Previous Section Home Page

Mr. Speaker : Order. The hon. Gentleman does not wish to give way.

Mr. Welsh : This morning we took a principled stand to draw to the attention of the Scottish people the injustices that are being perpetrated against them by the Government and their Labour allies. We are now faced with an unholy coalition. English Tories have been drafted on to the Committee, yet Scottish Members, who have an informed view of Scottish education, are not allowed to participate.


Column 345

The hon. Member for Holborn and St. Pancras (Mr. Dobson) has told us that we should mount cogent arguments against the Bill, but his advice is absolute nonsense.

Mr. Campbell-Savours rose--

Mr. Welsh : No, I shall not give way.

The nonsense spouted by the hon. Member for Holborn and St. Pancras about cogent arguments is immediately refuted by the remarks of the hon. Member for Glasgow, Maryhill (Mrs. Fyfe) on Second Reading of the self-same Bill :

"None of our amendments is ever accepted in Committee. That is"--[ Official Report, 6 March 1989 ; Vol. 148, c. 690]

Mr. Speaker : Order. The hon. Gentleman must not go back to the Second reading, we have passed that stage. He must direct his remarks to the motion.

Mr. Welsh : The hon. Member for Holborn and St. Pancras favours cogent argument, but one of his Back Bench colleagues has already recognised that the Government do not accept cogent arguments or amendments. What can be done when something as important as Scottish education--

Mr. Campbell-Savours rose--

Mrs. Maria Fyfe (Glasgow, Maryhill) rose--

Mr. Welsh : No, I shall not give way.

The Government do not accept any amendments, so any charade in Committee will leave the Bill unamended and its nature will have been determined by the English majority who have been drafted in to make sure of that. The Government are disregarding the opinions of the Scottish electorate. That is disgraceful.

I am unhappy about the use of the words "disorderly conduct" because we simply turned up in the Committee Room. Nothing was said and we did not seek to interrupt the Chairman. I am sure that that is not the type of disorderly conduct which leads to arrest at weekends. We made a dignified, orderly and justified protest.

We are up against stultifying rules that restrict Back Benchers. Earlier today, the coalition between the Tories and Members of the Labour Front Bench made sure that, through the medium of a private notice question, yet another legitimate procedural manoeuvre has been closed off to Back Benchers.

Mr. Dobson : When the hon. Gentleman served on the Standing Committee on the Transport (Scotland) Bill, why did he not make use of the procedural manoeuvres available to Committee members? He spoke only for 17 minutes out of the 33 hours that made up that Committee stage.

Mr. Welsh : I had the same success in getting amendments through as the Labour party-- [Interruption.] --I am not allowed to quote the words of the hon. Member for Maryhill, but she made it clear that, whatever the Bill, the Government do not accept amendments. English Tories have been drafted on to a Scottish Committee which affects a fundamental part of our society. What happens to Scottish education will be determined by people who do not know or understand our educational system.


Column 346

The Government have no mandate from the Scottish people and what we did this morning was simply to demonstrate that enough is enough. The present system rides roughshod over the Scottish electorate ; someone, somewhere, had to do something about that, especially as the Labour party has failed to do anything. The Labour party has sought to co-operate with fellow Tories, but we have used the procedures available to us to demonstrate that enough is enough.

7.27 pm

Mr. Alex Salmond (Banff and Buchan) : In common with my hon. Friend the Member for Angus East (Mr. Welsh) I am interested in the term "disorderly conduct". I do not know what happened in 1973 among the hon. Members on the Liberal Benches-- [Interruption.] --but our conduct in the Committee this morning was less disorderly than the conduct of many Labour Members tonight.

The central element of the speech of the Leader of the House was that we should make our arguments in Committee. Surely it must be in order for me to answer that suggestion. The answer lies in the words of the hon. Member for Glasgow, Maryhill (Mrs. Fyfe), who is a member of the Committee, and who said to you, Mr. Speaker, on Second Reading :

"I say that with all respect to you, Mr. Speaker. I did not sit in my place thinking that if I were fortunate enough to catch your eye I would be able to change the minds and attitudes of Conservative Members. We all know what a foolish hope that would be. None of our amendments is ever accepted in Committee. That is certainly true of social security and employment legislation, and the same can be said of any other measure that is considered in Committee."--[ Official Report , 6 March 1989 ; Vol. 148, c. 690.]

