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Passenger Transport Areas, Authorities And Executives

Volume 79: debated on Wednesday 22 May 1985

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

I beg to move amendment No. 190, in page 48, line 22 at end insert—

`(aa) such provision to require that the appointment, or any suspension, dismissal or requirement to resign, of any member of the Executive shall be subject to the approval of the Secretary of State; and'.
Although it may at first seem obscure, the purpose of the amendment is to provide a semblance of protection for the directors of the passenger transport executives. My intention is to draw to the attention of the Secretary of State for Transport and his ministerial team the problems that may be faced by the directors of the PTEs.

The passenger transport authority, which in the metropolitan areas will be a board consisting of elected representatives, will form the policy for buses in its area. Both the executive and elected directors of the PTE who are appointed by the local authorities which make up the passenger transport authority will carry out the directive of the authority.

The purpose of the amendment is to highlight the problems that may be caused if there is a direct clash between the passenger transport authority and the passenger transport executive. The hybrid companies in the area of the passenger transport executive will be wholly owned by the passenger transport authority. In other words, they will be public companies that are wholly owned by the municipal authorities and they will be partially subject to the Companies Acts of 1948 and 1967 and to other legislation passed by Parliament. Unfortunately, however, those local authorities which are dominated by the opposition parties are prone to interfere with the democratic running of public organisations and deliberately flout the law of this country.

A typical example of the kind of behaviour to which I refer is reported on the front page of today's edition of The London Standard under the headline "Invasion by 'Rent a mob'". At a meeting of Hackney council last night council representatives were effectively prevented by this invasion from carrying out their lawful duty to set a rate. Mr. Hatton and his followers in Liverpool are deliberately flouting the law of England on rate capping. We have seen this in Southwark and we are seeing it in Lambeth. Labour authorities are deliberately breaking the law, and the hooligans whose actions are described in The London Standard are unfortunately encouraging this kind of behaviour.

6.15 pm

No, not at this stage.

If such an authority decided to break the law and form a policy that was contrary to the law and ordered the directors of the passenger transport executive to pursue that course of action but the directors decided to carry out their duties as prescribed by the law, which totally contravened the policy that had been dictated to them, and in consequence the Labour-controlled passenger transport authority said to them, "Because you have not obeyed us you are sacked", it would bring to an end their participation in the passenger transport executive. These people, many of whom are executive directors, would have no recourse to anybody, apart from the courts. The amendment provides a safeguard for the directors. If they have been lawfully carrying out their duties but nevertheless have been dismissed, they will be able to turn to the Secretary of State for Transport who can act as a court of appeal and reinstate them. It is unfortunate that I am obliged to move the amendment. It is a product of the change in atmosphere in local government.

There is a second reason that must be considered. I cannot disclose my sources because to do so would mean that those who have given me this information would be in danger of losing their jobs. There are Labour-controlled passenger transport authorities which are deliberately telling their employees not to implement the provisions of the Bill when it becomes an Act so as to try to break the timetable, disrupt the plans for bus passenger transport and ensure that the consequent disruption discredits the Conservative party at the next general election. There may, of course, be a general election shortly after the enactment of the Bill. If directors say that they are not prepared to accept a political directive by a passenger transport authority, they can be fired by it for disobeying that political directive, although it has nothing to do with the duty to provide a proper system of bus transport in the area of the passenger transport executive. Those are factors about which the public should be aware, which is why I have tabled the amendment.

I hope that my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary will give an assurance that that will not be allowed, that the PTE directors will have security of tenure and that they will be allowed to carry out their proper duties in running a bus service so that the public will benefit and be assured of a proper bus transport service.

A rather worrying trend in the Government is becoming clearer by the day — their deep-rooted fear of properly elected representatives. With the Secretary of State for the Environment it takes the form of removing from metropolitan counties the right to exist. With some Conservative Members it takes the form of seriously suggesting that those who do not pay rates—presumably they mean those in receipt of rate rebates—should not have the right to vote in local elections.

However, today is probably the first time that a Back-Bench Conservative Member has seriously suggested that we should not trust the locally elected representatives who were elected on a platform that included certain transport policies, but instead should ensure that they are bypassed in any arrangement with their own staff and that the Secretary of State — that well known giver of the judgment of Solomon—should make decisions in such matters as important as the dismissal, suspension or requirement to resign of any member of the executive.

The hon. Member for Lancashire, West (Mr. Hind) is probably not a bad man. He is probably worried because, on the results of the county elections, there is no doubt that he will find himself looking for another job after the next general election. Perhaps his feeling that elected representatives are not to be trusted stems from that. We must understand exactly what he has in mind—not for him the usual guarantees for any employee in his contract of employment. Of course, we know that the Government are carefully trying to lower the terms of employment—for example, they have changed the conditions for unfair dismissal. It is important to the hon. Gentleman that, in future, the PTAs should not be in control of their staff — that there should be not only a distancing of the PTAs from the PTEs, but a positive intervention from the Secretary of State.

I do not seriously challenge the hon. Lady's comment that those democratically elected to deal with transport should have the right to do that. But is she seriously suggesting that there is not a large element of the Labour party in local administrations that denies the right of this place to make the law of the land, that openly flouts it and believes that because it was elected locally it can ignore the law?

Those people were elected on a specific policy, and have the right to carry it out. The Government are denying them that right. The hon. Member for Lancashire, West used the word hooligans. We should look at what happens when Conservative students have what they call a quiet weekend. They have to be dealt with severely by the chairman of the Conservative party who, when he had finished squeaking, tried to remove their funding.

Let us not be mealy-mouthed and hypocritical; it is quite clear what the amendment is about. The hon. Member for Lancashire, West believes that those who are properly elected are not to be trusted to carry out their responsibilities—they should not be allowed to maintain the usual relationship between employer and employee; we must rely on the Secretary of State. After all, when the right hon. Gentleman has finished destroying the bus industry, had a go at the rail industry, mucked up the airports and changed one or two other minor matters, he will not have anything to do, so he will have time to adjudicate between each PTE and its employees.

It is extraordinary audacity for a Conservative Member to move an amendment implying that elected Labour-controlled PTAs will cause disruption in the bus industry. The metropolitan counties are facing abolition, the formation of joint boards, the abolition of transport supplementary grant, the vying between various heads of expenditure for the financing of public transport, all the measures in this Bill and the break-up of section 24 agreements in the NBC —which is of great importance to PTE areas—and yet are being accused by a Conservative Back Bencher of being likely to cause disruption in the transport industry.

The hon. Member for Lancashire, West (Mr. Hind) should be attacking the Secretary of State. Under legislation passed by this Government, passenger transport authorities should be submitting plans for the next three years to the Secretary of State by 31 July. He should have provided them with advice in February or March, so that they could submit the plans on time. His Department has given them no advice. Yet a Conservative Member has the audacity to move an amendment implying that even more democratic accountability should be taken away from those authorities because they cannot be trusted. He should be moving amendments to stop the Government interfering in public transport.

