Skip to main content

European Communities (Treaties)

Volume 950: debated on Tuesday 23 May 1978

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

Question again proposed.

I do not see that any greater problem will arise in the case of the European Parliament than arises, for example, with members of local authorities who belong to various political parties.

Does my hon. Friend mean what he is saying? Is he saying that the conflict between the local authority with a clearly defined ambit of interest and the interests of a Member of Parliament is comparable with the situation in an elected Assembly? Is he suggesting that such an Assembly, if it seeks to dictate to the Council of Ministers, which is also responsible to native Parliaments, will create a conflict?

My hon. Friend was not present when the hon. Member for Banbury spoke. I was referring not to a conflict between this House and the European Parliament but to a conflict in a locality between a Member of the European Parliament and a Member of the Westminster Parliament if those Members happened to come from different parties. I do not believe that the fact that people come from different parties in the same geographical area need create the terrible problem highlighted by the hon. Member for Banbury. I know that in one's own area in debates on educational and housing policy one often finds that one is in conflict with people of another party who are locally elected as councillors in the area. I do not think that the suggestion made by the hon. Member for Banbury is either a novelty or such a difficulty as he suggests.

We must also consider the subject of remuneration. It is important to note that not until there has been a decision from this House, and not until the Nine have ratified the legislation, will the Council of Ministers consider a proposal under article 13 of the treaty. Therefore, it is important to obtain a ministerial assurance on the subject of United Kingdom taxation. The Government have given a fairly clear indication on that point, but we should be given further clarification.

I hope that the Minister will also comment on the proposal that the salary of Members of the European Parliament should be varied in different parts of the Community according to the cost of living. That proposal would go a long way to meeting the obvious discrepancies that would exist if the same salaries were paid throughout the whole of the Community.

Alternatively, it is not unreasonable, until we reach a common system of election for Members of the European Parliament, for such people to be paid on the same basis as Members of their own national Parliaments with appropriately monitored and scrutinised expenses. I hope that the Minister will make some comments about this.

On what basis does my hon. Friend think that a member of the European Parliament should be paid the same amount as a Member of this Parliament is paid? Members of the European Parliament will have no constituency responsibilities and will probably work a couple of days a week, and that will be the end of their task. Does he believe that such a person is as worthy of being paid as much money as a Member of this Parliament?

My hon. Friend suggests that Members of the European Parliament will have no constituency responsibilities. Perhaps they will not. But that was not the point of view of the hon. Member for Banbury. So, on the one hand we are told that Members of the European Parliament will be interfering in our constituencies too much by being, in effect, second Members of Parliament, and on the other hand we are told that they have no constituency duties at all. I believe that if they have constituencies as large as those suggested by the Boundary Commission they will indeed have fairly heavy constituency responsibilities, perhaps each of them covering an area comprising seven or eight Westminster constituencies.

My hon. Friend's constituency of Swindon will be in the Upper Thames constituency of the European Parliament, and even if his constituency is excluded from the activities of the Upper Thames Member of the European Parliament that Member will still have six or seven other Westminster constituencies to cover, so he will be reasonably busy. The suggestion that Members of the European Parliament will have no constituency responsibilities should be closely examined.

Perhaps the point about comparability between salaries should be referred to Lord Boyle and his committee. Nevertheless, one might start on the approximate basis that it would be reasonable for Members of the European Parliament to be paid at about the same level as Members of the various national Parliaments.

I was interested to hear what my hon. Friend the Member for Newham, South (Mr. Spearing) had to say about the debilitating effects on politics of the direct elections. He posed a problem that a number of us have considered. If he rereads the speech by my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary to the Brussels Labour Club, he will see that my right hon. Friend talked about debilitating effects as being effects of the past. My right hon. Friend went on to refer to the Prime Minister's letter to the general secretary of the Labour Party and the new basis for discussion and co-operation within the Labour Party on this matter, and suggested that although there might have been a debilitating effect in the past, there would not be in the future.

I emphasise that I accept that my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary was speaking about the past and not about the future. I tried to point out that I thought that the future in respect of direct elections would indeed cause that fear. My hon. Friend has referred to the Prime Minister's letter to the NEC of the Labour Party. A lot will depend on what emerges from that. It may well be that if certain things do not emerge, debilitating effects, at least on the Labour Party, will, unhappily, continue.

I do not want to get involved in a medical debate on those matters which may or may not debilitate the Labour Party. I believe that the Prime Minister's letter provided the basis for constructive and useful discussion within the party and that we have now seen some of the first signs of that in the activities of my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in Brussels.

I suggest that the important positive effect of direct elections will be to focus attention both within the political parties and between them on the issues of Europe. All too often we have to listen to speeches by those who say that we are obtaining European integration by stealth and trying to achieve it clandestinely. One way in which we shall avoid doing it by stealth is by ensuring that there is public debate among our people every four years on these issues. The four-yearly direct elections will ensure that the issues are presented to the electorate and that those opposed to further stages of integration will be able to put their points of view, just as those holding the opposite points of view will be able to put theirs.

Does the encouragement of public debate every four years extend to the nobbling of the media in which my hon. Friend and the hon. Member for Mid-Oxon (Mr. Hurd) are involved in selling direct elections as a media issue by seminars to representatives of the media throughout the country? I have raised this matter before because their correspondence was made available to me.

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for intervening on that point. I am, of course, pleased that organisations of various sorts are trying to ensure that the media inform the British electorate. We have debated these matters in the House before. I am pleased that the BBC is to give proper attention to this matter and will develop a Euro-service later in the year, so that people can be fully informed on these issues. I believe that these issues will be of importance, and I am not in any way ashamed of the activities of organisations such as the European League for Economic Co-operation in promoting such study and understanding.

Is the BBC intending to broadcast the proceedings of the European Assembly? If so, in what language will it be?

I have no idea whether the BBC is to broadcast the European Parliament. I hope that it will. I understand that there will be a translated version in English for those who do not want to listen to other languages. But that is not a matter for this present debate. My point is that the BBC has said that it will be introducing some form of Euro-service later in the year. This matter was debated on an earlier occasion when my hon. Friend the Member for Newham, South raised it.

My hon. Friend has raised a fascinating point as to the issue of European integration, economic and monetary union and so on being placed before the people every four years at elections. The presumption would appear to be that the candidates will be pro-Common Market or anti-Common Market. If there are Labour candidates who are pro-Common Market, Liberal candidates who are pro-Common Market, and Conservative candidates who are pro-Common Market, there will be no choice. Is he suggesting that the Labour Party, which is basically an anti-Common Market party, should put up anti-Common Market candidates?

