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Restriction On Deposit Of Material

Volume 122: debated on Tuesday 10 November 1987

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

I beg to move amendment No. 15, in page 6, line 13, leave out 'one' and insert 'three'.

With this it will be convenient to take the following amendments: No. 16, in page 6, line 26, after 'engineering', insert 'and environmental.'.

No. 17, in page 6, leave out lines 27 to 36.

I shall give the House a brief synopsis of each amendment. Amendment No. 15 deals with the notice that must be given to the two councils in the area—the county council and the district council. The Bill proposes a period of one month, but the amendment would change that to three months to bring it in line with the notice that must be given to the Nature Conservancy Council if sites of special scientific interest are disturbed.

Amendment No. 16 would include environmental factors, and seeks to insert the words "and environmental" after the word "engineering". In any construction, the ecological importance—[Interruption.]

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. Will you ask the hon. Members who are standing at the Bar of the House, causing a great disturbance, to leave the Chamber so that my hon. Friend can speak to the amendments with a modicum of dignity?

I ask hon. Members who are not listening to the debate not to carry on conversations at the Bar of the House.

Amendment No. 16 seeks to include environmental considerations when decisions are made about construction.

Amendment No. 17 seeks to delete an ambiguous part of the clause dealing with the way in which the shore line will he left by the spoil and infill. The Bill talks about a "smooth shore line". I am not sure what that means. It could be loophole which would allow the company to deposit any sort of infill that it wished.

3.30 am

For the benefit of hon. Members who were not present for the earlier part of the debate, I will explain what we are talking about. Basically, we are discussing the expansion of the port of Felixstowe and the construction of new docks on the Orwell estuary. This will have the side effect of destroying a whole part of an area of inter-tidal land which comprises mud flats, salt marsh and old oyster beds. This area is known as Fagbury flats and is recognised as being of critical importance in environmental and conservation terms.

The hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds (Sir E. Griffiths) talked about Maplin sands and Brent geese. I recall it being concluded that it was not possible to relocate the Brent geese environmentally to the Wash. That was one reason why an airport at Maplin was rejected.

My hon. Friend speaks of the difficulty of moving wild birds from one habitat to another. Why is it so difficult environmentally to move them? What is the main problem?

My hon. Friend's intervention enables me to explain the position more fully, and to comment on another point made by the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds. The company has claimed that it will offer an area known as Trimley marshes in compensation for the inter-tidal zone which will be destroyed. The area of Trimley marshes is arable land.

Does my hon. Friend agree that the area is of such importance, not only nationally but internationally, that it has been designated a site deserving of special protection under the Ramsar convention?

Not only is my hon. Friend correct to say that under the Ramsar convention it is a wetland of international importance, but it is a designated site of special scientific interest. It is also part of an area of outstanding natural beauty, a point that has not been mentioned in the debate.

As for the difficulty involved in relocating wildlife, this is an area of inter-tidal zone. It contains a large proportion of such food sources for birds as invertebrates, worms, cockles and mussels.

Why has this been designated a Ramsar convention site? I ask that in connection with amendment No. 16 and the mention of engineering and environmental works of which notice must or must not be given. I examined the map which is in the possession of my hon. Friend the Member for Workington (Mr. Campbell-Savours) and found it difficult to envisage that the Trimley marshes contained so much arable land. What percentage of the marshes is at present arable land?

The recommendation has been made by the Ramsar convention because it is an area that has been identified by environmental organisations in this country, along with many sites in the United Kingdom, as one of international importance as it supports not only a large proportion of wintering waders and wintering wildfowl, but it is also an important stop-over site for migrating birds.

To remove such a site as part of the dock development would cause an imbalance in the total ecological chain that is important to the wintering cycle of European and other continental species. It is also important as a stop-over site for native species.

May I press my hon. Friend on this important point. I have a map, that some of my hon. Friends have been able to see, showing the area of sandbank and the adjacent area of Trimley marshes. We cannot understand why it is impracticable for birds to move from their habitat on the silted areas to the Trimley marshes. What is the environmental difference that would prevent that movement? If we could prove that that move was insuperable much of the case of the promoters would fall. I might say, for the interest of the House, that my hon. Friend is a world authority on these matters.

I am told that, even last Sunday, he was out ringing and labelling birds. He obviously knows about these matters and I am sure that the House would like to hear his views on this switch.

A little knowledge does not make one a world authority.

The important fact about the marshes to the north is that, for some period of time, the salt element has been leached out because of freshwater rainfall and therefore it does not have the same make-up as the salt marshes. It does not support the same number of invertebrate species. However, left as it is, it does provide a valuable habitat that is ideal for breeding birds such as redshanks and lapwing.

Is that advantage offset, to some extent, by the fact that, as it is within the area covered by the North Atlantic drift, it is ice-free and therefore, despite the problem with the saline content, there will be a large migration of population from the nordic and palaeartic areas for feeding?

Order. This discussion is beginning to have the familiar ring of an earlier debate. I remind the hon. Gentleman and the House that the clause is headed:

"Restriction on deposit of material"
The main amendment deals with the time limit and whether it should be one month or three months. The hon. Gentleman must stick to that amendment and the two that are grouped with it.

I bow to your guidance, Mr. Deputy Speaker. Amendment 16 is clear regarding the importance of the word environmental. I am seeking to explain the environmental consequences for the area and the consequences of the engineering construction.

The infill, during construction, will also have environmental consequences. When that infill starts it will destroy a site of special scientific interest and will alter the environmental make-up of the area. We have no idea where that infill will come from. It may be contaminated.

Even in the short term such infilling will cause an environmental imbalance, as it will muddy the water. Indeed the site may well require dredging by heavy earth-moving machinery. There have been instances in estuaries such as the Orwell when, over a period, an accumulation of heavy metals in the mud occurs. If that mud is disturbed the long-term accumulation of heavy metals can be suspended in the inter-tidal zone and that heavy metal may then be left on the mud flats with disastrous environmental consequences, such as those experienced in the Mersey.

The hon. Gentleman will recall that the House has just passed an amendment whereby none of the works for reclamation can commence without the consent of the Secretary of State for the Environment. Because of his statutory duties my right hon. Friend must take into account the factors with which the hon. Gentleman is rightly concerned.

I appreciate the hon. Gentleman's comments. It is a serious matter and I hope that the Secretary of State will take account of it.

My hon. Friend should not place too much faith in the judgment of the Secretary of State. [Interruption.] The hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds (Sir E. Griffiths) should not say that it is my amendment. It is a free vote. Labour Members are not being whipped. We are not being lined up outside with our glasses of champagne and being asked to vote. The House was split on the last vote because of a genuine difference of opinion. The Secretary of State for Wales is sponsoring a motion that similarly will result in the destruction of a site of special scientific interest in Cardiff bay. Therefore, my hon. Friend should not have too much faith in either the Secretary of State for the Environment or the Secretary of State for Wales ensuring an adequate level of environmental protection.

Order. Incidental reference to that is in order. but we cannot return to a debate on an amendment that has already been dealt with.

I suggest to my hon. Friend that, if the Secretary of State for the Environment considered the matter fairly and reasonably, he would perhaps come to the conclusion that he could not expect any responsible local authority satisfactorily to respond to the one-month notice in the Bill, and that he may well agree that three months is a more reasonable period.

We are talking about a major civil engineering project and about large numbers of heavy vehicles moving through narrow roads and passing inhabited areas. Local councils would need as much notice as possible to prepare their traffic management schemes, to ensure that the movement of vehicles is properly controlled and to be satisfied as to the areas where the construction was to take place and the first deposits were to be made. Extending the notice from one month to three months is reasonable, and I find it difficult to believe that any hon. Member would oppose that.

Is the timing of the activities significant? One has to consider the nesting time of different species of birds. Could my hon. Friend enlighten us?

It is not only the nesting season that is important in the marshes to the north of the site, but the migration periods. It has already been mentioned that birds are attracted to our country because the mud flats do not freeze during the winter. Large numbers of wildfowl migrate to the site in winter. Construction during winter would disturb the wildfowl, the Brent geese and the waders. Winter is a time when most species need to feed to increase their body weight so that they can survive the harsh times.

My hon. Friend has just convinced me. However, while he claims that his amendment is moderate, by the very nature of his argument, should not the notice be longer than three months to take account of the mating and nesting patterns of birds? Does my hon. Friend agree with the points I have made, or does he think that he is misleading the House and cheating in some way?

3.45 am

My hon. Friend has raised a pertinent point. As I have already said, the three-month period was designed to bring the Bill into line with the notification that must be given now for any sort of disturbance of a site of scientific interest under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. We are discussing a major site of special scientific interest. That is why there has been so much environmental opposition to such a disturbance.

I shall give my hon. Friend the Member for Caerphilly (Mr. Davies) a rest.

I am intrigued by the arguments about the special ecological problems of the area and the importance of maintaining an ecological balance. I am, however, rather surprised that no one—neither the Bill's sponsors nor those who have moved amendments to it—has spoken about the EEC directive on environmental impact studies. This is an area that falls within the scope of that directive, which has been accepted by the Department of the Environment.

Why did not the sponsors of the Bill voluntarily get together with the county council at the outset of planning procedures, to set out in detail, through such an impact study, the project's effects on the ecology and manpower resources? Have the sponsors made any effort to link up with the county council in such a study?

