Clause 80 – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 18th July 1978.

Alert me about debates like this

Lords Amendment: No. 109, in page 38, line 37, at end insert— ("(5) If a resolution under section 79(4) of this Act has been moved in each House of Parliament, but has not been passed by both Houses the Secretary of State shall lay before Parliament the draft of an Order in Council providing for the repeal of this Act.")

4.25 p.m.

Photo of Mr John Smith Mr John Smith , Lanarkshire North

I beg to move, That this House doth disagree with the Lords in the said amendment.

This amendment was inserted into the Bill at Committee stage in another place by a majority of 101 to 94. Although at first glance it appears to be disarmingly simple and persuasive, it is my case that when subjected to closer analysis the need for it becomes very much less apparent.

I should like to remind the House of some of the conditions that we have already put into the Bill about this being implemented. As the House is aware, the passing of this legislation does not lead thereby to the implementation of devolution. There are other steps on the road. The first of these is the requirement that there must be a referendum. In addition, the House at an earlier stage passed a special rule—which the Government deeply opposed but which the House decided to carry—to the effect that there should be a 40 per cent. hurdle in the Bill. Now we have an attempt by the House of Lords to add yet another condition on the way in which the House reaches a decision whether devolution is to be implemented.

The House will recollect that the referendum which is to be held is advisory, but one expects the House to pay careful attention to the vote recorded in that referendum—otherwise there is little point in going to the trouble of having it.

I should also remind the House that last night we agreed to Lords Amendment No. 106, which added a little to the provision relating to the 40 per cent. —namely, to the effect that the Secretary of State will have to bring forward an order repealing the Act if there is a failure to obtain 40 per cent. or a failure to obtain a "Yes" majority or a simple majority. Therefore, I believe that this House has already taken over-careful precautions in terms of how it considers the question whether devolution is to be implemented.

Let me illustrate my remarks by considering some possibilities. If the vote in the referendum is such that less than 40 per cent. of those entitled to vote, in fact vote "Yes", the Secretary of State is under a statutory duty to bring before the House an order repealing the Act. If that situation arises, there is no need for this type of amendment because it will be brought sharply before the House, the Secretary of State will have to lay an order, and the House must reach a decision in it.

If, on the other hand, the 40 per cent hurdle is overcome and more than 40 per cent. of those entitled to vote in fact vote "Yes"—which is quite a high proportion of the electorate—the Act will not come into force automatically. There must be a commencement order laid before the House and approved by affirmative resolution of both Houses of Parliament. That will be the point at which, if over 40 per cent. have voted "Yes", the House will have to reach its decision.

I regard that as a belt-and-braces situation, particularly when one takes into account the additional requirement that when we consider the repeal provisions, there has to be a simple majority voting "Yes" in a referendum. But another place has gone on to say that if the commencement order is not passed, there will have to be a statutory duty on the Secretary of State to repeal the Act.

We feel that that is going a little too far. It is also open to a certain amount of misinterpretation, particularly among the Scottish electorate, which is sometimes puzzled about some of the rules for the holding of referendums. It has not escaped the attention of many people that we are making a different provision in this referendum from that made by Parliament in the EEC referendum. Provisions such as this regarding the repeal of the Act do not appear to have been in the minds of the Opposition at the time when that legislation was discussed any more than were conditions about the figure of 40 per cent.

We believe that what Parliament has already provided is quite sufficient. It was provided against the Government's advice, but we reluctantly accepted it. There will be a 40 per cent. rule in the referendum and a rule that if there is not a majority voting "Yes", an order for repeal will have to be laid before the House. I am bound to wonder for what conceivable situation we need to make even more provisions.

The 40 per cent. rule is quite a stiff hurdle. I believe that it will be passed because of the popularity of these proposals among the electorate in Scotland. If the hon. Member for Glasgow, Cathcart (Mr. Taylor) is correct in thinking that my view is wrong, there is no problem for him because if the 40 per cent. requirement is not reached, the repeal order has to be laid before the House. I am sure that the hon. Gentleman will not vote for the amendment because he will realise that it is unnecessary since it concerns an absurdly hypothetical situation.

