Scotland and Wales Bill

New Clause 40 – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 16th February 1977.

Alert me about debates like this

Again considered in Committee.

Question again proposed, That the amendment be made.

Photo of Mr Leon Brittan Mr Leon Brittan , Cleveland and Whitby

My hon. Friend the Member for Wolverhampton, South-West (Mr. Budgen) asks whether that is an argument against the whole principle of referendums. But we are not debating that tonight; we debated it yesterday. Whatever the general merits or otherwise of referendums, we all know why this one is being put forward, how it is being put forward and for what purpose it is being put forward.

Photo of Mr William Benyon Mr William Benyon , Buckingham

But the fact is that we have referendums. My hon. Friend's argument is that if one has stomach-ache one does not take the medicine. We have referendums, and we must act accordingly.

Photo of Mr Leon Brittan Mr Leon Brittan , Cleveland and Whitby

We have been given a stomach-ache by the Government, and the medicine proposed to deal with it would simply transfer the ache from one part of the abdomen to another and would not cure the disease. That is the problem. I have the greatest possible sympathy with my hon. Friend's amendment. I am wholly and totally impressed by the logic of it, but I fear that the disease with which we have been presented by the Government is incapable of being cured by this means.

Photo of Mr John Smith Mr John Smith , Lanarkshire North

At the beginning of his speech the hon. Member for Cleveland and Whitby (Mr. Brittan) attempted to disguise the fundamental nature of his disagreement with his hon. Friends. He suggested that the amendment was very logical and that it had his sympathy, but at the end of the day he put forward some very devastating criticisms of the proposition advocated by his hon. Friend the Member for Reigate (Mr. Gardiner). I thought that he dealt with the amendment extremely well. He should not try to have a fake alliance with his hon. Friends on the Back Benches who are totally opposed to the Bill when he knows that their position is totally unsound and that he has no intention of supporting it.

Photo of Mr Leon Brittan Mr Leon Brittan , Cleveland and Whitby

The Minister talks about a fake alliance. I do not think that any speech that I have made during the long debates on this Bill could have left him with any illusions. I am as totally opposed to the Bill as anyone in this Committee.

Photo of Mr John Smith Mr John Smith , Lanarkshire North

But the hon. Member for Cleveland and Whitby suffers from one disability which does not afflict his hon. Friends. As a member of the Front Bench, he supports the Conservative Party commitment to a directly elected legislative Assembly for Scotland. His hon. Friends attack the whole principle of devolution, but it is much more difficult for hon. Members on the Opposition Front Bench to do that. Obviously the Conservative Party does not object to the concept of devolution for Scotland in principle. It may object to this Bill, but it is much more difficult to be uninhibited in criticism if one has the commitment to devolution around one's neck.

Photo of Mr Leon Brittan Mr Leon Brittan , Cleveland and Whitby

But does not the Minister recognise that we have no inhibitions whatsoever in attacking this ill-conceived, ill-argued and ill-thought-out Bill? It is an indication of the profound disquiet of the Government that when the going gets rough they talk about the policies of other parties.

Photo of Mr John Smith Mr John Smith , Lanarkshire North

I think that the Committee has spent more time talking about Labour Party politics than the policies of any other party—

Photo of Mr John Smith Mr John Smith , Lanarkshire North

I do not object on that score, but I notice how touchy are the hon. Gentleman and his hon. Friends when this subject is raised. It is therefore perhaps wise to remember the Conservative Party's position.

I should not be criticising the hon. Gentleman, however, because he did a good demolition job, particularly in the latter part of his speech, on the arguments put forward by some of his hon. Friends. They are looking disapprovingly at me about that, and I am sorry if I happen to agree with some of the propositions advanced by the hon. Member.

It would be difficult to ask people in England, Scotland and Wales all to vote on the propositions for devolution in Scotland and Wales. It would mean, for example, that people in Scotland would have to cast a vote on Welsh devolution, and the people in Wales would have to vote on the Scottish proposals. The majority of people—and I certainly believe this in respect of the electorate in Scotland—would feel, for example, that Welsh devolution was something about which one should ask the Welsh, not the Scots.

Photo of Mr Gwilym Roberts Mr Gwilym Roberts , Cannock

Does not my hon. Friend accept that Scottish devolution is of supreme importance to the people of England and Wales because ultimately the aim of the Scottish National Party is to take British oil away from the British people, and that very much affects the people of Wales?

Photo of Mr John Smith Mr John Smith , Lanarkshire North

The subject of oil does not come into this matter. My hon. Friend is talking about a situation in which Scotland would have complete independence. I fundamentally disagree with that proposition. The proposals for a devolved Assembly are quite different from separation and the breaking up of the United Kingdom.

What do the people of England think? We are told by the hon. Member for Reigate that there is burning resentment that a bitter backlash of resentment is being created. However, I hear from other hon. Members representing English constituencies that this is not the position. My hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool, West Derby (Mr. Ogden) says that he does not find much interest in his constituency in the subject. The hon. Member for Macclesfield (Mr. Winterton) says that he has received about 100 letters on the subject. I suspect that maybe the hon. Member attracts more letters than do other hon. Members, but certainly his experience seems different from that of other hon. Members.

The most important matter to bear in mind is that the people of England, through their elected representatives in this House, will decide whether the Bill passes. The matter will be put to a referendum only in the event that the Bill gets through both Houses of Parliament. There are 516 English Members of Parliament, and their voices will be decisive.

The hon. Member for Aylesbury (Mr. Raison) drew attention to the White Paper. The Government said that devolution was a matter of concern to the whole of the United Kingdom—

Photo of Mr Timothy Raison Mr Timothy Raison , Aylesbury

The Minister claims that I said that the White Paper describes this as a matter of concern to the whole of the United Kingdom. It actually says: The issues are extremely important for all the people of the United Kingdom". Why should not all the people of the United Kingdom have the chance to vote in the referendum?

Photo of Mr John Smith Mr John Smith , Lanarkshire North

The hon. Member must allow me to answer the points he raises. He asked his questions very stridently and then interrupts me before I can start to answer them. Of course, that is so. That is why it is being considered by this Parliament, with hon. Members representing English constituencies taking a proper and close interest in the provisions of the Bill as it goes through the House of Commons. That is how the concern of the whole of the United Kingdom is reflected. But hon. Members have said from time to time that there should be a test of opinion in Scotland and Wales as the parts most directly affected by our proposals, and that Parliament ought to feel that there should be a test of opinion in both those countries.

I reject the proposition that the people of England do not have a say in this matter. They have a very full say. Indeed, they have the predominant say in this Parliament.

Photo of Mr Richard Wainwright Mr Richard Wainwright , Colne Valley

The Minister is correct to emphasise the important rôle which hon. Members from English constituencies will exercise in this matter. Since that rôle is so important and since he apparently believes in referendums, why does the Minister propose to deny to English Members the guidance which they could obtain from a referendum addressed to the English people?

Photo of Mr John Smith Mr John Smith , Lanarkshire North

For two reasons. First, the electorates in Scotland and Wales are the electorates in those parts of the United Kingdom most directly affected by the proposals. [HON. MEMBERS: "We are all affected."] There are no proposals for devolution to England in the Bill. The proposals are for devolution to Scotland and Wales. Second, we should be in danger of getting into a very difficult political situation, as the hon. Member for Cleveland and Whitby stated so clearly and persuasively, if there were different results in such a referendum from different parts of the United Kingdom. If that happened, one would be in a quite difficult situation, and I believe that both in terms of principle—the principle being that we should ask the people most directly affected—and in terms of practicality, the referendum which we propose will give an answer which will tell Parliament what those people want and will guide the House of Commons when it eventually decides whether to put the schemes into effect.

Photo of Mr George Gardiner Mr George Gardiner , Reigate and Banstead

If there is a view in England differing from that in Scotland, and if the majority view in England is against this legislation, will the Minister say that it is better that we should not know about it and the whole thing should be suppressed? Why does he not agree with us that we ought to have that information before us?

Photo of Mr John Smith Mr John Smith , Lanarkshire North

The views of the people of England will be adequately expressed by their Members of Parliament here. The people most directly affected by the provisions which the Bill will implement are those who live in Scotland and Wales. Therefore, we ask them for their opinion in a referendum.