Reaction from Opposition Members shows that my hon. Friend the Member for Lancashire, West (Mr. Hind) has struck a sensitive spot. The hon. Member for Crewe and Nantwich (Mrs. Dunwoody) spoke about my hon. Friend's prospects after the next election. She has only a 290 majority, so it would take only a 0–25 per cent. swing for her to have to find something else to do—but I shall not fall into the same trap as the hon. Lady by pressing that point any further.

I share my hon. Friend's concern about the dangers that could arise. Obviously there is a possibility of some PTAs adopting an appointments policy for PTEs that puts more weight on political inclinations than on ability. That would be undesirable. I hope that Opposition Members, when they leave off their swords and shields of political campaigning and consider the best interests of the travelling public, would also feel that that was undesirable.

My hon. Friend mentioned some of the policies that the PTA might try to pursue. I know there are some Labour Members who take a view contrary to that of the hon. Lady. They believe that local councils should obey the law and that those in this House who try to encourage them not to do that should not be supported because they are undermining democracy and the constitutional position of the House. I was surprised to hear the hon. Member for Crewe and Nantwich say it was her view—I take it that this is not the official Labour party position—that, if a council is elected on a policy, it is entitled to carry it out, regardless of whether that policy happens to be in accordance with the law made by Parliament. If the hon. Lady wishes to qualify her remark, I am delighted to give her the opportunity to do so.

6.30 pm

The hon. Lady says that she did not say that, but that was the remark that I heard her make and that I noted. I am sure that certain of her hon. Friends, not least the shadow Secretary of State for the Environment, would not agree with her in the view that she expressed today.

I think that it would be unwise to try to counter these dangers by giving the Secretary of State a final say on these matters. The appointing and dismissing will be done by the PTA which—apart from in Scotland—after the abolition of the metropolitan councils will be composed of district councillors nominated by constituent district councils. They will have to account for all their actions, including those of appointment and dismissal, as PTA members both to their nominating councils and to the local electors.

Indeed, in matters such as this where any decisions could have a serious effect—this may well be the view that some Labour councils take in doing things against the interests of the ratepayers—on a majority of electors, I think that that accountability is likely to be more real.

Appointments to the passenger transport executive, as with other passenger transport authority decisions, will be local matters, and I think it is right that the PTA should be accountable for them locally. We would not want to impose central Government upon that framework. Indeed, I think that such a move in itself would dilute local accountability and perhaps even discourage passenger transport authorities from taking a responsible approach. In particular, if things went wrong, under the provisions suggested by my hon. Friend they would undoubtedly say that it was not their fault but the fault of the Secretary of State because he had endorsed the appointments or the dismissals.

In answer to one of the very real fears that my hon. Friend the Member for Lancashire, West expressed, I must say that passenger transport executive members cannot be directed to act contrary to the law. The duties of the PTE are quite clear. They are to secure services to meet the area's requirements and in a financial sense to break even.

While I appreciate the concern of my hon. Friend and welcome the fact that he has raised the matter today, I think that there are safeguards against some of the dangers that he has outlined. Equally, in the other areas it is proper that the local passenger transport authorities should be locally accountable and able to take decisions for themselves.

In the light of what I have said, I hope that my hon. Friend, after his valuable contribution to the debate, will withdraw the amendment.

I am obliged to my hon. Friend for the clear and precise view that he has expressed. I join him in hoping that the local representatives will make sensible and proper decisions on a local basis. It was not my intention to denigrate local representatives in any way. Indeed, I am a strong supporter of local government.

It must be borne in mind that local authorities are subject to Parliament. Parliament makes the law, and all powers that are passed to local authorities are devolved from Parliament. Accordingly, each local authority must obey the law. I fully accept, as I am sure most of my hon. Friends do, that the majority of elected representatives are conscientious and obey the law in carrying out their functions properly. The rule of law is the most important factor in this matter and I emphasise it today to lay down a marker for the future.

I fully agree that there are those—a minority element — who unfortunately support the view of the Opposition, as they showed when they arrived in their busloads last night at Hackney town hall. They could influence the situation. As a consequence of what has been said by my hon. Friend, I am sure that they will realise that that is not a course of action that they should follow, and accordingly there will be safeguards in the courts to deal with that matter.

I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

I beg to move amendment No 168, in page 49, line 23, after 'area', insert ` (a),.

With this it will be convenient to discuss the following amendments:

No. 169, in page 49, line 26, at end insert—
`and (b) to ensure the co-ordination of public passenger transport services in the area.'.
No. 170, in page 49, line 27, after '(1)% insert ` (a) '.

No. 171, in page 49, line 29, at end insert—
'(2A) The Passenger Transport Executive for any area shall secure and maintain systems the co-ordination of local services with railway passenger services ferry services provided or secured by the Executive to meet the public transport requirements within the area'.
No. 172, in page 49, line 34, after 'subsection', insert
`and the description of systems which the Executive may secure and maintain under subsection (2A) above'.
No. 173, in page 49, line 36, leave out 'that subsection' and insert 'those subsections'.

No. 174, in page 50, line 23 after '(6)', insert
'Except as required in pursuance of the duty imposed by subsection (1) (b) of this section'.

I suspect that this will be one of the last chances for us to endeavour to inject some sanity into a Bill that is riddled with lunacy. We have spent four months in Committee trying to show the Government that if they are determined to push through this measure, at the very least there should be some reserve element given to the passenger transport executives so that they can have overall control and responsibility for the co-ordination of the transportation system in their areas. So far, we have not had those guarantees from the Government. They refused to accept the amendments that we tabled, and so we have had to table the amendments again on Report.

The amendments do not seek to undermine the basic thrust of the Bill. The Minister knows full well that Opposition Members are opposed to the whole wretched concept of the Bill. We are endeavouring yet again to draw to the Minister's attention the serious and real damage that will be caused if the PTEs and the joint boards are unable to have control in the way outlined in the amendments.

The fare levels of most, if not all, of the metropolitan counties are charged on buses and are so organised that the fares structure and system is uniform throughout the county. Co-ordination of fares by the PTE and PTA will be possible under clause 55(5), which permits any measure to promote the operation of commercial services to meet public transport requirements and to increase the convenience of the use of public transport. However, this depends on the willingness of all operators to participate. Clause 85 enables the PTA to establish a county-wide travel concession scheme for the elderly, the blind, children and disabled people.

With numerous operators under no obligation to accept county-wide tickets, it is unlikely that the present system, which operates in many metropolitan councils and other places, such as metrocard, day rover, saverstrip and off peak travel concessions applying to bus and to rail services can survive. Operators will probably be unable to reach agreement on revenue sharing because of differences in fluctuating fares scales.

