Skip to main content

Finance Bill Money (No 2)

Volume 175: debated on Monday 2 July 1990

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

Queen's Recommendation having been signified

Motion made, and Question proposed,

That, for the purposes of any Act resulting from the Finance Bill, it is expedient to authorise the payment out of money provided by Parliament of any expenses of the Secretary of State attributable to provisions of the Act relating to levy on disposals of securities of companies to which the undertaking of a harbour authority is transferred and companies which control such companies.— [Mr. Lilley.]

10.22 pm

I do not want to detain the House too long, but there are interesting aspects of the money resolution to which I want to draw the House's attention. It states:

"for the puposes of any Act resulting from the Finance Bill, it is expedient to authorise the payment out of money provided by Parliament of any expenses of the Secretary of State attributable to provisions of the Act relating to levy on disposals of securities of companies to which the undertaking of a harbour authority is transferred and companies which control such companies."
I am not entirely sure whether we can hold the parliamentary draftsmen to account for the wording of the motion, but I am not aware that the Finance Bill spawns any Acts of Parliament. The money resolution applies only to
"any Act resulting from the Finance Bill".
That raises interesting interpretations because it would clearly exclude the Tees and Hartlepool Port Authority Bill, currently going through the House under the private Bill procedure. It would also exclude the Clyde Port Authority Bill, which we have been debating on Third Reading since 7 o'clock and which now retires to the other place. It would also exclude any other privatised port where the private Bill procedure was adopted because none of that legislation, should it be enacted, results from the Finance Bill. It seems to me—I should be grateful if the Financial Secretary to the Treasury would confirm it—that the privatisation of the Tees and Hartlepool and the Clyde port authorities will be excluded from the operation of the money resolution.

It is also interesting that when one reads the resolution carefully it becomes apparent that, if it applies at all, it must also apply to public Bill procedure in relation to the privatisation of ports. Many hon. Members have objected to the Government using private Bill procedure for the privatisation of the Tees and Hartlepool and the Clyde port authorities. The money resolution will enable the Government to take 50 per cent. of the assets of the port authorities when they are privatised. However, if there is to be any Act resulting from the Finance Bill in relation to the privatisation of the ports, that must cover a public Bill. In the Queen's Speech, the Government might propose privatising the 50 or so trust ports that will remain after the privatisation of the Tees and Hartlepool authority.

Therefore, I respectfully submit that the wording of the money resolution is defective because no Act arises from the Finance Bill. Such Acts can come only through the House, be initiated only by the Government, be debated only by this House and the other place and be voted on, so the Finance Bill has nothing to do with any other Act. If the day were to come when the Treasury sought to recover expenses as a result of that resolution, any authority that had been privatised would be entitled to go to the High Court, refer to the money resolution, and have it set aside as invalid. Even from the wording, one can see how invalid it is. It states:
"for the purposes of any Act resulting from the Finance Bill".
I hope that the Financial Secretary to the Treasury is making a note of those points and will answer them at the end of the debate.

The money resolution is also interesting because it states:
"it is expedient to authorise the payment out of money provided by Parliament".
What precisely does that mean? Does it mean that the Government will raid the reserves that are set aside as a result of votes in this Parliament? Will those amounts come from the so-called peace dividend, about which we have heard so much, or is that dividend all allocated to the Secretary of State for the Environment to cover the £3,500 million that he needs to put right—if he can—the consequences of the poll tax? Will there be a special impost on the entire electorate to cover those sums? Will taxes have to be raised or—to put it another way—will it now be impossible to reduce taxes? Why does the Financial Secretary to the Treasury feel that he has to come to the House tonight with this money resolution when we all know that the consequences of the privatisation of the Tees and Hartlepool authority will mean the disposal of about £60 million worth of assets?

If the Government carry out their intention of taking 50 per cent. of that money—£30 million—there would appear to be sufficient money in the Treasury kitty to cover the expenses, however much they may be. We have already debated Third Reading of the Clyde Port Authority Bill for three hours tonight and we know that this money resolution will cover that Bill, and that the Government—through the Treasury—propose to take 50 per cent. of the Clyde port authority's assets upon its privatisation.

My hon. Friends who represent Scottish constituencies may be able to tell me whether they know the precise asset value of the Clyde port authority, because I do not. If so, they would know how much the 50 per cent. that the Treasury proposes to take amounts to. But why do the Government come to the Floor of the House tonight to make special provision for the collection of those sums of money by the Treasury?

