Before I call the hon. Member for Belfast, West (Mr. Fitt), who has the Floor of the Committee, I remind the Committee that we are discussing at the same time the following amendments:
As I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted—
I feel tempted to repeat some of the remarks I made late on 12th January, but I am certain that hon. Members who were present, and even those who were absent, know the importance of the amendment and will have read my remarks.
At the outset, I am addressing my remarks primarily to the Conservative Opposition. They were the Government who introduced proportional representation into Northern Ireland. They did it for a very specific reason, and with the full support of the Labour Party both in the country and in this House. They did it because they believed that the first-past-the-post system for elections in Northern Ireland did not adequately reflect the views of the widely divergent community in Northern Ireland. They did that consciously and deliberately in the hope that it would lead to the break-up of the monolithic parties on both sides—loyalist and nationalist—and that moderate candidates with a different outlook and vision would emerge and would break away from extreme attitudes that have existed in Northern Ireland for so long. To some extent, that happened because men were elected at that time who did not have the diehard views that had been held by so many throughout Northern Ireland's existence.
The Alliance Party was born out of that decision to introduce proportional representation into Northern Ireland. I am not a member of that party and I am not sure that I support many of its views, but it was a creature of that Conservative Government's intention to introduce PR.
From the creation of Northern Ireland in 1922 until 1952 many of the elections were unnecessary. I remember one election in the late 1940s or early 1950s in which there were 18 or 19 unopposed returns in the 52 Stormont constituencies. The whole Cabinet was elected before a single vote was cast.
People did not consider it worth while to fight the incumbents of those seats, whether Protestant or Catholic. Some may claim that this reflected the will of the majority of the electorate, but I have never taken that view. I regard it as a negation of the concept of democracy. In this country there is always the possibility, however remote, of people changing their minds and Members being ousted. We have seen some strange election results over here. That cannot happen in Northern Ireland because of the political and, particularly, the religious divisions that were deliberately created by the British Government who imposed partition on the island of Ireland.
People do not talk of Labour or Tory, Socialist or Conservative in Northern Ireland. They talk about the majority and the minority. That is the attitude that has led to absolute and total disaster in Northern Ireland. Do not let us hear any talk of majority opinion from those who are rooting for the first-past-the-post system. That majority was artificially created. Sir Edward Carson went into every town, village and hamlet in the counties of Donegal, Monaghan and Cavan and asked how many Protestants and how many Catholics lived there. When he discovered that the Catholic population was 280,000 he could not guarantee to govern them from Belfast, so he decided to sacrifice 70,000 Protestants in those counties to the fortunes of the Dublin Government. Those are his words not mine.
How can we expect democracy or even the beginnings of democracy and normal political divisions to exist when that was the terrible base on which the State of Northern Ireland was created?
The Tories are trying to renege on the decisions they took. I know they have a one-line Whip on this vote and are trying to tell us that they are having a free vote on their side, but in every corridor in this place they are canvassing as vehemently as possible, trying to get all their Members to go into the Lobby with the right hon. Member for Down, South (Mr. Powell) to vote for the first-past-the-post system.
It is appropriate that this debate should be opened up again now, particularly after the remarks of the hon. Member for Abingdon (Mr. Neave), who made clear yesterday that the Tories were prepared to play the Orange card to get the votes of that galaxy of talent on the Unionist Bench. One day we find the Opposition courting the Orange vote and the next they are playing the black card. That shows the extremes that the Opposition are prepared to go to and the extremists on whose votes they are happy to rely in order to get to power.
For the non-Unionist electors in Northern Ireland, this is a crucial amendment. After reading the remarks of the hon. Member for Abingdon, who said that power sharing is out of the window for the Tories and that they are going for the return of functions to local authorities and majority rule again—in effect, going back to what was happening between 1968 and 1970—the amendment and the vote on it have become all the more important.
Hon. Members from Northern Ireland are squealing for more seats at Westminster. They say that they are under represented and want to be treated like any other part of the United Kingdom. A Speaker's Conference has just concluded its investigation into this matter, and it is possible that more seats will be given to Northern Ireland.
We see from the list of amendments that the Scottish National Party wants more European Assembly seats for Scotland, Plaid Cymru wants European seats for Wales and, indeed, every political party involved in any way with the European elections wants more seats in the Assembly.
I ask the House to consider the total arrogance of the Northern Ireland Members on the Opposition Benches. The Government decided that there should be three seats allocated to Northern Ireland to take account of the serious divisions that exist in that part of the United Kingdom—divisions that were created and fomented by that terrible decision to partition Ireland.
The Government have not yet been able to create a system of government for Northern Ireland. The last Conservative Government tried to create a political structure which would command the support of the minority and the majority communities. That experiment was brought to a disastrous end by the actions of the loyalist strikers in 1974. We see no hope of the Conservatives even lending aid to those who are still trying desperately, in the face of considerable opposition, to create these structures.
In putting forward their proposals for three seats and PR in Northern Ireland, the Government were saying, as they have said so often, that Northern Ireland cannot be treated like any other part of the United Kingdom. Why? It is because Northern Ireland is totally different. It is situated on the island of Ireland, and we must have 15,000 troops walking the streets of Northern Ireland to keep people from killing each other.
I was at a debate last night when a supporter of unionism trotted out the argument that "We must support the Unionists in Northern Ireland because they supported us during the war." I know many people in Northern Ireland who were not Unionists and supported this country during the war, including myself. I know many people in Northern Ireland who do not give any allegiance to the concept of loyalism as we know it in Northern Ireland. So that is not a valid argument.
The Unionists believe that they can win two seats under a first-past-the-post system in Northern Ireland. They have doubts about a third seat. They say "If there were a third seat we probably would not benefit", so they have tabled an amendment to delete three and substitute two, because they cannot be sure of winning the third. This is the unbelievable argument advanced by the Unionists.
The hon. Member for Mid-Oxon (Mr. Hurd), speaking for the Opposition, mentioned some of the effects of introducing proportional representation in Northern Ireland. The right hon. Member for Down, South tries to bamboozle and mystify the Committee with his percentages and figures. He says that when PR was introduced in Northern Ireland it made no great difference, because such-and-such a percentage voted one way and such-and-such a percentage voted the other way. That is completely untrue.
When PR was introduced for local government in Northern Ireland it took control away from the Fermanagh Unionists who had controlled Fermanagh for over 50 years. It was notorious as one of the most bigoted county councils ever to exist in Northern Ireland. The chairman of its housing committee said "We are not going to build any houses for those terrible Roman Catholics because if we do we will give them votes and they might use those votes against us." People of that type controlled Fermanagh County Council at that time. PR took that grip away from them. Since then we have had a rotation of the chairmanships in that council.
Derry has been mentioned time and again. It has been said that there was a 60 per cent. nationalist majority or perhaps 65 per cent. and a 35 per cent. Unionist minority. With the gerrymandering of wards that took place, those who were in the majority had no possible chance of ever achieving any of the elected offices or any of the jobs under the control of the Deny Corporation. Since then we have had SDLP councillors, Unionist councillors and Alliance councillors, but if we were to agree with the case put forward by hon. Members representing Northern Ireland there would be absolutely no change. They believe that their voice is the only one that should be heard on behalf of Northern Ireland.