I think that this point was dealt with very adequately by my hon. Friend the Member for Islington, South and Finsbury (Mr. Cunningham) in an earlier debate when he said that perhaps these elections should take place between fast Europeans and slow Europeans. My hon. Friend the Member for Newton (Mr. Evans) is, I think, simplifying matters when he refers to anti-Common Market and Pro-Common Market people. I think that he would agree, on consideration, that there are many people who may have been opposed initially to British membership of the Community but who, none the less, believe that, having gone in, we ought to stay in and see what can be done that is useful. There are others who say "Let us integrate as fast as possible." The vast majority of people, I believe, are somewhere in between.

I think that in the debates leading up to direct elections we shall see a focusing of attention on these issues and a gradation of positions between the political parties on the issue of integration as well as on the much more important issue of the sort of Europe they want to see and the sort of values they want to see adopted within the European Community.

I feel, therefore, that it is of great importance that the House should give a substantial majority to the order tonight, so that the Government can go ahead and ratify the treaty and so that the necessary progress can be made to enable direct elections to take place, as planned, on 7th June next year.

10.14 p.m.

I am not quite sure whether I agree with the hon. Member for Farnworth (Mr. Roper) that the divisions within the European Parliament will be along party lines. On the other hand, I hope very much that they will not be along national lines. I believe that great issues will emerge. One great issue in particular which will provide the dividing line within that Parliament will, I believe, be that of protectionism. I believe that this will be the great argument within the European Parliament.

Perhaps I should begin, Mr. Speaker, by saying that I am not, and in no circumstances will I be, a candidate for the European Parliament. That, I hope, puts me in some position to regret the stress which my delightful and hon. Friend the Member for Banbury (Mr. Marten) invariably puts in his speech—which we have heard a good many times now—on the pay and allowances to be awarded to the Members of the European Parliament. Frankly, when he bases the bulk of his case—at any rate, in terms of column inches—on this one issue, I do not think that he does himself justice.

My hon. Friend the Member for Banbury, like my hon. Friend the Member for Oswestry (Mr. Biffen)—whom I am sorry not to see in his place—is a hopeless romantic. He is a hopeless romantic rather like those other delightful hon. Members—who are not present tonight—of Plaid Cymru. I really think that they believe in an independent Wales, knowing full well that an independent Wales may be proud, but, my goodness, it will be poor. Knowing that, they continue to proclaim their faith. In doing so, they differ very substantially from the Scottish National Party, which believes that an independent Scotland will be a very rich Scotland and to hell with the rest of the United Kingdom.

I think that the difference between us is not whether one of us is a romantic. The thing is that I believe in the ability of my own country to survive, whereas my hon. Friend does not. That is all it is.

I shall be coming to that point at the end of my remarks. Perhaps my hon. Friend will allow me to make my speech in the order in which I composed it rather than deal now with the point that he has just raised.

I like romantic idealism. Although I disagree with my hon. Friend, I can find something to admire in his attitude. I find it very much more difficult to admire the attitudes of Labour Members who reject the idea of closer co-operation in Europe, in particular their rejection of the concept of democratic control through an elected Assembly. I find it very difficult to admire anything in Socialism. If, however, there is one thing which commands my reluctant admiration, it is the concept of Socialism as an international brotherhood in which a foreigner is as good as an Englishman and we are all human beings together. I find the emergence of what I can only call a national Socialism on the Left of the Labour Party, and also among respected figures in the Centre of that party, a deeply disturbing phenomenon.

My hon. Friend the Member for Banbury asked whether the European Parliament was the first step on the road to a federal Europe. [Hon. Members "Yes."] I must answer that by saying "Alas, no, it is not." But it is the first step towards providing that leadership which the other members of the Community have looked for in vain to this country. Ever since the Community was first formed, its progress has been held back by a longing for this country to come in and take its place as the leader. [Hon. Members: "Arrogance."] The Germans, who by virtue of their economic strength, had every right to claim that position, held back because of memories of what had happened 30 years ago. They were very ready to allow us to set the example.

What my hon. Friend the Member for Wolverhampton, South-West (Mr. Budgen) refers to so eloquently and elegantly as "the Frogs" were themselves very ready to accept lessons from this country in how an elected Assembly could provide effective control over an Executive.

Does the hon. Gentleman accept that it is arrogance of the sort which he has displayed which makes the rest of the Right-wing parties in Europe want nothing whatever to do with the British Conservative Party?

When I refer to leadership, I am not suggesting that this country is in any position to give orders or even to take the first place. I am suggesting that at the heart of the European Community from the outset there has been a gap. It has been an agreement among Governments. It has achieved closer relationships among people. It has lacked democratic institutions of control.

This country, with its thousand years' history of parliamentary democracy, was surely the country to supply exactly that. That is what we have conspicuously failed to provide up to now. That is what the proclaimed democrats of the Labour Party would try to deny even at this last stage. Where else does this country pretend to supply the leadership in question? Is it in matters of social services? When we first talked about joining the European Community, there were many areas in which the British social services were in every way superior to those available in the European Community countries. That is no longer so.

Does this country pretend to supply the leadership in matters of industrial production technology or new inventiveness? That is only very dubiously so today. Is it in our capacity to defend ourselves and to take the lead in the defence of Europe, as we did in the last war? I doubt whether the events in Africa during the past few weeks have lent much encouragement to that point of view.

However, it is even now open to this country to play a decisive role in ensuring that the Community develops institutions which enable the people, through their elected representatives, to influence, perhaps decisively, the way in which the Community develops.

I believe that the world is moving into a very dark age. I have only limited confidence in the ability of the industrialised world, whether Communist or non-Communist, to find a satisfactory answer to the problem of structural unemployment. I fear that the events that are now taking place in Africa will fuel racial conflict throughout the world. I do not believe that the kind of world to which we are moving at a frightening pace is one in which a single nation State, however proud and self-confident, can hope to survive on its own.

Most certainly not. The question is whether the European Community can survive in this kind of world. The question was asked—and was not answered—in an article in The Sunday Times at the weekend by Keith Richardson in which he spoke of the impact on the Community of the growth of competition from low-cost countries. That is why I referred at the beginning of my remarks to the issue of protectionism, which will be the dominating issue in the debates within the Community in the years ahead.

In the kind of world that is coming, it will not be possible for single nations to survive, to defend themselves, to ensure a decent standard of living for their people and to secure a reasonable level of employment, even by the most Schachtian policy of protection. Because of that, I am convinced that it we visionaries, who believe in the possibility of achieving an integrated Europe in which an elected Assembly has a major role to play, who are the realists. As to those who tell us that a single nation State can conceivably survive in those circumstances, their is the realism of Lilliput.

