Below is the text of the speech made by HM Queen Elizabeth II in the House of Lords on 30 October 1968.
My Lords and Members of the House of Commons My Husband and I look forward with pleasure to the State Visit of the President of the Republic of Italy and to our own visit to Brazil and Chile.
My Government will continue to play an active part in the efforts of the United Nations to ensure peace and to assist the advancement of the developing world.
My Government will continue to work through the United Nations for a just and lasting peace in the Middle East. They will take every opportunity open to them to help the two sides achieve a negotiated settlement of the Vietnam conflict.
I look forward to welcoming to London in January the Heads of Government of other member countries of the Commonwealth.
My Government intend to ratify the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. They will continue to work actively for further progress on measures of arms control and disarmament in both the nuclear and non-nuclear fields. To this end they will vigorously pursue the proposals they have put forward to advance the negotiations.
My Government will maintain their application for membership of the European Communities and will promote other measures of co-operation in Europe in keeping with this.
My Government will continue to support Britain’s alliances for collective defence and will play an active part in the North Atlantic Alliance as an essential factor for European security. The development of My Government’s relations with the countries of Eastern Europe which took part in the invasion of Czechoslovakia has necessarily been set back, but it remains their aim to work for genuine East-West understanding.
My Government will continue to take the necessary steps to withdraw British forces from Malaysia, Singapore and the Persian Gulf by the end of 1971. Furthermore, in consultation with the Governments concerned, My Ministers will maintain their efforts to promote conditions favourable to peace and security in the areas concerned.
My Government will continue to seek to bring about a return to constitutional rule in Rhodesia in accordance with the multi-racial principles approved by Parliament.
Members of the House of Commons Estimates for the public services will be laid before you.
My Lords and Members of the House of Commons My Government will press forward their policies for strengthening the economy so as to achieve a continuing and substantial balance of payments surplus. This will enable us to meet our international obligations, rebuild the reserves, develop industry and safeguard employment.
My Government will work closely with other Governments to maintain the smooth working of the international monetary system. They look forward to the early entry into force of the Special Drawing Rights Scheme.
My Government will develop policies to encourage a better distribution of resources in industry and employment and to make fuller use of resources in the Regions.
Legislation will be brought before you to convert the Post Office from a Department of State to a public corporation.
Legislation will be introduced to integrate transport in London under local government control; and to establish a central system of vehicle registration and licensing.
Legislation will be introduced to help the development of tourism in Great Britain.
A Bill will be introduced to effect the change to a decimal currency.
My Government will continue to promote the development of agriculture’s important contribution to the national economy.
Legislation will be introduced for assistance to the deep sea fishing industry and for the policing and conservation of fisheries.
My Government will lay before you proposals for action on the Report of the Royal Commission on Trade Unions and Employers’ Associations. They will also bring forward proposals for amending the Merchant Shipping Acts in accordance with the recommendations of the Court of Inquiry on the Shipping Industry.
My Ministers will submit for consideration a proposal to enable the United Kingdom to give effect to the United Nations Convention on Genocide.
Legislation will be introduced on the composition and powers of the House of Lords.
My Government will begin consultations on the appointment of a Commission on the constitution. The Commission would consider what changes; may be needed in the central institutions of Government in relation to the several countries, nations and regions of the United Kingdom. It would also examine relationships with the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.
A Bill will be brought before you to reduce to eighteen the age for voting and to make other reforms in electoral law.
Legislation will be laid before you to reduce the age of majority to eighteen.
A Bill will be introduced to reform the law for England and Wales relating to children and young persons.
Our social security schemes will be kept under close review. My Government will publish for public discussion proposals for a new scheme of national insurance founded on earnings-related benefits and contributions.
Legislation will be brought before you to increase the pensions of retired members of the public services and their dependants.
My Government will give special attention to the form of administration of the health and welfare services.
Measures will be introduced to modernise the town and country planning system in Scotland; and to bring the law relating to education in Scotland into line with current developments.
Legislation will be introduced to give rights of appeal against decisions taken in the administration of immigration control.
A measure will be laid before you to provide for a specific grant towards a programme of additional local authority expenditure in urban areas of special social need. This will include additional provision for children below school age.
Proposals will be brought forward for implementing the recommendations of the Tribunal appointed to inquire into the tragic disaster at Aberfan.