My hon. Friend will have noticed that the Minister has not opened the debate. Does my hon. Friend realise that the money resolution contains no specific items for us to debate? The Finance Bill is still in Committee. So the Finance Bill Committee has not yet considered the items of legislation that the Minister is seeking the power to apply. He assumes that he will get the approval of the Committee tomorrow, and if the resolution is not approved tonight, he cannot deal with the items tomorrow in Committee. Does my hon. Friend agree that that is an outrageous abuse of parliamentary procedures?

I entirely agree with my hon. Friend, and I know that we are debating this resolution and the ways and means resolution that follows because the Finance Committee is to discuss a series of amendments tomorrow afternoon that will permit the Government to take 50 per cent. of the assets of the Tees and Hartlepool port authority and the Clyde port authority. The money resolution is synchronised with the Committee's business tomorrow.

I found it strange that the Financial Secretary to the Treasury came to the House tonight and did not open this short debate on the money resolution, although we anticipated that he would. So, it again falls to the Opposition to make relevant points, to elucidate and to elicit answers from the Minister—but we have the silence of the graveyard from the Government Front Bench. It diminishes and demeans the House and parliamentary democracy when Ministers come to the Dispatch Box but do not make a speech.

I am also surprised that the Minister failed to open the debate and to explain what is involved in the resolution.

My hon. Friend mentioned assets and the way in which they will be divided. The value of assets is decided by whoever does the valuation. Given the Government's track record on the valuations that they have put on the various lands that have been flogged off to the private sector, perhaps my hon. Friend can tell me whether the assets will be correctly valued and sold to the private sector for the market price, or whether the Financial Secretary will continue to put sweeteners into the system. If the Financial Secretary had spoken, he could well have answered, but I have to ask my hon. Friend, who may or may not be aware of how the valuation is to be done.

I have no doubt that the asset value will be left to market forces. We are aware that Tees and Hartlepool port authority and Clyde port authority have valuable land assets and we do not know how they will be valued. It is interesting that my hon. Friend should make that point, because he has followed the Associated British Ports (No. 2) Bill through the House in all its stages. Will the Financial Secretary tell us whether the money resolution is restrospective? Will it cover other port privatisations? Is the Minister nodding or shaking his head? If he wishes to intervene to clarify the matter, I shall gladly yield the floor to him. He remains seated. No doubt he will answer my points when he replies to the debate.

The Government are at it again. They are always at it. They are putting the cart before the horse again. They have sent the errand boy from Committee to try to persuade us to agree to what they want. They are in a mess. My hon. Friend the Member for Bradford, South (Mr. Cryer) was correct.

Does my hon. Friend the Member for Middlesbrough (Mr. Bell) agree that the Chair now has an opportunity to put the matter right? The Government have put the cart before the horse. It is a swindle and a fix, and the Government are always at it. It is high time that it stopped.

I agree with my hon. Friend, although I am not sure whether he was raising a point of order with the Chair or asking me a question to which he wishes me to reply. All hon. Members who have sat through the Government's remarkable proceedings on private Bills, which are in fact often hybrid Bills, will understand our problem. There was a three-hour debate earlier this evening on the privatisation of the Clyde port authority. That has now been followed by a money resolution, which is linked to that Bill, but which has been carefully separated from it so that the Bill would not be hybrid and disallowed by the House authorities.

The Minister for Aviation and Shipping has made a variety of statements, making it clear that privatisation is the route that the Government wish all the trust ports to take. However, the Government do not have the time to take the privatisations through the House in the form of a public Bill instead, they use a private Bill procedure linked to a money resolution. That is what happens after 11 years of a Government with a large majority. They pervert the procedures, customs and traditions of the House. That results in us ending up at 10.30 pm on a Monday with the Financial Secretary not intervening to answer the valid points raised by my hon. Friends and myself.

I wish to refer to the aspect of the money resolution dealing with expenses. What expenses did the Financial Secretary have in mind when he drew up the money resolution? What expenses will be incurred by the Treasury in collecting £30 million from the assets of Tees and Hartlepool? Does he envisage any difficulty in raising that money? Will he raid the petty cash? Will he send an inspector—

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. My hon. Friend the Member for Middlesbrough (Mr. Bell) is asking the Minister several questions. The Minister failed to introduce the money resolution; he has simply sat there nodding or shaking his head. Can you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, tell us whether the Minister intends to stand at the Dispatch Box and answer some of the questions asked by my hon. Friends? I object to the Minister not having given a lead into this important subject.