10.25 p.m.

I must say that I find a strange disharmony between the argument of an hon. Member who describes himself as a visionary and an idealist and the concept he advances of the creation of yet another bloc, on the grounds that we shall otherwise have insufficient technological powers. This is not the kind of vision to which I particularly look forward.

I have to say to the hon. Member for Flint, West (Sir A. Meyer) that, while he has tried to deny some of the patriotic expressions that we have heard in the House this evening, he has been guilty of arrogance in the way in which he propounded the view that the whole of Europe was waiting for every word of leadership that might be hanging on our lips. That is nonsense. It is not only inaccurate now it was inaccurate 30 years ago, as those of us who were in Europe at that time know. I do not think that we can look for visions and ideas in that direction.

My hon. Friend the Member for Farnworth (Mr. Roper) raised the question of conflict. It is a real issue. It is no use saying that we are accustomed to conflict and, therefore, another kind of conflict may not be serious. This House depends upon conflict. Within our parties, ideas emerge from conflict. We understand this. But there is a difference between conflict which produces ideas and conflict which arises because the functions are coming under different authorities.

The conflict that my hon. Friend describes between a Member of Parliament and his local authority does not arise because someone makes the decisions in the housing committee. It arises because he argues and protests, sometimes, about the decisions made in the housing committee. This is an argument involving ideas and concepts, sometimes conducted publicly. It is not an argument in which the Member has a function to perform. The seriousness of the conflicts which we envisage in relation to Brussels arises from the fact that such an Assembly will have a say and a responsibility a direction in relation to the functions of the Commission and the Council.

We too, in this House, have that kind of responsibility, directly and by vote, for the functions of our Ministers who appear in the Council. That is a different kind of conflict. It is not a creative conflict. It is not the conflict that arises from the normal argy-bargy of political discussion. It is a conflict arising from confusion as to who controls the same set of functions.

My hon. Friend is absolutely right on this point. The point I was making concerned the conflict which might occur within the constituency. Nevertheless, there will be creative tension between this House and the European Parliament.

With respect, I would prefer to use the expression "creative tension" to describe the relationship between a Member and a local authority rather than the relationship between ourselves and the Assembly. The other is not creative tension but a destructive conflict. My hon. Friend earlier said that the conflict which he was dealing with involved the possibility of conflict between a local constituency Member and the Assemblyman. My hon. Friend the Member for Swindon (Mr. Stoddart) dealt with that rather smartly when he said that no Assemblyman would deal with his constituency. My hon. Friend the Member for Farnworth said that there would not be a conflict if the Assemblyman for the area was of a different political complexion from the Member of Parliament. I do not think that that is true. This is bound to lead to the kind of involvement and interference I have described earlier. I do not accept that point.

I want to make my main point the argument over what was called the debilitating effect upon our political institutions. I make no apology for being a party man. I join a party to try to combine with others of a like mind. When they are not sufficiently alike, I try to convince them that my interpretation and viewpoint are right.

I see no other way by which we can change society, except through party politics of this kind. The alternative to party politics is not this great panacea of the individual Member voting. It is, on the contrary, the closed conspiracy. Not only our politics but our society will be debilitated if that is to be the replacement for open party politics.

By having an elected Assembly, we are immediately moving past two milestones in the same direction. The first milestone is that an elected body immediately seeks power. It has power by the very process of election. It is no use saying that our Parliament alone will control our Ministers on the Ccl when we have elected Members in Europe. If they have no power, they will immediately seek power. All bodies seek power, and impotent bodies will seek absolute power.

The second milestone is that the politics immediately will begin to change, because the next great conflict is involved. That conflict will be based not upon politics but upon national attitudes as decided by the political complexion of this House, and which should continue to be expressed by Ministers, and the political complexion that will develop in such an elected Assembly.

The search will be on for Members of the Assembly to create their own political pattern, their own political groupings and their own political parties. But the political parties that will emerge from a combination of 10 States, each with its own traditions, background, phases of development and particular trade union or political awareness, will be different within the Socialist movement or within the Right wing of these political parties. But either of these will be different from the requirements of a Right-wing or Left-wing party in this country which arise from the particular conditions of Britain in this particular year and with the centuries of background that have created them. That is the kind of difficulty.

The politics of the Assembly will immediately become different in an institution which is now demanding power and which will exact power over the most powerful instrument in Europe, as it will become—the combination of the Council and the Commission. The pattern that will be imposed on this bloc will be a very different pattern, and what will emerge from it is the second milestone along the road—the inevitable drive towards federalism.

Such an Assembly, having now established its own political pattern and its modus vivendi for operating this political pattern, with control over the Council, will find that the next logical step is, of course, a federalist Europe. There is no other way. The only other way is that it remains permanently impotent. If it does that, it is an artificial creation and the sooner we drop it the better.

I do not believe that it will remain impotent. I believe that it will develop and achieve power, and that that power must express itself in a federalist Europe. It cannot be disputed that, whatever else the people of Britain voted for in the referendum, they did not vote for a federal Europe with one basic elected institution to control the effective governing body—the Council that will emerge and the Commission that will work with it.

I have been listening closely to the hon. Member, and, as he knows, I take a diametrically opposite point of view from his. Can he explain how a directly elected Parliament will bring about this federalism of which he complains, unless it is in the position to make or unmake the government of Europe. It cannot do that unless the Council of Ministers gives over its power to the Commission. That cannot be done without a fresh treaty, and that treaty cannot be achieved without a national veto.

Ever since the hon. Gentleman's Government took us into Europe, we have been fighting to try to control our own Ministers in Brussels. That has been the process over the past half-dozen years. Within a short period of entry, we are still fighting to regain control. Time after time the answer we get is "Yes, we may discuss these matters tonight". A motion may be passed to the effect that the House takes note or rejects, but that will not stop its coming into law.

European law already has supremacy over British law. That is a process that will take place in many areas. That process will sharpen because in the Assembly and in this place there will be those who wish to move in that direction. There will also be the argument in the national parties to move in that direction. No one will produce a resolution in the European Parliament next week to the effect that it will have absolute power and control over the Council and the Commission. We know that, but that is why I talk of inevitable progress in that direction. I cannot see anything that can block that inevitability.

I turn to the Act that we did not have in front of us when we embarked on this the most crucial of our discussions on these matters. It may be that it will be the last of these discussions. I hope that it will not, but in any event it is a black day for democracy in this country. I have been loaned a copy of the Act. As I have said, when the debate started copies were not available. Article 4 refers to the European Assembly Members. It states:
"Representatives shall vote on an individual and personal basis. They shall not be bound by any instructions and shall not receive a binding mandate."
What we are being asked to approve? A binding mandate from whom? What is
"an individual and personal basis"?
Is a man to stand in the European elections, whether for the Cotswolds or for Upper Thames, an area of 600,000 people, and say "Vote for me. However, I accept no mandate from you and towards me"? Is that what is being said?

