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Planning Agreements And Disclosure Of Information

Volume 978: debated on Thursday 7 February 1980

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

I beg to move amendment No. 25, in page 8, leave out lines 26 to 28.

The effect of the amendment is to remove clause 15 from the Bill.

Clause 15 repeals section 21 of the Industry Act 1975—the section that deals with planning agreements—and sections 28 to 34, which deal with the disclosure of information by companies, again under the Industry Act 1975, which is supportive of planning agreements.

What we were told by the Minister was simple. I am glad to see him sitting opposite me as I propose to quote his words in a moment. He said that planning agreements were an unwarrantable imposition upon industry and that, therefore, they should go.

I wonder whether the Labour Administration persuaded industry to accept one or two planning agreements.

That goes to show how unwise it is to interrupt. I hope to deal with that point later in my speech. My hon. Friend the Member for Hamilton (Mr. Robertson) is as assiduous in unearthing nuggets of gold from the speeches of others as he is in the brilliance of his own oratory. He pointed out that on 2 July 1975, when the House was debating the Report stage of the then Industry Bill, the Under-Secretary said:

"Perhaps I should explain why I believe the bringing together of planning agreements and the disclosure of information should be encouraged in the interests of industry as a whole."—[Official Report, 2 July 1975; Vol. 894, c. 1504.]
When that information was presented afresh to the hon. Gentleman, he replied. He is nothing if not honest. He is always absolutely frank. He said that that was some years ago. He told us that he was wiser than he had been previously. I understand that I believe that Sir Winston Churchill once said—or said many times, for all I know—that consistency was the hobgoblin of small minds. Nobody can accuse the hon. Gentleman of having a small mind. [Interruption.] Sir Winston Churchill said that. Hon. Gentleman can look it up.

I do not complain that the Minister changed his mind. After all, in the past eight or nine months he has been brainwashed, anyway, by his political chief, the Secretary of State for Industry. Obviously some of the brainwashing must have removed some of the honest grime of previous years, including the years of frank appraisal, when he was in the Whips' Office. These are the tragedies of getting into bad company. In his desire to purge the hon. Gentleman of the sickness of wishing to intervene, the Secretary of State neglected to inform him that he himself had made planning agreements. They may not be called planning agreements. I well understand that the termis not perhaps as popular with some as it is with others, but it comes to exactly the same thing.

9.15 pm

Is it not true that the agreements made between the Government and Rolls-Royce, the Government and British Leyland, and the Government and British Steel, and the reconstruction that is to come are effectively planning agreements? They are the direction by the Government to companies, industries or undertakings to do certain things if they are to receive aid or assistance. I suppose the answer that the hon. Gentleman might well employ is that this is the Government acting as owner. All that the Government are doing is acting as a group of shareholders might with a company that they owned. They are merely coming to an agreement with a company on how it might be managed. I understand that, too.

Of course, the idea of Government intervention in industry is not confined to Labour Members. The tool of Government intervention in industry is not necessarily Socialist or capitalist. It has been used over the centuries in many cases and in many industries. I am not the first to point that out. An extrem- ely prominent Conservative member of the agriculture EDC pointed out to me that since the 1930s agriculture has had to exist on a series of planning agreements with the Government. He said that it was much better for it. Of course, that is so. Occasionally I have pointed out that agreements on the way in which agriculturists produce and use resources which Governments—or kings in the past—have given them have been going on since the Bronze Age. There is nothing new about that.

It is also true of the modern post-war era. The French have had a strong system of dirigiste intervention for many years—certainly since the Second World War. To a great extent, intervention accounts for the spectacular economic recovery of the Japanese. Many Conservatives believe that it is the right approach. The present Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food—a position and a gentleman I hold deeply in my affections—was not exactly a non-interventionist when he was Secretary of State for Trade and Industry in the Conservative Government of a few years ago. On many occasions he used the Industry Act 1972, itself a tool of intervention. Many private companies required Government assistance in one way or another. They met the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry full on when he enforced upon them certain terms that be believed were necessary if they were to receive aid. Effectively they were planning agreements, although we may call them by any name we like.

It is possible to divide the attitude of mind towards those agreements into two. Let me point out to you, Mr. Speaker, in your impartial seat, that I propose to deal with both sides of the House. It is interesting that the Labour Party is united totally about Government intervention. It could not be more united; there is nobody on the Opposition Benches who would decry it. However, on the Government side there appears to be a considerable conflict between the interventionists and the non-interventionists. The Under-Secretary started in a civilised way as being an interventionist—hence his remark in 1975. But the entryists have got at him since that time and have advocated no intervention at any cost.

Intervention is a method of dealing with matters that is essential in a civilised community. The Government must create an economic climate in which industry may prosper. That was said by the present Secretary of State for Industry. I agree. I do not agree that the present Government have created that climate. I believe they have created one of storm and distress, but that is another matter. Apart from the question of aid for individual companies and industries, the Government must do a number of things. The hon. Member for Flint, West (Sir A. Meyer) may recall that I used the words of the Secretary of State for Industry in Committee a few days ago.

The right hon. Gentleman stated the three basic interventions that the Government have to make so that industry may prosper. He said that they have to provide the infrastructure, communications and training. He said that if the Government provided those—I would go much further—industry could be left to itself. But who provides the resources and the finances for the infrastructure? Who provides the finances and the resources for the communications? Who provides the finances and the resources for the training? The answer, if I may again quote the words of the Secretary of State, is the long-suffering taxpayer whom he is at pains to mention almost every time he comes to the Dispatch Box. Is it not time that we recognised that the long-suffering taxpayer has a more than passing interest in the prosperity of British industry, in particular of British manufacturing industry, no matter whether he lives in the South-East or in the regions? He pays his price because it is not cheap to provide infrastructure, communications and training.

In passing, may I say that I regret that it is precisely those three facets in public expenditure that the Government seem to have singled out above all others. They have made many cuts, but above all others those are the ones that they have singled out for slashing reductions in public money. The public expenditure cuts are not really cuts at all; they are merely transferrals of payment from the very poor to the very rich. Thus, the very poor have to pay for school meals, transport and so on. That is not a cut in expenditure.

What is tragic is that a £200 million cut in the roads programme is actually a cut in expenditure which will not be provided by private enterprise, because, of course, private enterprise will not provide the roads, the communications or of course, private enterprise will not pro-that the Government do. Therefore, regardless of whether the Government give aid, as I say they do, to agriculture—or have done selectively to an individual industry or undertaking—they have already put their money on the table to assist industry. That is the basis upon which we start this debate. The creation of a link road and the building of a motorway provide the basis for the situation in which industry, particularly manufacturing industry, may flourish.

At this moment we are dealing with the question of the Government providing the means whereby private industry as well as Government-owned industry may flourish.

Therefore, is it surprising that we on this side—and, indeed, some on the Government Benches—take the view that the Government ought to intervene to see that there is a proper statutory contract between themselves and those whom they are aiding, those without whose support—let us make no mistake about that—it would not even be possible to lay the first brick upon another in building a factory, to move the plant from one area to another, let alone to get the various processes of production going?

If there is a difference between those Conservatives who favour intervention and my hon. Friends and myself, it is perhaps that those interventionist Conservatives tend to look at the economic problem piecemeal. They tend to look at it industry by industry, undertaking by undertaking, perhaps even area by area. I understand that. It is an approach that is perhaps in line with Conservative philosophy. But our point of view—and we say this unashamedly—is that we are in favour of the corporate Government approach to economic planning as a whole. That is the point from which we start.

The right hon. Member may accept another correlation between the interventionism about which he says his party is united and the interventionism accepted by my hon. Friends, which he says is divided. There is general agreement among my hon. Friends that intervention should be tapered off sharply. If the State has a role, it is a launching role. We are not prepared to commit ourselves to permanent intervention to prop up industries which are not viable.