Order. It was not a point of order, so it is not a matter for me.

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. Before the Minister replies to the debate, would not it be desirable for several hon. Members to have the opportunity to take part in it? Am I right in thinking that there is a strict time limit of 45 minutes for the debate? Will not mutual tolerance have to be shown by hon. Members if we are all to have the opportunity to speak?

I gather that the feeling of the House is that there should be sufficient time to allow the Minister to comment on the matters that have been raised in the debate. I hope that hon. Members will bear that in mind, should they catch my eye.

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. There is a problem for the House, in that as the Minister did not speak first, because he was trying to get the resolution through on the nod, we do not have information on what it relates to. As I said earlier, it does not appear in the only copy that we have of the Finance Bill. The Committee considering that Bill is due to finish tomorrow, and in the ordinary course of events, the day after that a copy of the Bill as amended in Committee would be published, incorporating any new clauses related to any money resolutions that the Committee decided to approve. We do not have that information, so we are not in a position to make a decision, until and unless the Minister explains the relationship between the Bill and the resolution. He should have spoken first.

Perhaps the hon. Member for Middlesbrough (Mr. Bell) should be given the opportunity to conclude his speech. No doubt, the Financial Secretary will bear in mind what has been said.

I am always grateful for guidance from the Chair, but, like the House, I anticipated that the Financial Secretary would open the debate. We are aware that we have only 45 minutes to debate the issues that the money resolution raises. I should not wish to curtail my remarks, only to find that the debate has been cut to 25 minutes because the Financial Secretary declines to say anything. We have had no sign from those on the Treasury Bench, nor from you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, because you cannot say, whether the Financial Secretary will speak. If he tells us that he will, I shall take that into account.

I assure the hon. Gentleman that he will not escape without hearing my words of wisdom on the subject.

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman.

I was asking the Financial Secretary what expenses he thought would be incurred in taking away from the assets of privatised ports 50 per cent. of their value, and about which ports we are talking—those about to be privatised as a result of Bills going through the House, or those that may be privatised as the result of a Government proposal, set out in the Queen's Speech, to privatise all the ports in the land. It would be interesting to know what expenses he has in mind.

The money resolution deals with a levy on disposal of securities. Which securities does the Financial Secretary have in mind? How does he see that disposal? Is he talking about cash in hand or cash in the bank, or about assets that have grown up in the port authorities over many years? Is he talking about assets developed from past Government grants? In the case of the Tees and Hartlepool port authority, the Government's excuse for taking away 50 per cent. of its assets was that the Government gave grants to it 20 years ago.

It would be wrong if, when the Treasury is talking about a levy on the disposal of securities, it was talking about all the securities rather than those into which there has been a grant input from the Government. I am aware that the Public Accounts Committee likes the idea that, where there has been an input from the Treasury to build up the assets of a port authority such as Tees and Hartlepool, there ought to be a return on that investment. However, it seems rather far fetched for the Treasury to take 50 per cent. of all the assets, regardless of whether there has been any input from the Treasury, and then for the Government to come to the House at this time of night to pass a resolution entitling the Treasury to collect the expenses of collecting money to which it has no entitlement. That draws attention to the manner in which the Government operate and to the arrogant way in which they deal with the House and with ports that are being privatised at their behest. At the time of the privatisation proposals, no one was told that 50 per cent. of the assets would go and that the Government would come to the House tonight to collect their expenses from the national purse.

The resolution refers to harbour authorities. Either the parliamentary draftsman or the Financial Secretary to the Treasury is at fault because in the case of Tees and Hartlepool or the Clyde port authority we are dealing not simply with harbour undertakings but with port undertakings. There is a difference in law between a port and a harbour. Tees and Hartlepool and the Clyde port authority could well argue that they have port responsibilities rather than simply harbour responsibilities. Again, the resolution is defective. When the Treasury seeks to collect those expenses from a variety of privatised ports, there will be every reason for those ports to go to court and say that the provisions do not apply to them because they are more than harbour authorities: they are port authorities, and the wording of the resolution limits the collection of any expenses to harbour authorities. Again, the parliamentary draftsman or the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, whom I should expect to take full responsibility for the resolution, seems to be building up a court case.

