|Previous Section||Home Page|
Column 951Ministerial and Other Salaries
That the draft Ministerial and other Salaries Order 1989, which was laid before this House on 1st December, be approved.
I hope that, as previously this evening, I need not detain the House for long on this matter-- [Hon. Members :-- "Oh."] I hear a menacing noise from the Opposition Benches below the Gangway. I hope that the menace is of a gentle kind. I shall outline briefly the changes that we are proposing and will hope to deal at the end of the debate with any other points requiring an answer.
As the House knows, under the terms of the resolution of 21 July 1987, all hon. Members will receive an increase in their parliamentary salary on 1 January 1990 which will amount to £2,594, of which £1,027 represents the final stage of the 1988-89 settlement for the Civil Service grade to which parliamentary salaries are linked. The increase in the parliamentary salary for 1989 is 6.9 per cent.
On Friday 1 December, in response to a question from my hon. Friend the Member for Banbury (Mr. Baldry), I announced our intention that Ministers and paid office holders should each receive the same total cash increase as all other hon. Members, £2,594, from the same date, 1 January 1990. I set out in my written answer and in the order the revised salaries proposed for Ministers and paid office holders. The average increase in the ministerial pay bill resulting from the proposals is 6.5 per cent.--
The average increase in total salaries in the House, parliamentary and ministerial, will be about 6 per cent. and the average increase in the other place will be a little over 7.5 per cent. The percentage increase for their Lordships is higher because the salaries of Ministers and paid office holders in the other place are significantly lower than those in this House, but all Ministers and paid office holders will receive the same cash increase, and I repeat that the total average increase will be 6.5 per cent.
In detail, the proposals that the order will implement will be as follows. All Ministers and paid office holders in this House will receive an increase of £641 in their official salary. Taking into account the increase of £1,953 in their reduced parliamentary salaries, which they receive automatically on 1 January 1990, this means that they will receive a total increase--remarkably, the same total increase--of £2,594. That is the same as all other hon. Members will receive in their salaries.
In the other place we propose that Ministers and paid office holders should receive the full £2,594 as an increase in their official salary. They, of course, have no separate parliamentary salary to be taken into account. The total increase in salaries for Ministers and paid office holders in both Houses amounts to over £120,000, which, as I have said, represents 6.5 per cent. on the pay bill.
I believe that our proposals represent a modest, fair and realistic conclusion. They are fully consistent with our anti-inflationary policies, and I commend the motion to the House.
Column 95210.45 pm
Mr. Bruce Grocott (The Wrekin) : As a lifelong trade unionist, may I say that there are certain aspects of the order that I find encouraging and surprising in the Government's attitude. For example, this salary increase is an emphtatic rejection of what Ministers frequently say when talking about the pay claims of other people. It represents an emphatic rejection of market forces as an important determinant of wage rates.
The Prime Minister, who is fond of using that as an argument for other people's pay rates, would not dream of applying it as a principle to the determination of her own. We know of at least one other person who is anxious to do her job. I have not checked with the hon. Member for Clwyd, North-West (Sir A. Meyer), but I have reason to believe that he would do the right hon. Lady's job for less money. I am sure that many Conservative Members would do it for a great deal less, and I fear that some might even agree to pay us so that they could do it. But, rightly, market forces have been rejected as a basis for the payment of salaries in this case.
Mr. Jeremy Hanley (Richmond and Barnes) : If the hon. Gentleman's argument holds any water, how would he explain salaries of £250,000, £300,000 and even £450,000 a year for presenting television programmes on BBC or ITV? Even for political programmes people are paid £300,000 to £400,000 a year. There are, I am sure, many people in the House who would love to do those jobs for much less money.
Mr. Grocott : I agree with the hon. Gentleman that it is absurd for salaries of that magnitude to be paid when they have nothing to do with the application of market forces. Clearly other forces are at work in determining such salaries.
It is interesting to note that there is no suggestion in the Government's proposals that the pay of those concerned should be determined by whether they come from a low-wage area. After all, Conservative Members often say that we should scrap national agreements. Accordingly, if Ministers or other Members come from areas of lower wages, presumably they should accept the prevailing pay rates in those areas. I am glad that such a concept is rejected in the order, and I, too, reject it.