My hon. Friend has made a pertinent point. As far as we know, there has been no such link-up with the county council. It is because of our concern that the Bill does not seem to take the environmental implications seriously that we want to amend and strengthen it. The harbour board has not seriously considered the many arguments that have been put to it by numerous bodies about the effects of its proposals.

Is my hon. Friend suggesting that the Bill is being used as a way of getting round the planning procedures and thus putting aside the whole concept of the EEC directive? That cuts out any possibility of the county council influencing an impact analysis study or approaching the potential developers of the site with a view to producing such a study jointly. So the Bill is a real attempt to get round any attempt to use the planning regulations — they are supported by the Secretary of State for the Environment—to obtain an in-depth study of the objections to the measure.

Order. The hon. Gentleman must resist the temptation to broaden the debate into a debate on planning procedures. He must stick to the three amendments.

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. Is not the Bill relevant to planning procedures because it supersedes all existing procedures laid down in planning and local government legislation? The whole purpose of this legislation is to give the Bill's private promoters the chance to proceed on matters for which they would otherwise have to obtain planning permission.

Further to that point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. May I be helpful to you? Amendment No. 16 refers specifically to environmental questions. I had the opportunity of serving on a planning committee. Anyone who has had experience of planning procedures in local government will realise that environmental factors are crucial to the decisions of planning committees. I say with respect, Mr. Deputy Speaker, that I think that discussion about planning procedures and the time scales involved is relevant to the amendment.

You may have been in the Chair at the time, Mr. Deputy Speaker, and I have no doubt that if you were not, you read the proceedings on the Bill, which many feel may become a best-seller like novels by the former vice-chairman of the Conservative party. If you read the proceedings you will see that there was at one stage a long debate about whether the private Bill mechanism was the most appropriate for the company. Some of us argued that it should have gone through the planning procedures. It did not do that because it knew that it could buy influence on the Conservative Benches to get the private Bill through. Amendment Number 16 has been accepted for debate by you and your colleagues, Mr. Deputy Speaker. Therefore, I would have thought that we could talk about planning procedures. Some of us wish in one sense that we could not, because we wish that the private company had gone through the planning procedures rather than buy influence in the House.

Both hon. Gentlemen have answered their own points. They have confirmed my fear that the debate might be broadened into one on whether this is a correct method by which to proceed or whether it should be done through planning procedures. All that I am saying is that to have a broad debate on whether this Bill, or planning procedure, is the right way to proceed would be out of order on these amendments.

Further to that point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. My hon. Friend was judicious in his choice of words, But he said twice that hon. Gentlemen on the Conservative Benches had been bought. He referred specifically to private promoters buying influence. I should be grateful if you would rule that that is an appropriate form of words for my hon. Friend to use. He is anxious to avoid an early bath, but if you can rule that it is in order for my hon. Friend to accuse hon. Gentlemen on the Conservative Benches of having been bought, it would help us.

I do not know a great deal about salt marshes or ornithology, but I know that local authorities are under great pressure. I am deeply concerned about whether Suffolk county council and Suffolk Coastal district council will have to go to any expense because of the Bill. I am not sure about the political persuasion of those councils. I am not even sure whether they have been rate-capped. Can anyone state whether the company will pay compensation to those councils for work that they will have to carry out under the Bill?

That is a good point and comes back to the reason why the time should be extended from one month to three months.

Members of the county council and of Suffolk Coastal district council have negotiated with the promoters and have reached complete agreement with them.

There is usually an explanatory and financial memorandum attached to Bills that spells out the financial implications of the legislation for local authorities. It is absent in this case. Will the procedures involved in the investigation of deposits of material mean any expense for the local authorities? I beg to differ from my hon. Friend. The company may not have to reimburse the local authority. Instead, the local authority may have to supplement its resources to pay that money, which means that the money comes from the ratepayers. Why does not the local authority receive sufficient funding to cover the work?

The hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds says that there has been agreement between the two councils and the dock and railway board. I wonder whether those councils are reconsidering their position in the light of what happened to councils affected by the recent hurricane in the south of England. Without doubt, they will incur expense because they will have to do such things as clean away the mud on the roads, repair demaged vehicles and inspect damage. That expenditure may lead the councils to incur grant penalty. The Secretary of State for the Environment said that the councils should have had the necessary money in their reserves. What kind of support is that for local councils?

My hon. Friend has touched on an important point — the role of local authorities with respect to finance. One hon. Member said from a sedentary position that there would be no increased costs for local authorities.

The hon. Gentleman, from a sedentary position, is saying something slightly different. What extra costs will fall upon the county and district councils to do those things mentioned by my hon. Friend the Member for Glanford and Scunthorpe (Mr. Morley), such as clearing the roads of excess mud? Councils will also face demand for a change in the road system, because of increased traffic, and there will be ancillary costs. We have not had responses to those fundamental points. My hon. Friend has touched on a rich vein. It is important to press the Government on these points.

I know of no major civil engineering project that has not resulted in the local authorities incurring extra costs. I know from my experience as a local councillor that in undertaking major engineering projects we have to deal with broken pavements, wires and cables that have been torn down and lamp posts that have been knocked over. Although that damage, which is incidental in any major project, is the responsibility of the private company or contractors concerned, those of us in local government know very well how long it takes to go through the insurance claims, and in the meantime more costs are being incurred.

I should like to offer my hon. Friend a piece of information which may be relevant to his argument. I had the pleasure of visiting Suffolk only a few days after the storm damage occurred. I talked to a number of local people who had suffered extensive damage to their property. I read in the local newspaper that the local county council was worried about the damage and the cost of the council. It is no good the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds (Sir E. Griffiths) saying that there was an agreement with the county council. The fact is that that agreement predated the storm damage. We all now know that there are county councils in the south of England that will find themselves in extreme difficulty because of the storm damage. It is irrelevant for the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds to say that there has been an agreement. He is taking the House for a ride. That agreement has been overtaken. Does my hon. Friend agree with me?

I absolutely agree with that statement for the reasons I have already put forward. Any reasonable local council would want to consult its local people about the possible effects. Local councils may want to consult any villages that lie along the route for lorries and local conservation organisations. They may want to consult local rambler associations whose rights of way may be affected during the construction period. It is in no way unreasonable that reasonable local authorities should be given that timespan.

4 am

My hon. Friend dealt first with the capital consequences of the legislation. The hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds (Sir E. Griffiths) was very coy and avoided mentioning revenue consequences and particularly manpower costs. Local authorities will incur substantial expenditure in that area and there is no possibility of private enterprise coming in to make that revenue good. The type of manpower costs that I am referring to involve environmental health officers, planning officers, engineers and traffic management units. Those manpower costs represent real costs to the local authority and the Bill does not address such costs.

My hon. Friend has raised some good points. He has clearly stated the difficulties in which local councils may find themselves over the time scale and it is not true to say that no costs will fall upon local authorities. Revenue costs are very important in connection with total capital and without doubt some council departments will be tied up with supervision, the consequences of construction work and with queries from local people who may want to make complaints.

My hon. Friend may be able to assist us and invite the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds (Sir E. Griffiths) to provide the relevant information. My hon. Friend has relatively recent distinguished experience of local government. Indeed, his experience is much more recent than most other hon. Members who had had similar experience of serving in local government before entering this House. From his recent experience, and as he represented a local authority on the eastern side of the country, can he tell us whether any local authority on the eastern side of England today has the spare capacity of highly qualified servants to fulfil the obligations immediately, or at one month's notice, that hon. Members on both sides of the House would expect such an authority to undertake? Does he believe that any local authority, given all the constraints placed on local authorities by the Government in recent years has any capacity to fulfil the demands at the remarkably short notice envisaged in the Bill?

Even Ministers are aware that the screws have been tightened so hard on local authorities that, frankly, I do not believe that there is spare capacity among local authorities' work forces to deal with the three-month notice, let alone the one-month notice.

I believe that decisions are often taken in favour of the private sector that assume that ratepayers can foot the bill and that the local authority will pay the price. Have there been any assessments or costings, in the light of the Bill, of the impact on local authorities and ratepayers, so as to build such assessments into the budgets when they are drawn up? If that work has not been carried out, the Bill is imposing a burden on local authorities that is greater than the authorities can bear.

I am sure that costings have been done, but I am not sure just how recently or whether they have been amended in the light of the changing circumstances of local authorities and the changing costs and inflation rates. Any costings carried out in the past will no longer be relevant to the present circumstances, particularly in view of the comments made by the Secretary of State for the Environment and the way in which he is quite ruthlessly prepared to deal with local authorities which find that they have extra expenditure above the normal outlay. They can expect no help, support or sympathy and they face very severe consequences.

I do not wish to usurp your authority, Mr. Deputy Speaker. However, I wonder whether the terms of the amendment stray slightly wide of the words on the Order Paper. My hon. Friend the Member for Glanford and Scunthorpe (Mr. Morley) referred earlier to the difficulties of migrant birds—hence the amendment calling for a three-month moratorium. Will he cast his mind back to the protective provisions of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, and consider for a moment the protection that it bestows on nesting birds, and the effect that the Bill would have on the nesting period? As I understand the terms of the 1981 Act, they would prevent most of the operations envisaged in the Bill from taking place, certainly between about February and June or July. I feel that that is highly relevant to the amendment.

Order. Interventions are developing into speeches. Interventions must be brief.

I thank my hon. Friend the Member for Caerphilly (Mr. Davies) for guiding me back to the straight and narrow. I do not wish to digress from the points that we are discussing.

