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New Clause—(Duration Of Act)

Volume 652: debated on Thursday 1 February 1962

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

This Act shall expire at the end of twelve months from the date of its coming into force unless continued by an Expiring Laws Continuance Act.—[ Mr. Bellenger.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

I beg to move, That the Clause be read a Second time.

After that holocaust of Clauses, with the Secretary of State to all intents and purposes getting his Bill in the last few minutes, without having to work for it; I hope that this new Clause will meet with his favourable consideration. I can assure him that it is moved with no Intention of restricting him unduly, because, after all, he now very nearly has his Bill through the Committee. But as I said yesterday, the Opposition are just as concerned as are the Government to provide the wherewithal for military forces that are considered necessary in the defence of this country's interests, and, of course, to meet our many commitments, particularly to N.A.T.O., which we have undertaken freely and of our own volition.

However, there is one point which I urge upon right hon. and hon. Gentlemen. Ever since the time of the New Model Army—which is going back to the seventeenth century—Parliament has always been jealous of any attempt by the Executive, or, in those days, by the Monarchy, to have regular forces in peace time. That is why up to 1955 we had the annual Army Act. That is the reason why the Secretary of State and all the other defence Departments have to come to the House once a year to present their Estimates and tell the House how many men they want and how much money.

There has been good reason for the suspicion of the House of Commons about the Executive having military forces at its command which it could use not always in circumstances that would meet with the approval of the House. I think recent history has shown that many of the revolutions that have taken place in other countries have been carried through only because military forces were at the command of the leaders. I do not attempt to say that in this democratic country the Government of the day would ever use our Forces except to meet external dangers, but I do say—and here I must repeat, though briefly, something I said yesterday—that it is not unknown for Governments to use military forces for emergencies which they define as emergencies within our own territory.

Nor do I suggest for a moment that the Secretary of State, who is quite an inoffensive Minister, if I may call him that, for he is certainly unlike some of the Secretaries for War we have had in the past, will use the forces in any other way than the way in which they are meant to be used. Indeed, the right hon. Gentleman told us both today and yesterday that they would be used only in that way. But my right hon. Friend the Member for South Shields (Mr. Ede) put his finger on the spot when he said that there is no definition of an emergency in the Bill. I agree that it would be difficult to put it in legal language, but nevertheless my right hon. Friend is right in saying that there is no explanation about what an emergency might be which would warrant the Secretary of State, without a proclamation, calling up something like, I think, 60,000 reservists.

Then the figure is correct. The Secretary of State could call up 60,000 men without Proclamation. I do not believe that he will do that or envisages doing it even in the event of a grave military emergency such as might occur over Berlin. But we have been trying to probe his intentions about what he wants to do.

We have met with a certain amount of success. For instance, on Clause 3, he said that he had it in mind, without tying himself to a definite figure, to try to recruit 15,000 "Ever-readies". He followed this with the very pregnant remark that if he could get what he wanted in "Ever-readies" he might not need Clause 2. We know that in the course of time Clause 1 will disappear because the men will not be there. Clause 1 is to retain certain members of the Forces in view of the possible emergency and of the tension. But it has a time limit, whatever happens to the rest of the Bill.

Therefore, in a year's time, or thereabouts, Clause 1 will go into oblivion. If the Government keep their pledge to do away with conscription, there will not be the National Service men available on whom the Secretary of State can call under Clause 1. That is one of the arguments which I use in substantiating this new Clause, which is not a trivial one. The argument contains an essential principle, which I think the Secretary of State could willingly concede.

The right hon. Gentleman told us today that Parliament will have some control over reserve forces because of the financial control. Every year he must come to the House of Commons and present his Estimates, and we know to the last penny, subject to supplementary estimates, what the total cost will be and how many men are to be allocated to the Regular Army, the Territorial Army and the Reserves.

There are one or two other arguments. The first is the reason why we have the Bill at all. It is very unusual between Estimates to ask Parliament to provide for a maximum of 60,000 men who could be used for a purpose which only the Secretary of State for War needs to say is sufficient reason for their call-up. Of course, he would have to come to Parliament and say what he was doing, but he could do it without consulting Parliament, without a Proclamation. All he has to do is to come to Parliament after he has called them up and tell us that he has done so.

If news got out that he had used his power, Standing Order No. 9 would be brought into operation immediately, long before he came to Parliament to tell us.

That may be, but I do not think that the hon. Member will dissent when I say—indeed, it has already been said, and he himself hinted at it and the right hon. Gentleman has admitted it—that the Secretary of State can do more or less as he likes. It is he who says what is the tension which necessitates calling up these reserves. It is he who says that he will call them up, and Parliament will have hardly any control of the calling-up process.

He could call them up in the middle of a Recess. There is no requirement in the Bill that Parliament shall meet within a certain time to consider emergency regulations, or anything like that.

That is an extension of my argument. Parliament will have very little control over the calling up of these reserves, although it has always insisted on complete control from year to year and on having some power of restriction on the Secretary of State.

I do not want to give the Secretary of State such wide powers, although I recognise the reason for these reserves and I expressed my approval of the "Ever-readies" when we discussed Clause 3. That ought to be a very good reserve for the Regular Forces. But I do not agree with the way in which the right hon. Gentleman is to present us with a blank cheque. When public money which cannot be put under a particular heading has to be spent, it is spent out of the Consolidated Fund, but when it comes to military matters the House of Commons should be very chary about giving the right hon. Gentleman powers which he can use almost at his pleasure and certainly at Parliamentary leisure, when the House of Commons is not meeting.

Even now the right hon. Gentleman seems not quite sure of the set-up of his own Army. I thought that when the Berlin trouble arose. I suppose that it would be wrong to say that the War Office panicked, but we might put it on the politicians, for it is not unknown for politicians to panic. I believe that, having given their pledge to do away with conscription and their recruiting not going as well as had been thought, the politicians suddenly realised that there would be this trough, this vacuum, between the passing out of the last National Service man and the time when the right hon. Gentleman got the numbers he required to make up his Regular Army to the strength required to meet commitments in the various parts of the world.

I shall be interested to hear from the hon. Gentleman for how long he wants these powers. If the Bill is passed in its entirety, it could go on from year to year until Parliament decided to repeal it, subject to factors like the disappear ance of Clause 1 because no man would be affected by it. Because I do not believe that the Secretary of State should have these wide powers, I have put forward the new Clause, so that the Bill would be continued for only twelve months from the date of its coming into force unless it were continued by the Expiring Laws Continuance Act.

8.45 p.m.

That should not cause the right hon. Gentleman too much trouble. Every hon. Member knows that when we discuss the Act we are very limited in what we can say, and if at the end of the year the right hon. Gentleman thought that he wanted to continue these provisions the short debate that would then occur should not cause him any apprehension. I cannot think that if he repeated what he has already told us today—the reason why he wants these men—Parliament would deny him those powers. He might say, "Why should I do that". We used to have an annual Army Bill. In 1955 the House decided it would keep that Act in being and only if we needed to amend it would we do so, as occasion arose. Why should not the same process be carried out with this Bill?"