Legislation will be introduced to give greater encouragement to the repair and improvement of older houses and their environment.
My Ministers will submit for consideration a proposal to raise the existing legislative limit on Government expenditure on the construction of the National Theatre.
Legislation will be introduced to make reforms in the administration of justice. My Government will carry forward their comprehensive programme for the reform of the law. In particular, Bills will be laid before you to extend in England and Wales the rights of succession to property by persons who are illegitimate and to amend the law of heritable securities in Scotland.
Other measures will be laid before you.
My Lords and Members of the House of Commons I pray that the blessing of Almighty God may rest upon your counsels.
Below is the text of the maiden speech made by David Waddington in the House of Commons on 23 July 1968.
If I may crave the indulgence of the House, I should like at the outset to pay a tribute to my predecessor at Nelson and Colne. One thing he certainly had was political courage. There were, perhaps, not many occasions when I agreed wholeheartedly with the political opinions which he expressed, but I always admired the completely fearless way in which he expressed them. I am sure that the House will long remember his relentless campaign to bring about the end of capital punishment.
I trust that the House will also bear with me for a little time while I speak about my division. I do not think that there are many hon. Members—excluding, of course, the right hon. Gentleman the Minister of Housing and Local Government—who know very well that part of the world. I find that many people in London imagine that it is a very bleak, drab and damp place in the centre of industrial Lancashire with very little to commend it. The recent by-election in Nelson and Colne may at least have educated many of the journalists who then visited our town.
The division is, in fact, a very grand place in which to live and work. One has only to travel for a very few minutes from the centres of our towns and one is in the most beautiful unspoilt countryside. Beyond that, a very great deal has been done in recent years to improve the amenities of the towns. Thus they are no longer composed of serried ranks of “Coronation Streets”, and no longer do those towns lack all amenities. I understand that not long ago hon. Members received from the local paper a coloured supplement which set out in great detail how good a place it was in which to live and work.
In recent years we have been confronted with very real and special problems, first of all because of the contraction of the cotton textile industry and, secondly, because of the very strong—and, as I believe, far too strong—inducements offered by the Government to industry to go to the development areas, which are not so very far from the boundaries of the Nelson and Colne division. This is a subject about which I hope I may have an opportunity to speak on another occasion.
On this occasion I must direct my attention to housing, and it is right to say that even there our part of the world has its special problems. It is interesting to note that although over England as a whole about 48.5 per cent. of all dwellings are owner occupied, the figure in Colne is 62.1 per cent. and in Nelson it is no less than 72.3 per cent. There must therefore be many people in Nelson and Colne who are extremely disturbed at the high level of the mortgage interest rates, and I hope that I am not being too controversial in a maiden speech in saying that I am bitterly disappointed at the non-fulfilment of the election promise of 3 per cent. mortgages. I suppose that the non-fulfilment is partly responsible for my presence in this Chamber now.
There are two or three specific points that I should like to make. What we all want, of course, is an end to the crisis conditions in which we have lived since 1964 so that we can move away from crisis rates of interest and thus allow the mortgage interest rates to fall. Obviously, however, the crisis will not end in the twinkling of an eye—indeed, I doubt very much whether it will end before the end of this Parliament.
In those circumstances, therefore, it cannot be in anyone’s interest for the Government to try—and I hope that they will no: seek to do so—to prevent the building societies from charging such a rate of interest as will enable them to pay investors what is necessary to pay them in order to get the money needed in the movement. At the moment, I understand that at least twice as many people are wanting mortgages as the societies can provide for, and the Government are not providing a service to those people who are waiting in the queue— and it is often people with the more slender means who are waiting in the queue and who have not yet been provided for—when they carp at and try to prevent increases in the mortgage rate.
Secondly, I consider—as does my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Hexham (Mr. Rippon)—the mortgage option scheme to have been a monumental flop. Only 10 per cent. of new borrowers have opted, and the reason is quite obvious. One needs a crystal ball to know whether or not it will be to one’s ultimate benefit to opt into the scheme. One has to bear in mind the possibility of the standard rate of Income Tax going up, in which case the benefit of mortgage option will diminish. One has also to bear in mind the unlikely eventuality of the standard rate of Income Tax coming down. One has to bear in mind that one’s earnings may increase, but one has also to bear in mind that one’s earnings may increase, but one has also to bear in mind the possibility that one may encounter trouble and one’s earnings decrease.
