Mr Tom Driberg: Did the hon. Gentleman really mean to say "because"?
Mr Tom Driberg: Nor of which Government was in power.
Mr Tom Driberg: asked the Minister of Transport if he will refer to the National Board for Prices and Incomes the proposed increases in bus fares in outer London; and why he has indicated his intention of approving these increases without such reference.
Mr Tom Driberg: Although these increases are unwelcome everywhere, can my hon. Friend tell me why is it that people in outer London are considered better able to put up with them than people in other areas?
Mr Tom Driberg: I congratulate the hon. Lady the Member for Birmingham, Edgbaston (Mrs. Knight) at least on the brevity of her speech. Mr. Speaker has reminded us that there have been one or two very long speeches. The hon. Member for Birmingham, Ladywood (Mr. Lawler) certainly knows a great deal about his subject, and told us most of what he knows. His speech ran for 33 minutes. I shall not follow his...
Mr Tom Driberg: rose—
Mr Tom Driberg: rose—
Mr Tom Driberg: Dodging.
Mr Tom Driberg: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Does what my right hon. Friend has just said mean that in future the Table will be debarring us from asking Questions on points of detail about the Post Office?
Mr Tom Driberg: I shall intervene for only a few moments in a debate which is of much more direct interest to hon. Members from the North. I have to go to Blackpool every other year or two for a conference. Although the corporation and the people of Blackpool are renowned, and rightly so, for their most generous hospitality, there is one matter about which I should like to ask the hon. Member for Blackpool,...
Mr Tom Driberg: There has been a good deal of imputation of base motives against my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary and other members of the Government. Usually in this House, certainly in the context of other debates, you do not allow base motives to be attributed by hon. Members to each other, Mr. Speaker. However, my right hon. Friend is big enough to take these jibes and sneers. I want to draw...
Mr Tom Driberg: That is quite a good intervention and I honestly do not know how to answer it. But I was not dealing with that particular question but with the general question of the Commissions' recommendations, and the overwhelming majority of them are, after all, not being implemented. London constituencies are perhaps more stable in their population than others. Those on the fringes of London, the outer...
Mr Tom Driberg: I do not quite see the point of that intervention. The new electoral registers will contain the young peoples' names, and will be in operation, I think, from February. There will not be very much time between February and the probable date of the next General Election in which to deal with the matter in the manner the hon. Gentleman suggests. I said that this would be only a brief...
Mr Tom Driberg: I appreciate your recalling me, Mr. Speaker. I was diverted by some unseemly laughter on the benches opposite. The main attack today has been on the Government's good faith. There has been a serious imputation of base motives against the Home Secretary. I think that I am entitled to say that one of the reasons why we can have some confidence in the good faith of the Government in electoral...
Mr Tom Driberg: In view of the fact that more than 20 Questions down for reply by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister were not reached today, and in view of the increasingly educative and encyclopaedic nature of the Prime Minister's replies, will my right hon. Friend consider amending the Standing Order after the Recess so that we can have a little more time with the Prime Minister?
Mr Tom Driberg: asked the Minister of Power if he will issue a general direction to the North Thames Gas Board to cease using private contractors on work in connection with the overhaul of new re-forming plants so long as craftsmen employed by the Board and capable of doing the same work are being declared redundant, and that such work should be done, wherever possible, by the Board's own employees.
Mr Tom Driberg: If the Minister has no responsibility in this matter, why did the Table accept this Question? Is my hon. Friend suggesting that the Table erred? That is unthinkable. Is he aware of the strong concern and anger felt at the Beckton gas works and elsewhere at this unfair and uneconomic practice?
Mr Tom Driberg: No.
Mr Tom Driberg: On a point of order. Am I not right in suggesting, Mr. Speaker, that if the Table accepts a Question, the Minister has some responsibility or the Question would not have been accepted in the first instance?
Mr Tom Driberg: When my hon. Friend uses the words "detained" and "detention", is he referring only to persons detained without trial? Is there not still in prison a large number of persons who were tried on charges arising out of the emergency?