The reason is that whereas the Army Act deals with the discipline of the Army, this Measure deals with a far more vital matter. It is concerned with providing reserve powers to call up a vast number of men and to dislocate their lives. The "Ever-readies" would go in with their eyes open and would he paid for the obligation they were undertaking. The same would apply to the Class "A" Reserve. The position of National Service men fulfilling their liability in the Territorial Army would not be quite the same. Those men are there not because they volunteered but because Parliament decided that they should be there, and they must obey the law, like everyone else.

During the Second Reading debate the right hon. Gentleman explained, as one of the reasons why he wanted the Bill, that the War Office was
"engaged in a detailed examination of the effectiveness of our present system of reserves against the background of the requirements of today."—[OFFICIAL REPORT. 27th November. 1961; Vol. 649, c. 51.]
He went on to say that that would take some time. When it had been completed he would presumably explain to the House what his ideas were about the reserves for the Regular Army, just as he explains the position every year in the Army Estimates debate.

I do not know how long that examination will take. Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman will tell us. The Regular Army may be all right; I think that it will be. Once the National Service men are out of it he will have a very good Army, with the comparatively long terms of engagement on which men are enlisting today, and therefore he will get back to the situation which prevailed before the war and has never prevailed during and since the war. The War Office must make up its mind what will be the scope of the Regular and the Reserve Forces. It would be far better if the right hon. Gentleman then explained to the House, as he has explained to us today, very carefully and technically, in terms which the House could understand, the scope of the Regular Forces that he wants and the scope of the Reserve Forces to back them up.

That is why I want the Bill to come up for renewal each year. I do not want him to go away next week, when the Bill has passed its Report and Third Reading stages, and say, "That is through at last; now we can sit back and take a breather." I want him to be constantly on his toes; indeed, he will have to be if what he says about the cold war is right. He must be ready for all tricks and turns. In that case, why should not he present to the House a properly balanced force and not, as will be the case under the Bill, a makeshift force? The forces provided by Clauses 1 and 2 will certainly be makeshift, although those under Clause 3, the "Ever-readies", may not be so bad. I am inclined to think that if the right hon. Gentleman makes a success of that, as I believe he will, he will get back to something like the old volunteer system which my right hon. Friend the Member for South Shields knew so many years ago, at the beginning of the century.

Well, at the end of the last century. At any rate, it was quite a long time ago.

The right hon. Gentleman must know that the situation of the Regular Army in 1914, with its reserves, provided us with a very good Army, and possibly we have not been able to have such an Army since. Here is a chance for the right hon. Gentleman so to recast his plans that in a year's time he may be able, if not to tell us completely what are his plans, to give us a hint of how his mind is working.

Yesterday and today we have been given no idea from the right hon. Gentleman about what he is working for. We have been given a piece of the jigsaw puzzle, but not the complete puzzle. I think that it is the right of Parliament to insist on that, in view of what I have said about our jealousy about giving unlimited power to the Government or the Executive. We are verging on that in this case. I do not say that the power is unlimited, but the right hon. Gentleman is being given vast power to do things which may not coincide with opinion on both sides of the House.

May I mention, briefly, one matter which is now past history, namely, Suez. There may be other expeditions of that nature. The right hon. Gentleman, or the Service Ministers, could not have engaged in that had they not had the Regular forces. At any rate, a section of opinion in the House and in the country was concerned about the use of those forces. Other occasions may occur when the right hon. Gentleman may think that he should use his forces for escapades of that kind. What control has Parliament over him, if he can call up a large number of men by Proclamation and use them, not necessarily for something like Suez, but to supplement the Regular forces which may have been drawn off to different parts of the world to engage in such undertakings.

The right hon. Gentleman will recollect, whether he likes it or not, that the Government of the day did call up the Reserves at the time of Suez.

If the right hon. Gentleman thinks that I am going too far in my imaginings, let him say so when he replies. I am putting before the Committee thoughts which occurred to me and which may be a little extravagant. But I have been in the position which the right hon. Gentleman now occupies and, although times were different then, I know that our Regular forces can sometimes be diverted into channels in a way in which, if the House knew all the truth, it would not agree. The "Ever-readies" and the other sorts of reserves could be "infiltrated"—if I may use the word—into positions occupied by the Regular forces and the Regular forces used elsewhere.

Be that as it may, I am only trying to understand the possibilities which may occur, and which have occurred in the past. I do not know whether the Committee would think the power for which I am asking is too much. But, considering what the right hon. Gentleman has been given yesterday and today, I put it to him that it is not too much to ask that if he wishes to continue this, he should do so by yearly legislation, so that he may "come clean" to the House of Commons and tell us how he is getting on, and how many more or how fewer of these men he requires.

The right hon. Gentleman will set up a committee—I think it a well-manned committee, although there was some criticism yesterday—to deal with hardship compassionate cases. No doubt many hon. Members will have cases to present to the Secretary of State. Let us hope, therefore, that with the assistance of his committee the right hon. Gentleman will be able to satisfy those hon. Members. But he may not be able to do so, and hon. Members may take grave objection to the way in which he is manipulating or administering compassionate and hardship cases.

The House has been lenient so far in this matter, because we have had what appeared to be good assurances from the right hon. Gentleman that he would give every satisfaction to every individual whom he thought was undergoing hardship.

The right hon. Gentleman shakes his head. Perhaps I overstressed the point. It is true that the aggrieved soldier has to satisfy his commanding officer, but the commanding officers vary. If I understood the remarks of the right hon. Gentleman, he explained that when a commanding officer turns down an application of a soldier for deferment or to be excused service of one kind or another, that soldier's plea will get to him to decide.

I am very glad that he assents, because I know that there are some commanding officers who are rather impatient with complaints or grievances which they think trivial and which they dismiss because either they have not the time to consider them fully or they do not know the facts.

I should remind the right hon. Gentleman that I have given an undertaking and have given instructions that no commanding officer may withhold a request from a soldier provided that request is substantiated by evidence. What I do not feel able to give, and have not yet given, is an undertaking that I shall give satisfaction in every case, but I will give consideration to every case.

I quite agree that the right hon. Gentleman cannot always give satisfaction. No Minister can do that; that is why they do not last for too long. I welcome his assurance because a soldier is not always a skilled person in putting his own complaint. I had considerable experience during the war when I was writing for a popular journal of having thousands of complaints from soldiers and others. When I sifted them I found that quite a lot of them had suffered injustice because they had not been treated properly by commanding officers in the first place.

We ask the right hon. Gentleman to agree to an early limitation on these powers because we want to see that his assurances, which so far seem satisfactory, will work in practice as he says they will. That is another reason for asking him to agree to some limitation. The right hon. Gentleman said today, in answer to a question of mine, that he was aiming at something like 15,000 "Ever-readies". If he could get the number he wanted he might be able to dispense with Clause 2, that is the ex-Service men with three-and-a-half years liability. They would not be needed for call-up and Clause 1 would have disappeared, because there would be no more National Service men in the Army. Then two of the main Clauses of the Bill would have gone. When they have gone, why should the Measure be kept in existence?

In a year or two years' time, why should the right hon. Gentleman not say to the House, "I have got my Regular forces and my reserve forces"—I hope he will explain how he will balance them—"I do not need this Measure any more." This is a temporary Measure, the Minister said. How "temporary" is it to be or how "permanent" is it to be? I suggest that he should agree to this new Clause, which is not asking too much of him.

9.0 p.m.