Photo of Bernard Braine Bernard Braine , Essex South East

The hon. Gentleman is quite properly laying emphasis at this point in his argument upon the importance of the parliamentary vote on the Bill. He is laying great stress on the importance of English Members being able to express their own views and the views of their constituents. If that be so, can he give the House an assurance that, when it comes to the crunch, right hon. and hon. Members on his side of the House representing English constituencies will be free to vote in accordance with their conscience?

Photo of Mr John Smith Mr John Smith , Lanarkshire North

It may have escaped the hon. Gentleman's attention that that has been happening from time to time during our proceedings on the Bill thus far. No one is more acutely conscious of that fact than my right hon. and hon. Friends on the Front Bench and myself.

Photo of Mr Paul Channon Mr Paul Channon , Southend West

The Minister said that at the end of the day English Members will have the crucial say because there are more than 500 of us and so on. What parliamentary process will there be under which English Members will have that say after the referendum is completed?

Photo of Mr John Smith Mr John Smith , Lanarkshire North

The Government's proposals will be put on the Order Paper, but in general terms it is envisaged that there will be a provision whereby Parliament has a vote. The Government put the proposition to the House and the House votes on it. I think that the hon. Gentleman will agree, however, that that is slightly outwith the terms of what we are discussing now, which is whether we extend the referendum to England and Northern Ireland instead of confining it to Scotland and Wales.

A great deal of concern—

10.15 p.m.

Photo of Mr John Smith Mr John Smith , Lanarkshire North

I am not giving way to the hon. and learned Member for Dover and Deal (Mr. Rees). I must get on with this argument—

Division No. 74.]AYES[10.16 p.m..
Beith, A. J.Hunt, John (Bromley)Raison, Timothy
Braine, Sir BernardHutchison, Michael ClarkRathbone, Tim
Brotherton, MichaelJones, Arthur (Daventry)Rees, Peter (Dover & Deal)
Carlisle, MarkJopling, MichaelRidley, Hon Nicholas
Channon, PaulKnight, Mrs JillRippon, Rt Hon Geoffrey
Cooke, Robert (Bristol W)Lawrence, IvanRoss, Stephen (Isle of Wight)
Cope, JohnMcCusker, H.Ross, William (Londonderry)
Cormack, PatrickMacmillan, Rt Hon M. (Farnham)Sainsbury, Tim
Dalyell, TamMarten, NeilShepherd, Colin
Dodsworth, GeoffreyMeyer, Sir AnthonySims, Roger
Emery, PeterMitchell, David (Basingstoke)Skeet, T. H. H.
Eyre, ReginaldMolyneaux, JamesSmith, Dudley (Warwick)
Fletcher-Cooke, CharlesMontgomery, FergusStanbrook, Ivor
Fox, MarcusMore, Jasper (Ludlow)Steel, Rt Hon David
Freud, ClementMorgan-Giles, Rear-AdmiralTebbit, Norman
Gardiner, George (Reigate)Morris, Michael (Northampton S)van Straubenzee, W. R.
Glyn, Dr AlanMudd, DavidWainwright, Richard (Colne V)
Goodhew, VictorNelson, AnthonyWalder, David (Clitheroe)
Gow, Ian (Eastbourne)Normanton, TomWinterton, Nicholas
Griffiths, EldonPage, John (Harrow West)
Grimond, Rt Hon J.Page, Rt Hon R. Graham (Crosby)TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Grylls, MichaelPardoe, JohnMr. W. Benyon and
Harvie Anderson, Rt Hon MissPenhaligon, DavidMr. Tim Renton.
Hooson, EmlynPowell, Rt Hon J. Enoch
Howell, David (Guildford)Price, David (Eastleigh)

Photo of Mr John Smith Mr John Smith , Lanarkshire North

Throughout this debate, hon. Members—

Photo of Mr Myer Galpern Mr Myer Galpern , Glasgow Shettleston

The hon. and learned Member for Dover and Deal (Mr. Rees) knows full well that if the Minister does not give way, he does not give way.

Photo of Mr John Smith Mr John Smith , Lanarkshire North

Throughout the debate a great deal of stress has rightly been placed on the importance of retaining the unity of the United Kingdom. That is a fundamental factor behind the proposals in the Bill. We believe that the schemes for devolution will allow us more efficient, more sensitive and more representative government in Scotland and in Wales and still strengthen the United Kingdom rather than lead to its break-up.

I ask those right hon. and hon. Members who affect to speak for the unity of the United Kingdom to consider the realities of the proposition in the amendment. Constructing such a referendum as the hon. Member for Reigate suggests would do more in practical terms to affect the unity of the United Kingdom than any other proposition. That is why I hope that right hon. and hon. Members will reject the amendment.

Question put, That the amendment be made:—

The Committee divided: Ayes 69, Noes 249.