We are engaged in a fascinating but trivial exercise, because the world is not listening. The Government will win on this issue, whether I am right or not. The Secretary of State said yesterday that he was not against nationalisation as such. He said that those who think as he does are not against nationalisation and that he and his hon. Friends were against nationalising the industries that trade. If he had said that he was against the nationalisation of manufacturing industries, I might have paused and agreed that it was difficult to decide on a dividing line. It is impossible to see what dividing line the Secretary of State is thinking of. He said that he was in favour of nationalising gas and electricity. Do not those industries trade? Gas and electricity are certainly sold across the counter. The same can be said of rail and coal.

Conservative Members agree that certain industries should be in permanent Government ownership. That is what the Secretary of State said. Semi-permanent ownership presents a different problem. I define semi-permanent as being about 10 or 20 years. It is difficult to go further than that in an uncertain world. Rolls-Royce has been Government-owned for several years. Clearly, it will be Government-owned for many more years. It is said that the State ownership of British Shipbuilders is temporary, but I doubt whether it will go back to private enterprise. I think that the Conservatives also doubt that. There can be philosophical disagreements but practically they make little difference. I think that I am right.

I do not believe that the right hon. Member for Deptford (Mr. Silkin) has discovered a great new truth about the Conservative Party. We believe in the mixed economy. Does he believe in the mixed economy or in the Labour Party's clause four?

I certainly believe in clause four. That clause has been altered. It refers to the common ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange, which involves taking over the commanding heights of the economy. I certainly believe in that. That does not mean that I should not make the best of it or that a mixed economy might not go on for all time. Of course it might. There is a mixed economy even in East Germany. Not long ago 600 millionaires lived under that economy. That is a surprising number. However, we are going a long way off the subject and the Chair is being tolerant.

I have spent far too much time talking about the rather divided philosophies of Conservative Members. I wish to give a forward-looking account of what ought to be done. We believe in the total economic planning of our country for the benefit of all its citizens. That means that industry, private as well as public, must play its part.

9.30 pm

There is nothing sacred about the words "planning agreement". There are those—whether Conservative with a large "C", such as the hon. Member for Yarmouth (Mr. Fell), or with small "c"—who do not like the term "planning agreement". I am prepared to sit down and work out with them a common name. Let us start again.

A statutory contract between the Government and industry is required where those industries seek specific Government aid. It is required also where industries that are domiciled abroad wish to come to Britain—they usually wish it rather passionately—to set up their enterprise. We should be able to tell them that they should go to such and such a part of the country, whether it be South Wales, the North, or wherever. They should go where they are needed.

Will the right hon. Gentleman return in due course to the point that I raised in an earlier intervention? Will he explain why, if he believed as passionately then as he does now about the need for planning agreements—and bearing in mind that the amendment seeks to remove a clause that refers specifically to planning agreements under the Act—his Government did not establish planning agreements with all those nationalised industries under their responsibility and with other private sector industries, except for the National Coal Board and Chrysler?

I said that I would return to that point. I usually keep my word. The hon. Gentleman has taken up two minutes on a matter that I was coming to in my speech. When he makes his speech, we shall be delighted to listen to him.

A planning agreement should contain local pragmatic points of agreement between the Government and the undertaking or industry in question. It should also contain a number of other things, and they should be common to all such agreements. That is why it is essential to have a statutory agreement. It should have a company investment strategy. It should spell out clearly the rate, the timing and the location. It should have a pricing policy. It should detail the jobs and the retraining in that undertaking. It should detail the new product development. It should, above all, deal with industrial relations. In addition, it should include the export-import content of the undertaking. It should state clearly how that fits into the national interest.

That would give direct Government influence on corporate strategy, and that is right. It would ally the plans of the individual company with the Government's industrial and economic objectives in the national interest. It would not be sufficient merely to do it and then leave it alone. Such an agreement should be for a five-year period. I have never had a great deal of admiration for the late Joseph Stalin, but I think that the choice of five years for an economic plan is probably about right. It is the same period of time as we choose for a Parliament. Such an agreement should, nevertheless, be capable of annual review and updating.

As I had always intended, I turn now to the point raised by the Minister. He asked why when we were in Government we did not make more use of planning agreements. The sort of planning agreement that we tried to deal with—we hoped that we would carry the industry with us—did not contain the various points that I have made.

I quoted the words of the Under-Secretary of State, and perhaps the Minister of State will profit by them. He said that he was wiser now than he was some years ago. It is no discredit to an Opposition, as they look back over their years in Government, to say "Yes, we did certain things that were very good, but they could have been improved upon." Indeed, it would be intolerable if any Opposition were to say "Nothing that happened in the past can ever be improved upon." A little humility on the part of the Minister of State might have enabled the present Government to have avoided the sort of mistakes that they have been making at other people's expense during the past eight or nine months.

My right hon. Friend the Member for Deptford (Mr. Silkin) usefully itemised several of the key elements which should have been covered by planning agreements on a wide basis through the economy had the then Government been able to pursue those policies on a voluntary basis. He might also have added that to a considerable extent a learning process also occurred during the lifetime of that Government affecting certain Ministers who initially did not fully support the rationale for planning agreements but increasingly realised the need for them. That was witnessed, for example, by their attempt to negotiate a planning agreement in the case of Chrysler, after that company had effectively said that it would wind down its operations in this country.

It is also important to grasp the fact that the criteria for planning agreements which my right hon. Friend mentioned are the same criteria for intervention through the NEB—an institution that is referred to in clause 1. That is to say, both a planning mechanism and a public enterprise capacity were conceived by those who shaped and endorsed the policy as complementary instruments for trying to cope with a massive concentration of economic power in the contemporary British economy.

In effect, that concentration is greater than virtually any other economy in the Western world, including the United States, and massively greater than in the Continent of Europe. It is worth stressing just how much it amounts to. For example, three banks account for 95 per cent. of banking, six companies for half of insurance and construction, about 100 companies for half of manufacturing, about 30 companies for 40 per cent. of our invisible export trade and about 75 firms for about half of our visible export trade.

In practice, that means that literally a few dozen very large companies have come to dominate the macro-economic performance of this economy—the overall global performance. One cannot look at either an individual industry or the overall performance of visible trade in this country without taking account of the concentration of economic power in those macro-economic aggregates.

In shaping this policy, the Labour Party also took account of, and has stressed in its published documents on international big business, the fact that a vast proportion of these companies are multinational and operate on a major scale. That is an important and relevant factor in this debate. For example, the Under-Secretary of State for Scotland said during the previous debate on regional policy that we need to encourage inward investment. But our main need is partly to stem outward investment from this country.

The biggest problem concerning multinationals in this country is not so much foreign capital here but our capital elsewhere. We are five times more multinational, in terms of the ratio of foreign production relative to exports, than Germany or Japan, two of our leading competitor countries. As a result, our companies are frequently represented in foreign markets by direct production, plant and equipment that they would otherwise export.

It is, surely, no accident that the British Export Trade Research Organisation, in analysing the export performance of some of the biggest British companies, found that whereas the Germans and the Japanese had, on average, 10 or 11 permanent sales representatives in key foreign markets, the biggest British companies had, on average, either one person or no one. The organisation used, with some reason, a good cricketing metaphor in saying "It seems strange that Governments hope to win out in work export stakes against a German or Japanese eleven with one person or no one in the field."

It is not simply a matter of sloth. It is not simply a matter of insufficiency. A major company, Dunlop, gave evidence to the Expenditure Committee to the effect that it made a surplus from regional development incentives that were useful for investment elsewhere while at the same time setting up a new plant in Germany. If Dunlop is represented by a new plant in Germany, this will tend to decrease its exports to Germany from the United Kingdom, especially when the investment equipment until recently in use in one of the key Dunlop plants in Liverpool—a massive piece of machinery that strips rubber—was bought secondhand from Army surplus in the late 1940s. In other words, Dunlop UK, in export markets, is using old equipment and is not likely to compete on a major scale with its own new factory and plant in another country on a major scale.