There is one other matter I should like to mention. The whole purpose of this Bill, as the right hon. Gentleman has explained it, is to meet that tension Which he says builds up from time to time or continues in the form of the cold war. If he is right, he will need these different reserves, but he will also need Parliament's support in having them. I do not think Parliament will be ungenerous in giving him what he wants, but let us suppose that, by any chance, the Government or the Foreign Secretary can lower the tension, or that the Prime Minister can get an agreement which will, at any rate, put that tension into cold storage for some years.

It is not impossible. When one considers the inter-war years, one remembers that there was rising tension after the First World War, and that by a series of pacts, agreements and treaties there seemed to be a period when there was peace. Indeed, after the First World War, the War Office based its plans on the assumption that there would be no major war in ten years. It may very well be that the right hon. Gentleman is right in what he said about tension, for tension can decrease as well as increase. I quite agree that we must not be too optimistic about that, but it might be. Then, does the right hon. Gentleman tell the House that he will still want this Bill? If he does say that, he is denying the whole basis on which he has built up the arguments advanced on this Bill.

I pay this tribute to the right hon. Gentleman. He has been criticised, and rightly so, and, after all, he has been long enough in the House to know that the Secretary of State for War always has to come in for criticism. The Army always has criticism, and not without reason. We have only to take the history of the British Army to know that there have been very good reasons on occasions for criticising the chief of the Army—the Secretary of State for War.

I believe that the right hon. Gentleman has tried to do his best to mitigate the hardships which, as he said, will follow from the operation of the Bill. I should also like to thank him for the way he has tried to meet the various points, especially the technical points, of my hon. Friend the Member for Dudley (Mr. Wigg), which I hope ne has always understood, which, perhaps, from time to time, have been very technical, perhaps too technical for some of us, but which he has done his best to meet.

I am asking him now, unless there is any vital reason for having these unlimited powers, because that is what it means if we pass this Bill without any limit on its duration, to be reasonable and accept the Amendment. He has not accepted any of the Amendments, although he has done his best to sympathise with us and say how much he would like to help us. We are used to that in this House, but here is an opportunity for the right hon. Gentleman, after listening to what I have had to say, to give us this new Clause, which, I suggest to him will not cause him any undue hardship or undue disability, or any other unwarranted restriction on the immense powers which he is asking the Committee to grant him this evening.

I have not previously intervened in the debates on the Bill, but I wish to support the new Clause so fully and cogently moved and argued by my right hon. Friend the Member for Bassetlaw (Mr. Bellenger).

The point raised in this proposed Clause is whether the Bill should be of indefinite duration, or whether its operation should be limited to expire in twelve months' time, and then be subject to annual review under the Expiring Laws Continuance Act.

As my right hon. Friend said, this involves a serious constitutional issue. Parliament and the country have always been very jealous indeed about the powers which they give the Executive with regard to the Armed Forces of the Crown. This feeling of jealousy and concern had its origin much earlier than the seventeenth century. It is well grounded. It is based on the conviction that the Executive of the day ought not to have powers over the Armed Forces which are not fully justified and subject to the most minute and critical control by Parliament.

Parliamentary control does not consist merely of financial control. Obviously, there are matters of controlling Government expenditure. Estimates have to be voted. Supplementary Estimates have to be introduced if the annual Votes are exceeded. There has to be a great deal of financial control over Government expenditure, including expenditure on the Armed Forces.

The reason why a special measure of Parliamentary control is required over the Armed Forces is that it affects not merely the purse of the taxpayer, but individual freedom and liberty. The feeling is well grounded that people ought not to be called up to serve in the Armed Forces unless there is overriding necessity. As the Secretary of State knows, we object to the Bill. We think that it is a bad, an unfair, and an unnecessary Bill. We think that the whole of the Minister's policy with regard to the Army is ill-conceived.

I will not go into the technical grounds on which the Minister has been criticised in these debates, but he is aware of the volume of criticism which is directed against his policy. No doubt he will get the Bill. He will convince the majority of hon. Members that the provisions contained in it are necessary. Be it so. There will remain the question as to the duration for which the Crown should have this power.

As my right hon. Friend said, the whole case for the Bill is that it is required as a temporary expedient to meet a particular emergency. It is not even put forward by the Government as something which is required as a permanent reform of our military law. Its only justification and raison d'être is that there is at this time an emergency in the international situation and in the quality and quantity of our Armed Forces which makes this Measure, curious, unusual, difficult, and controversial as many of its provisions are, necessary to meet a limited, temporary, transient emergency. That is the ground upon which it is put forward.

Therefore, it seems to me to follow as a consequence of the Secretary of State's own logic that he should bow to the traditions of this country with regard to the Army Acts and curtail the duration of the Measure. We are not asking very much. We are not asking the Committee to agree to anything which is sensational or which will curtail the Government's powers. We suggest that the traditions of Parliamentary life and understanding should be recognised. The Bill should operate for twelve months only, with all its inconvenience, including the fact that these 60,000 reservists can be called up without Proclamation when Parliament is in Recess, when there is no opportunity of criticising the Government, when there is no possibility of having an emergency debate under Standing Order No. 9, and when there is no opportunity that the machinery of a Proclamation would provide for dealing with such a situation.

In an intervention a few minutes ago the Secretary of State said that reservists were called up at the time of Suez. Is he aware that, on that occasion, there was a Proclamation? If the Bill is passed there will be no need for a Proclamation. What would happen in the case of another Suez'? That is one of the salient differences which this Bill introduces.

The Committee has already agreed—under the Guillotine—to the Clauses conferring these vast powers on the Government and the Opposition are suggesting that those powers should be renewed in a year's time. It is a recognised feature of our democratic machinery that we have the Expiring Laws Continuance Act to enable Acts that are contentious, dangerous or of a temporary nature to be renewed once a year so that all those Acts which would otherwise expire can be put in a Schedule and go through their Second Reading stages, often without debate.

A great many Bills in the Schedule provoke no controversy when they come up for renewal but, if they do, there is an opportunity for the House to see if they should be renewed for another year and, which is equally important, to enable hon. Members to examine the administrative methods by which a particular Act coming up for renewal has been operated.

The Aliens Measure—one of far-reaching importance affecting many thousands of people—is an example of an Act which is subject to the Expiring Laws Continuance Act. It is not a permanent feature of our legislation—although it is no less important in its affect on the lives of people than will be this Bill. This is an Army Bill and our tradition for hundreds of years has been that such Measures should be looked at annually.

Until 1955, for hundreds of years, Army Acts required annual renewal. We put them on a quasi-permanent basis for various reasons because they affected discipline and there was no need to review them year by year. This Bill, however, is analogous to the old Army Bills which came up for renewal annually, a practice which, as I have said, continued for centuries.

As has been pointed out, there is great concern about how the Bill will be administered, especially with regard to cases of hardship, call-up and all the technical problems to which my right hon. Friend the Member for Bassetlaw referred. The Minister intervened a short while ago to say that he could give certain assurances, but he qualified his remarks by saying that he could not give satisfaction. We want an opportunity, annually, to see how these cases of hardship, call-up, and so on, have been dealt with, for that is the right of Parliament and of the Opposition. It is something which should not be denied us. When Bills of this kind are introduced, which affect human beings—

The National Service Act does not have to be renewed each year, but every hon. Member has the right to ask the Secretary of State for War to see that he is looking after men properly.

9.15 p.m.