The present fares systems are all based on a countywide fares scale. For example, when I visited Bradford last Friday I was informed by Mr. Reed of West Yorkshire passenger transport executive that the saverstrip, the 12-ride multiple journey ticket, offers a uniform discount on a small number of bus fares which are in the lop steps. It is a complicated formula, but that is its objective. With a wide variety of fares scales, this would no longer be possible. Similarly, metrocard, offering unlimited travel across the county, will probably be unworkable if there are large variations in fares between different operators.

The powers in the Bill will enable the continuation of county-wide concessionary fares schemes, particularly as we have been assured by the Secretary of State, following an amendment that we made yesterday, that operators must participate in such schemes. However, there will be considerable problems over determining reimbursement. That will require information being gathered about the level of concessionary scheme patronage, a subject that we debated at length yesterday. The local PTEs and PTAs will also need some control over the way in which operators are given routes and operate them.

As I explained, I visited West Yorkshire PTE on Friday. I went to Bradford and discussed the matter with the busmen and their trade union representatives and members of the professional staff. I was extremely impressed by their presentation of the issues involved. That is an extremely good PTA providing public transport to meet the needs of the people.

I note that the hon. Member for Dewsbury (Mr. Whitfield), who was a member of the Standing Committee, is not in his place. That is a shame because he was the only Conservative Member on the Committee with a constituency in a metropolitan area. I should have thought that he would be interested enough in our debates to have been present. In his area, county-wide fare systems have been shown to be of substantial benefit both to operators and to passengers.

Under the West Yorkshire system, the tickets available include a saverstrip, which is a bus and rail multi-journey ticket offering 12 rides for 10p each. That type of ticket is used by 40 million passengers per annum and has a peak take-up of 20 per cent. Metrocard is a bus and rail travel card which is used by 23 million passengers per annum and has a peak take-up of 30 per cent. Off-peak maximum fares—that is, 30p for adults and 15p for children—are available at off-peak times and weekends. The system has increased passenger journeys by 19 million annually. I could go on giving details of how the system has created many improvements.

All of that—through ticketing, Travelcard, the ability of people to travel on buses and trains without buying separate tickets, of being able to buy a strip of tickets to cover 12 journeys, with the strip being punched into a machine—will be in jeopardy as a result of the Bill. Only by introducing amendments such as those which we propose shall we safeguard a system of logistical transportation planning that has been built up in the last decade.

My hon. Friend the Member for Sunderland, North (Mr. Clay) will explain what is happening in Tyne and Wear, an area of the country which has developed a metro system and where the transportation system generally is second to none. He, like I, believes that that system will be in jeopardy unless we can enshrine safeguards in the statute. After all, that is our job; we make the law, and we should ensure that there is no dubiety in its interpretation. I trust, therefore, that the amendment will be accepted. PTEs should have power to co-ordinate their transportation systems in their areas in future as they do now.

In our long debates in Committee—

My hon. Friend is right, and today we shall have to make do with what time is available.

During our debates in Committee the metropolitan counties were often criticised because, it was claimed, they had been content to pay ever-increasing sums by way of revenue support to buy in passengers without seeking reductions in costs and improvements in efficiency. That is not true of most of them.

It is certainly not true of west Yorkshire. I am informed by the PTA there that patronage has increased by 8 per cent., compared with a typical decline nationally of 3 to 4 per cent.; that fares have fallen by 20 per cent. in real terms; that revenue support has dropped by 23 per cent.; that unit costs have gone down by 7 per cent.; and that total costs have gone down by 10 per cent. in real terms. Revenue has risen by 5 per cent. in cash terms and the PTE has reduced its number of operational properties from 36 to 28. That has happened in west Yorkshire under a system of properly co-ordinated transportation planning.

I do not question the hon. Gentleman's statement about what is happening in west Yorkshire and about revenue support having declined. I think that he will agree, however, that his hon. Friend the Member for Sunderland, North (Mr. Clay) refused to give way to me earlier because he knew that his halo would become tarnished. In his part of the country it was decided not to increase fares, even in line with inflation, although to have done so would have meant increasing the passenger figures.

Had the fares been increased in line with inflation, Tyne and Wear would have had between £15 million and £20 million in additional revenue with which to improve even further the local system. That is what my hon. Friends and I mean by sensible local management. That is not available in that area because of the colour of the council.

6.45 pm

I will leave my hon. Friend the Member for Sunderland, North to deal with that intervention.

Repeatedly, Ministers and Conservative Members claimed in Committee that the Bill was designed to stop planners telling people what services they could have and, instead, to let the people have the services that they wanted. Indeed, the Secretary of State said, referring to franchising:
"It allows the network to be laid down by the planners but does not permit the customers to say where they want to go and when, and with what frequency, price and standard of service". —[Official Report, Standing Committee A, 30 April, 1985; c. 1641.]
Not once have Conservative Members spelt out what transport planners really do. They speak as though an overlord imposes bus times and routes that the public do not want. Have any of them considered what actually happens?

The planning of bus services involves discovering what the people need and then meeting that need. That is the duty and responsibility of the PTEs. The executives have market surveys, ask people what they want and examine the running speeds of buses and the siting of route furniture. They take cognisance of public opinion and try to provide the services that the people want. That is sensible transportation planning.

If we go ahead with deregulation, restructuring and competition, as will occur if the Bill reaches the statute book without some of the amendments that my hon. Friends and I propose, we shall have absolute chaos. Not only are Labour Members convinced of that, but some Conservative Members believe it, too.

To mitigate at least some of the consequences of this awful legislation, we have tabled this series of amendments to ensure that an element of local transportation planning may be maintained. Only by that means shall we have co-ordinated services for the benefit of the customers, about whom we are just as concerned as are Conservative Members.

My hon. Friend should be careful. I expect that the reply he will get from the Minister is that the market will respond to what the people want. That is not the case because the market will take on the profitable routes and will not care about the routes that are not profitable. Would my hon. Friend dwell on that point? If planning takes account of what the people want and is done properly, there can be a properly integrated service. The market will not provide that. Can my hon. Friend spell that out?

My hon. Friend anticipates me; I was about to conclude my remarks by doing precisely that.

The Bill will remove the voice of the passengers from the planning of bus services. There will be no more consultation and no more independent surveys but just brand marketing of busy routes. Market forces produce nothing to look after people; they just impose what an operator thinks he can make money on. Market forces remove all sense of caring and, more important, reliability and stability, which are essential ingredients for those passengers whose jobs or way of life are dependent upon them. That is the point that my hon. Friend the Member for Wrexham (Dr. Marek) was making, and I subscribe to that view. [Interruption.] Does the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland wish to come to the Dispatch Box to contradict what I have said? No. Then I shall ignore his mutterings.

Before the hon. Member finishes, will he address himself to clause 55(2)? It refers to a new section to be inserted in the 1968 Act. Subsection (1) provides:

"it shall be the duty of the Executive for any passenger transport area …."
Subsection (3) of the new section says:
"The Authority for any passenger transport area shall from time to time formulate general policies …."
Why does he think that that does not cover completely the whole of what he is seeking to do in these unnecessary amendments?