The right hon. Member for Down, South intervened on the last occasion when I was speaking when I made reference to a report issued by the Fair Employment Agency. It was the British Government that instituted that legislation and carried it through and put it on the statute book. I was proud and honoured to be a member of the Committee that considered it. Every Unionist Member was entirely opposed in Committee to every word, almost every comma, of that legislation. They said only a year ago "There is no discrimination in Northern Ireland—absolutely none. There is no need for legislation. Gerry Fitt is a terrible liar. Don't believe anything the SDLP says."
A report was issued a week ago by the Fair Employment Agency, which was brought into existence because of a committee set up under the chairmanship of the hon. Member for Wokingham (Mr. van Straubenzee). It conclusively stated that there had been a lot of discrimination. I listened to the Chairman of the Fair Employment Agency on Sunday in Northern Ireland speaking on television. He said that, although the report was based on a census which took place in 1971, there was no reason to doubt that the same practices were happening now, in 1978.
The report said that it was two and a half times more difficult for a Catholic to obtain a job in Northern Ireland than it was for a Protestant. I do not know what sort of deduction the right hon. Member for Belfast, East (Mr. Craig) will make from that, but that is what it said. I have asked the Chairman of the Fair Employment Agency to circulate the report to every hon. Member so that we can all read it and not have to listen to the apologies. Every Member knows that it was British legislation that set up the Agency, and we should all have an opportunity to read its report.
I was referring to the intervention by the right hon. Member for Down, South, who said "If we went into Europe and there were two seats or three seats we could quite adequately represent the interests of all the Northern Ireland people in Europe". I pointed out to him that that it did not seem very likely if we took into account what had happened in Committee over the Fair Employment Agency. He said "No. You have not got the point. If we went into Europe, even if we did the wrong things, there would be only three of us among 81". In other words, they would be overruled. What a sad commentary on themselves! They say "We are going to go there and be just as reactionary over there as we have been here, but you have a very good safeguard".
I believe that this attitude, which has been expressed so long and so often by the Unionists, completely justifies the Government in saying that Northern Ireland is completely different. I have some close friends in the Labour Party. Some of them are said to be on the Left and said to be Marxists. I do not care what label is put on them. I have known many of them since 1966 when I became a Member of the House. Some of them are very close colleagues of mine. I have supported them.
My record of support of the ideology of my colleagues here and the general ideology of the Government is beyond question. I went into their Lobby to help to carry the Aircraft and Shipbuilding Industries Bill, which was carried by one vote and was bitterly opposed. There was never any doubt about my loyalty when it came to supporting the Socialist Government. Therefore, I find it a little difficult to understand how some of my friends can find any possibility of agreement with Unionist Members.
I know that there is a dislike, almost detestation, of Europe—
I accept that. I am not saying what I would have done had I been representing an English constituency. I am quite prepared to say that had I been living in Britain I might have felt—there would have been doubts—that the first-past-the-post system was not all that bad. I should probably have gone for proportional representation, but the first-past-the-post system in Britain has not been the disaster that it has been in Northern Ireland. That is why I say that Northern Ireland must be treated as being unique.
We have an alleged spokesman in Europe—John Taylor, a former junior Minister in the Ministry of Home Affairs. I think that he sets himself up to be the Northern Ireland spokesman in Europe, though there are other contenders for the title. The Unionist Party would have difficulty in agreeing on candidates, no matter how many seats there were. Mr. Taylor is not elected. He is not even a member of a local authority. But he went to the Strasbourg Parliament last week and told the elected representatives "I do not like the way in which you are operating your regional aid and cross-border development plans."
That was said by a man elected only by the voice of the Unionists, with no votes cast for him. He was referring to plans being promulgated by the Irish Government and the Northern Ireland Office. He said that the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland would have to account for the skulduggery in which he was engaged in trying to create better living conditions for people in the cross-border areas that have been sadly neglected for years.
How much more would the Unionists' arrogance be if they had the three seats and were speaking with a united voice in defence of their own interests? It must be remembered that the areas contiguous to the border—Fermanagh, Tyrone, Crossmaglen and Armagh—are non-Unionist areas. Unionist votes are not to be secured there. That is why the Unionists do not like any developments, because those developments will go some way to alleviate the distress of people who will not vote for them. That is the attitude the Unionists will carry into Europe, and it should be thrown out of the House.
The Conservatives may have an interest in this vote, not because they are opposed to PR on this occasion but because they hope that there may be an election soon, which may result in their needing to seek the support of hon. Members who represent Northern Ireland constituencies. If that is their motive in forcing their members into the Lobby with the right hon. Member for Down, South it is totally dishonest and totally unworthy of any of those Conservatives who have experience in Northern Ireland. They know how necessary it was to try to have a system of elections which gives an opportunity for all sections to be represented.
I know that many of my colleagues on the Government Benches may have mental reservations. They do not like the Common Market. I understand their opposition, but I say to them "Whatever your opposition to the Common Market, don't let it lead you into the trap of voting with that crowd on the Unionist Bench. You are not talking about the Common Market. You are talking about a one-party-ascendancy State, a one-party-ascendancy mentality that has existed in Northern Ireland and is only now being broken down".
Unionist spokesmen have said on local television and radio this afternoon that they are happy that there will be a large abstention—
If the hon. and learned Gentleman wants me to keep going until six o'clock, I shall give him the second half of my speech.
I was telling my colleagues "Whatever reservations you may have, don't let them force you into the Lobby with the supporters of the amendment". I have heard this afternoon that Unionist spokesmen have told local reporters that they are happy with the undertakings they have been given by some Labour Members that they will vote with them on this amendment.
It can be substantiated only when the Division bells ring.
I say to the Government and Conservative Members with knowledge of Northern Ireland that there are people who are opposed to Unionism, have fought it all their lives and have seen no change in it. Unionism and loyalism have not changed. The strike of May 1974 brought any change to an end.
If there is to be any change in Conservative thinking on the amendment, let the Conservatives' spokesmen say so at the Dispatch Box. Yesterday's statement by the hon. Member for Abingdon was an indication of just how far Right the Conservative Party's swing has been. I say to my colleagues "Don't let yourselves be associated with them."
It has always been my ambition and intention to get Northern Ireland debates into a constructive frame of mind. I have not always succeeded. In spite of the numerous accusations made by the hon. Member for Belfast, West (Mr. Fitt), many of them unfounded, I shall not be tempted to respond in like manner, because I do not think that that is the attitude we should adopt to what is a serious matter for the whole United Kingdom, and therefore for the whole Committee.
We were gratified by the expressions and evidence of support in the earlier part of the adjourned debate for our point of view that there should be a common system of election throughout the United Kingdom for the same body.
Perhaps I may say a word about the number of seats, as that matter has featured in the discussion to a great extent this afternoon. On 14th July 1976 the Prime Minister reported on suggestions put to him that Northern Ireland should have three seats.
as opposed to the two seats which they might expect as an electoral quotient."—[Official Report, 14th July 1976; Vol. 915, c. 654.]