I like the way in which the Government are observing the principles of collective agreements--in other words, that people's pay rates should not be determined by individual deals with the boss. I hope that Conservative Members will use what influence they have in the current industrial dispute affecting Associated Newspapers Group Limited and journalists on The Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday and The Evening Standard and that they will reject the management proposals to scrap all collective agreements--
Mr. Grocott : I simply hope that Conservative Members who are tonight supporting principles of collective bargaining will remember those principles when other matters come before the House. The Leader of the House frequently referred to 6.5 per cent. I hardly need remind the House that people pay their grocery bills not with percentages but with pounds and
Column 953that 6.5 per cent. of a large salary is very different from 6.5 per cent. of, for example, an ambulance man's or woman's salary. That figure of 6.5 per cent. is the most that has been offered to them and, in the light of what will be happening later this week, I hope that Conservative Members will think more in terms of the amount of money on offer as a weekly increase and less in terms of percentage rises. 10.49 pm
Mr. Anthony Beaumont-Dark (Birmingham, Selly Oak) : On this occasion the Government have taken exactly the right decision by keeping ministerial salary increases, although they may be well earned, below the rate of inflation. If everybody has wage increases up to the rate of inflation, next year inflation will be higher, so the ratchet principle operates and the spiral of inflation is never broken. I applaud the Government on their decision.
I have never heard such flawed, silly arguments as we heard tonight from the hon. Member for The Wrekin (Mr. Grocott). [ Hon. Members :-- "We hear them every day."] My colleagues say that they hear them every day. I know, but one tries to shut them out.
If a Minister were in Birmingham, Newcastle or Huddersfield--
Mr. Beaumont-Dark : Macclesfield is far too good for most of us. What if salaries were based on a different system? Why cannot the hon. Gentleman see that we should encourage prosperity to seep beyond the midlands to the north and north-east? A house which in Huddersfield or Sheffield might cost £50,000 would cost £90,000 in Birmingham and £150,000 in London. National wage bargaining, whether for Ministers or workers on the factory floor, produces huge distortions, and that is what causes great trouble. It is not Government grants that create prosperity, but sensible, natural market forces.
Mr. Beaumont-Dark : Hon. Members may think that they can get away with fixing their salaries to that of someone else and saying, "It's not me, guv", but that is not something that people fully understand.
Tonight I heard that the right hon. Member for Blaenau Gwent (Mr. Foot) has decided, unfortunately, to leave the House and that 953 people would like to succeed to his constituency. I have a hunch that, even if our salaries were halved, 950 would still like to succeed him.
If the House is to lead the people forward to prosperity, the one great certainly is that there must be pay differentials. In that way people will be encouraged to move to the north because there is a greater sense of prosperity. On that basis the Government's decision to grant increases below the rate of inflation is on the right lines. Unless we kill inflation, we shall never get the
Column 954country firmly and properly on the move. That is why this evening I intend to support the motion of my right hon. and learned Friend the Leader of the House.
Mr. Salmond : There is an anomaly in proposing ministerial salary increases, especially in the case of the Leader of the House, when there is a blatant failure to observe the Standing Orders of the House. I and my hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow, Govan (Mr. Sillars) were recently deemed to have fallen foul of the Standing Orders and our punishment was to be expelled from the premises for five days. Standing Order No. 130 is quite specific that a Select Committee on Scottish Affairs shall be established. That order is being blatantly breached, yet its custodian and the Minister responsible for its enforcement, rather than being punished for not abiding by it, or at least arranging for the House to keep to its Standing Orders, is to be rewarded by a salary increase of £2,554. Our amendment proposed to cut the salary of the Leader of the House by £1,000. Many people would say that that cut was too modest given the punishment meted out to me and my hon. Friend the Member for Govan for not obeying Standing Orders. It might have been argued, had our amendment been selected, that the Leader of the House should have experienced a punishment more severe than a salary cut of £1,000. I and my hon. Friends are reasonable people and we acknowledge that in the past year the Leader of the House has experienced some uncertainty in his domestic circumstances because of ministerial changes. We do not want to impose an additional burden or strain on the right hon. and learned Gentleman.
A reasonable question can be asked about our attempt to oppose the increase in the salaries of Ministers in general and the Leader of the House in particular. We could ask whether the right hon. and learned Gentleman responsible for the failure of Scottish Back-Bench Tories to serve on a Select Committee--
Mr. Deputy Speaker : Order. I hope that the hon. Gentleman will not pursue that argument. He is getting away from the motion that is before the House and discussing the amendment that Mr. Speaker ruled out of order.