I apologise to the House for the action replay of what took place in Standing Committee, but this often happens when a Bill is contentious and has been in Standing Committee for a considerable time. We tabled these amendments because we did not get satisfaction from the Minister in Committee. We did not accept the arguments that the Minister used in Committee to counter our arguments. Therefore, we are taking this final opportunity—it is the final opportunity for the House of Commons—to try to write some sanity into a Bill that is riddled with lunacy. That is what we are attempting to do — nothing more, nothing less. Our proposals do not destroy the basic thrust of what the Government intend to do. We are trying to fashion a better Bill. That is the purpose of the amendments. I hope that the Minister will find it possible to accept them.

I am pleased to support the hon. Member for Wigan (Mr. Stott). The answer to the hon. Member for Nottingham, South (Mr. Brandon-Bravo) is that only yesterday the House approved, against the wishes of the Opposition, the deletion of certain sections of the Transport Act 1968 which called for co-ordinated and integrated services. It is a tragic shame that those sections have been deleted. We are trying to do something about it now.

We have heard vivid descriptions from the Minister and the Secretary of State about what they expect to happen in Tyne and Wear. They contemplate that if an operator wishes to run a bus service from Whitley Bay to the centre of Newcastle that will be OK. However, they think that he will not do that but will run the service to the nearest railway station because that will be more profitable. I doubt whether that will happen.

I remember the senior Conservative councillor who appeared before the Select Committee on Transport when it was considering the bus legislation. With tears in his eyes he said, "I have worked for the Tyne and Wear metro for 20-odd years. Now my Government are about to destroy what we have achieved." That is on record for the Minister to read, if he wishes.

I am sorry to weary the House with yet more stories of the Sealink saga but I will not miss this opportunity because in amendment No. 171 we are asking for co-ordination not only with railway services but with ferry services. I must give the House a warning. The Government let my constituents down when they sold Sealink because they did not write into the contract of sale a requirement for co-ordination of services.

Only today there arrived on my desk another letter—unfortunately I have not got it with me—complaining about the lack of co-ordination between Sealink and British Rail. A new constituent who has moved from Kent was travelling on 3 May for the bank holiday weekend. He was supposed to connect with the 8 o'clock boat from Lymington. The railway company had even rung up from Brockenhurst to tell Sealink that the train would be late and to ask it it hold the boat. Did it hold the boat? No. The boat went and that man was stranded because there was no later boat. He had to find accommodation for the night. He wants me to take up the matter with the Minister, but what is the point because the Minister will not answer for Sealink which is a private ferry service? If it wants to run the service at 8 o'clock and not wait for passengers who are coming on the train it is entitled to do so. I have already taken up the matter with the local manager.

My mail contains such letters daily. They are increasing all the time. If we do not insist in legislation that services should be co-ordinated and integrated this will continue. There will be services where co-ordination will not happen.

So that I may understand clearly what the hon. Gentleman is saying about the ferry that sailed without waiting for the train, does he feel that all the people who were on the ferry, with a timetable that they had been told the ferry would run to, should have arrived late because there was a mishap on a train?

I did not say that there was a mishap on the train. I said that the train arrived late. That was the last boat of the night, and it should have waited. It would have waited if it had been under British Rail control. There is a limit — perhaps up to half an hour. That would not have held people up very long. I would expect that. That is co-ordination. With a population of 100,000 people, and many more coming for a holiday weekend, they do not expect to see the boat going without them, particularly if the company has been asked to hold the train.

There always has been co-ordination. If the boat had gone, it would have come back and run a special service, but that did not happen on this occasion because the company would have lost money. When we start privatising some sections of the public transport service this is the sort of thing that will happen. It will happen with bus services and on metros. Even the hon. Member for Nottingham, South may find in years to come that his mail contains examples of services not being co-ordinated.

I am sorry to intervene again, but surely the hon. Member is not suggesting that he has never been left on a British Rail platform because the train he was supposed to connect with had already left?

I can recall a number of instances of being put on a goods train, but one is cut off when there are five miles of sea. There is not the alternative of getting a taxi or even flying. The position is different. I believe the example I have given to be true. That is why I feel so intensely that we are at risk of breaking up what has been a very good system.

We have heard about West Yorkshire and we know about Tyne and Wear. There have been connections of services. For over 80 years it has been the practice for ferries to wait for trains unless they have been too late. In those cases they have run a special service. That is at risk and that is why I support the amendment.

I was fascinated by the intervention of the Under-Secretary of State in the speech of the hon. Member for Isle of Wight (Mr. Ross) when he asked sarcastically whether the hon. Member thought that the ferry should have waited for this passenger. We have heard a great deal about Hereford and Worcester all through the debate on the Bill. I have been to Hereford and it is clear that the one remaining operator in the city centre waits for the last passenger. That is why there is no timetable on the bus stand in the town centre. The operator does not run to time; he parks his bus and waits until it is full before he leaves. That is the most profitable way of operating and that is why he does it. That is the only way in which he can operate a service with the ludicrously uncommercial fares that he charges, which have forced the National Bus Company to reduce its fares. Conservative Members have taken great delight in that forced reduction of fares while we have been discussing the Bill.

The Hereford service is unplanned and unco-ordinated. It is a sordid cowboy operation and that is why there is only one private operator left in the area. I suspect that he will not be there for very much longer.

In the example given by the hon. Member for Isle of Wight (Mr. Ross) he argued that the boat should have waited. Is the hon. Member for Sunderland, North (Mr. Clay) complaining because in Hereford the private operator's bus waits? Perhaps he will settle the argument with the hon. Member for Isle of Wight. It seems that there is disagreement over which form of service is desirable.

I am arguing with the Minister and not with the hon. Member for Isle of Wight. In a sarcastic intervention the Minister implied that vehicles should not wait for late passengers. The success of the cowboy operation in Hereford, such as it is, is based on waiting. There is no timetable. The operator waits until his bus is full before he drives off. The Minister asked the hon. Member for Isle of Wight to consider the position of other passengers. If I go shopping in Hereford and I study a timetable to decide which bus I want to use for my return journey, I do not expect to sit in the bus for 15 or 20 minutes until the bus is full. That is an example of the ludicrous nonsense that is to be found in experimental areas.

My right hon. and hon. Friends are arguing for co-ordination and that is what the amendment is designed to achieve. We wish to ensure that the nonsensical operation in Hereford does not continue. We want proper ticketing systems, for example.

I hope that the hon. Member for Nottingham, South (Mr. Brandon Bravo) is now familiar with the Tyne and Wear system, but against that background his comments on fare increases were somewhat naive. My hon. Friend the Member for Wigan (Mr. Stott) has said that Tyne and Wear and many other metropolitan counties have PTEs that offer many different systems to the public. Single journey tickets are beoming increasingly a minority means of travel. The Tyne and Wear PTE is introducing a carnet system. In addition, there is a full range of travel cards, including day rovers, weekly travel cards, monthly travel cards, annual travel cards, two-zone and three-zone cards, a countrywide zone, off-peak tickets and all-day tickets. When there is a fare increase, some fares increase and some are held at the current level.

