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Orders of the Day — European Assembly Elections Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 7th July 1977.

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Photo of Dr David Owen Dr David Owen , Plymouth, Devonport 12:00 am, 7th July 1977

I know what the right hon. Gentleman is about to say. [HON. MEMBERS: "Give way."] I shall give way in a moment. I do not want to mis-judge the right hon. Gentleman. He will say that on that occasion it was a free vote for Conservative Members of Parliament. But The Times wrote at that time: The reason for the volte face is to be found in the reckoning by Whitelaw and Pym that the Government must gain more on the swings of a free vote than they will lose on the roundabouts.