Column 955Mr. Salmond : The answer to the question of whether ministerial salaries should be approved will depend on whether we are satisfied that Ministers are pursuing their responsibilities in an effective manner. Therefore, it must be in order to debate whether the Leader of the House is pursuing his responsibilities in an effective manner. Surely one of those responsibilities is to see that the House abides by its Standing Orders and we are entitled to ask whether he is personally responsible for the failure to set up a Select Committee on Scottish Affairs or whether the responsibility lies elsewhere.
Mr. Deputy Speaker : Order. Obviously the hon. Gentleman can refer to the conduct of the Leader of the House, but he is not entitled to embark on a discussion about the merits or otherwise of the failure of the Leader of the House to set up that or any other Select Committee. That is where the hon. Gentleman is out of order.
Mr. Salmond : Of course I accept your ruling, Mr. Deputy Speaker. However, the question of whether the Leader of the House is pursuing his responsibilities in an effective manner is surely central to the question of whether the House grants him a salary increase of more than £2,500. If we are not entitled to examine the conduct of the right hon. and learned Gentleman, not just on the matter of setting up a Select Committee on Scottish Affairs but on the range of his responsibilities, how are we meant to debate the motion that is before the House?
Mrs. Maria Fyfe (Glasgow, Maryhill) : Would the hon. Gentleman follow through the logic of his argument by accepting that if an hon. Member does not turn up for a certain percentage of votes that hon. Member should have a cut in salary?
Mr. Salmond : Of course we are not discussing the salaries of hon. Members. In a Scottish television programme I was unexpectedly revealed as the Scottish Member with the best record of attendance for Scottish issues, far higher than the attendance record of the hon. Lady. However, not for a second would I suggest that I should be paid more than the hon. Lady.
Let me return to the question of whether the Leader of the House is pursuing his responsibilities effectively and is therefore justified in receiving a salary increase of £2,500. Surely the House is entitled to establish whether he is responsible for not carrying out his duties, or whether the responsibility lies elsewhere.
Mr. Deputy Speaker : Order. I must repeat that I hope that the hon. Gentleman will not take up too much time by seeking to debate this matter with me. He is entitled to say that, because of the conduct of the Leader of the House or any other Minister, he will withhold his support for a proposed salary increase, but he cannot go into details. If that were allowed, we should find ourselves examining in detail the conduct of every Minister in every Department, which would clearly not be in order on a motion such as this. I hope that hon. Members will stick to the motion, and not discuss amendments that Mr. Speaker has declared to be out of order.
Mr. Andrew Welsh (Angus, East) : On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. As we have to approve the order, surely it is in order for hon. Members to say why they do not approve. That, I feel, is at the heart of what is being said.
Mr. Deputy Speaker : Order. The hon. Gentleman is coming dangerously close to debating my ruling, and he must not do that. I hope that he and his hon. Friends will observe my ruling, and not seek either to challenge or to debate it.
Mr. Salmond : To oppose a salary increase for the entire ministerial team, I must be able to pass some comment on why I do not think that its members deserve such an increase. My hon. Friends and I will certainly oppose this unwarranted increase in the Lobby tonight, and I am sure that the House will be very interested in our justification for that opposition. I must therefore be allowed to pursue my argument about why the Leader of the House--or any other Minister--is not doing his job effectively.
Sir Hal Miller (Bromsgrove) : I do not think that the hon. Gentleman has quite taken on board the fact that, if he opposed the order successfully, Ministers would receive more money than they would otherwise. That is a curious way for him to show his disapproval.
Mr. Salmond : I am sure that the hon. Gentleman would therefore wish me to pursue my argument and to justify the placing of a question mark over these salary increases, be they the increases mentioned in the order or those that would apply if it were not carried. There is no doubt in my mind that the conduct of the Leader of the House does not match the way in which we expect Ministers to perform their duties if such large increases are to be justified. The question is this--and I will accept your guidance, Mr. Deputy Speaker. As a Minister, has the Leader of the House a special responsibility for saying that the House is able to follow its own Standing Orders? I know that you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, are a keen enforcer of those Standing Orders, as indeed you must be. It must surely be a serious matter that reflects on the appropriateness of a ministerial salary increase, if it is established that the Leader of the House is in some way responsible for failing to enforce one of its own Standing Orders, Standing Order No. 130. Surely that must influence the question of whether Ministers are entitled to a large increase, a modest increase or any increase at all.