Under Schedule 1 of the 1981 Act, certain breeding birds are protected by law. Schedule 1 birds are the rarer species, but birds such as the ruff——

Certainly. Schedule I is a list of rare British breeding birds. They include such species as the barn owl, which is becoming very scarce, and other scarce breeders such as the bee-eater — [Interruption.] I am afraid that the ringed plover is not included in the schedule. No doubt that will cause some disappointment.

Schedule 1 protects birds that would be endangered by disturbance of their breeding. Any schedule 1 bird that was breeding in the area would halt any building progress taking place at that time. The ruff and the black-tailed godwit, which are in the schedule, breed in the area, although I do not know whether they breed in that precise vicinity.

I gather that the provisions of schedule I are not the only provisions that prohibit the disturbance of breeding birds. As I understand it, any breeding birds, other than those which, under another provision, can be taken from pheasantries and so on, are offered a measure of protection under the 1981 Act. Not only the birds with special protection, but the oyster catchers and others mentioned by my hon. Friend the Member for Leeds, Central (Mr. Fatchett) would be given protection.

My hon. Friend is right. Although they are not included in schedule 1, those birds would be protected during the breeding season from the deliberate disturbance or destruction of their nests or eggs. It comes back to the question of the time scale of the construction work. The more common breeding birds in the area might be affected.

I have no knowledge of schedule 1 of the 1981 Act. However, I have been told that my hon. Friend the Member for Glanford and Scunthorpe (Mr. Morley) is a renowned bird expert. Are any of the birds mentioned in schedule 1 migratory? I have not taken part in the earlier proceedings because I have been tied up with the Local Government Bill, so I am now trying to pick up some of the necessary information. [Interruption.] I am an expert on the haggis, but not on migratory birds. Will my hon. Friend tell me whether any, or all, of the birds in schedule I are migratory?

Schedule 1 contains a combination of both types of bird. Birds such as the barn owl, for instance, do not migrate: they have their own territory. Other birds, such as the Tringa sandpipers, which breed in this country, are migratory. They are linked by the delicate nature of their distribution, both in this country and in Europe. That is why they are given special protection, apart from the protection that they are given under the 1981 Act.

Schedule 1 dealt with migratory birds south of the border. Do any of those birds fly down from Scotland?

My hon. Friend has asked an interesting question. Schedule 1 to the 1981 Act refers to the wryneck, which breeds in the south of England. But it is becoming extinct. However, the northern species of the wryneck, from Scandinavia, is increasing in the north of the British Isles and is moving south. That shows how the hardier northern species are pushing out the weaker southern species.

Order. That may be very interesting, but I find it difficult to relate it to the amendments before the House. The hon. Gentleman must resist the temptation to be taken off the straight and narrow course by the interventions of his hon. Friend the Member for East Kilbride (Mr. Ingram).

I raised that point, Mr. Deputy Speaker, because my hon. Friend the Member for Glanford and Scunthorpe (Mr. Morley) mentioned certain matters that cause me concern. If the wryneck is flying down from Scotland but will be unable to rest on this site, where will it be able to rest, and will it ever be able to return to Scotland?

The wryneck is a summer migrant. It spends the winter months in Africa and other southern regions. The southern wryneck is a special British subspecies that is becoming extinct. It is being replaced by the hardier northern sub-species of the wryneck.

Is not the relevance of this question the relationship between the environment, nesting and the engineering works? We are trying to work out the extent to which the engineering works would affect the nesting places of these birds. My hon. Friend the Member for Glanford and Scunthorpe (Mr. Morley) referred to the nesting sites of schedule 1 birds and other birds. Do the nesting periods vary throughout the year? A different species of bird could be nesting in each month of the year. If we are to comply with the provisions of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and the requirement that schedule 1 and other birds should not be disturbed during the nesting season, it is possible that no engineering works could be carried out at any time in the year. My hon. Friend has a duty to identify each species of bird that might be nesting at a particular time of the year.

One bird breeds almost continuously during the year — the collared dove. Until 1955 the collared dove was rarely found in this country. It can breed throughout the year, except when the weather is severe.

Will my hon. Friend confirm that the collared dove is now classed as a pest and that it can be culled by any landowner or individual, provided that that individual has the landowner's permission to do so?

I can confirm that. Collared doves hang around docklands because they are attracted by grain on ships. When they first came to Britain in 1955 people came from all over the country to see them, but they are now regarded as a pest, as a result of their continuous westward spread.

4.15 am

I hope that my hon. Friend will not be led astray by other hon. Friends. I urge him to resist the blandishments of my hon. Friends. My hon. Friend knows that while the House may be interested in collared doves and wrynecks, the particular importance of this area is the provision of habitat to accommodate the wintering population of gulls, ducks, geese and waders. We must not lose sight of that overriding consideration.

I accept my hon. Friend's point.

Amendment No. 16 deals with the disturbance that engineering causes. Apart from the construction of the dock, which we have dealt with in terms of civil engineering, there is ancillary construction such as cranes and floodlights. Modern docks are brightly lit at night and floodlights can alter the life patterns of birds on the mud flats. Research has been done on the disturbance of docklands and industrial sites. It has been discovered that because of brightly lit dockland areas, gulls that normally roost at night on reservoirs or inland pools tend to fly around all night because of the opportunity that is given to them by the very bright lights. It is not known what the long-term implications of that interference will be, but a great deal more research will be done on that matter.

I have been listening to the hon. Gentleman very carefully and with a great deal of sympathy. With regard to amendment No. 16, where he is seeking to insert the word "environmental" alongside "engineering", I think that he has made his case. I have recommended that the promoters accept it, and I am glad to tell the House that they do. If he wishes, that amendment can pass. As to amendment No. 15, the hon. Gentleman properly said that under the wildlife and countryside conventions three months' notice is the normal practice rather than one month, so I have recommended that the promoters accept the logic of his case. I am glad to say that they do, so that amendment can also pass.

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. Is not the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds (Sir E. Griffiths) outrageously out of order in suggesting to the House that he has arrived at a private arrangement with the people who are paying him to pilot this legislation through the House. [HON. MEMBERS: "Withdraw".] I seem to have hit a sore spot. If Tory Members are not prepared to accept the accusation that they have received a financial inducement to support this measure, I am sorry. The hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds has no locus to suggest that he has arrived at a private arrangement with the promoters and that, therefore, there is no need for us to discuss the amendment or for my hon. Friend to proceed with it. It really is outrageous that——

Order. I have noted the hon. Gentleman's point. The fact is quite simple. The hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds (Sir E. Griffiths) is in charge of the Bill. It is quite customary for an hon. Member who is in charge of a Bill to give some idea—quite often at an early stage — of his view of amendments that are being discussed. The hon. Gentleman was quite in order in doing that.

With respect, Mr. Deputy Speaker, if my hon. Friend had not started to move his amendment or if the debate on the amendment had been completed, that would have been an appropriate time for the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds to announce to the House his fixed agreement with the promoters of the Bill. Inasmuch as the debate on the amendment has hardly started—certainly, the amendment has been moved by my hon. Friend — many important points are to be made. Some of my hon. Friends wish to oppose the amendment moved by my hon. Friend the Member for Glandford and Scunthorpe (Mr. Morley). Surely it is not an appropriate time for the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds to announce his fixed-up agreement.

I merely repeat that the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds was within his rights in doing what he did. I got the impression that he was trying to be helpful to the House. It is quite normal for the person in charge of a Bill — whether it be a Back-Bench Member or a Minister—at an early stage to give some idea to the House about his attitude to amendments that are being discussed.

Further to that point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I confirm absolutely that I was seeking to meet the case that the hon. Member for Glan ford and Scunthorpe (Mr. Morley) eloquently put. Of course, since I am responsible for the Bill in the House, I made it my business to consult the promoters and to advise them that the hon. Gentleman had made two points about the timing and the insertion of "environmental" which made good sense and that, if they were wise, they would adopt the amendments. I was reporting to the House to help the House. The promoters had accepted the two amendments.

Further to that point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I am concerned about the procedural aspects. However, perhaps I do not need to be, and you can help me in this respect. I have listened to the debate for the past hour. I am keen to speak against amendment No. 15. In many respects, it is flawed. I should like to catch your eye, if possible. I am concerned that the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds (Sir E. Griffiths) is trying to railroad the amendment through the House and prevent detailed discussion. Some of my hon. Friends — indeed, some Conservative Members—and I should have the right to speak against the amendment. I hope that the hon. Gentleman's intervention and his subsequent point of order were not taken by you in any sense as trying to preempt discussion.

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. At the end of the debate, will you accept a motion that the House do now adjourn? It seems that an odd situation has developed. Clearly, the House has been detained at some length. It would have been helpful if, at some time over the past 18 months during which the amendments have been down, the promoters of the Bill had had the chance to consult the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds (Sir E. Griffiths) to consider which of the amendments they might be prepared to accept. Had they put their names to some of the amendments, the time spent by the House could have been considerably reduced. It is not satisfactory for that consultation to take place during the debate as the time of the House is clearly being wasted. I hope that at the end of the debate on this group of amendments you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, might consider allowing the House to adjourn. We could then return to the matter when the promoters and the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds have had an opportunity to sort out their views on the Bill. We might then save some time.

Order. I repeat to the House that I have heard nothing out of order and we should now get on with the debate.

