Results 81–100 of 2004 for speaker:Mr Nigel Fisher

Orders of the Day — Scotland and Wales Bill: Time of Election and Term of Office of Members of Assembly (1 Feb 1977)

Mr Nigel Fisher: I shall be coming to the Conservative Party. I am never in the least merciful to my own Front Bench in discussing this subject. I intend to deal as severely with my colleagues as I did with the hon. Gentleman and his colleagues. Of course, I am opposed not only to the Bill but to the whole concept of devolution, as I have said many times in this House. The best thing would be to delay the...

Orders of the Day — Scotland and Wales Bill: Speaker's Conference (1 Feb 1977)

Mr Nigel Fisher: I do not in any way wish to be offensive to the right hon. Gentleman, for whom I have a great parliamentary admiration, but this is the most cynical speech I have heard for years in this place. Could not the Leader of the House be honest and admit to the Committee that the real reason for retaining the present representation is that his party and his Government cannot do without it because...

Schedule: Election of Additional Members (25 Jan 1977)

Mr Nigel Fisher: I am so modest that I did not expect to be called to speak so soon and I am unprepared, but that does not lessen my gratitude to you, Mr. Speaker. So much excitement has been generated in this debate that one might think that electoral reform is a new idea. It is nothing of the sort. The method suggested in the amendment is new, but as long ago as 1917 the Speaker's Conference of that time...

Schedule: Election of Additional Members (25 Jan 1977)

Mr Nigel Fisher: I take that point. My right hon. and learned Friend is correct. I do not know why the Commission did not consider the German system, because it has worked well there and has resulted in relatively stable government. The reason why it did not concern itself with the additional member system was that it had not been invented then. It was the product of work done by the Hansard Society...

Schedule: Election of Additional Members (25 Jan 1977)

Mr Nigel Fisher: It is not relevant to compare the American system with ours. That is a different situation altogether. The German system of election has certainly contributed to the stability of Germany since the war. This amendment has very special importance for Scotland because, as other hon. Members have indicated, according to the latest public opinion polls the Labour Party, the Conservative Party and...

Schedule: Election of Additional Members (25 Jan 1977)

Mr Nigel Fisher: In that case I withdraw my comment, and I am delighted to hear that the hon. Member is wholeheartedly behind the amendment for reasons of self-interest as well as of principle. I believe that the method suggested in the amendment will command the most general support from hon. Members who are interested in changing to a system of proportional representation.

Schedule: Election of Additional Members (25 Jan 1977)

Mr Nigel Fisher: I do not quite understand the point which my hon. and learned Friend is making. Additional members would have fewer of the constituency chores and the work of dealing with personal cases which takes up so much of our time, but I do not see that that would make them superior or inferior to ordinary members. The alternative members would be representing regions rather than individual...

Schedule: Election of Additional Members (25 Jan 1977)

Mr Nigel Fisher: I shall come to that point and develop it later, but I do not think that coalition Governments are so terrible. Frequent reversals of policy have an appalling effect on economic stability in this country and prevent industry planning ahead with any confidence and giving us the investment which the economy badly needs and which would create new employment. I believe that a system of...

Schedule: Election of Additional Members (25 Jan 1977)

Mr Nigel Fisher: The hon. Member for Berwick and East Lothian (Mr. Mackintosh) directed himself to the Scottish Assembly because he was being most meticulous in keeping within the rules of order on the amendment. The situation applies equally to the United Kingdom as a whole. I think that the Liberal Party is greatly prejudiced by the present system. The Liberal Party got almost 20 per cent. of the votes in...

Schedule: Scotland and Wales Bill (25 Jan 1977)

Mr Nigel Fisher: Surbiton.

Schedule: Scotland and Wales Bill (25 Jan 1977)

Mr Nigel Fisher: I am sure that my right hon. Friend would not wish to be unfair about this. The Kilbrandon Commission reported before the additional member system had been worked out or published. It could not have considered it unless it had invented it itself.

Clause 1: Scotland and Wales Bill (19 Jan 1977)

Mr Nigel Fisher: I shall be very brief at this late hour—

Clause 1: Scotland and Wales Bill (19 Jan 1977)

Mr Nigel Fisher: Because there are others who want to speak. I intervene only because—[An HON. MEMBER: "Sit down."] That is a mean thing to say, because I sat through seven hours of the Second Reading before being called to speak, and I sat here for many hours last week but was unable to speak because the Government moved the closure. I do not require instructions on what I should do in the House of...

Clause 1: Scotland and Wales Bill (19 Jan 1977)

Mr Nigel Fisher: I understand that the hon. Lady may prefer to call it independence. She wants to break the United Kingdom connection and be a member of the Commonwealth like any other colony. I do not think of Scotland as a colony, but as an integral part of the United Kingdom. I suggest that that is the view of the vast majority of the House of Commons. It is no use the hon. Lady indulging in semantics on...

Clause 1: Scotland and Wales Bill (19 Jan 1977)

Mr Nigel Fisher: The first question I would put is, "Are you in favour of separatism?" I believe the answer to that would be an overwhelming "No", and that would dish the hon. Member for Moray and Nairn (Mrs. Ewing) and her hon. Friends. It would be a rejection of their claim to speak for the people of Scotland. I must admit that if the second question was "Are you in favour of devolution as expressed in the...

Clause 1: Scotland and Wales Bill (19 Jan 1977)

Mr Nigel Fisher: That is always possible, and that is one of the difficulties about a referendum: one must be careful about the question in order to get the answer that one wants.

Clause 1: Scotland and Wales Bill (19 Jan 1977)

Mr Nigel Fisher: There are dangers. I hope that the hon. Member for West Lothian (Mr. Dalyell) will use his influence with the Treasury Bench to make sure that the question is suitably phrased. It is extremely important.

Clause 1: Scotland and Wales Bill (19 Jan 1977)

Mr Nigel Fisher: If that rebuke was intended to apply to me, I accept it. I will leave the whole question of the referendum because my allusion to it has caused many hon. Members from both sides to intervene with suggestions. But I welcome the suggestion made by my hon. Friend the Member for Mid-Sussex (Mr. Renton) because it is a very sensible one.

Clause 1: Scotland and Wales Bill (19 Jan 1977)

Mr Nigel Fisher: Yes, but one must confine oneself to what is practicable and I have not advocated the course suggested by my hon. Friend because I do not think that it has any chance of being accepted by the Government. That may not be a good reason, but it is better to confine ourselves to what we consider to be practicable. The most cynical aspects of the Government's proposals the intention to retain the...

Clause 1: Scotland and Wales Bill (19 Jan 1977)

Mr Nigel Fisher: Further to the point of order. I am not, of course, seeking to question your decision, Mr. Murton, but I suggest that it is permissible for hon. Members to seek not to defy but to persuade the Chair. Precisely the circumstances described by the hon. Member for Penistone (Mr. Mendelson) happened last night, when I was not in the Chamber, and also last week. On both occasions, the Deputy...


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