NOES
Abse, LeoForrester, JohnMorris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon)
Allaun, FrankFowler, Gerald (The Wrekin)Moyle, Roland
Anderson, DonaldFraser, John (Lambeth, N'w'd)Mulley, Rt Hon Frederick
Archer, PeterFreeson, ReginaldMurray, Rt Hon Ronald King
Armstrong, ErnestGarrett, John (Norwich S)Newens, Stanley
Ashton, JoeGeorge, BruceNoble, Mike
Atkins, Ronald (Preston N)Gilbert, Dr JohnOakes, Gordon
Atkinson, NormanGinsburg, DavidOgden, Eric
Bagier, Gordon A. T.Golding, JohnO'Halloran, Michael
Barnett, Guy (Greenwich)Gould, BryanOrbach, Maurice
Barnett, Rt Hon Joel (Heywood)Gourlay, HarryOrme, Rt Hon Stanley
Bates, AltGraham, TedOvenden, John
Bean, R. E.Grant, George (Morpeth)Palmer, Arthur
Benn, Rt Hon Anthony WedgwoodGrant, John (Islington C)Park, George
Bennett, Andrew (Stockport N)Grocott, BruceParker, John
Bidwell, SydneyHamilton, James (Bothwell)Parry, Robert
Bishop, E. S.Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)Pavitt, Laurie
Blenkinsop, ArthurHart, Rt Hon JudithPendry, Tom
Boardman, H.Healey, Rt Hon DenisPrescott, John
Booth, Rt Hon AlbertHeffer, Eric S.Price, C. (Lewisham W)
Boyden, James (Bish Auck)Henderson, DouglasPrice, William (Rugby)
Bray, Dr JeremyHooley, FrankRadice, Giles
Brown, Hugh D. (Provan)Horam, JohnRees, Rt Hon Merlyn (Leeds S)
Brown, Robert C. (Newcastle W)Howell, Rt Hon Denis (B'ham, Sm H)Reid, George
Buchan, NormanHoyle, Doug (Nelson)Roberts, Albert (Normanton)
Buchanan, RichardHuckfield, LesRoberts, Gwilym (Cannock)
Callaghan, Rt Hon J. (Cardiff SE)Hughes, Rt Hon C. (Anglesey)Robinson, Geoffrey
Callaghan, Jim (Middleton & P)Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)Roderick, Caerwyn
Campbell, IanHughes, Roy (Newport)Rodgers, George (Chorley)
Canavan, DennisHunter, AdamRodgers, Rt Hon William (Stockton)
Cant, R. B.Irvine, Rt Hon Sir A. (Edge Hill)Rooker, J. W.
Carmichael, NeilIrving, Rt Hon S. (Dartford)Roper, John
Carter, RayJackson, Colin (Brighouse)Ross, Rt Hon W. (Kilmarnock)
Carter-Jones, LewisJackson, Miss Margaret (Lincoln)Sedgemore, Brian
Cartwright, JohnJay, Rt Hon DouglasShaw, Arnold (Ilford South)
Castle, Rt Hon BarbaraJeger, Mrs LenaSheldon, Rt Hon Robert
Clemitson, IvorJenkins, Hugh (Putney)Shore, Rt Hon Peter
Cocks, Rt Hon MichaelJohn, BrynmorSilkin, Rt Hon John (Deptford)
Cohen, StanleyJohnson, James (Hull West)Silkin, Rt Hon S. C. (Dulwich)
Coleman, DonaldJones, Alec (Rhondda)Sillars, James
Conlan, BernardJones, Dan (Burnley)Silverman, Julius
Cook, Robin F. (Edin C)Judd, FrankSkinner, Dennis
Corbett, RobinKaufman, GeraldSmall, William
Cox, Thomas (Tooting)Lamble, DavidSmith, John (N Lanarkshire)
Craigen, Jim (Maryhill)Lamborn, HarrySnape, Peter
Crawford, DouglasLamond, JamesSpearing, Nigel
Cronin, JohnLatham, Arthur (Paddington)Spriggs, Leslie
Crowther, Stan (Rotherham)Lever, Rt Hon HaroldStallard, A. W.
Cryer, BobLitterick, TomStewart, Rt Hon Donald
Cunningham, Dr J. (Whiteh)Loyden, EddieStewart, Rt Hon M. (Fulham)
Davidson, ArthurLuard, EvanStoddart, David
Davies, Bryan (Enfield N)Lyon, Alexander (York)Stott, Roger
Davies, Denzil (Llanelli)Lyons, Edward (Bradford W)Strang, Gavin
Davies, Ifor (Gower)Mabon, Rt Hon Dr J. DicksonSummerskill, Hon Dr Shirley
Davis, Clinton (Hackney C)McCartney, HughSwain, Thomas
Deakins, EricMacCormick, IainThomas, Dafydd (Merioneth)
Dean, Paul (N Somerset)McDonald, Dr OonaghThomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)
Dell, Rt Hon EdmundMcElhone, FrankThomas, Mike (Newcastle E)
Dempsey, JamesMacFarquhar, RoderickThomas, Ron (Bristol NW)
Doig, PeterMcGuire, Michael (Ince)Thompson, George
Dormand, J. D.MacKenzie, GregorThorne, Stan (Preston South)
Douglas-Mann, BruceMaclennan, RobertTierney, Sydney
Duffy, A. E. P.McMillan, Tom (Glasgow C)Tomlinson, John
Dunnett, JackMcNamara, KevinTorney, Tom
Eadie, AlexMadden, MaxVarley, Rt Hon Eric G.
Edge, GeoffMagee, BryanWalker, Harold (Doncaster)
Edwards, Robert (Wolv SE)Mahon, SimonWalker, Terry (Kingswood)
Ellis, John (Brigg & Scun)Mallalieu, J. P. W.Ward, Michael
Ellis, Tom (Wrexham)Marks, KennethWatkins, David
English, MichaelMarshall, Dr Edmund (Goole)Watt, Hamish
Ennals, DavidMarshall, Jim (Leicester S)Weetch, Ken
Evans, Fred (Caerphilly)Mason, Rt Hon RoyWellbeloved, James
Evans, Ioan (Aberdare)Meacher, MichaelWhite, Frank R. (Bury)
Evans, John (Newton)Mendelson, JohnWhite, James (Pollok)
Ewing, Harry (Stirling)Mikardo, IanWhitlock, William
Ewing, Mrs Winifred (Moray)Millan, Rt Hon BruceWigley, Dafydd
Fernyhough, Rt Hon E.Miller, Dr M. S. (E Kilbride)Williams, Rt Hon Alan (Swansea W)
Flannery, MartinMolloy, WilliamWilliams, Alan Lee (Hornch'ch)
Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)Williams, Rt Hon Shirley (Hertford)
Foot, Rt Hon MichaelMorris, Charles R. (Openshaw)Williams, Sir Thomas (Warrington)
Ford, Ben
Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)Wise, Mrs AudreyTELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Wilson, Gordon (Dundee E)Woof, RobertMr. James Tinn and
Wilson, Rt Hon Sir Harold (Huyton)Wrigglesworth, IanMrs. Ann Taylor.
Wilson, William (Coventry SE)Young, David (Bolton E)

Question accordingly negatived.

Motion made, and Question proposed,That the Chairman do report Progress and ask leave to sit again—[Mr. Walter Harrison.]

Photo of Mr Myer Galpern Mr Myer Galpern , Glasgow Shettleston

The Question is, That the Chairman do report Progress and ask leave to sit again. As many as are of that opinion say "Aye".

Hon. Members:

Aye.

Hon. Members:

No.

Photo of Mr Leon Brittan Mr Leon Brittan , Cleveland and Whitby

I rise merely to express briefly our surprise that in a series of important debates—[interruption.]

Photo of Mr Myer Galpern Mr Myer Galpern , Glasgow Shettleston

Order. we shall finish quicker if we allow the hon. Gentleman to say a few words.

Photo of Mr Leon Brittan Mr Leon Brittan , Cleveland and Whitby

I shall certainly be happy to wait until hon. Members are prepared to listen.

Photo of Mr Gordon Wilson Mr Gordon Wilson , Dundee East

On a point of order, Sir Myer—[interruption.]

Photo of Mr Myer Galpern Mr Myer Galpern , Glasgow Shettleston

I did not hear the hon. Gentleman's point of order. Would he mind repeating it?

Photo of Mr Gordon Wilson Mr Gordon Wilson , Dundee East

I am sorry that you did not hear me because of the noise, Sir Myer. Is it not the case that a Division has been called on the motion by the Government Whip to report Progress?

Photo of Mr Myer Galpern Mr Myer Galpern , Glasgow Shettleston

The motion is debateable.

Photo of Mr Douglas Crawford Mr Douglas Crawford , Perth and East Perthshire

On a point of order, Sir Myer. I distinctly heard you call a Division on whether the Committee should report Progress and I distinctly heard my hon. Friends say "No" to that. I ask that the Question be put to the House again.

10.30 p.m.

Photo of Mr Myer Galpern Mr Myer Galpern , Glasgow Shettleston

Order. I can assure hon. Members that I know exactly what was moved and that the motion is debatable. An hon. Member cannot know in advance what I am going to propose. He can only rise to take part in a debate once I have proposed the Question.

Photo of Mr Dafydd Wigley Mr Dafydd Wigley , Caernarvon

On a point of order, Sir Myer. It was absolutely clear that the Chair had put to the House "Those in favour" and "Those against".

Photo of Mr Myer Galpern Mr Myer Galpern , Glasgow Shettleston

Order. I can assure hon. Members that I am compos mentis and I know exactly what I did. I started to propose the Question that I should report Progress but before I completed putting it the hon. Member for Cleveland and Whitby (Mr. Brittan) rose, and he is in order.

Photo of Mr Leon Brittan Mr Leon Brittan , Cleveland and Whitby

I am sorry that hon. Members of the Scottish National Party should be in such a hurry to go home, but I can assure them that I shall not detain them long. I find it surprising that at this early hour, in the middle of a series of debates on the referendum, the Government have put forward this motion and that they should think it necessary to report Progress. There is no reason for that. I merely wish to put it on record that my hon. Friends and I are prefectly prepared and ready to continue the debate for as long as necessary on these important matters. We want to make it clear that the reason why the Committee is rising early is that the Government do not have the stomach to hear the rest of the arguments.

Photo of Mr Maurice Macmillan Mr Maurice Macmillan , Farnham

I should like to add my protests at the curtailment of debate at this relatively early hour. It has been the custom of at least some of us to debate the points arising out of the Bill and the new clause with great sincerity for long periods. There are many hon. Members now present who have taken little part in the debates, but that does not mean that those of us who have been trying to take the matter of the future of the United Kingdom seriously should not be able to continue to debate these serious questions in the way that most of us have tried to do—with the exception of the SNP Members, who, of course, are not interested in the future of the United Kingdom, provided that they can separate themselves from it.

We have been debating the details of a clause introducing a referendum, but by the motion of the Government Whip the debate is about to be curtailed. I fear that this may be a prelude to an attempt to curtail our debates even more ruthlessly in the future.

I should like an assurance from the Government that if they intend to curtail our debates on the details of the referendums, who is to vote in them, how they are to be conducted and what are to be their terms, we shall have more time to consider the final form of the new clause. I trust that the Government will accept that they cannot have it both ways.

The Government cannot expect us to accept with complacency a reduction of time in Committee without our being given more time than usual on Report to debate the new clause. I hope that we can have an assurance that this cavalier treatment of the Committee will not be extended into a wider field.