Further to the point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I put it to you that there are a number of oddities about the confession of the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds (Sir E. Griffiths). I may be wrong—I stand to be corrected — but I have not seen the hon. Gentleman move from his place to consult the promoters. If I am right, the House deserves an explanation. We have had nearly an hour of debate—during which time my hon. Friend the Member for Glanford and Scunthorpe (Mr. Morley) has advanced the environmental case most eloquently—and it would have been wrong for us to be detained if the information could have been provided earlier.

You, Sir, pointed out that in the consideration of public business a Minister may explain his intentions to the House early in the proceedings. However, in such cases Ministers are backed by the authority of the Government Chief Whip and know that he will mobilise the support of Conservative Members to guarantee that their intentions are translated into votes in the Lobby. Unless the Government Chief Whip is prepared to make a statement on this matter, which would be most useful, and to assure us that Conservative Members will not vote against the amendment, we can have no guarantee—other than the assurance that the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds proposes to vote for it — that the amendment will be carried. Therefore, if the House is not to adjourn, it is most important that the Government Chief Whip should tell us what the Government propose.

I repeat that I have heard nothing out of order. The Chair never deals with hypothetical situations and I certainly do not propose to do so now.

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. It is significant that in making his concession the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds (Sir E. Griffiths) failed to recognise until this evening that the Bill was the subject of negotiations with the Government.

Order. What is the point of order for me? The hon. Gentleman appears to be addressing his remarks to the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds. If he has a point of order, he must address it to me.

I sought to outline the nature of the debate that is now to take place in light of the concession made by the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds. Hitherto, the debate has been about a Bill whose provisions have been negotiated by the Government and its promoters. Ministers — certainly Ministers from the Department of the Environment—will have negotiated over the Bill and accepted many of its clauses in principle. However, the hon. Gentleman's concession on behalf of the promoters will not have been discussed with Ministers, and they may wish to comment on it. They may wish to qualify——

Order. This is not really a point of order at all. It would be perfectly in order to raise the matter in the debate, and I suggest that we now return to the debate.

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. When my hon. Friend the Member for Caerphilly (Mr. Davies) accused the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds (Sir E. Griffiths) of receiving payment I noticed that the hon. Gentleman was indignant. In fairness to the hon. Gentleman, would you give him an opportunity to put on record a denial that he has received any payment for his role in relation to the Bill?

Further to that point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. My hon. Friend the Member for Makerfield (Mr. McCartney) mentioned me in his point of order. I realise that inadvertently I may have given offence to the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds (Sir E. Griffiths). If that was the case. I withdraw my remarks unreservedly. II the hon. Gentleman will assure me and the House that he has received no payment whatsoever in connection with his promotion of the Bill. I will acknowledge that I have done him a grave disservice and withdraw my remarks. I look forward to the statement from the hon. Gentleman that that is the case.

4.30 am

Order. It is clear that the points that hon. Members are now making are not points of order for the Chair.

I hope that what was said by the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds (Sir E. Griffiths) was recorded in Hansard.

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I gave the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds a fair and reasonable opportunity——

Order. I have already made it clear that these points are not matters for the Chair. I deprecate the fact that hon. Members are persisting in trying to raise points when I have already ruled that they are not points of order. We must now get on with the debate.

I remind the House that the issues we are talking about are serious in terms of the environment and conservation of the area concerned. It has been said that the promoters of the Bill are willing to accept amendments Nos. 15 and 16. I congratulate them on listening to the arguments that have been put forward sincerely. I appreciate that. However, one or two issues concern me a little and I would like to clarify them.

First, I am a little puzzled at the fact that the amendments have been accepted at this late stage when, as I understand it, they have been on the table for a long time. I am a little concerned——

The term of one month was an agreement reached between Suffolk county council and Suffolk Coastal district council and the promoters of the Bill. The local authorities were satisfied with one month. However, the hon. Member for Glanford and Scunthorpe (Mr. Morley) has made a fair point that, in wildlife and conservation practice, it is normal for there to be three months. He made his case, it has been accepted and I hope that he will recognise that.

Does my hon. Friend agree that this is an amazing situation? The amendments have been tabled for nearly 12 months. One would have thought that during that time the promoters would have looked at the reasons for the amendments. They could even have come and asked some of us who have our names on the amendments what the reasons were. We could then have tabled the amendments in the names of the promoters as well as those of Labour Members. That would have saved the House a great deal of time. It is unsatisfactory that only at this late hour are the promoters starting to decide to make the change. I hope that my hon. Friend the Member for Glanford and Scunthorpe (Mr. Morley) will press on to find out what other concessions may be coming so that we may be able to make faster progress — [Interruption.]

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. From a sedentary position the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds, having explained to the house that he has been convinced by the eloquent rhetoric of my hon. Friend, has now threatened to vote against the amendments. Clearly that conversion is humbug——

Order. These are not points of order. They are legitimate points of argument that can be deployed in the debate.

I agree with my hon. Friend the Member for Denton and Reddish (Mr. Bennett) that it is strange. I understand the logic of taking on board the three-month period because the case for the amendments is logical. I am prepared to accept the offer for three months. However, on amendment No. 16, I would like to be sure that we mean the same thing in terms of its operation if we put the word environmental into the Bill. By putting that word as well as the words "engineering factors" in the amendment, we shall put a responsibility on the company. If environmental or conservation groups point out to the company that the construction of the dock is having an undesirable environmental consequence, the company will vary the construction. I would appreciate it if the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds (Sir E. Griffiths) would confirm that.

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. Could we have some order in the Chamber? An hon. Member is walking around the Chamber. I do not know whether he is trying to interject.

Order. Hon. Members must be seated unless they are addressing the House.

I should appreciate it if the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds would confirm that we are both on the same wavelength on the effect on the clause of the word "environmental". As I see the effect of the amendment, if the company's construction is disturbing wildlife, or the nature or design of whatever is being constructed has any detrimental effect upon the environment, the company would concede that point.

Clause 7(3), to which amendment No. 16 is addressed, exempts the dock company from giving notice to the two councils of an intended start of construction of the extended quay, or any part of it. It gives the company an exemption in any case where it does not foresee that the construction work is capable of being completed in one continuous operation. At the moment the company must make that judgment on economic and engineering factors only. The hon. Member for Glanford and Scunthorpe (Mr. Morley) is right to want to insert "environmental". The promoters accept it, so the clause will be amended precisely on the words of the amendment.

We are making some progress, but I want to be clear on the interpretation because I do not want to see the amendment rendered worthless by the interpretation of the company, or to see the company ignore an amendment that has been put in good faith by hon. Members.

The hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds (Sir E. Griffiths) did not agree with the proposition put by my hon. Friend the Member for Glanford and Scunthorpe (Mr. Morley). The hon. Gentleman only reiterated the original concession made and referred to the inclusion of "environmental" after "engineering". My hon. Friend should press for that undertaking, because it was conspicuous that he did not receive it. The intention of my hon. Friend's amendment is very different from the interpretation being placed upon it by the company and by the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds. I ask my hon. Friend to press this 'very important point of interpretation.

That is my point. I am trying to make clear how the clause will operate, so that there is no danger of misinterpretation by the company.

I am obliged to the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds (Sir E. Griffiths) for accepting amendment Nos. 15 and 16. They are modest concessions which he may be unable to make in relation to other clauses, but we appreciate them none the less. We are also grateful for his concession on the previous set of amendments.

The hon. Gentleman could be even more helpful and could maintain consistency by accepting amendment No. 17, too. I hope that the inadequate gratitude of some of my hon. Friends has not persuaded the hon. Gentleman not to help us with amendment No. 17. On behalf of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, I express the sincere hope — perhaps the hon. Member for Cambridgeshire, South-West (Sir A. Grant) will allow the hon. Gentleman to listen to my request — that he will accept that amendment No. 17 is also important.

My only comment about the two amendments that have been accepted is that I am astonished that Suffolk county council and Suffolk Coastal district council have such enormous resources that they could respond to the requirements and challenges of the Bill at one month's notice. My local authority has studiously avoided being rate-capped and has tried to comply with the Government's requirements, but I do not see how or any responsible authority, could have enough spare resources so that, at one month's notice, it could respond to those challenges. The ratepayers of that area should ask why the authorities have maintained that substantial spare capacity in the administration of several departments.

I am sorry that I had to say that, because I have some sympathy with the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds. Some of my hon. Friends have not perceived that the hon. Gentleman is trying to oblige several of his right hon. and hon. Friends who, because of ministerial office, could not sponsor the Bill. He is carrying a heavy load. It might be better for him — it would certainly be better for the country — if those hon. Members who represent the constituencies that will be most affected by the project ceased to be Ministers. The Minister of State, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, who is now on the Front Bench, has a much closer constituency interest in the project than does the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds. The right hon. Gentleman should have been persuaded to depart from the Government so that he could have spared the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds from carrying that heavy burden. We have sympathy for the hon. Gentleman, as well as considerable appreciation of the substantial efforts that he has made.

While the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds has made concessions on amendments Nos. 15 and 16, he has not done the same on No. 17.

4.45 am

I shall speak to it now, and I hope the hon. Gentleman will provide us with a hat trick by accepting it because the arguments in favour of No. 17 are even more telling than those in favour of Nos. 15 and 16.

No. 17 would delete subsection (4). That provision, if not deleted, would relax completely the safeguards about deposited material arising from work authorised in connection with producing a smooth shore line or rounding off sharp angles on the north-easterly point of the shore line and terminating the construction work.