The resolution refers to the transfer to companies and other
"companies which control such companies".
Whom does the Financial Secretary have in mind? Does he accept the principle that Opposition Members have been arguing for many a long day and night that the privatised ports will end up in the hands of conglomerates such as P and 0 and Trafalgar House? They may be part of an expansion programme by Associated British Ports or they may end up in foreign hands. The resolution covers that eventuality by inserting provisions into the Finance Bill relating to the companies in control. When those assets are ultimately transferred into third party hands, the Treasury will be entitled under the money resolution to collect from those companies.

The wording of the resolution reveals the Government's ultimate hand. First, they wish the ports to be privatised. Secondly, they wish to take 50 per cent. of their assets. Thirdly, the Treasury wishes to collect its expenses. Fourthly, the Government anticipate that the companies will end up in the hands of conglomerates and that ports on the Tees, on the Clyde and other ports will be gobbled up when they are privatised or when the Government coerce them into the private sector.

It has not been a wasteful debate. It is not a question of passing the time of day, but it involves holding the Government to account on what appears to be defective wording, which will be challenged in the courts if any of the companies that may be affected by it are so minded.

The resolution cannot distinguish between a port and a harbour: it relates to Acts of Parliament arising and resulting from the Finance Bill. The wording is slothful. The Financial Secretary to the Treasury will have to explain it to the House and to the Finance Bill Committee tomorrow and eventually the courts will have to interpret it.

10.49 pm

The purpose of the money resolution and the Ways and Means resolution is to enable this tax-raising Government to raise another new tax. In this instance, the tax would not necessarily be levied at 50 per cent., as the Government say, but in some circumstances at 100 per cent. or 110 per cent.

The Government have discovered that trust ports have money which does not seem to belong to anyone. Under this Government, the Exchequer assumes that if money does not belong to anyone in particular it ought to belong to the Exchequer and therefore the largest possible amount should be seized as quickly as possible. The effect of the proposals is to enable the Government to pay the expenses of collecting a tax, levied at 50 per cent. of the market value of the securities disposed of when trust ports are privatised.

It is relevant to remember that the market value is not necessarily the price for which the shares in the privatised ports will be sold. The Revenue may deem it to be considerably higher, and 50 per cent. of what the Revenue deems to be the market value may be as much as 100 per cent. of the value for which the securities were sold. It is rather like the Trustee Savings Bank case. The money that shareholders pay when they buy shares in a privatised trust port goes to the port and adds to the existing assets in which they are seeking to buy a share. The end result is that the value of the company is the original assets and the price paid for the shares. The tax is levied at 50 per cent. of that total. It may therefore be 100 per cent. of the original value of the port before privatisation. The Government owe an explanation as to why they are proposing to levy a tax on money which was never theirs, and at a rate potentially much higher than 50 per cent.

If one argues, as it is reasonable to argue, that there is a large windfall gain in privatisations, why should it go to the Exchequer? Why should it not go to the companies concerned and the communities in which the ports are situated? Why should it not go to the local authorities in those areas, or into a common good fund, the trustees of which could apply the money for the benefit of those areas? Why is not any levy on the privatisation process structured to ensure that it benefits the ports and the areas alongside the ports where services have to be provided such as the roads leading to the port areas?

No argument can be made for the Exchequer to claim all this money, and the argument is not being advanced by the privatising ports. They are not saying to the Government, "Please take all this money off us—we are embarrassed about having it." It would be better for the money to be given to local communities. Far from the Government encouraging the privatisation of ports under these proposals, some ports will say, "If all the money is going to the Exchequer, we do not want to follow the route of privatisation".

Order. I can see the hon. Gentleman's difficulty, but he is anticipating the debate on the next motion rather than debating the money resolution.

I took advice from the Clerks before deciding whether to attempt to make two speeches or to summarise my remarks as succinctly as possible in one speech. I have opted, so far as possible, for the latter course.

My main purpose is to argue that the House, and particularly Conservative Members, should realise before passing the money resolution that we are providing for the defraying of expenses of collecting a new tax—a tax that may be levied at a high level—to which the Exchequer has no right or claim, certainly none based on the grants that it may have given to the ports, because those are repaid as part of the privatisation process.