I accept party politics. I am a party man. The alternative is the closed conspiracy. If we have an Assembly that is based upon those who by statute or by law recognised and accept no mandate of any sort, that can lead only to the closed conspiracy in the politics of Europe. I regard that as highly dangerous. I want the Member of Parliament to act in an individual and personal way, and part of that is the voluntary surrendering to and acceptance of the party structure that is open and avowed around him.

Members of Parliament often have to behave as individuals. It gives me no great pleasure when I have to vote against my own Government, as I had to do earlier this evening. It is right that it should be difficult for us when we wish to act against our own party. Were it not so, we should move into the situation that I have described of closed groupings rather than an open Parliament. However, it seems that Article 4 is writing in that Assembly Members shall be responsible to no one. I cannot accept that.

Are we being asked to vote for that? That is what is in front of us, although I did not have available to me a copy of the document when I entered the Chamber. Whether it is written into the British constitution or whether it is not, we all recognise that there is a bond and a mandate between us and our electorates, between us and our open party for which we have campaigned, between us and the statements that we have made during the election, and between us and the manifesto on which we have commonly fought.

That which is before us is a negation of democracy and a move towards closed conspiratorial politics.

What would happen if one of the Members of the Assembly, having been elected, announced that he did not propose to accept the position as laid down? Would he be automatically disallowed from taking his place?

It seems that that should follow. It is a pretty powerful "shall". It is not stated that representatives "may". Anyone who has been in the Scottish Grand Committee will know that we can spend weeks discussing the difference between "may" and "shall". This states that

"Representatives shall vote on an individual and personal basis."
I reject that.

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for giving way so soon after a sympathetic intervention. I am trying to follow his argument, though he dropped to hushed tones because he was so shocked by his discoveries in the document of which he said he could not obtain a copy only an hour ago. Is he so shocked to discover that there is no legal constraint on a representative in the European Parliament to accept a mandate? Does he not realise that he is under no legal or statutory constraint to accept a mandate in this House? Once elected, he comes here as an individual. He is, of course, under the ordinary democratic restraint when he seeks re-election of having to answer to his electorate for those things that he said when he was elected. All that he is describing in these shocked and ridiculous terms is precisely the same legal and constitutional position as a Member of the Westminster Parliament.

I do not mind the length of the intervention, but I resent the obtuseness of it. If the hon. Gentleman had listened to my argument, he would have realised that I was dealing with the unwritten acceptance of mandate between the electorate and Members. None of us would dare to stand for an election on a manifesto which said "Vote for me, but when I get to Parliament I shall vote on an individual and personal basis and shall not receive a mandate."

No. The second consequence of this article is the recognition of the difficulties of Members going as representatives of a nation and of political parties. Because that problem has been incapable of solution—I fear that for many years it will be insoluble—this aspect has had to be written in.

I am obliged to the hon. Gentleman for giving way, because he has given way twice in quick succession. Is he not exaggerating in an over-dramatised form the supposed dangers arising from his own abstruse theorising on a political notion which in practice will not obtain? Does he agree that all he is saying is that a national Member of Parliament has, in effect, more than one hat in that he is to some extent not only a party person but an individual elected constitutionally in his or her own right? In the same way, a European MP would be elected with more than one hat. In the election campaign, would not the normal political constraints that oblige a Member to seek re-election in due course and his party adherence clearly manifested before election come out in a natural way for the most sophisticated electorate to grasp?

My argument was linked to my opening argument in analysing the relationship between the party, this place, the Assembly and the Commission. I suggest that if the hon. Gentleman looks at my speech tomorrow, he will see the connection.

I return to the debilitating effect, to pick up the phrase used by my hon. Friend the Member for Newham, South (Mr. Spearing), on political strategies. But there is a further debilitating effect to be looked at if we have now moved along the road towards federalism. It is an artificially created federalism—a federalism brought about in the guise of the joining together of the mutual interests of a number of nations still dominated by the political controls, checks and bounds of native countries. But society changes. When the shift of political consciousness, of economic development and of history reaches a certain point, change occurs. When a number of nations with different traditions, different periods of development, different balances in economic strategies, different political experience and different forms of democratic controls join together, such a structure tends not to enhance the possibility of social advance and change but to inhibit the inevitable development of social change in those countries. It is in the inhibiting effect of the bureaucratic, artificially created Common Market that the final error lies. It is for that reason that I hope we shall seek to reject the order tonight.

10.45 p.m.

An hon. Member on this side and another on the Government side described this as a dark day, or dark evening, because of the subject. It has been a dark evening not only for literal reasons but for different reasons from those contained in earlier remarks.

We have had the depressing manifestation, particularly below the Gangway, of hon. Members who conjure up all types of terrors and anxieties about a development that repeatedly has been welcomed widely by the House in substantial votes. Those votes show that direct elections are the will of the House. That is not the same as saying that hon. Members who are in favour of direct elections and, therefore, of ratification by the passing of the order, wish to inhibit, limit or reduce the arguments of minority who have been against direct elections.

In the context of all the debates that we have had and all the documents that have been issued, it is depressing that none of the arguments from below the Gangway and elsewhere is new or succeeds in arousing anxieties in the electorate. The electors seem to be more sophisticated than most of their elected representatives in that part of the House. They have been deprived of sufficient information on the subject, but they seem to be more sanguine and more willing than those hon. Members to accept this development, which is to some extent a political experiment.

I do not say this in an arrogant spirit or in a dismissive sense, but the House should have had a fairly routine debate. The substantial Act which was given Royal Assent on 4th May has been debated at great length when compared with any other measure, except perhaps the devolution measures for Scotland and Wales. Yet again and again we hear repetitions of the tired old canards and the absurdly defeatist and chauvinistic arguments, mainly from hon. Members below the Gangway who have terrors and fears in their minds which do not afflict other people.

It is dangerous and misleading for them to speculate in narrowly defined channels which, by the nature of the future existence of the Community, let alone the European Parliament, are unascertainable by definition, as is the future itself. They are not remotely likely to result in the awful dangers that are conjured up in those hon Members' minds.

The hon. Member referred to the terror felt by hon. Members below the Gangway. There are two terrors. The first is the increased cost of living which affects the housewives of this country and the Community. The second is the terror of the House of Commons becoming lobby fodder to the European Parliament.