Why should those restrictions be relaxed? Are they not minimal enough? And why does a smooth shore line have to be produced? Does the company believe that a smooth shore line would be more aesthetically pleasing or that the waders would find it more difficult to navigate? We need evidence as to the desirability of a smooth shore line. Subsection (4) seems almost to provide the company with a charter to avoid some of the more praiseworthy, or less reprehensible, aspects of the clause.

As my constituency does not have a shore line, may I ask my hon. Friend to explain what a smooth shore line is? My geography is not good, having been a history teacher before becoming a politician, and I would be obliged if my hon. Friend would explain precisely what such a shore line entails.

A smooth shore line is very different from, indeed the opposite of, a rough shore line. I too was once a history teacher.

My constituency does not have a rough shore line either, so perhaps my hon. Friend would explain what a rough one is.

The company is obviously keen to have a shore line with no sudden gradations, no sharp edges, no precipitous slopes and one that is even and smooth in the distribution of whatever material of which the shore line is composed.

Why is a smooth shore line preferable to a rough one? I would have thought that in terms of natural beauty and enhancement of the general appearance, a rough shore line would be nicer.

We should assess what sort of shore line is most conducive to retain, effectively, the highest proportion of the important species of wildfowl that currently occupy the area. Those species command our attention and are the reason for our presence here at this absurd hour.

A smooth shore line may mean something quite different. We presume that a smooth shore line would include material that would be environmentally acceptable. However, the formulation of that shore line may include the use of materials not environmentally acceptable—for example, sewage. The constructors may wish to raise a sewage deposit that was concentrated in a particular part of the estuary and place it on the shore line, which would cause substantial environmental damage. Other materials, such as mud, may be used. For example, the existing shore line may be sandy and mud may be deposited to aid the engineering works dealt with in other amendments.

I am grateful to my hon. Friend because he leads me on to the point that I wish to make. The House may recall that some time ago, there was concern about the deposit of harmful materials on land. I recall discussion of the matter in the House. That issue illustrated the dangers that can accrue from the deposit of harmful materials.

The Yorkshire water authority—some time ago, but the case is still relevant — deposited sewage sludge on Warren House farm, in my constituency. It was a perfectly sensible proposition because such sludge is a valuable material for fertiliser. Unfortunately, the herd of shorthorn cows on the farm started to die, first the bull followed by quite a few calves and heifers and most of the milking cows. Everyone assumed that the deaths were caused by atmospheric pollution, but the farmer, Mr Ellis, a friend and an experienced farmer, said to me that he did not believe that that was the cause. Despite the visits of many experts, he said to me, "Peter, I think it is the muck that I put on the land." I therefore asked the local authority to analyse sewage sludge and we established that it contained high and harmful levels of fluoride salts.

I do not criticise the Yorkshire water authority and I am in no way suggesting that it was guilty of complacency or corruption. It made a genuine mistake ; but it was a mistake that poisoned 40 beasts. If compensation had not been secured for Mr. Ellis, it would have meant the ruin of one deserving farmer.

Such things can happen and therefore I am entitled to express some anxiety about proper controls for the materials that will be used in the infilling envisaged in the project. For that reason I believe that it is essential to look carefully at clause 7 to ensure that there is no opportunity, provided by the existence of lines 27 to 36, for weakness to emerge.

Does my hon. Friend agree that the clause seeems rather more concerned about the angles on the beach rather than the environmental impact with its reference to a smooth shoreline and a

"beach of suitable dimensions to round off any sharp angle?"
Does my hon. Friend accept that any deposit from any construction work undertaken should be monitored? If the hon. Member for Bury St Edmunds (Sir E. Griffiths) has already accepted that environmental amendment, surely it is meaningless for him not to accept the amendment that will remove clause 7(4).

Is it environmental issues that concern us and not angles on the beach? Is my hon. Friend interested in pressing the hon. Gentleman in charge of the Bill to make clear whether he is prepared to accept the amendment or whether he is prepared to lead the House on an all-night ramble simply because he will not make clear his views?

Its purpose is simply to round out the end of the quay, otherwise it would be square and would create all sorts of eddies that would not be good for small dinghy sailors. So that hon. Members are under no misapprehension, if the House insists that the amendment he carried so be it. I have discussed that with the promoters and that is acceptable to them, but I must warn hon. Members that it would have some consequences for navigation that are not what the hon. Member for Wentworth (Mr. Hardy) is seeking to achieve.

The hon. Gentleman is seeking to be helpful, I am sure. The consequence of maintaining this part of clause 7 in the Bill is that the company would not have to notify the Suffolk county council or the Suffolk district council in advance of depositing material in three special sets of circumstances. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, my hon. Friend the Member for Leeds, West and myself are not seeking to promote a navigation hazard. We are seeking to ensure that the local authority has adequate information and is notified in good time. The hon. Gentleman accepted that principle when he accepted the extension of the notice from one month to three months. I should have thought that this clause was entirely relevant and consistent with that concession, for which we are grateful.

I am seeking to be helpful to the House, as indeed the promoters are seeking to be helpful to those who navigate in the river. The hon. Gentleman spoke about the environmental consequences, but I think that he accepts that the previous concession that I made in respect of amendment No. 16, plus the earlier agreement that no reclamation would commence without the consent of the Secretary of State for the Environment, who has a whole series of statutory duties placed upon him, cover the environmental matter effectively. I can only look at the amendment as it is drawn and as it would alter the Bill. It would alter it in precisely the fashion that I have suggested. It would remove from the promoters the obligation or intention to round out the end of the quay in a fashion that would be helpful to small boat navigation. If the House wishes to bring that about, it is quite acceptable to the company because, if anything, it will reduce its costs. However, I do not believe any responsible company ought to accept the amendment without advising the House of the consequences that could flow from it.

Order. This is getting close to becoming an intervention within an intervention. I think that the hon. Member should be allowed to answer points one at a time.

I shall ask the hon. Gentleman to comment on the points that I am about to make. It is suggested that, if this paragraph remains in the Bill, the company could use it at some future date to justify an operation that would be damaging to the public interest or harmful to the environmental cause.

5 am

Secondly, subsection (4)(b) exempts the company from notifying the local authorities if material is to be deposited so as to
"minimise any interference with the ebb and flow of the waters adjacent to … the Company's berths."
The RSPB suggests that that might be paradoxical. Surely the whole object of the Bill is to allow the company to commit substantial — even gross — acts of interference with the ebb and flow of waters in the Orwell estuary. Further deposits of materials under such an exemption would have implications for the conservation of birds elsewhere in the estuary because of the chain effect.

I am also advised that it is disquieting to learn that the company may require extra latitude of the same type. Surely if the quay and its berths are adequately designed and maintained, nothing could happen to justify deposits of material to minimise interference with the ebb and flow of the tide.

One aspect of this issue has not yet surfaced. It is connected with the statement that my hon. Friend has just made about the ebb and flow of the tide and the movement of material.

I have a map of the area involved. We have not yet considered the fact that if excavations take place on Fagbury point it is likely that there will be a shift of material down the whole estuary, creating soil erosion along the coast, from Ipswich right down through the villages south of Levington, past Stratton Hall near Thorpe common, and even on to Trimley marshes. There could be further erosion on Shotley marshes to the north of Harwich, right around the coast to Cranes Hill and on to Chelmondiston. All those areas could suffer from erosion in the event that any excavation work was done on the Fagbury——

My hon. Friend has assumed—at some length — the point I was making about the knock-on effects further into the estuary. Subsection (4)(c) raises queries similar to those I have already expressed. Why should the company want to construct a beach to round off a sharp angle at the point at which work on Trinity quay terminated? Is there a chance that it did not design the works correctly in the first place? If so, can the company be trusted to apply proper design standards in future construction work? Does subsection (4)(c)(ii)—it refers to

"any part of the work"—
apply the exemption to the construction of the new berths for which authorisation is sought in the Bill?

My hon. Friend the Member for Workington (Mr. Campbell-Savours) has put his finger on the point that there could be serious consequences for much of the shore line; and we have no evidence about what is likely to happen. I hope that either the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds (Sir E. Griffiths) or one of his hon. Friends with expert knowledge will tell us whether any survey has been carried out.

It would be useful to know how much we can rely on subsection (4)(b). What does "minimise" mean? It could be a completely free hand for the company which might say, "We have tried; we have minimised it but it did not work." Does it mean something specific? I am unhappy about this and I may have to speak about it later in the debate. Can my hon. Friend help the House on the matter?

I think the only person who can help the House is the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds (Sir E. Griffiths). I am sure that he will seek to satisfy the House later in the debate.

As I explained earlier when my hon. Friend the Member for City of Durham (Mr. Steinberg) and I were discussing our previous careers, I have limited technological, hydrological and engineering qualifications. I would not dream of seeking to give the House the impression that I could speak authoritatively about technological and engineering matters. You, Mr. Deputy Speaker, will appreciate that your engineering skills far exceed those of most of us at present in the House. I maintain a close interest in conservation. It is perhaps because I am not an engineer that I remind the House of what can happen when experts prevail.

