Mr Robert Mellish: I know—but listen, thickhead. Clause 2 relates to what are the functions of the Commission. Clause 1 sets up the Commission. Clause 2 is concerned with the functions of the Commission, and Clause 3 contains the financial provisions to enable it to carry out its functions. With great respect to the hon. Member for Worthing (Mr. Higgins)—I think that I understand what he is trying to...
Mr Robert Mellish: My hon. Friend has already spoken.
Mr Robert Mellish: That is obvious. It is so obvious that I do not know why we are talking about it.
Mr Robert Mellish: Will my right hon. Friend make a statement next week about the salaries of Members of Parliament? As ever, we are the last in the queue. I think that the time has come for the increase. Will he say when? Will he make it next week?
Mr Robert Mellish: All Governments have.
Mr Robert Mellish: I respect the hon. Gentleman for what he is saying, but is not the logic of his argument that he should not oppose the Bill now but should try to amend it in Committee? That is the normal way.
Mr Robert Mellish: I have been very impressed with most of the speeches that I have heard from both sides of the House, because I have listened to almost every debate on the salaries and conditions of Members of Parliament in the last 32 years. I always found it all very interesting to listen to and all very personal. Looking back over the years, I remember that it was I who initiated a motion demanding an...
Mr Robert Mellish: With respect, my right hon. Friend did not give way to other hon. Members. I am not sure that I ought to give way to her.
Mr Robert Mellish: In that case I will give way to her. Anyone who gives way to my hon. Friend the Member for Nottingham, West (Mr. English) must be in trouble.
Mr Robert Mellish: Now my right hon. Friend has moved into another area. That is not what she said earlier. However, I want to keep to my theme. The Boyle Committee was established, and none of us knew who would be on it. But, when its membership was announced, even the national newspapers, which have never been our friends, admitted that it was indeed a body absolutely above suspicion in that it represented...
Mr Robert Mellish: What would the right hon. Gentleman do? What is the alternative?
Mr Robert Mellish: What is the right hon. Gentleman's alternative?
Mr Robert Mellish: Tell us what you would do, Jim.
Mr Robert Mellish: What is Tory policy?
Mr Robert Mellish: Now let us have Tory policy.
Mr Robert Mellish: I never have known.
Mr Robert Mellish: The hon. Gentleman will know that there is a Select Committee of this House on Sound Broadcasting. It was appointed by the whole House and I have the privilege to be its Chairman. I asked hon. Members to write to the Select Committee if they had any views. The Select Committee is composed of Members of all parties. We have had no letters from individual Members, and the letters we have...
Mr Robert Mellish: Before my hon. Friend answers—
Mr Robert Mellish: We have already published in the all-party "Whip" an invitation to all Members to do exactly what the hon. Member for Richmond, Surrey (Sir A. Royle) has just said and there has been no response. We would ask for the sincere comments of Members of the House.
Mr Robert Mellish: It seems that we are living in an Alice-in-Wonderland world. As the hon. Member for Berwick-upon-Tweed (Mr. Beith) said, the Bill has been kicking around for quite a long time. At one stage Labour Members voted for certain parts of the Bill whereas tonight Labour Members such as myself will vote against it. At an earlier stage Tory Members voted against the Bill, but I gather that some Tory...