There are others with whom the amendment might find favour—my hon. Friend the Member for West Lothian (Mr. Dalyell) for example. Let me recall the history of his approach to devolution. First, he signed a motion asking the Government to bring in a referendum, despite the fact that he had often made critical comments about a referendum on this matter. That request was met, but that was not enough. He had to go on and vote for the 40 per cent. rule. He won that victory and I understand that his position now is that even if the 40 per cent. rule were met and the Scottish people voted in very large numbers for the implementation of devolution, my hon. Friend—whatever the people of Scotland say in the referendum for which he asked and for which he voted special rules—will still vote against devolution when the matter comes back to the House. That is an absurd position for someone who has urged that there should be a referendum. I do not think that we should oblige him any more by putting in further special conditions. It is because I believe that the amendment is unnecessary that I recommend that it should be rejected.

Photo of Mr Jim Sillars Mr Jim Sillars , Ayrshire South

As I understand the position, if we accept the amendment, we might never even get to the referendum. Have I read the amendment wrongly?

Photo of Mr John Smith Mr John Smith , Lanarkshire North

I am glad to reassure my hon. Friend that the amendment would not have that effect. It will mean that if there were a failure to carry the commencement order laid before the House, the Secretary of State would have to lay a draft order to repeal the Act and wipe it off the statute book. It will not affect the referendum. If it did, my opposition to it would be even more strenuous.

We have done enough in putting special conditions on the holding of the referendum and on Parliament's consideration of it without indulging another place by inserting any more conditions.

Mr. Leon Britton:

It is hardly surprising that the hon. Member for South Ayrshire (Mr. Sillars) should have been misled into misreading the effect of the amendment because the Minister of State talked about almost anything rather than the actual provisions of the amendment. He criticised the general position of his hon. Friend the Member for West Lothian (Mr. Dalyell) on the referendum. That is not what the amendment is about. It can be made to sound highly technical, but we believe that it ought to be supported because it is important to make clear in the legislation that we pass what the precise consequences of the referendum are to be and to what its various outcomes will lead.

The purpose of the amendment is twofold—first, to confirm the advisory character of the referendum and, secondly, to complete the machinery for dealing with the situation arising from one possible result of the referendum. We welcome it as a valuable contribution to the Bill from another place.

The Minister of State asked, fairly enough, a question that he has asked before. It has been answered before, but since he asks it again it must he answered again. He queried why different and more precise requirements are to be put into this referendum compared with those that were put into the EEC referendum. The answer is simple. It is that in the European referendum the whole of the United Kingdom was given the opportunity to decide its fate. In this referendum, Scotland alone is being given the opportunity to expres a view on a piece of legislation which may certainly affect Scotland more directly but which will undoubtedly have profound implications for the government of the United Kingdom as a whole. That cannot be escaped.

In those circumstances, although most of us would accept the fact that the referendum inevitably must be held in Scotland alone, the consequences for the United Kingdom are such that it is not unreasonable or unfair—and it should not be misunderstood in Scotland or anywhere else—that the requirements to be placed upon that referendum and the consequences that flow from it must be stricter and must be scrutinised more carefully than in a referendum in which all the voters of the United Kingdom are entitled to participate.

The Minister seemed unable to make up his mind whether the amendment was merely unnecessary or positively pernicious. He did not examine the consequences or purposes of it at all. It seeks to deal with an eventuality that may not be probable but is certainly possible and that we say should be dealt with. The eventuality is a situation in which there is no legal obligation for a repeal order to be put before the House.

If the 40 per cent. requirement is met, a commencement order will come before the House, but for any one of a number of reasons the House may decide not to pass it. What will happen? When this possibility was argued in another place, the Government's first response was to say that it was inconceivable that if the 40 per cent. requirement were met, the House of Commons would not pass a commencement order. However, that argument is wholly inconsistent with the Government's repeated assertion that the referendum is merely advisory, because even if the 40 per cent. requirement is met, it will still be for the House to decide whether to pass the commencement order and put the Bill into effect.

Quite apart from the general philosophical point about the advisory character of the referendum, let me illustrate one or two circumstances in which the House might not feel bound by the fact that a commencement order is laid after the 40 per cent. requirement has been met.

The first possibility is that there may be a doubt about whether the 40 per cent. requirement has been met. The provisions of the Bill relating to that requirement are fairly general. The Bill says: If it appears to the Secretary of State that less than 40 per cent. of the persons entitled to vote in the referendum have voted "Yes"…". There are two uncertainties here. First, the decision is a subjective one which is left to the Secretary of State. Secondly, the question of who is entitled to vote is, as those who oppose the provision made clear, one which is susceptible to a certain amount of argument. It raises the questions of dead voters, those who could not reasonably be expected to participate and so on. The question whether the 40 per cent. requirement has been met is not clear cut.