I said earlier that I would speak about the oyster catcher, and I shall do so briefly and relevantly. The oyster catcher provides an excellent example of leaving everything to the technologist, the expert. During the winter of 1963–64 there was a massive spatfall — an interesting word—of cockles on the Bury inlet which led to excellent yields. Oyster catcher numbers increased. The fishermen demanded a cull of the oyster catchers so as to return the population of that species to its earlier level. With the approval of the experts, 10,000 oyster catchers were shot. After that cull, the cockle population, which was supposed to have been protected by the cull, plummeted. No one knows the reason, but when the experts analysed the situation again they concluded that the oyster catchers had had far less impact upon the cockle population than had been suggested. So 10,000 oyster catchers had been shot almost certainly unnecessarily. That is one example of the effect of unquestioned acceptance of expert advice. That, not technological qualifications, is the reason for my suspicion.

The Bill is primary legislation. If the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds (Sir E. Griffiths) accepts that the impact on the environment should be a primary consideration, as he had said on earlier amendments, and if he is prepared to accept that the company should give notice, then, if subsection (4) remains, there is a contradiction in the legislation because the key phrase is

"Nothing in this section shall apply."
It would mean that the company would not need to give notice and would not need to take account of the environment. For that reason, it is illogical for the subsection to remain in the primary legislation.

I have some sympathy with that view. Clearly it would have been better if we had known well in advance that amendments Nos. 15 and 16 were to be accepted while amendment No. 17 was not. Obviously, it would have been better if we had been able to consider the clause in the light of the generous concession made by the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds (Sir E. Griffiths). We have put some serious points and serious grounds for hesitation. I hope that the hon. Gentleman can allay our anxieties. The only way of doing so with any positive certainty would be to accept amendment No. 17 with the other two amendments.

I have listened carefully to the hon. Member for Wentworth (Mr. Hardy). I have given the warning that I thought was proper on behalf of a responsible company. Nevertheless, in view of what the hon. Gentleman has said, I have suggested to the promoters that they accept amendment No. 17, and they have agreed to do so.

rose in his place and claimed to move, That the Question be now put.

Question put, That the Question be now put:—

The House proceeded to a Division—

(seated and covered)

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. We have had only an hour and 40 minutes debate on these matters and some of my hon. Friends are waiting to speak. Why has the debate been terminated in this way? Is this not unprecedented?

I heard the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds (Sir E. Griffiths) say that he was prepared to accept the amendment. In those circumstances, it seemed perfectly reasonable to allow the House to make a decision on the amendment.

(seated and covered)

Further to the point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. You responded to the point of order raised by my hon. Friend the Member for Workington (Mr. Campbell-Savours) by saying that your reason for accepting the closure motion lay in the promoters' decision to accept the amendment. But saying that the promoters accept the amendment is not the same as saying that the House accepts it. To ensure that there was proper and adequate debate on all the outstanding issues, it was important that those of my hon. Friend's who had already intimated that they intended to oppose the amendments had the opportunity to put forward their case.

The reason that I gave to the House was only one of several that enabled me to reach the view that the House should be given the opportunity to reach its decision. I must point out that the debate had been going on for nearly two hours.

(seated and covered)

Further to the point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. Although you were not in the Chair, you will appreciate from the record that, earlier, on a previous amendment, Mr. Deputy Speaker recognised that some hon. Members wanted to speak against it. Although you may be right about the length of the debate there is an argument that we should have balanced debate in the House. All the speeches in the debate on these amendments have been in favour of them, and there has not been a speech against them. I wanted specifically, and I gave notice of my intention, to speak against amendment No. 15, not for frivolous reasons but because I felt that the amendment did not go far enough.

Order. If the House feels that the debate should continue, the House will reflect that view in the vote which is taking place now.

(seated and covered)

Further to the point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. Is it fair to those hon. Members who may without your knowledge have wished to oppose these amendments for you to——

Order. I have to take into account a number of factors when deciding whether I will accept a closure motion. I have exercised the discretion vested in me by the House. It will be for the House in the Division that is taking place to reflect its own view of these matters.

(seated and covered)

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. Earlier I specifically went to see Mr. Deputy Speaker, who was in the Chair at the time, and I was given an assurance that those who opposed the clause would be called during the debate. During the change in the occupancy of the Chair, that information was not transmitted to you, Mr. Deputy Speaker. My hon. Friends and I have been debarred from participating in the debate after being given an assurance that we could take part.

Order. This is a matter for the House to decide. I have not debarred any hon. Member from taking part in the debate. I have allowed the House to reach a conclusion on the matter under consideration.

( seated and covered)

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. You said that you have not debarred the House from reaching a decision or debarred any hon. Member for speaking. On the basis——

The hon. Gentleman had gone sufficiently far for me to reach a view about the matter on which he was addressing the House. He is getting dangerously close to challenging my ruling, and he must not do that.

It is not a question of challenging your ruling, Mr. Deputy Speaker. On a point of order, I put it to you that some hon. Members tonight have been prevented from opposing amendments to which they were opposed and they will reflect that in the Division Lobby. On the basis of your statement, Mr. Deputy Speaker there will be no need for any debate on any of the amendments. The House would simply have to decide the moment that the amendment is moved whether a closure should take place. That would be unprecedented. The debate has been——

Order. The hon. Gentleman cannot debate my ruling in this fashion. I have told him that these are matters for my judgment and discretion. I have exercised my discretion, and it will be for the House, in the Division that is taking place now, to make a decision on whether the debate should continue. The hon. Gentleman should not seek to debate my ruling in this fashion.

The House having divided: Ayes 124, Noes 20.

Division No. 56]

[5.10 am


Alison, Rt Hon MichaelKirkhope, Timothy
Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham)Knapman, Roger
Arnold, Tom (Hazel Grove)Leigh, Edward (Gainsbor'gh)
Ashby, DavidLennox-Boyd, Hon Mark
Atkinson, DavidLightbown, David
Baldry, TonyLloyd, Peter (Fareham)
Bellingham, HenryLord, Michael
Bennett, Nicholas (Pembroke)Lyell, Sir Nicholas
Bevan, David GilroyMacGregor, John
Bottomley, PeterMaclean, David
Brandon-Bravo, MartinMans, Keith
Brazier, JulianMartin, David (Portsmouth S)
Brooke, Hon PeterMayhew, Rt Hon Sir Patrick
Browne, John (Winchester)Miller, Hal
Burns, SimonMitchell, Andrew (Gedling)
Burt, AlistairMitchell, David (Hants NW)
Butler, ChrisMoate, Roger
Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)Morrison, Hon C. (Devizes)
Carrington, MatthewMoss, Malcolm
Colvin, MichaelNeubert, Michael
Coombs, Anthony (Wyre F'rest)Nicholson, David (Taunton)
Cran, JamesNicholson, Miss E. (Devon W)
Currie, Mrs EdwinaPaice, James
Curry, DavidPatnick, Irvine
Davies, Q. (Stamf'd & Spald'g)Porter, David (Waveney)
Day, StephenPortillo, Michael
Devlin, TimRedwood, John
Dorrell, StephenRhys Williams, Sir Brandon
Durant, TonyRiddick, Graham
Evans, David (Welwyn Hatf'd)Ridsdale, Sir Julian
Fallon, MichaelRowe, Andrew
Farr, Sir JohnRyder, Richard
Favell, TonySayeed, Jonathan
Field, Barry (Isle of Wight)Scott, Nicholas
Forth, EricShaw, David (Dover)
Franks, CecilShaw, Sir Michael (Scarb')
French, DouglasShephard, Mrs G. (Norfolk SW)
Gale, RogerShepherd, Colin (Hereford)
Gardiner, GeorgeStanbrook, Ivor
Garel-Jones, TristanStern, Michael
Gill, ChristopherStevens, Lewis
Goodhart, Sir PhilipStewart, Andrew (Sherwood)
Goodson-Wickes, Dr CharlesStradling Thomas, Sir John
Gow, IanSummerson, Hugo
Greenway, John (Rydale)Taylor, Ian (Esher)
Griffiths, Sir Eldon (Bury St E')Taylor, John M (Solihull)
Gummer, Rt Hon John SelwynThompson, Patrick (Norwich N)
Hamilton, Hon A. (Epsom)Thornton, Malcolm
Hampson, Dr KeithTownsend, Cyril D. (B'heath)
Hargreaves, Ken (Hyndburn)Tracey, Richard
Harris, DavidTredinnick, David
Hayes, JerryWaddington, Rt Hon David
Hayward, RobertWakeham, Rt Hon John
Heseltine, Rt Hon MichaelWheeler, John
Hind, KennethWhitney, Ray
Howarth, Alan (Strat'd-on-A)Widdecombe, Miss Ann
Howarth, G. (Cannock & B'wd)Wiggin, Jerry
Howell, Ralph (North Norfolk)Wilshire, David
Hughes, Robert G. (Harrow W)Wood, Timothy
Hunt, David (Wirral W)Yeo, Tim
Irvine, Michael
Janman, TimothyTellers for the Ayes:
Jessel, TobySir Anthony Grant and Mr. Patrick McLoughlin.
King, Roger (B'ham N'thfield)


Barnes, Harry (Derbyshire NE)Lloyd, Tony (Stretford)
Bennett, A. F. (D'nt'n & Ft'dish)Loyden, Eddie
Campbell-Savours, D. N.McCartney, Ian
Clay, BobMcKay, Allen (Penistone)
Dalyell, TarnMarek, Dr John
Fatchett, DerekMartlew, Eric
Garrett, John (Norwich South)Meale, Alan
Hardy, PeterMoonie, Dr Lewis
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S W)Morley, Elliott

Skinner, DennisTellers for the Noes:
Steinberg, GeraldMr. Ron Davies and Mr. John Battle.

