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Local Authorities (Restoration Of Works Powers) Bill

Volume 934: debated on Monday 27 June 1977

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Not amended (in the Standing Committee), considered.

7.52 p.m.

I beg to move, That the Bill be now read the Third time.

The Bill does no more than restore the powers given to the 25 authorities under temporary orders under the Local Government Act 1972. Those orders were needed initially because that measure of local Government reorganisation did not deal with the position of direct labour organisations. The temporary orders that we made did no more than give the 25 authorities concerned the power to carry out new construction work for another local authority within the former borough or county borough area concerned. There is no question of any of the authorities being permitted to carry out work outside their own administrative areas.

As I indicated on Second Reading, I hope that before too long we shall be able to introduce the comprehensive measure that we had originally intended. That legislation will provide a uniform basis for the operation of direct labour organisations throughout the country. In the meantime we need the Bill to restore the powers that expired at the end of March.

The Bill imposes no mandatory duty on local authorities to exercise the powers. Indeed, whether the powers are exercised must also depend upon a client authority wishing to award work to the DLO authority concerned.

As for the scale on which the powers under the Orders have been used, the total was about £3·6 million in the financial year 1976–77. That shows the modesty of this measure. However, without it there could be unnecessary redundancies in some of the organisations. The sole purpose of the Bill is to deal with the problems that resulted from local government reorganisation as previously enacted.

7.56 p.m.

I thank the Minister for his brief remarks. I shall try to take up what he has said while being as brief as possible.

The issues in the Bill and outside the Bill concerned with direct labour generally have been well ventilated both on Second Reading and in Committee. The right hon. Gentleman will know that a few days ago all sides of the construction industry went to see the Prime Minister because of the parlous state of the industry. I do not think that they came away with very much. The Bill will not be of immense help, either.

In Committee my hon. Friends and I were resisted by the Government in our attempts to try to inject an element of competition and accountability. There is agreement on both sides of the House that direct labour organisations should be subject to those conditions. The principles of accountability and competition cannot be gainsaid by anyone.

It was interesting to hear the right hon. Gentleman say that he hopes that the comprehensive measure will be introduced before too long. Given the present composition of the House, it is my understanding that it is unlikely to be introduced until after a General Election. It will either be introduced by the right hon. Gentleman and his right hon. Friends if they win, or by my right hon. Friends if my party happens to win. It seems that the comprehensive Bill that would lead to a major extension of direct labour organisations is not acceptable and would not command a majority in the House. That being so, I accept that if we were to have a comprehensive Bill it would apparently include within it the accountancy and competition procedures that we all want.

I can give a firm undertaking that if we introduce such a Bill when we are the Government the Bill will be largely concerned with accountancy and competition. If we are to believe what emanated from the Prime Minister and his right hon. Friends over the weekend, there is not to be a General Election for at least 12 months. I personally put a question mark over that, but, that being so, it appears that we must wait for 12 months, if not more, before we have comprehensive legislation from whichever party wins the General Election. That is why I think it is a pity—I repeat what I said on Second Reading—that we cannot obtain all-party support and an all-party agreement to the introduction of a Bill that would at least inject the elements of accountancy and competition.

In Committee I put forward a suggestion which received a partial welcome from the right hon. Gentleman. I repeat that the provision to deal with competition and accountancy is largely complete in the Bill with the exception of the CIPFA recommendation on maintenance, which nobody has yet had a chance to look at. The Minister said that he would be receiving those recommendations later this year, and one would hope that by that time—

Order. We are discussing the contents of the present Bill.

Indeed, Mr. Deputy Speaker. The Bill deals with 25 local authorities and their direct labour organisations. I hope that those 25 direct labour organisations will be in a position to gain in management experience and expertise when we have a proper accountancy procedure. They would have to put out their jobs to proper competition.

Before that is laid down upon the 25 direct labour organisations, it would surely be advantageous for all concerned, as the Minister said in Committee, for there to be a full-scale public debate, including the 25 local authorities, the local authority associations, the building associations and anyone else who may be interested. If that is done, when we bring forward the legislation it will be more comprehensive. It will, of course, affect the 25 direct labour organisations and—

Order. Whatever such a Bill may or may not bring before the House, we are discussing the Bill before the House.