There was no reference in the statement to the method or system of election to be employed. It dealt solely with the matter of the number of seats.
Our amendments seeking to reduce the number of seats from three to the two that the Prime Minister himself considered to be the proper electoral quotient are designed to bring us into line with, to make us absolutely consistent with, the position that we have taken up in the Speaker's Conference. Our reiterated demands in the House of Commons were simply for assurances and undertakings that Northern Ireland would be treated in exactly the same way as the rest of the United Kingdom. We believe that it should be given no more and no less than other parts.
It was for that reason that we never asked for extra seats at Westminster. We asked simply for fair representation, and we have always contended that that is no more than our due.
We have taken account of the views put to us in the House. I hope that it may make some appeal to those hon. Members below the Gangway who were at the receiving end of some extraordinary reasoning at the latter end of the speech of the hon. Member for Belfast, West when I say that we have taken account of the view that Northern Ireland should accept three seats. Therefore, we shall not move our amendments which were designed to reduce the number to two.
We take account of the feeling that it should be possible for the non-Unionists—I prefer to use that term—to return a representative for one of the three Northern Ireland seats if they desire. Of course, we cannot promise that that will be so, but we subscribe to the view, which I think is commonly held on both sides of the Chamber, that at least they should have the opportunity.
I hope that this will do something to ease the hon. Gentleman's problems and that this gesture will be regarded as a contribution to a more reasonable approach. It may also contribute to a certain defusing of feeling on the political scene in Northern Ireland. We have therefore concluded that the combination of three seats for Northern Ireland with the simple first-past-the-post method of voting would provide the most acceptable solution for all concerned. It is important to remind ourselves that on 13th December the Committee rejected a proposal that a form of PR should be used to elect representatives to the European Assembly.
No, I must disagree with the hon. Gentleman. The matter that we are discussing is not relevant to the Speaker's Conference. We are saying that we want parity. It is the view of the House of Commons—I hope that the Liberal Party will not disagree with it—that we should accept three seats so that non-Unionists in Northern Ireland have an opportunity, to put it no higher, of electing someone to represent them. I hope that that is acceptable to the Liberal Party.
It was the right hon. Member for Down, South (Mr. Powell) who said that, in view of parity, he felt that it was unfair to claim more seats. I was saying that if as a result of the Speaker's Conference, of which much has been written in today's newspapers, the number is increased, surely parity will be affected.
No. Any result of the Speaker's Conference could not possibly affect the electors in Northern Ireland. We have the Prime Minister's own words, namely, that the two seats represented the quota for Northern Ireland and that that was in line with the representation from Scotland and Wales. There cannot be any dispute about that.
On 13th December in Committee we took the decision not to use a form of PR for election to the European Assembly. The Committee took its decision in the full knowledge of what the consequences would be for minority parties—or perhaps I should say smaller minority parties—in Parliament and in the country. The Committee did not set out to discriminate against minorities. After careful consideration, it concluded that the advantages of the simple majority system outweighed all other considerations.
It happened that the Government had made provision in Clause 3(2) to ensure that the same thinking should not automatically be applied in one part of the United Kingdom, namely, Northern Ireland. Admittedly, when that clause and subsection were drafted seven months ago, the Governments of the United Kingdom and the Irish Republic probably felt that it was the most likely system to benefit non-Unionists and would be more beneficial than the simple majority system. I am not so sure that the United Kingdom Government would now go for the same option in the light of much more detailed calculations that show conclusively that the opposite is more likely to be the case, and that non-Unionists would stand more chance of being elected on the simple majority system given three seats in Northern Ireland—[Interruption.] I am sorry, Sir Myer, but I appear to be interrupting a conversation on the Government Benches. I apologise to you, Sir Myer.
Even if the Government still adhere to their original belief, namely, that a section of the minority will benefit from PR, what possible justification can there be for putting a Northern Ireland minority, or a section of that minority, in a privileged position compared with the other minorities—perhaps far more significant minorities—in Great Britain?
I hope that the Liberal Party will not mind if I mention that it has taken a great deal of stick for its stance in supporting Her Majesty's Government. It must be thinking this matter over and must surely be asking itself "Is it not so that in the eyes of the Government we have supported some minorities appear to be more important than others?"
It should be on the record that the Government proposed a proportional system for the whole of the United Kingdom. Therefore, it is not true to say that there are different standards. The hon. Gentleman asks whether there should be a special case. I remind him that it was a Liberal Prime Minister who introduced PR in 1921 in Northern Ireland.
Yes, Northern Ireland as distinct from the rest of the United Kingdom. The Government of the day stopped short of introducing it for the whole of the United Kingdom, and it does not seem that the right hon. Gentleman's proposals have found great favour with the majority of Members of the House of Commons in terms of the United Kingdom as a whole.
My plea to the Committee is not to depart from the position that it took on an earlier occasion. Times have changed in Northern Ireland since my right hon. Friend the Member for Down, South (Mr. Powell) moved his amendment on 12th January. In the interval there has been a growing sensitivity to anything that would even appear to weaken constitutional stability. Mr. Lynch and certain other influential spokesmen have rather incautiously expounded a totally new doctrine that seems to disavow the simple democratic stance that I think would be acceptable in the House of Commons, namely, that there can be no change of sovereignty until the majority so desires. Their statements are bound to have a most unsettling effect.
The people of Northern Ireland look for reassurance in the face of what has now become political warfare. That has to be added to the terrorist warfare to which they have been subjected. Such reassurance cannot be provided by imposing on one small part of the United Kingdom an electoral system that is utterly different from that designed for the rest.
It has been said time and again from both sides of the Chamber that Northern Ireland is an integral part of the United Kingdom. That assertion will have a hollow ring if the Parliament in which the people of Northern Ireland have placed their trust decrees that a different system shall be used to elect from Northern Ireland to the same body. In this case it is all the more serious because we are discussing elections to an external body.
We have heard the complaint that Northern Ireland is different. My plea to the Committee is to avoid taking any step that will perpetuate that difference. It is our policy in all matters that Northern Ireland shall not be different in any way from the rest of the United Kingdom. Only a few hours ago the Prime Minister, from the Treasury Bench, urged that there should be a national approach to Northern Ireland matters. I heartily endorse that view, and I trust that the Committee will endorse it
Until the hon. Member for Antrim, South (Mr. Molyneaux) spoke, it was possible that we should have two debates on Northern Ireland, one on the method of election, which we continue to debate, followed by a debate on the number of seats.
In a sense, the hon. Gentleman has disposed of the second debate, but I pick up one point made by the right hon. Member for Down, South (Mr. Powell) in our earlier discussion. The right hon. Gentleman reminded us, as I think his hon. Friend did today, that the Prime Minister said in the House some months ago that the number of seats for Northern Ireland was a matter for us. Whatever was said at that time—there was a great deal of romancing as to who had decided what and where—the number of seats allocated to Northern Ireland is a matter for us.
I make the further point that the method of election that we decided for the United Kingdom as a whole—and that we shall decide relatively soon for one part of the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland—is also a matter for the House of Commons. It is not a matter that comes within the rules or regulations of the EEC.