The House may take the view that the Secretary of State was wrong in laying an order before the House. The House may consider that it should have appeared to the Secretary of State that fewer than 40 per cent. of those entitled to vote in a referendum had voted, even though the Secretary of State had taken a different view. If the House collectively is of the opinion that the Secretary of State has misread the referendum and that the 40 per cent. requirement has not been met, the only step that it can take is to refuse to pass the commencement order.

Photo of Miss Betty Harvie Anderson Miss Betty Harvie Anderson , Renfrewshire East

Does my hon. and learned Friend agree that there will be strong feeling in the background among all Scots resident south of the border who will not be entitled to vote, and that that will become a powerful factor, at least in public opinion?

Mr. Britton:

That indicates that the House of Commons will not be faced with an automatic result following the referendum that it has merely to rubber stamp.

By way of illustration, the second situation in which the House of Commons may not pass a commencement order is if the country is faced with an acute crisis of one sort or another—for example, an economic crisis. In that event the House of Commons may decide that the time is not appropriate or proper for the implementation of the Bill.

It is conceivable that that might happen, although I am not saying that it is likely. The Minister of State should not look so gleeful at the prospect of making political points based on what has just been said. It would be less than rational to ignore the possibility, however remote the right hon. Gentleman may think it is, of the country as a whole being faced with a crisis of such magnitude that it would not be right to implement the Bill.

I put forward those arguments as examples and illustrations. The real point, as the Government repeatedly tell us, is that it is for the House to decide in the light of the referendum result. The 40 per cent. requirement merely imposes a situation in which there is an obligation for the House to have an opportunity to consider repeal. However, it does not fetter the decision of the House whether, in the light of the referendum, to implement the Bill.

Photo of Mr Tam Dalyell Mr Tam Dalyell , West Lothian

I was seeking earlier to interrupt the hon. and learned Gentleman to clear up mechanics and fact. As I understand it, the dead men are in their graves. However, is there not a problem concerning those who are entitled to two votes in normal elections—for example, students or those who are away from home. I understand that Lord Allen of Abbeydale, who undertook the Common Market referendum, feels that there are difficulties involving the assessment that a registrar may make during any month in the year as regards the electoral register. It would be convenient for us all if in reply my right hon. Friend the Minister of State cleared up that issue.

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

In view of the time, I shall not seek to give a full reply. In any event, I do not think that I am either qualified or able to analyse in detail the varying circumstances to which the hon. Gentleman has referred.

It is to be derived from the hon. Gentleman's intervention that the assessment whether the 40 per cent. requirement has been met is not precise and that it is possible for the Secretary of State to reach one view and for the House to come to another, quite apart from the fact that in any event it remains the responsibility of the House of Commons to decide in the light of all the circumstances whether it is right for the commencement order to be passed.

4.45 p.m.

Photo of Mr Gordon Wilson Mr Gordon Wilson , Dundee East

The hon. and learned Gentleman said that there might be some extraordinary situation involving a national crisis that in the next year could give another place or this place the opportunity not to bring the Bill into effect through the commencement order. I ask the hon. and learned Gentleman to tell the House the crisis that he has in mind; otherwise the House might come to the view that he is scaremongering and has picked that example out of the blue to buttress a rather weak argument.

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

Anyone who listened to what I said would not have thought that I was scaremongering. What I said was by way of example and was not meant as any sort of prediction. In stressing that, I was seeking to pre-empt any attempt on the past of the hon. Member for Dundee, East (Mr. Wilson) to use my example in any way except as an example. We might be faced with a national defence crisis. I do not expect anything of that sort, but I am sure that even the hon. Gentleman will accept that if there were a crisis in that area of our national life, the creation of the Scottish Assembly could not be something that the House would necessarily think should be done at such a moment.

The purpose of the amendment is to deal with a situation in which the House for one reason or another—the right hon. Gentleman and the Government as a whole have stressed that the discretion will remain with it and must remain with it if the referendum is to be consultative in character—decides not to pass the commencement order. The question that the other place asked us to consider was "what happens if the commencement order is placed before the House and rejected?" Does the Bill remain in limbo? The answer that the other place came up with was that in that event it would be wrong that the Bill should remain in limbo and that the House of Commons should be given the opportunity to decide whether it wished to repeal the Bill. In those circumstances it was said that it would be right for the House of Commons to have the repeal order before it to decide what to do.