I take your point entirely, Mr. Deputy Speaker. That is why I hope that the comprehensive Bill—the Minister admitted in Committee that this can be only a temporary measure before the introduction of the comprehensive measure—will be introduced only after the maximum debate. I hope that that is so regardless of which party introduces the Bill. I do not go further than that as I do not wish to stray beyond the bounds of order.

The Minister has given us the figures and it is clear that the various powers that elapsed on 31st March, which the Bill seeks to restore, have not been widely used. A minor but not unimportant point is that the city of Stoke-on-Trent is responsible for a third of the expenditure of £3·6 million in 1976–77. If I am correct, Stoke-on-Trent undertook works to the value of £1·2 million.

It is unfortunate, or perhaps timely, that we read in our national Press this morning that the Stoke-on-Trent direct labour department has had its own Silver Jubilee for the past 25 years. It seems that employees of the department have received travelling and expense allowances without the knowledge of the council. The council's chief executive has said that the payments are irregular. I have read reports that suggest that they might total £1 million over 25 years. That is a novel way of celebrating the Silver Jubilee, but not one that commends itself to the Minister or myself. Stoke-on-Trent is one of the local authorities directly affected by the Bill.

The Government had an opportunity, if they had so wished, to introduce more comprehensive legislation that would have had the backing of all parts of the House. They did not so wish. They brought in this Bill which, in a very small way, renews the powers of direct labour departments in so far as those powers lapsed on 31st March and which will be restored if and when the Bill receives Royal Assent.

The Government have failed to provide what is needed, namely, the twin disciplines of competition and fair accountability, and even if, on a very modest basis, the Bill extends the direct labour powers, we do not like that, either. In that view we have the support of not only the construction industry but two of the three major local authority associations.

Therefore, I have no hesitation in recommending the House to decline to give the Bill a Third Reading.

8.0 p.m.

I wish to make two points.

First, in moving the Third Reading the Minister said that some of the local authorities concerned with direct labour departments were likely to have to declare redundancies if the Bill was not passed. I asked him in Committee whether those local authorities had given any consideration to the workers concerned being deployed to the county council direct labour departments, which is the whole purpose of the Bill. The Minister was unable to give an answer on that occasion. I noticed that he did not choose to mention it tonight. The impression he has tried to give is that the men would be unemployed altogether. There is no reason for that statement.

Secondly, my hon. Friend the Member for Ashford (Mr. Speed) has mentioned, as many hon. Members mentioned in Committee, the unsatisfactory situation which has often arisen in the direct labour departments of some of the 25 local authorities involved in this Bill. As we are placing the 25 local authorities back in the special position which they enjoyed mostly as a result of Private Act powers, which lapsed with the coming into operation of the new local government structure, I hope that there will be proper monitoring of the use of the powers in future so that when we table, as probably we shall, Questions to the Minister about the use of those powers, the nature of the contracts, and the success or otherwise of the direct labour departments which have carried them out, we shall get proper information and statistics. It is important that Parliament, ratepayers and taxpayers should have proper financial information.

I never thought that the Bill was necessary or desirable. Nothing that I heard on Second Reading or in Committee and nothing I have heard tonight has convinced me that it was necessary to bring it before the House. I am glad that we shall vote against it.

8.2 p.m.

Although we have found the Bill to be objectionable, I thought that the Standing Committee which considered it was a very agreeable and useful Committee on which to serve. Few hard words were used. In fact, the hardest words were uttered by the Government Whip when he reminded me at the second sitting that I had not declared the interest that I declared at the first sitting, namely, that I work in the information department of the National Federation of Building Trades Employers. Certainly the federation thinks that this is an unnecessary Bill.

I have considered the Bill throughout from the point of view not of the industry but of the ratepayer. The powers with which it deals are little used. The Minister quoted the figure of £3·6 million, of which £1·2 million is accounted for by an organisation which did not know what it was spending. Therefore, we must take the figure of £3·6 million a little generously into account, because it is clear that the Stoke council did not know, and has not known for the past quarter of a century, its expenditure in this respect.

Therefore, after the Stoke story, the Minister can hardly maintain that the Bill is designed to tighten or maintain financial control in the town halls or to ease the burden on ratepayers. Nor can a Minister in a Government who have destroyed 750,000 jobs in three and a half years seriously make his stand on the possibility of redundancies in local authority direct labour organisations, particularly as jobs that might disappear from the DLOs would not disappear entirely, as the 750,000 jobs have disappeared, but would be merely transferred from the public sector to the private sector.

