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Mr. Cryer : First, a number of hon. Members will oppose the Bill because they have a religious point of view. That is important, but it is not why I oppose it. I oppose the Bill because Sunday has been gained, for whatever reason, as a day of respite both for workers and for those who do not work. It is clear from the amendments proposed today, which sought to protect those who live near big supermarkets, that the pollution of noise and work will affect not only people who work on Sundays. If we want a reasonably though not entirely quiet Sunday, the Bill must be defeated on Third Reading.

Secondly, it is clear that the protection that the labour Front Bench sought for workers has not been achieved. The

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requirement for doube-time payments has gone. Workers will be given the alternative of a fairly complicated formula and will have to resort to industrial tribunals.

In today's society, where work is short, workers will be frightened to stand up to management and there will be hundreds and thousands of dismissal cases if the Bill is enacted. There is no provision either in employment protection legislation or in the Bill for reinstatement and the compensation for unfair dismissal is paltry.

My hon. Friend the Member for Ogmore (Mr. Powell) has shown principled determination, as have many Opposition Members, although not, I regret to say, Opposition Front Bench spokesmen and women. On those two grounds, the Labour party should oppose this legislation. It does not support the workers or decent, quiet Sundays and I hope that enough hon. Members from both sides of the House will vote against the Bill to defeat it.

11.40 pm

Mr. Ray Powell : I shall be brief as I know that hon. Members want to vote. I must thank those people who helped me with my private Member's Bill. I was fortunate--if one can call it that--to be drawn third in the ballot immediately after the last general election. I must warn hon. Members not to get too excited if they are among the first 10 names to be drawn. They might think that they will be able to introduce a Bill that will be enacted, but they could spend the next 12 months working on it and find only frustration. If one is among the first 10, the Fees Office will send a cheque for £200 to help with legal fees and advice. If a private Member's Bill does not have the blessing or support of the Government, the hon. Member will have to pay for all the research and even, on occasions, for spare pens and envelopes and will receive little support.

When I introduced my Bill the Government decided to set up a shops unit, made up of civil servants who were very helpful. The Clerks of the House and their assistants were also very helpful, as were you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, and other occupants of the Chair--

Mr. Deputy Speaker : Order. This is very enjoyable, but the hon. Gentleman should refer to the Third Reading.

Mr. Powell : Members on both sides of the House who supported the Keep Sunday Special campaign and its option on Second Reading also gave me great support. The Committee was very cordial--we did not take long over debates or make the sort of lengthy speeches that we have heard tonight from some hon. Members. The staff of the Keep Sunday Special campaign should receive special recognition for their consideration and their work.

I must remind the House that hon. Members who devoted their time to trying get a Bill on the statute book and to alter the Shops Act 1950 did so primarily because we believe that we must keep Sunday as a special day. There was no ulterior motive, no cash incentive, just a belief that we should leave to our grandchildren and their grandchildren what we have enjoyed in our lifetime. If the Bill's provisions reach the statute book, this country will be deprived of that which is enjoyed by 300 million people in Europe. I repeat the advice of some of my hon. Friends--that hon. Members should vote against Third Reading and tell the Government that we do not want the Bill.

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11.44 pm

Rev. Martin Smyth : Earlier in our proceedings the Minister on the Treasury Bench was the Secretary of State for National Heritage. It is rather interesting that he is here to see the demise of a great English heritage, the quiet Sabbath, the Sunday well spent. As a member of a minority party in the House, I am happy to defend the Sabbath and the rights of workers. The hon. Member for Hendon, South (Mr. Marshall) thought that we should not take part in the debate. I am glad that one hopeful measure was passed and that Easter day, the day of Resurrection, may yet herald hope for the nation. As some hon. Members have said, those who go to church will continue to do so, and I pray to God that we shall not rely too much, as the hon. Member for Liverpool, Mossley Hill (Mr. Alton) suggested, on the leadership of the Bench of Bishops to do much for the nation. We certainly cannot say tonight that the Anglican Church is the Tory party at prayer if that party continues to destroy some of the nation's heritage. I agree with those who say that we should go through the No Lobby rather than give the Bill an unopposed Third Reading.

11.46 pm

Rev. William McCrea : I am another representative of a minority party in the House and I say without apology that my party will take its stand for the Lord's day. We believe that this country would be blessed if we took such a stand. Moving away from that and giving the Bill a Third Reading would be a retrograde step and could not bring the blessing of Almighty God upon this nation, as was sought in days that are past. Some hon. Members can be rightly proud of holding to that principle, even though they were frowned upon by other hon. Members for so doing. It was even suggested that some hon. Members had no right to speak in the debate, although we all have equal voting rights on this important legislation.

I say especially to Opposition Front-Bench speakers that some people will live to regret the day they put their hand to such legislation. Many Opposition Front-Bench speakers joined with Ministers in nodding approval during our proceedings. They say that they are interested in workers' rights, but that will prove to be false because they built on a false and rotten premise. Front-Bench speakers will hang their heads in shame when it is proved that workers' rights have not been protected.

One of the amendments suggested handing to workers a penny piece instead of genuine rights. I speak on behalf of my colleagues when I say that I shall vote against Third Reading.

Question put, That the Bill be now read the Third time :-- The House divided : Ayes 311, Noes 218.

