1977 assembly elections

1462 What he should be seeking to ensure, as a result of the enactment of this or similar legislation, is that the voice of the people is taken more into account as a result of the direct part that they will have in sending representatives to the Parliament of Europe. They were the second general elections held in Pakistan and the first to be held after the Bangladesh Liberation War, which saw East Pakistan break away … 1538 That provision was agreed upon by the Council of Ministers —not this House—in September 1976. I want to turn briefly to the question of the method of election. It will institutionalise the possibilities for large multinational companies and free market forces to operate more effectively on a trans-European basis. 1535 Order. For us, there can be no doubt that, if we want to see direct elections to a European Assembly, we must vote for a Bill the principle of which it is to provide them. Gentleman but certainly his party allied itself entirely with both those extremes that he was so pleased to condemn yesterday. I stress that the allocation given to Wales is totally inadequate. They will be chasing each other round that region, irrespective of party, each of them trying to make the best of whatever publicity opportunities come we should have an independent, impartial body that makes those decisions, but would it be inappropriate for us to revert to the position that existed in the nineteenth century when the House decided the boundaries of parliamentary seats? Snape. Friend the Member for Cardiff, South-East (Mr. Callaghan) and what he said in 1971. That is a fact that the right hon. The Government says that it may not do that and offers grants as an incentive to build elsewhere. The fact is that the Parliament in France could have challenged the Government, if it had been prepared to do so, on a motion of confidence. I shall leave hon. I do not believe that the regional list system is the best available but it has certain advantages. less than the electoral quota. and hon. K. Karunakaran's ministry holds the record for ministry which served the shortest term[10]. Part of the process of reassessment begins with this Bill, as it reveals over the coming months to this House and He had the longest tenure as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu with 6,863 days in office. It is known that the commitment to elections in May-June 1978 is political, arising from successive meetings of Heads of Government in Paris and Rome in December 1974 and December 1975. Member for Devon, North, I recognise all too well and too clearly the problems that will arise with Northern Ireland if we proceed with the first-past-the-post system. Friend. This is very different from the constituencies which send hon. But what is meant by the Government in the context of the Bill and this debate? Due to this feat, M.G.R inadvertently became an example for entry of famous actors to enter politics, with a hope that they too may become Chief minister one day. 1516 That used to be our tradition in days gone by. That body of opinion is opposed to the principle of direct elections, and I am opposed to the principle of direct elections. Member for Stafford and Stone (Mr. Fraser) evoked memories of Hitler, Marxism and Bolshevism in raising the spectre of federalism. The Prime Minister could say that there are other hon. We are not electing a European Government or a legislative body. We understand that there will be elections, under the decision of September last year, every five years. Member should not take exception. He did it because a count had been taken in the French Assembly on the day before the Bill was introduced—not on the day before the vote was taken, but before introduction. Secondly, we cannot ignore that the regional list would at least create the extreme probability of being able to honour the Government's commitment to have direct elections during 1978. I shall be referring later to some of the interesting points raised by the hon. I do not accept that. Friend has got it wrong. However, there are important issues that the right hon. We must make up our minds about the role of the Assembly. If he was given that advice, he should change his advisers. The Prime Minister made it clear and I made it clear that we shall use our best endeavours. How does he equate this with the giving of greater power to the party political machine? "—[Official Report, 6th July 1977; Vol. That would involve an amendment to the treaty which would bring into play the requirements of Article 236; that is, ratification of any amendments: Luxembourg is to have one seat for 60,000 electors, but that is a special case. No doubt he meant it. There is no doubt that the powers enjoyed by the Boundary Commissions and the scope of their authority as defined under the 1949 and 1958 Acts do not extend to these activities. It is a step that this House can take. How on earth can the right hon. He has said that it does not really matter if we do not achieve it. Am I to understand that the Government will not put down an amendment, but will jog the elbows of those who are prepared to do so? ‡: Vote % reflects the percentage of votes the party received compared to the entire electorate that voted in this election. and learned Member for Hertfordshire, East has referred to the arguments from the Floor of the House on Article 83. I do not want to mis-judge the right hon. Hon. Politician Bhim Singh stated, 'Morarji Desai openly declared that anyone who would attempt to pursue some form of rigging would be severely punished, and this was quite effective'. 