One has to bear in mind that after one has opted for the scheme the Government may, as the Government have done this year, increase family allowances and draw more people into the tax net. Perhaps—one never knows—the day may arrive when the mortgage interest rate will drop below 6 per cent. when, again, the advantages of having opted into the scheme will diminish. One really has to bear in mind the innate optimism of the British working man which must in itself militate against the success of the scheme. It is a rare bird who does not hope that either through his own efforts or good fortune—by winning the pools, perhaps—his means will increase, yet he now has to make the best calculation he can of his ultimate prospects and earnings.
One has to recognise also that the booklet advertising the scheme is very complicated as, indeed, it must be because of the complicated calculations that have to be made when a man is deciding whether or not the scheme will be to his benefit. There must be some better way of giving help to those with smaller means, and perhaps in the long run if not in the short run we should consider allowing everyone, whatever his means and whether he pays the standard rate of Income Tax or a lower rate, the right to withhold the equivalent of tax at standard rate in respect of mortgage interest payments.
I finish with a positive suggestion for the encouragement of home ownership. I think that the best incentive and the best way of encouraging people to improve their own homes would be by the introduction of some sort of tax allowance for improvement. Not only would that be a positive encouragement to home ownership, but it would also have one very beneficial side effect. One would remove a lot of the built in antagonism to re-rating and make more sense of the rating system if people knew that they could spend up to the annual value of their houses on repairs and improvements and get tax relief on those sums.
I hope that I have not trespassed for too long on the time of the House, and I am grateful for the patient way in which hon. Members have listened to me.
Below is the text of the maiden speech made by Joe Ashton to the House of Commons on 7 November 1968.
Mr. Speaker, I request the indulgence of the House to introduce myself. I am the new Member for Bassetlaw, and I am very honoured to be here. I am grateful for this opportunity to make my maiden speech.
Bassetlaw was represented by the Right Hon. Frederick Bellenger for about 33 years. In that time, he became very well known and liked in the constituency. Eventually, his popularity was acknowledged just before his death, when he was made a Freeman of the Borough of Worksop.
In Bassetlaw, a very varied constituency, the main industries are mining and agriculture. Currently, about 6,000 miners are employed there, and many more retired miners live there. Obviously, the subject that we are debating is one of great concern to them.
Fortunately, it is a mining area which is developing. The most modern mine in the country, Bevercotes, is in the constituency, and, although there are geological problems there, we expect a very long life for it. One mine, at Firbeck, is closing at Christmas, though I am glad to say that it is not due to a shortage of coal or to economic reasons, but merely because of the presence of gas in the seam.
The modern mines in my constituency give rise to an interest in tips and their safety because they will be producing material for tips for many years to come. At Manton, extensive experiments have been conducted to grow vegetation on tips and so improve their visual appearance. This is very important from the point of view of attracting new industry, because, in a mining and agricultural area, where more and more mechanisation is taking place and there are fewer opportunities for school leavers, new industry must be attracted. In that connection, we await eagerly the Report of the Hunt Committee, but that does not mean that nothing has happened in that direction in the past.
If we hope to attract new industry to an area, potential industrialists must be convinced that there is no danger from tips and that something can be done to make them less of an eyesore than they have been for many years. We have a flat terrain in Bassetlaw. There are no slopes, as there are in Wales, and there have been no problems of tip safety. At Harworth Colliery, an overhead conveyor has been constructed, and wastage is carried in large buckets to the tip. It has been found necessary to develop an industrial site in the area and, though it is unsightly to carry slag across it by cable, if we can convince potential industrialists that there is no danger they will be reassured. In time, we hope to be able to make the site more attractive to industrialists and find some other way of disposing of the slag.
The problems of mine and tip safety and of clearing derelict sites are very important to Bassetlaw, and I am pleased to have been able to make my first speech in this House on the subject.
Mr. Speaker, I want to thank you, my right hon. and hon. Friends and right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite for being patient with me not only during this speech, but during the past three days in the House. I have received a great deal of help from everyone.
Below is the text of the speech made by Enoch Powell on 20 April 1968 in Birmingham.