Is not the position even worse than my hon. Friend has described? If Dunlop has a plant in Germany as well as in the United Kingdom, is it not likely that, as a multinational company, its head office will divide the whole of the world market between those two countries and companies and the British company, however efficient or successful, will not be able to market its product in certain countries of the world? This is the pattern of many multinational companies. It has hit our export trade.

I am grateful to my hon. Friend. That illustrates exactly the problems that we face. Much criticism is made of British Leyland as a major company within the National Enterprise Board. It is widely overlooked that, although British Leyland is paying commercial rates of interest—recently of the order of 15 or 17 per cent.—it is still making a profit. It is also the major exporting company in the United Kingdom. It is the major exporting company partly because it is not so multinational as others.

Ninety-seven per cent. of the components used by a company such as British Leyland are British components as opposed to half or fewer such components in the case of other leading multinational companies. One of every two Ford cars sold in this country is produced abroad or uses components predominantly produced abroad. No Government seriously concerned about import penetration to United Kingdom markets can continue to rely on policies such as interest rate changes, exchange rate changes or global tax rate changes affecting the general climate of opinion if they do not recognise the specific structural problems caused for our trade and investment by the activity of these dominant firms.

9.45 pm

My right hon. Friend the Member for Deptford has cited foreign experience of planning agreements. It is of some relevance to specify how extensive this is when Governments are not left of centre in the political spectrum. Belgium, for example, has a variety of agreements of the planning agreement type. One is called the management agreement. That is where the Government are putting in public money but, on inquiring into the company's affairs, are dissatisfied with the management of the company, and have therefore come to an agreement that they will inject public funds, not necessarily with a public shareholding but insisting on a management change.

Instead of that deal being done behind closed doors—in a manner which, until quite recently, was familiar in the election of leaders of the Conservative Party—the deal is made explicit in a signed agreement between the management and the Government. [Interruption.] There are other kinds of agreement—[Interruption.] It sometimes occurs to me that Conservative Members have forgotten that "Your Old Boys'Organisation" spells "YOBO", and much of their intervention in the debate comes into that category.

There are other types of agreement—[Interruption.] I can understand why Conservative Members are quite embarrassed by the catalogue that I am reciting of intervention by Christian Democrat Governments abroad, because it is so strikingly in contrast with their own failure even to recognise the need for intervention in our economy.

There are other agreements pursued by the Belgian Government called development or prototype agreements, involving major expenditures not only on advanced technology but on modern technology and modernisation. There are others called restructuring agreements, where specific mergers have been sought by the Government between smaller companies in the system in order to strengthen the competitive position of companies. There is a further agreement—a programme agreement or programme contract as it is called—on prices, in relation to the price performance of the company over the medium term.

There is another country that I have in mind in which Governments have been right of centre, although some of them have chosen not to sit with the British Conservatives in the European Assembly. In France there has been a range of specific agreements made by the Government with leading businesses. They are very similar, in key essentials, to planning agreements.

One is the programme agreement policy which was introduced in 1968, which relates essentially to price performance. But the Government have admitted that, in order to know effectively what would be a reasonable price for a leading company to charge—especially in a market where it is gaining considerable public funds—information is needed on the cost and profit structures and on the technology used, as well as on the import structure of the company. Otherwise, the Government cannot determine to what extent transfer pricing is being used to overstate import prices, and so forth.

In the French case, the target of the planners in the 1950s was to achieve a position where 80 per cent. of the sales in a given industry were controlled by some 20 per cent. of firms. Whether or not the result is directly due to their policy—and I would argue elsewhere that it is not—they are now in a position in France where about 80 per cent. of the market is controlled by 2 per cent. of the firms in that industry. But the dramatic factor is this. Unlike many of our own multinational companies, which export 20 per cent. or less of the equivalent of their domestic production in the United Kingdom, in France most of the leading companies are exporting the equivalent of 80 per cent. of their domestic production.

That is a direct consequence of leverage brought by the Government over a number of years. Planning policies of this kind and also a new kind of planning agreement policy, introduced in 1975—the development agreement policy—have effectively gained them a very powerful export sector, as we have witnessed in automobiles. The Renault is one of the most successful cars imported into this country.

In Italy a range of agreements has been undertaken with some of the most powerful companies in the system in relation to regional development. Inasmuch as planning agreements were designed to cover a regional location of industry, in the specific manner to which my right hon. Friend referred earlier, this may be of interest to Conservative Members, who argue implicity that private enterprise has the competitive edge on public enterprice throughout the system.

There has been State intervention at Taranto, through a new steel plant, with 10 million tons capacity. This is an oxygen-converting shore-based plant, one of the most efficient in the world. The steel from that plant is now related to the production of automobiles in the "Clydeside of Italy", in Naples, on a major scale, creating 30,000 jobs directly and indirectly in an industrial complex in that area, where industry was previously almost entirely lacking.

In that plan involving two public enterprises in Southern Italy, the country's Christian Democratic Government used a planning agreement formula with leading private companies such as Fiat and Pirelli to ensure that they brought production and the supply of rubber tyres to that area.

The Tories have argued that planning agreements are unnecessary. We have heard the Secretary of State for Industry say that what the economy needs is decreased State intervention. We have heard fluent phrases about rolling back the frontiers of the State and about the need for us to compete with the newly industrialised countries such as South Korea. If we look outside the European complex at some of the more sensationally successful exporting countries, what do we find? In Japan there are Zaibaus, the vast conglomerates that are linked closely with the industry and trade ministry, MITI.

In South Korea there are several examples that demonstrate that foreign Governments do not rely on the free working of the market mechanism in the same way as the Conservatives. In Korea all major investment projects are strictly controlled and there is tight control over offshore borrowing by leading enterprises. That is in surprising contrast to the recent abolition of exchange controls by this Government.

The Korean Government have the right to intervene directly in pricing. We have recommended such intervention in planning agreements, and that contrasts nakedly with the abolition of the Price Commission. Korea is a capitalist economy. The Government have the right, and they use it, to impose punitive taxes in excess of 100 per cent. on profits made by companies which the Government consider do not charge competitive prices. The Korean Government have the right directly to control the trading activities of companies and will not renew import licences for companies which have a very high import dependence.

When we are competing with countries such as South Korea, Japan, France and Italy, we must face the fact that there is major State intervention in the industrial structure of those countries and that their Governments adopt powers far more wide-ranging than anything considered by this Government. Those powers are similar in aim to the kind of planning agreements that the last Government tried to introduce.

We must also face the problem of how we compete in future with Japan, Korea, South-East Asia, France and Germany on automobiles or machine tools. How can we compete unless we adopt similarly interventionist structures? In the earlier debate about the National Enterprise Board, it was said that the German Government intervened through the United Industries Corporation. That public intervention agency is one of many State holding companies similar in structure to the NEB that the German Government actively support in the system.

In the German system—ignoring four letter words such as "plan"—there is a mechanism for intervening in the economy through the supervisory boards of the banks. In other words, the banks, in association with Government Ministries, have a clear over-view of the allocation of resources in the system.

How also can we compete effectively with countries such as South Korea and Taiwan, where there has been a vicious attack on the formation of trade unions and on trade union rights? How can we possibly compete when their labour costs are about one-fifth of the labour costs of the United Kingdom?

There are two ways out of this and they relate directly to the planning agreement argument. Either the Government intervene or they do not, and either they intervene with or without the support of the trade unions. In other words, they try to resolve the problem of British industry either against the trade unions and the labour force or with them.

British Leyland is a classic case. If the chairman of British Leyland comes down from the mountain with the tablets for a new plan for restructuring the industry which is not based on continuing consultations and negotiations with the labour force, it is hardly surprising that that labour force should oppose key elements of the plan. In the interesting current case of the dismissal of Derek Robinson, a senior convener in that company, and the demand for his reinstatement—

Order. I think that the hon. Member is about to stray from the narrow path of the amendment.