Some people have argued that the fact that Standing Order No. 130 has not been enforced is not the responsibility of the Leader of the House, but that of other hon. Members. If that were so, Opposition Members could have no objection to an increase in the salary of the Leader of the House or that of any other Minister. Let us consider, however, the operation organised by the usual channels to try to ensure the political survival of the Prime Minister--backed enthusiastically, no doubt, by the Leader of the House and other Ministers--by cajoling and pressuring Conservative Back Benchers into giving their loyal support. Have the right hon. and learned Gentleman and his colleagues put the same effort into persuading and cajoling Back Benchers to assist the House in obeying Standing Order No. 130? I hope that the Leader of the House, who I am sure is paying rapt attention to the debate on ministerial salary increases, will deal with that point. It is a ministerial responsibility to establish the Scottish Select Committee and, according to Standing Orders, there is no requirement that there should be an automatic Government majority on Select Committees.
Column 957motion because the Leader of the House has not, in his view, fulfilled his obligations under a particular Standing Order. However, it is not in order for the hon. Gentleman then to discuss in detail that particular failure, as he sees it, to implement the Standing Order. That is what I am ruling is out of order.
Mr. Sillars : On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. It is very kind of you to make my hon. Friend's speech for him, but if it was in order for him to say that the Leader of the House should not get a salary increase, or should have his salary cut because he had not obeyed Standing Order No. 130, surely it is in order for him to justify that allegation.
Mr. Deputy Speaker : Order. The hon. Gentleman must not question my ruling. I said that the hon. Member for Banff and Buchan (Mr. Salmond) was entitled to express his view that a salary increase should be withheld from a particular Minister because of his failure to implement an obligation that, in his view, has been imposed upon him. He is not in order, however, to go into the details of that obligation. That has been said two or three times. I hope that the hon. Member for Glasgow, Govan (Mr. Sillars) will accept my ruling without seeking to debate it further.
Mr. Salmond : I do not wish to pursue my arguments against ministerial salary increases, but may I put a final and helpful suggestion to the Leader of the House that would enable him to fulfil his responsibilities to the House and keep within Standing Orders. I ask him to accept that no fewer than 40 Scottish Back Benchers are willing to serve on the Select Committee on Scottish Affairs. Therefore, the Select Committee could be set up forthwith. I commend that suggestion to him.
Mr. Brian Wilson (Cunninghame, North) : I have no particular wish to follow Mutt and Jeff, the barrack-room lawyers behind me, but there is a serious point to be made about the motion, without using trick language or ill-informed attempts to confuse. The result of dividing the House against the motion would lead to Ministers receiving more, not less money. That is somewhat confused thinking, even by the formidable standards of the Scottish National party. Ever since it was first set up, the Select Committee on Scottish Affairs has had a tradition of boycott. Between 1980 and 1987 it was boycotted by the Scottish National party.
Mr. Wilson : That was a mere historical footnote. It was boycotted in the past by the Scottish National party, which since 1987 has developed an enthusiasm for it. The Leader of the House should have something docked off his pay every time he nods off. Since 1987 the Select Committee on Scottish Affairs--
Mr. Wilson : What I am saying relates directly to the order. Part of the job of the Leader of the House, for which he is paid that salary and this increase, is to set up a Select Committee on Scottish Affairs. Like his predecessor, he has consistently failed to do so. We are entitled, not under the guise of bogus procedure but as a point of political fact and political dispute, to say that he has failed in that purpose and to demand that when he comes to the Dispatch Box he should say when he intends to do his job.
The differential between the pay of Members of Parliament and Ministers is far too narrow. I have always voted against increases in hon. Members' pay, but I do not in any way object to Ministers' salaries because they have immense responsibilities in addition to their constituency responsibilities. I shall vote for this increase, as I have done consistently.
Mr. Jim Sillars (Glasgow, Govan) : I shall speak plainly from the start. I believe that there is a fix by the establishment in this debate. There is no question about that whatever. There is a fix by the establishment to ensure that there is no Select Committee on Scottish Affairs. There is a fix by the establishment to ensure that we cannot debate why there is no Select Committee on Scottish Affairs.
