do. We cannot get B.B.C.2 and we can hardly see B.B.C.1. Interference is a very real problem, and we should be debating it. I do not want to spend time at home during the Recess without being able to see some television. There is not much chance for me to do so while I am here. I hope that before we go into recess we will have the statements promised us. I hope that the Leader of the House will take this matter seriously and give us some idea as to how the Government are to clear their desks before the Recess.

9.10 p.m.

Photo of Mr Ian MacArthur Mr Ian MacArthur , Perth and East Perthshire

There are three matters on which I should like the guidance of the Leader of the House. The first is the concern which Scottish Members feel about the matter raised, so rightly, by the right hon. Lady the Member for Lanarkshire. North (Miss Herbison), namely, the fact that the Scottish Grand Committee, which is accustomed to having a set number of debates during a Session, has been cheated of an important debate by the thoughtless action of members of the Liberal Party and one or two other hon. Members.

Photo of Mr David Steel Mr David Steel , Roxburghshire, Selkirkshire and Peeblesshire

I hope that the hon. Gentleman accepts that the Government made no attempt to relay the Motion before the House, as they could have done upon any Friday.

Photo of Mr Ian MacArthur Mr Ian MacArthur , Perth and East Perthshire

The hon. Gentleman knows that that is no explanation or excuse for action which I regard as quite intolerable, coming from a group of Members who rarely put in an appearance at these Committee meetings.

Photo of Mr Ian MacArthur Mr Ian MacArthur , Perth and East Perthshire

Disgraceful perhaps, but true. There is no disgrace in the truth.

I do not know whether the Leader of the House is able to tell us whether it is the Government's intention to try to raise the matter of further education in the week or two which remain to us in October. I hope that that will be the case. If not, I trust that the right hon. Gentleman will find time before we rise to allow Scottish Members to debate a matter which, as the right hon. Lady the Member for Lanarkshire, North said, is a matter of real concern to Scottish people.

The second matter about which I am concerned was raised by my hon. Friend the Member for South Angus (Mr. Bruce-Gardyne). I have no intention of discussing the merits of the case. An important Statutory Instrument was laid before the House on 12th July and some of my hon. Friends and myself have sought to pray against the Order to discover the reasons for some of the decisions contained in that Statutory Instrument. It is important that this matter should be debated soon because of the uncertainty created in the education profession and among local education authorities about the action which they should take. By the time that we return in October, the Order will have been in force for two and a half months. I know that education authorities are making decisions based on that Order which, I believe, would be more wisely taken in the light of a debate in the House.

Thirdly, in September, the rate of Selective Employment Tax is to be raised by 50 per cent. in most cases. We have referred to this matter many times in the House and in Standing Committee. One group of people who will be particularly affected in September and about whom questions have been asked but not answered are the hotel keepers in Scotland. Without wishing to be discourteous and raising the merits of this case, may I say that hon. Members have tried to raise this question many times in recent weeks without success. The Guillotine fell at awkward moments during the Committee and later stages of the Finance Bill, and there was no opportunity to raise the matter until the Third Reading. My hon. Friend the Member for Bute and North Ayrshire (Sir F. Maclean) raised it then, but the Government were unable or unwilling to answer his questions.

On Monday last week, we had a debate on the Selective Employment Tax in Scotland and its serious effects on the service industries, and I referred to these hotels. I asked certain questions which the Government did not see fit to answer. In September, hoteliers will find themselves confronted with the requirement to pay 50 per cent. more in Selective Employment Tax. Certainly the remoter areas know that they will have the tax refunded—

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

Order. We are not discussing the Consolidated Fund Bill. If the hon. Gentleman catches my eye, he may raise this matter then. He may also raise the matter which he wishes to raise in detail if he can persuade the House to return earlier or to stay later, but he cannot debate it now.

Photo of Mr Ian MacArthur Mr Ian MacArthur , Perth and East Perthshire

I am grateful, Mr. Speaker. I am suggesting to the Leader of the House that we should not rise for the Recess until we have had a statement from the Government explaining the position. The need for that statement is twofold. First, there are some hotels which even now cannot discover whether they come within the repayment zones. Secondly, the tourist industry in Scotland wants to know whether, as I believe is the case, it will be paying £150,000 a year more in Selective Employment Tax after the so-called concession than before it.

9.15 p.m.

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

The debate tonight has followed precedent in that many topics have been raised. This Motion provides hon. Members with an opportunity to raise urgent matters affecting their constituency or national or Government policy.