Nevertheless, I am grateful to the Minister for being as forthcoming as he was in Committee about the accounting and financial controls which he thinks necessary for direct labour organisations. My only difference with him is that I think that they are necessary now whereas he does not. I think that they should be imposed on the authorities in respect of the works which they are granted power to carry out under the Bill; he does not think that it matters particularly. We like his words more than his actions, because he does nothing, although he talks.

I liked his words so much that I embodied a whole mass of them in a proposed new clause. The words of it were not perfect, but they were not bad. They were really quite good. The only trouble was that when I tabled them the Minister decided that he did not like them and refused to have anything to do with them. I was deeply disappointed in him. I should have though that he would have grabbed the chance to embody in legislation the principles he had enunciated so clearly at the Dispatch Box.

I still hope that the Minister will agree to our proposal that his draft DLO Bill should be published as a Green Paper. I do not know why the Minister refuses to do that. It could make a great deal of difference to the progress of this Bill in another place and when it comes back to us, perhaps amended. After all—

If we knew what was in the right hon. Gentleman's mind for the long term, we might be more prepared to tolerate the shortcoming of this Bill—

I hope that the Bill will get a little better, Mr. Deputy Speaker.

If we knew what was in the Minister's mind, we could possibly be a little more tolerant. Perhaps we would be more intolerant, but at least we should know where we stood. It is desirable for us to find what common ground we can, although there is a difference in principle in dogma or philosophy between us and the Government concerning the rôle of municipal and State trading as opposed to private enterprise trading.

Unless the Minister is prepared to raise the curtain on his mind more than simply by uttering words, and unless he is prepared to put it, of not into legislative form, in the form of a Green Paper, it will be wise of us to reject the Bill.

8.8 p.m.

This is one of those short Bills that are viewed in different ways by the two sides of the House. As I understand it, the Government's view is that the Bill merely regularises what 25 local authorities have been doing for a number of years. The power is permissive, so it is up to the authorities to do what they wish within the permissive power. It is said that only seven authorities have used the powers, so what is all the fuss about?

We have learned that the simpler the Bill, the more carefully it must be assessed. Our reasons for rejecting the Bill are, first, practical. Thirteen of the 25 authorities have not used the powers; five authorities have hardly used them. Seven authorities have used them, and only a couple have used them to any great extent. We are disappointed that the Minister has not allowed one of the district councils, Grimsby, to opt out of the scheme. As the original order was a temporary order, we wonder why he could not make it temporary in this instance.

My hon. Friend the Member for Chingford (Mr. Tebbit) mentioned accounting control, and his view was supported by my hon. Friend the Member for Ashford (Mr. Speed). That is an appropriate matter for consideration.

The Minister knows that there is no majority in the House in favour of the permissive powers in the Bill. If there were a little more substance to the Liberals, they would not be allowing the Bill to go through this evening. Perhaps they will reflect on whether to vote against it tonight, as we hear differing views on their attitude.

The one question that remains on the Bill as it now stands relates to safeguards for the ratepayers. The Minister said in Committee that where appropriate that was the role of the Attorney-General or the district auditor. We asked him in Committee what safeguards there were for proper monitoring, particularly in the period since 31st March, and my hon. Friend the Member for Melton (Mr. Latham) has raised that this evening. That is a major query area. Will the Minister indicate what are the safeguards?

With regard to the district auditor, as the Minister knows, there have been considerable criticisms of direct labour organisations. Indeed, as my hon. Friend the Member for Ashford has said, even this morning we heard reports of the situation in Stoke. I took the opportunity to make some brief inquiries about Stoke this afternoon. One of the projects which comes under the Bill is that undertaken by the Hanley Museum and Art Gallery. The cost of the scheme, whichever way it turns out, will be borne by the Staffordshire County Council ratepayers. The original tender was £1,470,000 versus the lowest private contractor's tender of £1·9 million. That was some 25 per cent. below the lowest private contractor's tender.

At the time there were complaints from the President of the National Federation of Building Trade Employers to the late Anthony Crosland, who was then Secretary of State for the Environment, asking him to withhold loan sanction until there was a proper public inquiry into the scheme. That request was rejected by the Government. Now we are told that the costs are rising and that they will come in at well over £2 million. Added to that, we do not know whether the 25 years' cost of allowances, or that part which is relevant to this Hanley Museum and Art Gallery, is included in this over-expenditure. Stoke is the prime example of a local authority using these powers, and yet again we see evidence here that the system is being abused.

