Skip to main content


Volume 178: debated on Wednesday 24 October 1990

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

Order. I am on my feet.

I suggest that the five motions be debated together. I have selected all the amendments in the name of the hon. Member for Newham, South (Mr. Spearing). I remind the House that all the outstanding Questions will be put at 7 o'clock.

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I apologise for rising when you were on your feet, but you will understand that I did so because of your suggestion that the motions be taken together. You will know that the five motions on the Order Paper, which must, by order of the House last Friday, be completed, if moved, by 7 pm, are on two separate and distinct subjects.

The first two motions refer to questions and a report from the Select Committee on Procedure and subsequent Standing Orders on which there may be some debate. The next three motions relate to the important topic of the scrutiny of EC legislation, for which there are substantial and significant proposals which have been arrived at after considerable debate, and to Standing Orders from the Leader of the House, to which there are amendments which, as you have mentioned, Mr. Speaker, you have kindly selected.

If those motions are taken together, as you suggest, Mr. Speaker, they would involve two separate topics. The second one is complex enough on its own and, in view of the time constraint rightly or wrongly agreed by the House, may we at least start by discussing the first two on their own?

As the hon. Gentleman correctly mentioned, the motion to take them together was passed last Friday, and that being so I do not think that I have any authority to say that they should now be taken separately. I understand that the first two motions are not very controversial. The debate may therefore centre upon motions 3, 4 and 5, which are of great importance to the House.

Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. I am grateful for your ruling. On cursory examination, the order of the House on Friday referred to all the motions together, but do I take it that they should and could not be separated, although they are separate motions on the Order Paper? That is surely a novelty of which the House should take note.

There is no obligation on the Government to move the motions at 7 pm, but the order passed last Friday put all five motions together. The vote will be taken at 7 pm, but it would be up to the Leader of the House not to move any specific motion if he felt that there had been insufficient time to debate it.

6.3 pm

The Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
(Sir Geoffrey Howe)

I understand the point raised by the hon. Member for Newham, South (Mr. Spearing), but we should try to make headway along the lines which you, Mr. Speaker, foreshadowed in your original response. These two sets of recommendations emerged from considered proposals by the Procedure Committee. The first two, as you pointed out, have riot been the subject of any controversy that I have been able to detect; the next three were the subject of a debate lasting some five hours before we rose and two of those three embody recommendations agreed with the Scrutiny Committee. There is one issue of substance to be discussed on that trio of motions, and that is embodied in the set of amendments standing in the name of the Chairman of the Scrutiny Committee. On that basis, I shall proceed on the footing that the debate deals with oral questions and EC procedure.

I beg to move,

That this House agrees with the recommendations contained in the First Report of the Select Committee on Procedure of this Session (House of Commons Paper No. 379).

Despite what I think was a ruling from Mr. Speaker, who has just departed, will the Leader of the House confirm that it would be possible tor the Government to deal with motions 1 and 2 in one debate and to move motions 3, 4 and 5 if there was time later? Do I understand from what the Leader of the House has said that he is moving motions 1 to 5 at this moment?

As Mr. Speaker pointed out, the motions are moved one by one, but they are debated together and all five are now being debated. I have sa far moved the first one and on that basis I am commencing the debate.

The first motion is one of two dealing with questions. We have less time than I would have hoped to deal with the matter, but I did deal with it at some length on a previous occasion, so I shall try to proceed expeditiously in the light of the time available.

The first two motions on oral questions deal essentially with the number of oral questions that appear on the Order Paper, the proportion of them reached and the method by which they are tabled. I content myself with saying that the Procedure Committee's recommendations are sound and sensible, and can be justified on their merits. They will give us substantial cost savings, as well as achieving a major simplification of the Order Paper. The one fact that I will produce is that the total cost of printing questions and answers last Session is estimated at £1·38 million. If adopted, the recommendations in the report could lead to savings of up to £750,000 in printing costs alone, so there is everything to be said in their favour.

Are we clear that questions must be personally handed into the Table Office by the Member concerned and that no colleague can do so, and that the whole scandal of syndication, for such it is, and handing in great wads of questions will come to an end?

One of the central purposes of the recommendation is to tackle so-called syndication. The recommendations in paragraph 35 of the report are intended to achieve just that result. It says:

"oral questions should be tabled by a Member in person, or by another Member acting on his or her behalf … no Member should be permitted to table more than two oral questions per Minister (one for himself and one for another Member), subject to the existing rations for individual Members".
The recommendations are well considered and were widely circulated before the Committee reached its conclusion.

Will my right hon. and learned Friend, either now or at some later stage, give us a breakdown of the £1·38 million to show how much each question costs?

I shall try to give the standard answer to that. It is always larger than one thinks, because it has gone up since last time.

Can my right hon. and learned Friend confirm that the new Standing Orders relating to oral questions incorporate all the Procedure Committee's recommendations? I refer to the instruction that

"Notices of questions shall be given by Members in writing to the Table Office."
Does that mean that right hon. and hon. Members must turn up in person at the Table Office to hand in their questions?

As I understand it, the new Standing Orders embody the Committee's recommendations. Certain practical aspects of them need to be handled in the Table Office, and in commending them, as we do in one of the motions, we give our authority to the Table Office to proceed in that way.

The measures relating to European Standing Committees were debated on 28 June, and I explained then the ways in which the Government's response was intended to help bring our scrutiny procedures up to date. I indicated that, in the light of the debate, the Government would be drawing up detailed proposals to put before the House with the aim of operating the new arrangements from the start of the new Session.

The third motion on the Order Paper would repeal Standing Order No. 102 and establish three new Standing Committees. The fourth motion would amend Standing Order No. 127 in respect of the terms of reference of the Scrutiny Committee, and the fifth motion is a resolution of the House to supersede that of 13 October 1980.

The motion relating to Standing Order No. 127 was agreed after discussion with the Scrutiny Committee, and I am grateful to its Chairman for its help. The measure offers a useful, albeit modest, extension of the Committee's terms of reference that I know it welcomes. The draft resolution was also agreed with the Scrutiny Committee and fully reflects recommendation 13 of the Procedure Committee's report. It embodies the Government's previous undertaking that the resolution would cover any proposal awaiting scrutiny as well as any recommended for debate.

I turn to the substantive proposals relating to European Standing Committees. The amendment to Standing Order No. 102 will establish three new Committees. The one outstanding point on which there is a significant difference of view is the proposal in paragraphs (1) and (2) that all documents recommended for debate will automatically stand referred to one of those Committees unless a motion is tabled to hold a debate on the Floor of the House.

The amendments that have been tabled would replace that arrangement with a variant of the present referral system, increasing the so-called 20-up rule to a 40-up rule. However, if, as we hope, the majority of debates will in future take place in Committee, it seems logical that a motion should only be tabled for the exception rather than the rule.

The new arrangements will allow more effective scrutiny in Committee, so it is crucial that they are allowed to get under way and be given a chance to work. It will be open to the Scrutiny Committee to recommend that a particular document be debated on the Floor of the House if it regards it as especially important, and the Government would naturally take any such recommendation into account. There would also be the normal consultations through the usual channels.

Against that background, I invite the House to agree to the Government's proposals. I am of course prepared to give a commitment that the new system of referral will be reviewed at the end of the first Session of operation, along with other aspects of the new arrangement.