I cannot accept the remote danger of the latter part of that intervention. These economic problems which affect housewives and others in this country can be solved only jointly. I believe that direct elections are a vital part of the whole exercise. The concerted action by the Council of Ministers on economic policy, which I presume the hon. Gentleman favours in view of his comment on prices, can be supported only by an energetic and directly elected Parliament.

I would never have favoured direct elections along the lines we now anticipate, depending on the future shape of the Parliament and on its relationship to the Council of Ministers, if I had thought that the House of Commons would in any way be weakened thereby. I do not accept that it will be. We have always been proud of the intrinsic strength and great resourcefulness of this Parliament, but it has, by sheer force of circumstances in terms of the Executive, the powerful machinery of government and all the world economic forces that are making life very difficult, if not intractable, for us and the other member States, been made into a weak Parliament. That is a much more important factor for this House to tackle than the abstruse theorising about the nineteenth-century doctrine of intrinsic parliamentary power which all hon. Members know in their hearts, but will not admit, no longer obtains.

There are then the supposedly awful high rates of pay that, according to speculative articles in The Economist, European Members of Parliament will receive. There is no evidence or proof to back up those articles. No final decisions are anywhere near being made. There has been no real discussion of the matter in the European Parliament or elsewhere. The final decision will rest with the Council of Ministers. But are not hon. Members indulging in a severe form of hypocrisy? They, certainly privately but perhaps even publicly, admit that the British parliamentary salary is too low, given the amount of work involved and the relativities of our society. Whatever the ultimate figure for European Parliament salaries, it should be at a realistic but not excessive level given the work involved. Deliberately to try to distort the facts on that matter and to try to mislead public opinion is wrong.

This order should be entirely routine, although I do not suggest that the procedures for scrutinising EEC instruments in this House is other than unsatisfactory. I believe that that is common ground to both pro- and anti-Marketeers.

Surely this House now has the experience, knowledge and necessary self-confidence on the subject of direct elections to proceed tonight expeditiously to approve the order with, if there is a vote, which I hope there will not be, a substantial majority to show once again the continuity and consistency of the will of this House to vote for the European Community and its future institutional development.

10.53 p.m.

We began this important debate by addressing ourselves to the fact that the House was unable effectively to debate this serious issue in the absence of the relevant papers. The Minister, in an attempt to try to put the matter right, indicated that the papers were available 18 months ago but that publication of them had been exhausted. He certainly used the word "exhausted". I therefore went at once to the Vote Office.

There has been a great deal of discussion recently about the position of the United Kingdom in Europe, about our ability or inability to lead. But can we say to our electors that tonight we are well enough informed on this matter to vote when we have not studied those important documents?

When the vote on the motion to adjourn the debate took place, I was rather appalled to find that hon. Members were apparently being ushered into particular Lobbies for reasons which I had not heard in the House. Therefore, that again is a measure of the intensity of quickly-called lobbying to force a voting complex on an issue that is important to the United Kingdom, and it was out of all keeping with the tenor and concern of hon. Members who had been involved in the debate prior to the motion to adjourn it.

During a point of order, the Minister, quite rightly, indicated that a paper had been drawn up which was described as the explanatory memorandum. To say the least about that, it is brief. As far as I am aware, after listening to the debate with care, it leaves out a good deal of information. This document does not satisfy the needs of those of us who are concerned about the issue.

However, one of the sentences in the introductory paragraph is pertinent. The preamble, as it were, states:
"The Instrument specified in the Schedule to this Order"
that is, the order that we are debating—
"is the Act concerning the Election of the Representatives of the Assembly by Direct Universal Suffrage, taken with the Decision of the Council of the European Communities of 20 September 1976 to which it is annexed. (Command 6623.)"
I went immediately to the Vote Office when the Minister had indicated that certain publications had been exhausted, although bearing in mind that my right hon. Friend the Member for Battersea, North (Mr. Jay) had been patently honest with the House in indicating his attempts to get such a paper and other papers. I think that it was after five attempts that he had found it prudent to inform the House that he had got such a paper, after much effort, a very short time, I think, before the debate started. That was the position. But when I went to the Vote Office, I was informed that this Command Paper—I use the words addressed to me—"is quite beyond us."

I want to cast my vote tonight. I place myself no higher and no less in importance in that matter than any other right hon. or hon. Member. I do not go so far as to say that I am more informed than some hon. Members who have spoken consistently on these matters. But I am not prepared to say that I am uninformed. I am sufficiently aware of the significance and the importance of the debate to the United Kingdom.

I think that my hon. Friend will wish to place on record that the knowledge of his colleagues is that this is no fault of those who run our Vote Office or who deliver the Vote to us. I see that my right hon. Friend the Member for Battersea, North (Mr. Jay) agrees with that. However, does my hon. Friend agree, therefore, that it was the Government's fault in not ensuring that in placing this Statutory Instrument they also at the same time placed equivalent numbers of copies of the treaty and saw that they were distributed at the time?

Although I was not in the Chair at the time, I am under the impression that these matters were fully discussed during discussion on the motion to adjourn the debate.

Yes, I take the import of your advice to the House, Mr. Deputy Speaker. As always, I am not in a position to question it, nor do I wish to do so. The importance of this subject, however, is that the will of the House at this stage is such that it would not want observations of this kind of importance to be limited to a period prior to a vote on the motion to adjourn the debate. In the vote on whether the debate should be adjourned, we decided that it should continue.

No, I will not give way. I will give way to any right hon. or hon. Member who claims to understand what we are talking about and who has some record of being honest with the House of Commons—and last night the hon. Member for Rushcliffe (Mr. Clarke) was not.

Order. May I offer a little further assistance to the hon. Gentleman? The decision which the House took a short time ago was that we would return to the original motion.

That is what I was saying, Mr. Deputy Speaker. The outcome of the vote on whether the debate should be adjourned means that we now continue with the debate on the original motion. I have the right in the House to refer to the lack of papers.

No. The hon. Gentleman must understand that unless he is prepared to come to the House following the debate that we had last night and withdraw his untruthful remarks, I shall not give way to him.

Order. I am under the impression that I heard the hon. Gentleman talk about "untruthful remarks". I am sure that, on reflection, he would not wish to leave the record in that way.

So far as I am concerned, the word "untruthful" is not unparliamentary language. I am prepared to come to the House on another occasion on this matter in order to fall in line, Mr. Deputy Speaker, with the temper of what you are suggesting. Last night, in another situation, the hon. Member for Rushcliffe was challenged on the very point—

Order. It is not very profitable to pursue a matter which was discussed last night. Perhaps the hon. Gentleman will come back to the motion which is now before the House.