It does not necessarily follow that the House would vote for repeal. There could be a situation in which the House genuinely thought it right for the measure to remain on the statute book—for example, if the House had not supported the commencment order because there had been a national crisis or, less dramatically, if the preparations necessary for the creation of the Assembly were not sufficiently far advanced. In that event there is no doubt that the House would express the view that the measure should remain on the statute book and that it would not pass the repeal order. It would be open to the Government to come forward with it at another time.

It is also conceivable that the House could refuse to pass the commencement order for a more substantial reason of a more permanent character related to the outcome of the referendum, and that in form the vote not to pass the commencement order was in reality and in substance a vote not to enact the Bill and not to bring it into effect.

I suggest that in that event it would be far better for the House to face reality and to decide whether it favoured the repeal of the Scotland Act. It would lead to far more conflict, which is what we have consistently sought to avoid, if the measure were to stay on the statute book with the possibility of it coming up again and again for enactment.

The only obligation that the amendment puts upon the Government is for them to lay before Parliament a draft repeal order. It would then be for the House to decide what to do. What is more, it would be for the Government of the day to seek to advise their supporters, if they so wished, not to support the repeal order.

The Government should be especially familiar with that possibility. If we look back to the episode of the parliamentary boundary commission before the 1970 election, we recall one of the more squalid and disreputable episodes in the career of the present Prime Minister. At that time the independent judicially chaired Commission brought forward proposals and the Government did not wish to lay the order before the House to implement them. Eventually, the Government were threatened with action in the High Court. There was an action for mandamus to compel the Government to lay the order before the House.

What did the Government do? It was a squalid and disreputable episode that the Prime Minister might wish to forget if not to disown in his more statesmanlike moods. The Government put the order, under threat of legal action, before the House and solemnly advised their own supporters to troop through the Lobbies and vote it down. That is what happened. It is not a happy precedent but it illustrates that if the situation that I have envisaged occurs it will be open to the Government to advise their supporters against a repeal.

All that this amendment does is to provide that if the House of Commons, exercising its discretion following from the concept of a consultative referendum, decides not to pass the commencement order, it should be given an opportunity —and no more than an opportunity—to decide whether it wishes the Bill to remain on the statute book or to repeal it. Because the amendment gives the House that opportunity and fills a gap in the Bill, I advise my right hon. and hon. Friends to support it.

Photo of Mr George Robertson Mr George Robertson , Hamilton

During the lengthy debates in the House of Lords the chief Opposition spokesman, Earl Ferrers, repeatedly predicted that he might some day find himself on the wrong side of a courtroom and that he would demand that Lord McCluskey should defend him, so impressive were his arguments in the debates on the Scotland Bill. If I were in a similar position I should not necessarily jump for the hon. and learned Member for Cleveland and Whitby (Mr. Brittan) to defend me. Those who were not actually asleep in the courtroom would be so confused that they would not be sure of my guilt or my innocence.

Despite the hon. and learned Gentleman's convoluted arguments, the motivation behind the amendment is clear. It is a wrecking amendment. It is designed to place yet another obstacle in the path of devolution. Some noble Lords were clear in their declaration of that. Lord Wigg said that he considered the Bill to be treason, that he wished the Bill's throat to be cut and that this was one of the ways in which to do that. Lord Morris of Borth-y-Gest said that the Lords were attempting to run away from an elected dictatorship.

The amendment adds yet another obstacle to the progress of the legislation. It does not add to or help the devolution process. The debate hinges on whether the referendum is to be of an advisory nature. The Opposition's arguments are based on the referendum being advisory. They say that all the orders can be laid on the Table and that we shall, one afternoon or late evening, be able to vote on the alternatives in one fell swoop.

The 40 per cent. limitation has been introduced into the Bill. That means that neither morally nor legally can the referendum be advisory. The more restrictions that are placed on the referendum the less likely are the people of Scotland to regard this as a purely advisory referendum.

If there are those who wish to see the Bill repealed they should not try to achieve that end by subterfuge. They should act openly and cleanly. If the Bill is to be repealed it must be done openly. The people of Scotland must realise the consequences of their actions and that the intention of those who want to see the Bill repealed is perhaps to fly in the face of a clear cut decision made by the people of Scotland in a referendum.