Photo of Mr David Steel Mr David Steel Leader of the Liberal Party

I have an obvious interest to declare in opposing the motion to report Progress, because the next amendment for discussion is in the names of my right hon. and hon. Friends and myself. We were given no indication that the debate was to be curtailed. I do not want to indulge in synthetic indignation. My views on late sittings are well known; I am against them. However, I think that we could at least start the next series of amendments and go on until about midnight.

When we debated the procedural motion relating to the referendum clause, we were given to understand that the Leader of the House thought it appropriate that we should spend two days on the matter—one day on a general debate and one on amendments. We are already running seriously behind schedule on that, and I should have thought that the Government would be willing at least to make a start on the next amendment. I do not think we should let them get away with ending the debate at about 10.30 p.m.

Photo of Mr Paul Channon Mr Paul Channon , Southend West

I support the right hon. Member for Roxburgh, Selkirk and Peebles (Mr. Steel). The next amendment is extremely important, and at this comparatively early hour there are some hon. Members who have been here all day who still wish to catch your eye, Sir Myer. There are still some important points to be made, and I see no reason why the debate should not go on a little longer.

Photo of Mr Myer Galpern Mr Myer Galpern , Glasgow Shettleston

Order. I must correct the hon. Gentleman. Every hon. Member who wished to take part in the last debate was able to do so.

Photo of Mr Paul Channon Mr Paul Channon , Southend West

I was talking about the next amendment, Sir Myer. We are continually being told by the Government that we are short of time and that the debate is taking too long, yet we are now being asked to pack up at this early hour. We could easily take the next amendment, which is so important, or at least make a start on it.

Photo of Mr Norman Buchan Mr Norman Buchan , Renfrewshire West

I also have a strong vested interest in the next amendment, because I have been working towards it for the past two or three years. I want it discussed at a time when the House of Commons is alert. More important, however, the Government, by moving to report Progress, will give themselves an opportunity to rethink their attitude towards the question of independence. I assume that that is why they have moved to report Progress, and I thoroughly approve the motion.

Photo of Mr Nicholas Budgen Mr Nicholas Budgen , Wolverhampton South West

I agree that we should oppose the Government's suggestion that the debate should end at this stage. The Liberal amendment gives rise to important questions about the effect of changing the referendum and many hon. Members wish to advance arguments on the amendment, having been excluded from advancing fairly similar arguments about earlier amendments.

The night is yet young. Many hon. Members feel passionately about the amendment and the principle of a referendum. Many hon. Members have sat through many hours of the debate, and it is a denial of our right to represent our constituents if we are excluded from discussing this matter. Government supporters prefer to go to bed than to hear the arguments on the issue. These are serious matters. We wish to continue because we are determined to defeat the Bill. [interruption.]

Photo of Mr Myer Galpern Mr Myer Galpern , Glasgow Shettleston

The hon. Member for Mid-Sussex (Mr. Renton) is too lively. The hon. Member for Wolverhampton, South-West (Mr. Budgen) has not finished.

Photo of Mr Nicholas Budgen Mr Nicholas Budgen , Wolverhampton South West

Thank you, Sir Myer. By their craven attitude tonight, the Government are saying that they have no heart in the Bill.

Photo of Mr Timothy Renton Mr Timothy Renton , Mid Sussex

Liveliness does not apply to those on the Government Benches tonight. They jeer at my hon. Friend's remarks, but what did the Minister say when winding up the previous debate? To protest that the English would not have a right to vote in a referendum, he said that English hon. Members would have plenty of chances to speak in the debate. Only minutes later the Government moved to report Progess.

The night is young. I was here for a large part of the previous debate.

Photo of Mr David Stoddart Mr David Stoddart , Swindon

The hon. Gentleman was not here.

Hon. Members:

Yes he was.

Photo of Mr Timothy Renton Mr Timothy Renton , Mid Sussex

If the hon. Member had been here himself, he would have known that I was here during another part of the debate. I did not seek to speak because arguments were being made well by my hon. Friends and by hon. Members opposite.

I do not wish to prolong the proceedings, but I wish to speak on the next amendment. [HON. MEMBERS: "So do we."] It is intolerable that proceedings should be cut short at this early hour. If this is a prologue to the introduction of the guillotine tomorrow—as I suspect it is—the Minister must take back his word that we would have every chance to discuss the Bill. We should continue.

Photo of Mr Myer Galpern Mr Myer Galpern , Glasgow Shettleston

Order. Unlike the hon. Member for Mid-Sussex, the hon. Member for Cirencester and Tewkesbury (Mr. Ridley) is not so lively on his feet.

Photo of Hon. Nicholas Ridley Hon. Nicholas Ridley , Cirencester and Tewkesbury

The pursuit of self-interest has led the Committee to its present position. The Government introduced the Bill because they thought that they could secure for themselves the advantage of a certain vote in Scotland which was challenged by certain hon. Members. When they found that that ambition was in trouble, they denied the House proper representation of Scottish and Welsh hon. Members. The whole exercise that we have been witnessing has been a desire to maintain an electoral superiority based not on democracy—

Photo of Mr David Stoddart Mr David Stoddart , Swindon

It has nothing to do with democracy.

Photo of Hon. Nicholas Ridley Hon. Nicholas Ridley , Cirencester and Tewkesbury

It has a lot to do with democracy. Behind the operation lies a desire so to rig the democratic system that the Government party remains in power whatever might be the wish of the people of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It has been an exercise in trying so to rig the electoral situation that the party in control of our affairs, which has been elected by only 38 per cent. of the electorate, remains able to dictate to the country what it wants to do. It has been said by the Leader of the House

10.45 p.m.

Photo of Hon. Nicholas Ridley Hon. Nicholas Ridley , Cirencester and Tewkesbury

No, it is not. The Leader of the House has made it clear that he is not prepared to consider the representation of Scotland and Wales in the House of Commons. He is concerned only to ensure that he can secure the votes in Scotland and Wales that are essential to the continuation of the Government.

Photo of Mr Myer Galpern Mr Myer Galpern , Glasgow Shettleston

I remind the hon. Gentleman, as I am sure he well knows, that the debate is limited strictly to the Question that I report Progress.

Photo of Hon. Nicholas Ridley Hon. Nicholas Ridley , Cirencester and Tewkesbury

With due respect, Sir Myer, my remarks are extremely relevant. The reason why the Government want to report Progress is that they have come to the point when the next expedient is about to be produced, which is to curtail debate in the House of Commons.

Photo of Mr Myer Galpern Mr Myer Galpern , Glasgow Shettleston

The next proceeding would be to call the amendment that stands in the name of the Leader of the Liberal Party.

Photo of Hon. Nicholas Ridley Hon. Nicholas Ridley , Cirencester and Tewkesbury

But that is not what has happened, Sir Myer. The Government have moved to report Progress because they have decided in their cynical manoeuvrings that the only way in which they can proceed from now on is to introduce a guillotine motion next week. They take the view that there is no point in discussing the next amendment. The Leader of the Liberal Party knows full well that the Government do not care a fig for his amendment. They do not care a fig for his views. They do not care about the bargain he has been trying to make about separate taxation.

Let us consider the public bargaining that has been taking place outside the Committee. The Leader of the House has been playing hard to get, as has the Leader of the Liberal Party. The Leader of the House knows that he needs the votes of the Liberal Party to secure the passage of the timetable motion, and the Leader of the Liberal Party has stated his conditions. The right hon. Gentleman's first condition is that there shall be proportional representation. That has been shot down by the Government. It has been denied and refused. The right hon. Gentleman's second condition is that there shall be reduced representation of the Labour Party in Scotland and Wales in the House of Commons. The Leader of the House has denied that with all the fury at his command. The right hon. Gentleman's third condition is that there shall be separate taxation powers for the Scottish Assembly, and that has been denied.

Photo of Mr Myer Galpern Mr Myer Galpern , Glasgow Shettleston

I must ask the hon. Gentleman to have regard to what we are discussing.

Photo of Hon. Nicholas Ridley Hon. Nicholas Ridley , Cirencester and Tewkesbury

I am trying to set out the whole horrible manoeuvre in relation to the Liberal Party. The motion which has been moved is to report Progress. That course has been taken because no bargain has been made with the Liberal Party and no bargain has been secured with any Member in the House of Commons.