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I understood you to invite the hon. Member for Hartlepool (Mr. Leadbitter) to withdraw the suggestion that I made untruthful remarks at any stage in the House. Last night, he did not withdraw those suggestions. He was not present when I made the remarks that he claimed were untruthful. I ask you to say that it is unparliamentary language to persist in making such allegations about remarks which the hon. Member never even heard in the first place.

I have accepted your invitation, Mr. Deputy Speaker, to continue with the debate—and that I now propose to do.

Coming back to the question of the papers which are not available to us, my hon. Friend the Member for Newham, South (Mr. Spearing) asked me to make it clear that the responsibility does not lie with the Vote Office. I confirm that. Having made it clear that, without these essential papers, the House could not deal with this matter, I was about to deal with the second point.

No, I will not. I have had plenty of interventions.

The second point is that it must alarm the electorate to know that time and again important matters relating to the Common Market are discussed in this House at a late hour—

I now want to express my concern about the United Kingdom's role in Europe—something that the hon. Member for Flint, West (Sir A. Meyer), in his visionary and romantic way, sought so dismally to describe.

I believe that not only did Europe not want us for long years but that it actually vetoed any steps to take us into Europe. I also believe that the idea of joining Europe did not emanate from a feeling that the rest of Europe was waiting anxiously for us to join. The Common Market was already in too much of a mess. It had fatuous argumentative sessions that went into the early hours of the morning. Even the simplest of issues could not be dealt with. Those of us who studied energy matters knew what a terrible situation had been created. The advantages went to the Soviet Union and the United States of America, particularly in respect of the fast breeder reactor and nuclear research.

When we think of our role in Europe, those of us who are internationalists and who are concerned with the socialisation of the Communities know full well that the large bureaucratic system in Brussels is the antithesis of our objectives.

There have been a number of difficulties in Europe and there are many more to come. One contributor to this debate said that the Council of Ministers will have the last word. Does anybody think that the European Parliament, a body that is already seeking more power, will want to give the Council of Ministers the kind of power suggested by one hon. Member? I believe that the contrary will happen.

The hon. Member for Oswestry (Mr. Biffen) described the situation adequately. The process that is in being is designed to take power away from national Governments. Europe is not becoming the outward-looking unit which the European "hot gospellers" in this House suggest. Some of them appear to have been well paid. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] That is the hard truth. It is certainly not as outward-looking as they have said. It is becoming an inward-looking organism, an anti-democratic organisation. Our place in Europe at present does not reflect the will, thoughts and aspirations of the British people.

Those of us who take this stand should not be charged with being anti-European, because that is not true. Those of us who take this stand on Europe are far more daring than those who gave in to romantic notions and who gave the matter such little thought. They responded to "Grimm's Fairy Tales". Surely it is far better to look to realities.

A number of Opposition Members are smiling. Those smiles are as relevant to this debate as are the smiles on the face of dead men, and they are just as hopeful. The Opposition must know that the British people are disillusioned with Europe. Our people were persuaded by the colourful, expensive brochures exhorting them to "Say 'Yes' for Europe". They now regret it. All the promises that were made have been examined and found to be wanting. Those same people are looking to Europe and saying "That is the cause of our price rises." Naturally, those in the Common Market will pooh-pooh such suggestions. But we all know that on the subject of metrication the Government have had to get down on their knees.

Often I hear the pro-Marketeers saying "Let us be good Europeans and do what the French and Germans do." When I have seen the institutions of France, Italy and Germany, when I have seen the disparity between rich and poor there, when I have seen the conditions of the people I say to our people "Do not listen when the romantics tell you about France, Germany and Italy. They are beautiful countries, and we want good relations with them, to co-operate with them in many areas and to pool our resources with them in such things as science and technology. But we have our own way of life, our own institutions, our own qualities and our own aspirations."

Our technological expertise and our research and development are as good as those in Europe—indeed, in many respects they are better. We have more stable institutions and a more reliable democratic process whereby arguments such as those used in the House of Commons can fructify, enlivening and enriching us all.

We sometimes talk affectionately about the House of Commons. We of all people should not be entering into any kind of arrangement such as this so hurriedly as not to question the consequences. It may well be that in course of time a British Government, of whatever colour, will show less haste. I hope they do. I hope that they will heed the old Latin phrase festina lente—hasten slowly—and let evolvement take place. The time could come when we get these instruments right.

The lesson that we must learn is not to be panicked into rushing into these matters. Let us be clear. Our people know full well—far better than some of the potiticians—what the true situation is. Most of those who seek to promote the interests of Europe against its true long-term interests are so anxious to get there at any price that therein lies their very weakness. We must all at least try to say to the Government "Hold steady. Do not rush, because the will of the people will in the end prevail, and it will be reflected more properly and objectively in this House."

11.14 p.m.

There is one point that needs clarification before I say anything else. Whatever the problems about documents earlier, I say as a Minister that no blame or criticism attaches to the staff of the House, whether in the Vote Office or elsewhere. I believe that we all, on both sides of the House, agree that in our staff we have examples of outstanding loyalty and service which are exemplary for the nation as a whole. I would not wish to associate myself in any way with implications or criticisms to the contrary.

This has been a searching and reflective debate. Indeed, that has been true of all the discussions and deliberations in the House on the question of direct elections to the European Parliament. Members have spoken with deep and passionate sincerity and with great commitment. I believe that the House is at its very best when this happens. This has been indicated by a number of speeches, such as those of my right hon. Friend the Member for Battersea, North (Mr. Jay), my hon. Friend the Member for Newham, South (Mr. Spearing), the hon. Member for Oswestry (Mr. Biffen), my hon. Friend the Member for Renfrewshire, West (Mr. Buchan), my hon. Friend the Member for Hartlepool (Mr. Leadbitter) and the hon. Member for Flint, West (Sir A. Meyer).

I should like, in the time available, to try to deal with some of the detailed points which have been made. My right hon. Friend the Member for Battersea, North asked what would happen if we did not approve the order tonight. If we did not approve the order tonight, it is clear that the United Kingdom would not ratify the Act, because we are not able or prepared to ratify that Act, and we have no intention of ratifying it, without the implementing order. A date for the elections could not be fixed by the Community because the Act would not be in force, and this would obviously result in the direct elections being held up.

My hon. Friend the Member for Newham, South and the hon. Member for Mid-Oxon (Mr. Hurd) asked about the long-term objectives for a uniform system of election and where discussion about such a system might originate. Article 138, paragraph 3, of the Treaty of Rome is clear in this respect. A decision of the Council has to be made on a recommendation by the Assembly, but it has to be a unanimous decision. Through our system of accountability of Ministers operating at the Council of Ministers, this must mean that, with the assistance of the Scrutiny Committee and the other machinery, this House will have the ability to veto any proposal which comes forward from the Assembly.