Question accordingly agreed

Question put accordingly, That the amendment be made:—

The House divided: Ayes 141, Noes 5.

Division No. 57]

[5.25 pm


Alison, Rt Hon MichaelIrvine, Michael
Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham)Janman, Timothy
Arnold, Tom (Hazel Grove)Jessel, Toby
Ashby, DavidJones, Martyn (Clwyd S W)
Atkinson, DavidKing, Roger (B'ham N'thfield)
Baldry, TonyKirkhope, Timothy
Bellingham, HenryKnapman, Roger
Bennett, A. F. (D'nt'n & R'dish)Leigh, Edward (Gainsbor'gh)
Bennett, Nicholas (Pembroke)Lennox-Boyd, Hon Mark
Bevan, David GilroyLightbown, David
Bottomley, PeterLloyd, Peter (Fareham)
Brandon-Bravo, MartinLloyd, Tony (Stretford)
Brazier, JulianLord, Michael
Brooke, Hon PeterLoyden, Eddie
Browne, John (Winchester)Lyell, Sir Nicholas
Burns, SimonMacGregor, John
Burt, AlistairMcKay, Allen (Penistone)
Butler, ChrisMaclean, David
Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)McLoughlin, Patrick
Carrington, MatthewMans, Keith
Clay, BobMarek, Dr John
Colvin, MichaelMartin, David (Portsmouth S)
Cook, Frank (Stockton N)Mayhew, Rt Hon Sir Patrick
Coombs, Anthony (Wyre F'rest)Meale, Alan
Cran, JamesMiller, Hal
Currie, Mrs EdwinaMitchell, Andrew (Gedling)
Curry, DavidMitchell, David (Hants NW)
Dalyell, TamMoate, Roger
Davies, Q. (Stamf'd & Spald'g)Morley, Elliott
Day, StephenMorrison, Hon C. (Devizes)
Devlin, TimMoss, Malcolm
Dorrell, StephenNeubert, Michael
Durant, TonyNicholson, David (Taunton)
Emery, Sir PeterNicholson, Miss E. (Devon W)
Evans, David (Welwyn Hati'd)Paice, James
Fallon, MichaelPatnick, Irvine
Farr, Sir JohnPorter, David (Waveney)
Favell, TonyPortillo, Michael
Field, Barry (Isle of Wight)Redwood, John
Forth, EricRhys Williams, Sir Brandon
Franks, CecilRiddick, Graham
French, DouglasRidsdale, Sir Julian
Gale, RogerRowe, Andrew
Gardiner, GeorgeRyder, Richard
Garel-Jones, TristanSayeed, Jonathan
Garrett, John (Norwich South)Scott, Nicholas
Gill, ChristopherShaw, David (Dover)
Goodhart, Sir PhilipShaw, Sir Michael (Scarb')
Goodson-Wickes, Dr CharlesShephard, Mrs G. (Norfolk SW)
Gow, IanShepherd, Colin (Hereford)
Grant, Sir Anthony (CambsSW)Stanbrook, Ivor
Greenway, John (Rydale)Stern, Michael
Griffiths, Sir Eldon (Bury St E')Stevens, Lewis
Gummer, Rt Hon John SelwynStewart, Andrew (Sherwood)
Hamilton, Hon A. (Epsom)Stradling Thomas, Sir John
Hampson, Dr KeithSummerson, Hugo
Hardy, PeterTaylor, Ian (Esher)
Hargreaves, Ken (Hyndburn)Taylor, John M (Solihull)
Harris, DavidThompson, Patrick (Norwich N)
Hayes, JerryThornton, Malcolm
Hayward, RobertThurnham, Peter
Heseltine, Rt Hon MichaelTownsend, Cyril D. (B'heath)
Hind, KennethTracey, Richard
Howarth, Alan (Strat'd-on-A)Tredinnick, David
Howarth, G. (Cannock & B'wd)Waddington, Rt Hon David
Howell, Ralph (North Norfolk)Wakeham, Rt Hon John
Hughes, Robert G. (Harrow W)Wheeler, John
Hunt, David (Wirral W)Whitney, Ray

Widdecombe, Miss Ann
Wiggin, JerryTellers for the Ayes:
Wilshire, DavidMr. Eric Martlew and Mr. Gerry Steinberg.
Wood, Timothy
Yeo, Tim


Barnes, Harry (Derbyshire NE)
Battle, JohnTellers for the Noes:
Campbell-Savours, D. N.Mr. Ian McCartney and Mr. Derek Fatchett.
Davies, Ron (Caerphilly)
Skinner, Dennis

Question accordingly agreed to.

Amendment proposed: No. 16, in page 6, line 26, after 'engineering', insert 'and environmental.'.— [Mr. Andrew F. Bennett.]

Question put, That the amendment be made:—

The House proceeded to a Division

(seated and covered) On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. It is quite obvious that something is going on in the Lobby, or something is not going on in the Lobby, in that various hon. Members are delaying the procedures of the House.

It is obvious that there is some apparently inexplicable delay. Serjeant at Arms, please find out what is going on in the Lobby. The Tellers are here.

The House having divided: Ayes 22, Noes 124.

Division No. 581

[5.40 am


Barnes, Harry (Derbyshire NE)Loyden, Eddie
Battle, JohnMcKay, Allen (Penistone)
Bennett, A. F. (D'nt'n & R'dish)Marek, Dr John
Campbell-Savours, D. N.Martlew, Eric
Clay, BobMeale, Alan
Cook, Frank (Stockton N)Moonie, Dr Lewis
Dalyell, TarnMorley, Elliott
Davies, Ron (Caerphilly)Skinner, Dennis
Garrett, John (Norwich South)Steinberg, Gerald
Griffiths, Sir Eldon (Bury St E')
Hardy, PeterTellers for the Ayes:
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S W)Mr. Derek Fatchett and Mr. Ian McCartney.
Lloyd, Tony (Stretford)


Alison, Rt Hon MichaelDurant, Tony
Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham)Emery, Sir Peter
Arnold, Tom (Hazel Grove)Evans, David (Welwyn Hatf'd)
Ashby, DavidFallon, Michael
Atkinson, DavidFarr, Sir John
Baldry, TonyFavell, Tony
Bellingham, HenryField, Barry (Isle of Wight)
Bennett, Nicholas (Pembroke)Franks, Cecil
Bevan, David GilroyFrench, Douglas
Brandon-Bravo, MartinGale, Roger
Brazier, JulianGardiner, George
Brooke, Hon PeterGarel-Jones, Tristan
Browne, John (Winchester)Gill, Christopher
Burns, SimonGoodhart, Sir Philip
Burt, AlistairGoodson-Wickes, Dr Charles
Butler, ChrisGow, Ian
Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)Grant, Sir Anthony (CambsSW)
Carrington, MatthewGreenway, John (Rydale)
Colvin, MichaelGummer, Rt Hon John Selwyn
Coombs, Anthony (Wyre F'rest)Hamilton, Hon A. (Epsom)
Cran, JamesHampson, Dr Keith
Currie, Mrs EdwinaHanley, Jeremy
Curry, DavidHargreaves, Ken (Hyndburn)
Davies, Q. (Stamfd & Spald'g)Harris, David
Day, StephenHayes, Jerry
Devlin, TimHayward, Robert
Dorrell, StephenHeseltine, Rt Hon Michael

Hind, KennethRiddick, Graham
Howarth, Alan (Strafd-on-A)Ridsdale, Sir Julian
Howarth, G. (Cannock & B'wd)Rowe, Andrew
Howell, Ralph (North Norfolk)Ryder, Richard
Hughes, Robert G. (Harrow W)Sayeed, Jonathan
Hunt, David (Wirral W)Scott, Nicholas
Irvine, MichaelShaw, David (Dover)
Janman, TimothyShaw, Sir Michael (Scarb')
Jessel, TobyShephard, Mrs G. (Norfolk SW)
King, Roger (B'ham N'thfield)Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)
Kirkhope, TimothyStanbrook, Ivor
Knapman, RogerStern, Michael
Leigh, Edward (Gainsbor'gh)Stevens, Lewis
Lennox-Boyd, Hon MarkStewart, Andrew (Sherwood)
Lightbown, DavidStradling Thomas, Sir John
Lloyd, Peter (Fareham)Summerson, Hugo
Lord, MichaelTaylor, Ian (Esher)
Lyell, Sir NicholasTaylor, John M (Solihull)
MacGregor, JohnThompson, Patrick (Norwich N)
Maclean, DavidThornton, Malcolm
Mans, KeithThurnham, Peter
Martin, David (Portsmouth S)Townsend, Cyril D. (B'heath)
Miller, HalTracey, Richard
Mitchell, Andrew (Gedling)Tredinnick, David
Mitchell, David (Hants NW)Waddington, Rt Hon David
Moate, RogerWakeham, Rt Hon John
Morrison, Hon C. (Devizes)Wheeler, John
Moss, MalcolmWhitney, Ray
Neubert, MichaelWiddecombe, Miss Ann
Nicholson, David (Taunton)Wiggin, Jerry
Nicholson, Miss E. (Devon W)Wilshire, David
Paice, JamesWood, Timothy
Patnick, IrvineYeo, Tim
Porter, David (Waveney)
Portillo, MichaelTellers for the Noes:
Redwood, JohnMr. Eric Forth and Mr. Patrick McLoughlin.
Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon

Question accordingly negatived.