The right hon. Gentleman says that it will be. I thought that in the last few months I had learned that in discussions views change. Later tonight we are to have a wide-ranging discussion. As of now, it will remain so if I have my way.
The Committee will decide on first-past-the-post for the United Kingdom as a whole. I recommend that we reject the amendment—namely, that there should be first-past-the-post for the United Kingdom as a whole and the single transferable vote system for Northern Ireland.
Does my right hon. Friend recognise the dilemma facing Labour Members to which my hon. Friend the Member for Belfast, West (Mr. Fitt) rightly referred? Some of us are opposed to the Bill per se and naturally are opposed to any method of proportional representation that would enable the Government to bring in such legislation and to act upon it expeditiously. We see the question of STV in a vastly different light—
But we are discussing the matter in the context of the problem in Northern Ireland with which we have been concerned for the last eight years and had varying degrees of success or of failure, however we look at it.
The argument that I want to deploy takes note of the fact that there is a special, unique problem in Northern Ireland. I know that the right hon. Member for Down, South reads and thinks a great deal about the part of the United King dom that he represents. We do not want to make the mistake that was repeated decade after decade in the last century, namely, for Englishmen, and Welshmen, too, no doubt, to consider the problem of Northern Ireland viewed only from this side of the water. It was in that context that many mistakes were made. Let us consider the problem in the context of Northern Ireland. It is on that basis that I wish to deploy my argument.
The right hon. Gentleman is right that, if the argument that I am deploying is right, Northern Ireland is different. Therefore, let us have a different form of election for the EEC. I fully accept that the logic of what I am saying applies there.
What will determine the view of the Government on that proposition at the end of the day? I understand—I do not know what the outcome will be—that there is a Speaker's Conference on seats for Northern Ireland. There is no doubt that with extra seats in Northern Ireland—I have been looking at the division of districts, and so on—there will be a different attitude to the matter. This is not the time to consider that aspect. However, with extra seats there is no doubt that there can be extra representation of the minority community. I suggest that we should deal with that part of the question now and come to the other part later.
I could give many reasons for the Sunningdale experiment failing We could indulge here in making a list. Those with 92 out of 100 could get a certain mark. The 92 out of 100 mark could be the greatest failure of all time because the last eight may be the kernel of the problem. When I went to Northern Ireland as Secretary of State I discovered that the fact that all seats for the Westminster Parliament had been won was a major factor in affecting emotion in the loyalist community. However, that emotion in the loyalist community was there anyway. In my view, it was no more than a factor.
I think that to allow one's thoughts to broaden a little in certain company leads to trouble. Perhaps I may make the position clear. I was not contemplating anything. The right hon. Member for Down, South properly took me up on the argument that, if I were arguing for speciality on the basis of election to the European Parliament, that would apply to the argument about election to the Westminster Parliament. I am not contemplating anything. I should hate the Protestant Telegraph in Belfast or any other newspaper of great circulation in Northern Ireland to have that as a headline. I was musing, which is perfectly proper in the course of a debate.
I should like to ask the Secretary of State one question on the matter of new seats for Northern Ireland. The right hon. Gentleman said that it would be possible for other minority parties to be represented at Westminster. Is he aware that the seats with large constituency numbers are on the east and on the west of the Bann and that, unless he is prepared to give 22 seats to Northern Ireland, there will not be a large number of minority parties represented?
That shows the weakness of musing. At the moment there are 12 seats in Northern Ireland. I do not know how many are to be recommended. I was led in that direction by the logic of the right hon. Member for Down, South, supported by my hon. Friend the Member for Belfast, West (Mr. Fitt). I am recom mending that there should be a single transferable vote for the three seats in one constituency in Northern Ireland.
As a prelude to my question, will my right hon. Friend accept from me that, having spoken to my hon. Friend the Member for Belfast, West (Mr. Fitt), the minority community regards the vote on this matter as one of the most important votes that has ever taken place in the House of Commons? I should like to ask a question based on that matter. The troubles in Northern Ireland clearly spring from the minority community having a sense of a complete lack of democracy in the past—
The question that I should like to ask, based on the prelude that I have already outlined, is: if the minority community is again totally defeated in an election, shall we not be returning to the past from which we hoped a little step had been taken, and would not the hand of the IRA and the mirror image forces of the IRA be massively strengthened?
My hon. Friend raises a matter with which I shall deal a little later. It is an important point and I shall return to it.
The hon. Member for Antrim, South mentioned a matter on which I am sensitive. I want to make clear a matter that anybody who has worked in Northern Ireland will know, and I know that many Opposition Members visit the Province frequently. In arguing the way I do on behalf of the Government, in no way could I personally depart from the strong feeling that was expressed in the Downing Street declaration in 1969, namely, that Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom, and that without the consent of its people there can be no change. That view was expressed in 1973 in the Northern Ireland Constitution Act by the Conservative Administration, and it is a view that we support.
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland made this clear in the furore over the speech by the Taoiseach of the Irish Republic. Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom, but it is a special part. My hon. Friend the Member for Belfast, West and others have made this clear on a number of occasions. He put the matter in the context of our having in the Province 13,000 soldiers and of there being direct rule. He also mentioned the economic aid which has been properly given in that part of the United Kingdom.
In view of the agonising discussions on this subject in the House of Commons in the last seven or eight years, it must be agreed that Northern Ireland is different. Therefore, one has to have a different way of dealing with this part of the United Kingdom, which is part of the ancient Province of Ulster. However, I am in no sense arguing that this means that that Province is a lesser part of the United Kingdom or one that can be pushed aside at any time. That is not within the gift of any Government at Westminster.
These matters do not arise as a result of any words that are said. I learned in 1974 that words were not enough. I learned that, quite apart from what was said in conferences, speeches and editorials on this side of the water, one had to understand the basic feelings in Northern Ireland. I respect those feelings, even if I do not agree with them. We are by no means saying that from an electoral point of view Northern Ireland is expendable, because it certainly is not. That is the view of the Government, and it is my personal feeling—a feeling that is reinforced by many friends in Northern Ireland, and no doubt by many enemies, too. However, that feeling exists and I shall never depart from it.
Let me turn to the next point on policy. We must sometimes examine unusual ways of dealing with the problems of Northern Ireland. We all know that one can play with words, and when I was Secretary of State for Northern Ireland I was advised not to use the phrase "power sharing" or whatever the "in" word was at the time. The phrase "power sharing" probably means one thing to one set of people and another thing to others. I do no care very much about that consideration. Let us not have any clever stuff about hiving off Derry because one seat happens to be in another county, and let us not concern ourselves with cutting off the area at the bottom so that one can include more Protestants. No such move will ever have success. This will have to be achieved in respect of the whole of Northern Ireland and in relation to what we have inherited. It is in that context that we must deal with the matter rather than to concentrate too much on ideas that are sometimes floated so as to draw up the boundaries to give constituencies which the Catholics could win—a kind of institutionalised gerrymandering. I would not give that task to the Boundary Commission to undertake. One cannot instruct the Boundary Commission to deal with a city in that way.