I may add that the fourth amendment in the name of the hon. Member for Newham, South is a necessary technical amendment that the Government are glad to accept.

I hope that other details of the operation of the new Committees will be clear from our previous debate and from the proposals that the Government have tabled. In the light of the time available, and because there was broad agreement on most points in our earlier debate, I do not propose to go into those other aspects in detail—particularly bearing in mind our willingness to review the arrangements at the end of the next Session.

The most crucial aspect of my right hon. and learned Friend's remarks is the procedure for referral, to allow a debate to take place on the Floor of the House. The arrangements that my right hon. and learned Friend announced appear to hand all power to the Government. The Government alone will make the decision—after some consultation through the usual channels, if the Opposition are lucky. I simply want to record my belief that such a scheme will not be acceptable to that minority who seek to question European documents—often without the necessary approval of members of their own Front Bench, yet with enormous approval from the country at large.

My hon. Friend's point fortifies itself, in a sense. He wants to ensure that representations made by the kind of minority with which he associates himself are given a proper hearing. We seek to ensure that views not normally heard at the end of the day's business, which would detain the House for a long time, may be advanced in the European Standing Committees at which any right hon. or hon. Member is entitled to speak. In that way, such representations will be considered at a better time of day by specialised Committees in which Ministers will be required to give evidence as well as speak to the proposals under consideration. The method of scrutiny will be more thorough and will incommode the House as a whole less frequently. However, it will still be possible to make representations for matters to be debated on the Floor of the House, as I described.

Why is my right hon. and learned Friend opposing a less rigorous means of enforcing proper procedures in the face of a vehement minority or even majority? To get 40 right hon. and hon. Members to stand in their places requires a degree of organisation and fleetness of foot that is difficult to achieve. It is only suggested that such a thing should be made possible. It would not destroy the tenor of my right hon. and learned Friend's argument that such matters should usually be considered in Committee.

My hon. Friend reflects a point made by the Chairman of the Procedure Committee in our earlier debate who emphasised that, in the main, the same will happen, whatever the balance of the proposed arrangements, and that the majority of documents would anyway be considered in Standing Committee. We are only suggesting that, during the initial period, that should happen automatically, but that representations can be made if right hon. or hon. Members want to follow a different course.

Nevertheless, we hope to see the Committees operating normally and acceptably in the way that I have described. Clearly, that topic can be the subject of further discussion, as my hon. Friend's interventions indicated. Subject to that, I commend the other arrangements as reflecting the gist of the recommendations made by the Procedure Committee and endorsed in the last debate. My hon. Friends have both identified areas for discussion that the hon. Member for Copeland (Dr. Cunningham) may care to develop. In other words, they have spoken to his amendment. I commend the motion to the House.

6.18 pm

I can begin by wholly agreeing with the Leader of the House in his proposed changes for dealing with oral questions. I am sure that will be met with a sigh of relief—particularly by members of Opposition Front Benches who have had to organise against the fusillade organised by Government Whips in an attempt to pre-empt Question Time.

I can tell the hon. Gentleman that I, as both a participant in and victim of that system, know very well how it operates—and I for one will not be sorry to see it come to an end.

As for the cost of parliamentary questions in general, I hope that hon. Members will reflect on the fact that, if they support the unanimous report of the Computer Sub-Committee, which will give us an on-line information system for Members, some of the need to table questions—particularly written—will disappear. I hope that that report will command support when it is brought before the House, because it will make the seeking and dissemination of information far more efficient and cost-effective.

As the House knows, I and the Government have some differences of view on the manner in which we deal with EC legislation. Those differences were set out at length—as was the Government's position—on 28 June this year. I shall briefly summarise my objections to what the Leader of the House is asking the House to agree. Despite my differences with the view of the right hon. and learned Gentleman, however, I hope that we can come to a decision this evening and not put it off yet again. We can then have a trial period.

One of the most important statements made by the Leader of the House today was also said by him on 28 June:
"So, for strictly practical and not for philosophical reasons, we propose to start by setting up three Committees and to review the matter at the end of the first Session."—[Offical Report, 28 June 1990; Vol. 175, c.528.]
I welcome the fact that that commitment to a review has been put on record again this evening.

My reservations concern, first, the practicability of three separate Committees. I should have preferred the idea, in the evidence submitted by my hon. Friend the Member for Hamilton (Mr. Robertson), of a European Grand Committee—but I am happy to have a trial. Secondly, I share the fairly widespread reservation about the House conceding a right to the Executive, whichever party happens to be in power. I favour the House strengthening its position vis-a-vis the Executive, not weakening it. Perhaps the Leader of the House can find room for a concession on this matter. I also hope that he will say a little more about how the review of the trial period will be carried out at the end of the first Session in which these proposals have been in practice.

6.22 pm

I shall be as brief as I can because of the shortage of time for the debate.

It is obvious that the influence and power of European Community regulations and laws over United Kingdom citizens have increased in the past, are increasing today and will increase much more in future. While this Parliament in Westminster can do little to stop that extension of power over our sovereignty, it is my view and that of the Procedure Committee that it is essential that Parliament should more fully consider, and that more Members should come to understand, debate and comment upon, the plethora of regulations being churned out by the Community before they are confirmed.

The motions on the Order Paper establish an entirely new procedure to ensure that this can be achieved. They do so by moving from debates late at night to consideration in proper business hours, in the morning in Committee. They ensure that not only the nominated members of Committees but any Member can attend a Committee and, if he can catch the Chair's eye, participate in the deliberations there. They provide that Ministers responsible for the regulations or the legislation being proposed by the Community may be cross-questioned in a way similar to what happens in a Select Committee before a motion that can be amended, debated and voted on by the Committee. And they will ensure that for a Session of Parliament a small band of Members will be appointed to a Committee who should be able to become expert in the subject referred to that European Standing Committee.

The consideration of documents referred to the European Standing Committee and the dates and times of these meetings will be announced by the Leader of the House during his weekly statement on proceedings and will be included in the party Whips. So everyone in the House is being given the opportunity and the encouragement not only to know what regulations are coming from Brussels but to take part in the consideration of those regulations and to ensure that the Minister in charge knows the views of interested Members before he returns to Brussels for the final decision on the regulation.

Although the Committee recommended that there should be five European Standing Committees—we rejected the idea of a Grand Committee because we believed that it would be permanently in session and we do not believe that that would make sense—we were quite willing to see three appointed initially. I know that the Government will keep that under review, as they have given an undertaking to that effect.

In the subject reference to the Committees in motion No. 3 at the top of page 6588 on the Order Paper, finance and taxation have not been mentioned, yet they are the third largest of the subjects of regulations and documents passed by the Community. Supposedly, they would be taken by the third Committee, but as they feature in many of the regulations now and may well continue to do so in future, they should be noted as a subject for the third Committee. I stress that, because the Procedure Committee hopes that, as only a limited number of Members—10 in all—are appointed to each Committee, Members especially interested in the subjects covered by those Committees will apply to be appointed to them. So hon. Members who are interested in finance should realise that they should be particularly interested in the third Committee.