Photo of Miss Betty Harvie Anderson Miss Betty Harvie Anderson , Renfrewshire East

Do not the terms of the amendment mean clearly that the House of Commons has the full authority? All that the amendment does is to propose a procedure which can be used. It represents an option after all other matters have been closed.

Photo of Mr George Robertson Mr George Robertson , Hamilton

There are so many options that could follow a solemnly taken referendum that there is complete confusion. The more confusions that are placed in the path of the Bill, the less credible will be the House of Commons if it makes decisions which are against the views of the Scottish people.

It is possible that the House will decide to ignore the will of the large majority who are in favour of the Bill. I have read the debates in the Lords. The amendment is a wrecking amendment and yet another obstacle in the path of devolution. This is yet another means by which the credibility of the House and its legislation will diminish in the Ayes of the Scottish people.

Photo of Mr Gordon Wilson Mr Gordon Wilson , Dundee East

Because of the time I shall be briefer than I should otherwise have been. I agree with the hon. Member for Hamilton (Mr. Robertson) that this is just another impediment placed in the way of the Scotland Bill. If I had no suspicion and no experience of the workings of the House, particularly in the last two years, I might have accepted the amendment as being purely technical. But I am sure that the Lords would not have wasted its time, in collaboration with the Conservatives and the opposition within the Labour Party, over a technicality.

The position is not entirely that described by the Minister. The strength of the Scotland Bill has been diminished over the years. We started off four years ago with election promises from both main parties. At that time there was no referendum in sight. But now we have to deal with one tripwire after another. The legislation has been filled with pits down some of which the Government have fallen. Despite these obstacles the Bill is nearing the end of its passage, but the House of Lords is still intervening and causing trouble.

The Scottish people have only to examine the passage of the Bill to see how much resistance there is to the whole concept of devolved government. The establishment in the United Kingdom seems determined to cling desperately to power, even in the face of decisions which might be taken by the Scots in a referendum.

If the House makes a further mistake by passing the amendment, and if there should be trouble over the outcome of the referendum, all the difficulties and problems that have been created unnecessarily by the hon. Member for West Lothian (Mr. Dalyell) and his buddies on the Conservative Benches will come home to roost. We resist the amendment.

Photo of Mr Jim Sillars Mr Jim Sillars , Ayrshire South

At first I thought that the amendment was a device to bypass the people. But it is even worse than that. It is a device to bypass the decision of the people. The Conservative Party is committed to the referendum, but what was said from the Opposition Front Bench paves the way for bypassing any decision by the people of Scotland that a Conservative Government do not like. The Conservatives say that they are committed to a referendum and to consulting the people but that if the people produce an answer that they do not like, they will find a way of overturning that view. That is unreasonable, unfair and despicable.