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I ask for your guidance on an important matter that arises directly from the Division. You were here for the debate on the previous set of amendments. You will recall the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds (Sir E. Griffiths) saying that he was in charge of the Bill and that he would accept the amendment on behalf of its promoters—[Interruption.] I should be happy to debate the point at length, but you will wish to rule on the matter quickly, Mr. Deputy Speaker. Was it in order for the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds to arrange for Conservative Members to go into the No Lobby to ensure that the amendment which he had accepted on behalf of the promoters would be defeated? I was under the impression that it was the responsibility of each hon. Member to ensure that his vote accorded with his voice.

My second point relates to a graver matter. I had a pleasant exchange of words with the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds, as you can imagine, Mr. Deputy Speaker, in the Aye Lobby. Since 7 o'clock yesterday evening, we have been led to believe that the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds was in charge of the Bill. In that capacity, he advised the House on what the promoters will and will not accept. Understandably, my hon. Friends and I accepted the hon. Gentleman at face value. You can imagine my consternation—not to say the horror of my hon. Friend the Member for Manchester, Withington (Mr. Bradley) — when the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds made a frank admission that he was not in charge of the Bill. He said that it was the responsibility of the Minister of State, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, the right hon. Member for Suffolk, Coastal (Mr. Gummer). His words were, "It's Gummer's Bill."

Is it in order for a Minister to be discreetly in charge, or in charge by means of subterfuge, of what is ostensibly a private Bill being promoted by outside interests? Is it in order for the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds deliberately to mislead the House by saying that he was in charge——

Order. Mr. Speaker has frequently made it clear that he will not accept the charge that an hon. Member has deliberately misled the House. On reflection, the hon. Gentleman may wish to withdraw the word "deliberately".

I accept your guidance, Mr. Deputy Speaker. If I implied that the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds deliberately misled the House, I withdraw it. But will you advise the House whether it was in order for the hon. Gentleman, knowing full well that he was not in charge of the Bill—as he admitted to me in the hearing of many of my hon. Friends—to say that he was in charge of the Bill?

None of the matters to which the hon. Gentleman has referred suggests that there has been any breach either of Standing Orders or our practices and procedures. The question of a Member's vote following his voice would arise only if, when the Chair put the Question, the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds (Sir E. Griffiths) had called in a manner contrary to that which he subsequently voted. I understand that that is not what is being charged.

6 am

Nevertheless, Mr. Deputy Speaker, an interesting point of order arises for you in a twofold sense. The first is whether you were led to believe that events would work out in a way that they subsequently did not work out. You may wish to comment on that matter.

The second question which arises for you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, is that of a vote following an hon. Member's voice. It is obvious that the voice of the right hon. Member for Suffolk, Coastal (Mr. Gummer), the Minister of State, went in a different direction from the way in which he voted because the two Members in question were in different Division Lobbies.

I deliberately went into the No Lobby because I had an idea that the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds (Sir E. Griffiths) had been kidding the House. Without going into the question whether he was deliberately misleading us, I must say that he seemed to be making wild promises based on the function at St. James's that was finally cancelled last night. Since then there has also been a change——

Order. I hope the hon. Gentleman will let me know what point of order he thinks arises For me.

Several more hours of debate are still to come and it is just conceivable that the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds will tell the Chair what he intends to do in the future, and then the Chair will be dragged into the issue in that the Chair will think that he intends to do things that he will not do because his right hon. Friend the Minister of State will not allow him to do them. That is likely to place the Chair in some difficulty.

Order. We must wait to see whether such problems arise and then judge them. The Chair cannot rule on a hypothesis.

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. You will recall that when the Question was put on the closure motion a number of points of order were raised by my hon. Friends, in reply to which you pointed out that the debate had lasted for an hour and 40 minutes and you saw no reason for it to continue, considering that the amendments had been accepted. It now seems clear that they had not been accepted, and that one of those acceptances has certainly been reneged on.

My point of order falls into two parts. The first is whether what took place on that amendment can stand as valid, and the second is to ask what action the Chair may take on another group of amendments——

Order. Again, the hon. Gentleman is asking me to anticipate problems that may not arise.

Order. One point of order at a time. On the hon. Gentleman's earlier point, he is really asking me to have a discussion with him about a decision that has already been taken. I cannot do that either.

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I wish to raise a different, serious point of order, and if I am allowed to develop it, you will recognise its significance.

The last Division created some sort of precedent and I am seeking your advice, Mr. Deputy Speaker, on this matter. This is the first time in my recollection when every speaker from the Labour Benches and, as far as I can recall——

I believe that an important precedent has been created. What is the effect on the conduct of the proceedings and the business of the House if every speaker in a debate agrees to support a proposition and then, in the Division, for some reason or other, an entirely different decision is taken? That is unparalleled.

No matter what the hon. Gentleman's reminiscences may be, it is not for the Chair to seek to discern what governs hon. Members' behaviour in the House in such circumstances.

Amendment proposed: No. 17, in page 6, leave out lines 27 to 36.— [Mr. Tony Lloyd.]

Question put, That the amendment be made:—

The House divided: Ayes 22, Noes 123.

Division No. 59]

[6.06 am


Battle, JohnMcCartney, Ian
Bennett, A. F. (D'nt'n & R'dish)McKay, Allen (Penistone)
Campbell-Savours, D. N.Marek, Dr John
Clay, BobMartlew, Eric
Dalyell, TamMeale, Alan
Davies, Ron (Caerphilly)Moonie, Dr Lewis
Fatchett, DerekMorley, Elliott
Garrett, John (Norwich South)Skinner, Dennis
Griffiths, Sir Eldon (Bury St E')Steinberg, Gerald
Hardy, Peter
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S W)Tellers for the Ayes:
Lloyd, Tony (Stretford)Mr. Harry Barnes and Mr.Frank Cook.
Loyden, Eddie


Alison, Rt Hon MichaelKnapman, Roger
Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham)Leigh, Edward (Gainsbor'gh)
Arnold, Tom (Hazel Grove)Lennox-Boyd, Hon Mark
Ashby, DavidLightbown, David
Atkinson, DavidLloyd, Peter (Fareham)
Baldry, TonyLord, Michael
Bellingham, HenryLyell, Sir Nicholas
Bennett, Nicholas (Pembroke)Maclean, David
Bevan, David GilroyMans, Keith
Brandon-Bravo, MartinMartin, David (Portsmouth S)
Brazier, JulianMayhew, Rt Hon Sir Patrick
Brooke, Hon PeterMiller, Hal
Browne, John (Winchester)Mitchell, Andrew (Gedling)
Burns, SimonMitchell, David (Hants NW)
Burt, AiistairMoate, Roger
Butler, ChrisMorrison, Hon C. (Devizes)
Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)Moss, Malcolm
Carrington, MatthewNeubert, Michael
Colvin, MichaelNicholson, Miss E. (Devon W)
Coombs, Anthony (Wyre F'rest)Paice, James
Cran, JamesPatnick, Irvine
Currie, Mrs EdwinaPorter, David (Waveney)
Curry, DavidPortillo, Michael
Davies, Q. (Stamf'd & Spald'g)Redwood, John
Day, StephenRhys Williams, Sir Brandon
Devlin, TimRiddick, Graham
Dorrell, StephenRidsdale, Sir Julian
Durant, TonyRowe, Andrew
Emery, Sir PeterRyder, Richard
Evans, David (Welwyn Hatf'd)Sayeed, Jonathan
Fallon, MichaelScott, Nicholas
Farr, Sir JohnShaw, David (Dover)
Favell, TonyShaw, Sir Michael (Scarb')
Field, Barry (Isle of Wight)Shephard, Mrs G. (Norfolk SW)
Franks, CecilShepherd, Colin (Hereford)
French, DouglasStanbrook, Ivor
Gale, RogerStern, Michael
Gardiner, GeorgeStevens, Lewis
Garel-Jones, TristanStewart, Andrew (Sherwood)
Gill, ChristopherStradling Thomas, Sir John
Goodhart, Sir PhilipSummerson, Hugo
Goodson-Wickes, Dr CharlesTaylor, Ian (Esher)
Gow, IanTaylor, John M (Solihull)
Grant, Sir Anthony (CambsSW)Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N)
Greenway, John (Rydale)Thornton, Malcolm
Gummer, Rt Hon John SelwynThurnham, Peter
Hamilton, Hon A. (Epsom)Townsend, Cyril D. (B'heath)
Hampson, Dr KeithTracey, Richard
Hanley, JeremyTredinnick, David
Harg reaves, Ken (Hyndburn)Trippier, David
Harris, DavidWaddington, Rt Hon David
Hayes, JerryWakeham, Rt Hon John
Hayward, RobertWheeler, John
Heseltine, Rt Hon MichaelWhitney, Ray
Hind, KennethWiddecombe, Miss Ann
Howarth, Alan (Strat'd-on-A)Wiggin, Jerry
Howarth, G. (Cannock & B'wd)Wilshire, David
Howell, Ralph (North Norfolk)Wood, Timothy
Hughes, Robert G. (Harrow W)Yeo, Tim
Hunt, David (Wirral W)
Irvine, MichaelTellers for the Noes:
Jessel, TobyMr. Eric Forth and Mr. Patrick McLoughlin.
King, Roger (B'ham N'thfield)
Kirkhope, Timothy

Question accordingly negatived.