I believe that this is a major improvement, because, for the first time, a really informed core of Members will consider European legislation on which they have expertise. Under the present system, when a document is referred to Committee, that Committee provides a random selection—I was going to say a ragbag—of Members to constitute a Committee examining a subject in which they may have no interest and about which they may have little information.

Does my hon. Friend know how the subject matters were allocated to the Standing Committees? Would it not have been more sensible to put finance, taxation, trade and industry together in one Committee—for the reasons that he has just given?

It might well have been. I can only tell my hon. Friend that the allocations were made as suggested in the resolution. It works out rather well, in view of the figures for the past two years: the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and the Department of the Environment—the AGE Committee—have been concerned with about 506 documents; the Departments of Trade and Industry and Transport—presumably the TIT Committee—with 318; and finance and taxation Departments—presumably the FAT Committee—with 321. So the subjects are fairly evenly spread.

It is not immediately obvious from the wording of motions Nos. 1 and 2 that the outcome of those motions will be to try to overcome the relatively new procedure for the syndication of questions and to cut down the number of—I was going to say useless—oral questions on the Order Paper which are never reached but which appear day after day.

The House should know that Mr. Speaker has the power, reinforced by motion No. 1, to introduce the new structure as outlined in the Procedure Committee's report. The most important effect of that will be that large bunches of questions will no longer be allowed to be handed in by a Whip or a Back-Bench party committee officer, or anyone else.

I have no doubt that ingenious organisations may still try to get around these new regulations—that always happens—which lay down that a Member or, if he cannot be present, a Member on his behalf can hand in a question to the Table Office, but I hope that the House will accept the opinion of the Procedure Committee that the syndication of questions is bad for Parliament, that it removes the initial intention behind questions and that it limits the power of the ordinary Member to have matters that concern him or his constituents dealt with at Question Time.

I understand the concern felt by a number of hon. Members, particularly those serving on the Scrutiny Committee, which has resulted in the tabling of the amendments. However, as we have so much from the Government at this stage, rather than delay the approval of these matters by yet another debate, I urge my hon. Friends to take the assurance given by the Leader of the House that this matter will be kept under review. In turn, I will give an assurance that the Procedure Committee will keep the matter under review so that, if it appears that the recommendation being made by the Scrutiny Committee, that matters should be taken on the Floor of the House, is not being carried out by the Government, we would so report to the Leader of the House.

I am a member of the Select Committee on European Legislation, which is also worried about what might be described as the external dimension. I understand why my hon. Friend's Committee has come to its conclusions, but the message that goes out from the House to the Council of Ministers, the European Commission, or whatever European authority it may be, may be downgraded as a consequence of our referring that issue to a Committee rather than taking it on the Floor of the House. Whether we are pro or anti-European, or however we may be judged as standing in the European context, we are all concerned about that.

I understand the point that my hon. Friend is making. One cannot deny, because there are no absolute facts that would allow us to deny, that that is possible. However, there is a counter-argument: that there has never been any suggestion that there was a different interpretation of the views of the House, either by a Minister when he goes to Brussels, or by Brussels itself, depending on whether the matter had been debated on the Floor of the House or referred to a Standing Committee. Therefore, I find it difficult to believe that that would be the case now.

I hope that the assurance that I give my hon. Friend—obviously I want to see co-operation between my Committee and the Scrutiny Committee—that if it should feel that its recommendation that matters should be debated on the Floor of the House is seen not to be followed through by the Government, we shall look at this and report after 12 months. I hope that this is of assistance both to the Government and to the Chairman of the Procedure Committee.

I thank the Leader of the House for his comments about the work of my Committee, but he is due much greater thanks for the fact that, for the first time since the days of Norman St. John-Stevas, we have a Leader of the House who is interested in modernising and making more effective the work of the House, and who is willing to do something about it. If he is not careful, the Leader of the House will establish a reputation as a great reformer.

6.33 pm

I apologise for the slight tone of acerbity with which I raised points of order at the beginning of the debate. When the business motion appeared on the Order Paper on Friday, one would have thought on a casual glance that, although we had a guillotine at 7 o'clock, we would notionally have two and a half hours of debate, and if there were a statement, perhaps two hours. However, a motion such as this is an open invitation to certain quarters to pile on the statements, and we are left not with one and a half or two and a half hours but one, for two subjects. That is not a good advertisement for the way in which we go about our business. Hence my concern at the beginning.

I pay tribute to the hard work of the Select Committee on Procedure and its report No. 622 of 1989, in which it went into the whole matter at great length and came up with some solutions, which we debated on 18 June. The exception to the agreement was the matter to which I shall come in a moment. I thank the Leader of the House for the way in which, with one exception, he has dealt with these matters.

As I said in that debate, the Select Committee has produced a special report, which was published the night before, HC512, in which we suggested that there should be a mutual agreement between the Select Committee on European Legislation and the Government on the terms of the proposed new Standing Order No. 127. The Leader of the House agreed with us, and that debate set a record in the number of recommendations accepted. I am glad to pay tribute to the Leader of the House, who has introduced Standing Order No. 127, under motion No. 4. There is mutual accord on that.

There is mutual accord on motion No. 5, which is important because it replaces a resolution of the House of October 1980, which, for the first time, set down the structure by which the House influences—I will not use any stronger word—the efforts, decisions and work of Ministers in the Council of Ministers. That report, in the name of the then Mr. St. John-Stevas, and the resolution attached to his name, are what we are now debating. The Committee has had regular correspondence, and I have had regular meetings, with successive Leaders of the House—the right hon. Members for Colchester, South and Maldon (Mr. Wakeham) and for Shropshire, North (Mr. Biffen). We thank them for their work, which is now updated and incorporated in the motion that we hope to pass today.

I now pass on rapidly, because time does not allow for any further comment on those matters, to the motion about which there is a certain amount of disagreement. The amendments to the proposed Standing Order No. 102 are the unanimous view of the Select Committee on European Legislation. That Committee has on it a spectrum of both the parties and of the approach taken by hon. Members to the European Community. We are a procedural and scrutiny Committee, and we discharge the responsibilities put on us by the House in respect of the conduct of the Executive, irrespective of the merits of the matter. That is one of the central processes of the House. I am glad to say that my colleagues go about their work in that manner, and that enables us to discharge our duty with reasonable efficacy. That gives point to the fact that we are presenting these amendments unanimously.

The proposed Standing Order No. 102 implements a good many of the proposals made by the Select Committee on Procedure, as we have heard. In particular, it sets up three Special Standing Committees with a procedure of questioning Ministers for an hour before debating the merits of any EEC proposals. There have been comments about how that will work, the number of members on each Committee and the welcome continuation of the practice of allowing hon. Members to go to the Committees to question and debate matters. There have been remarks about the small forum, but I shall go no further than point that out.

However, there has been a fundamental difference of opinion over the manner in which it is decided which documents go to Committee and which go to the Floor of the House. In the past, the convention was that, if it was suggested that a subject was more suitable for consideration by a Select Committee, because it was a technical matter or one about which special knowledge was required, we said so. The Government moved a motion on the Floor of the House at 3.30 pm and the House agreed to it. That represents the choice of the House over how to deal with its own business.

The new Standing Order that has been moved by the Leader of the House would change all that. He made no bones about it in our debate on 28 June. Everything will go upstairs, unless a motion moved on the Floor of the House by a Minister of the Crown says otherwise. That sticks in the Committee's craw.

