Orders of the Day — International Monetary Arrangements Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:12 pm on 11th July 1983.

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Photo of Mr Enoch Powell Mr Enoch Powell , South Down 5:12 pm, 11th July 1983

It is one of the most difficult and disarming moments when a Minister introduces a Bill with the assertion that everybody agrees with and approves of the objects to which it is directed. One is embarrassed, amid the approving murmur that follows such declarations, to punctuate his speech with a series of negatives, as, taught by experience not to keep my month shut, I did not refrain from doing this afternoon.

Judge, then, how grateful I am to the official Opposition for having tabled a reasoned amendment to the motion for Second Reading. It is not that they are serious about it. It became clear during the speech of the right hon. Member for Bethnal Green and Stepney (Mr. Shore) that, in general, they agree with the nonsense with which the Bill is concerned. The whole contraption is not merely familiar but congenial to them. Nevertheless, thanks to the form of the motion that they have tabled they will vote against the proposition that the Bill be read a Second time.