The hon. Member for Glasgow, Maryhill (Mrs. Fyfe) was speaking in the Second Reading debate.

Mrs. Fyfe : I thank the hon. Member for giving way. I certainly agree that those were my words, and I stand by them, because the point of being on a Committee or discussing legislation on the Floor of this Chamber is not to change the minds of the hon. Members opposite ; it is to get the words on the record and communicate them to the Scottish public. To do that we have to put down amendments and be there.

Mr. Salmond : I am glad that the hon. Member stands by her words. Perhaps she can discuss with the shadow Leader of the House whether it is fruitful to put these arguments in Committee. I agree that it is important to the Scottish public to hear the arguments, but the most fundamental thing is the decision made by the Committee. Mr. Dewar rose --

Mr. Salmond : If the hon. Member will contain himself and allow me to develop some points, I will give way to him later in my speech. The fundamental point is whether we can expect this Committee, in view of its complexion, in any way to respect Scottish public opinion. A brief glance through the six English Conservative Members who have been parachuted on to this Committee gives the lie to any feeling that they are there to listen to the Scottish arguments. There is the hon. Member for Hexham (Mr. Amos), a former London teacher, councillor, Right-winger, anti-smoking, pro- birching for muggers and rapists, strong NHS supporter, educated at St. Albans


Column 347

Mr. Speaker : Order. That has nothing to do with this motion. The hon. Gentleman should return to it.

Mr. Salmond : It was not my intention to go through the six Members one by one. I was going to mention the hon. Member for Brigg and Cleethorpes (Mr. Brown), a former director of Michael Forsyth Associates Ltd.

I make the point that these six hon. Members from English constituencies are not there to listen to the Scottish arguments. I, as a Member of this House who volunteered to serve on that Committee, have thousands of constituents who stand to be threatened by this measure, which will divide and fragment Scottish education. These hon. Members do not have a single constituent who will be affected by this legislation, yet they were selected to serve on this Committee while the applications of myself and my hon. Friends were refused. That is a fundamental point.

It has already been said that we on this Bench are beginning to think there is a degree of collusion, to put it no stronger, between Labour Members on these Benches and those on the Benches opposite. The vote this morning in Committee was, significantly, 17 to 1. This afternoon we saw the remarkable sight of a Leader of the Opposition who believes it is his job not to create problems for the Government but to solve them. We believe, as a minority party, that we are the victims of collusion between the two major parties.

Mr. Donald Dewar (Glasgow, Garscadden) : I am genuinely curious, and I hope the hon. Member will be able to help me. We understand from the earlier part of his speech that he is totally convinced that membership of this Committee is a futile exercise which will gain absolutely no results. We understand, on the other hand, that the whole point of this manoeuvre is that all the Scottish National party members want to be on the Committee. How does he reconcile these two points?

Mr. Salmond : The case the Scottish National party makes is that this Bill should have been considered by the Scottish Grand Committee on Second Reading. We are happy to leave the decision to hon. Members whose constituencies are affected by this legislation and, as the hon. Member well knows, 64 of the 72 Scottish Members have declared their opposition to the Bill. It is not the right of the Scottish National party to decide what we are arguing for ; it is the right of the Scottish people to decide this legislation that we are arguing for.

Mr. Dennis Skinner (Bolsover) : I am not sure whether the hon. Member really wants to destabilise the Committee or not. If he does want to stop the show, he has a friend in me. However, what concerns me now is that he seems to be sailing through clearer waters in wanting it put before the Grand Committee. Why can he not put it before the Convention?

Mr. Salmond : I am happy to answer the point directly. We want to form a body which will decide matters. If the Convention were to discuss the fundamental issues of Scottish education, yet allow a Standing Committee of the House of Commons to railroad through opting out legislation in Scotland, the cause of the Scottish people would not be advanced one jot.

I claim that it is not just a Scottish National party point of view that this Committee has been rigged against the wishes of the Scottish people. It was also the view of the


Column 348

hon. Member for Glasgow, Garscadden (Mr. Dewar) himself, when he argued that the Bill is not merely bad but a breach of faith, and that it concerns a matter of honour.

I want to turn to our belief that the rules and regulations of this House are flexible : there is one set of rules for the Scottish National party and minority parties and another set of rules for the Front Benches. We have already found in this Parliament that a Standing Order of the House of Commons concerning the need to set up a Scottish Select Committee has not been implemented. We found a remarkably flexible interpretation of the rights of private notice questions and what notice should be given this afternoon. I will not go further on that matter, except to say that it is a matter to which we shall certainly return later.