In conclusion, I shall read the recommendation in the Select Committee's report of 1989–90, HC512:
"The Committee therefore rejects the Government's view that automatic referral is necessary to ensure that the changes envisaged in the Procedure Committee's report are carried through. It recommends that the revised arrangements should continue to be based on the principle that the House itself makes the reference to the Standing Committee. In this context, the Government should feel free to table a motion of referral to a Special Standing Committee on European Community Documents in respect of all documents where it has not identified a clear argument against debate in such a forum."
In other words, unless there is a good argument for debate on the Floor of the House, upstairs it goes. No one would disagree with that, but that must be the House's decision, not that of the Government. The latter represents an intrusion of Executive power on the Floor of the House, power which has historically been resisted.

The Leader of the House kindly said that there will be a review after a year. During that year the Government will probably watch their Ps and Qs. The Procedure Committee has agreed to review the matter. If it works well, as I hope it will, why not enshrine it in Standing Orders? Our amendments would put it there. Even at this late stage, I hope that the Leader of the House will say that, for reasons of parliamentary scrutiny and the international reputation that our work on European Community legislation is gaining, it would be a great pity if the House lost that little bit of power. It has been noted abroad that we have that power, and it is greatly admired. I should be very sorry if this Leader of the House were to be responsible for its diminution.

6.42 pm

I heartily endorse all that has been said by the Chairman of the Select Committee on European Legislation, the hon. Member for Newham, South (Mr. Spearing), in particular his tribute to my right hon. and learned Friend the Leader of the House and my hon. Friend the Member for Honiton (Sir P. Emery) for the work that they have done on the issue.

Although I accept with gratitude my right hon. and learned Friend's undertaking that after a year he will review the referral of matters to Select Committees, I must point out that "temporary" is a difficult term. Something that is temporary tends to become very permanent. It is difficult to change Standing Orders of the House. It takes a long time to produce reports and to get action on them taken on the Floor of the House. I am therefore cynical about the word "temporary."

I believe that it would be a mistake. First, we should lose unanimity that could not easily be regained. Secondly, because the terms of reference of the Select Committee on European Legislation would be broadened, reports would be produced that the Committee could recommend should be debated on the Floor of the House. For example, before the Madrid meeting of the Council of Ministers at which decisions were to be taken on whether Britain should join the exchange rate mechanism and on whether there should be monetary union, along the lines of the Delors report, reports were published by the Treasury and Civil Service Select Committee, the Foreign Affairs Select Committee and the European Legislation Select Committee.

The Government and the Conservative party believed that debate on the Floor of the House immediately before the county council elections would reveal divisions in the Conservative party which, politically, they could do without. I fully respect that political reason, but it is a very bad reason for the House avoiding a debate on an important constitutional issue.

By means of this motion we should be handing to the Executive the ability to repeat an appalling decision that was politically motivated. As the terms of reference are to be widened, more issues should be debated on the Floor of the House. The European Council is now the principal policy-making body of the Community. It meets in secret; we have to guess what its agenda is. Nevertheless, we manage to do so. We need to be able to debate those matters on the Floor of the House, on the recommendation of the Select Committee on European Legislation. Whether or not those matters should be debated on the Floor of the House should not be decided by the political party that is in power.

I have noted that the hon. Member for Copeland (Dr. Cunningham) is keen, while in opposition, on strengthening the procedures of the House of Commons, but I wonder whether, when he gets into government, he will be quite so keen.

Exactly. However, whichever party is in power is reluctant to give it up and hand it back to the Floor of the House of Commons. I hope, therefore, that we shall not agree to the motion. It gives to the Executive the power to decide whether debates shall take place on important issues. I hope that the Select Committee on European Legislation will bring more of those issues to the Floor of the House because of the broadening of its terms of reference. The motion would stultify that aim. That would be a great pity, since the Leader of the House has introduced a major reform which, with that exception, will serve the House well.

6.47 pm

The 40-Member issue is relevant. I am sure that the Government will eventually concede the point, in order to please us all. The great majority of hon. Members do not have the slightest idea about the volume of European legislation. The only circumstances in which I envisage the 40-Member procedure being used is when all hon. Members receive a letter from the National Farmers Union and have to rise accordingly.

Is not there a danger that we are engaged in a conspiracy of silence to hide from the people of Britain what is happening? These are not minor regulations. They are fundamental measures that will change dramatically the laws of our country. It is not just one issue but several.

Yesterday we debated the exchange rate mechanism. Our trade figures with Germany are important. When I tabled a question a week ago I was told that I could obtain the information from the Library. All trade questions used to be published in Hansard, but during the past five months they have not been found there. They are transferred to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and we are told that we can obtain the information from the Library.

There are three different formulae for determining what are trade figures. Hon. Members are therefore placed in difficulty. The same applies to the mountains of food. The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food told us at the Conservative party conference that the mountains of food had been wiped out because of the Government's reforms. Apparently, the mountains of food are increasing again because those reforms have not worked. Hon. Members cannot obtain information, however, about the size of the mountains. They are referred to a database in the House of Commons Library.

All European Community legislation used to be debated late at night because, we were told, most hon. Members would not be there; they did not want to listen to the debates. Not many hon. Members attended the debates and the Press Gallery was almost empty. But instead of having debates on the Floor of the House when hon. Members are beginning to pay some attention to European Community legislation, we intend to transfer consideration of that legislation to three Committees. The Committee members will be hand-picked. Hon. Members can go along and speak if they know what is coming up. However, we know that that will not happen.

We have to think of the public. I had a telephone message last night when I arrived home at 12.10 am. Somebody telephoned to say, "Mr. Taylor, I understand that the Government are banning the shooting of magpies and that you apparently have to obtain some licence. I just want to say that if you do not stop this, there will be another Eastbourne in Southend, East." The telephone went dead. I am sure that the call was from Rochford. That poor chap does not have the slightest idea that I can do nothing about whether we shoot magpies or need licences, as it is a decision of the EEC.

I had five letters this morning from nice ladies saying, "Dear Mr. Taylor, I understand that our laws to protect our cattle from being exported live are being stopped. Will you please vote against it?" I had to write to those poor souls explaining that as a Member of Parliament I can do nothing about it. It will be decided by the Council of Ministers on a majority vote, irrespective of the views of Spanish fishermen or myself.

I am convinced that by referring these dramatic and important issues to a Standing Committee we are simply adding to the volume of silence. We are told by everyone that the Leader of the House is a great democrat. If he wants to ensure that we take these issues seriously, there is a simple answer. Instead of debating them after 10 o'clock at night and into the small hours or instead of referring them to a hand-picked Committee which will do its job and probably take the opportunity to visit Brussels and Japan at the same time, we could quite easily allow one day a week to discuss EEC issues. People would then hear about them and Ministers would be obliged to say what is going on. I do not think that it matters whether they are debated in Committee or on the Floor of the House or at any hour because they do not influence anything.