There were also questions about emoluments from my right hon. Friend the Member for Battersea, North and also from the hon. Member for Banbury (Mr. Marten). I know that this is a source of very deep concern to many Members of the House, whether in the past they have been supporters or opponents of the European Community.

Some of the figures quoted in the Press with regard to the likely level of emoluments that Assembly Members will receive are, as I stated during the Committee consideration of the European Assembly Elections Bill on 16th February, grotesque. Nothing would do more to discredit the European Assembly and undermine the credibility of directly elected Members in British eyes than that they should receive such inflated salaries, so completely out of line with salary and wage levels in the constituencies which they represent. I hope that British Members of the European Assembly who are present here tonight will heed the concern expressed during the debate—and, indeed, the concern expressed on previous occasions as well—and convey its full force to the Assembly.

The subject of debate tonight is not the level of emoluments of directly elected Members—

Is not the Minister slightly misleading the House? Is it not fairly clear that the present nominated European Assembly will not reach a recommendation on this matter?

If the hon. Gentleman will bear with me, I am coming to that. The subject of the debate, as I am suggesting, is not essentially the level of emoluments of directly elected Members. What we are debating is an order designating as a Community treaty the Act of the Council of 20th September 1976 and the Decision annexed to it.

The Act of 20th September 1976 does not fix the level of emoluments of Members of the Assembly. That is clear. It merely, in Article 13, sets out the procedure whereby they can be legally determined. This procedure requires a unanimous decision by the Council of Ministers, acting on a proposal from the Assembly, having consulted the Commission. The Assembly may propose but it will be the Council, acting unanimously, that will dispose.

This Article 13 procedure is not, however, yet operative, as the Act of 20th September 1976 enters into force only after completion of ratification by all member States. As I have already stated, all member States have now ratified the Act except France and the United Kingdom. France is in a position to do so at any time. Approval of the order by the House tonight will also place Britain in a position to proceed to such ratification. It is, therefore, highly desirable that the Act should be brought into effect as soon as possible if the emoluments issue, which has so rightly concerned right hon. and hon. Members during our direct elections debates, can be cleared up before direct elections are held.

I wish to deal with the points that were raised. Candidates in direct elections are entitled to know the emoluments they will receive before they are nominated. Even more so are the voters before they go to the polls. It would be harmful to both the status of the Assembly and its directly elected Members if emoluments were still an unresolved issue by 7th June next year and became an election issue. The attention of the voting public would become diverted from the issues of public policy, such as the common agricultural policy, to the inevitably more emotional subjects of pay and allowances. No one would emerge with much credit from electioneering conducted on such a basis.

As I informed the House during the Committee stage of the European Assembly Elections Bill on 16th February, any proposal made by the Assembly to the Council with regard to emoluments under the Article 13 procedure will be submitted to the House under the scrutiny procedure.

Given the lively interest shown by hon. Members in this topic, I should be extremely surprised if the Scrutiny Committee did not recommend it as a priority item for debate by the House. I repeat the assurance that I gave my right hon. and hon. Friends on 16th April that the House will be able to debate the salaries of directly elected Members before they are fixed by the Council. The Government, in the meantime, have made it clear—I want to underline this—that they are utterly opposed to excessive salaries for directly elected Members which bear no relationship to those received by national parliamentarians.

Having said all that, as the Council is to decide will my hon. Friend tell me what the British Government think is approximately the right level of salary?

I have just said that we are not prepared to contemplate salaries which bear no relationship to the salary received by national parliamentarians.

Several of my hon. Friends have raised in the same connection the fiscal status of directly elected Members. The position on this is absolutely clear. The directly elected Members will, under Article 4.2 of the Act of 20th September, enjoy only the same privileges and immunities as non-directly elected Members of the Assembly at present enjoy under chapter 3 of the Protocol on Privileges and Immunities annexed to the Merger Treaty of 1965. That is, for example, immunity from detention for opinions expressed and votes cast. The protocol does not accord to Members of the Assembly any special tax status as it does in chapter 5, Article 13, to officials and other servants of the Community who are subjected to Community taxation rather than to national taxation.

Members of the Assembly are not officials and servants of the Community any more than hon. Members of this House are civil servants. They will remain subject to national taxation until such times as member States decide to amend the protocol and change their tax status. This would require a unanimous decision by all members of the Council. I can assure the House that there is no disposition in the Government to agree to any change in the tax status of Members of the European Assembly after direct elections, as, indeed, was made clear to the hon. Member for Banbury in an exchange—to which he himself referred—at Question Time on 27th April with my right hon. Friends the Prime Minister and the Chief Secretary to the Treasury.

I can also assure the hon. Member for Banbury that any proposal to exempt Members of the Assembly from national taxation which might be presented to the Council of Ministers will be resisted by the Government. Of course, if such a proposal were included in the communication on emoluments to be sent to the Council by the Assembly under the Article 13 procedure, it would be submitted to the Scrutiny Committee of this House.

Electoral regulations were raised by the hon. Member for Mid-Oxon. The Government have started work on the draft regulations to be made under the European Assembly Elections Act for the conduct of the elections. There will probably be two sets of regulations. One set will relate to the conduct of elections under the simple majority system in Britain and the other set will relate to the conduct of elections by STV in Northern Ireland. The Home Office proposes to consult—I am sure that the hon. Member for Mid-Oxon will be relieved to hear this—the political parties and the local authority associations in the preparation of these regulations and to publish them in draft for public comment. The regulations, revised, if necessary, in the light of comments, will be laid before both Houses of Parliament and will be subject to the affirmative resolution procedure.

I was also asked about the state of play in other countries. All member States have now ratified the Council Act of 20th September 1976 except France and ourselves. France has completed all the necessary parliamentatry steps and can ratify at any time. Constitutional practice in other member States differs from our own. Other countries were able to ratify the Council Act before they enacted their electoral law. The necessary electoral law has been passed by France, Denmark, Ireland and Germany. The law is still before the Parliaments in Belgium and Luxembourg. It has not yet been introduced into the respective Parliaments in The Netherlands and Italy. Discussion is proceeding between the political parties in those countries and Bills are expected to be presented shortly.

There will be no requirement to delineate new constituencies in either Italy or The Netherlands, and failure as yet to introduce the required electoral legislation is not in any way expected to affect the 7th to 10th June 1979 date for direct elections set by the European Council.