As a minority party, we believe it is our right to represent our constituents in a matter which affects only Scotland. It is only Scottish constituents who are threatened by the opting out legislation for Scotland. Not a single constituent of the six hon. Members parachuted on to the Committee will be affected. I, as an SNP Member, a Scottish Member, cannot accept the right of English Members of Parliament to ride roughshod over clearly expressed Scottish opinion.

I close with this remark. There are only two measures which I believe have mobilised deep opposition in Scotland to the present Government. The first is the poll tax, and that campaign is under way. The second is this Bill, and the Scottish National party will not accept the English majority imposed upon us on the Standing Committee.

7.28 pm

Mr. Dick Douglas (Dunfermline, West) : I feel inclined to be very brief, and I sense that the mood of the House is of great tolerance on both sides, because hon. Members have listened reasonably attentively to arguments in the hope that people outside will appreciate the exigencies and intricacies of our procedure. The Leader of the House is well known for his tolerance and understanding, and I do not want to go into the difficulties he has had in setting up a Scottish Select Committee.

I think we are due some explanation of the effect of this motion. How long is it intended to last? Is it intended to last for the duration of this Parliament or just for the duration of this particular Committee? Normal procedure, as I understand it, is if Members who are not on such bodies as Select Committees enter Committee rooms when a Committee is deliberating in private, the Chairman may courteously ask a Member who has inadvertently come in to remove himself, and no draconian measures will be necessary. I wonder where we are going. If Members are sitting within the precincts of the Committee, as I expect was done today, how are these defined in our Committee rooms? We know quite clearly when we are in the House and when we are out of the House. For example, if I step across this line, by convention I am out of order. If I move into the Gangway, I am out of order. How are we to determine, when a Member is in a Committee room, whether he is actually in the Committee or not? [Interruption.] Hon. Members may say that those SNP Members were stupid. We do many things in this place which are apparently stupid. Some of our procedures are dignified and sanctified, but the whole procedure of voting might be construed as stupid as we march through the


Column 349

Lobbies, walking back and forth, at 1 or 2 o'clock in the morning. My God, what could be more stupid than that? If our constituents saw it, they would think that we were mad.

That is not at issue today. We are considering a unique power which we are going to give my hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow, Springburn (Mr. Martin). The last time such powers were used was in 1973. I believe that the use of such powers was justified then to deal with a piece of legislation from which many of our difficulties today emanate. My goodness, if there was any piece of legislation which we should not have passed, it was that legislation dealing with the so-called reform of local government. We will have to try to reform that again, but that is another issue.

I do not want to be disrespectful to you, Mr. Speaker. However, my experience of this place goes back in one way or another for 14 years. I have never known a private notice question not to appear on the annunciator. Its absence today was sharp practice. I am not accusing you, Mr. Speaker, but the Front Benches used sharp practice against the Back Benches. I do not care tuppence which party that practice was used against : it was used against Back Benchers. Some people have used a rather crude word to describe it--collusion. The Front Benches collude and Back Benchers must be very careful that they do not collude against them. Our liberties and rights as Back Benchers can be severely restricted in this place. We must be careful to ensure that they are not further restricted.

I do not intend to consider the merits of the Self-Governing Schools Etc. (Scotland) Bill now. Nor do I intend to consider the merits of the Government's railroading the legislation through. There can be no more objectionable legislation before the House now than the legislation to reform Scottish education.

The Leader of the House has responsibilities. I have emphasised to him before that his responsibilities lie not simply to the Tory party, but to the House. His colleagues may shake their heads, but I have described the tradition and we are considering the traditions of this place. The onus and balance of the argument in this place claims that those terrible SNP Members have offended against the traditions of order.

Mr. Stuart Bell (Middlesbrough) : I hesitate to intervene, but is it not a fact that those hon. Members intervened on the freedom of speech?

Mr. Douglas : I doubt that very much. This House has a responsibility to defend the freedom of speech, but people outside the Chamber defend it. Freedom of speech is defended outside this place. Many people have a mistaken view about the location of the repository of free speech. We are lucky to have freedom of speech, and over recent years the Government, with their enormous majority, have railroaded minorities in this House and particularly over minorities represented on the Labour Benches.