The Government owe it to the House to explain why they are trying to levy such a tax, why they are trying to give the Exchequer money to which it has no right, why they are not trying to ensure that the money remains in the communities and with those who work in the ports, and why they are complicating the process of privatisation with a resolution for which there appears to be no demand in the ports concerned.

We shall get down to the detail in the Finance Bill Committee tomorrow. Having introduced a new clause on this subject, the Government withdrew it. Late on Friday, they retabled the new clause. Once again, it will be before the Standing Committee for tomorrow's sitting. The Government seem to be in considerable confusion about what they are doing. That is hardly surprising for a Government who are supposed to be getting rid of taxes but in fact are introducing yet another new tax on a basis for which there seems to be no defence.

10.54 pm

It is clearly necessary to debate money motions every time they arise. As the House knows, I have paid assiduous attention to these matters over many months. There have not been many money motions in past months, so it is appropriate that I should spend a few moments on this one, giving the Minister the opportunity to make the speech that he should have made at the beginning.

It is extraordinary that the Executive should try to get such a motion through the House on the nod. No doubt the Minister had a few notes prepared, just in case the Opposition were scrupulous enough, as we always are, to check on the way in which the Government were trying to dodge the measure through the House. It is outrageous that the Vote Office has nothing available in connection with the Finance Bill and this money motion. A new clause has not yet been added to the Finance Bill to link it.

I imagine that the hon. Gentleman regards that as some sort of administrative triumph. He has God knows how many civil servants working for him and an office full of additional civil servants in his private office, but he could not get the clauses tabled until the very day when Parliament is debating the issue.

The new clauses were not available for hon. Members to take home and study at the weekend so that we could come prepared to debate what we were told last Thursday was on the Order Paper. Why were the new clauses not tabled last Thursday? We could then have taken them home, got some information from the Library and been ready to subject the Minister to a thorough cross-examination. The hon. Gentleman tabled them today because he was trying to dodge accountability, just as he was trying to dodge accountability by sitting on his bottom when he should have been up explaining exactly what this was about. He should have been admitting shamefacedly to the House that the Government had made a botch of it, as they always do. The Government are abusing the democratic processes and shovelling so much legislation through that the House does not have time to debate the money motion properly.

A satisfactory amount of information is not before the House. New clauses may have been tabled to the Finance Bill, but they will be considered by the Standing Committee. Strictly, they do not have anything to do with the House. They may not be passed. The Government get the estate agents, merchant bankers and other riffraff on the Tory Benches into the Committee, tell them to "Vote this way", and expect the measures to be passed automatically without any debate or mature judgment of the issues. That is wrong. It is an affront to the intelligences even of some Conservative Members, although that is not a strong point to make.

The Minister could have helped the House a great deal if he had said all this at the beginning. He did not do so because he hoped—as the Government hope on so many occasions—to get a money motion passed on the nod. That is why I invariably speak—to disappoint the Government in that expectation, if in no other.

What annual expenditure is involved? It is an open-ended invitation to the Minister to spend what he likes. It is outrageous that we have this motion before us.

The measure is designed to obtain revenue from the transfer of the trust ports, which is being effected by private Bills. There are now so many private Bills going through the House that the Government have had to table a resolution at this late stage. I understand that the Finance Bill Committee is due to finish its deliberations tomorrow. That means that this is the last occasion on which the Government can table clauses for the Committee to consider, so the Minister's boast that the Government tabled the clauses today is an implicit admission of incompetence on his part and that of the Government. They could not have tabled them after today and they will lose the right to milk the trust ports if the resolution is not carried tonight. That is why I suggest to my hon. Friends that we should vote on the resolution and prevent its being passed. We should make sure that people understand that we know of the dodges that the Tory Government are setting about in Parliament and that, although they have a majority of 150, we intend to do our best to ensure that the resolution does not go through on the nod.

There is an important relationship between private and public Bills. As a number of Opposition Members have said, the Government are using the private Bill procedure as though it were a public Bill system of which they can take advantage. The resolution, which would enable the Government to milk the trust ports by imposing a levy, is a direct example of that. If the Government did not have an organised system for piloting private Bills through Parliament, they would not need such a resolution.