I repeat that there has been a fix by the establishment, and not for the first time, either. The strongest objections have to be made. I believe that I am entitled to argue, on a wide-ranging motion such as this, why I do not believe the motion should be carried. One of those reasons is the inability, unwillingness, or perhaps deliberate unwillingness, of the Leader of the House to give effect to Standing Order No. 130 to ensure that a Select Committee on Scottish Affairs is set up. He is not entitled to a salary increase because he did not set up a Select Committee, under Standing Order No. 130, to consider school boards in Scotland, because he did not set up a Select Committee, under Standing Order No. 130, to enable it to examine the steel industry in Scotland, because he did not set up, under Standing Order No. 130, a Select Committee on Scottish Affairs to examine environmental issues in Scotland, particularly Nirex, because he did not set up, under Standing Order No. 130, a Select Committee on Scottish Affairs which could examine water standards in Scotland, because he did not set up, under Standing Order No. 130, a Select Committee on Scottish Affairs which could examine in Glasgow the loss of £14 million this year and £16 million next year under the share formula that is operating in the National Health Service, or an examination of how the chairman of the Scottish Conservative party, who is a Minister--we are talking about ministerial salaries--appoints nobody but Tories to hospital boards all over Scotland.
Column 959It is perfectly reasonable to argue that the Leader of the House should not get a salary increase, and that no other Minister should get a salary increase, because of their failure to carry out Standing Order No. 130. Mr. Speaker wrote to my hon. Friend the Member for Angus, East (Mr. Welsh) saying that setting up the Select Committee on Scottish Affairs is not the Leader of the House's responsibility and that
"the resolution of 20th December 1988 excuses the Committee from taking such action".
That is a reference to the Committee of Selection acting under Standing Order No. 140. I have to disagree. I am sorry to offend Mr. Speaker. I believe that responsibility for Standing Order No. 130 rests squarely on the shoulders of the Leader of the House. He has failed to carry out his responsibilities to the Scottish people. If he looks way back to 1979, when this type of Select Committee was established, immediately after the Tories repealed the Scotland Act 1978, he will see that responsibility lies with the Government. I believe that there has been a fix by the establishment. If the establishment is not prepared to stand by its own Standing Orders, it has a brass neck to expect us to stand by them. We will not do so and we shall take action at the appropriate time.
Mr. Gerald Howarth (Cannock and Burntwood) : It was not my intention to intrude in the private feud between the Socialists in the Labour party in Scotland and the Socialists in the Scottish National party. However, as the matter affects some of my right hon. and hon. Friends I feel that I should contribute to the debate. I apologise to my right hon. and learned Friend the Leader of the House as I was not in the Chamber when he stated his case, and I hope that he will not consider my intervention to be a discourtesy. I understand the argument that it is the Government's responsibility to set an example to the nation, and in many ways hon. Members fall short on that--perhaps Opposition Members more than Conservative Members. However, it is a mistake to imagine that reducing ministerial or other salaries will do anything to combat inflation. As monetarists on the Conservative Benches will know, inflation is driven not by wage demands but by too much money in the economy chasing too few goods. To suggest that restraining Members' or Ministers' pay would contribute greatly to the battle against inflation would be to mislead the House.
It is not my intention to set myself up as the trade union negotiator on behalf of the Cabinet or other Ministers. I understand that the chairman of the board is listening to representations from all sides ; therefore there is no need for me to do that. However, we would be mistaken if we were to believe that we are currying favour by saying that we must restrain Ministers' pay and set an example and play ourselves down.
There is something bizarre about a nation which prides itself on being better managed than it ever was paying Secretaries of State £44,591 when we pay each chairman of the nationalised industries, for which one Secretary of State is reponsible, sums ranging between £90, 000 and £200,000 depending upon whether his name is Bob Reid mark 1 or Bob Reid mark 2. It is bizarre that we should have such an extraordinary discrepancy that the man responsible for running one part of a business is paid
Column 960£200,000 and the man who has overall responsibility is paid £44,591, when the Prime Minister's salary is only £47,000. It is incumbent upon us to point out to people that that is bizarre.
Mr. Salmond rose--
Mr. Salmond : Before the hon. Gentleman leaves the subject of people falling down on their responsibilities and the relative value of individual Ministers, would he care to comment on the relative value of the Under- Secretary of State for Scotland, the hon. Member for Stirling (Mr. Forsyth), who has been reducing his ministerial responsibilities so that he can assume the chairmanship of the Conservative party in Scotland? In the light of that reduction in his ministerial responsibilities, does he merit a ministerial salary increase this evening?