Division No. 279]AYES[5.00 p.m.
Allaun, FrankDoig, PeterKilfedder, James
Anderson, DonaldDormand, J. D.Kilroy-Silk, Robert
Archer, Rt Hon PeterDouglas-Mann, BruceKinnock, Nell
Armstrong, ErnestDuffy, A. E. P.Lambie, David
Ashley, JackDunnett, JackLamborn, Harry
Ashton, JoeEadie, AlexLamond, James
Atkins, Ronald (Preston N)Edge, GeoffLatham, Arthur (Paddington)
Atkinson, Norman (H'gay, Tott'ham)Edwards, Robert (Wolv SE)Lestor, Miss Joan (Eton & Slough)
Bagier, Gordon A. T.Ellis, John (Brigg & Scun)Litterick, Tom
Bain, Mrs MargaretEllis, Tom (Wrexham)Loyden, Eddie
Barnett, Guy (Greenwich)English, MichaelLuard, Evan
Bates, AltEvans, loan (Aberdare)Lyon, Alexander (York)
Bean, R. E.Evans, John (Newton)Lyons, Edward (Bradford W)
Beith, A. J.Ewing, Harry (Stirling)Mabon, Rt Hon Dr J. Dickson
Benn, Rt Hon Anthony WedgwoodEwing, Mrs Winifred (Moray)McCartney, Hugh
Bennett, Andrew (Stockport N)Faulds, AndrewMcDonald, Dr Oonagh
Bidwell, SydneyFernyhough, Rt Hon E.McElhone, Frank
Bienkinsop, ArthurFitch, Alan (Wigan)MacFarquhar, Roderick
Sooth, Rt Hon AlbertFlannery, MartinMcGuire, Michael (Ince)
Boothroyd, Miss BettyFletcher, Ted (Darlington)McKay, Allen
Bottomley, Rt Hon ArthurFoot, Rt Hon MichaelMacKenzie, Gregor
Bradley, TomFord, BenMaclennan, Robert
Bray, Dr JeremyForrester, JohnMcMillan, Tom (Glasgow C)
Sroughton, Sir AlfredFowler, Gerald (The Wrekin)McNamara, Kevin
Brown, Hugh D. (Provan)Fraser, John (Lambeth, (N'w'd)Madden, Max
Buchan, NormanFreud, ClementMagee, Bryan
Buchanan, RichardGarrett, John (Norwich S)Mahon, Simon
Butler, Mrs Joyce (Wood Green)Garrett, W. E. (Wallsend)Marks, Kenneth
Callaghan, Jim (Middleton & P)George, BruceMarshall, Dr Edmund (Goole)
Campbell, IanGilbert, Rt Hon Dr JohnMarshall, Jim (Leicester S)
Canavan, DennisGinsburg, DavidMaynard, Miss Joan
Cant, R. B.Golding, JohnMeacher, Michael
Carmichael, NeilGourlay, HarryMeacher, Michael
Carter, RayGrant, John (Islington C)Mellish, Rt Hon Robert
Carter-Jones, LewisGrimond, Rt Hon J.Mikardo, Ian
Cartwright, JohnGrocort, BruceMillan, Rt Hon Bruce
Castle, Rt Hon BarbaraHamilton, W. W. (Central Fife)Mitchell, Austin (Grimsby)
Clemitson, IvorHardy, PeterMitchell, R. C. (Soton, Itchen)
Cocks, Rt Hon Michael (Bristol S)Hart, Rt Hon JudithMorris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)
Cohen, StanleyHeffer, Eric S.Morris, Rt Hon Charles R.
Cook, Robin F. (Edin C)Hooley, FrankMorton, George Martin
Corbett, RobinHoram, JohnMoyle, Rt. Hon. Roland
Cowans, HarryHoyle, Doug (Nelson)Mulley, Rt Hon Frederick
Craigen, Jim (Maryhill)Huckfield, LesMurray, Rt Hon Ronald King
Crawford, DouglasHughes, Rt Hon C. (Anglesey)Newens, Stanley
Crawshaw, RichardHughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)Noble, Mike
Crowther, Stan (Rotherham)Hughes, Roy (Newport)Oakes, Gordon
Cryer, BobIrving, Rt Hon S. (Dartford)Orbach, Maurice
Cunningham, Dr J. (Whiteh)Jackson, Colin (Brighouse)Orme, Rt Hon Stanley
Dalyell, TamJackson, Miss Margaret (Lincoln)Ovenden, John
Davidson, ArthurJanner, GrevillePadley, Walter
Davies, Bryan (Enfield N)Jay, Rt Hon DouglasPalmer, Arthur
Davies, Rt Hon DenzilJenkins, Hugh (Putney)Pardoe, John
Davies, Ifor (Gower)John, BrynmorPark, George
Deakins, EricJohnston, Russell (Inverness)Parker, John
Dean, Joseph (Leeds West)Jones, Barry (East Flint)Parry, Robert
de Freitas, Rt Hon Sir GeoffreyJones, Dan (Burnley)Pavitt, Laurie
Dell, Rt Hon EdmundJudd, FrankPenhaligon, David
Dempsey, JamesKaufman, Rt Hon GeraldPrice, C. (Lewisham W)
Dewar, DonaldKerr, RussellPrice, William (Rugby)

The House of Lords, which has not been elected by anyone, has produced a device by which 40 per cent. of the people who are eligible to vote in Scotland might still find that their view is negatived by Parliament. That is unreasonable, unfair and despicable.

Question put, That this House cloth disagree with the Lords in the said amendment: —

The House divided: Ayes 259, Noes 211.