The hon. Member for Honiton (Mr. Emery) raised an issue which greatly affects the South-West, namely, flooding. He was supported by the hon. Member for Torrington (Mr. Peter Mills). I understand their concern. I was specifically asked whether money will be sent tobona fide organisations for the relief of the constituents of the hon. Member for Honiton and of others who have been seriously affected by flooding.

The hon. Gentleman also asked me to use my influence to get my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food to make a statement about compensation, particularly with regard to loss of crops. The hon. Gentleman also asked for an assurance that hardship to individuals would be considered. He specifically referred to improvement grants. I should be out of order if I went into the merits of the question. I undertake to convey these views to my right hon. Friends the Ministers of Housing and Local Government and Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. I recognise it is an important matter.

Photo of Sir Peter Emery Sir Peter Emery , Honiton

The right hon. Gentleman has gone a long way towards doing what I asked him to do, and I am grateful to him. We must know. May we have a statement before the end of the week?

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

I will consult the two Ministers concerned immediately. I will tell them that hon. Members feel strongly about the position in the South-West. The hon. Member for Torrington knows that I am always anxious, particularly in agricultural matters, to do what I can. Whatever arguments the hon. Gentleman may have had with me over policy on different occasions, he knows full well that I am always anxious to do something when the industry has been seriously affected by damage of this kind. But I should be out of order, Mr. Speaker

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

The Minister must not drift into the merits of what might be discussed if the period of the Recess were extended or curtailed.

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

You are right, Sir. I must not discuss the merits. I was merely indicating some of my prejudices. I cannot promise specifically when, but I will convey the views which have been expressed by hon. Gentlemen to my right hon. Friends.

My hon. Friend the Member for Reading (Mr. John Lee) raised the issue of Biafra and Nigeria. This is a very delicate matter. I cannot at this stage go beyond the statements which my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Affairs has made. Indeed, I should be out of order were I to do so.

My hon. Friend also raised the question of Czechoslovakia and expressed his concern lest something should happen during the Recess. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs is concerned about this, and the matter is being watched. We must be very careful. This is a very delicate situation.

Then I was asked about Amendments to the Transport Bill, which are a matter for the Minister of Transport, and also about the question of Lords reform. The situation is still as the Prime Minister said; the situation has not changed.

The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Devon, North (Mr. Thorpe) also had views on the delicate situation now in Czechoslovakia. I note his view that we shall convey to Lord Caradon, our representative at the United Nations, that this could be a threat to security and world peace, Obviously this is an important matter. I repeat again that the Foreign Secretary will take very careful note of what the right hon. Gentleman said.

Photo of Mr Reginald Maudling Mr Reginald Maudling , Barnet

We are debating defence tomorrow. Would the Leader of the House suggest to the Secretary of State for Defence that he might, perhaps, deal with this in the course of his speech tomorrow?

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

That may not be a debate in which it would be appropriate to discuss a matter of this kind. I think this is something which goes far beyond a defence debate as such. I will convey the views of the House to my right hon. Friend.

Photo of Mr Peter Bessell Mr Peter Bessell , Bodmin

May we expect a statement from the Foreign Secretary or some other member of the Government about the Czechoslovakian situation before the House rises?

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

I cannot be specific about that. I will consult the Foreign Secretary. If it is necessary to make one he will make one. On the other hand, sometimes statements and speeches do not help in a very delicate situation, and my advice often is that it is a good thing sometimes for Government and Opposition and back bench Members and myself to keep quiet and do it with dignity.

The hon. Member for Lancaster (Mr. Henig) also raised the question of Nigeria, but I have answered that. I note his views. He also talked about the Divorce Bill. I have explained why it has not been possible to have this; I have explained to many hon. Members and, indeed, to the sponsors of the Bill. This is something which they will have to think about when we have another Session.

The hon. Member for the Isle of Thanet (Mr. Rees-Davies) raised a very important matter affecting hotel development and incentives to the hotel industry. He quoted the White Paper which represented policy and he asked me whether I could get the President of the Board of Trade to make an early statement. Again, I will draw the views of the hon. Member to the attention of my right hon. Friend.

The hon. Member for Chorley (Mr. Kenyon) asked me many specific points and I should be out of order if I pursued them, as he will appreciate. [HON. MEMBERS: "Where is he?"] He is not here. I will talk to him privately afterwards.

Photo of Mr Arthur Lewis Mr Arthur Lewis , West Ham North

That is not good enough, because we were all interested in what the hon. Member said while he was out of order and we should like to know.