Division No. 145] [11.48 pm


Ainsworth, Peter (East Surrey)

Aitken, Jonathan

Alexander, Richard

Allen, Graham

Ancram, Michael

Anderson, Ms Janet (Ros'dale)

Arbuthnot, James

Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham)

Arnold, Sir Thomas (Hazel Grv)

Ashby, David

Aspinwall, Jack

Atkins, Robert

Atkinson, David (Bour'mouth E)

Atkinson, Peter (Hexham)

Austin-Walker, John

Baker, Nicholas (Dorset North)

Baldry, Tony

Banks, Matthew (Southport)

Banks, Robert (Harrogate)

Barron, Kevin

Bates, Michael

Batiste, Spencer

Column 402

Bellingham, Henry

Beresford, Sir Paul

Betts, Clive

Blackburn, Dr John G.

Blair, Tony

Boswell, Tim

Bottomley, Peter (Eltham)

Bowden, Andrew

Bowis, John

Boyes, Roland

Brandreth, Gyles

Brazier, Julian

Bright, Graham

Brooke, Rt Hon Peter

Brown, Gordon (Dunfermline E)

Brown, M. (Brigg & Cl'thorpes)

Brown, N. (N'c'tle upon Tyne E)

Browning, Mrs. Angela

Bruce, Ian (S Dorset)

Budgen, Nicholas

Burden, Richard

Burns, Simon

Burt, Alistair

Butcher, John

Butler, Peter

Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE)

Carlile, Alexander (Montgomry)

Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)

Carrington, Matthew

Carttiss, Michael

Cash, William

Channon, Rt Hon Paul

Chapman, Sydney

Clappison, James

Clark, Dr David (South Shields)

Clark, Dr Michael (Rochford)

Clarke, Rt Hon Kenneth (Ruclif)

Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey

Clwyd, Mrs Ann

Coe, Sebastian

Coffey, Ann

Colvin, Michael

Congdon, David

Conway, Derek

Cook, Frank (Stockton N)

Coombs, Simon (Swindon)

Cope, Rt Hon Sir John

Couchman, James

Cran, James

Cunningham, Rt Hon Dr John

Currie, Mrs Edwina (S D'by'ire)

Curry, David (Skipton & Ripon)

Darling, Alistair

Davies, Bryan (Oldham C'tral)

Davis, David (Boothferry)

Devlin, Tim

Dewar, Donald

Dickens, Geoffrey

Dorrell, Stephen

Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James

Dover, Den

Dowd, Jim

Duncan, Alan

Duncan-Smith, Iain

Durant, Sir Anthony

Eggar, Tim

Emery, Rt Hon Sir Peter

Evans, David (Welwyn Hatfield)

Evans, Nigel (Ribble Valley)

Evennett, David

Faber, David

Fabricant, Michael

Fairbairn, Sir Nicholas

Fenner, Dame Peggy

Field, Barry (Isle of Wight)

Fisher, Mark

Forsyth, Michael (Stirling)

Forth, Eric

Foster, Don (Bath)

Fowler, Rt Hon Sir Norman

Fox, Dr Liam (Woodspring)

Fox, Sir Marcus (Shipley)

French, Douglas

Fry, Sir Peter

Fyfe, Maria

Gale, Roger

Gallie, Phil

Gardiner, Sir George

Garel-Jones, Rt Hon Tristan

Garnier, Edward

Gerrard, Neil

Gilbert, Rt Hon Dr John

Gill, Christopher

Gillan, Cheryl

Goodlad, Rt Hon Alastair

Goodson-Wickes, Dr Charles

Gorman, Mrs Teresa

Gorst, John

Greenway, John (Ryedale)

Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)

Gunnell, John

Hague, William

Hamilton, Rt Hon Sir Archie

Hamilton, Neil (Tatton)

Hampson, Dr Keith

Harman, Ms Harriet

Harris, David

Harvey, Nick

Haselhurst, Alan

Hawkins, Nick

Hawksley, Warren

Hayes, Jerry

Heald, Oliver

Heathcoat-Amory, David

Hendry, Charles

Heseltine, Rt Hon Michael

Hicks, Robert

Hill, James (Southampton Test)

Hill, Keith (Streatham)

Hogg, Rt Hon Douglas (G'tham)

Home Robertson, John

Hoon, Geoffrey

Horam, John

Hordern, Rt Hon Sir Peter

Howard, Rt Hon Michael

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

Howell, Rt Hon David (G'dford)

Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)

Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)

Hughes Robert G. (Harrow W)

Hunt, Rt Hon David (Wirral W)

Hunter, Andrew

Hurd, Rt Hon Douglas

Hutton, John

Ingram, Adam

Jack, Michael

Jackson, Robert (Wantage)

Jenkin, Bernard

Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N)

Jones, Nigel (Cheltenham)

Jones, Robert B. (W Hertfdshr)

Jopling, Rt Hon Michael

Key, Robert

King, Rt Hon Tom

Kirkhope, Timothy

Kirkwood, Archy

Knight, Mrs Angela (Erewash)

Knight, Greg (Derby N)

Knox, Sir David

Kynoch, George (Kincardine)

Lait, Mrs Jacqui

Lamont, Rt Hon Norman

Lang, Rt Hon Ian

Lawrence, Sir Ivan

Legg, Barry

Leigh, Edward

Leighton, Ron

Lennox-Boyd, Mark

Lester, Jim (Broxtowe)

Lidington, David

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