The Government have despaired of carrying the Bill. It is the final admission of failure and defeat. This sordid manoeuvre, this whole smelling, degrading, disgusting manoeuvre that has been carried out by the Government, has finally come to the point where they can no longer continue with it themselves, where they have lost faith in their own sordid enterprise. The significance of the motion to report Progress is not that the Committee is tired and does not wish to continue the debate. It is that a crisis of confidence has arisen in the ranks of the Labour Party because the Government have failed to secure the compliance of the Liberal Party to support them in their timetable motion. They have failed to secure the compliance of their own dissidents, if I might coin a phrase from alien parts of the country.

The Government are reduced to the point of having to put the issue to the test. We are on the eve of a political crisis. We are on the eve of a situation in which the Government will no longer be able to proceed with their commitment on the Bill. This is a moment of great seriousness and importance.

I believe that it is right for my hon. Friends to proceed to debate the Bill. The next amendment should be taken, because there is no point in stopping debating the Bill simply because the Government have thrown in the sponge and given up their resolve to proceed with the Bill, knowing full well that basically they do not have support in the House, in the country, or anywhere else in the world for this mad, cynical manoeuvre on which they embarked in the hope of securing electoral advantage.

I shall vote against the motion.

Photo of Mr Tam Dalyell Mr Tam Dalyell , West Lothian

On a point of order, Sir Myer. Is it not deeply wrong of the hon. Member for Cirencester and Tewkesbury (Mr. Ridley) to suggest that my right hon. Friend could be thinking of bringing in a guillotine motion? Did not the Lord President, on 2nd May 1972, refer to the guillotine as full-hearted contempt for the democratic processes of this country; full-hearted contempt for the normal legislative processes of this House of Commons."—[Official Report 2nd May 1972; Vol. 886, c. 235.] How can he be thinking of bringing in a guillotine?

Photo of Mr Myer Galpern Mr Myer Galpern , Glasgow Shettleston

I do not know why hon. Members are so hilarious at this time of night. That is not a point of order.

Photo of Mr Russell Johnston Mr Russell Johnston , Inverness

Mr. Deputy Speaker—no, Sir Myer, Sir Myer, Sir Myer. [Laughter.] I am not sure what this is all about. The hon. Member for Cirencester and Tewkesbury (Mr. Ridley) behaved in his normal, emollient way. He was gentle, understanding, reasonable and everything else. If we are talking about being reasonable, why are we about to give up at five minutes to 11? Labour Members are lively, intelligent, physically fit and, to judge from their responses, still awake. [interruption.]

What I do not understand—and it is clear, Sir Myer, that you find it difficult to concentrate on these matters—is why the Committee is to be denied the opportunity to debate these matters which the Lord President believes are of deep concern to us, as, indeed, they are.

Sir Myer, I appreciate—

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

On a point of order, Sir Myer. With great respect, I notice that the Chair has been very occupied in the last three or four minutes. Were you listening to the hon. Member for Inverness (Mr. Johnston) to see whether he was in order? In the last three minutes I doubt whether you were in a position to judge whether he was in order.

Photo of Mr Myer Galpern Mr Myer Galpern , Glasgow Shettleston

Order. I am sure that the hon. Member for Inverness (Mr. Johnston) will probably repeat himself, and then I can rule on it.

Photo of Mr Russell Johnston Mr Russell Johnston , Inverness

Sir Myer. [Laughter.] Sir Myer. [Laughter.] Sir Myer. [Laughter.]

Photo of Mr Myer Galpern Mr Myer Galpern , Glasgow Shettleston

Order. If the hon. Gentleman is going to continue that way, I shall have to accuse him of tedious repetition.

Photo of Mr Russell Johnston Mr Russell Johnston , Inverness

Sir Myer—[Laughter.]

Photo of Mr Myer Galpern Mr Myer Galpern , Glasgow Shettleston

Order. We have had a bit of hilarity, but I think that there is no sense in wasting time. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] Just a moment. If the hon. Member for Inverness has nothing to contribute, I ask him to resume his seat.

Photo of Mr Russell Johnston Mr Russell Johnston , Inverness

Sir Myer, it is not that I have nothing to contribute, and certainly I would not regard the repetition of your name as tedious. My argument to the Committee, which is getting into a hysterically frivolous state, is that we Liberals do not understand why this motion has been moved. There is a very long way to go with the Bill, and it is rather stupid, Sir Myer, to spend our time debating these frivolities when we on the Liberal Bench wish to make progress with the Bill and to deal with the serious matters it contains. Therefore, we are disposed to oppose the motion.

Photo of Mr Michael Foot Mr Michael Foot , Ebbw Vale

The hon. Member for Inverness (Mr. Johnston) has put the case of the Liberal Party so formidably that I am almost tempted to agree with his proposition. I cannot help feeling that if I were to do so no one would be more distressed than the other upstanding members of the Liberal Party, if there are indeed such at this hour. But I am sorely tempted by the eloquence of the hon. Gentleman and by the proposition of the right hon. Member for Roxburgh, Selkirk and Peebles (Mr. Steel) not to proceed with the motion and to accept that we should continue with the debate. I certainly weigh most carefully what they have said.

I also have to take into account that never in the whole record of this Parliament at least—and probbaly some previous Parliaments as well—have so many Liberal Members been assembled so late at night. It would be imposing a severe hardship on them if I detained them any longer. I fear that I therefore have to reject the claim that was made by the Liberal Party.

The appeal by the hon. Member for Cirencester and Tewkesbury (Mr. Ridley) was one of the most powerful speeches I have heard from the hon. Gentleman for many years. I was very much persuaded by the hon. Gentleman to consider whether we should change our minds, but then I recalled that the hon. Gentleman was hardly here during the previous proceedings. Therefore, the hon. Gentleman cannot be aware of what happened in the House yesterday. I am not saying that there was some curtailment of the previous debate. Of course, that was not the situation. The situation with regard to the previous debate was that no closure motion was moved. Therefore, the hon. Member who suggested that as a reason why we should continue was suffering from a misapprehension. I do not believe that the Committee should pay regard to what was said by the hon. Member for Cirencester and Tewkesbury on this occasion because the hon. Gentleman has not been aware of the debates that we have had.

The matters that we are proposing to debate will be debated. My hon. Friend the Member for Renfrewshire, West (Mr. Buchan) rightly said that one of the later debates dealing with the second question is of great importance. It has been debated outside the House, and some of my hon. Friends have discussed it in the House on a number of occasions. Of course, that question is one that should properly be debated by the Committee.

I myself have no special objection to debates at a late hour. Very often that is necessary. I do not accept the orthodox view of the modern Liberal Party that we should never have such debates at late hours. Sometimes it is necessary for the House to sit late. But it is also necessary to take into account the general state of the Bill and the general discussions that we have had. We must also take yesterday's events into account.

My hon. Friends, who have been diligent in their application to their parlimentary labours, have every right to look forward to an early night on some occasions during the week, and this would be a very good night for it, particularly since the thumping majority that we had on the last vote seems to indicate that opposition is abating.

Though not for any of the mysterious and sinister reasons that some hon. Members have hinted at, and despite the eloquent things said on behalf of the Liberal Party—and the novelty of seeing Liberal Members attend our proceedings at such a late hour—I believe that it would be much better for the Committee to come to a conclusion. If we continued in the same vein as some of the contributions that have been made, I do not believe that it would contribute to the best understanding of our debates.

For all those reasons, I hope that the Committee will be prepared to accept the motion and that we shall come back on some future occasion and proceed with the extremely important next amendment that has to be taken.

Photo of Mr Leon Brittan Mr Leon Brittan , Cleveland and Whitby

The reasons given by the Leader of the House for wishing to report Progress have been frivolous and inadequate. The right hon. Gentleman started by engaging in a wholly unjustified tirade of abuse of the Liberal Party, for which there were no grounds whatsoever. He then referred to the fact that there had been no curtailment of the previous debate when he knew perfectly well that our objection was not to any curtailment of that debate but to the fact that he does not wish to engage in the next debate. The right hon. Gentleman said that the next amendment was of great importance, and he ignored the fact that on three occasions he had been quite happy for the Committee to debate matters of great importance through the night.

Photo of Mr Maurice Macmillan Mr Maurice Macmillan , Farnham

I appreciate what my hon. Friend is saying. Will he remind the right hon. Gentleman, however, that in referring to the smallness of the vote by any party or section within the Committee he was in grave dereliction of his duty as Leader of the whole House in suggesting that, because a large number of hon. Members did not support an amendment in the Lobby, argument should not be heard?