I am grateful, Mr. Speaker, and I respect your advice. However, planning agreements were supposed to be negotiated by trade unions within companies. Therefore, I submit that the resolution of industrial relations problems in big and complex business relates very much to whether we can involve the labour forces in those companies in joint negotiations of corporate planning.

For example, in this respect Conservative Members, with the support of the CBI, have argued a confidentiality factor. They said that the disclosure provisions to trade unions in the 1975 Industry Act would result in forms of industrial espionage or other forms of security risk for companies. Personally, I regret that some leading Labour Members tended to share that view. I submit that the confidentiality question is not a serious issue in planning agreement negotiations. We know very well that there are models and products in major companies in this country and the shop floor is fully aware of what will be produced and when, where no details have been released from the shop floor to the press.

Moreover, we must face the coming problems of technological unemployment in the system. We have predictions of major technological unemployment of 20 to 30 per cent. in services, as well as predictions from the Government's own Think Tank or Central Policy Review Staff of technological unemployment in industry on a major scale, higher than 20 to 30 per cent., over the next 15 to 20 years. How can Conservative Members confront a situation such as that? How can that kind of problem be resolved without negotiations with the trade unions? What kind of powers do the Government anticipate adopting in industry or on the shop floor? Why will they not face the challenge of these technologies with the unions instead of trying to introduce them against the unions' wishes?

At present the Government's policy posture is entirely negative. If they are to face these problems, they must seriously consider whether bringing threats of unemployment from the captains of industry to the shop floor in a nineteenth century manner will actually cope with the economic problems of the twenty-first century.

There is a further point on public accountability and public money which is crucial to the use of planning agreements outside the country. The Conservative Party says that it is concerned about the waste of public money.

It being Ten o'clock, the debate stood adjourned.


That, at this day's sitting, the Industry Bill may be proceeded with, though opposed, until any hour.—[Mr. MacGregor.]

Question again proposed, That the amendment be made.

The question is whether we will get value for public money by tailoring public spending to actual needs in a negotiating framework between the Government, trade unions and big business. Will we get value for money by leverage on the investment, pricing, technology and export performance of those companies? If we fail to do so, the failure will be not only that of the Government and Conservative Members but a failure of major significance for the country.

The discussion of the sections of the Industry Act 1975 which the clause seeks to amend was the occasion of great high jinks during the passage of the 1975 Act, as hon. Members will recall. At that time my right lion. Friend the Member for Bristol, South-East (Mr. Benn) was the Secretary of State for Industry and my right hon. Friend the Member for Chesterfield (Mr. Varley) was Secretary of State for Energy. Their positions were exchanged by my right hon. Friend the Member for Huyton (Sir H. Wilson) while the clauses were being considered in Committee. He then set about redrafting with his own fair hand sections 28 to 31 of the Industry Act 1975. It may be of help to the House to bear that in mind when considering the attitude of Labour Members towards the sections of the Industry Act 1975 which we are now amending.

With respect to my hon. Friend the Member for Vauxhall (Mr. Holland) and to my hon. Friend the Member for Berwick and East Lothian (Mr. Home Robertson), section 21 is not an entirely satisfactory definition of planning agreements. The concept which it sought to embody was not well presented in the original drafting of the Bill, nor was the concept relating to the economic planning methods of the Government at that time or since. The task that faces hon. Members is not the re-enactment of that section but the setting of it in a proper context of industrial policy over the lifetime of this Parliament in preparation for the next.

The more immediate provisions which arise are those relating to the disclosure of information—sections 28 onwards—in the 1975 Act. Those sections are totally repealed. There are parallel provisions on the disclosure of information in the Employment Protection Act, which the Government have not so far repealed or do not propose to repeal.

The provisions in the Employment Protection Act go a great deal further than the disclosure provisions that the Government are now repealing. They leave the initiative in the disclosure of information to be taken by trade unions on their own initiative. They leave the enforcement of those disclosure provisions to be taken to the arbitration procedures, and ultimately to be decided by the arbitration committee, with the sanction that if a company does not disclose information any outstanding claim from the trade unions shall be granted in full. Those are Draconian powers to enforce the disclosure of information.

To my knowledge, the previous Government did not carry through the necessary Orders in Council to encourage a code of practice to allow those procedures to be fully exhausted. In my view, that is a more satisfactory passage of disclosure than one that depends upon the initiative of the Secretary of State.

I hope that I am not surrendering a hostage to fortune by drawing the Government's attention to those provisions. When they seek, as they ultimately must, serious discussions with the trade unions, they will find it beneficial to the trade unions and themselves to take more rather than less liberal attitudes to disclosure of information by companies within the context of the Employment Protection Act. It is acknowledged by progressive managements in all companies that employees cannot be encouraged to take too much interest in the affairs of their company. Employees should be able to apply that little bit of pressure where there may, here and there, be a recalcitrant management holding back information that would help the proper conduct of industrial relations and the business as a whole.

The amendment carefully dodges the issue of disclosure of information by the Government. In the previous Parliament I attempted to amend that part of the 1975 Act dealing with the disclosure of Treasury forecasts and access to the Treasury model. The amendment is trivial, removing from the schedule discussion of forecasts in the context of planning agreements. Perhaps the Treasury's attention can be drawn to the fact that the provisions of schedule 5 are not being operated entirely satisfactorily in the view of many private companies and nationalised industries now making good use of the provisions.

If Ministers read the article by Roy Hodson in the Financial Times about the way in which the British Steel Corporation re-evaluated its perspective on the demand for steel, they will see the part played by schedule 5 to the 1975 Act. I do not argue that in defence of the schedule. I am a bit embarrassed by it. Nevertheless, it is an example of how valuable it is for part of the public sector and private industry to have access to the apparatus of Government thinking and not just the headlines in the popular press about what the Government are exposed to.

The first problem about the operation of schedule 5 is that the Treasury imposes on private users of the forecasts and the model a great deal of quite unnecessary labour in the Eurovision of endless data about the state of world trade, volumes of future public expenditure, and so on. Thousands of numbers simply have to be re-invented in the private sector, which the Treasury could perfectly well make available as the basis of forecasts for points of departure on alternative assumptions. The first requirement is to make available all the data that the Treasury needs in order to provide a base forecast.

Secondly, the Treasury should fully state the assumptions on which its forecasts are based. There was a great deal of unnecessary shenanigans regarding publication of the previous Treasury forecasts. The Government were needlessly embarrassed by a misinterpretation of the intentions of schedule 5.

Treasury Ministers should give credit to industry generally, financial commentators and hon. Members, who are all concerned about the state of the economy. They realise that the evaluation of the state of the economy is necessarily a matter on which opinions differ and different kinds of assessment need to be made in the light of the different problems on which people are seeking guidance. The Government could avoid much embarrassment if they stuck to the intentions of the original schedule. May I remind Ministers of what it said:
"Not less than twice in each year commencing with a date not later than one year…the Treasury shall publish forecasts produced with the aid of the model as to such matters and based on such alternative assumptions as appear to them to be appropriate."
The Government are not doing that. They are disobeying the schedule. They are disobeying the law. They are not stating the assumptions or providing forecasts of alternative assumptions. They are unnecessarily embarrassing themselves.

I have not tabled any amendments to the schedule, because I think that it is appropriate that the Government should be given an opportunity to rethink their practice. We shall turn to that in due course in the Select Committee on the Treasury and Civil Service and possibly have some recommendations to put to the House on an appropriate occasion.

It would be unfair to allow this part of the Bill to go by without making a few remarks on the amendment that seeks to exclude the clause and so preserve some aspects of the Industry Act 1975 which we spent such a great deal of time to get through the House.