We must be very careful about the powers which we confer. Of course we want order and we want the procedures of this place to be carried out. However, we should not kid ourselves that the Government will play by the rules. Any Opposition Member who thinks that is kidding himself. The issue arises because the Government know that they have extreme difficulties over the number of Conservative Scottish Members. They are changing the


Column 350

rules daily. That is why we must be very careful before we pass this motion. We must ensure that we are not creating an unfortunate precedent.

7.42 pm

Mr. Harry Ewing (Falkirk, East) : I suppose that hon. Members who speak in this debate should present their credentials. For the past 18 years, I have fought against the erosion of the rights of Back Benchers. Over that time, I have seen rights eroded. When I first came here, hon. Members could table two written questions to Ministers. There was also a counting-out procedure in the House. In those days, we could ask Mr. Speaker to count the House and if there were fewer than 40 Members present, the Government would lose their business for the day.

Between 1970 and 1974, the Conservative Government, led by the right hon. Member for Old Bexley and Sidcup (Mr. Heath), reduced the quorum in Standing Committee and abandoned the counting-out procedure and the quorum in the House. I fought against all that.

If I give the impression that what happened in Standing Committee this morning was an erosion of Back Benchers' rights, I would be giving the wrong impression. Members of the SNP may call that collusion. I do not care about that, because I have been in politics long enough and I can defend myself before my constituents. SNP Members need not take my word for that, they can ask Dr. McIntyre, John Donnachy, John McGregor or Ron Halliday and all the other SNP candidates who have opposed me over the past 18 years. They will say whether I am fit and able to defend myself before my constituents in anything that I may do.

It would be a great mistake if we created the impression that what happened in the Standing Committee this morning had to do with the erosion of Back Benchers' rights or was related to concern being expressed on behalf of the people of Scotland about the measure before that Standing Committee. It is wrong for SNP Members to give the impression that they are the only Members of this place concerned about the Government's proposals on opting out.

If you do not mind my saying so, Mr. Speaker, the three SNP Members who have contributed to this debate have displayed an appalling lack of confidence in their ability to convince their constituents that this legislation is so bad that their constituents should not use the terms of the legislation to opt out.

Mr. Bill Walker (Tayside, North) : Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Mr. Ewing : No, I will not give way, because I do not want to get involved in an argument with the hon. Gentleman and the three SNP Members. I want to make serious points. If the hon. Member for Tayside, North (Mr. Walker) is going to make a serious point, I will give way. This is not a trivial matter.

Mr. Walker : My serious point is that the hon. Gentleman has a distinguished record for having amendments accepted in Committee when he was leading from the Opposition Front Bench. If his colleagues had his confidence, obviously the Standing Committee could make progress and we could get on with the work.


Column 351

Mr. Ewing : I suspect that if I had been leading from the Opposition Front Bench during this Parliament, my distinguished record would have been somewhat dented.

About three weeks ago the right hon. Member for Old Bexley and Sidcup detailed 47 pieces of legislation to which no amendments were accepted in Standing Committee. I would not want the impression to go from this place tonight that what has happened in Standing Committee today is an erosion of Back-Bench rights or an expression of concern.

Mr. Salmond : Looking at the complexion of the Standing Committee with his long experience in the House, does the hon. Gentleman anticipate any meaningful amendments being accepted in Committee? As we both know the Under-Secretary of State for Scotland, does he believe that Scottish schools which might be vulnerable to the legislation will be provided with substantial incentives to opt out if the Bill reaches the statute book?

Mr. Ewing : This is not the first piece of education legislation to come before Scottish Members during this Parliament. The school boards legislation passed through the House, but there was no demonstration by SNP Members and there was no SNP Member on that Committee. There is one SNP Member on the Committee on this Bill, and there has been a demonstration.

It is as well that the House should know that this whole exercise has been trailered for the last three weeks. The only people who have been taken in by it tonight, as far as I am aware, are the Scottish media. I understand that they have covered this incident, but that is because it has been a dull Budget. To be fair to the Scottish media, they have not really had much to report in terms of the Budget. In all seriousness, it would be a great tragedy if somehow or other the impression were given that the demonstration in Committee this morning was a demonstration of concern for the people of Scotland or concern that Back-Bench rights were being eroded. It is purely and simply--there is no nice way of saying this--a publicity stunt for the SNP, and some of the media in Scotland will fall for it.