The Tyne and Wear PTE system has been trying to move passengers on to travel cards as the system is more efficient. If a passenger steps on a bus and displays his card, the bus can proceed more quickly along its route than if the passenger has to buy a ticket. I presume that that is what we all want to achieve.

I accept all the glorious compliments that the hon. Gentleman is paying to the Tyne and Wear system. In an earlier intervention I merely said that if fares had risen since 1982 generally in line with inflation and no more, the Tyne and Wear PTE would have had £15 million to £20 million of extra revenue with which to make the system even better. Will the hon. Gentleman respond now to that argument?

Yes, I will. The Tyne and Wear PTE's calculations produced a result different from that which the hon. Gentleman has put before us. It undertakes processes known as planning and market research, which Conservative Members find appalling. Within the county of Tyne and Wear there have been 55,000 redundancies in the past four years, mainly as a result of Government policies. There is a population of 1·2 million and with such a devastatingly high level of redundancies it is clear that the average person's income is not increasing to meet inflation. It is remarkable even to maintain ridership during a redundancy holocaust. The Select Committee on Transport heard evidence that for every redundancy that is created 150 passenger trips a year are lost. As I have said, there have been 55,000 redundancies in Tyne and Wear over the past four years. However, ridership has increased, which is a reversal of the national trend.

The success of the Tyne and Wear PTE has not been achieved by holding fares at the same level and not by reducing them either. The PTE has been selective in increasing fares. Travel cards have been introduced and discounts have been offered to the unemployed. The PTE has examined the market. It has studied how people want to travel and it has produced a system that suits the travelling public.

Whenever my right hon. and hon. Friends have talked about co-ordination and integration there has been abuse from Conservative Members. They suggest that planners are the most evil people under the sun. Such an attitude is extraordinary from a Government who are so committed to capitalism. The very foundation of the capital system is the multinational company. Are the Government saying that multinationals do not plan and do not engage in market research? Do ICI or Marks and Spencer say that they do not know what their next product will be, how many examples of it they will produce and where they will sell it? Do they not know where they want their new outlets to be or which outlets they will close? Are they unsure about the number of supermarkets that they want to build and from where they will buy their products? Large companies employ more and more staff on extremely high salaries to plan and engage in market research.

The metropolitan counties have adopted the sophistica-tion of large companies and have introduced their techniques to the provision of public passenger transport. They have adopted market research and innovation. They are producing a new product and co-ordinating it. Apparently Conservative Members find this either laughable or despicable. They fail to understand that the system that they claim to find so worth while in Tyne and Wear will be damaged unless the modest aims of the amendment are added to the Bill.

We have been told repeatedly by the Secretary of State and the Under-Secretary of State that the metro system took a considerable amount of public investment and that if it is as good as we believe the bus services that compete with it will fail. It will not take a great loss of ridership on the metro to put the entire system in danger. The system is dependent on bus services because 60 per cent. of its passengers use a bus before or after their metro journey. It is a system of fixed costs and if the ridership declines slightly the service cannot be reduced slightly. The fact is that the money has been spent. It is not, as the Under-Secretary of State suggested in Committee, a free gift. Interest charges must be paid even if the entire system is sold tomorrow for scrap and closed down. Interest charges will continue and the cost of the rolling stock will have to be met. The system will require the same number of signallers, the same permanent way and the same controllers irrespective of the frequency of the metro cars.

If the metro loses 5 per cent. of its passengers, it is not possible to reduce the service by 5 per cent. It is recognised within public transport that there is a fatal spiral. If an operator loses passengers, he has to increase his fares. When he increases his fares he loses more passengers. If he is left with fewer passengers, he has to increase his fares again. The metro will be liable to that danger. Many people from Tyne and Wear have tried to explain that to the Minister but he has failed constantly to understand their submissions.

I urge the House to try to understand the need for the metropolitan areas, especially those which have pioneered integration, to be allowed the powers that the amendment would give them so that whatever happens to the National Bus Company, the PTEs and the private operators that enter the system and try to compete there will be a network of public transport that is highly planned, co-ordinated and popular with a ticketing system that allows the travelling public conveniently to use the entire system. There has been an enormous amount of investment, both of capital to build the system and of human lives to make it work. There have been years of negotiation between different bus companies, because the system is not a monopoly. It operates between the PTE, the National Bus Company and the private operators. All those private operators support the system and are opposed to the damaging effects that the Bill will have.

The area is completely united, as the hon. Member for Isle of Wight pointed out. Senior Conservative politicians in the area are terribly afraid of the damage that the Bill will do, and are committed to opposing it. For all those reasons, we should at least pass the amendment, which gives the PTA some continuing part in making sure that the co-ordination of services, the through ticketing system and the other benefits of bus-metro integration in Tyne and Wear can continue, and that similar systems in other metropolitan counties can also continue.

As I said in Committee, I have had my worries about the continuation of an integrated transport policy. In Committee, too often subsidy became mixed up with an integrated transport policy, which is basically a concept in transport. It has nothing to do with subsidies but is a method of running a bus and transport system.

I have looked carefully at the Bill and formed the view that there is nothing in it that will prevent a PTA laying down an integrated policy for its area. I should be grateful if my hon. Friend the Minister would comment on this. In particular, I looked at clauses 55 and 59, which relate to the function of local councils in respect of passenger transport in areas other than those covered by their PTAs.

Clause 59(1) says:
"(1) In each non-metropolitan county of England and Wales it shall be the duty of the county council
  • (a) to secure the provision of such public passenger transport services as the council consider it appropriate to secure to meet any public transport requirements within the county; and
  • (b) to formulate from time to time general policies as to the descriptions of services they propose to secure under paragraph (a) above."
  • The councils will apply their common sense to that, and sense means integration. It will be essential, with a system such as that of Tyne and Wear, in which millions of pounds of public investment have been made, to continue that service. That will appear sensible to the passenger transport planners, and to the private operators who will realise that they will not be competing against the PTEs' metro systems in Tyne and Wear and Merseyside. They will see where their business lies, and under the Bill it will be to make money running buses. They will realise that the way to do that is to run the buses to the railway stations. I hope that in Lancashire the NBC successor will run its buses to interchanges and railway stations on the Merseyside metro and railway stations.

    There has been much discussion of this matter, but, having looked at it carefully, I feel that we should be considering only one thing in the Bill—can we have an integrated system within the parameters laid down by my hon. Friend the Minister in drawing up the clause? The answer to that must be yes, and the PTEs and the PTAs must take the tools with which they have been provided by the Bill, exercise their common sense and realise that they can run such a system under the Bill. In that case, the amendment is unnecessary.