It is interesting that the Government are now very concerned with clause 15. It is symptomatic of the Government's determination to remove their activities from industry when only yesterday, in a different part of the same Bill, the Under-Secretary told us that small firms cannot organize themselves to assess the market, that property developers cannot organize themselves to assess the market for the demand of small units by small firms and that the Government will do it for them.

The Government are employing a firm of consultants to assess the demand for small units for small firms and will then feed the information to private enterprise developers. That clearly points to the need for intervention to assess the position, because the market will not do it.

In clause 15 the Government seek to delete the moderate arrangements under the 1975 Act enabling the Government to obtain information. The section clearly sets out that the Government first went on a voluntary path. It was only when the Government could not obtain information from a company on a voluntary basis that they could use the statutory procedures which were, yet again, subject to orders brought before the House for debate and scrutiny. Yet this mild, moderate and modest proposal is now to be cast to one side by the Government. Before the Minister obtained an order, he had to allow representations from either the companies or the trade unions concerned. We are talking about the sort of companies, as my hon. Friend the Member for Vauxhall (Mr. Holland) reminded us, that are responsible for 50 per cent. of our manufacturing industry—the top 100 companies.

If we look at our experience in manufacturing industry, we see that it is not exactly glowing with success when decisions have been made. Do not the Government need to obtain information when the national interest is at stake? The Government are so blinded by their philosophy that they actually believe that private enterprise entrepreneurs, organised into companies, make decisions that are always correct and always in the interests of the community and the country at large. That is not true.

Do not the Government realise that over the past few years we have seen whole industries wiped out because of absurd decisions that have been made? One needs only to consider the motor cycle industry, which a scant 10 years or so ago had 75 per cent. of the world market. In that period the industry has been reduced to a small remaining remnant of Meriden Motorcycles, which makes Triumphs.

If we had had information and warning lights of this sort available, the Government could have taken action. But the people who organised Norton Villiers Triumph at that time had exactly the same attitude as the Department of Industry has today; they had contempt for the Government. Representatives of the Department of Industry actually had to wait and queue up to give information to NVT in those dark days when it was in decline. [HON. MEMBERS: "Order."]

Order. This is the second occasion on which I have had to point out that hon. Members have a seat on which to sit. There is no need to sit on the arm of the Bench with one's feet in the aisle. It is unworthy of the House.

10.15 pm

I am most grateful to you, Mr. Speaker, for reminding some Conservative Members of the normal courtesies by which hon. Members abide in the Chamber.

The requirement of the provision of information is important. I think that the Government will come to regret their position on this aspect, because their philosophy simply will not work. Their private entrepreneurs will not create the jobs which are fast disappearing as de-industrialisation takes place. The Government will require at some stage to seek information from the very large and important companies which so dominate our economy, and they will almost certainly regret the demise of these sections of the Act.

The hon. Gentleman says that the private entrepreneurs will not create the jobs. Is he suggesting that British Leyland and the British Steel Corporation offer better alternatives?

All I am saying is that the Government have pinned their faith on to individual entepreneurs in the creation of jobs as an alternative to jobs in some sectors of industry which are de-industrialising: In fact, British Leyland and British Steel cannot stand on their own feet. They have to have Government action as well. If British Steel, for example, had some help from the Government in controlling the 20 per cent. of our steel which is imported, its capacity might be subject to greater utilisation. If British Leyland had assistance from the Government in controlling the flood of imports from the Common Market, it, too, might be able to undertake the level of investment that is required in order to give us competitive equality with the other European car manufacturers.

That is the fact of the matter. The industrial enterprises, whether in public hands or in private hands, cannot exist in isolation from the Government. Indeed, the large corporations recognise that. They have departments liaising with the Government. They understand and work very much in close liaison with the Department of Industry. The permanent secretary and the deputy secretaries of the Department of Industry would, if asked, be able to list the large organisations with which they are in constant contact.

These sections of the Act put that relationship on a formal basis and give powers to the Government to make the over-mighty subjects of the economy, the very large corporations, subject to the national interest. It is not much to ask that the country as a whole should have the benefit of some element of accountability on the part of these large corporations.

The second point I mention is planning agreements. The previous Labour Government were mistaken in not having some form of compulsion on planning agreements. They were undermined by the CBI, that over-mighty body. It is not elected. It is appointed. It has enormous power amongst industrialists. It set out with determined purpose to undermine the decisions of the elected Government of the day. That was what it amounted to. There were no front-page headlines about that. But that was what was going on for the whole period. We ought to have resisted the opposition, and we ought to have pressed ahead and had some reserve powers on compulsion.

My guess is that the next manifesto of the Labour Party will have that view restored to it and we shall have those reserve powers. [Interruption.] They will be needed. The comfortable interventions from the comfortably reclining figures of comfortable, well-fed, wealthy Tories will not allow them to evade the fact that when the next election takes place the British capitalist economy will be in a deep and critical situation. Radical action by the central Government will be required in order to rescue our manufacturing industry from complete decline and chaos. It is necessary to have a compulsory element in planning agreements. However, the planning agreements constituted in the 1975 Act—it is true that we achieved only two—

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. May I draw your attention to certain discourteous behaviour?

This is the third time that such behaviour has occurred. Hon. Members should not stand and talk to each other when another hon. Member is addressing the House. That applies to all hon. Members.

I am most grateful, Mr. Speaker, for your comments. As one of the more courteous hon. Members, I can certainly appreciate your intervention.

Planning agreements have been undermined by the CBI. We depended upon a voluntary arrangement. We had hoped that the trade union movement would press for such voluntary planning agreements to be implemented. However, when trade unions attempted to obtain information about planning agreements from the Department of Industry, or the regional office in Birmingham, they were told that no information was available. That is extraordinary. One must conclude that there were elements in the Department of Industry who were not enthusiastic about the implementation of planning agreements. They were not prepared to carry out the provision of information with the verve and enthusiasm that one might reasonably expect.

Planning agreements are the essential tool of any future Labour Government in the management of the economy. My hon. Friend the Member for Vauxhall pointed out that planning agreements would have covered import substitution, the shifting of investment and the transfer pricing policies of large multinational companies. If we do not control multinationals, they will very shortly control us. They have turnovers similar to those of small countries. They are enormously powerful. They can move across frontiers.

When people say that public ownership is the only answer to the problems of British industry, the ailing capitalist sector and large corporations, I reply that we need planning agreements. Such planning agreements are essential in order to tackle the large corporations. They are an additional or alternative weapon that can be used to get into private boardrooms. In that way, we could incorporate public accountability into the decision-making process.

I think that there were only one or two planning agreements. One of those agreements was taken out with the Chrysler corporation. The hon. Gentleman may recall that that corporation was taken over by Peugeot-Citroen. That is one of the international companies of which he is so critical. Does he agree that what he had in mind about the planning agreement was that the corporation accorded the lowest wage increase—namely, 4 per cent.—of any company in Britain?

The planning agreement with Chrysler was very expensive. It cost £167 million. That is far more than we can afford for any further planning agreements. I do not think that planning agreements should be implemented in that way. It demonstrates the importance of having reserve compulsory powers so that we do not have to go cap in hand to large companies. Those companies dictate to the Government the terms under which a planning agreement is to be implemented. The hon. Gentleman is right. There were only two planning agreements. One was made with Chrysler and the other with the NCB.

The whole programme lacked verve and strength in implementation. The chairman of Vauxhall, a subsidiary of General Motors, regularly attended meetings to discuss planning agreements with the Department of Industry. However, as soon as it was decided to make those agreements voluntary, he abandoned his attendance on the basis that it no longer mattered. That was the difference that that element of policy made.

We were unable to get many planning agreements. We were unable to get an element of public accountability to the Government by the large corporations which dominated the economy. We have learnt our lesson. There is no doubt that it would be helpful to retain these provisions for building on in future legislation.