I agree that hon. Members have the right to put questions, but that is not the same thing. We want to see how the Bill will operate. Apart from that, my hon. Friends want an opportunity of reviewing annually whether the circumstances of the day warrant these extraordinary powers being renewed for a further year.

My last, but not my least important, point is that there is a compelling reason why the duration of this Bill, certainly, and I would say, of nearly every Bill which the Government introduce from now on, should be criticised. That overriding reason is that the Government are embarking on Common Market negotiations which may or may not materialise this year—although in some quarters it is said that they will. If that proves true then, with all the ramifications of the Treaty of Rome coming into operation, no hon. Member conceals from himself, although members of the Government may try to conceal it from the country, that there will follow constitutional changes of a very great order.

I am not now considering the merits of the Common Market—that would be irrelevant, and out of order—but it is obvious from what has been said, and from the documents that have been published, that if we become bound by the Treaty of Rome the consequences not only in our economic and commercial life, but in our social and fiscal legislation and, inevitably, in our military legislation, will be profound, incalculable and far-reaching.

That event would also involve questions of sovereignty, and so forth, not less than the liberty of the subject and the rights of the individual. I am not speculating as to what they might be, but no one can really doubt how far-reaching would be the consequences of that act which, rightly or wrongly—and I am not arguing that question—is being contemplated by the Government.

That such a vastly important change is impending, and may take place, is an additional reason why we should think very carefully before placing, for an indefinite period, new and controversial legislation on the Statute Book. It may be all right to have it there for twelve months, but I would say of almost any Bill that is to be brought forward, and of this one, above all, that the Common Market possibility is an additional reason for recommending the Committee to say, "There are good reasons for passing the Bill this year, but we should limit its duration so that in a year's time, whether or not we are in the Common Market, or are still on its fringe, and, whether we are more aware of the vast changes it will produce, we should have another opportunity of considering whether these vast powers for which the Government are asking should be renewed."

Therefore, I would hope that the Minister, having heard the opinions expressed here, would recognise the rights of Parliament and content himself with having the Bill for twelve months; and with having the right to ask Parliament to renew it annually under an Expiring Laws Continuance Act.

This is a very important and fundamental new Clause. Almost every hon. Member must worry about whether we should allow the Executive to take these powers, but I think that Parliament is in a dilemma. In the cold war, we want the Executive to be able to move quickly and efficiently, and without having Proclamations and putting the country in a state of probably unnecessary alarm. Therefore, because of the Berlin crisis earlier last year, the Government have, I think rightly, decided that from time to time they need, because of the cold war, the power to call up reserves and have them immediately available.

If we want the Executive and the Minister to be efficient and to do the job for the security of the country, how can we have Clauses like this, to the their hands? I have heard the argument that if this power was used during a Recess, Parliament would have no chance to correct the Executive's action, or that of the Secretary of State for War who signs a document on any particular day. In fact, if we look back to 1956, we realise that the Executive can act and take decisions without consulting Parliament.

I am very sceptical about whether or not I should support the new Clause. But I will say this for the Minister. He already has his officials and a committee working on the whole problem of our Reserve Forces and how they are to be co-ordinated and controlled. If he would give a quite simple undertaking that eventually he intends to bring another Bill before the House which places all our Reserve Forces in proper order to face the emergencies of the cold war, I would be inclined at present not to accept the Clause, but to give him these powers. But that is entirely dependent on the condition or understanding that he will assure the House that the method of calling up our reserves and using our reserves in time of emergency is being considered.

We have a difficult task as Members because not only have we to protect the rights of our constituents and guard against the Executive doing something which we cannot accept as a House, but we also demand that the Executive be swift, bold and efficient. Therefore, on reflection, I would be prepared to vote against this new Clause if the Minister would give a categorical undertaking that the whole of our Reserve Forces and the method of call-up is being considered.

I am not prepared to accept the point of view of the hon. Member for The Wrekin (Mr. W. Yates). If this Bill is passed, and is ever operated, to call up 60,000 men will produce a state of excitement in this country and abroad that ought not to be created without the prior or immediate consent of the House. The liberties of this country depend upon Ministers answering at the Dispatch Box for all their actions, particularly Ministers who are advised by the military. The fundamental basis on which British democracy works is that the civilian Minister is in control and responsible to this House, and it is the individual responsibility of every man who values English tradition to see that it is not eroded in any way.

I cannot accept the proposition that we can give the Minister this Bill if he undertakes to bring in another. What will be the basis of the new Bill? "In March or some early month of 1962", it will be said, "we acquired these powers, and on them we propose to build." It will be assumed that this Bill represents sound policy at the moment, on which, in the easy way in which public panic can be created, further measures ought to be brought in and new and added powers given to the Minister.

The hon. Member for The Wrekin said that the Departments ought to be swift, bold and resolute. I almost expected him to add, "It is well known that I believe that in every action they have taken, particularly overseas, those have been their distinguishing characteristics."

I do not want to be contentious with the right hon. Gentleman, but I should have thought that the action of Her Majesty's Government in Kuwait last year was a perfect example of what we should expect the Executive to do to protect our interests.

But one would expect any Executive to take action in advance and not be found out afterwards.

I do not think that the example the hon. Gentleman chose was one which proved any case at all.

Because the other side did not turn up, we do not know what the strength of our bowlers is. I can think of 1956.

"Never mind", says the hon. Gentleman now.

We do not know the total number of men whose lives will be affected by the Bill. My right hon. Friend the Member for Bassetlaw (Mr. Bellenger) assumes that in a short time Clause 2 will be unnecessary. [Interruption.] I try to accept what my right hon. Friend says. I have a congenital reluctance to believe anything said on the other side of the Committee. I suggest that the new Clause is amply justified merely by the existence of Clause 2. One of the things which happens occasionally on the Expiring Laws Continuance Bill is that an Act is proposed for continuation except for certain sections of it, and it is continued in that form.

It will be very necessary, when various parts of this Bill become no longer applicable in the circumstances then existing, that those parts should be re pealed. The annual review gives the Secretary of State a chance of doing that. Ministers always face difficulty—my right hon. Friend knows this—in getting a Bill into the Government programme, and a Bill to amend this Bill after it has been passed will encounter that difficulty. On the other hand, if it is included in the Expiring Laws Continuance Bill, any necessary amendment can be made, and in that way we can rest assured that the Government cannot get on the barrack square more men than the House is willing to see them have.

9.30 p.m.

One of the problems confronting me in regard to this Bill is this. I take the position of men under Clause 1. They are in the Army. They will be told that their service is to be extended. They cannot protest. They are there. The Army has the bodies. What is more, it has the swords. Prior to the introduction of this Bill, they had every right to assume that at a date now rapidly approaching they would be able to return to their homes. Did not the right hon. Gentleman tell us that about 2,000 men were eligible under the law as it stands to leave the Army on 2nd or 4th April, or a date like that? [Interruption.] There were to be two groups. Whether the figure is 2,000 or 2,500, it does not affect the principle.

Those men will be told that Parliament has decided that they are to stay in the Army for a further six months. They may feel that they have a grievance, that they have been treated very unjustly and that they would like to show their protest in some way. I hope that they will not do that because I am an old soldier and I do not like to see troops unnecessarily getting themselves into trouble. But let us assume that some men are due to come out of the Army on 2nd April and that on the morning of 2nd April, instead of parading in accordance with the orders which have been issued, they do not appear. What will happen? They have refused to obey an order. If they go very much further, they may even be accused of mutiny.