    7.15 pm

    The speech of the hon. Member for Lancashire, West (Mr. Hind) shows clearly that, after some 200 hours of debate on the Bill, both in Committee and in the Chamber, many Conservative Members have failed to understand what the Bill will mean and what deregulation will imply. The county councils will have a duty to provide transport services within their areas. The hon. Gentleman pointed that out, but he failed to recognise that, whether those services can be run on a commercial or a subsidised basis, any other person who wishes to operate a similar service can register to run one in competition. That may destroy the basis on which the county council has planned.

    New operators will be able to register a service for the whole of the day, or part of it, for all the route or part of it. That will cause chaos. Any plans that county councils may have for an integrated and co-ordinated system will not be possible once the Bill has been passed.

    Yesterday, we debated an amendment to stop undertakings agreeing a basis on which they may compete. The Minister opposed that because he felt that that would be unfair competition. That shows how the Government are thinking. County councils such as Lancashire have been trying to get more co-ordination. Although the amendment refers to PTAs, the real point with which we are concerned is the principle of running co-ordinated transport.

    Over the past few years, the Lancashire county council has made strenuous efforts to co-ordinate transport in, for example, Burnley and Pendle, where we have had an agency agreement for a number of years. The six bus operators within Burnley and Pendle co-ordinate their services to make the best use of the staff and resources. That is sensible planning.

    Lancashire county council has encouraged the use of the red rose rambler ticket, and many other different types of tickets. It has co-ordinated the dates on which fare increases will be applied throughout the county and has tried to co-ordinate a countywide basis for concessionary fares. It opened a railway station at Lostock Hall a couple of years ago, and that is a tremendous stride forward. It has encouraged British Rail, and as a result a long discontinued rail service from my constituency to Yorkshire has been reopened. That is a welcome move and we are hoping to see that develop so that we can have a better rail service between the two areas. I should like Lancashire county council to support the idea that British Rail should run a service to Manchester via the Yorkshire side of the county, thereby providing a more direct service. Lancashire county council and I are convinced that such proposals, which will provide a new railway station in my constituency, will not be possible if the Bill is passed.

    Deregulation will mean competition at peak hours and destroy the basis of the transport system. It will rob the present transport operators of finance. It will be a disaster. I am sorry if the Government cannot envisage the disaster that will result from the Bill. Labour Members will be proved right, and the Government will see the disaster when it is too late.

    We have had an interesting, although not wholly new, debate on co-ordination. There are two possible forms of co-ordination — where the service is provided or controlled by a single body, and where the market is allowed to produce the services best tailored to meet public demand but provisions are retained for facilitating proper co-operation between diverse services—through joint timetabling, through ticketing, multi-journey tickets, and so on — with contracts provided at public expense for additional socially necessary services. The Government believe that the first of those choices imposes a dead hand on enterprise. The second is much to be preferred, and that is why it is in the Bill.

    I turn from the basic principle to the points made by the hon. Member for Wigan (Mr. Stott). The hon. Gentleman wants "overall control" — his words, not mine. How Socialists love power over other people's lives. The hon. Gentleman went on to say that the PTE provides the service that the public wants. The PTE provides the service that it thinks is good for people: the gentlemen in town hall know best.

    I have only a few minutes in which to speak and I wish to deal with some of the hon. Gentleman's other points.

    The hon. Member for Wigan sounded a paean of praise for the West Yorkshire PTE, which he recently visited. I do not know how much the PTE told him. I accent that, as PTEs go, the West Yorkshire PTE is reasonably efficient. Did the PTE tell him that it has one of the lowest load factors of any PTE? That does not indicate great efficiency. Did the PTE tell him that the planned reduction in mileage in 1984–85 was 3·6 per cent.? If one extrapolates that rate of decline, in 29 years there will be no buses at all. Did the PTE tell him that? Did it tell the hon. Gentleman that 76 per cent. of the buses in that area are on one-man operation, instead of 91 per cent., as with the National Bus Company? Did the PTE give the hon. Gentleman that criterion of efficiency? Did it tell him that the costs per bus mile in west Yorkshire are 10 pe: cent. above those in the west midlands?

    I wonder what sort of picture the hon. Gentleman came away with. Did the PTE tell him that the National Bus Company's costs are, on average, between 20 and 25 per cent. below those of the West Yorkshire PTE? If the PTE told the hon. Gentleman those things, he would not have uttered that paean of praise. If it did not, the PTE did not give him a balanced picture of the position in west Yorkshire.

    The hon. Member for Wigan mocked the profit motive. What is wrong with a motivation of finding, pleasing and serving customers? If the hon. Gentleman thinks that the profit motive is so bad, I ask him to look at the magnificent services that Marks and Spencer and Sainsburys provide for the public. If removing the profit motive was the signal to marvellous success, would not the co-operative shops have swept the country and put Marks and Spencer out of business? They have not, because pleasing the customer is an enormous motivator when profit is made. That is what we want in the bus services. We want happy customers who are given a service that they want, and the profit motive will help to ensure that that happens. A profit is not made unless one provides the service that the people want, because if the service is not provided the company does not get the passengers.

    The essential argument of the hon. Member for Sunderland, North (Mr. Clay) was that there is a super system on Tyne and Wear which provides the service that the people of the area want. He went on, however, to make an extraordinary, illogical point. He said that the service should therefore be protected. If the system is providing the super services that the people of the area want, it does not need protection. Courage, mon ami: if one is providing what the public wants, one does not need the crutches and protection from competition for which the hon. Gentleman asked.

    I am sorry that my hon. Friend the Member for Hereford (Mr. Shepherd) is momentarily not in the Chamber. The hon. Member for Sunderland, North talked about a bus waiting in Hereford and not running until it was full. We had a trial area in Hereford, and we learnt the lessons of what was wrong. That was one of the lessons. The Bill therefore provides that a service must be registered and that a company must run according to its registered timetable. If it does not, penalties, including a fine of up to 25 per cent. of the company's fuel duty rebate — a severe penalty — are imposed. Eventually, the company might lose its operating licence. That does not happen at present. If the hon. Member for Sunderland, North is in any doubt, let him wait for a No. 11 bus. He will soon find that he will wait 20 minutes and then get three buses. At present, no penalty is imposed on the operators. Under this legislation penalties will be imposed on people in the areas outside London and, as soon as possible, in London who fail to run services as registered.

    The hon. Member for Sunderland, North showed that ICI, Marks and Spencer and other private sector companies undertake market research. What leads him to believe that the motivation for profit which drives Marks and Spencer to seek out surveys to ascertain where customers can be found will not also be a motivation for bus operators to undertake the same activities in the metropolitan counties? [Interruption.] The hon. Member for Wigan laughs. I suppose that if he ran a bus service, he would not bother to carry out those surveys. Is the hon. Gentleman saying that, or will he admit that, if he ran a bus service, he would be sufficiently shrewd and sensible to conduct surveys to ascertain where potential customers were? If the hon. Gentleman is sufficiently shrewd and sensible to seek to know where his potential customers are, he deserves to be a spokesman for his party. If he is not sufficiently shrewd, he has no right to occupy the seat he now occupies.