I have two comments to make, one to the Government and one to my right hon. and hon. Friends. The debate sets out clearly the deep divisions in philosophy and practice between the two sides in their attitude to the relationship between the Government and industry. Nothing we say on this side will convince the Government that the economic policies on which they are embarked, particularly the lack of Government intervention in industry to help the economy along, will be unsuccessful. Time will tell.

The policies of the Government in relation to industry show a remarkable, one might almost say extraordinary, faith and confidence in the ability of British industry and British management to survive unaided in a hostile world without Government planning and without the participation of trade unions and work-people in the major decisions that will affect British companies. I do not wish to argue the case, because nothing I say will convince the Government.

My right hon. Friend the Member for Deptford (Mr. Silkin) said that planning agreements were between the Government and industry. He was using shorthand. When he spoke of industry, he was referring to both sides of industry. The concept of planning agreements is tripartite, between the Government, management and trade unions in individual firms. It is therefore regrettable that, when I asked the Minister in December how many representations about the dropping of planning agreements had been received from trade unions, the answer was "None".

I take advantage of the amendment to say that we need to ensure that those who will be working planning agreements—managements and trade unions—in the firms affected are aware of what is involved and that they know the principles of the planning agreements and the detailed method by which they will be implemented. What we must avoid is a Labour Minister coming to power next time with only a skeletal framework for planning agreements. We must have them worked out in great detail.

We have had an interesting debate ranging over many subjects, including disclosure and planning agreements. The hon. Member for Mother well and Wishaw (Dr. Bray) appealed for the retention of the disclosure provisions. It would have been helpful if an ex-Minister had risen to explain to the House why, when we had a Labour Government, no disclosure arrangements were entered into. When the hon. Member for Keighley (Mr. Cryer) rose to speak, I had a sense of expectation. Alas, there was no explanation from him. I have asked the oldest and wisest adviser in my Department about this. He recalled legislation back to 1380, but he could not recall an occasion when the compulsory powers contained in this legislation had been put into effect.

10.30 pm

I was unhappy when the hon. Member for Keighley claimed that civil servants in the Department of Industry had failed to carry out the working of planning agreements. I stoutly defend the officials in my Department. They are unable to speak for themselves. They consistently carry out ministerial policy. I cannot help wondering who was the Minister at the time when the hon. Member for Keighley was an Under-Secretary in the Department of Industry.

I turn to the important speech of the right hon. Member for Deptford (Mr. Silkin). He built a little section of his speech on the fact that at some stage in the past I said, apparently, that there was a case for bringing together planning agreements and disclosure of information. On that remark he built, as did the hon. Member for Hamilton (Mr. Robertson), a little foundation. In Commiteee I said that if I had ever made those remarks, I was not sure of the context in which they should be taken and that I was now older and wiser.

Unfortunately, the right hon. Gentleman had relied on the advice of his hon. Friend the Member for Hamilton. In fact, it was not I who made that remark during the passage of the 1975 Bill. I admitted in Committee to a felony for which I was not responsible because I was so anxious to please the right hon. Gentleman. He will recognise that the whole of what followed from that elegant foundation was built on false ground.

I consider it enormously important that the right hon. Gentleman made a plea for planning agreements on the ground that the Government are involved in giving aid to industry and that that should be related to planning agreements. He made an important statement, and industry should be grateful for the warning that, should be ever occupy the position of Secretary of State for Industry, that is the way in which his mind works, with all the dangers that that poses for industry in the future.

Those in industry are aware that the most successful firms are those with a broad concept and vision of where they are going, with flexibility, innovation and an ability to change rapidly in response to the market. A planning agreement gives the presumption of a predetermined way forward. It introduces a second party into the changing of those plans. I can think of nothing that would prevent change more effectively than the right hon. Gentleman's proposals. They would mean that the future would be set in concrete—a prescription for the speed, elasticity, flexibility and responsiveness of a pterodactyl.

The right hon. Gentleman told us that planning agreements should include investment, prices, jobs, details of training, details of product design and export and import plans. As the House will know, all these are things that can be responsive only to the market and the customer. The customer is the one person who cannot be dragooned by the Government or by the right hon. Gentleman—unless he is planning a blueprint for 1984 in which the consumer does not have choice but has to accept what comes from the planning agreements.

The Minister is exhibiting superbly a combination of ignorance and prejudice. Will he explain to us why, in the glorious free days of the 1970–74 period, when there were no planning agreements and the entrepreneurs were making their decisions, the British Motor Corporation was a failure and the British motor cycle industry was wiped off the face of the earth? They were examples of private enterprise. They were total failures.

Had the management of those industries been allowed to manage, we might have had a different result. The ability of management to manage within its industry is not a matter which is within the gift of the Government. It is very much within the gift of those who work in the industry. I hope that the hon. Gentleman will recognise that.

Surely my hon. Friend is giving the impression that failure is not a part of the capitalist system. Surely it is.

Of course. In no way do I wish to disagree with my hon. Friend on that. What I am seeking to say is that success or failure is within the gift of men and management but not within the gift of the Government. As my hon. Friend the Minister of State said, there have been only two planning agreements—Chrysler, which was not renewed after a year, and a partial planning agreement with the National Coal Board. Labour Members look back with nostalgia at that as their idea of progress for the future.

Perhaps the obituary to this whole concept can be well spoken by the right hon. Member for Huyton (Sir H. Wilson), a former Prime Minister, who said that planning agreements were the ignis fatuus—I am told that that translates into "the will-o'-the-wisp"—of Labour's leftward thinking. Let that be the obituary to the amendment. I invite the House to reject it.

By leave of the House, Mr. Deputy Speaker, I should like to make a short reply. I must first apologise to the Minister for having misquoted him, but I feel that he must apologise to me for acknowledging a parenthood that was obviously illegitimate. Equally, he perhaps owes me a second apology in that he will keep quoting the occasional lapses into Latin of my right hon. Friend the Member for Huyton (Sir H. Wilson). That was the second time the hon. Gentleman has done it on successive occasions. It was not a very clever remark at the time because ignis fatuus, if I remember it correctly, is not so much a will-o'-the-wisp as a dancing light. But that is by the way.

However, the hon. Gentleman's point was simply that, in order to be successful, industry—here I take the point of my hon. Friend the Member for Waltham Forest (Mr. Deakins), because he is quite right—comprises both those who manage and, especially, those who work in it. Without them, nothing will be produced. not even for those customers who do not have much choice under the present Government since imports are coming in and destroying the whole of the market. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] They are. They are coming in at an enormous rate and destroying industry in this country. Therefore, it is those who work in industry who are important.

That is what I am trying to say to the Minister, and he had better get it clear because it is right that he should. The test is whether we are to preserve, maintain and improve our industry. Of course, we can surrender it and have the choice between Japanese, Italian or French goods but not British goods. That is not what we want.

If we are to preserve British manufacturing industry, the country must do something about it. The hon. Gentleman says that my views are a danger to British industry, but the real danger is in not providing the roads—or cutting £200 million off the road programme—so that there is no way in which there can be communication between one area and another. The real danger is in cutting the infrastructure so that there are no schools, hospitals or houses for the workers. The real danger is in cutting the trains.

Those were the three things that the Secretary of State said were essential and that the Government had to give to industry. If the Government are to give those things to industry, they have the right to expect that in return industry will assist the nation.

When we began our discussions on the Industry Bill, I thought that one might be able to do a little conversion on the hon. Gentleman, not because I, unlike my hon. Friend the Member for Hamilton (Mr. Robertson), thought that he had made the remark which he did not make, but because I thought that he was a natural interventionist. I find that he is not an interventionist. He is a Stone Age man. Conversion is impossible. He prefers the Stone Age. I prefer the twentieth and the twenty-first centuries.