It is very serious that this could happen in a free country, and I hope that some apology and explanation will be tendered to the troops when orders are issued informing them of the change in their position that this Bill will create when it becomes an Act of Parliament. They have been selected, merely because the Army has the bodies, as the people on whom the first and worst effects of this Bill shall fall.

It is a bad thing when soldiers are disgruntled. I recollect my commanding officer saying to me one morning, "What is the spirit of the troops this morning?" I said, "They are grousing like hell." He said, "Do not you know that the bigger the grouser the better the soldier?" "Then", I said, "we have the best lot since the Battle of Hastings". Disgruntled soldiers, when the feeling has some justification, are not easy people to deal with, and their spirit is apt to be infectious. Therefore, let us be quite clear that what we are doing is very serious.

We have had no real indication of what these men will do when they are retained or called up. The worst problem of all is the regiment or company which feels that there is no justification for it being in the Army. I do not accept what has been said during discussions on this Bill that numerous young men have said that they have done nothing worth while in the Army and that their service in it has been a waste of time. I do not think that that has been as fully justified as the volume and heat of some of the complaints would suggest. Troops who feel that they are not being used get into a frame of mind that is not good for morale. We ought to have an assurance that men will not be unnecessarily called up when within seven days of their reporting to the depot or barracks it is obvious that there is no military duty for them.

I hope the Secretary of State will realise that I am anxious to see a good Army, well disciplined and of fine morale, which believes that it is doing an essential job. If the Secretary of State can get that, he will not have some of the disciplinary troubles that happen when the Army gets into the frame of mind which I have described.

I was reading the history of the end of the great civil war and the plight of the tribunal that was set up to try the King was being discussed. One of the descriptions of the scene was as follows. There sat in the shadows a man whose word would determine what the verdict would be, for he was the idol of 55,000 unconquered and unconquerable men. Let us realise that an Army too large for its job is always a menace to civil order. That is why, since the days of the New Model Army, which had many things to commend it, the House of Commons has always been jealous of allowing unnecessary armed force to be at the disposal of the Government.

I did not hear the speech of my right hon. Friend the Member for Bassetlaw the other evening, but I was responsible for keeping the wheels moving and the ships being turned round in the Port of London. We did not use the troops as strike breakers. We tried to preserve those two essential parts of the life of the community. In the London Docks, it is almost amusing to see the troops trying to unload ships. Some men from my old regiment, the East Surreys, were there, and I went down to see them. When I arrived a sergeant was having a dispute with a striker, who said, "You are using that crane so inefficiently that when I come back here next week I shall not be able to use it."

On the whole, there was the best of feeling between the troops and the strikers in London, and as far as I know no military trouble was caused in any way. When the Home Secretary approached the Secretary of State for War in those days, the suggestion that troops should be diverted from their ordinary training to do the kind of things I have just mentioned was not warmly received. My right hon. Friend the Member for Bassetlaw will agree that that is putting it mildly.

I do not want so large a military force to be available that the Army will welcome the chance of having something on which to put the troops to work. I know one by-pass road in Surrey which was built by Canadians. The authorities of the Canadian Army asked the highway authority to build that highway and to use their engineers to do it.

When we are dealing with this problem we should realise that over the centuries there have been plenty of warnings in this country and elsewhere against getting people under military orders for whom there is no real necessity. I know that the Secretary of State will say that he would never do anything like that, and I accept that statement before it is made, but if he has this Bill on the Statute Book with no time limit on it we must take very long-term views of the situation which he would be creating.

I sympathise very much with the men whose domestic and professional lives will be diverted in some way by the Bill. The new Clause will enable them to feel, among other things, that this interruption of their careers will not be unnecessarily prolonged if Parliament has to have an annual look at the Act. I am certain that the aliens law is better administered in this country because there is an annual review than it would be if in certain circumstances it was made part of the statute law of the land.

The hon. Member for The Wrekin, who apparently knows all the Government's secrets, has told us all about what the Minister will do in getting the Bill implemented. The Minister thinks that one year is too short. It would mean one year from the passing of the Bill and he would have to name it in the Expiring Laws Continuance Bill just before Christmas this year. If the right hon. Gentleman intimated that he could accept the new Clause, if it were framed in a form that stated we would give him this power until the autumn of 1963, when the earlier people would be out of the Army, and that after that he would propose to the House an annual review in the form suggested in the new Clause, that ought to satisfy him and, I hope, would satisfy my right hon. Friend the Member for Bassetlaw. Unless the right hon. Gentleman can say that, I shall feel obliged to vote with my right hon. Friend, for the reasons I have given.

9.45 p.m.

I love the British Army, and so does my right hon. Friend the Member for Bassetlaw. I served in it as a young man for four years in the Volunteers, as I told the Committee last night. I had joined a body called the National Reserve just before the First World War, and when war was declared I redeemed the pledge I had given and served until about February, 1919. I enjoyed the comradeship of the Army. I know that if a man is willing to accept other men in a spirit of equality and comradeship, the companionship of the Army can be very good for all the people who are in it.

It is not because I have any fear of the British Army—at least, of the rank and file—but when the military advisers of the War Office hear that there are 100,000 men or so whose bodies can be obtained, I fear the pressure that they may put on the Secretary of State and that this may result in a great deal of unnecessary disturbance of civil life. I ask the Secretary of State to meet my right hon. Friend the Member for Bassetlaw in the spirit that, while we want to ensure that there shall be an efficient Army, according to British standards, there shall also be no men unnecessarily taken away from civilian occupations, because we have as big a battle to fight in the civil and industrial fields as we have in the military field. We cannot escape from that battle, and where men are best employed in civil and industrial life they should be available for that battle.

I had hoped that the Secretary of State would be sympathetic to this new Clause. I tried to study his facial expression while it has been discussed and I have an uneasy feeling that he is not sympathetic. For that reason, I intervene to recall that he has said, both inside and outside the House, that he will not use these powers except in case of emergency. I think that I once asked him whether he could confirm that. I cannot, therefore, understand why he cannot consider this Clause in the sense that, once twelve months have elapsed, he will have a view about what kind of emergency there has been and can discuss with the House of Commons the suitability or otherwise of the Bill being continued.

My right hon. Friend the Member for Bassetlaw (Mr. Bellenger) referred to the fact that this was, after all, a temporary Measure. I do not like these references to "temporary" and "permanent". I have been opposed for sixteen years in the House of Commons to the continuance of compulsory military service. I remember that the late Neville Chamberlain was the first one to introduce compulsory military training in time of peace. He said then, "We know what the Opposition feel about this, but it is only temporary." That was in April, 1939, and compulsory military service has continued for twenty-one years.

I remember that when we were asking one of my right hon. Friends in the Labour Government whether National Service was to be permanent, he said that "permanent" was a very difficult word to define and added:
"I do not ask to see
The distant scene; one step enough for me."
I am suspicious of the use of the word "temporary".