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

Order. At this late hour the hon. Member should not be so morbid.

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

The hon. Member for South Angus (Mr. Bruce-Gardyne) quite rightly pressed me on a matter on which I have given a reply to him. I know there is a desire for a debate on Scottish education —not just on this one point—and my right hon. Friend the Member for Lanarkshire, North (Miss Herbison) stressed this very much, as, indeed, did other hon. Members, notably the hon. Member for Perth and East Perthshire (Mr. MacArthur). I think this is an important matter. I think it is important to have a much wider debate, not just about this specific point regarding the Regulations affecting the teachers. I will note this and convey the hon. Member's views to my right hon. Friend.

Photo of Mr Jock Bruce-Gardyne Mr Jock Bruce-Gardyne , South Angus

I am not sure whether the right hon. Gentleman has quite grasped the point. The Statutory Instrument comes into operation on 1st August and it is really vital that we should have an opportunity to debate the Prayer against it before that date.

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

I am afraid that it is not possible to debate it this week or next —unless the hon. Member has his way and we do not adjourn—[HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."]. I understand hon. Members, and they are perfectly at liberty to say they want to keep the House sitting, but I have announced the business, and I think the Motion sensible. I will, however, convey those views to my right hon. Friend.

The hon. Member for Roxburgh, Selkirk and Peebles (Mr. David Steel) referred to a matter which also affects my constituency—the decision to close the Edinburgh-Carlisle line. He wants me to use my influence to get the Minister concerned to make a statement and not just to give a written reply. I am aware of the difficulties for many people in the area and I will have a word with my right hon. Friend. I cannot promise success, but I will try. Hon. Members have asked me to raise these matters.

My hon. Friend the Member for South Ayrshire (Mr. Emrys Hughes) spoke about the Scottish Grand Committee meeting in Edinburgh. As long as that is in the Recess, it could be considered. English hon. Members will recognise that our Scottish Friends want to work overtime. But I cannot promise it. The hon. Member for Paddington, South (Mr. Scott) raised a matter about anomalies under the Rent Act which I understand is being nvestigated. I cannot promise a statement about that. My right hon. Friend the Member for Lanarkshire, North made a strong plea for Scottish education, as she always does. I will consider her request very sympathetically.

The hon. Member for Wokingham (Mr. van Straubenzee), a fellow Gunner, talked about Gibraltar. The Constitutional Conference is going on. I hope that there will be no embarrassment for any of our negotiators. We all support our

Gibraltarian friends. His remarks, I thought, were a little unfair, but I do not want to become involved in the merits of the argument. He is right to emphasise the problem. He referred to Rhodesia. We have had several debates and statements about Rhodesia and the Prime Minister has answered Questions about it. The position is still as it is.

The hon. Member for Perth and East Perthshire asked about education, and I have dealt with that point. He spoke of the increase in S.E.T. and said that it will impose a heavy burden on the hotel keepers in Scotland. I assure him that I will represent his views to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Department concerned.

I hope that all right hon. and hon. Members have a good Recess when this Motion has been passed.

Question put:

The House divided: Ayes 159, Noes 33.