I thought at that stage that the hon. Gentleman's Government might last a long

Division No. 163]


[10.43 pm

Abse, LeoDunnett, JackKerr, Russell
Adams, AllenDunwoody, Mrs. GwynethKinnock, Neil
Allaun, FrankEadie, AlexLambie, David
Anderson, DonaldEastham, KenLamborn, Harry
Archer, Rt Hon PeterEdwards, Robert (Wolv SE)Lamond, James
Armstrong, Rt Hon ErnestEllis, Raymond (NE Derbyshire)Leadbitter, Ted
Ashley, Rt Hon JackEllis, Tom (Wrexham)Leighton, Ronald
Atkinson, Norman (H'gey, Tott'ham)English, MichaelLestor, Miss Joan(Eton & Slough)
Barnett, Guy (Greenwich)Evans, (Ioan (Aberdare)Litherland, Robert
Barnett, Rt Hon Joel (Heywood)Evans, John (Newton)Lofthouse, Geoffrey
Benn, Rt Hon Anthony WedgwoodEwing, HarryLyons, Edward (Bradford West)
Bennett, Andrew (Stockport N)Field, FrankMcCartney, Hugh
Bidwell, SydneyFitch, AlanMcDonald, Dr Oonagh
Booth, Rt Hon AlbertFitt, GerardMcElhone, Frank
Boothroyd, Miss BettyFlannery, MartinMcGuire, Michael (Ince)
Bradley, TomFletcher, Ted (Darlington)McKelvey, William
Bray, Dr JeremyFoot, Rt Hon MichaelMacKenzie, Rt Hon Gregor
Brown, Hugh D. (Provan)Ford, BenMaclennan, Robert
Brown, Robert C. (Newcastle W)Forrester, JohnMcMahon, Andrew
Brown, Ronald W. (Hackney S)Foster, DerekMcNally, Thomas
Brown, Ron (Edinburgh, Leith)Foulkes, GeorgeMcNamara, Kevin
Buchan, NormanFraser, John (Lambeth, Norwood)McWilliam, John
Callaghan, Rt Hon J. (Cardiff SE)Freeson, Rt Hon ReginaldMagee, Bryan
Callaghan, Jim (Middleton & P)Garrett, John (Norwich S)Marks, Kenneth
Campbell, IanGarrett, W. E. (Wallsend)Marshall, David (Gl'sgow,Shettles'n)
Campbell-Savours, DaleGinsburg, DavidMarshall, Dr Edmund (Goole)
Canavan, DennisGolding, JohnMarshall, Jim (Leicester South)
Carmichael, NeilGourlay, HarryMartin, Michael (Gl'gow, Springb'rn)
Carter-Jones, LewisGrant, George (Morpeth)Mason, Rt Hon Roy
Clark, Dr David (South Shields)Grant, John (Islington C)Maxton, John
Cocks, Rt Hon Michael (Bristol S)Hamilton, James (Bothwell)Maynard, Miss Joan
Cohen, StanleyHamilton, W. W. (Central Fife)Mellish, Rt Hon Robert
Coleman, DonaldHardy, PeterMikardo, Ian
Concannon, Rt Hon J. D.Harrison, Rt Hon WalterMillan, Rt Hon Bruce
Cook, Robin F.Hart, Rt Hon Dame JudithMorris, Rt Hon Alfred (Wythenshawe)
Cowans, HarryHattersley, Rt Hon RoyMorris, Rt Hon Charles (Openshaw)
Craigen, J. M. (Glasgow, Maryhill)Haynes, FrankMorris, Rt Hon John (Aberavon)
Crowther, J. S.Healey, Rt Hon DenisMoyle, Rt Hon Roland
Cryer, BobHeffer, Eric S.Mulley, Rt Hon Frederick
Cunliffe, LawrenceHogg, Norman (E Dunbartonshire)Newens, Stanley
Cunningham, George (Islington S)Holland, Stuart (L'beth, Vauxhall)Oakes, Rt Hon Gordon
Cunningham, Dr John (Whitehaven)Home Robertson, JohnOgden, Eric
Dalyell, TamHomewood, WilliamO'Halloran, Michael
Davidson, ArthurHooley, FrankO'Neill, Martin
Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli)Horam, JohnOrme, Rt Hon Stanley
Davies, Ifor (Gower)Howell, Rt Hon Denis (B'ham, Sm H)Owen, Rt Hon Dr David
Davis, Clinton (Hackney Central)Huckfield, LesPalmer, Arthur
Davis, Terry (B'rm'ham, Stechford)Hudson Davies, Gwilym EdnyfedPark, George
Deakins, EricHughes, Mark (Durham)Parker, John
Dempsey, JamesHughes, Robert (Aberdeen North)Parry, Robert
Dewar, DonaldHughes, Roy (Newport)Pavitt, Laurie
Dixon, DonaldJanner, Hon GrevillePowell, Raymond (Ogmore)
Dobson, FrankJay, Rt Hon DouglasPrescott, John
Dormand, JackJohn, BrynmorRace, Reg
Douglas, DickJohnson, Walter (Derby South)Rees, Rt Hon Merlyn (Leeds South)
Douglas-Mann, BruceJones, Rt Hon Alec (Rhondda)Richardson, Jo
Dubs, AlfredJones, Barry (East Flint)Roberts, Allan (Bootle)
Duffy, A. E. P.Jones, Dan (Burnley)Roberts, Ernest (Hackney North)
Dunn, James A. (Liverpool, Kirkdale)Kaufman, Rt Hon GeraldRoberts, Gwilym (Cannock)

time, perhaps another three years. I no longer think so. Although the Government will win the vote on this amendment and get this miserable, little Bill through the House, they will not last. When the time comes—perhaps not for a few months, but within touching distance—we shall know what to do. I have told the House this evening exactly what we have in mind.

Question put, That the amendment be made: —

The House divided: Ayes 230, Noes 295.

Robertson, GeorgeStallard, A. W.Welsh, Michael
Rooker, J. W.Steel, Rt Hon DavidWhite, Frank R. (Bury & Radcliffe)
Ross, Ernest (Dundee West)Stoddart, DavidWhite, James (Glasgow, Pollok)
Rowlands, TedStott, RogerWhitlock, William
Ryman, JohnStrang, GavinWilley, Rt Hon Frederick
Sandelson, NevilleTaylor, Mrs Ann (Bolton West)Williams, Rt Hon Alan (Swansea W)
Sever, JohnThomas, Dafydd (Merioneth)Wilson, Gordon (Dundee East)
Sheerman, BarryThomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)Wilson, Rt Hon Sir Harold (Huyton)
Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert (A'ton-u-L)Thomas, Mike (Newcastle East)Wilson, William (Coventry SE)
Shore, Rt Hon Peter (Step and Pop)Thomas, Dr Roger (Carmarthen)Winnick, David
Short, Mrs. RenéeThorne, Stan (Preston South)Woodall, Alec
Silkin, Rt Hon John (Deptford)Tilley, JohnWoolmer, Kenneth
Silkin, Rt Hon S. C. (Dulwich)Torney, TomWrigglesworth, Ian
Silverman, JuliusVarley, Rt Hon Eric G.Wright, Sheila
Smith, Rt Hon J. (North Lanarkshire)Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne Valley)
Snape, PeterWalker, Rt Hon Harold (Doncaster)TELLERS FOR THE AYES
Soley, CliveWatkins, DavidMr. James Tinn and Mr. George Morton
Spearing, NigelWeetch, Ken
Spriggs, LeslieWellbeloved, James