I think that the Minister genuinely meant it when he said that this provision was only to meet an emergency. In that case, will he not look sympathetically at the new Clause, which simply says that the Bill shall expire at the end of twelve months from the date of its coming into force, unless it is continued by the Expiring Laws Continuance Act? The hon. Member for The Wrekin (Mr. W. Yates) said that that would tie the Minister's hands. I do not understand how it could. If the right hon. Gentleman is asking for something to meet a temporary emergency, why cannot he ask for it to be continued after twelve months, if he wishes to do so? He could even introduce a new Bill.

Before we get tied up together on this business, the answer is that if the Secretary of State gives an assurance to me and the rest of the Committee that he intends to introduce another Bill in the place of this to deal with the Reserve Forces and their call-up, I am prepared to accept his word and allow this Bill to go through without this new Clause. If he cannot give that assurance, that is a different matter.

I cannot see how the right hon. Gentleman could say now, without experience of the Bill over twelve months, whether he will be able to introduce another Bill. But I would have thought that it would safeguard the view of the hon. Member for The Wrekin if the Bill were continued for only twelve months in order to meet this emergency.

My right hon. Friend the Member for South Shields (Mr. Ede) spoke of the interruption in industry. National Service itself is cumbersome and employers of labour have found it extremely difficult to deal with the inconveniences which result from it. While one understands that the Bill may be necessary in an emergency, why is it necessary to continue it after the emergency?

I am very disappointed that we have not had a clearer answer to our questions. The Secretary of State thinks that the Bill is only temporary. As he has practically got the Committee stage of the Bill, I appeal to him at least to meet us some way on this issue and undertake that as soon as the emergency is passed, if there is an emergency, he will not continue with these powers to meet a situation which is not likely to arise.

I apologise to the Committee for not having been here during the whole of the discussion of the new Clause. The answer to the hon. Member for Birmingham, Ladywood (Mr. V. Yates) is that in so far as the Bill is compulsory its effect is temporary, and that in so far as it is permanent it deals only with volunteers, who need not be caught unless they wish to be.

What the hon. Member for Stroud (Mr. Kershaw) has said makes the case for the new Clause. I accept that the position in regard to Clauses 1 and 2 is different from that with regard to Clause 3. If the right hon. Gentleman were prepared to put down an Amendment on Report dealing with this matter as the new Clause proposes, but confined to Clauses I and 2, that would satisfy me. I agree that Clause 3, which deals with the "Ever-readies", deals with volunteers and is permanent by its nature.

As the hon. Member for Stroud has pointed out, Clauses 1 and 2 are temporary. That being the case, they should come to an end. They should, therefore, be included in the temporary legislation that comes to an end when it is no longer needed. That is a very good reason for including them in the Expiring Laws Continuance Bill, which we consider each year in order to see whether certain legislation is still necessary.

It is admitted that Clauses 1 and 2 impinge on the principles of civil liberty. It is admitted that they operate arbitrarily and unfairly on a section of the population chosen at random. Is it unreasonable that Parliament should say to the Government, "Since you are doing this, we should have an annual opportunity to consider the way in which you are operating these provisions, and to raise on the Floor of the House any grievances which our constituents may bring us"? That is all we are asking.

Of their nature, the first two Clauses can operate only for four years. Is it unreasonable that we should ask for four opportunities during that period, when we discuss the Expiring Laws Continuance Bill, to raise grievances and call upon the Minister for an account of the way in which he is operating this invasion of civil liberty? It may be necessary, but it is none the less an invasion of liberty. I submit that that is a reasonable thing to ask, and I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will be able to say that between now and Report he will consider the matter and put down a Clause which will include in the Expiring Laws Continuance Bill at least those two Clauses which are, of their very nature, temporary provisions, but which affect civil liberty.

I have listened very carefully to the debate, from the moving of the new Clause. In spite of the fact that the hon. Member for Birmingham, Ladywood (Mr. V. Yates) thinks that I have pre-judged the issue, I certainly wanted to collect the voices of the Committee. I admit that I started with certain pre-determined views, having thought over the matter very carefully. The Committee may agree, as a matter of principle, that it is not a good legislative practice to have more laws dependent upon annual review than is absolutely necessary. Apart from anything else, it takes up the time of Parliament, which is already grossly overcrowded.

It seems to me that the responsibility of Parliament is to judge whether a piece of legislation is good or bad. If it is bad it must be turned out, but if it is not bad, and is deemed to be necessary, I do not believe that, as a general principle, it is a good idea to say that because things may change every year, the legislation concerned should come before Parliament so that hon. Members can scrutinise the way in which the Gov ernment are carrying out that legislation. Every hon. Member knows that there are ample opportunities for a Minister to be called to order. There are all sorts of Parliamentary checks and balances. As a matter of principle, therefore, I cannot agree that because this is a piece of contentious legislation, if it passes through all its stages there is any requirement for its being brought back to Parliament for annual review.

The only justification for making legislation subject to annual review is in order that Parliament can decide whether the requirements which led up to that legislation still exist—that is fair—and can protect those who are affected by the Measure. Let us apply those tests to the various Clauses.

10.0 p.m.

The hon. Member for Islington, East (Mr. Fletcher) spoke of this as a temporary expedient, or measure, or something of that sort. I have never said that it was a temporary expedient. The requirements of Clause 1 are because of an existing problem. The requirements of Clause 2 are not so temporary. They stretch into the distance and as far as the time when there are no part-time National Service men. Clause 3, in my view—I take it that the hon. Member has also agreed—may well go on for ever and a day. It is for Parliament to decide that in the future. But it would be wrong to consider this as a temporary expedient.

As I said during the Second Reading debate, the reason far Clause 1 is the requirement for trained men in order to maintain B.A.O.R. roughly at its present level for the foreseeable future. There might have been more point in this Motion and the proposed new Clause if the Bill had been passed through Parliament before Christmas. But, as it is now, a review in 12 months from the time when the Bill becomes law, would fall at a time when the provisions in Clause 1 will largely have ceased to have any practical effect. So the idea of bringing the thing back for scrutiny in a year's time is not all that necessary from the point of view of Clause 1. It would be well after the time that the men who had been retained would have started to flow out of the Army.

With regard to Clause 2, I have told the Committee that it is unlikely that we shall have to consider recalling any part-time National Service men until the last retained National Service man has left—in effect, not before 1963. But if this Clause is to have any effect, we must know continuously in advance that we can call on these reservists were tension suddenly to mount, and while the Regular Army strength for 1963 was still near its minimum target. There would therefore be no way in which Parliament could better judge the requirements for this at the end of 1962 and the beginning of 1963 than at the present moment.

There is always the danger, which in my position I must guard against, that when looking at things again at the end of 1962 we might find that the tension had temporarily eased. But that would be no good reason for terminating powers under the Bill, because no one can know for certain then, any more than now, what the future holds. Incidentally, the powers of retention and recall under Clauses 1 and 2 are self-eliminating, without bringing them back to Parliament. Hon. Members have recognised that in their speeches. The powers in respect of retention will expire six months after the last National Service man completes his two years' liability for service. Those in respect of recall will, with certain minor exceptions, expire in 1966.