Photo of Mr Leon Brittan Mr Leon Brittan , Cleveland and Whitby

I entirely agree with my right hon. Friend. Such derelictions of duty have become so commonplace that it becomes tedious to refer to them on every occasion on which they occur.

The real explanation was given in the right hon. Gentleman's ominous reference to the "general state of the Bill". The Bill has been argued into shreds. We want to continue that process. We want to argue it into tatters, and we are prepared to do it tonight. It is for that reason that I advise my right hon. and hon. Friends to oppose the motion to report Progress.

Photo of Mr Walter Harrison Mr Walter Harrison , Wakefield

Mr. Walter Harrison (Treasurer of Her Majesty's Household) rose in his place and claimed to move, That the Question be now put.

Question put, That the Question be now put:—

The Committee proceeded to a Division

Photo of Mr Gordon Wilson Mr Gordon Wilson , Dundee East

(seated and covered): On a point of order, Sir Myer. I had the impression, in the hubbub of the Committee, that your ruling was that the motion to report Progress was debatable. The Division was called by a Member from the Scottish National Party, but you have not accepted a spokesman for that party to speak in the debate. Therefore, as the motion is debatable, I ask that it be debated and that you call a Member from the Scottish National Party, otherwise the viewpoint of this party in relation to this important Division will not be heard.

Photo of Mr Myer Galpern Mr Myer Galpern , Glasgow Shettleston

Order. It is for the Chair to decide which motions it accepts and which it rejects.

Photo of Mr Dafydd Wigley Mr Dafydd Wigley , Caernarvon

(seated and covered): On a point of order, Sir Meyer. This is the most blatant example of bias on the part of the Chair.

Photo of Mr Myer Galpern Mr Myer Galpern , Glasgow Shettleston

Order. I call upon the hon. Member for Caernarvon (Mr. Wigley) to withdraw that insult to the Chair. I ask him to withdraw that insult.

Photo of Mr Dafydd Wigley Mr Dafydd Wigley , Caernarvon

(seated and covered): On a point of order, Sir Myer. I request that you call a speaker from this Bench on this point.

Photo of Dr Winnie Ewing Dr Winnie Ewing , Moray and Nairn

Go on Chair, get on with it.

Photo of Mr Gordon Wilson Mr Gordon Wilson , Dundee East

(seated and covered): On a point of order, Sir Myer. There was been no response from you to requests to call a Member from the Scottish National Party to speak on this motion.

Photo of Mr Myer Galpern Mr Myer Galpern , Glasgow Shettleston

Whether to accept a motion for the closure is entirely for the Chair. Who is called is equally a matter for the Chair.

Photo of Mr Gordon Wilson Mr Gordon Wilson , Dundee East

(seated and covered): Further to that point of order, Sir Myer. I understand that there have been requests that Mr. Speaker should be called. There has been no response from you to that request. What response will you give?

Photo of Mr Myer Galpern Mr Myer Galpern , Glasgow Shettleston

I believe that the hon. Member is making legitimate points of order. But, as he knows, we are in Committee and, therefore, the occupant of the Chair is the individual in complete control, and I propose to discharge my duty in that direction.

Photo of Mr Jonathan Aitken Mr Jonathan Aitken , Thanet East

(seated and covered): On a point of order, Sir Myer. During the exchanges, hon. Members on these Benches distinctly heard the hon. Member for Caernarvon (Mr. Wigley) and the hon. Member for Dundee, East (Mr. Wilson), when seated and covered, say that the Chair was biased in its ruling. Are you prepared, in the discharge of your duties, which you are following punctiliously, to name those hon. Members who have abused the Chair in this way?

Photo of Mr Myer Galpern Mr Myer Galpern , Glasgow Shettleston

I propose at this late hour to have a peaceful ending to the evening. I called upon the hon. Member to withdraw his remark. I hope that he is prepared to comply with that.

Photo of Mr Jonathan Aitken Mr Jonathan Aitken , Thanet East

(seated and covered): Further to that point of order, Sir Myer. There is no indication yet that the hon. Members concerned are prepared to withdraw their assertion that the Chair is biased.

Photo of Dr Winnie Ewing Dr Winnie Ewing , Moray and Nairn

(seated and covered): The Chair is biased.

Photo of Mr Douglas Henderson Mr Douglas Henderson , Aberdeenshire East

(seated and covered): We will not withdraw. You are biased.

Hon. Members:

Name them, name them.

Photo of Dr Winnie Ewing Dr Winnie Ewing , Moray and Nairn

(seated and covered): Get Mr. Speaker.

Photo of Mr Jonathan Aitken Mr Jonathan Aitken , Thanet East

(seated and covered): Further to that point of order, Sir Myer. This is a serious matter, and the honour of the Chair is at stake—

Photo of Dr Winnie Ewing Dr Winnie Ewing , Moray and Nairn

(seated and covered): Hear, hear. It certainly is.

Photo of Mr Jonathan Aitken Mr Jonathan Aitken , Thanet East

(seated and covered): At least 50 hon. Members in the Committee heard the hon. Member for Caernavon and the hon. Member for Dundee, East say in quite unequivocal terms that the Chair was biased. In some ways they made other observations, Sir Myer, to which I shall not draw your attention. They said clearly, however, that the Chair was biased.

Photo of Mr Jonathan Aitken Mr Jonathan Aitken , Thanet East

(seated and covered): The honour of the Chair is at stake.

Photo of Mr Douglas Henderson Mr Douglas Henderson , Aberdeenshire East

(seated and covered): Bring Mr. Speaker.