Perhaps my hon. Friend could explain the levy. The Committee may see the relevant documentation tomorrow, but when I went to the Vote Office and asked for information relating to this and to the next item on the Order Paper, I was informed that it was not available. If my hon. Friend has the proposals, perhaps he could pass them around. Indeed, the Minister could have passed them round. After all, the Government are spending millions of pounds distributing leaflets on their NHS proposals.

I know that my hon. Friend is extremely concerned at the abuse of the House that the use of the private Bill procedure represents. We all know that my hon. Friend is honoured for holding the Executive to account on these issues.

I shall not take much longer, although I must say to the Minister, who is looking at his watch, that there will be plenty of time later. I can rely on the Minister to use his ingenuity to include any explanations that he is prevented by shortage of time from using on this resolution by his speech on the Ways and Means resolution. I do not know about my hon. Friends, but I believe that we should have a close look at that, too. If we are not satisfied—even though the debate can go on for some time—it would not be imprudent to consider voting on the Ways and Means resolution. But we shall come to that. The Minister has several minutes to make the speech that he should have made at the beginning of the debate and I now give him the opportunity to do so.

11.3 pm

I am glad that I did not speak at the start of the debate because I could not have forecast exactly the questions that hon. Members have properly raised. I shall do my best to respond to as many of them as I can and I shall take the opportunity, as the hon. Member for Bradford, South (Mr. Cryer) suggested, to answer any outstanding questions in the subsequent debate, to which I look forward.

The resolution simply authorises the expenditure of moneys on the administration of the levy that the clauses that we shall consider in the Finance Bill Committee tomorrow would impose on any port that privatised itself. That admistrative expenditure applies only to the operation of the levy. The money resolution will not enable us to expend moneys on the privatisation of ports; the House can rest assured on that.

I was asked what was meant by
"any Act resulting from the Finance Bill".
It is, of course, the Finance Act which will result from the Finance Bill and not any private Act resulting from a private Bill now going through the House. Normally, the moneys raised used for any administrative expenditures under the Finance Bill money resolution will come from Department of Transport voted expenditure headlined for administration.

The hon. Member for Bradford, South intervened in the speech of his hon. Friend the Member for Middlesbrough (Mr. Bell) and asked about the non-availability of clauses. I explained that they were tabled on Friday, published on Saturday, and appear on today's Order Paper. We are not debating those clauses. That will be a task for the Finance Bill Standing Committee. We tabled the clauses so that we could debate them in Committee, although we could have tabled them later on Report had we so wished and had we any subversive intent, which of course we have not.

The hon. Member for Middlesbrough asked whether the resolution is retrospective. It is not. He also asked whether we were in any way using private Bills to privatise ports. By definition, private Bills are private and the private institution—in this case the port—brings forward the Bill, not the Government.

The hon. Member for Middlesbrough also asked about the nature of the expenses that might be incurred under the money resolution. They would include valuation costs of the proceeds of sale, determining whether the levy is payable and general administrative and collection costs. I suspect that those costs will not be large, but it is right that we should receive proper authorisation before they can be undertaken.

The hon. Member for Middlesbrough also asked what securities are mentioned in the Bill. They are shares in the company, debentures, stocks and bonds and not anything owned by the company. He also asked whether it was right to refer to harbour authorities rather than port authorities. I am reliably informed that all port authorities are harbour authorities.

The hon. Member for Berwick-upon-Tweed (Mr. Beith) said that we were taking the opportunity to impose a tax and that the money should instead in some way be channelled to employees, local authorities and the area in general. He will find from the clauses that up to 3 per cent. of the proceeds can go to employees, and that will be a larger proportion than in any other sale. It is intended that 50 per cent. of the proceeds will be left with the company and liable to taxation. Privatisation—

It being three-quarters of an hour after the commencement of proceedings on the motion, MR. DEPUTY SPEAKER put the Question, pursuant to Standing Order No. 14 (Exempted business).

The House divided: Ayes 121, Noes 30.