Mr. Howarth : My hon. Friends believe that my hon. Friend the Minister is grossly underpaid for the tasks that he performs in Scotland. The hon. Member for Banff and Buchan (Mr. Salmond) should consider how much my hon. Friend would be able to earn were he able to offer his service to the marketplace. He is making a sacrifice on behalf of the nation. The Scottish people will come not only to be grateful for but proud of his achievements.
My right hon. Friends who are responsible for the remaining nationalised industries should be given an increase in their salaries for every industry that they dispose of and return to private ownership. For every penny off income tax, the Chancellor of the Exchequer should be given an increase in salary. In that way, we might introduce the concept of competition and incentives into the highest levels of Government.
My hon. Friend the Member for Richmond and Barnes (Mr. Hanley) was not given an answer to his point about differentials. There is a considerable narrowing in the differentials between Ministers, of whatever rank, who are charged with an enormous and increasing work load. We ordinary, old, bloody infantry on the Back Benches do not believe that we serve any valuable purpose in allowing that to continue. Those who accept office make an increasing sacrifice, because they are normally younger people who have families and additional responsibilities.
Mr. Howarth : If my west midlands friend, the hon. Member for Bromsgrove (Sir H. Miller), honestly thinks that riding around in the back of a 1.6 Montego constitutes a great privilege, his sense of priorities are different from mine. It is interesting that suddenly the Opposition are changing their policies because they want to get their backsides on the back seat of a Montego 1.6L. That is the height of their ambitions.
I think that I have made my points, and I hope that my right hon. and learned Friend the Leader of the House has noted some of them.
Column 96111.22 pm
Mr. Andrew Welsh (Angus, East) : The purpose of our opposition this evening is to make the point that the Leader of the House is not doing his work and does not deserve the salary that he receives. My hon. Friends have said that the Select Committee on Scotland is needed. You, Mr. Deputy Speaker, ruled them out of order when they tried to give the reasons why it should be considering Scotland's environment, its steel industry, the crisis facing its fishing industry and a range of other issues. The Leader of the House has failed in his duty by not carrying out the Standing Orders of the House. It is ironic, Mr. Deputy Speaker, that you tell hon. Members to obey the Standing Orders of the House, yet he cannot be told to obey those self-same Standing Orders.
In a letter to me, Mr. Speaker rightly pointed out that there are certain Standing Orders that he is duty-bound to follow because they lay obligations specifically on his shoulders, but there are other Standing Orders, such as Standing Order No. 130, which make it clear that there shall be a Scottish Select Committee. That is linked to Standing Order No. 104, which says that it is the duty of the Committee of Selection to produce that Committee. The Leader of the House is failing in his obligations to the Standing Orders by not implementing them. The resolution of 20 December merely said that the House recognises the inability of the Committee of Selection to produce the Committee. The Committee of Selection was not unable but unwilling to do so. The Leader of the House should implement the Standing Orders to be worthy of the salary that we are discussing. The order concerns the rights and powers of Parliament to scrutinise the Executive. It is the duty of the Leader of the House to allow Back-Benchers to exercise proper scrutiny of the Administration. The right hon. and learned Gentleman has not fulfilled that duty, so how can he deserve his salary? The Scottish Office is the only major Department whose activities are not surveyed by a Select Committee. Such scrutiny is especially important given that the hon. Member for Stirling (Mr. Forsyth) is chairman of the Scottish Conservative party as well as a Minister. The Leader of the House should give the House, through the Select Committee, the power to scrutinise the connection between party politics and the Executive. It is important to scrutinise what is happening, but at the minute Scotland is being denied that right.
The Leader of the House should be worthy of his hire, but he has failed the House and Scotland. The resolution of December 1988 applied to the previous Session. If its powers are to be exercised once more, that resolution should come before the House again. If the right hon. and learned Gentleman is to be worthy of his hire he should establish a Select Committee on Scottish Affairs so that Members representing Scotland have the opportunity to question Scottish Ministers. We cannot ask English Ministers about Scottish matters as that would be ruled out of order.
The Leader of the House should earn his money by doing right by Scotland. Members representing Scotland should have the right to scrutinise the Administration-- [Interruption.] We should be free from such abuse. All English Members can do is shout as they have no interest in Scotland. When they turn out on occasions such as this it is akin to organised hooliganism.