If all four Members had secured a place on that Committee, it would have been the worst thing that could happen to the SNP. I apologise to the Leader of the House, because he is not responsible for it, but I am sorry that the Chairman of the Commitee could not find a place for all four Members, because they would not have turned up. I have the voting record here, if any hon. Member wants to challenge me, of Committees they have been on. I will not speak ill of Donald Stewart, because he is one of the finest friends I have had in all my years in the House. Donald will send me a nice letter after this ; the only problem is that he will write it in Gaelic so that I will not be able to read it.

However, when Gordon Wilson and Donald Stewart were here and we had the Select Committee on Scottish Affairs, the two of them would serve on that Committee. The SNP does not have a good Committee record. We have had as many as 11 SNP Members here and they still did not have a good Committee record. They are trying to give the impression today that somehow or other they are bubbling over with concern for the people of Scotland. They are bubbling over, all right--bubbling, full stop--and they will bubble all their days here because that is all they can do.


Column 352

I am confident that I can take this bad legislation to my people in Falkirk, East and convince them that it is not worth paying any attention to it. If the SNP Members had any confidence in themselves, they would do the same. I shall give my support to the Chairman of the Committee because that is the only way the House can function. The only alternative is to break away. There is just no other option. The rules and procedures of the House will not be reformed to meet the views and the needs of four Members, so we should face up to that challenge : we either support the Committee Chairman and make sure that these Committees work, or we do the extreme thing. I am against that, so I am in favour of the Chairman and will support him tonight.

7.52 pm

Mr. Donald Dewar (Glasgow, Garscadden) : Perhaps it is an exaggeration to say that we are getting used to the idea that there will be a bit of excitement from the Scottish national on Budget day, but I suspect that it may be the start of a tradition. I remember that when I first came to the House the excitement was what Mr. Leo Abse might be wearing. Perhaps in future years it will be who is going to be thrown out from the Scottish National party Bench. I do take this seriously, although it is a matter on which it is easy to joke, and there are quite important principles at stake here. It is not a matter just of who is colluding or conspiring with whom ; it is a matter of the good order of the House and how we conduct our affairs.

I have to say to my colleagues on the Scottish National party Bench that I have found some of the remarks made tonight difficult to understand. The hon. Member for Angus, East (Mr. Welsh), for example, made a very spirited point about the difficulty in getting any of his amendments accepted. My understanding--I am quite prepared to be corrected--about the Transport Bill is that the hon. Gentleman put down one amendment, to replace the word "may" by the word "shall", so possibly he is generalising from a rather narrow base.

Mr. Andrew Welsh : As usual in these matters the hon. Gentleman is entirely wrong. That was not my amendment. He perhaps might take into account my eight amendments on this particular Bill.

Mr. Dewar : I am glad to hear that the hon. Gentleman's interests are growing. I noticed that he was careful to say, "That was not my amendment." He did not say that he had more than one, however, in the whole history of the Transport Bill.

Undoubtedly, what took place this morning was an attempt to disrupt the Committee, and this has not happened in Committees of the House in the past. I have considerable respect for Gordon Wilson and Donald Stewart, and they did not think it was necessary to disrupt the poll tax Bill, although certainly that was a piece of legislation that was disliked by the people of Scotland in an almost unprecedented way. I am totally confused as to exactly what argument has been put to the House. As I understood what the hon. Member for Moray (Mrs. Ewing), who spoke first for the SNP, had to say, she was advancing the argument that the whole point of the demonstration today was that she and her three colleagues should all have been included in the membership of the Committee. Then we had the hon. Member for Banff and Buchan (Mr. Salmond), who


Column 353

argued very strongly that the last thing he wanted was to be on the Committee as at present constituted because it would be an essay in futility and he would be unlikely to make progress of any kind. I am not clear whether we are being told that the Committee should never meet or that the Committee should be reformed to include those hon. Members.

Mrs. Margaret Ewing : The hon. Gentleman seems to have moved very substantially from the points he made in his own speech on 6 March, columns 644 and 645, when he said it would be

Mr. Speaker : Let us not go into the Second Reading Committee again, please. We are dealing with this motion.

Mr. Dewar : I am grateful to the hon. Lady for the information that she has been re-reading my speeches. I do not often make that mistake, but on this occasion I will perhaps have a look.