Division No. 288.]AYES[9.28 p.m.
Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)Evans, Ioan L. (Birm'h'm, Yardley)Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)
Armstrong, ErnestFaulds, AndrewLoughlin, Charles
Bagier, Gordon A. T.Fernyhough, E.Lubbock, Eric
Baxter, WilliamFletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston)McBride, Neil
Beaney, AlanFletcher, Ted (Darlington)MacColl, James
Bence, CyrilFoot, Michael (Ebbw Vale)MacDermot, Niall
Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony WedgwoodFowler, GerryMacdonald, A. H.
Bennett, Jamas (G'gow, Bridgeton)Freeson, ReginaldMcGuire, Michael
Bishop, E. S.Galpern, Sir MyerMackenzie, Alasdair (Ross&Crom'ty)
Blackburn, F.Gourlay, HarryMcMillan, Tom (Glasgow, c.)
Boardman, H. (Leign)Gray, Dr. Hugh (Yarmouth)McNamara, J. Kevin
Booth, AlbertGregory, ArnoldMahon, Peter (Preston, S.)
Braddock, Mrs. E. MGrey, Charles (Durham)Mallalieu, J. P. W.(Huddersfield, E.)
Bray, Dr. JeremyGriffiths, David (Rother Valley)Manuel, Archie
Brooks, EdwinGriffiths, Eddie (Brightside)Mason, Rt. Hn. Roy
Broughton, Dr. A. D. D.Griffiths, Rt. Hn. James (Llanelly)Maxwell, Robert
Brown, Rt. Hn. George (Belper)Hamilton, James (Bothwell)Mendelson, J. J.
Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan)Hamling, WilliamMillan, Bruce
Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn)Hannan, WilliamMilne, Edward (Blyth)
Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.)Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)Mitchell, R. C. (S'th'pton, Test)
Carmichael, NeilHattersley, RoyMorgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire)
Coleman, DonaldHazell, BertMorris, Charles R. (Openshaw)
Concannon, J. D.Healey, Rt. Hn. DenisMoyle, Roland
Conlan, BernardHenig, StanleyMulley, Rt. Hn. Frederick
Crossman, Rt. Hn. RichardHerbison, Rt. Hn. MargaretMurray, Albert
Cullen, Mrs. AliceHilton, W. S.Newens, Stan
Dalyell, TarnHoughton, Rt. Hn. DouglasO'Malley, Brian
Davies, Ednyfed Hudson (Conway)Howarth, Robert (Bolton, E.)Orbach, Maurice
Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.)Howie, W.Orme, Stanley
Davies, Harold (Leek)Hoy, JamesOswald, Thomas
Davies, Ifor (Gower)Hughes, Roy (Newport)Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, S'tn)
Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)Hunter, AdamParkyn, Brian (Bedford)
Dell, EdmundJanner, Sir BarnettPearson, Arthur (Pontypridd)
Dempsey, JamesJones, Dan (Burnley)Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred
Dickens, JamesJones, J. Idwal (Wrexham)Pentland, Norman
Dobson, RayJones, T. Alec (Rhondda, West)Price, Thomas (Westhoughton)
Doig, PeterJudd, FrankProbert, Arthur
Driberg, TornKenyon, CliffordRees, Merlyn
Dunn, James A.Kerr, Russell (Feltham)Richard, Ivor
Dunnett, JackLawson, GeorgeRoberts, Gwilym (Bedfordshire, S.)
Dunwoody, Mrs. Gwyneth (Exeter)Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick (Newton)Robinson, W. O. J. (Walth'stow, E)
Dunwoody, Dr. John (F'th & C'b'e)Lee, John (Reading)Shaw, Arnold (Ilford, S.)
Eadie, AlexLestor, Miss JoanShort, Rt. Hn. Edward (N'c'tle-u-Tyne)
Edwards, Robert (Bilston)Lever, Harold (Cheetham)Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)
Ellis, JohnLewis, Arthur (W. Ham, N.)Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich)
Silverman, JuliusThomas, Rt. Hn. GeorgeWilliams, Clifford (Abertillery)
Slater, JosephTinn, JamesWilson, William (Coventry, S.)
Small, WilliamUrwin, T. W.Woodburn, Rt. Hn. A.
Snow, JulianWainwright, Edwin (Dearne Valley)Woof, Robert
Spriggs, LeslieWainwright, Richard (Colne Valley)Yates, Victor
Steele, Thomas (Dunbartonshire, W.)Walden, Brian (All Saints)
Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R.Walker, Harold (Doncaster)TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Swingler, StephenWeitzman, DavidMr. Joseph Harper and
Symonds, J. B.Wilkins, W. A.Mr. Eric G. Varley.
Taverne, Dick
NOES
Baker, W. H. K. (Banff)Holland, PhilipSpeed, Keith
Batsford, BrianMacArthur, IanSteel, David (Roxburgh)
Bessell, PeterMarten, NeilTaylor, Edward M. (G'gow, Cathcart)
Body, RichardMaude, Angusvan Straubenzee, W. R.
Bruce-Cardyne, J.Nabarro, Sir GeraldWills, Sir Gerald (Bridgwater)
Buchanan-Smith, Alick (Angus, N&M)Page, Graham (Crosby)Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Campbell, B. (Oldham, W.)Pearson, Sir Frank (Clitheroe)Winstanley, Dr. M. P.
Corfield, F. V.Percival, IanWright, Esmond
Glover, Sir DouglasRussell, Sir Ronald
Goodhew, VictorScott, NicholasTELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Gower, RaymondScott-Hopkins, JamesMr. Peter Emery and
Harvey, Sir Arthur VereSilvester, FrederickMr. Peter Mills.
Hirst, Geoffrey
Resolved,
That this House, at its rising on Friday, do adjourn till Monday, 14th October.