Division No. 75.]AYES[11.7 p.m.
Abse, LeoFletcher, Ted (Darlington)Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)
Allaun, FrankFoot, Rt Hon MichaelMorris, Charles R. (Openshaw)
Anderson, DonaldFord, BenMorris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon)
Archer, PeterForrester, JohnMoyle, Roland
Armstrong, ErnestFowler, Gerald (The Wrekin)Mulley, Rt Hon Frederick
Ashton, JoeFraser, John (Lambeth, N'w'd)Murray, Rt Hon Ronald King
Atkins, Ronald (Preston N)Freeson, ReginaldNewens, Stanley
Atkinson, NormanFreud, ClementNoble, Mike
Bagier, Gordon A. T.Garrett, John (Norwich S)Oakes, Gordon
Barnett, Guy (Greenwich)George, BruceOgden, Eric
Barnett, Rt Hon Joel (Heywood)Gilbert, Dr JohnO'Halloran, Michael
Bates, AlfGinsburg, DavidOrbach, Maurice
Bean, R. E.Golding, JohnOrme, Rt Hon Stanley
Beith, A. J.Gould, BryanOvenden, John
Benn, Rt Hon Anthony WedgwoodGourlay, HarryPalmer, Arthur
Bennett, Andrew (Stockport N)Graham, TedPardoe, John
Bidwell, SydneyGrant, John (Islington C)Park, George
Bishop, E. S.Grimond, Rt Hon J.Parry, Robert
Blenkinsop, ArthurGrocott, BrucePavitt, Laurie
Boardman, H.Hamilton, James (Bothwell)Pendry, Tom
Boyden, James (Bish Auck)Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)Prescott, John
Bray, Dr JeremyHart, Rt Hon JudithPrice, C. (Lewisham W)
Brown, Hugh D. (Provan)Heffer, Eric S.Price, William (Rugby)
Brown, Robert C. (Newcastle W)Hooley, FrankRadice, Giles
Buchan, NormanHoram, JohnRees, Rt Hon Merlyn (Leeds S)
Buchanan, RichardHoyle, Doug (Nelson)Roberts, Gwilym (Cannock)
Callaghan, Rt Hon J. (Cardiff SE)Huckfield, LesRobinson, Geoffrey
Callaghan, Jim (Middleton & P)Hunter, AdamRoderick, Caerwyn
Campbell, IanIrving, Rt Hon S. (Dartford)Rodgers, George (Chorley)
Canavan, DennisJackson, Colin (Brighouse)Rodgers, Rt Hon William (Stockton)
Cant, R. B.Jackson, Miss Margaret (Lincoln)Rooker, J. W.
Carmichael, NeilJeger, Mrs LenaRoper, John
Carter, RayJohn, BrynmorRoss, Stephen (Isle of Wight)
Carter-Jones, LewisJohnson, James (Hull West)Ross, Rt Hon W. (Kilmarnock)
Cartwright, JohnJohnston, Russell (Inverness)Sedgemore, Brian
Castle, Rt Hon BarbaraJones, Alec (Rhondda)Silkin, Rt Hon John (Deptford)
Clemitson, IvorJones, Dan (Burnley)Silkin, Rt Hon S. C. (Dulwich)
Cocks, Rt Hon MichaelJudd, FrankSillars, James
Cohen, StanleyKaufman, GeraldSilverman, Julius
Coleman, DonaldLambie, DavidSkinner, Dennis
Cook, Robin F. (Edin C)Lamborn, HarrySmall, William
Corbett, RobinLamond, JamesSmith, John (N Lanarkshire)
Craig, Rt Hon W. (Belfast E)Latham, Arthur (Paddington)Snape, Peter
Craigen, Jim (Maryhill)Lever, Rt Hon HaroldSpearing, Nigel
Crowther, Stan (Rotherham)Lewis, Arthur (Newham N)Spriggs, Leslie
Cryer, BobLitterick, TomSteel, Rt Hon David
Cunningham, Dr J. (Whiteh)Loyden, EddieStewart, Rt Hon M. (Fulham)
Dalyell, TamLuard, EvanStoddart, David
Davidson, ArthurLyons, Edward (Bradford W)Stott, Roger
Davies, Bryan (Enfield N)Mabon, Rt Hon Dr J. DicksonStrang, Gavin
Davies, Denzil (Llanelli)McCartney, HughSummerskill, Hon Dr Shirley
Davis, Clinton (Hackney C)McDonald, Dr OonaghSwain, Thomas
Deakins, EricMcElhone, FrankTaylor, Mrs Ann (Bolton W)
Dean, Joseph (Leeds West)MacFarquhar, RoderickThomas, Dafydd (Merioneth)
Dempsey, JamesMcGuire, Michael (Ince)Thomas, Ron (Bristol NW)
Doig, PeterMacKenzie, GregorThorne, Stan (Preston South)
Dormand, J. D.Maclennan, RobertTierney, Sydney
Duffy, A. E. P.McMillan, Tom (Glasgow C)Tinn, James
Dunnett, JackMcNamara, KevinTomlinson, John
Eadie, AlexMadden, MaxTorney, Tom
Edge, GeoffMagee, BryanVarley, Rt Hon Eric G.
Edwards, Robert (Wolv SE)Mahon, SimonWainwright, Richard (Colne V)
Ellis, John (Brigg & Scun)Mallalieu, J. P. W.Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Ellis, Tom (Wrexham)Marks, KennethWalker, Terry (Kingswood)
English, MichaelMason, Rt Hon RoyWard, Michael
Ennals, DavidMeacher, MichaelWatkins, David
Evans, Ioan (Aberdare)Mendelson, JohnWeetch, Ken
Evans, John (Newton)Mikardo, IanWellbeloved, James
Ewing, Harry (Stirling)Millan, Rt Hon BruceWhite, Frank R. (Bury)
Fernyhough, Rt Hon E.Miller, Dr M. S. (E Kilbride)White, James (Pollok)
Flannery, MartinMolloy, WilliamWhitlock, William

Photo of Mr Myer Galpern Mr Myer Galpern , Glasgow Shettleston

I shall take all the points of order after the Division is finished.

The Committee having divided: Ayes 223, Noes 60.

Williams, Rt Hon Alan (Swansea W)Wilson, William (Coventry SE)
Williams, Alan Lee (Hornch'ch)Wise, Mrs AudreyTELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Williams, Sir Thomas (Warrington)Woof, RobertMr. A. W. Stallard and
Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)Wrigglesworth, IanMr. Thomas Cox.
Wilson, Rt Hon Sir Harold (Huyton)Young, David (Bolton E)
NOES
Atkins, Rt Hon H. (Spelthorne)Hooson, EmlynRees, Peter (Dover & Deal)
Benyon, W.Howells, Geraint (Cardigan)Reid, George
Britten, LeonJones, Arthur (Daventry)Renton, Rt Hon Sir D. (Hunts)
Brotherton, MichaelKnight, Mrs JillRenton, Tim (Mid-Sussex)
Budgen, NickLe Marchant, SpencerRidley, Hon Nicholas
Channon, PaulMcCusker, H.Rippon, Rt Hon Geoffrey
Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe)Macmillan, Rt Hon M. (Farnham)Ross, William (Londonderry)
Cormack, PatrickMarshall, Michael (Arundel)Shepherd, Colin
Corrie, JohnMarten, NeilStanbrook, Ivor
Dodsworth, GeoffreyMaxwell-Hyslop, RobinStewart, Rt Hon Donald
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord JamesMeyer, Sir AnthonyStradling Thomas, J.
Durant, TonyMitchell, David (Basingstoke)Taylor, Teddy (Cathcart)
Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke)Molyneaux, JamesTebbit, Norman
Eyre, ReginaldMontgomery, Fergusvan Straubenzee, W. R.
Fisher, Sir NigelMorgan-Giles, Rear-AdmiralWatt, Hamish
Forman, NigelMorris, Michael (Northampton S)Winterton, Nicholas
Gardiner, George (Reigate)Morrison, Charles (Devizes)
Glyn, Dr AlanMudd, DavidTELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Gow, Ian (Eastbourne)Penhaligon, DavidMr. Anthony Berry and
Grist, IanPowell, Rt Hon J. EnochMr. Jim Lester.
Grylls, MichaelPrice, David (Eastleigh)
Harvie Anderson, Rt Hon MissRaison, Timothy

Question accordingly agreed to.

Question put accordingly,

That the Chairman do report Progress and ask leave to sit again:—

The Committee proceeded to a Division

Photo of Mr Jonathan Aitken Mr Jonathan Aitken , Thanet East

(seated and covered): On a point of order, Sir Myer. I seek your guidance on this highly important matter. I heard beyond any possible doubt words spoken by a number of hon. Members on the nationalist Benches—who may well have been over-excited and over-tired—saying that the Chair was biased in giving its ruling. Her Majesty's Opposition have no wish in any way to question your rulings and your judgment in this matter this evening. Sir Myer, but there is no doubt that members of the nationalist parties—the hon. Members for Caernavon (Mr. Wigley), Dundee, East (Mr. Wilson) and Moray and Nairn (Mrs. Ewing) and others—said that the Chair was biased. They were then asked by you to withdraw those remarks. They reaffirmed their statement that the Chair was biased.

I repeat, Sir Myer, that the honour of the Chair and the honour of the House is at stake. I ask you now formally to name those hon. Members who have broken the conventions, traditions and precedents of the House.

Photo of Mr Myer Galpern Mr Myer Galpern , Glasgow Shettleston

May we leave this matter until we have—[HON. MEMBERS: "No. Rule now."] Order. I have to put the Question again according to the Standing Order when the red light shows here on the clock, as it will any second now. Let us just wait until then. [HON. MEMBERS. "No."] Order. Just a moment. This is the result of late sittings. I ask the hon. Member whether he is prepared to withdraw. I appeal to him.

Photo of Mr Gordon Wilson Mr Gordon Wilson , Dundee East

(seated and covered): Further to that point of order, Sir Myer. The situation which arose is obviously very serious, and my hon. Friends and I understand that the appropriate procedure when complaints have arisen about the conduct of the Chair is that a motion is put down for the attention of the House so that the House itself can take an opportunity to judge whether the conduct of the Chair was biased or not. My hon. Friends and I are quite happy to rest our case on the facts as stated and on the judgment of the House as a whole. We have therefore tabled a motion of no confidence, and in the circumstances we are prepared to withdraw the allegations which have been made.

Photo of Mr Myer Galpern Mr Myer Galpern , Glasgow Shettleston

I am obliged to the hon. Gentleman.

The Committee having divided: Ayes 215, Noes 80.