The Leader of the House's splendid motion No. 5 says that no Minister of the Crown can give agreement to any proposal that has not been scrutinised. That sounds fabulous. It sounds like a step forward in democracy. However, agreement is different from a common position, as the Leader of the House will be aware. Subsection (4) of the motion says that any Minister can agree to anything despite the scrutiny if he feels that there are special circumstances, and he must report those to the Committee. It is a load of codswallop. There is no democratic control on our laws because the courts, since interim relief, have the power to stop a United Kingdom law and say that it is dead. Even if 635 hon. Members voted against regulations, it would not influence the decision of the EEC one bit.

We do not need to look for more comforting scrutiny, which we all know is bogus and irrelevant. We need to tell the people of the United Kingdom what is going on. We should not give them propaganda but let them know the extent to which our democracy has faded away and, in my view, is disappearing. Hon. Members may think that that is dangerous because the public may wonder what is the point of voting in an election—whether it be for Conservatives, Labour or the Social and Liberal Democrats—when more and more decisions are being seized under article 100A of the EEC.

I am sure that the Leader of the House will say that I am unduly pessimistic and that Ministers take account of hon. Members' views. I am sure that they do, but he will be aware that in the EEC decisions are often made on a horse-trading basis. We say that we will support one country on a certain matter if we can have the support of others in other Committees. I am afraid—all hon. Members present are aware of this—that this is simply part of a long-term process of trying to deny information and deny people's right to know what is going on and to know how our sovereignty has disappeared shamefully.

Whether the Minister thinks that this is good or bad, whether one is pro-EEC or hates the EEC, whether one thinks great things are being achieved or rubbish is being achieved, our primary duty is to let the people of Britain know what on earth is going on. The only way to do that is not to pass on crucial changes affecting every person in Britain by referring them to pleasant sub-committees which will meet in the morning allowing the vast majority of hon. Members to relax. They will not have to wait up until 11 o'clock at night to hear what is going on. They can simply say, "Someone else is doing it and, if they do not do their job, it is not my fault."

In those circumstances, the motion we are considering in one hour—not five hours or 20 hours—will achieve nothing except that the people of Britain will know a little less about a subject on which they are not being informed.

6.54 pm

My right hon. and learned Friend the Leader of the House wishes to reply soon, so I shall be brief. I take some comfort from the words of my hon. Friend the Member for Honiton (Sir P. Emery) who expressed the importance of the Committees. However, I should like my right hon. and learned Friend to take on board one or two points.

I echo the great concern voiced by the hon. Member for Newham, South (Mr. Spearing) about the role of the Executive in this matter. I am also concerned that ordinary hon. Members will not be able to vote on the Standing Committees. It is fine that they should be able to listen and speak but they should be able to vote. If not, the value of the Committees will be downgraded and, as my hon. Friend the Member for Southend, East (Mr. Taylor) said, they will become irrelevant and people will not take them seriously. I urge my right hon. and learned Friend the Leader of the House, even at this late stage, to take on board those points.

6.55 pm

I am grateful to hon. Members for having condensed their remarks effectively in the short time allowed to us.

I accept the point made by the hon. Member for Newham, South (Mr. Spearing) who would have liked us to have more time. I had not been planning to have so many statements this afternoon. The third statement was totally unexpected and we could not have done without it. I am grateful to hon. Members on both sides for the generosity of the tributes they have paid to me which are alarming in their scale. I am not sure that my hon. Friend the Member for Southend, East (Mr. Taylor) takes the same view, even on that humanitarian subject. However, as always, I listened with interest to what he said. I suspect that, to a large extent, it echoed his speech in the debate in June which lasted five hours. Therefore, it is wrong to say that these matters have not been considered at some length.

May I ask about the word "legislation" in the Standing Order? Will my right hon. and learned Friend assure us that he will keep it under review? The point made by my hon. Friend the Member for Hertford and Stortford (Mr. Wells) was that we wanted to look at the Madrid matters in advance of the debate. Would it be possible to consider that?

I cannot answer that question now. However, there has been an agreed widening of the scope of the work that can be done by the Scrutiny Committee. We shall have to see how far that works out in practice.

The average printing cost per question is £38 and the preparation cost is £53 for a written question and £87 for an oral question. Therefore, there will be a substantial saving as a result of the recommendations which, I am glad to say, have commanded total support on both sides of the House.

We shall have to think about the best way of carrying out the review of the procedures once they have been in place for 12 months. It will be helpful to know that the Procedure Committee intends to have our performance under review during the 12 months ahead and I have no doubt that the Scrutiny Committee will continue to scrutinise it.

My hon. Friend the Member for Honiton (Sir P. Emery) drew attention to an important point about the allocation of subjects. He is right to believe that the Treasury is included in the third group. It includes the Treasury—including Customs and Excise—the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Home Office and the Departments of Health, Social Security, Employment, Energy and Education and Science. It will be helpful to have that set out clearly. They are allocated on the basis that the work will be roughly evenly distributed. That is provisional and we shall have to see how it works out in practice.

The key issue in the debate turned on the question of automaticity under Standing Order No. 102 and there is a clear divergence of views about that. I do not accept the point advanced by some hon. Members that the remission of the questions for study by the new Standing Committees implies any devaluation of the view that the House takes about scrutiny. They are special bodies and they will have new and extended procedures. That should be recognised.

There is bound to be the question of whether it is right for this matter to be decided on the proposals before us or on the amendment proposed by the hon. Member for Newham, South (Mr. Spearing). We shall have to see how we get on, and hon. Members will certainly bear that in mind. On that basis, I commend the motion and the subsequent motions to the House.

Question put:

The House divided: Ayes 233, Noes 21.

Division No. 333]

[7.00 pm


Aitken, JonathanBruce, Ian (Dorset South)
Allen, GrahamBuchanan-Smith, Rt Hon Alick
Arbuthnot, JamesBuck, Sir Antony
Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham)Budgen, Nicholas
Arnold, Sir ThomasBurns, Simon
Ashby, DavidButcher, John
Atkins, RobertButler, Chris
Atkinson, DavidCarlisle, John, (Luton N)
Baker, Rt Hon K. (Mole Valley)Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)
Baker, Nicholas (Dorset N)Carrington, Matthew
Baldry, TonyCash, William
Banks, Tony (Newham NW)Channon, Rt Hon Paul
Barron, KevinChapman, Sydney
Beaumont-Dark, AnthonyClark, Hon Alan (Plym'th S'n)
Bendall, VivianColvin, Michael
Bennett, Nicholas (Pembroke)Conway, Derek
Bermingham, GeraldCoombs, Simon (Swindon)
Bevan, David GilroyCope, Rt Hon John
Blackburn, Dr John G.Cormack, Patrick
Boscawen, Hon RobertCunningham, Dr John
Bottomley, PeterCurry, David
Brazier, JulianDalyell, Tam
Bright, GrahamDavies, Ron (Caerphilly)
Brooke, Rt Hon PeterDavis, David (Boothferry)
Brown, Michael (Brigg & Cl't's)Dixon, Don
Browne, John (Winchester)Dorrell, Stephen