It is always dangerous to put historical perspectives on these matters and I plead guilty to trying to do this. Perhaps I could be allowed to give the House a quotation which is of historical interest as it goes back to the mid-1970s :

"Following Hamilton and Mrs. Ewing's grand tour of Scotland, where she played to packed houses, the SNP gained an instant mass membership. But it was membership lacking in political background and quality, with a higher than normal proportion of cranks and people motivated by grudges."

That was the hon. Member for Glasgow, Govan (Mr. Sillars) talking about the hon. Member for Moray's mother-in-law. I give you a solemn undertaking, Mr. Speaker, that that is my last mother-in-law joke of the evening.

To be serious on the matter, I genuinely regret that this motion has had to be brought foward, but this is, as the Leader of the House has said, a very unusual set of circumstances. What distinguished this from many rowdy scenes that we have seen on these premises at various times is that it was quite clear that the people involved intended to persist. This was not a matter of making a point and withdrawing. It was quite clear that if the House did not take steps to deal with the matter we should see it on Thursday and Tuesday and the following Thursday ad infinitum. That, I think, is what gives it its special character and justifies the fact that this motion is now before the House.

It is not a draconian measure, I say to my hon. Friend the Member for Dunfermline, West (Mr. Douglas) ; it is a motion specifically related to the proceedings of this one Committee when it is considering this one Bill. It is not a blanket power that is being brought forward that will stay there to threaten the activities of Back Benchers on all occasions. It is tailored to deal with this one specific situation, where unmistakable notice has been given that if the House does not take steps we shall be in a situation of continuing impasse, which would not be good for Scottish politics or, certainly, for the conduct of the House.

I am not on the Committee but, on behalf of my colleagues, I am anxious to see the issues debated, because this is an unusual Bill. I will not go into the merits of the Bill except on this narrow point, which is relevant to why I believe that we should not be faced with a continuing impasse. Even if the Bill is forced on to the statute book, its most objectionable part-- the opting-out provisions--


Column 354

will remain simply an entry on the shelves and a piece of constitutional lumber, unless it is brought to life by groups of parents using the powers.

The real argument will be conducted in Scotland with public opinion, with the Minister trying to create circumstances in which the powers will be used, while those of us on the other side of the argument will try to persuade parents to consider the wider interests of the educational system and refuse to have anything to do with the legislation.

To do that, it is necessary to debate the matter in Committee. This morning, all that was achieved was two and a half hours of nominal debating time, during which the Minister did not have to say a single word to justify or defend his proposals. There is no point in that.

Mr. Salmond : Will the hon. Gentleman address the point that, if the legislation proceeds, either parents will be faced with huge incentives to agree that schools should opt out or, as has been the English experience, they will be faced with school closures--

Mr. Speaker : Order. The hon. Member for Glasgow, Garscadden (Mr. Dewar) should not address that point, as it has nothing to do with the motion.

Mr. Salmond : On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Is it in order for the hon. Member for Glasgow, Garscadden (Mr. Dewar) to be allowed to make an argument and then for other right hon. and hon. Members not to be allowed to pursue that argument with questions?

Mr. Speaker : The motion before the House is in order, but much wider consideration of the merits of the Bill is not.

Mr. Dewar : It is clear that there are points of difference as to the Bill's merits. I am saying to the House that it might be advisable to get down to debating those differences rather than get hung up on a procedural wrangle that has a lot to do with column inches but not very much with the practical fate of the legislation. We have had a day of excitement. Earlier in the day, the House was invited to advance the Budget debate by discussing the fate of the Vale of Glamorgan. I know that I cannot do that now, but that was a transparent procedural device--it could not be anything else. There was the extraordinary situation of an attempt to move the writ being made by one member of the Scottish nationalist group while being opposed by another. That was a device for making a point on the Floor of the House. It was a manoeuvre for political advantage, and one cannot call foul if one is out-manoeuvred. The only result is that one hon. Member has been suspended, which is to no one's credit--certainly not to his. The cause in question was advanced not a whit.

I back the motion not because I am conspiring with the Leader of the House, with whom I have not spoken today, nor because I am in some way conniving in the suspension of Back Benchers.