Radice, GilesSkinner, DennisWalker, Harold (Doncaster)
Rees, Rt Hon Meriyn (Leeds S)Smith, Cyril (Rochdale)Walker, Terry (Kingswood)
Reid, GeorgeSmith, Rt. Hon. John (N Lanarkshire)Watkins, David
Richardson, Miss JoSnape, PeterWatt, Hamish
Roberts, Albert (Normanton)Spriggs, LeslieWeetch, Ken
Roberts, Gwilym (Cannock)Stallard, A. W.Wellbeloved, James
Robertson, George (Hamilton)Steel, Rt Hon DavidWelsh, Andrew
Robertson, John (Paisley)Stewart, Rt Hon DonaldWhite, Frank R. (Bury)
Robinson, GeoffreyStewart, Rt Hon M. (Fulham)White, James (Pollok)
Roderick, CaerwynStott, RogerWhitehead, Phillip
Rodgers, George (Chorley)Strang, GavinWhitlock, William
Rodgers, Rt Hon William (Stockton)Summerskill, Hon Dr ShirleyWigley, Dafydd
Rooker, J. W.Swain, ThomasWilley, Rt Hon Frederick
Rose, Paul B.Taylor, Mrs Ann (Bolton W)Williams, Alan (Swansea W)
Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight)Thomas, Dafydd (Merioneth)Williams, Alan Lee (Hornch'ch)
Ross, Rt Hon W. (Kilmarnock)Thomas, Mike (Newcastle E)Williams, Rt Hon Shirley (Hertford)
Ryman, JohnThomas, Ron (Bristol NW)Williams, Sir Thomas (Warrington)
Sandelson, NevilleThompson, GeorgeWilson, Gordon (Dundee E)
Sedgemore, BrianThorne, Stan (Preston South)Wilson, Rt Hon Sir Harold (Huyton)
Sever, JohnThorpe, Rt Hon Jeremy (N Devon)Wilson, William (Coventry SE)
Shaw, Arnold (llford South)Tilley, JohnWise, Mrs Audrey
Sheldon, Rt Hon RobertTinn, JamesWoof, Robert
Shore, Rt Hon PeterTomlinson, JohnWrigglesworth, Ian
Short, Mrs Renée (Wolv NE)Tomney, FrankYoung, David (Bolton E)
Silkin, Rt Hon John (Deptford)Tuck, Raphael
Silkin, Rt Hon S. C. (Dulwich)Urwin, T. W.TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Sillars, JamesVarley, Rt Hon Eric G.Mr. Ted Graham and
Silverman, JuliusWainwright, Edwin (Dearne V)Mr. Thomas Cox
Adley, RobertFraser, Rt Hon H. (Stafford & St)McCrindle, Robert
Alison, MichaelFry, PeterMacfarlane, Neil
Amery, Rt Hon JulianGalbraith, Hon T. G. D.MacGregor, John
Arnold, TomGardiner, George (Reigate)MacKay, Andrew (Stechford)
Atkinson, David (B'mouth, East)Gilmour, Rt Hon Sir Ian (Chesham)Macmillan, Rt Hon M. (Farnham)
Banks, RobertGilmour, Sir John (East Fife)McNair-Wilson, M. (Newbury)
Bell, RonaldGlyn, Dr AlanMcNair-Wilson, P. (New Forest)
Bendall, VivianGoodhew, VictorMadel, David
Benyon, W.Goodlad, AlastairMarshall, Michael (Arundel)
Biffen, JohnGorst, JohnMarten, Nell
Biggs-Davison, JohnGow, Ian (Eastbourne)Mather, Carol
Blaker, PeterGower, Sir Raymond (Barry)Maude, Angus
Body, RichardGrant, Anthony (Harrow C)Maudling, Rt Hon Reginald
Boscawen, Hon RobertGray, HamishMawby, Ray
Boyson, Dr Rhodes (Brent)Grieve, PercyMaxwell-Hyslop, Robin
Braine, Sir BernardGriffiths, EldonMayhew, Patrick
Brittan, LeonGrist, IanMiller, Hal (Bromsgrove)
Brocklebank-Fowler, C.Hamilton, Archibald (Epsom & Ewell)Mills, Peter
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath)Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury)Miscampbell, Norman
Buchanan-Smith, AlickHampson, Dr KeithMitchell, David (Basingstoke)
Buck, AntonyHannam, JohnMoate, Roger
Budgen, NickHarvie Anderson, Rt Hon MissMolyneaux, James
Bulmer, EsmondHaselhurst, AlanMonro, Hector
Burden, F. A.Havers, Sir MichaelMontgomery, Fergus
Butler, Adam (Bosworth)Hawkins, PaulMoore, John (Croydon C)