There is an additional factor, upon which the Minister touched lightly, relating to the need for safeguards. The difference between the 25 local authority direct labour organisations covered by the Bill and those elsewhere is that those in the Bill are acting on a trading basis. They run risks that their own ratepayers will suffer a loss as a result of their activities. Where are the provisions that will enable ratepayers in these 25 districts to see whether the powers are being exercised by councillors and officers in a way that seems justifiable to them?

This is not just some small and insignificant Bill. We are opposed to it on an important matter of principle. It is not just a correction of a small or unforeseen inconvenience resulting from the reorganisation of local government. The Bill seeks to perpetuate in permanent legislation a method of carrying out new building work that is against what we believe to be the interests of the country and of the ratepayers. Any DLO involves more public expenditure and brings into question the efficient use of resources. It is no good the Minister sighing. He knows as well as I do that those are the facts of the case.

We believe, frankly, that all direct labour needs to be questioned, challenged and scrutinised as fairly and competently as we have the powers to do. We know that there are many examples where it tends to hoard labour and where it is resistant to movements in a market situation. The tragedy about direct labour organisations is that they appear to be dependent for their survival on political protection. Indeed, it is political protection that the Bill is all about.

No case has been made out by the Minister or by any member of the Government why the 25 authorities had to be treated so differently and why their needs are so great that they must be given these exceptional powers. On the contrary, the deeper we delve, the more murky the water becomes. If I were a ratepayer in any of the seven authorities using these powers actively and extensively—Gates-head, Plymouth, Sheffield, South Tyne-side, Derby, Barrow and Stoke—I should want the district auditors to look very carefully at my authority's direct labour organisation. If allowances can remain hidden from the councillors not for just a few years but for 25 years, we are right to ask what else is hidden.

We reject the Bill. It is not needed. It is impracticable and it continues a dangerous precedent. We reject totally the principle embodied in it, and I urge my hon. Friends to resist the Bill.

8.16 p.m.

I find so many of the Opposition speeches on this matter sad, to say the least, as I think I said on Second Reading. There is a kind of reflex action against any kind of direct labour organisation. Opposition Members do not seek to make judgments about these matters or, indeed, wherever private industry caters for the public authorities, in any dispassionate or impartial way. They do not attempt to adopt a pragmatic or rational approach. They have taken a very tough, firm and—whether they like the word or not—consistently doctrinaire line, which prevents them from looking at this matter in any kind of pragmatic way. We have come to expect it, but hope remains that one day they will get around to looking at these matters in a totally pragmatic way and not with reflex actions such as will lead them to vote against a Bill of this modesty. To do so really is a nonsense.

As I have said before, I say again: if the Opposition had wanted us to pur- sue our ideas about legislating in order to put direct works organisations more fully on to a comparable base with independent commercial companies, they could have resisted the temptation to oppose, before they had even been introduced to the House, the ideas on which we were hoping to legislate.

Perhaps the hon. Gentleman will allow me to complete this passage. If I may say so, I note always the interruptions from the hon. Member for Melton (Mr. Latham). I do not believe for a moment that he is interested in having direct labour organisations that can compete equally with private enterprise in particular situations. He is interested in restricting DLOs. At least he honestly says that, and I understand it, but he cannot have it both ways.

With one or two exceptions, all the Opposition Members who have spoken so far in the debate—and, indeed, when we discussed this matter not many months ago—have made it perfectly clear that, while they pay lip service to the concept of putting DLOs more fully on a comparable basis, as far as this can be done, in practice they do not wish to support moves in that direction.

I made no secret about what was in my mind with regard to the proposed ideas. Had they made clear that which the leading spokesman for the Opposition, the hon. Member for Ashford (Mr. Speed) has put once more, namely, the idea of establishing common agreement to put DLOs on a fully fair and competitive basis with private enterprise, we should have welcomed such an approach. But when it came to the test it was the Opposition who objected and forced the parliamentary situation that required us to act as we have; in other words, to suspend or defer for the time being the proposals that we have in mind to introduce by legislation.

If the Opposition would care to state quite openly that they will support such moves in legislation and reassure us on that point, we can all stand united in the House on the matter and we can reconsider our proposal. But I suspect that, if we were to do so, should immediately produce once again a reflex action of opposition from Conservative Members.