    The House knows perfectly well that the hon. Member for Sunderland, North was talking complete nonsense in suggesting that private operators would not have the necessary shrewdness to do what is done by private operators in a host of businesses, motivated by the profit motive and a desire to find and satisfy customers and use their services again as good will is built up.

    The Under-Secretary of State knows perfectly well that he is misrepresenting what I said. At the moment, PTEs plan and conduct market research. That has been denigrated by the hon. Gentleman and his colleagues as bureaucracy and undesirable. I simply made the point that the big firms which he supports and admires do the same. The hon. Gentleman implies that bus operators will not need to do that, because the mystical hand of the market will tell them where to go. They will not need to carry out market research. The Under-Secretary of State — not Opposition Members — has totally contradicted himself.

    The hon. Gentleman fails to recognise that what he refers to as the "mystical" power of the market is the motivation to ascertain where one's potential customers are and where the company can build up business. That is exactly what the private sector does.

    I hope that the House will reject the amendment and accept that we are providing a system that enables PTEs to facilitate proper co-operation between diverse services through joint timetabling, through ticketing, multi-journey tickets and the like. Facilitation rather than compulsion is the way. We want to enable the customer to be the king.

    Question put, That the amendment be made:

    The House divided: Ayes 162, Noes 244.

    Division 219]

    [7.30 pm


    Archer, Rt Hon PeterFoulkes, George
    Ashdown, PaddyFraser, J. (Norwood)
    Ashley, Rt Hon JackFreeson, Rt Hon Reginald
    Ashton, JoeFreud, Clement
    Bagier, Gordon A. T.Garrett, W. E.
    Banks, Tony (Newham NW)George, Bruce
    Beckett, Mrs MargaretGilbert, Rt Hon Dr John
    Beith, A. J.Godman, Dr Norman
    Bell, StuartGolding, John
    Benn, TonyGourlay, Harry
    Bennett, A. (Dent'n & Red'sh)Hamilton, W. W. (Central Fife)
    Bermingham, GeraldHancock, Mr. Michael
    Bidwell, SydneyHarman, Ms Harriet
    Blair, AnthonyHarrison, Rt Hon Walter
    Boyes, RolandHattersley, Rt Hon Roy
    Bray, Dr JeremyHealey, Rt Hon Denis
    Brown, Gordon (D'f'mline E)Heffer, Eric S.
    Brown, Hugh D. (Provan)Hogg, N. (C'nauld & Kilsyth)
    Brown, N. (N'c'tle-u-Tyne E)Home Robertson, John
    Brown, Ron (E'burgh, Leith)Howells, Geraint
    Bruce, MalcolmHoyle, Douglas
    Buchan, NormanHughes, Dr. Mark (Durham)
    Caborn, RichardHughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)
    Callaghan, Rt Hon J.Hughes, Roy (Newport East)
    Callaghan, Jim (Heyw'd & M)Hughes, Sean (Knowsley S)
    Campbell, IanHughes, Simon (Southwark)
    Campbell-Savours, DaleJanner, Hon Greville
    Canavan, DennisJohn, Brynmor
    Carter-Jones, LewisJones, Barry (Alyn & Deeside)
    Cartwright, JohnKaufman, Rt Hon Gerald
    Clark, Dr David (S Shields)Kirkwood, Archy
    Clarke, ThomasLamond, James
    Clay, RobertLeadbitter, Ted
    Clwyd, Mrs AnnLeighton, Ronald
    Cocks, Rt Hon M. (Bristol S.)Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)
    Cohen, HarryLewis, Terence (Worsley)
    Cook, Frank (Stockton North)Lloyd, Tony (Stretford)
    Cook, Robin F. (Livingston)Loyden, Edward
    Corbett, RobinMcDonald, Dr Oonagh
    Corbyn, JeremyMcKay, Allen (Penistone)
    Cowans, HarryMcKelvey, William
    Craigen, J. M.McNamara, Kevin
    Crowther, StanMcTaggart, Robert
    Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (L'lli)McWilliam, John
    Davis, Terry (B'ham, H'ge H'l)Madden, Max
    Deakins, EricMarek, Dr John
    Dixon, DonaldMarshall, David (Shettleston)
    Dobson, FrankMartin, Michael
    Dormand, JackMaynard, Miss Joan
    Dubs, AlfredMeadowcroft, Michael
    Duffy, A. E. P.Michie, William
    Dunwoody, Hon Mrs G.Mikardo, Ian
    Eadie, AlexMitchell, Austin (G't Grimsby)
    Eastham, KenMorris, Rt Hon A. (W'shawe)
    Ellis, RaymondMorris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon)
    Evans, John (St. Helens N)Nellist, David
    Fatchett, DerekO'Brien, William
    Field, Frank (Birkenhead)Orme, Rt Hon Stanley
    Fisher, MarkOwen, Rt Hon Dr David
    Flannery, MartinPark, George
    Foot, Rt Hon MichaelPatchett, Terry
    Forrester, JohnPavitt, Laurie
    Foster, DerekPenhaligon, David

    Pike, PeterStewart, Rt Hon D. (W Isles)
    Prescott, JohnStott, Roger
    Radice, GilesStrang, Gavin
    Randall, StuartThome, Stan (Preston)
    Redmond, M.Tinn, James
    Rees, Rt Hon M. (Leeds S) >Torney, Tom
    Robertson, GeorgeWainwright, R.
    Rooker, J. W.Wallace, James
    Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight)Wareing, Robert
    Rowlands, TedWeetch, Ken
    Sedgemore, BrianWelsh, Michael
    Sheerman, BarryWhite, James
    Shore, Rt Hon PeterWilliams, Rt Hon A.
    Short, Ms Clare (Ladywood)Wilson, Gordon
    Silkin, Rt Hon J.Winnick, David
    Skinner, DennisWrigglesworth, Ian
    Smith, C.(lsl'ton S & F'bury)
    Smith, Rt Hon J. (M'kl'ds E)Tellers for the Ayes:
    Soley, CliveMr. Frank Hayes and
    Steel, Rt Hon DavidDr. Roger Thomas.