Douglas-Hamilton, Lord JamesLeighton, Ron
Dunn, BobLester, Jim (Broxtowe)
Dunwoody, Hon Mrs GwynethLightbown, David
Emery, Sir PeterLilley, Peter
Evans, John (St Helens N)Lloyd, Peter (Fareham)
Evennett, DavidLofthouse, Geoffrey
Fallon, MichaelLord, Michael
Favell, TonyLyell, Rt Hon Sir Nicholas
Fearn, RonaldMacKay, Andrew (E Berkshire)
Finsberg, Sir GeoffreyMaclean, David
Fishburn, John DudleyMcLoughlin, Patrick
Fisher, MarkMcNair-Wilson, Sir Michael
Flannery, MartinMadden, Max
Flynn, Paul.Major, Rt Hon John
Fookes, Dame JanetMalins, Humfrey
Forman, NigelMans, Keith
Forsyth, Michael (Stirling)Maples, John
Forth, EricMartin, David (Portsmouth S)
Foster, DerekMates, Michael
Fox, Sir MarcusMaude, Hon Francis
Freeman, Roger Meale, Alan
Gale, Roger Miller, Sir Hal
Gardiner, GeorgeMitchell, Andrew (Gedling)
Garel-Jones, TristanMitchell, Sir David
Glyn, Dr Sir AlanMorrison, Rt Hon P (Chester)
Golding, Mrs LlinMoss, Malcolm
Goodlad, AlastairMoynihan, Hon Colin
Goodson-Wickes, Dr CharlesMudd, David
Greenway, Harry (Ealing N)Needham, Richard
Greenway, John (Ryedale)Neubert, Michael
Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth N)Newton, Rt Hon Tony
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)Nicholson, David (Taunton)
Grist, IanNorris, Steve
Hague, WilliamO'Brien, William
Hamilton, Neil (Tatton)Onslow, Rt Hon Cranley
Hanley, JeremyOrme, Rt Hon Stanley
Hannam, JohnPage, Richard
Hargreaves, A. (B'ham H'll Gr')Paice, James
Harris, DavidPatnick, Irvine
Haselhurst, AlanPatten, Rt Hon John
Hawkins, ChristopherPawsey, James
Hayhoe, Rt Hon Sir BarneyPeacock, Mrs Elizabeth
Heathcoat-Amory, DavidPortillo, Michael
Hicks, Mrs Maureen (Wolv' NE)Powell, William (Corby)
Hicks, Robert (Cornwall SE)Quin, Ms Joyce
Hill, JamesRaffan, Keith
Hind, KennethRedwood, John
Home Robertson, JohnRenton, Rt Hon Tim
Hood, JimmyRhodes James, Robert
Hordern, Sir PeterRiddick, Graham
Howarth, Alan (Strat'd-on-A)Ridley, Rt Hon Nicholas
Howarth, G. (Cannock & B'wd)Roberts, Sir Wyn (Conwy)
Howe, Rt Hon Sir GeoffreyRobertson, George
Howell, Rt Hon David (G'dford)Rooker, Jeff
Howells, GeraintRost, Peter
Howells, Dr. Kim (Pontypridd)Rowe, Andrew
Hughes, Robert G. (Harrow W)Rowlands, Ted
Hunt, David (Wirral W)Ryder, Richard
Hunter, AndrewSackville, Hon Tom
Hurd, Rt Hon DouglasScott, Rt Hon Nicholas
Irvine, MichaelShaw, David (Dover)
Jack, MichaelShaw, Sir Giles (Pudsey)
Jackson, RobertShaw, Sir Michael (Scarb')
Janman, TimSheerman, Barry
Johnson Smith, Sir GeoffreyShelton, Sir William
Jones, Barry (Alyn & Deeside)Shephard, Mrs G. (Norfolk SW)
Jones, Ieuan (Ynys Môn)Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)
Jopling, Rt Hon MichaelShersby, Michael
Key, RobertSmith, Tim (Beaconsfield)
Kilfedder, JamesSpicer, Sir Jim (Dorset W)
King, Roger (B'ham N'thfield)Stanbrook, Ivor
Kirkhope, TimothySteen, Anthony
Knapman, RogerStewart, Allan (Eastwood)
Knight, Greg (Derby North)Stewart, Andy (Sherwood)
Knight, Dame Jill (Edgbaston)Summerson, Hugo
Knowles, MichaelTaylor, Ian (Esher)
Knox, DavidTebbit, Rt Hon Norman
Lamont, Rt Hon NormanThompson, Patrick (Norwich N)
Lawrence, IvanTracey, Richard
Lee, John (Pendle)Trippier, David

Trotter, NevilleWray, Jimmy
Wakeham, Rt Hon JohnYeo, Tim
Wareing, Robert N.Young, Sir George(Acton)
Wells, Bowen
Wheeler, Sir John

Tellers for the Ayes:

Wilkinson, John

Mr. John M. Taylor and Mr. Tim Boswell.

Wood, Timothy
Woodcock, Dr. Mike


Beggs, RoyPatchett, Terry
Clay, BobPrimarolo, Dawn
Corbyn, JeremyRoss, William(Londonderry E)
Cryer, BobSalmond, Alex
Forsythe, Clifford(Antrim S)Sillars, Jim
Godman, Dr Norman A.Skinner, Dennis
Graham, ThomasWelsh, Andrew(Angus E)
Grant, Bernie(Tottenham)Wise, Mrs Audrey
Hughes, John(Coventry NE)
Marshall, Jim(Leicester S)

Tellers for the Noes:

Michie, Bill(Sheffield Heeley)

Mr. George Buckley and Mr. Harry Barnes.

Molyneaux, Rt Hon James
Nellist, Dave

Question accordingly agreed to.


That this House agrees with the recommendations contained in the First Report of the Select Committee on Procedure of this Session (House of Commons Paper No. 379).

It being after Seven o'clock, MR. SPEAKER proceeded to put forthwith the Questions which he was directed to put at that hour by the Order [18 October].

Questions To Members, Etc

Motion made and Question put,

That with effect from the beginning of the next Session of Parliament Standing Order No. 17 (Questions to Members) and Standing Order No. 18 (Notices of motions, amendments and questions) be repealed and the following Standing Orders be made—

Time For Taking Questions

(1)—Questions shall be taken on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, after private business has been disposed of.

(2) No question shall be taken after half-past three o'clock, except questions which have not appeared on the paper but which are in Mr. Speaker's opinion of an urgent character and relate either to matters of public importance or to the arrangement of business.

(3) Any questions tabled for written answer on a day on which the House does not sit by reason of the continuance of a previous sitting shall be deemed to be questions for written answer on the next sitting day and shall appear on the Order Paper for that day.

Notices Of Questions, Motions And Amendments

(1)—Notices of questions shall be given by Members in writing to the Table Office.

(2) A notice of a question, or of an amendment to a motion standing on the Order Paper for which no day has been fixed or of the addition of a name in support of such a motion or amendment, which is given after half-past ten o'clock in the evening shall be treated for all purposes as if it were a notice handed in after the rising of the House.

(3) A Member shall indicate on the notice of any question whether it is for oral, written or priority written answer.

(4) Where a Member has indicated that a question is for priority written answer the Minister shall cause an answer to be given to the Member on the date for which notice has been given, provided that the requirement of notice shall be the same for such questions as that prescribed in this order for questions for oral answer.

(5) Notice of a question for oral answer may not be given on a day earlier than ten sitting days before the day for answer, provided that, where that earliest day would otherwise fall on a Friday, the earliest day on which such notice may be given will instead be the previous sitting day.

