Qualifying Bodies

Part of Clause 12 – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 8th July 1976.

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Photo of Nicholas Winterton Nicholas Winterton , Macclesfield 12:00 am, 8th July 1976

I am not sure that I should take up the comments of the hon. and learned Member for Bradford, West (Mr. Lyons). I feel that they added very little to the debate. If I had been called before the hon. and learned Gentleman, I should have asked the forgiveness of my hon. Friend the Member for Burton (Mr. Lawrence) for not taking up his argument. However, I believe that he has done the country a service by demonstrating some of the appalling consequences of this legislation.

I shall be brief in supporting the excellent case that has been presented by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Beaconsfield (Mr. Bell), which was so ably supported by my hon. Friend the Member for Halesowen and Stourbridge (Mr. Stokes). We often hear from Labour Members that they represent the working people and that we on this side represent merely sectional minorities. I ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department—I am delighted that he is with us—and his right hon. and hon. Friends to put the race relations issue to the people by way of a referendum, or perhaps by way of a major piece of policy at a General Election. I can assure the right hon. Gentleman that the legislation that he is putting forward on behalf of the Government would be thrown out lock stock and barrel.