One can muse on these matters, but I hope that my friends from Northern Ireland will not take this musing too far. I once examined the idea—and I did no more than examine it—of dividing Northern Ireland into cantons. I hope the foreign word will not frighten some people. The idea of cantons was to make it possible to have some parts of Northern Ireland where the minority community could take the lead. However, when the matter was put into the computer and all the rest of it, it was not found to be possible as a proposal.
The reason that that idea did not succeed was that we considered that we should not be dealing with Northern Ireland as a whole but would, in effect, be dividing Northern Ireland. The scheme we have put forward involves the single transferable vote for Northern Ireland as a whole, from Derry City to Newry and the Newry and Mourne District Council. We wish to deal with the matter on that basis, and I must point out that I am not trying to win a battle that I lost some months ago when the House decided on a first-past-the-post system. Let us then attempt to be different in dealing with the problem.
Does the right hon. Gentleman agree that the Catholic minority in Northern Ireland has always felt, with some justification, that Northern Ireland was an institutionally gerrymandered Province?
I do not know the answer to that question. If it were to be institutionalised, it would have to be done by the Boundary Commission, and that might be less offensive. The main point I wish to make is that this election should be carried out with the Province as one constituency.
The point has already been made that proportional representation of this kind would give more representative results. I remind the House that STV provides for PR. It envisages multi-Member constituencies in which the feelings could be totted up. The vote can be transferred to a second or subsequent choice, and so on. I shall have to remind myself of the system by looking at my notes, but these matters do not need to be drawn to the attention of anybody in Northern Ireland. As my hon. Friend the Member for Belfast, West said, this used to be the system used in local elections in 1920, and it was again introduced by the Conservative Government in 1973.
I reread the debates that took place on this matter, and passionate pleas were made for STV in Northern Ireland to deal with what the then Secretary of State desired to do. We have used that system in local elections, and in elections to the Assembly and to the Convention. Let us not look at these matters with blinkered eyes but let us decide to handle this matter on the basis of the STV. There is a history of STV in Northern Ireland, and it applies to Northern Ireland as a whole.
I have carried out a little arithmetic on this matter, and examined the different parts of the problem. I have also looked at the matter as a whole and looked at the votes that were cast in the plebiscite. When I examined the local elections, I discovered that there were polls of 50 per cent. In Northern Ireland the votes are much higher than in other parts of the United Kingdom.
Whatever the reason, the electorate in Northern Ireland votes at a very high rate. I know that even on this system of STV there is no guarantee of what will happen. There is no guarantee about how people in Northern Ireland will vote. There will be various bands of voters. There will be Provisional Sinn Fein, and Official Sinn Fein no doubt standing, as its members usually do, under Republican Clubs. There will be a variety. There will also be in Northern Ireland the provincial scene. Individual people will be seen on a wider ticket. That might bring unusual results.
The hon. Gentleman says that the Archbishop would be a good candidate. We shall see.
I am saying that Northern Ireland is different. It is different in so many ways. It is different for the same reason that the Conservative Government, up to 1973, argued to the House of Commons. Every argument that they used at that time still stands. Nothing is different in that respect about Northern Ireland. This is a means of trying to get the people of Northern Ireland to work together for the good of Northern Ireland as a whole and not in penny packets in different parts of Norhern Ireland.
Therefore, it is only on the basis of PR, STV, that the minority community will have any chance of direct representation in the European Assembly. The Government's view is that that is the way to do it.
I say again that if any hon. Members vote today on the basis of strongly-felt feelings because of the EEC argument, they will be doing what has been done so many times before—forgetting the particular problem of Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom. There is no way of shuffling it off. There is no way of doing that with Irish stories to show that it is all a bit peculiar. None of that will do. It is our responsibility. Our responsibility means STV. Let us vote for the needs of Northern Ireland and not for some transient feeling here.
When the Committee began to debate this amendment on 12th January I tried to make clear the views of the Opposition Benches. I would not have felt the need to intervene again in the debate had it not been for suggestions that I have seen in the Press today, particularly on the front page of The Guardian which were reflected, though not in any unfair or unreasonable way, by the speech of the hon. Member for Belfast, West (Mr. Fitt). I am referring to suggestions that there has been some change in the attitude of the Conservative Front Bench as compared with our attitude of three weeks ago. That is not so, and it can be shown not to be so.
The view that we hold this evening is the same as that which I expressed on 12th January. Much more important than that, it is the same view as that expressed in July of last year when this Bill was first debated in its first incarnation last Session. Last July, exactly the same point of view was expressed by my right hon. Friend the Member for Penrith and The Border (Mr. Whitelaw). We did not agree with the later amendment in the name of right hon. and hon. Members of the Ulster Unionist Bench, which would have reduced the allocation of Northern Ireland seats from three to two. I should like to congratulate the hon. Member for Antrim, South (Mr. Molyneaux) on what he said on that point today. I think that he is wise not to press to a vote that suggestion of a reduction in Ulster representation.
However, we agree, and have always agreed, with the theme embodied in the amendment that we are now discussing, which was moved by the right hon. Member for Down, South (Mr. Powell). The elections that we are now discussing—this is a point to which the Home Secretary did not address himself—are quite different in their nature from those elections to which the Home Secretary and the hon. Member for Belfast, West have referred, which were held in Northern Ireland under STV. The point about those elections is that they were held in Northern Ireland, and held in Northern Ireland alone. The point about the elections that we are now discussing—this is the essential point—is that, unlike the elections to which the Home Secretary referred, they are being held throughout the United Kingdom at the same time. Therefore, we believe that the comparisons to which so many references have been made do not seem valid on this occasion.
I have—very recently. As the hon. Member has inquired, let me say that I went there on the day after our previous discussion of this matter, and ringing in my ears were the views of hon. Members that this was a matter to which enormous importance was attached. I listened to many people in Northern Ireland. Not one of them raised the matter at all.
I understand that the hon. Member has actually spent a day in Northern Ireland. Is that right? Does that entitle the hon. Member to speak authoritatively on the subject? Could I go to the hon. Member's constituency and spend about four hours there and then speak for his constituents?
I am grateful to the hon. Member for Fermanagh and South Tyrone (Mr. Maguire) for his historic intervention. I am trying to respond, on behalf of the Conservative Party, to a debate on an amendment and a clause of the European Assembly Elections Bill. By a coincidence, I had an opportunity to discuss this matter in Northern Ireland in the circumstances that I described.
Our belief, and the principle to which we hold, is that where elections are held across the kingdom on the same day they should be held under the same system in all parts of the kingdom, and that if they are not so held, there will be renewed doubt and renewed speculation in Northern Ireland about the intentions of the House of Commons and the present Government towards the constitutional position of the Province.
It is surely dangerous to multiply without necessary cause special arrangements, exceptions and all the ways in which Northern Ireland is made different from the rest of the United Kingdom. Surely, if we persist in treating Northern Ireland as abnormal and exceptional in all circumstances we make it more likely that the abnormal and exceptional features that exist will be perpetuated. Surely, we should be on the other tack, trying to reduce and confine what is exceptional in the circumstances of Northern Ireland.