Adley, RobertCrouch, DavidHowells, Geraint
Aitken, JonathanDean, Paul (North Somerset)Hunt, David (Wirral)
Alexander, RichardDickens, GeoffreyHunt, John (Ravensbourne)
Alton, DavidDorrell, StephenHurd, Hon Douglas
Arnold, TomDover, DenshoreIrving, Charles (Cheltenham)
Aspinwall, JackDunn, Robert (Dartford)Jenkin, Rt Hon Patrick
Atkins, Rt Hon H. (Spelthorne)Durant, TonyJessel, Toby
Atkinson, David (B'mouth, East)Eden, Rt Hon Sir JohnJohnson Smith, Geoffrey
Baker, Kenneth (St. Marylebone)Edwards, Rt Hon N. (Pembroke)Johnston, Russell (Inverness)
Baker, Nicholas (North Dorset)Eggar, TimothyJopling, Rt Hon Michael
Beaumont-Dark, AnthonyElliott, Sir WilliamJoseph, Rt Hon Sir Keith
Beith, A. J.Emery, PeterKaberry, Sir Donald
Bell, Sir RonaldEyre, ReginaldKellett-Bowman, Mrs Etaine
Bendall, VivianFairbairn, NicholasKershaw, Anthony
Benyon, Thomas (Abingdon)Faith, Mrs SheilaKimball, Marcus
Benyon, W. (Buckingham)Farr, JohnKing, Rt Kon Tom
Berry, Hon AnthonyFell, AnthonyKnight, Mrs Jill
Best, KeithFenner, Mrs PeggyKnox, David
Bevan, David GilroyFinsberg, GeoffreyLang, Ian
Biffen, Rt Hon JohnFisher, Sir NigelLatham, Michael
Biggs-Davison, JohnFletcher, Alexander (Edinburgh N)Lawson, Nigel
Blackburn, JohnFletcher-Cooke, CharlesLee, John
Blaker, PeterFookes, Miss JanetLe Merchant, Spencer
Body, RichardForman, NigelLennox-Boyd, Hon Mark
Bonsor, Sir NicholasFowler, Rt Hon NormanLester, Jim (Beeston)
Boscawen, Hon RobertFox, MarcusLewis, Kenneth (Rutland)
Bottomley, Peter (Woolwich West)Fraser, Rt Hon H. (Stafford & St)Lloyd, Ian (Havant & Waterloo)
Bowden, AndrewFreud, ClementLloyd, Peter (Fareham)
Boyson, Dr RhodesFry, PeterLoveridge, John
Bradford, Rev. R.Galbraith, Hon T. G. D.Luce, Richard
Bralne, Sir BernardGardiner, George (Reigate)Macfarlane, Neil
Bright, GrahamGardner, Edward (South Fylde)MacGregor, John
Brinton, TimGlyn, Dr AlanMacKay, John (Argyll)
Brittan, LeonGoodhart, PhilipMcNair-Wilson, Michael (Newbury)
Brocklebank-Fowler, ChristopherGorst, JohnMcNair-Wilson, Patrick (New Forest)
Brooke, Hon PeterGow, IanMcQuarrie, Albert
Brotherton, MichaelGower, Sir RaymondMadel, David
Brown, Michael (Brigg & Sc'thorpe)Greenway, HarryMajor, John
Browne, John (Winchester)Grieve, PercyMarland, Paul
Bruce-Gardyne, JohnGriffiths, Eldon (Bury St Edmunds)Marlow, Antony
Bryan, Sir PaulGriffiths, Peter (Portsmouth N)Marshall, Michael (Arundel)
Buchanan-Smith, Hon AlickGrist, IanMarten, Neil (Banbury)
Buck, AntonyGrylls, MichaelMather, Carol
Budgen, NickGummer, John SelwynMaude, Rt Hon Angus
Bulmer, EsmondHamilton, Hon Archie (Eps'm&Ew'll)Mawby, Ray
Burden, F. A.Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury)Mawhinney, Dr Brian
Butcher, JohnHampson, Dr KeithMaxwell-Hyslop, Robin
Butler, Hon AdamHannam, JohnMayhew, Patrick
Cadbury, JocelynHaselhurst, AlanMellor, David
Carlisle, John (Luton West)Hastings, StephenMeyer, Sir Anthony
Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)Havers, Rt Hon Sir MichaelMiller, Hal (Bromsgrove & Redditch)
Carlisle, Rt Hon Mark (Runcorn)Hawksley, WarrenMills, Iain (Meriden)
Chalker, Mrs. LyndaHeddle, JohnMills, Peter (West Devon)
Channon, PaulHenderson, BarryMiscampbell, Norman
Chapman, SydneyHeseltine, Rt Hon MichaelMitchell, David (Basingstoke)
Clark, Hon Alan (Plymouth, Sutton)Hicks, RobertMoate, Roger
Clark, Sir William (Croydon South)Higgins, Rt Hon Terence L.Molyneaux, James
Clarke, Kenneth (Rushclifte)Hill, JamesMonro, Hector
Cockeram, EricHooson, TomMontgomery, Fergus
Colvin, MichaelHordern, PeterMoore, John
Corrie, JohnHowe, Rt Hon Sir GeoffreyMorgan, Geraint
Costain, A. P.Howell, Rt Hon David (Guildford)Morris, Michael (Northampton, Sth)
Critchley, JulianHowell, Ralph (North Norfolk)Morrison, Hon Charles (Devizes)

Morrison, Hon Peter (City of Chester)Ross, Wm. (Londonderry)Thompson, Donald
Mudd, DavidRost, PeterThorne, Neil (Ilford South)
Murphy, ChristopherRoyle, Sir AnthonyThornton, Malcolm
Myles, DavidSainsbury, Hon TimothyTownend, John (Bridlington)
Neale, GerrardScott, NicholasTownsend, Cyril D. (Bexleyheath)
Nelson, AnthonyShaw, Giles (Pudsey)Trippier, David
Neubert, MichaelShaw, Michael (Scarborough)Trotter, Neville
Newton, TonyShelton, William (Streatham)van Straubenzee, W. R.
Normanton, TomShepherd, Colin (Hereford)Vaughan, Dr Gerard
Osborn, JohnShepherd, Richard (Aldridge-Br'hills)Viggers, Peter
Page, John (Harrow, West)Shersby, MichaelWaddington, David
Page, Rt Hon Sir R. GrahamSilvester, FredWakeham, John
Page, Richard (SW Hertfordshire)Sims, RogerWalker, Rt Hon Peter (Worcester)
Paisley, Rev IanSkeet, T. H. H.Walker, Bill (Perth & E Perthshire)
Parris, MatthewSmith, Cyril (Rochdale)Walker-Smith, Rt Hon Sir Derek
Pawsey, JamesSpeed, KeithWall, Patrick
Penhaligon, DavidSpeller, TonyWaller, Gary
Percival, Sir IanSpence, JohnWalters, Dennis
Peyton, Rt Hon JohnSpicer, Jim (West Dorset)Ward, John
Pink, R. BonnerSpicer, Michael (S Worcestershire)Warren, Kenneth
Porter, GeorgeSproat, IainWells, John (Maidstone)
Powell, Rt Hon J. Enoch (S Down)Squire, RobinWells, Bowen (Hert'rd & Stev'nage)
Price, David (Eastleigh)Stainton, KeithWheeler, John
Proctor, K. HarveyStanbrook, IvorWhitelaw, Rt Hon William
Pym, Rt Hon FrancisStanley, JohnWhitney, Raymond
Raison, TimothySteen, AnthonyWickenden, Keith
Rathbone, TimStevens, MartinWiggin, Jerry
Rees, Peter (Dover and Deal)Stewart, Ian (Hitchin)Williams, Delwyn (Montgomery)
Rees-Davies, W. R.Stewart, John (East Renfrewshire)Winterton, Nicholas
Renton, TimStokes, JohnWolfson, Mark
Rhodes James, RobertStradling Thomas, J.Young, Sir George (Acton)
Rhys Williams, Sir BrandonTapsell, PeterYounger, Rt Hon George
Ridley, Hon NicholasTaylor, Robert (Croydon NW)
Rifkind, MalcolmTebbit, NormanTELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Roberts, Wyn (Conway)Temple-Morris, PeterLord James Douglas-Hamilton and Mr. John Cope.
Robinson, Peter (Belfast East)Thatcher, Rt Hon Mrs Margaret
Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight)Thomas, Rt Hon Peter (Hendon S)

Question accordingly negatived.