Division No. 76.]AYES[11.19 p.m.
Abse, LeoFord, BenNoble, Mike
Allaun, FrankForrester, JohnOakes, Gordon
Anderson, DonaldFowler, Gerald (The Wrekin)Ogden, Eric
Archer, PeterFraser, John (Lambeth, N'w'd')O'Halloran, Michael
Armstrong, ErnestFreeson, ReginaldOrbach, Maurice
Ashton, JoeGarrett, John (Norwich S)Orme, Rt Hon Stanley
Atkins, Ronald (Preston N)George, BruceOvenden, John
Atkinson, NormanGilbert, Dr JohnPalmer, Arthur
Bagier, Gordon A. T.Ginsburg, DavidPark, George
Barnett, Guy (Greenwich)Golding, JohnParry, Robert
Barnett, Ht Hon Joel (Heywood)Gould, BryanPavitt, Laurie
Bates, AlfGourlay, HarryPendry, Tom
Bean, R. E.Graham, TedPrescott, John
Benn, Rt Hon Anthony WedgwoodGrant, John (Islington C)price, C. (Lewisham W)
Bennett, Andrew (Stockport N)Grocott, BrucePrice, William (Rugby)
Bidwell, SydneyHamilton, James (Bothwell)Radice, Giles
Bishop, E. S.Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)Rees, Rt Hcn Merlyn (Leeds S)
Blenkinsop, ArthurHart, Rt Hon JudithRoberts, Gwilym (Cannock)
Boardman, H.Heffer, Eric S.Robinson, Geoffrey
Boyden, James (Bish Auck)Hooley, FrankRoderick, Caerwyn
Bray, Dr JeremyHoram, JohnRodgers, George (Chorley)
Brown, Hugh D. (Provan)Hoyle, Doug (Nelson)Rodgers, Rt Hon William (Stockton)
Brown, Robert C. (Newcastle W)Huckfield, LesRooker, J. W.
Buchan, NormanHunter, AdamRoper, John
Buchanan, RichardIrving, Rt Hon S. (Dartford)Ross, Rt Hon W. (Kilmarnock)
Callaghan, Rt Hon J. (Cardiff SE)Jackson, Colin (Brighouse)Sedgemore, Brian
Callaghan, Jim (Middleton & P)Jackson, Miss Margaret (Lincoln)Silkin, Rt Hon John (Deptford)
Campbell, IanJeger, Mrs LenaSilkin, Rt Hon S. C. (Dulwich)
Canavan, DennisJohn, BrynmorSillars, James
Cant, R. B.Johnson, James (Hull West)Silverman, Julius
Carmichael, NeilJones, Alec (Rhondda)Skinner, Dennis
Carter, RayJones, Dan (Burnley)Small, William
Carter-Jones, LewisJudd, FrankSmith, John (N Lanarkshire)
Cartwright, JohnKaufman, GeraldSpearing, Nigel
Castle, Rt Hon BarbaraLambie, DavidSpriggs, Leslie
Clemitson, IvorLamborn, HarryStallard, A. W.
Cocks, Rt Hon MichaelLamond, JamesStewart, Rt Hon M. (Fulham)
Cohen, StanleyLatham, Arthur (Paddington)Stoddart, David
Coleman, DonaldLever, Rt Hon HaroldStott, Roger
Cook, Robin F. (Edin C)Lewis, Arthur (Newham N)Strang, Gavin
Corbett, RobinLitterick, TomSummerskiil, Hon Dr Shirley
Cox, Thomas (Tooting)Loyden, EddieSwain, Thomas
Craig, Rt Hon W. (Belfast E)Luard, EvanThomas, Dafydd (Merioneth)
Craigen, Jim (Maryhill)Lyons, Edward (Bradford W)Thomas, Ron (Bristol NW)
Crowther, Stan (Rotherham)Mabon, Rt Hon Dr J. DicksonThorne, Stan (Preston South)
Cryer, BobMcCartney, HughTierney, Sydney
Cunningham, Dr J. (Whiteh)McDonald, Dr OonaghTinn, James
Dalyell, TamMcElhone, FrankTomlinson, John
Davidson, ArthurMacFarquhar, RoderickTorney, Tom
Davies, Bryan (Enfield N)McGuire, Michael (Ince)Varley, Rt Hon Eric G.
Davies, Denzil (Llanelli)Mackenzie, GregorWalker, Harold (Doncaster)
Davis, Clinton (Hackney C)Maclennan, RobertWalker, Terry (Kingswood)
Deakins, EricMcMillan, Tom (Glasgow)Ward, Michael
Dean, Joseph (Leeds West)McNamara, KevinWatkins, David
Dempsey, JamesMadden, MaxWeetch, Ken
Doig, PeterMagee, BryanWellbeloved, James
Dormand, J. D.Mahon, SimonWhite, Frank R. (Bury)
Duffy, A. E. P.Mallalieu, J. P. W.While, James (Pollok)
Dunnett, JackMarks, KennethWhitlock, William
Eadie, AlexMason, Rt Hon RoyWilliams, Rt Hon Alan (Swansea W)
Edge, GeoffMeacher, MichaelWilliams, Alan Lee (Hornch'ch)
Edwards, Robert (Wolv SE)Mendelson, JohnWilliams, Sir Thomas (Warrington)
Ellis, John (Brigg & Scun)Mikardo, IanWilson, Alexander (Hamilton)
Ellis, Tom (Wrexham)Millan, Rt Hon BruceWilson, Rt Hon Sir Harold (Huyton)
English, MichaelMiller, Dr M. S. (E Kilbride)Wilson, William (Coventry SE)
Ennals, DavidMolloy, WilliamWise, Mrs Audrey
Evans, Ioan (Aberdare)Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)Woof, Robert
Evans, John (Newton)Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)Wrigglesworth, Ian
Ewing, Harry (Stirling)Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon)Young, David (Bolton E)
Fernyhough, Rt Hon E.Moyle, Roland
Flannery, MartinMulley, Rt Hon FrederickTELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)Murray, Rt Hon Ronald KingMr. Peter Snape and
Foot, Rt Hon MichaelNewens, StanleyMrs. Ann Taylor.
NOES
Aitken, JonathanGrimond, Rt Hon J.Rathbone, Tim
Atkins, Rt Hon H. (Spelthorne)Grist, IanRees, Peter (Dover & Deal)
Bain, Mrs MargaretHarvie Anderson, Rt Hon MissReid, George
Beith, A. J.Henderson, DouglasRenton, Rt Hon Sir D. (Hunts)
Benyon, W.Hooson, EmlynRenton, Tim (Mid-Sussex)
Berry, Hon AnthonyHowells, Geraint (Cardigan)Ridley, Hon Nicholas
Brittan, LeonHutchison, Michael ClarkRippon, Rt Hon Geoffrey
Brotherton, MichaelJohnston, Russell (Inverness)Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight)
Budgen, NickJones, Arthur (Daventry)Ross, William (Londonderry)
Channon, PaulKnight, Mrs JillShepherd, Colin
Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe)MacCormick, IainSkeet, T. H. H.
Cooke, Robert (Bristol W)McCusker, H.Stanbrook, Ivor
Cormack, PatrickMacmillan, Rt Hon M. (Farnham)Steel, Rt Hon David
Corrie, JohnMarshall, Michael (Arundel)Stewart, Rt Hon Donald
Crawford, DouglasMarten, NeilStradling Thomas, J.
Dodsworth, GeoffreyMaxwell-Hyslop, RobinTaylor, Teddy (Cathcart)
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord JamesMeyer, Sir AnthonyTebbit, Norman
Durant, TonyMolyneaux, JamesThompson, George
Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke)Montgomery, Fergusvan Straubenzee, W. R.
Ewing, Mrs Winifred (Moray)Morgan-Giles, Rear-AdmiralWainwright, Richard (Colne V)
Eyre, ReginaldMorris, Michael (Northampton S)Watt, Hamish
Fisher, Sir NigelMorrison, Charles (Devizes)Wigley, Dafydd
Forman, NigelMudd, DavidWilson, Gordon (Dundee E)
Freud, ClementNewton, TonyWinterton, Nicholas
Gardiner, George (Reigate)Pardoe, John
Glyn, Dr AlanPenhaligon, DavidTELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Gow, Ian (Eastbourne)Powell, Rt Hon J. EnochMr Spencer Le Marchant and
Gower, Sir Raymond (Barry)Raison, TimothyMr. Jim Lester.

Question accordingly agreed to.

Committee report Progress; to sit again tomorrow.