We have thought seriously about this problem over recent months. We have concluded that the overriding principle should be that where elections of this kind, quite different from local elections or elections for the Convention or the Assembly, are held for the first time in the United Kingdom, across the kingdom, on the same day, it would be unwise to hold them in Ulster under a different system from that under which they are held in the rest of the kingdom.
Are we saying that it is more unwise to have two different electoral systems operating in one election—as happened, for example, when we had university seats elected by a different system, which the Conservative Party did not want to abolish and sought to continue—than to run the very real risk that under the first-past-the-post system it is unlikely in the extreme that the non-Unionists minority would get any representation at all?
I do not want to predict the results of the elections.
For the reasons I have given, which we believe to be overriding, on grounds both of prudence and of principle, I suggest that those of my right hon. and hon. Friends who are present should support the amendment moved by the right hon. Member for Down, South.
|Division No. 92]||AYES||[6.0 p.m.|
|Adley, Robert||Channon, Paul||Gardiner, George (Reigate)|
|Alison, Michael||Churchill, W. S.||Glyn, Dr Alan|
|Arnold, Tom||Clark, Alan (Plymouth, Sutton)||Goodhart, Philip|
|Atkins, Rt Hon H. (Spelthorne)||Clark, William (Croydon S)||Goodhew, Victor|
|Atkinson, David (Bournemouth, East)||Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe)||Goodlad, Alastair|
|Banks, Robert||Clegg, Walter||Gorst, John|
|Bell, Ronald||Cope, John||Gould, Bryan|
|Berry, Hon Anthony||Cormack, Patric[...]||Gow, Ian (Eastbourne)|
|Biffen, John||Costain, A. P.||Gray, Hamish|
|Biggs-Davison, John||Craig, Rt Hon W. (Belfast E)||Grieve, Percy|
|Blaker, Peter||Davies, Rt Hon J. (Knutsford)||Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury)|
|Body, Richard||Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James||Hampson, Dr Keith|
|Boscawen, Hon Robert||Durant, Tony||Hannam, John|
|Bowden, A. (Brighton, Kemptown)||Emery, Peter||Harvie Anderson, Rt Hon Miss|
|Boyson, Dr Rhodes (Brent)||Eyre, Reginald||Hastings, Stephen|
|Bradford, Rev Robert||Fairbairn, Nicholas||Havers, Rt Hon Sir Michael|
|Braine, Sir Bernard||Fell, Anthony||Holland, Philip|
|Brooke, Peter||Finsberg, Geoffrey||Hordern, Peter|
|Bryan, Sir Paul||Fookes, Miss Janet||Howe, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey|
|Buck, Antony||Forman, Nigel||Howell, David (Guildford)|
|Budgen, Nick||Fowler, Norman (Sutton C'f'd)||Hurd, Douglas|
|Butler, Adam (Bosworth)||Fox, Marcus||Jay, Rt Hon Douglas|
|Carson, John||Fraser, Rt Hon H. (Stafford & St)||Jenkin, Rt Hon P. (Wanst'd&W'df'd)|
|Jones, Arthur (Daventry)||Nott, John||Skinner, Dennis|
|Kellett-Bowman, Mrs Elaine||Onslow, Cranley||Spearing, Nigel|
|Kimball, Marcus||Page, John (Harrow West)||Spicer, Jim (W Dorset)|
|King, Evelyn (South Dorset)||Page, Rt Hon R. Graham (Crosby)||Spicer, Michael (S Worcester)|
|Lamond, James||Paisley, Rev Ian||Sproat, Iain|
|Lamont, Norman||Parkinson, Cecil||Stanbrook, Ivor|
|Lawrence, Ivan||Pattie, Geoffrey||Stanley, John|
|Lawson, Nigel||Percival, Ian||Steen, Anthony (Wavertree)|
|Le Marchant, Spencer||Peyton, Rt Hon John||Stradling Thomas, J.|
|Lester, Jim (Beeston)||Powell, Rt Hon J. Enoch||Tapsell, Peter|
|Luce, Richard||Price, David (Eastleigh)||Taylor, Teddy (Cathcart)|
|McAdden, Sir Stephen||Pym, Rt Hon Francis||Thatcher, Rt Hon Margaret|
|Macfarlane, Neil||Raison, Timothy||Thomas, Rt Hon P. (Hendon S)|
|MacGregor, John||Rees, Peter (Dover & Deal)||van Straubenzee, W. R.|
|MacKay, Andrew (Stechford)||Renton, Rt Hon Sir D. (Hunts)||Viggers, Peter|
|McNair-Wilson, M. (Newbury)||Rhodes, James R.||Wakeham, John|
|Mates, Michael||Ridley, Hon Nicholas||Walder, David (Clitheroe)|
|Mather, Carol||Rifkind, Malcolm||Walker-Smith, Rt Hon Sir Derek|
|Maude, Angus||Roberts, Michael (Cardiff NW)||Wall, Patrick|
|Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin||Ross, William (Londonderry)||Warren, Kenneth|
|Moate, Roger||Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)||Weatherill, Bernard|
|Molyneaux, James||Shaw, Giles (Pudsey)||Whitelaw, Rt Hon William|
|Montgomery, Fergus||Shelton, William (Streatham)||Wiggin, Jerry|
|Morgan-Giles, Rear-Admiral||Shepherd, Colin||Winterton, Nicholas|
|Morris, Michael (Northampton S)||Shersby, Michael|
|Morrison, Hon Peter (Chester)||Silvester, Fred||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Neave, Airey||Sims, Roger||Mr. H. McCusker and|
|Nelson, Anthony||Sinclair, Sir George||Mr. Neil Marten.|
|Abse, Leo||Dormand, J. D.||Jones, Barry (East Flint)|
|Anderson, Donald||Douglas-Mann, Bruce||Judd, Frank|
|Archer, Rt Hon Peter||Duffy, A. E. P.||Kaufman, Gerald|
|Armstrong, Ernest||Dunn, James A.||Kerr, Russell|
|Ashton, Joe||Dykes, Hugh||Kilroy-Silk, Robert|
|Atkinson, Norman||Eadie, Alex||Kinnock, Neil|
|Bagier, Gordon A. T.||Ellis, John(Brigg & Scun)||Lamborn, Harry|
|Bain, Mrs Margaret||English, Michael||Latham, Arthur (Paddington)|
|Barnett, Guy (Greenwich)||Ennals, Rt Hon David||Lestor, Miss Joan (Eton & Slough)|