Channon, PaulHayhoe, BarneyMore, Jasper (Ludlow)
Churchill, W. S.Heath, Rt Hon EdwardMorgan, Geraint
Clark, Alan (Plymouth, Sutton)Heseltine, MichaelMorgan-Giles. Rear-Admiral
Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe)Higgins, Terence L.Morrison, Charles (Devizes)
Cockcroft, JohnHolland, PhilipMorrison, Hon Peter (Chester)
Cope, JohnHordern, PeterMudd, David
Cormack, PatrickHowe, Rt Hon Sir GeoffreyNelson, Anthony
Costain, A. P.Howell, David (Guildford)Newton, Tony
Crouch, DavidHunt, David (Wirral)Normanton, Tom
Crowder, F. P.Hunt, John (Bromley)Nott, John
Davies, Rt Hon J. (Knutsford)Hurd, DouglasOnslow, Cranley
Dean, Paul (N Somerset)Hutchison, Michael ClarkOppenheim, Mrs Sally
Dodsworth, GeoffreyIrving, Charles (Cheltenham)Page, John (Harrow West)
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord JamesJames, DavidPage, Rt Hon R. Graham (Crosby)
du Cann, Rt Hon EdwardJenkin, Rt Hon P. (Wanst'd&W'df'd)Parkinson, Cecil
Dykes, HughJessel, TobyPercival, Ian
Eden, Rt Hon Sir JohnJohnson Smith, G. (E Grinstead)Pink, R. Bonner
Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke)Jopling, MichaelPowell, Rt Hon J. Enoch
Elliott, Sir WilliamJoseph, Rt Hon Sir KeithPrentice, Rt Hon Reg
Emery, PeterKellett-Bowman, Mrs ElainePrice, David (Eastleigh)
Eyre, ReginaldKimball, MarcusPrior, Rt Hon James
Fairbairn, NicholasKitson, Sir TimothyPym, Rt Hon Francis
Fell, AnthonyKnight, Mrs JillRaison, Timothy
Fletcher, Alex (Edinburgh N)Knox, DavidRathbone, Tim
Fletcher-Cooke, CharlesLamont, NormanRees, Peter (Dover & Deal)
Fookes, Miss JanetLawrence, IvanRenton, Rt Hon Sir D. (Hunts)
Forman, NigelLawson, NigelRhodes James, R.
Fowler, Norman (Sutton C'f'd)Loveridge, JohnRhys Williams, Sir Brandon
Fox, MarcusLuce, RichardRidley, Hon Nicholas
Ridsdale, JulianSpeed, KeithWainwright, Richard (Colne V)
Rifkind MalcolmSpence, JohnWakeham, John
Rippon Rt Hon GeoffreySpioer, Jim (W Dorset)Welder, David (Clitheroe)
Roberts, Wyn (Conway)Spicer, Michael (S Worcester)Walker, Rt Hon P. (Worcester)
Roes, William (Londonderry)Sproat, IainWalker-Smith, Rt Hon Sir Derek
Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)Stainton, KeithWalters, Dennis
Rost, Peter (SE Derbyshire)Stanley, JohnWeatherill, Bernard
Royle, Sir AnthonySteen, Anthony (Wavertree)Wells, John
Sainsbury, TimStewart, Ian (Hitchin)Whitney, Raymond
St. John-Stevas, NormanStokes, JohnWiggin, Jerry
Shaw, Giles (Pudsey)Tapsell, PeterWinterton, Nicholas
Shelton, William (Strealham)Taylor, R. (Croydon NW)Wood, Rt Hon Richard
Shepherd, ColinTaylor, Teddy (Cathcart)Younger, Hon George
Silvester, FredTemple-Morris, Peter
Sims, RogerThomas, Rt Hon P. (Hendon S)
Skeet, T. H. H.Townsend, Cyril D.TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Smith, Dudley (Warwick)van Straubenzee, W. R.Mr, Jim Lester and
Smith, Timothy John (Ashfield)Vaughan, Or GerardMr. Michael Roberts

Question accordingly agreed to.

It being after Five o'clock, Mr. DEPUTY SPEAKER proceeded, pursuant to the Order [4th July}, to put forthwith the Questions necessary for the disposal of the Business to be concluded at Five o'clock.

Lords amendment no. 110 agreed to.

Lords amendments nos. 111 to 114 disagreed to.

Lords amendments nos. 115 to 129 agreed to.