933, c. What we want is what the people of the North-West and the other regions want, and that is meaningful policies that are under our control and that we can direct. We are trying to compete with the multinational sector. He made his position abundantly clear. I wish to argue, if my hon. I regard that as the Members—those who favour the proposition that the Bill should be given a Second Reading and those who favour the proposition that it should not. I cannot see how the first-past-the-post system could possibly be completed in less than six months. He talked, incidentally, about mountains of butter. It is a fundamental requirement if we are to move towards political union. Nor can there, even so, be any real link between the individual Euro-Member and those 500,000 electors. But we could find examples of that under any system of dictatorships of the Left, Right or Centre—examples of all systems producing good and bad Governments. Therefore, to some extent I shall be summarising, recapitulating, and amplifying in regard to those two matters. 1465 The right hon. But it suffers from being part-time and from the fact that it is once removed from the electorate. Friend said yesterday this is a united kingdom and there is a United Kingdom allocation of 81 seats. 1505 is better to have them elected than nominated, particularly if one accepts the doctrine that the dual mandate will be the exception rather than the rule. That is not one of the options offered in the Bill. Although I prefer the PR system I accept that many people in the House continue to prefer a first-past-the-post system. Members on both sides who have made their position absolutely clear. The new generation that is arising in Europe thinks European—even if hon. I, too, was present yesterday. That can be put in the form of a motion before the House without any Bill whatever before the House. Members on both sides who will be tabling such an amendment tonight which we believe will meet these points? Friend the Member for Liverpool, Walton (Mr. Heffer) referred to the document produced by the Government which talked about other Governments, as well as the British Government, not wanting to weaken their Parliaments any more than we would want to weaken ours. I shall therefore vote against the Bill tonight. They also agreed that He spelled out the various proposals, including many that are well known to hon. There is great danger in creating a bogus Parliament to the detriment of this sovereign body, Britain's Parliament, because in no way would it enhance democracy in Europe. Gentleman was talking about. This had a 'salutary effect' in the political atmosphere in the state witnessing its first 'free and fair' election. There fore, the initial shape of the boundary structure in Britain would be known within that time. Friend said that when Europe went federal there would be an elected If the hon. Member for Lancaster (Mrs. Kellett-Bowman) wants us to take in the North-West by pumping in more aid and certainly reducing unemployment. [Interruption.] If Conservatives insist on the first-past-the-post system this may produce a system of representation to the European Parliament that will defeat the very objectives that they hold dear, namely, our continued membership of that institution, and its success. Surely we can do what we like. On 25 March, K. Karunakaran of Congress sworn as Chief Minister. Many of these decisions will ultimately have to be taken in the individual Parliaments, but there is no reason why there should not be a collective view, expressed by parliamentarians of the Nine in the Assembly. To me a Parliament is a legislative body, and by definition, as was pointed out by the right hon. We can only attempt to get this legislation through. For No national party manifesto will exist for the MEP to work to. To speak of a subtle and insidious process of lulling and gently sweeping the British public into Europe is to do less than justice to many hon. 1442 into consideration in relation to the debate. This explains why the Tindemans proposals for a half-way house—a two-tier Europe—have been rejected by the Council of Ministers and the Assembly. My hon. [2], Emergency, which was declared in June 1975 had a mixed reception in Tamil Nadu. However strong a bastion this House is believed to be, it is on the defensive. Friend the Member for Liverpool, Walton (Mr. Heffer) was a little unfair to many of us who, over the years, have made it clear that our reason for being here and what we hope to see is a united Europe. Clearly that sort of behaviour does no good to our credibility. Emergency regulations and censorship were not strictly enforced in Tamil Nadu unlike in other states. I shall try to produce a new dimension, which will restore the balance in one way or another. But the total help that we are getting from Europe is Europe has only ever been united by persons believing in discipline, in force—if need be, military force. My hon. In replying to a question that I put yesterday, the Home Secretary said: An hon. What I have said will loosen some of the Tory chains and may induce more Opposition Members to vote against the Bill now that their party dares not punish them for it after what the right hon. The Prime Minister Morarji Desai (of the Janata Party) took steps to strengthen security in the state and declared that any rigging would be severely punished. I understood my hon. We will change in five years to some form of proportional system, anyway, I know perfectly well, because no one in Europe has the first-past-the-post system, and would not be found dead with it. that would deny Labour any representation in the Assembly. I have already said that I am completely opposed to direct elections. The right hon. I would like the Home Secretary to know that in Committee I and some of my like-minded colleagues will seek to introduce a new clause to the Bill which will have the same effect as this section in the French document. The hon. After the Emergency was lifted, the Janata Party came to power in the Centre in the 1977 general election. At present, as the House knows, the Council of Ministers is both the legislature and the executive of the Common Market organisation.

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