I now come to Clause 3. The Committee would agree that as the Territorial Army Emergency Reserve is designed for a long term period, and as it will be a voluntary force, there is no need whatever for the members of this volunteer reserve to be protected by an annual Parliamentary Review. Those are the reasons advanced for the new Clause. The right hon. Member for Bassetlaw (Mr. Bellenger) said that I had the power by the stroke of my pen, to call up about 60,000 men. I think that the right hon. Member for South Shields (Mr. Ede) also felt that that was so. I must correct the right hon. Gentlemen and put this matter into its proper perspective. I have no power, by the stroke of a pen, to call up all those people without a Proclamation, except in certain circumstances. This is one of the major reasons for the Bill. The only people whom I would have the power to call up by the stroke of a pen would be the 15,000 people in the "Ever-readies" because—this is very important—the other two bodies of pre-proclamation reserves making up the 60,000 are voluntary reserves who have volunteered either to be in the A.E.R.1 or for the Regular Army. They volunteered under the express understanding that they would be recalled only in the case of
"imminent national danger or great emergency."
That may be interpreted as, had we wanted to call up some reservists without a Proclamation last August, we should have had to be quite sure that the situation could have been interpreted as being an imminent national danger or great emergency, before the Secretary of State and the Government would have had the right to call up those men, without being in danger of a breach of the contract under which these people volunteered and are liable to be recalled.

The whole purpose of this new reserve is that they will come in with their eyes open, knowing that for the bounty they get, if the Government of the day believes that tension has increased to a stage at which they have to stop it by the deterrent of more manpower, these men can be called up. I do not want the Committee to take an exaggerated view of the number of reserves which can be called up.

Will the right hon. Gentleman tell the Committee whom he can call up? Does it mean that he wants only "Ever-readies" called up?

I think we can consider only the people covered by this Bill. I am trying to give the Committee an accurate picture of the sort of reasons for which we would call up the "Ever-readies". I am also pointing out that it is wrong to think that all the Reserves can be called up under this provision. 'The only reason for calling up a new class of reserves is that they can be called up only when the Government feel there is an emergency sufficiently strong to warrant a deterrent by increasing the number in the Armed Forces.

The right hon. Member said that I had unlimited power, but there is not unlimited power, as he knows well. Each year there is a perfectly good check. All the Bill does is to give general permissive authority to the Government. Every year Parliament has a perfectly good check in being able to refuse to vote the money by which we can pay any of the people covered by the Bill. If we were to give effect to what the right hon. Member for Basset-law, the right hon. Member for South Shields, the hon. and learned Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget) and the hon. Member for Islington, North (Mr. Reynolds) want to do we ought not to do what is suggested in this new Clause. We could not do it this way.

We would have to put into the Bill the fact that the Secretary of State could not call these people up unless he reported to the House of Commons before doing so. It would not serve the purpose of the right hon. Member for Bassetlaw merely to make us bring this Measure back once a year. That would not stop the signing of a Proclamation during a Recess. The right hon. Member and others would not be able to get what they have said they want by this new Clause. I should be hoodwinking the right hon. Member if I agreed to accept this new Clause and he thought that he had got what he wanted. This is something quite different.

I know what he has in mind, but it would not be achieved by this new Clause. I must look after his interests as well as the interests of other hon. Members and refuse to bargain. [An HON. MEMBER: "Do not be condescending."] It is not condescending. I wish to help the right hon. Member. He has been in my job and we know what we are talking about. This would not suffice for what the right hon. Member has in mind.

The hon. Member for Islington, East said that the House had the right—I suppose he also meant the duty—to see that the Secretary of State was dealing fairly with all those concerned. Of course I agree with that, but the House also has that right under the National Service Act and that Act does not have to be brought before Parliament for review every year. It would not be best dealt with under the Expiring Laws Continuance Act.

The hon. Member knows that the way to watch me, or anyone in my position, is to put down Questions, to raise matters on the Adjournment and to write letters to the newspapers. That is the way to see that people under the National Service Act are being properly looked after. It would not serve that purpose to bring this Measure back once a year.

I was not suggesting that this was in exclusion of the other Parliamentary remedies. I was putting it forward as a desirable addition.

As I explained at the beginning of my speech, I believe there are other remedies which are sufficient without taking up the time of Parliament further by something which would not achieve the objects the hon. Member has in mind. The hon. Member said that we ought not to be allowed to do this without a check, but we can call people up under the Army Reserve Act. The A.E.R., and the Regular Army Reserve, Category A can be called up and I have authority to do that under the Army Reserve Act. That does not have to be brought back to Parliament every year. It does not come under the Expiring Laws Continuance Act. What I am doing is nothing new, fresh or horrifying to this Committee in suggesting that it should be permanent legislation, if the House wishes to put it on the Statute Book.

The right hon. Member for South Shields made great play at one moment about Kuwait and said "Well, the other side did not turn up." But why did not the other side turn up? They did not turn up because the Executive had the power to take action speedily and send our people to the spot to stop General Kassem from taking any action. I do not want to make any more of it, except to say that I cannot allow the right hon. Gentleman, who spoke with great lucidity and feeling, to get away with something that I believe was the very reverse of what he intended.

That is one reason why we must have this power. He also said that if we do not make this self-limiting, and it goes through as at present, there is nothing to stop the Secretary of State during the long Parliamentary Recess signing something so that these people can be called up, without Parliament being able to do anything about it.

Last summer, the Prime Minister told the House that he had at one moment considered whether he should declare an emergency, and he decided not to do so. If the Prime Minister could have declared an emergency without the House being recalled at the time—

He could have declared a state of emergency, constitutionally, and, naturally, the House would have had to be called back almost at once. All I am asking for here is the power, if necessary in a Recess, to take action, and then, through the usual channels, if the House wishes to come back, arrangements can be made. I put into the Bill, with my own hand, that I wished to report to Parliament. Therefore, I feel that it is absolutely necessary that we should not be limited by annual debate, but that we should put a law on the Statute Book which will allow the Government to call up these people if the situation warrants it. After all, they are being paid for retention, and I believe that that is absolutely essential.

I am very sorry indeed that I cannot give my hon. Friend the Member for The Wrekin (Mr. W. Yates) the undertaking he wants. I do not want him

Division No. 61.]

AYES

[10.14 p.m.

Ainsley, WilliamHenderson, Rt. Hn. Arthur(RwlyRegis)Millan, Bruce
Allen, Scholefield (Crewe)Herbison, Miss MargaretMilne, Edward
Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J.Hewitson, Capt. M.Mitchison, G. R.
Bennett, J. (Glasgow, Bridgeton)Holman, PercyMoody, A. S.
Blackburn, F.Holt, ArthurNoel-Baker, Francis (Swindon)
Bowden, Rt. Hn. H. W. (Leics, S. W.)Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire)Paget, R. T.
Bowen, Roderic (Cardigan)Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)Pargiter, G. A.
Bowles, FrankHunter, A. E.Parker, John
Brockway, A. FennerHynd, H. (Accrington)Pavitt, Laurence
Broughton, Dr. A. D. D.Hynd, John (Attercliffe)Probert, Arthur
Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)Jay, Rt. Hon. DouglasRobinson, Kenneth (St.Pancras, N.)
Callaghan, JamesJeger, GeorgeRoss, William
Cliffe, MichaelJenkins, Roy (Stechford)Silverman, Julius (Aston)
Corbet, Mrs. FredaJohnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.)Skeffington, Arthur
Cronin, JohnJones, Rt. Hn. A. Creech (Wakefield)Snow, Julian
Crosland, AnthonyJones, Dan (Burnley)Sorensen, R. W.
Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.)Jones, Elwyn (West Ham, S.)Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank
Deer, GeorgeKenyon, CliffordSpriggs, Leslie
Dempsey, JamesKing, Dr. HoraceStonehouse, John
Diamond, JohnLawsen, GeorgeThomson, G. M. (Dundee, E.)
Ede, Rt. Hon. C.Lever, L. M. (Ardwick)Thornton, Ernest
Fletcher, EricLipton, MarcusTomney, Frank
Foot, Michael (Ebbw Vale)Loughlin, CharlesUngoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn
Galpern, Sir MyerMacColl, JamesWainwright, Edwin
Ginsburg, DavidMcInnes, JamesWarbey, William
Grey, CharlesMcKay, John (Wallsend)Wells, William (Walsall, N.)
Griffiths, W. (Exchange)Mackie, John (Enfield, East)Willey, Frederick
Grimond, Rt. Hon. J.MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling)Williams, Ll. (Abertillery)
Hale, Leslie (Oldham, W.)Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)Yates, Victor (Ladywood)
Hamilton, william (West Fife)Mallalieu, J.P.W. (Huddersfield, E.)
Hannan, WilliamManuel, A. C.TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Hart, Mrs. JudithMapp, CharlesMr. Redhead and Mr. McCann.
Hayman, F. H.Mendelson, J. J.