The supreme function of statesmanship is to provide against preventable evils. In seeking to do so, it encounters obstacles which are deeply rooted in human nature. One is that by the very order of things such evils are not demonstrable until they have occurred: at each stage in their onset there is room for doubt and for dispute whether they be real or imaginary. By the same token, they attract little attention in comparison with current troubles, which are both indisputable and pressing: whence the besetting temptation of all politics to concern itself with the immediate present at the expense of the future. Above all, people are disposed to mistake predicting troubles for causing troubles and even for desiring troubles: “If only,” they love to think, “if only people wouldn’t talk about it, it probably wouldn’t happen.”
Perhaps this habit goes back to the primitive belief that the word and the thing, the name and the object, are identical. At all events, the discussion of future grave but, with effort now, avoidable evils is the most unpopular and at the same time the most necessary occupation for the politician.
Those who knowingly shirk it deserve, and not infrequently receive, the curses of those who come after. A week or two ago I fell into conversation with a constituent, a middle-aged, quite ordinary working man employed in one of our nationalised industries. After a sentence or two about the weather, he suddenly said: “If I had the money to go, I wouldn’t stay in this country.” I made some deprecatory reply to the effect that even this government wouldn’t last for ever; but he took no notice, and continued: “I have three children, all of them been through grammar school and two of them married now, with family. I shan’t be satisfied till I have seen them all settled overseas. In this country in 15 or 20 years’ time the black man will have the whip hand over the white man.”
I can already hear the chorus of execration. How dare I say such a horrible thing? How dare I stir up trouble and inflame feelings by repeating such a conversation? The answer is that I do not have the right not to do so. Here is a decent, ordinary fellow Englishman, who in broad daylight in my own town says to me, his Member of Parliament, that his country will not be worth living in for his children. I simply do not have the right to shrug my shoulders and think about something else. What he is saying, thousands and hundreds of thousands are saying and thinking – not throughout Great Britain, perhaps, but in the areas that are already undergoing the total transformation to which there is no parallel in a thousand years of English history. In 15 or 20 years, on present trends, there will be in this country three and a half million Commonwealth immigrants and their descendants. That is not my figure. That is the official figure given to parliament by the spokesman of the Registrar General’s Office. There is no comparable official figure for the year 2000, but it must be in the region of five to seven million, approximately one-tenth of the whole population, and approaching that of Greater London. Of course, it will not be evenly distributed from Margate to Aberystwyth and from Penzance to Aberdeen. Whole areas, towns and parts of towns across England will be occupied by sections of the immigrant and immigrant-descended population.
As time goes on, the proportion of this total who are immigrant descendants, those born in England, who arrived here by exactly the same route as the rest of us, will rapidly increase. Already by 1985 the native-born would constitute the majority. It is this fact which creates the extreme urgency of action now, of just that kind of action which is hardest for politicians to take, action where the difficulties lie in the present but the evils to be prevented or minimised lie several parliaments ahead.
The natural and rational first question with a nation confronted by such a prospect is to ask: “How can its dimensions he reduced?” Granted it be not wholly preventable, can it be limited, bearing in mind that numbers are of the essence: the significance and consequences of an alien element introduced into a country or population are profoundly different according to whether that element is 1 per cent or 10 per cent. The answers to the simple and rational question are equally simple and rational: by stopping, or virtually stopping, further inflow, and by promoting the maximum outflow. Both answers are part of the official policy of the Conservative Party.
It almost passes belief that at this moment 20 or 30 additional immigrant children are arriving from overseas in Wolverhampton alone every week – and that means 15 or 20 additional families a decade or two hence. Those whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad. We must be mad, literally mad, as a nation to be permitting the annual inflow of some 50,000 dependants, who are for the most part the material of the future growth of the immigrant-descended population. It is like watching a nation busily engaged in heaping up its own funeral pyre. So insane are we that we actually permit unmarried persons to immigrate for the purpose of founding a family with spouses and fiances whom they have never seen. Let no one suppose that the flow of dependants will automatically tail off. On the contrary, even at the present admission rate of only 5,000 a year by voucher, there is sufficient for a further 25,000 dependants per annum ad infinitum, without taking into account the huge reservoir of existing relations in this country Ã± and I am making no allowance at all for fraudulent entry. In these circumstances nothing will suffice but that the total inflow for settlement should be reduced at once to negligible proportions, and that the necessary legislative and administrative measures be taken without delay.