|Barnett, Rt Hon Joel (Heywood)||Evans, Fred (Caerphilly)||Lipton, Marcus|
|Bates, Alf||Evans, Gwynfor (Carmarthen)||Litterick, Tom|
|Bean, R. E.||Evans, Ioan (Aberdare)||Loyden, Eddie|
|Beith, A. J.||Evans, John (Newton)||Luard, Evan|
|Benn, Rt Hon Anthony Wedgwood||[...]wing, Harry (Stirling)||Lyons, Edward (Bradford W)|
|Bidwell, Sydney||Fairgrieve, Russell||Mabon, Rt Hon Dr J. Dickson|
|Bishop, Rt Hon Edward||Faulds, Andrew||McCartney, Hugh|
|Blenkinsop, Arthur||Fernyhough, Rt Hon E.||McDonald, Dr Oonagh|
|Boardman, H.||Fisher, Sir Nigel||McElhone, Frank|
|Boothroyd, Miss Betty||Fitt, Gerard (Belfast W)||MacFarquhar, Roderick|
|Bottomley, Rt Hon Arthur||Flannery, Martin||McGuire, Michael (Ince)|
|Bottomley, Peter||Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)||MacKenzie, Rt Hon Gregor|
|Boyden, James (Bish Auck)||Foot, Rt Hon Michael||Maclennan, Robert|
|Bradley, Tom||Fraser, John (Lambeth, N'w'd)||McNamara, Kevin|
|Brown, Hugh D. (Provan)||Freeson, Rt Hon Reginald||Madden, Max|
|Brown, Robert C. (Newcastle W)||Freud, Clement||Maguire, Frank (Fermanagh)|
|Brown, Ronald (Hackney S)||Garrett, John (Norwich S)||Mallalieu, J. P. W.|
|Buchan, Norman||George, Bruce||Marks, Kenneth|
|Butler, Mrs Joyce (Wood Green)||Gilbert, Rt Hon Dr John||Marshall, Dr Edmund (Goole)|
|Callaghan, Rt Hon J.(Cardiff SE)||Ginsburg, David||Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)|
|Callaghan, Jim (Middleton & P)||Golding, John||Mason, Rt Hon Roy|
|Campbell, Ian||Grant, George (Morpeth)||Maynard, Miss Joan|
|Cant, R. B.||Grant, John (Islington C)||Meacher, Michael|
|Carmichael, Neil||Hamilton, W. W. (Central Fife)||Mellish, Rt Hon Robert|
|Carter, Ray||Hardy, Peter||Mendelson, John|
|Cartwright, John||Harper, Joseph||Meyer, Sir Anthony|
|Castle, Rt Hon Barbara||Harrison, Rt Hon Walter||Mikardo, Ian|
|Chalker, Mrs Lynda||Hattersley, Rt Hon Roy||Millan, Rt Hon Bruce|
|Clemitson, Ivor||Hayman, Mrs Helene||Miller, Dr M. S. (E Kilbride)|
|Cocks, Rt Hon Michael (Bristol S)||Heffer, Eric S.||Molloy, William|
|Cohen, Stanley||Horam, John||Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)|
|Coleman, Donald||Howell, Rt Hon Denis (B'ham, Sm H)||Morris, Rt Hon Charles R.|
|Cook, Robin F.(Edin C)||Howells, Geraint (Cardigan)||Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon)|
|Corbett, Robin||Hoyle, Doug (Nelson)||Morrison, Charles (Devizes)|
|Cowans, Harry||Huckfield, Les||Moyle, Roland|
|Cox, Thomas (Tooting)||Hughes, Rt Hon C. (Anglesey)||Mulley, Rt Hon Frederick|
|Crawshaw, Richard||Hunt, John (Ravensbourne)||Murray, Rt Hon Ronald King|
|Crowther, Stan(Rotherham)||Hunter, Adam||Newens, Stanley|
|Cryer, Bob||Irving, Rt Hon S. (Dartford)||Noble, Mike|
|Cunningham, G. (Islington S)||Jackson, Miss Margaret (Lincoln)||Ogden, Eric|
|Cunningham, Dr J. (Whiteh)||Jenkins, Hugh (Putney)||O'Halloran, Michael|
|Davies, Rt Hon Denzil||John, Brynmor||Orme, Rt Hon Stanley|
|Deakins, Eric||Johnson, James (Hull West)||Ovenden, John|
|Dell, Rt Hon Edmund||Johnson, Walter (Derby S)||Owen, Rt Hon Dr David|
|Doig, Peter||Jones, Alec (Rhondda)||Pardoe, John|
|Park, George||Short, Mrs Renée (Wolv NE)||Wainwright, Richard (Colne V)|
|Parker, John||Silkin, Rt Hon John (Deptford)||Walker, Harold (Doncaster)|
|Pavitt, Laurie||Silkin, Rt Hon S. C. (Dulwich)||Walker, Terry (Kingswood)|
|Pendry, Tom||Smith, John (N Lanarkshire)||Ward, Michael|
|Penhaligon, David||Smith, Timothy John (Ashfield)||Watkins, David|
|P[...]rry, Ernest||Snape, Peter||Watkinson, John|
|Phipps, Dr Colin||Stallard, A. W.||Weetch, Ken|
|Price, William (Rugby)||Steel, Rt Hon David||Weitzman, David|
|Radice, Giles||Stewart, Rt Hon M. (Fulham)||Wellbeloved, James|
|Rees, Rt Hon Merlyn (Leeds S)||Stott, Roger||White, James (Pollok)|
|Renton, Tim (Mid-Sussex)||Strang, Gavin||Whitehead, Phillip|
|Richardson, Miss Jo||Surmmerskill, Hon Dr Shirley||Whitlock, William|
|Robinson, Geoffrey||Taylor, Mrs Ann (Bolton W)||Willey, Rt Hon Frederick|
|Roderick, Caerwyn||Temple-Morris, Peter||Williams, Rt Hon Alan (Swansea W)|
|Rodgers, George (Chorley)||Thomas, Dafydd (Merioneth)||Williams, Alan Lee (Hornch'ch)|
|Rodgers, Rt Hon William (Stockton)||Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)||Williams, Rt Hon Shirley (Hertford)|
|Roper, John||Thomas, Mike (Newcastle E)||Wilson, Rt Hon Sir Harold (Huyton)|
|Rose, Paul B.||Thomas, Ron (Bristol NW)||Wise, Mrs Audrey|
|Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight)||Thorne, Stan (Preston South)||Wood, Rt Hon Richard|
|Ross, Rt Hon W. (Kilmarnock)||Thorpe, Rt Hon Jeremy (N Devon)||Woodall, Alec|
|Ryman, John||Tierney, Sydney||Woof, Robert|
|Sainsbury, Tim||Tinn, James||Wrigglesworth, Ian|
|Sandelson, Neville||Tomlinson, John||Young, David (Bolton E)|
|Sedgemore, Brian||Tomney, Frank|
|Sever, John||Townsend, Cyril D.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Shaw, Arnold (Ilford South)||Urwin, T. W.||Mr. James Hamilton and|
|Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert||Varley, Rt Hon Eric G.||Mr. Ted Graham.|
|Shore, Rt Hon Peter||Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne V)|
|Division No. 93]||AYES||[6.12 p.m.|
|Abse, Leo||Dykes, Hugh||Mabon, Rt Hon Dr J. Dickson|
|Alison, Michael||Eadie, Alex||McCartney, Hugh|
