Mr Robert Mellish: On a point of order. The matter that has just been referred to in that altercation in fact came up today at Question Time, and it was made abundantly clear that the police had been informed at the time and it was a matter for their action. Nothing of that kind was said, and it is important, if we are to have a sensible debate, that people at least try to tell the truth.
Mr Robert Mellish: During the Christmas period, by way of using up my leisure time, I read a book by a Mr. Wilson—not Harold—which described the downfall of the Liberal Party. It was a book based on the historical past of that very great party at the turn of the century. Having listened to the speech of the hon. Member for Cornwall, North (Mr. Pardoe), I must say that at the present time I see no future for...
Mr Robert Mellish: My right hon. Friend will be aware that the London ambulance service has probably been one of the finest in the world. It is with deep regret that I and, I believe, all hon. Members view the action of some who have made the service unavailable for emergencies. May I pick up part of the Secretary of State's statement? The key to this matter is not just saying what one tells unions to do, or...
Mr Robert Mellish: May I say, Mr. Speaker, with great respect and in an effort to be helpful, that it was a known fact—it was in the press yesterday and on the radio this morning—that there was to be a march of 60,000 to 70,000 people upon this House today. We all knew, as Members, that there would be terrible pressure on the police in order to keep open the doors of this House. Surely in these...
Mr Robert Mellish: It is Bethnal Green.
Mr Robert Mellish: It is Bethnal Green and Bow, so the hon. and learned Member for Beaconsfield (Mr. Bell) is wrong.
Mr Robert Mellish: The right hon. Member for Crosby (Mr. Page) will, I think, be surprised to hear that I hope that there is an early General Election. I should not be unhappy if we lost this vote and Parliament were dissolved. It would certainly show that neither the Prime Minister nor the Government were running away but that the sovereign House of Commons had decreed that there should be an appeal to the...
Mr Robert Mellish: With great respect to my hon. Friend, then I do not understand what people are saying, because those who are against that policy of Government control must surely be in favour of what is called free collective bargaining and the strongest get the most.
Mr Robert Mellish: My hon. Friend is going to get very excited because I now move a long way towards his argument, in the sense that I accept that if we are to talk in terms of wages being planned there should be much stricter control over prices. People who think for themselves outside, in the back streets, do not understand how it is that rail fares can go up astronomically by perhaps 10 per cent., 12 per...
Mr Robert Mellish: The hon. Gentleman should be fair. If they did not do that and then resigned, what would be said by him and his hon. Friends when they resigned—that they were running away?
Mr Robert Mellish: I was going to ask exactly the same question.
Mr Robert Mellish: But I do not know the Opposition Front Bench like the Liberals do.
Mr Robert Mellish: Is my right hon. Friend aware that I and many like me are completely bewildered at the Opposition's attitude? They say that they want to bring down inflation but they immediately sneer and jeer at any action that is taken by this Government to achieve that. Does my right hon. Friend agree that as a result of this settlement it is inevitable that Ford and other companies like it will wish to...
Mr Robert Mellish: On a further point of order, Mr. Speaker. I am not concerned who speaks on this Bill on behalf of the two Front Benches. However, am I right in saying that, this being a constitutional Bill, the entire proceedings will be taken on the Floor of the House?
Mr Robert Mellish: Let us hope, then, that we get some assurance about it.
Mr Robert Mellish: He has not said"Hello"yet.
Mr Robert Mellish: It has to be taken on the Floor of the House anyway.
Mr Robert Mellish: I accept that there are some anomalies in Northern Ireland—and this is only part of the story—but does my right hon. Friend agree that there are also serious anomalies in Wales, in particular, and in England? He cannot just deal with Northern Ireland and say that there are anomalies there.
Mr Robert Mellish: Further to that point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I understand that since I raised the matter earlier in the debate there is now a motion providing that the Bill is to be taken on the Floor of the House. That motion has been tabled, I understand, by the Government. If that is the case, I hope that that motion will be carried overwhelmingly. May I be told whether I am correct?
Mr Robert Mellish: The old story.