(6) Notice of any question for oral answer must appear at latest on the notice paper circulated two days (excluding Saturday and Sunday) before that on which an answer is desired.

(7) When it is proposed that the House shall adjourn for a period of less than four days, any day during that period (other than a Saturday or Sunday) shall be counted as a sitting day for the purpose of calculating the period in paragraph (5) of this order.

(8) When notice shall have been given of a Motion for the adjournment of the House for more than three days Mr. Speaker may cause to have printed and circulated with the Vote a memorandum superseding the provisions of paragraphs (5) and (6) of this order and instead setting out the earliest day on which notice of questions for oral answer may be given for each of the first ten sitting days after that adjournment, provided that each such day shall as far as practicable fall on the same day of the week as that on which the question is to be answered and shall not be fewer than fourteen days before the day for answer; and also setting out the latest day for notice of questions for oral answer on each of the first two sitting days following that adjournment provided that each such day shall not be fewer than two days (excluding Saturday and Sunday) before the day for answer.— [Sir Geoffrey Howe.]

The House divided: Ayes 218, Noes 2.

Division No. 334]

[7.13 p.m


Aitken, JonathanDouglas-Hamilton, Lord James
Allen, GrahamDover, Den
Arbuthnot, JamesDunn, Bob
Arnold, Jacques(Gravesham)Emery, Sir Peter
Arnold, Sir ThomasFallon, Michael
Atkins, RobertFavell, Tony
Atkinson, DavidFearn, Ronald
Baker, Rt Hon K.(Mole Valley)Flannery, Martin
Baker, Nicholas(Dorset N)Flynn, Paul
Baldry, TonyFookes, Dame Janet
Banks, Tony(Newham NW)Forsyth, Michael(Stirling)
Barron, KevinForsythe, Clifford(Antrim S)
Beaumont-Dark, AnthonyForth, Eric
Beggs, RoyFox, Sir Marcus
Bendall, VivianFreeman, Roger
Bennett, Nicholas(Pembroke)Gale, Roger
Bermingham, GeraldGardiner, George
Bevan, David GilroyGarel-Jones, Tristan
Boscawen, Hon RobertGlyn, Dr Sir Alan
Boswell, TimGodman, Dr Norman A.
Bottomley, PeterGolding, Mrs Llin
Bottomley, Mrs VirginiaGoodlad, Alastair
Bright, GrahamGoodson-Wickes, Dr Charles
Brooke, Rt Hon PeterGreenway, Harry(Ealing N)
Brown, Michael(Brigg & Cl't's)Greenway, John(Ryedale)
Browne, John(Winchester)Griffiths, Peter(Portsmouth N)
Bruce, Ian(Dorset South)Griffiths, Win(Bridgend)
Budgen, NicholasGrist, Ian
Burns, SimonGrylls, Michael
Butcher, JohnHague, William
Butler, ChrisHanley, Jeremy
Carlisle, John,(Luton N)Hannam, John
Carlisle, Kenneth(Lincoln)Hargreaves, A.(B'ham H'll Gr')
Carrington, MatthewHarris, David
Cash, WilliamHawkins, Christopher
Channon, Rt Hon PaulHayhoe, Rt Hon Sir Barney
Chapman, SydneyHeathcoat-Amory, David
Clark, Hon Alan(Plym'th S'n)Hicks, Mrs Maureen(Wolv' NE)
Colvin, MichaelHicks, Robert(Cornwall SE)
Conway, DerekHill, James
Coombs, Simon(Swindon)Hind, Kenneth
Cope, Rt Hon JohnHome Robertson, John
Corbett, RobinHood, Jimmy
Corbyn, JeremyHordern, Sir Peter
Cormack, PatrickHowarth, Alan(Strat'd-on-A)
Cryer, BobHowarth, G.(Cannock & B'wd)
Curry, DavidHowe, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey
Dalyell, TamHowells, Geraint
Davis, David(Boothferry)Howells, Dr. Kim (Pontypridd)
Dixon, DonHughes, John(Coventry NE)
Dorrell, StephenHughes, Robert G.(Harrow W)

Hughes, Simon(Southwark)Paice, James
Hunt, David(Wirral W)Patchett, Terry
Hunter, AndrewPatnick, Irvine
Hurd, Rt Hon DouglasPatten, Rt Hon John
Irvine, MichaelPawsey, James
Jack, MichaelPeacock, Mrs Elizabeth
Jackson, RobertPortillo, Michael
Janman, TimPrimarolo, Dawn
Jones, Ieuan(Ynys Môn)Quin, Ms Joyce
Jopling, Rt Hon MichaelRaffan, Keith
Kellett-Bowman, Dame ElaineRedwood, John
Key, RobertRenton, Rt Hon Tim
Kilfedder, JamesRiddick, Graham
King, Roger(B'ham N'thfield)Ridley, Rt Hon Nicholas
Kirkhope, TimothyRoberts, Sir Wyn(Conwy)
Knapman, RogerRooker, Jeff
Knight, Dame Jill(Edgbaston)Rost, Peter
Knowles, MichaelRyder, Richard
Knox, DavidSainsbury, Hon Tim
Lamont, Rt Hon NormanSalmond, Alex
Lawrence, IvanScott, Rt Hon Nicholas
Lee, John(Pendle)Shaw, David(Dover)
Lightbown, DavidShaw, Sir Giles(Pudsey)
Lilley, PeterShaw, Sir Michael(Scarb')
Lloyd, Peter(Fareham)Sheerman, Barry
Lofthouse, GeoffreyShelton, Sir William
Lord, MichaelShephard, Mrs G.(Norfolk SW)
Lyell, Rt Hon Sir NicholasShepherd, Colin(Hereford)
McKay, Allen(Barnsley West)Sillars, Jim
MacKay, Andrew(E Berkshire)Skeet, Sir Trevor
Maclean, DavidSkinner, Dennis
McLoughlin, PatrickSmith, Tim(Beaconsfield)
McNair-Wilson, Sir MichaelSpearing, Nigel
Madden, MaxSpicer, Sir Jim(Dorset W)
Major, Rt Hon JohnStanbrook, Ivor
Malins, HumfreySteen, Anthony
Mans, KeithStewart, Allan(Eastwood)
Maples, JohnStewart, Andy(Sherwood)
Marshall, Jim(Leicester S)Summerson, Hugo
Martin, David(Portsmouth S)Taylor, Ian(Esher)
Mates, MichaelTaylor, Rt Hon J. D.(S'ford)
Maude, Hon FrancisTaylor, John M(Solihull)
Meale, AlanTebbit, Rt Hon Norman
Michael, AlunThompson, Patrick(Norwich N)
Michie, Bill(Sheffield Heeley)Tracey, Richard
Mitchell, Andrew(Gedling)Trotter, Neville
Mitchell, Sir DavidWakeham, Rt Hon John
Molyneaux, Rt Hon JamesWaller, Gary
Morrison, Rt Hon P(Chester)Wells, Bowen
Moss, MalcolmWelsh, Andrew(Angus E)
Moynihan, Hon ColinWheeler, Sir John
Needham, RichardWise, Mrs Audrey
Nellist, DaveWood, Timothy
Neubert, MichaelWoodcock, Dr. Mike
Newton, Rt Hon TonyYeo, Tim
Nicholson, David(Taunton)Young, Sir George(Acton)
Norris, Steve
O'Brien, William

Tellers for the Ayes:

Orme, Rt Hon Stanley

Mr. Greg Knight and Mr. Neil Hamilton.