The Minister has said that the Opposition opposed his proposed Bill, but of course we never saw it. Why does he not look for the common ground and make sure that we are all talking about the same thing by publishing his draft Bill in a Green Paper? The words that we used were not words of legislation. They were very loose words, which I am sure he will accept could mean many different things to many different people. We want to know what the right hon. Gentleman means so that we can discuss with him whether we can come to an agreement with him.

We may come to that, but I shall deal with the point shortly.

In the meantime, as hon. Members should know, contrary to the impression given by the hon. Member for Ashford, there has been open discussion of what we have in mind. There have been consultation documents, which were issued to the industry; there have been Questions and Answers in the House; there have been references in previous debates. I shall not now go into detail, but I refer the hon. Member for Chingford (Mr. Tebbit) to Hansard of 17th May, column 247. There he will see a summary of what we thought should be the content of that Bill.

Can the right hon. Gentleman tell us, according to this summary of his Second Reading remarks, whether the proposed legislation was, as it were, to be a skeleton to be filled in, or whether it was to contain the details of the CIPFA recommendations?

Order. The hon. Member for Ashford (Mr. Speed) is asking the Minister to go rather wider than is necessary.

In any case, Mr. Deputy Speaker, I suggest that the hon. Gentleman's question and the answer that it sought to elicit would be redundant to the point I am making—indeed, to the point of the debate. The information is all set out. The documents are available.

We have also made clear, on Second Reading and in Committee, why it would be inappropriate to include the accounting and charging provisions in this Bill. They could relate to only part of the direct labour organisations of the 25 authorities covered in the Bill, and the effect would therefore be marginal. They would not apply generally. Indeed, they would not affect the greater part of the DLO activities of the 25 authorities. It would be wrong and inefficient to have different accounting systems operating within a single authority.

There is another fundamental objection to the inclusion of such accounting provisions. The whole of the financial framework needs to be dealt with at the same time. It would not be right merely to bring accounting practices into line with those of private contractors. It would be necessary to give the DLOs the ability, like private contractors, to seek work on a wider basis. While DLOs are part of local authorities, it will not be possible to make them comparable in every way with private contractors. Our proposals would enable local authorities to set up independent trading companies and would put them on the same basis as the private contractors.

Those proposals were welcomed, if inadvertently, by the hon. Member for Chingford in Committee, although I am not sure that he knew what he was doing when he took my words on Second Reading and incorporated them in a new clause that he proposed and that the Committee rejected.

I knew perfectly well what I was doing. I wanted the right hon. Gentleman to defend his proposals in detail. But he said that he did not like his propoals and he turned down my new clause. How can we understand what he has in mind if he will not stand by his own words, even when they are incoporated in a new clause?

I shall resist the temptation of the Committee practice of repeating myself. I disliked the hon. Gentleman's proposals—there were other reasons for rejecting them, as he knows. I continue to look forward to the time when we can make better comparisons between DLOs and private contractors. The Opposition say that they are not afraid of competition under proper rules, but they do not wish to give DLOs the opportunity to compete for work with other bodies on a fair basis.

Nor do the Opposition take account of client authorities. The client authority is concerned to safeguard the interests of its ratepayers in putting out work to organisations, whether they be private or public. Whatever power may be given to DLOs to undertake work, the client authority will undertake to ensure that the work is done economically and efficiently.

We have heard a great deal about the need for proper accounting and charging provisions. We have indicated our intentions in many ways. When the Conservatives were in office, both in their 13-year period and in their three and a half years last time, they took no steps to deal with the question of greater efficiency of DLOs. The last Labour Government set up the working party that led to the 1969 manual of procedure being published, but from the moment that the Conservatives came back to power in 1970 until they left office in 1974 they did nothing to monitor the operation of that manual by the local authorities. It was again left to the present Labour Government to set up a working party to establish what should have been monitored by the Conservative Government and to find out what was going on in the wake of the 1969 manual.

Again, it was left to the 1964–70 Labour Government to introduce measures—under the guidance of my right hon. Friend the Member for Bermondsey (Mr. Mellish) as Minister of Public Building and Works—to improve the efficiency

Division No. 185]

AYES

[8.28 p.m.