I turn to re-emigration. If all immigration ended tomorrow, the rate of growth of the immigrant and immigrant-descended population would be substantially reduced, but the prospective size of this element in the population would still leave the basic character of the national danger unaffected. This can only be tackled while a considerable proportion of the total still comprises persons who entered this country during the last ten years or so. Hence the urgency of implementing now the second element of the Conservative Party’s policy: the encouragement of re-emigration. Nobody can make an estimate of the numbers which, with generous assistance, would choose either to return to their countries of origin or to go to other countries anxious to receive the manpower and the skills they represent. Nobody knows, because no such policy has yet been attempted. I can only say that, even at present, immigrants in my own constituency from time to time come to me, asking if I can find them assistance to return home. If such a policy were adopted and pursued with the determination which the gravity of the alternative justifies, the resultant outflow could appreciably alter the prospects.
The third element of the Conservative Party’s policy is that all who are in this country as citizens should be equal before the law and that there shall be no discrimination or difference made between them by public authority. As Mr Heath has put it we will have no “first-class citizens” and “second-class citizens “. This does not mean that the immigrant and his descendent should be elevated into a privileged or special class or that the citizen should be denied his right to discriminate in the management of his own affairs between one fellow-citizen and another or that he should be subjected to imposition as to his reasons and motive for behaving in one lawful manner rather than another.
There could be no grosser misconception of the realities than is entertained by those who vociferously demand legislation as they call it “against discrimination”, whether they be leader writers of the same kidney and sometimes on the same news papers which year after year in the 1930s tried to blind this country to the rising peril which confronted it, or archbishops who live in palaces, faring delicately with the bedclothes pulled right up over their heads. They have got it exactly and diametrically wrong. The discrimination and the deprivation, the sense of alarm and of resentment, lies not with the immigrant population but with those among whom they have come and are still coming. This is why to enact legislation of the kind before parliament at this moment is to risk throwing a match on to gunpowder. The kindest thing that can be said about those who propose and support it is that they know not what they do.
Nothing is more misleading than comparison between the Commonwealth immigrant in Britain and the American negro. The negro population of the United States, which was already in existence before the United States became a nation, started literally as slaves and were later given the franchise and other rights of citizenship, to the exercise of which they have only gradually and still incompletely come. The Commonwealth immigrant came to Britain as a full citizen, to a country which knew no discrimination between one citizen and another, and he entered instantly into the possession of the rights of every citizen, from the vote to free treatment under the National Health Service. Whatever drawbacks attended the immigrants arose not from the law or from public policy or from administration, but from those personal circumstances and accidents which cause, and always will cause, the fortunes and experience of one man to be different from another’s.
But while, to the immigrant, entry to this country was admission to privileges and opportunities eagerly sought, the impact upon the existing population was very different. For reasons which they could not comprehend, and in pursuance of a decision by default, on which they were never consulted, they found themselves made strangers in their own country.
They found their wives unable to obtain hospital beds in childbirth, their children unable to obtain school places, their homes and neighbourhoods changed beyond recognition, their plans and prospects for the future defeated; at work they found that employers hesitated to apply to the immigrant worker the standards of discipline and competence required of the native-born worker; they began to hear, as time went by, more and more voices which told them that they were now the unwanted. They now learn that a one way privilege is to be established by act of parliament; a law which cannot, and is not intended to, operate to protect them or redress their grievances is to be enacted to give the stranger, the disgruntled and the agent-provocateur the power to pillory them for their private actions.
In the hundreds upon hundreds of letters I received when I last spoke on this subject two or three months ago, there was one striking feature which was largely new and which I find ominous. All Members of Parliament are used to the typical anonymous correspondent; but what surprised and alarmed me was the high proportion of ordinary, decent, sensible people, writing a rational and often well-educated letter, who believed that they had to omit their address because it was dangerous to have committed themselves to paper to a Member of Parliament agreeing with the views I had expressed, and that they would risk penalties or reprisals if they were known to have done so. The sense of being a persecuted minority which is growing among ordinary English people in the areas of the country which are affected is something that those without direct experience can hardly imagine. I am going to allow just one of those hundreds of people to speak for me:
“Eight years ago in a respectable street in Wolverhampton a house was sold to a negro. Now only one white (a woman old-age pensioner) lives there. This is her story. She lost her husband and both her sons in the war. So she turned her seven-roomed house, her only asset, into a boarding house. She worked hard and did well, paid off her mortgage and began to put something by for her old age. Then the immigrants moved in. With growing fear, she saw one house after another taken over. The quiet street became a place of noise and confusion Regretfully, her white tenants moved out.