to vote against me. If he does so tonight, it will be the first time. He has referred, quite rightly, to the fact that I have said that we are having a general review of the reserves to see if we can bring all reserves up to date to meet the modern challenge. I have not told the House anything about bringing in new legislation for them. It may be that it does not need new legislation. May be, I have the powers already to alter and change things so that they will suit.

At any rate, at this moment, I have no idea what that review will bring. I cannot tell. All I did know was that this stuck out a mile as being necessary, and, as I was coming to Parliament for legislation, I put it in the Bill. I am sorry that the right hon. Member for Bassetlaw said that I had not been able to accept any Opposition Amendments. That is because this is a good bit of legislation, not because I have been difficult. I am sorry to say that I cannot accept this Clause, either.

Question put, That the Clause be read a Second time:—

The Committee divided: Ayes 95, Noes 169.

NOES

Agnew, Sir PeterGurden, HaroldPilkington, Sir Richard
Aitken, W. T.Hamilton, Michael (Wellingborough)Pitman, Sir James
Allason, JamesHarvey, John (Walthamstow, E.)Pitt, Miss Edith
Atkins, HumphreyHastings, StephenPowell, Rt. Hon. J. Enoch
Barlow, Sir JohnHay, JohnPrice, David (Eastleigh)
Barter, JohnHeald, Rt. Hon. Sir LionelProfumo, Rt. Hon. John
Batsford, BrianHill, Dr. Rt. Hon. Charles (Luton)Proudfoot, Wilfred
Berkeley, HumphryHill, J. E. B. (S. Norfolk)Pym, Francis
Biffen, JohnHirst, GeoffreyRamsden, James
Biggs-Davison, JohnHobson, JohnRawilnson, Peter
Bingham, R. M.Hocking, Philip N.Redmayne, Rt. Hon. Martin
Bishop, F. P.Holland, PhilipRenton, David
Black, Sir CyrilHollingworth, JohnRoberts, Sir Peter (Heeley)
Bossom, CliveHornby, R. P.Rodgers, John (Sevenoaks)
Bourne-Arton, A.Hughes-Young, MichaelRoots, William
Box, DonaldHulbert, Sir NormanRussell, Ronald
Boyle, Sir EdwardHutchison, Michael ClarkScott-Hopkins, James
Brewis, JohnIremonger, T. L.Sharples, Richard
Bromley-Davenport Lt.- Col. Sir WalterIrvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)Shaw, M.
Brown, Alan (Tottenham)Johnson, Dr. Donald (Carlisle)Shepherd, William
Bullard, DenysJohnson, Eric (Blackley)Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir Jocelyn
Bullus, Wing Commander EricJohnson Smith, GeoffreySmith, Dudley (Br'ntf'd & Chiswick)
Carr, Robert (Mitcham)Kerans, Cdr. J. S.Smithers, Peter
Cary, Sir RobertKerr, Sir HamiltonSmyth, Brig. Sir John (Norwood)
Channon, H. P. G.Kershaw, AnthonyStevens, Geoffrey
Chataway, ChristopherKirk, PeterSteward, Harold (Stockport, S.)
Chichester-Clark, R.Leburn, GilmourStodart, J. A.
Clark, Henry (Antrim, N.)Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)Summers, Sir Spencer (Aylesbury)
Cleaver, LeonardLinstead, Sir HughTapsell, Peter
Cole, NormanLitchfield, Capt. JohnTaylor, Frank (M'ch'st'r, Moss Side)
Collard, RichardLongden, GilbertThomas, Leslie (Canterbury)
Cooper, A. E.Loveys, Walter H.Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)
Corfield, F. V.Lucas-Tooth, Sir HughTilney, John (Wavertree)
Costain, A. P.MacArthur, IanTouche, Rt. Hon. Sir Gordon
Craddock, Sir BeresfordMcLaughlin, Mrs. PatriciaTurner, Colin
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. Sir OliverMcMaster, Stanley R.Turton, Rt. Hon. R. H.
Curran, CharlesMacmillan, Maurice (Halifax)Vane, W. M. F.
Dance, JamesMacpherson, Niall (Dumfries)Vaughan-Morgan, Rt. Hon. Sir John
Deedes, W. F.Manningham-Buller, Rt. Hn. Sir R.Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)
Drayson, G. B.Marshall, DouglasWakefield, Sir Wavell (St. M'lebone)
Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton)Marten, NeilWalker, Peter
Elliott, R. W. ( Nwcasle-upon-Tyne, N.)Mathew, Robert (Honiton)Wall, Patrick
Emmet, Hon. Mrs. EvelynMawby, RayWard, Dame Irene
Finlay, GraemeMaxwell-Hyslop, R. J.Webster, David
Fisher, NigelMaydon, Lt.-Cmdr. S. L. C.Wells, John (Maidstone)
Fletcher-Cooke, CharlesMills, StrattonWhitelaw, William
Fraser, Ian (Plymouth, Sutton)More, Jasper (Ludlow)Williams, Dudley (Exeter)
Gammans, LadyMorgan, WilliamWilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Gardner, EdwardMott-Radclyffe, Sir CharlesWise, A. R.
Gibson-Watt, DavidNeave, AireyWolrige-Gordon, Patrick
Gilmour, Sir JohnNugent, Rt. Hon. Sir RichardWood, Rt. Hon. Richard
Glover, Sir DouglasOsborne, Sir Cyril (Louth)Woodhouse, C. M.
Goodhart, PhilipPage, Graham (Crosby)Woollam, John
Goodhew, VictorPannell, Norman (Kirkdale)Worsley, Marcus
Grant-Ferris, Wg. Cdr. R.Pearson, Frank (Clitheroe)
Green, AlanPeel, JohnTELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Gresham Cooke, R.Pickthorn, Sir KennethMr. Gordon Campbell and
Mr. McLaren.

Schedule agreed to.

Then The CHAIRMAN left the Chair to report the Bill, as amended, to the House, pursuant to Order [25th January].

Bill reported, with an Amendment; as amended, to be considered Tomorrow, and to be printed. [Bill 57.]