What I have said demonstrates, and it is essential that we should understand this, that Britain is not, as is often alleged, the laggard in implementing the commitment of 20th September 1976 to direct elections. Once the House has approved the Order and we can proceed to ratification, we shall be well up in the field and certainly ahead of Belgium, Luxembourg, The Netherlands and Italy.

I want to dwell for a moment on the speeches made by my hon. Friend the Member for Newham, South, the hon. Member for Oswestry and others. I said earlier, and I hope that the House accepts my conviction on this matter, that, although there may be a temptation to dismiss those with whom we disagree at this juncture in history, I feel that hon. Members on both sides who have had strength of commitment throughout these debates in recent months, epitomised by the speeches we have heard tonight, will be thanked for having put the Administration under detailed scrutiny.

This is an enormously significant issue which we are debating. The order has great ramifications for the future of our country. It is unthinkable that we should approach it in any light-hearted or frivolous way. I want to say, as one of the Ministers most intimately involved with the order, that I am grateful for the commitment which has been shown, even if at times it has proved trying and difficult—

And embarrassing.

May I put this point to the House? I know that there will be profound regrets and disappointment among many people that we are moving forward in this way. I believe that the challenge now to all those in this House, whatever their views about the issue, is to bring all their experience, all their commitment and all their political conviction to bear in fashioning the future of the Community in which we are now involved. The tragedy, for which we would be condemned by history, would be if we at this juncture, when our future is so intimately intertwined with the Community as a whole, were to be so preoccupied with the old debates that we did not put our energies constructively into working for the future, in the interests of our people an the interests

Division No. 225]


[11.29 p.m.

Anderson, DonaldHaselhurst, AlanRhodes, James R.
Archer, PeterHodgson, RobinRhys Williams, Sir Brandon
Armstrong, ErnestHoram, JohnRidley, Hon Nicholas
Atkins, Rt Hon H. (Spelthorne)Howells, Geraint (Cardigan)Rifkind, Malcolm
Barnett, Guy (Greenwich)Huckfield, LesRoberts, Michael (Cardiff NW)
Barnett, Rt Hon Joel (Heywood)Hunt, David (Wirral)Rodgers, Rt Hon William (Stockton)
Bates, AlfHunter, AdamRoper, John
Beith, A. J.Hurd, DouglasRoss, Stephen (Isle of Wight)
Blenkinsop, ArthurJones, Alec (Rhondda)Rowlands, Ted
Booth, Rt Hon AlbertJones, Barry (East Flint)Sainsbury, Tim
Boothroyd, Miss BettyJudd, FrankSever, John
Braine, Sir BernardLamborn, HarryShaw, Giles (Pudsey)
Brooke, PeterLawson, NigelSheldon, Rt Hon Robert
Brown, Hugh D. (Provan)Lester, Jim (Beeston)Silkin, Rt Hon John (Deptford)
Cant, R. B.Luce, RichardSilkin, Rt Hon S. C. (Dulwich)
Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe)Lyon, Alexander (York)Smith, John (N Lanarkshire)
Cocks, Rt Hon Michael (Bristol S)MacGregor, JohnSmith, Timothy John (Ashfield)
Cox, Thomas (Tooting)McGuire, Michael (Ince)Snape, Peter
Crawshaw, RichardMaclennan, RobertSteel, Rt Hon David
Dalyell, TamMarks, KennethStewart, Ian (Hitchin)
Davidson, ArthurMarshall, Dr Edmund (Goole)Stewart, Rt Hon M. (Fulham)
Davies, Rt Hon DenzilMarshall, Jim (Leicester S)Stradling Thomas, J.
Davis, Clinton (Hackney C)Meyer, Sir AnthonySummerskill, Hon Dr Shirley
Dewar, DonaldMillan, Rt Hon BruceTinn, James
Dormand, J. D.Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)Wakeham, John
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord JamesMorris, Rt Hon Charles R.Walder, David (Clitheroe)
Duffy, A. E. P.Morrison, Hon Peter (Chester)Weatherill, Bernard
Dykes, HughMoyle, RolandWhite, Frank R. (Bury)
Eadie, AlexMulley, Rt Hon FrederickWhitehead, Phillip
Ewing, Harry (Stirling)Murray, Rt Hon Ronald KingWiggin, Jerry
Foot, Rt Hon MichaelNelson, AnthonyWilliams, Alan Lee (Hornch'ch)
Ford, BenNewton, TonyWoodall, Alec
Gilbert, Rt Hon Dr JohnPage, Rt Hon R. Graham (Crosby)Wrigglesworth, Ian
Golding, JohnPardoe, John
Goodhew, VictorParker, JohnTELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Grant, John (Islington C)Price, William (Rugby)Mr. Ted Graham and
Hardy, PeterRadice, GilesMr. Joseph Harper
Harrison, Rt Hon WalterRees, Rt Hon Merlyn (Leeds S)
Hart, Rt Hon JudithRees, Peter (Dover & Deal)


Atkinson, NormanFletcher, Ted (Darlington)Price, C. (Lewisham W)
Bell, RonaldForrester, JohnRichardson, Miss Jo
Bidwell, SydneyGow, Ian (Eastbourne)Robinson, Geoffrey
Biffen, JohnGrocott, BruceRodgers, George (Chorley)
Body, RichardHoyle, Doug (Nelson)Rooker, J. W.
Bradford, Rev RobertJay, Rt Hon DouglasRoss, William (Londonderry)
Brotherton, MichaelKerr, RussellSkinner, Dennis
Buchan, NormanLamond, JamesSpriggs, Leslie
Budgen, NickLeadbitter, TedStoddart, David
Callaghan, Jim (Middleton & P)Loyden, EddieThomas, Ron (Bristol NW)
Canavan, DennisMadden, MaxTilley, John (Lambeth, Central)
Carson, JohnMarten, NeilUrwin, T. W.
Clark, Alan (Plymouth, Sutton)Maynard, Miss JoanWise, Mrs Audrey
Cook, Robin F. (Edin C)Mikardo, IanWoof, Robert
Cowans, HarryMitchell, Austin
Ellis, John (Brigg & Scun)Moate, RogerTELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Evans, John (Newton)Molyneaux, JamesMr. Andrew F. Bennett and
Fernyhough, Rt Hon E.Newens, StanleyMr. Nigel Spearing.
Flannery, MartinPowell, Rt Hon J. Enoch

Question accordingly agreed to.


That the draft European Communities (Definition of Treaties) (No. 4) Order 1978, which was laid before this House on 11th May, be approved.

of all the people of every members State of the European Economic Community.

Question put:

The House divided: Ayes 111, Noes 52.