Anderson, DonaldCunningham, G. (Islington S)Hardy, Peter
Armstrong, ErnestCunningham, Dr J. (Whiteh)Harper, Joseph
Ashton, JoeDalyell, TamHarrison, Rt Hon Walter
Atkins, Ronald (Preston N)Davis, Clinton (Hackney C)Hatton, Frank
Atkinson, NormanDeakins, EricHayman, Mrs Helena
Barnett, Guy (Greenwich)Dean, Joseph (Leeds West)Hooley, Frank
Bales, Aifde Freltas, Rt Hon Sir GeoffreyHoram, John
Beith, A. J.Dempsey, JamesHowells, Geralnt (Cardigan)
Blenkinsop, ArthurDoig, PeterHoyle, Doug (Nelson)
Booth, Rt Hon AlbertDormand, J. D.Huckfield, Les
Bray, Dr JeremyDunwoody, Mrs GwynethHughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)
Brown, Robert C. (Newcastle W)Eadle, AlexHunter, Adam
Brown, Ronald (Hackney S)Ellis, Tom (Wrexham)Jackson, Colin (Brighouse)
Callaghan, Jim (Middleton & P)Evans, loan (Aberdare)Jackson, Miss Margaret (Lincoln)
Campbell, IanEvans, John (Newton)John, Brynmor
Carter-Jones, LewisEwing, Harry (Stirling)Johnson, James (Hull West)
Cartwright, JohnFernyhough, Rt Hon E.Jones, Alec (Rhondda)
Cocks, Rt Hon MichaelFlannery, MartinJones, Barry (East Flint)
Coleman, DonaldFletcher, Ted (Darlington)Jones, Dan (Burnley)
Cook, Robin F. (Edin C)Fowler, Gerald (The Wrekin)Kaufman, Gerald
Corbett, RobinFreeson, ReginaldKerr, Russell
Cowans, HarryFreud, ClementKilroy-Silk, Robert
Crawshaw, RichardGraham, TedLambie, David
Crowther, Stan (Rotherham)Grant, George (Morpeth)Lamborn, Harry
Cryer, BobHamilton. W. W. (Central Fife)Lamond, James

of direct works inside the Government. It was not done by the Conservatives. Never in Government did they take such a step. All this should be put on the record.

When we wished to introduce our proposals to bring about true comparability—now being adopted by hon. Members-opposite—they were complained about, even though the Opposition did not know the details. They complain now that we are not doing anything about them. They have responded with outright opposition in areas where we have taken action.

It would be as proper for the Minister to confine himself to the content of the Bill as it is for the Opposition to do so.

I thought that I should get these facts on the record, Mr. Deputy Speaker.

I ask the House to reject the doctrinaire and negative approach that we have consistently from the Opposition whenever the phrase "direct labour organisation" is introduced. It is we who have taken action to improve the situation. The Opposition have never done so when in Government. When we get the opportunity—I hope that it will not be in the too far distant future—we shall take steps to introduce further legislation in this area.

Question put, That the Bill be now read the Third time:—

The House divided: Ayes 147, Noes 119.

Latham, Arthur (Paddington)Perry, ErnestWainwright, Edwin (Dearne V)
Lomas, KennethPhipps, Dr ColinWainwright, Richard (Colne V)
Loyden, EddiePrice, C. (Lewisham W)Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Luard, EvanRichardson, Miss JoWalker, Terry (Kingswood)
Lyons, Edward (Bradford W)Roberts, Albert (Normanton)Ward, Michael
McCartney, HughRobinson, GeoffreyWatkinson, John
McDonald, Dr OonaghRose, Paul B.Weetch, Ken
McGuire, Michael (Ince)Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight)White, Frank R. (Bury)
Maclennan, RobertRowlands, TedWhite, James (Pollock)
McMillan, Tom (Glasgow C)Silverman, JuliusWhitlock, William
Madden, MaxSkinner, DennisWilley, Rt Hon Frederick
Maynard, Miss JoanSmall, WilliamWilliams, Rt Hon Alan (Swansea W)
Mikardo, IanSmith, Cyril (Rochdale)Williams, Alan Lee (Hornch'ch)
Miller, Dr M. S. (E Kilbride)Smith, John (N Lanarkshire)Williams, Sir Thomas (Warrington)
Molloy, WilliamSnape, PeterWilson, Alexander (Hamilton)
Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)Spriggs, LeslieWilson, William (Coventry SE)
Oakes, GordonStallard, A. W.Wise, Mrs Audrey
Ogden, EricStoddart, DavidWoodall, Alec
Orbach, MauriceTaylor, Mrs Ann (Bolton W)Woof, Robert
Orme, Rt Hon StanleyThomas, Ron (Bristol NW)Wrigglesworth, Ian
Ovenden, JohnTierney, SydneyYoung, David (Bolton E)
Padley, WalterTinn, James
Palmer, ArthurTomlinson, John