“The day after the last one left, she was awakened at 7am by two negroes who wanted to use her phone to contact their employer. When she refused, as she would have refused any stranger at such an hour, she was abused and feared she would have been attacked but for the chain on her door. Immigrant families have tried to rent rooms in her house, but she always refused. Her little store of money went, and after paying rates, she has less than 2 per week. She went to apply for a rate reduction and was seen by a young girl,.who on hearing she had a seven-roomed house, suggested she should let part of it. When she said the only people she could get were negroes, the girl said, ‘Racial prejudice won’t get you anywhere in this country.’ So she went home.
“The telephone is her lifeline. Her family pay the bill, and help her out as best they can. Immigrants have offered to buy her house Ã± at a price which the prospective landlord would be able to recover from his tenants in weeks, or at most a few months. She is becoming afraid to go out. Windows are broken. She finds excreta pushed through her letter box. When she goes to the shops, she is followed by children, charming, wide-grinning piccaninnies. They cannot speak English, but one word they know. ‘Racialist’, they chant. When the new Race Relations Bill is passed, this woman is convinced she will go to prison. And is she so wrong? I begin to wonder”
The other dangerous delusion from which those who are wilfully or otherwise blind to realities suffer, is summed up in the word “integration”. To be integrated into a population means to become for all practical purposes indistinguishable from its other members. Now, at all times, where there are marked physical differences, especially of colour, integration is difficult though, over a period, not impossible. There are among the Commonwealth immigrants who have come to live here in the last 15 years many thousands whose wish and purpose is to be integrated and whose every thought and endeavour is bent in that direction. But to imagine that such a thing enters the heads of a great and growing majority of immigrants and their descendants is a ludicrous misconception, and a dangerous one.
We are on the verge here of a change. Hitherto it has been force of circumstance and of background which has rendered the very idea of integration inaccessible to the greater part of the immigrant population – that they never conceived or intended such a thing, and that their numbers and physical concentration meant the pressures towards integration which normally bear upon any small minority did not operate. Now we are seeing the growth of positive forces acting against integration, of vested interests in the preservation and sharpening of racial and religious differences, with a view to the exercise of actual domination, first over fellow-immigrants and then over the rest of the population. The cloud no bigger than a man’s hand, that can so rapidly overcast the sky, has been visible recently in Wolverhampton and has shown signs of spreading quickly. The words I am about to use, verbatim as they appeared in the local press on 17 February, are not mine, but those of a Labour Member of Parliament who is a minister in the present government “The Sikh communities’ campaign to maintain customs inappropriate in Britain is much to be regretted. Working in Britain, particularly in the public services, they should be prepared to accept the terms and conditions of their employment. To claim special communal rights (or should they say rites?) leads to a dangerous fragmentation within society. This communalism is a canker; whether practised by one colour or another it is to be strongly condemned.” All credit to John Stonehouse for having had the insight to perceive that, and the courage to say it.
For these dangerous and divisive elements the legislation proposed in the Race Relations Bill is the very pabulum they need to flourish. Here is the means of showing that the immigrator communities can organise to consolidate their members, to agitate and campaign against their fellow citizens, and to overawe and dominate the rest with the legal weapons which the ignorant and the ill-informed have provided. As I look ahead, I am filled with foreboding; like the Roman, I seem to see “the River Tiber foaming with much blood”. That tragic and intractable phenomenon which we watch with horror on the other side of the Atlantic but which there is interwoven with the history and existence of the States itself, is coming upon us here by our own volition and our own neglect. Indeed, it has all but come. In numerical terms, it will be of American proportions long before the end of the century. Only resolute and urgent action will avert it even now. Whether there will be the public will to demand and obtain that action, I do not know. All I know is that to see, and not to speak, would be the great betrayal.