Division No. 276]

[11.07 pm


Alexander, RichardChalker, Rt Hon Mrs Lynda
Allason, RupertChapman, Sydney
Amess, DavidChope, Christopher
Arbuthnot, JamesClark, Dr Michael (Rochford)
Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham)Coombs, Anthony (Wyre F'rest)
Batiste, SpencerCoombs, Simon (Swindon)
Bellingham, HenryCran, James
Bennett, Nicholas (Pembroke)Currie, Mrs Edwina
Boscawen, Hon RobertDavies, Q. (Stamf'd & Spald'g)
Boswell, TimDavis, David (Boothferry)
Bowis, JohnDay, Stephen
Brandon-Bravo, MartinDevlin, Tim
Brazier, JulianDouglas-Hamilton, Lord James
Bright, GrahamDurant, Tony
Brown, Michael (Brigg & Cl't's)Fairbairn, Sir Nicholas
Browne, John (Winchester)Fallon, Michael
Burt, AlistairFishburn, John Dudley
Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)Fookes, Dame Janet
Carrington, MatthewForsyth, Michael (Stirling)

Forth, EricMoate, Roger
Franks, CecilMontgomery, Sir Fergus
Freeman, RogerMorris, M (N'hampton S)
Gale, RogerMoss, Malcolm
Garel-Jones, TristanNeale, Gerrard
Gill, ChristopherNeubert, Michael
Glyn, Dr Sir AlanNicholson, David (Taunton)
Gow, IanNorris, Steve
Greenway, John (Ryedale)Oppenheim, Phillip
Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth N)Paice, James
Ground, PatrickPatnick, Irvine
Hague, WilliamPawsey, James
Hamilton, Neil (Tatton)Porter, David (Waveney)
Hanley, JeremyPrice, Sir David
Hargreaves, A. (B'ham H'll Gr')Raison, Rt Hon Timothy
Harris, DavidRedwood, John
Hind, KennethRenton, Rt Hon Tim
Hogg, Hon Douglas (Gr'th'm)Rhodes James, Robert
Howard, Rt Hon MichaelRowe, Andrew
Howarth, G. (Cannock & B'wd)Shaw, David (Dover)
Howe, Rt Hon Sir GeoffreyShepherd, Colin (Hereford)
Hughes, Robert G. (Harrow W)Smith, Sir Dudley (Warwick)
Irvine, MichaelStanbrook, Ivor
Jack, MichaelStern, Michael
Janman, TimStevens, Lewis
King, Roger (B'ham N'thfield)Stewart, Allan (Eastwood)
Knapman, RogerStewart, Andy (Sherwood)
Knight, Greg (Derby North)Stradling Thomas, Sir John
Knowles, MichaelSummerson, Hugo
Lawrence, IvanTaylor, John M (Solihull)
Lester, Jim (Broxtowe)Thompson, D. (Calder Valley)
Lightbown, DavidThompson, Patrick (Norwich N)
Lilley, PeterThorne, Neil
Lyell, Rt Hon Sir NicholasTwinn, Dr Ian
Maclean, DavidWalker, Bill (T'side North)
McLoughlin, PatrickWiddecombe, Ann
Malins, HumfreyWinterton, Mrs Ann
Marshall, Sir Michael (Arundel)Winterton, Nicholas
Martin, David (Portsmouth S)Wolfson, Mark
Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin
Mayhew, Rt Hon Sir Patrick

Tellers for the Ayes:

Miller, Sir Hal

Mr. Nicholas Baker and

Mitchell, Andrew (Gedling)

Mr. Timothy Wood.

Mitchell, Sir David


Barnes, Harry (Derbyshire NE)Kirkwood, Archy
Beckett, MargaretLofthouse, Geoffrey
Beith, A. J.McCartney, Ian
Bell, StuartMcFall, John
Bermingham, GeraldMahon, Mrs Alice
Brown, Nicholas (Newcastle E)Michie, Bill (Sheffield Heeley)
Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE)Nellist, Dave
Carr, MichaelPowell, Ray (Ogmore)
Cryer, BobSkinner, Dennis
Dixon, DonSteel, Rt Hon Sir David
Evans, John (St Helens N)Taylor, Matthew (Truro)
Fyfe, MariaWallace, James
Godman, Dr Norman A.Wareing, Robert N.
Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)
Haynes, Frank

Tellers for the Noes:

Hinchliffe, David

Mr. George Buckley and

Home Robertson, John

Mr. Martin Redmond.

Question accordingly agreed to.


That, for the purposes of any Act resulting from the Finance Bill, it is expedient to authorise the payment out of money provided by Parliament of any expenses of the Secretary of State attributable to provisions of the Act relating to levy on disposals of securities of companies to which the undertaking of a harbour authority is transferred and companies which control such companies.