    Aitken, JonathanGoodlad, Alastair
    Alexander, RichardGow, Ian
    Amess, DavidGower, Sir Raymond
    Ancram, MichaelGreenway, Harry
    Atkins, Robert (South Ribble)Gregory, Conal
    Baldry, TonyGriffiths, E. (B'y St Edm'ds)
    Banks, Robert (Harrogate)Griffiths, Peter (Portsm'th N)
    Bellingham, HenryGrist, Ian
    Bendall, VivianHamilton, Hon A. (Epsom)
    Best, KeithHamilton, Neil (Tatton)
    Body, RichardHampson, Dr Keith
    Boscawen, Hon RobertHannam, John
    Bottomley, PeterHarris, David
    Bowden, Gerald (Dulwich)Harvey, Robert
    Brandon-Bravo, MartinHaselhurst, Alan
    Bright, GrahamHavers, Rt Hon Sir Michael
    Brinton, TimHawksley, Warren
    Brooke, Hon PeterHayes, J.
    Brown, M. (Brigg & Cl'thpes)Hayhoe, Barney
    Buchanan-Smith, Rt Hon A.Hay ward, Robert
    Buck, Sir AntonyHenderson, Barry
    Burt, AlistairHickmet, Richard
    Butcher, JohnHicks, Robert
    Carlisle, John (N Luton)Hind, Kenneth
    Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)Hirst, Michael
    Carlisle, Rt Hon M. (W'ton S)Hogg, Hon Douglas (Gr'th'm)
    Carttiss, MichaelHolland, Sir Philip (Gedling)
    Cash, WilliamHolt, Richard
    Chapman, SydneyHordern, Peter
    Chope, ChristopherHowarth, Alan (Stratf'd-on-A)
    Clark, Sir W. (Croydon S)Howarth, Gerald (Cannock)
    Clegg, Sir WalterHowell, Ralph (N Norfolk)
    Coombs, SimonHubbard-Miles, Peter
    Cope, JohnIrving, Charles
    Crouch, DavidJackson, Robert
    Currie, Mrs EdwinaJenkin, Rt Hon Patrick
    Dicks, TerryJohnson Smith, Sir Geoffrey
    Dorrell, StephenJones, Gwilym (Cardiff N)
    Douglas-Hamilton, Lord J,Jones, Robert (W Herts)
    Dunn, RobertJoseph, Rt Hon Sir Keith
    Dykes, HughKellett-Bowman, Mrs Elaine
    Eyre, Sir ReginaldKershaw, Sir Anthony
    Fallon, MichaelKey, Robert
    Farr, Sir JohnKing, Roger (B'harn N'field)
    Favell, AnthonyKing, Rt Hon Tom
    Fenner, Mrs PeggyKnight, Gregory (Derby N)
    Fookes, Miss JanetKnowles, Michael
    Forsyth, Michael (Stirling)Knox, David
    Forth, EricLamont, Norman
    Fox, MarcusLang, Ian
    Franks, CecilLatham, Michael
    Fraser, Peter (Angus East)Lawler, Geoffrey
    Freeman, RogerLawrence, Ivan
    Fry, PeterLee, John (Pendle)
    Gale, RogerLeigh, Edward (Gainsbor'gh)
    Gardner, Sir Edward (Fylde)Lennox-Boyd, Hon Mark
    Garel-Jones, TristanLester, Jim
    Glyn, Dr AlanLewis, Sir Kenneth (Stamf'd)

    Lightbown, DavidRyder, Richard
    Lord, MichaelSackville, Hon Thomas
    Luce, RichardSainsbury, Hon Timothy
    Lyell, NicholasSt. John-Stevas, Rt Hon N.
    McCurley, Mrs AnnaSayeed, Jonathan
    Macfarlane, NeilShaw, Giles (Pudsey)
    MacGregor, JohnShelton, William (Streatham)
    MacKay, John (Argyll & Bute)Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)
    Maclean, David JohnShepherd, Richard (Aldridge)
    Madel, DavidSilvester, Fred
    Major, JohnSims, Roger
    Malins, HumfreySkeet, T. H. H.
    Malone, GeraldSmith, Tim (Beaconsfield)
    Marland, PaulSoames, Hon Nicholas
    Marshall, Michael (Arundel)Speed, Keith
    Mates, MichaelSpencer, Derek
    Mather, CarolSpicer, Jim (W Dorset)
    Maude, Hon FrancisSpicer, Michael (S Worcs)
    Mawhinney, Dr BrianSquire, Robin
    Maxwell-Hyslop, RobinSteen, Anthony
    Mayhew, Sir PatrickStevens, Lewis (Nuneaton)
    Mellor, DavidStewart, Allan (Eastwood)
    Merchant, PiersStradling Thomas, J.
    Meyer, Sir AnthonySumberg, David
    Miller, Hal (B'grove)Taylor, John (Solihull)
    Mills, lain (Meriden)Taylor, Teddy (S'end E)
    Mills, Sir Peter (West Devon)Tebbit, Rt Hon Norman
    Mitchell, David (NW Hants)Temple-Morris, Peter
    Moate, RogerThomas, Rt Hon Peter
    Monro, Sir HectorThompson, Donald (Calder V)
    Montgomery, Sir FergusThompson, Patrick (N'ich N)
    Moore, JohnThornton, Malcolm
    Morrison, Hon C. (Devizes)Thurnham, Peter
    Morrison, Hon P. (Chester)Townend, John (Bridlington)
    Murphy, ChristopherTownsend, Cyril D. (B'heath)
    Neale, GerrardTracey, Richard
    Needham, RichardTwinn, Dr Ian
    Nelson, Anthonyvan Straubenzee, Sir W
    Neubert, MichaelVaughan, Sir Gerard
    Nicholls, PatrickViggers, Peter
    Norris, StevenWaddington, David
    Oppenheim, PhillipWakeham, Rt Hon John
    Oppenheim, Rt Hon Mrs S.Waldegrave, Hon William
    Osborn, Sir JohnWalden, George
    Page, Richard (Herts SW)Walker, Bill (T'side N)
    Parris, MatthewWall, Sir Patrick
    Pattie, GeoffreyWaller, Gary
    Pawsey, JamesWard, John
    Peacock, Mrs ElizabethWardle, C. (Bexhill)
    Pollock, AlexanderWatson, John
    Porter, BarryWatts, John
    Powell, Rt Hon J. E. (S Down)Wheeler, John
    Powell, William (Corby)Whitfield, John
    Powley, JohnWhitney, Raymond
    Prentice, Rt Hon RegWiggin, Jerry
    Proctor, K. HarveyWinterton, Mrs Ann
    Rathbone, TimWinterton, Nicholas
    Renton, TimWolfson, Mark
    Rhodes James, RobertWood, Timothy
    Ridley, Rt Hon NicholasYeo, Tim
    Ridsdale, Sir JulianYoung, Sir George (Acton)
    Rifkind, MalcolmYounger, Rt Hon George
    Roe, Mrs Marion
    Rossi, Sir HughTellers for the Noes:
    Rowe, AndrewMr. Peter Lloyd and
    Rumbold, Mrs AngelaMr. Tony Durant.

    Question accordingly negatived.

    It being after half-past Seven o'clock, MR. DEPUTY SPEAKER proceeded, pursuant to the order [1 April] and the resolution yesterday, to put forthwith the Questions on amendments moved by a member of the Government to the end of part IV of the Bill.

    Amendments made: No. 68, in page 50, line 40, at end insert—

    ' (d) in Scotland, a partner or (as the case may be) an employee of a partner of such an operator;'.

    No. 69, in page 50, line 44, after 'director', insert `, partner'.— [Mr. Ridley.]