|Anderson, Donald||English, Michael||MacFarquhar, Roderick|
|Archer, Rt Hon Peter||Ennals, Rt Hon David||Maclennan, Robert|
|Armstrong, Ernest||Evans, Gwynfor (Carmarthen)||Maquire, Frank (Fermanagh)|
|Atkinson, Norman||Ewing, Harry (Stirling)||Mallalieu, J. P. W.|
|Barnett, Guy (Greenwich)||Faulds, Andrew||Marks, Kenneth|
|Bates, Alf||Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)||Marshall, Dr Edmund (Goole)|
|Beith, A. J.||Foot, Rt Hon Michael||Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)|
|Berry, Hon Anthony||Fraser, John (Lambeth, N w'd)||Mason, Rt Hon Roy|
|Bidwell, Sydney||Freeson, Rt Hon Reginald||Mellish, Rt Hon Robert|
|Blenkinsop, Arthur||Freud, Clement||Meyer, Sir Anthony|
|Boardman, H.||Garrett, John (Norwich S)||Millan, Rt Hon Bruce|
|Boothroyd, Miss Betty||George, Bruce||Miller, Dr M. S. (E Kilbride)|
|Bottomley, Rt Hon Arthur||Gilbert, Rt Hon Dr John||Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)|
|Bottomley, Peter||Ginsburg, David||Morris, Rt Hon Charles R.|
|Boyden, James (Bish Auck)||Golding, John||Moyle, Roland|
|Bradley, Tom||Grant, George (Morpeth)||Mulley, Rt Hon Frederick|
|Brown, Ronald (Hackney S)||Grant, John (Islington C)||Murray, Rt Hon Ronald King|
|Buchan, Norman||Hamilton, James (Bothwell)||Ogden, Eric|
|Callaghan, Rt Hon J. (Cardiff SE)||Hamilton, W. W. (Central Fife)||O'Halloran, Michael|
|Callaghan, Jim (Middleton & P)||Hardy, Peter||Owen, Rt Hon Dr David|
|Campbell, Ian||Harper, Joseph||Pardoe, John|
|Carter, Ray||Harrison, Rt Hon Walter||Park, George|
|Cartwright, John||Hattersley, Rt Hon Roy||Parker, John|
|Chalker, Mrs Lynda||Hayhoe, Barney||Pendry, Tom|
|Clarke, Ken[...] (Rushcliffe)||Hayman, Mrs Helene||Penhaligon, David|
|Clemitson, Ivor||Horam, John||Perry, Ernest|
|Cocks, Rt Hon Michael (Bristol S)||Howell, David (Guildford)||Peyton, Rt Hon John|
|Cohen, Stanley||Howell, Rt Hon Denis (B'ham, Sm H)||Phipps, Dr Colin|
|Coleman, Donald||Howells, Geraint (Cardigan)||Price, William (Rugby)|
|Corbett, Robin||Huckfield, Les||Radice, Giles|
|Cowans, Harry||Hughes, Rt Hon C. (Anglesey)||Rees, Rt Hon Merlyn (Leeds S)|
|Crawshaw, Richard||Hunter, Adam||Renton, Tim (Mid-Sussex)|
|Crowther, Stan (Rotherham)||Hurd, Douglas||Rifkind, Malcolm|
|Cunningham, G. (Islington S)||John, Brynmor||Rodgers, Rt Hon William (Stockton)|
|Cunningham, Dr J.(Whiteh)||Johnson, Walter (Derby S)||Roper, John|
|Davies, Rt Hon Denzil||Jones, Barry (East Flint)||Rose, Paul B.|
|Dell, Rt Hon Edmund||Judd, Frank||Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight)|
|Doig, Peter||Kaufman, Gerald||Sandelson, Neville|
|Dormand, J. D.||Lamborn, Harry||Sever, John|
|Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James||Lester, Jim (Beeston)||Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert|
|Douglas-Mann, Bruce||Lipton, Marcus||Shore, Rt Hon Peter|
|Duffy, A. E. P.||Luard, Evan||Silkin, Rt Hon John (Deptford)|
|Dunn, James A.||Lyons, Edward (Bradford W)||Silkin, Rt Hon S. C. (Dulwich)|
|Smith, John (N Lanarkshire)||Tinn, James||Whitehead, Phillip|
|Smith, Timothy John (Ashfield)||Tomlinson, John||Whitlock, William|
|Snape, Peter||Tomney, Frank||Willey, Rt Hon Frederick|
|Stallard, A. W.||Varley, Rt Hon Eric G.||Williams, Rt Hon Alan (Swansea W)|
|Steel, Rt Hon David||Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne V)||Williams, Alan Lee (Hornch'ch)|
|Stewart, Rt Hon M. (Fulham)||Walker, Harold (Doncaster)||Williams, Rt Hon Shirley (Hertford)|
|Strang, Gavin||Ward, Michael||Wilson, R(Hon Sir Harold (Huyton)|
|Summerskill, Hon Dr Shirley||Watkins, David||Woodall, Alec|
|Taylor, Mrs Ann (Bolton W)||Watkinson, John||Wrigglesworth, Ian|
|Temple-Morris, Peter||Weetch, Ken|
|Thomas, Dafydd (Merioneth)||Weitzman, David||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Thomas, Mike (Newcastle E)||Wellbeloved, James||Mr. Ted Graham and|
|Thorpe, Rt Hon Jeremy (N Devon)||White, James (Pollok)||Mr. Thomas Cox.|
|Ashton, Joe||Kerr, Russell||Rathbone, Tim|
|Bean, R. E.||Kilroy-Sllk, Robert||Renton, Rt Hon Sir D. (Hunts)|
|Bell, Ronald||Kinnock, Neil||Richardson, Miss Jo|
|Biffen, John||Lamond, James||Robinson, Geoffrey|
|Bradford, Rev Robert||Latham, Arthur (Paddington)||Rodgers, George (Chorley)|
|Butler, Mrs Joyce (Wood Green)||Lestor, Miss Joan (Eton & Slough)||Rooker, J. W.|
|Carmichael, Neil||Litterick, Tom||Ross, William (Londonderry)|
|Carson, John||Loyden, Eddie||Ryman, John|
|Castle, Rt Hon Barbara||McCusker, H.||Scott, Nicholas|
|Evans, Fred (Caerphilly)||McNair-Wilson, M. (Newbury)||Short, Mrs Renée (Wolv NE)|
|Evans, Ioan (Aberdare)||Madden, Max||Skinner, Dennis|
|Evans, John (Newton)||Marten, Neil||Spearing, Nigel|
|Flannery, Martin||Maynard, Miss Joan||Stoddart, David|
|Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)||Mendelson, John||Thomas, Ron (Bristol NW)|
|Fraser, Rt Hon H. (Stafford & St)||Milkardo, Ian||Thorne, Stan (Preston South)|
|Gould, Bryan||Molloy, William||Winterton, Nicholas|
|Gow, Ian (Eastbourne)||Molyneaux, James||Wise, Mrs Audrey|
|Heffer, Eric S.||Newens, Stanley|
|Hoyle, Doug (Nelson)||Ovenden, John||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Jay, Rt Hon Douglas||Paisley, Rev Ian||Mr. John Ellis and|
|Jenkins, Hugh (Putney)||Powell, Rt Hon J. Enoch||Mr. Roger Moate.|