TELLERS FOR THE AYES:

Park, GeorgeTorney, TomMr. Thomas Cox and
Pavitt, LaurieVarley, Rt Hon Eric G.Mr. James Hamilton.
Penhaligon, David

NOES

Atkins, Rt Hon H. (Spelthorne)Hawkins, PaulPage, Richard (Workington)
Bell, RonaldHiggins, Terence L.Percival, Ian
Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torbay)Holland, PhilipPowell, Rt Hon J. Enoch
Berry, Hon AnthonyHowell, Ralph (North Norfolk)Price, David (Eastleigh)
Biffen, JohnHunt, John (Bromley)Raison, Timothy
Boscawen, Hon RobertJames, DavidRenton, Tim (Mid-Sussex)
Boyson, Dr Rhodes (Brent)Jenkin, Rt Hon P. (Wanst'd & W'df'd)Rhodes James, R.
Brocklebank-Fowler, C.Johnson Smith, G. (E Grinstead)Roberts, Michael (Cardiff NW)
Brooke, PeterJoseph, Rt Hon Sir KeithRoberts, Wyn (Conway)
Buck, AntonyKimball, MarcusRossi, Hugh (Hornsey)
Butler, Adam (Bosworth)King, Evelyn (South Dorset)Shaw, Michael (Scarborough)
Carlisle, MarkKing, Tom (Bridgwater)Shelton, William (Streatham)
Chalker, Mrs LyndaKitson, Sir TimothyShepherd, Colin
Clark, Alan (Plymouth, Sutton)Knox, DavidShersby, Michael
Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe)Lamont, NormanSilvester, Fred
Clegg WalterLatham, Michael (Melton)Speed, Keith
Cockcroft, JohnLawrence, IvanSpicer, Jim (W Dorset)
Cope, JohnLester, Jim (Beeston)Spicer, Michael (S Worcester)
Corrie, JohnMcCusker, H.Sproat, lain
Dean, Paul (N Somerset)Macfarlane, NeilStainton, Keith
Dodsworth, GeoffreyMacGregor, JohnStanbrook, Ivor
Drayson BurnabyMacKay, Andrew JamesSteen, Anthony (Wavertree)
Durant, TonyMcNair-Wilson, M. (Newbury)Stewart, Ian (Hitchin)
Dykes, HughMcNair-Wilson, P. (New Forest)Stradling Thomas, J.
Edwards Nicholas (Pembroke)Marshall, Michael (Arundel)Taylor, R. (Croydon NW)
Emery, PeterMather, CarolTaylor, Teddy (Cathcart)
Fairgrieve, RussellMawby, RayTebbit, Norman
Fletcher-Cooke, CharlesMaxwell-Hyslop, RobinTemple-Morris, Peter
Fookes, Miss JanetMeyer, Sir AnthonyTownsend, Cyril D.
Forman, NigelMiscampbell, NormanWakeham, John
Fowler, Norman (Sutton C'f'd)Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)Walder, David (Clitheroe)
Fry, PeterMoate, RogerWalker-Smith, Rt Hon Sir Derek
Gardiner, George (Reigate)Monro, HectorWall, Patrick
Glyn, Dr AlanMore, Jasper (Ludlow)Warren, Kenneth
Goodhew, VictorMorgan, GeraintWeatherill, Bernard
Gow, Ian (Eastbourne)Morris, Michael (Northampton S)Young, Sir G. (Ealing, Acton)
Gower, Sir Raymond (Barry)Nelson, AnthonyYounger, Hon George
Grist, IanNewton, Tony
Grylls, MichaelNormanton, Tom

TELLERS FOR THE NOES:

Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury)Osborn, JohnMr. Nigel Lawson and
Hannam, JohnPage, Rt Hon R. Graham (Crosby)Mr. Spencer Le Marchant.

Question accordingly agreed to.

Bill read the Third time and passed.