Mr. Salmond rose --

Mr. Dewar : I am just finishing. I have given way several times. I am backing the motion because, put in the simplest possible terms, I believe that it is an attempt to mount a parliamentary manoeuvre that is outside the rules of the House, that cannot be justified, and that is wrong on the


Column 355

basis of the arguments and the merit. It is for those reasons, and because I agree, albeit reluctantly, that such a step is necessary, that I invite my hon. Friends to support the motion that is before the House.

Question put :--

The House divided : Ayes 256, Noes 10.

Division No. 121] [8.3 pm

AYES

Adams, Allen (Paisley N)

Arbuthnot, James

Arnold, Tom (Hazel Grove)

Ashdown, Rt Hon Paddy

Baldry, Tony

Battle, John

Beith, A. J.

Bell, Stuart

Bevan, David Gilroy

Biffen, Rt Hon John

Blackburn, Dr John G.

Blaker, Rt Hon Sir Peter

Blunkett, David

Body, Sir Richard

Boswell, Tim

Bottomley, Mrs Virginia

Bowden, Gerald (Dulwich)

Bowis, John

Boyes, Roland

Bradley, Keith

Brandon-Bravo, Martin

Brazier, Julian

Brooke, Rt Hon Peter

Brown, Michael (Brigg & Cl't's)

Browne, John (Winchester)

Buchanan-Smith, Rt Hon Alick

Buckley, George J.

Budgen, Nicholas

Butcher, John

Butler, Chris

Butterfill, John

Caborn, Richard

Callaghan, Jim

Carlile, Alex (Mont'g)

Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)

Carrington, Matthew

Cash, William

Chapman, Sydney

Chope, Christopher

Clark, Dr David (S Shields)

Clarke, Tom (Monklands W)

Coombs, Anthony (Wyre F'rest)

Coombs, Simon (Swindon)

Cormack, Patrick

Cran, James

Cunliffe, Lawrence

Dalyell, Tam

Darling, Alistair

Davies, Q. (Stamf'd & Spald'g)

Davis, David (Boothferry)

Davis, Terry (B'ham Hodge H'l)

Day, Stephen

Dewar, Donald

Dixon, Don

Dobson, Frank

Doran, Frank

Dorrell, Stephen

Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James

Duffy, A. E. P.

Dunn, Bob

Durant, Tony

Dykes, Hugh

Eadie, Alexander

Eastham, Ken

Ewing, Harry (Falkirk E)

Fallon, Michael

Favell, Tony

Fenner, Dame Peggy

Fishburn, John Dudley

Fisher, Mark

Flynn, Paul

Fookes, Dame Janet

Forman, Nigel

Forsyth, Michael (Stirling)

Forth, Eric

Foster, Derek

Fox, Sir Marcus

Franks, Cecil

French, Douglas

Fyfe, Maria

Galbraith, Sam

Gardiner, George

Garel-Jones, Tristan

George, Bruce

Glyn, Dr Alan

Golding, Mrs Llin

Goodhart, Sir Philip

Gorman, Mrs Teresa

Greenway, Harry (Ealing N)

Greenway, John (Ryedale)

Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth N)

Ground, Patrick

Gummer, Rt Hon John Selwyn

Hague, William

Hamilton, Neil (Tatton)

Hanley, Jeremy

Hargreaves, A. (B'ham H'll Gr')

Hargreaves, Ken (Hyndburn)

Harris, David

Hayhoe, Rt Hon Sir Barney

Haynes, Frank

Higgins, Rt Hon Terence L.

Hind, Kenneth

Hogg, Hon Douglas (Gr'th'm)

Holt, Richard

Hood, Jimmy

Howarth, Alan (Strat'd-on-A)

Howell, Ralph (North Norfolk)

Howells, Dr. Kim (Pontypridd)

Hughes, John (Coventry NE)

Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)

Hughes, Robert G. (Harrow W)

Hunt, David (Wirral W)

Hunt, John (Ravensbourne)

Hunter, Andrew

Ingram, Adam

Irvine, Michael

Jack, Michael

Janman, Tim

Jessel, Toby

Johnson Smith, Sir Geoffrey

Jones, Barry (Alyn & Deeside)

Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S W)

Jones, Robert B (Herts W)

Kellett-Bowman, Dame Elaine

Kennedy, Charles

King, Roger (B'ham N'thfield)

Kirkwood, Archy

Knapman, Roger

Knight, Greg (Derby North)

Knowles, Michael

Knox, David

Lamond, James

Lang, Ian


Next Section

  Home Page