Page, Richard


Davies, Ron(Caerphilly)

Tellers for the Noes:

Graham, Thomas

Mr. Harry Barnes and Mr. George Buckley.

Question accordingly agreed to.

European Standing Committees

Motion made, and Question proposed,

That with effect from the beginning of the next Session of Parliament—

A. Standing Order No. 102 (Standing Committees on European Community Documents) be repealed, and the following Standing Order be made:

European Standing Committees

(1) There shall be three Standing Committees, called European Standing Committees, to which shall stand referred for consideration on Motion, unless the House otherwise orders, such European Community Documents as defined in Standing Order No. 127 (Select Committee on European Legislation) as may be recommended by the Select Committee on European Legislation for further consideration.

(2) If a Motion that specified European Community Documents as aforesaid shall not stand referred to a European Standing Committee is made by a Minister of the Crown at the commencement of public business, the Question thereon shall be put forthwith.

(3) Each European Standing Committee shall consist of ten Members nominated for the duration of a Session by the Committee of Selection; and in nominating such Members, the Committee of Selection shall—

  • (i) have regard to the qualifications of the Members nominated and to the composition of the House; and
  • (ii) have power to discharge Members from time to time, and to appoint others in substitution.
  • (4) The quorum of a European Standing Committee shall be two, excluding the Chairman.

    (5) Any Member, though not nominated to a European Standing Committee, may take part in the Committee's proceedings, but such Member shall not make any Motion, vote or be counted in the quorum; provided that a Minister of the Crown who is a Member of this House but not nominated to the Committee may make a Motion as provided in paragraph (7) and (8) below; and the Government may appoint the precedence of Notices of Motion to be considered in each Committee.

    (6) The several European Standing Committees, and the principal subject matter of the European Community Documents to be referred to each, shall be as set out below; and in making recommendations for further consideration, the Select Committee on European Legislation shall specify the Committee to which in its opinion the Documents ought to be referred; and subject to paragraph (2) of this Order, the Documents shall be referred to that Committee accordingly.

    European Standing Committees

    Principal subject matter

    Matters within the responsibility of the following Departments—
    AAgriculture, Fisheries and Food; Environment; and Forestry Commission (and analogous responsibilities of Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland Offices)
    BTrade and Industry; Transport (and analogous responsibilities of Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland Offices)
    COther Departments.

    (7) The Chairman may permit a Minister of the Crown to make a statement and to answer questions thereon put by Members, in respect of each Motion relative to a European Community Document or Documents referred to a European Standing Committee of which a Minister shall have given notice; but no question shall be taken after the expiry of a period of one hour from the commencement of the said statement.

    (8) Following the conclusion of the proceedings under the previous paragraph, the Motion referred to therein may be made, to which Amendments may be moved; and, if proceedings thereon have not been previously concluded, the Chairman shall interrupt the consideration of such Motion and Amendments when the Committee shall have sat for a period of two and a half hours, and shall then put forwith successively:

  • (a) the Question on any Amendment already proposed from the Chair; and
  • (b) the main Question (or the main Question, as amended).
  • The Committee shall thereupon report to the House any Resolution to which it has come, without any further Question being put.

    (9) If any Motion is made in the House in relation to any European Community Document in respect of which a Resolution has been reported to the House in accordance with paragraph (8) of this Order, Mr. Speaker shall forthwith put successively—

  • (a) the Question on any Amendment selected by him which may be moved;
  • (b) the main Question (or the main Question, as amended);
  • and proceedings in pursuance of this paragraph, though opposed, may be decided after the expiration of the time for opposed business.

    (10) With modifications provided in this Order, the following Standing Orders shall apply to European Standing Committees:

    • No. 85 (Chairmen of standing committees);
    • No. 88 (Meetings of standing committees);
    • No. 89 (Procedure in standing committees); and

    B. the following consequential Amendments to Standing Orders be made:

    in Standing Order No. 14 (Exempted business),

    line 15, after 'documents' insert '(other than in pursuance of paragraph (9) of Standing Order No. 102 (European Standing Committees))'.

    line 37, leave out from 'Orders' to end of line 46 and insert 'No. 89 (Procedure in standing committees) and No. 102 (European Standing Committees) "European Community Documents" shall be as defined in Standing Order No. 127 (Select Committee on European Legislation)'.

    in Standing Order No. 84 (Constitution of standing committees),

    leave out from the beginning of line 8 to `measures'in line 9;

    in Standing Order No. 86 (Nomination of standing committees),

    line 3, leave out 'and';

    line 5, at end, insert 'and

    (d) a European Standing Committee';

    line 10, leave out from 'instruments' to 'or' in line 12;

    in Standing Order No. 87, line 6, after 'amendment' insert 'other than a motion or an amendment in a European Standing Committee under Standing Order No. 102 (European Standing Committees)';

    in Standing Order No. 88 (Meetings of standing

    committees), line 2, after 'been' insert 'or stands'

    in Standing Order No. 89 (Procedure in standing committees), line 2, after 'Committee,' insert 'and Standing Order No. 102 (European Standing Committees)';

    leave out from beginning of line 11 to 'shall' in line 13, and insert, 'of a motion relative to a European Community Document or Documents or an amendment thereto given under Standing Order No. 102 (European Standing Committees).

    line 25, at end insert 'or (in the case of European Standing Committees) by paragraph (4) of Standing Order No. 102 (European Standing Committees)'.— [Sir Geoffrey Howe.]

    Amendment proposed to the Question: Leave out

    paragraphs (1) and (2) and insert—

    '(1) There shall be three standing committees, called European Standing Committees, for the consideration of European Community documents (as defined in Standing Order No. 127 (Select Committee on European Legislation)), referred to them.

    (2) Where notice has been given of a motion relating to a European Community document, a motion may be made by a Minister of the Crown at the commencement of public business, that the said document be referred to such a committee, and the Question thereupon shall be put forthwith; and if, on the Question thereupon shall be put forthwith; and if, on the Question being put, not fewer than forty Members rise in their places and signify their objection thereto, Mr. Speaker shall declare that the noes have it.'.— [Mr. Spearing.]

    Question put, That the amendment be made:—

    The House divided: Ayes 49, Noes 138.

    Division No. 335]

    [7.24 pm


    Allen, GrahamBarnes, Harry(Derbyshire NE)
    Banks, Tony(Newham NW)Barron, Kevin

    Buckley, George J.Nellist, Dave
    Budgen, NicholasNeubert, Michael
    Cash, WilliamO'Brien, William
    Clay, BobO'Neill, Martin
    Coombs, Anthony(Wyre F'rest)Orme, Rt Hon Stanley
    Dalyell, TamPatchett, Terry
    Dixon, DonPike, Peter L.
    Flynn, PaulPrimarolo, Dawn
    Godman, Dr Norman A.Raffan, Keith
    Golding, Mrs LlinSalmond, Alex
    Graham, ThomasSillars, Jim
    Hargreaves, A.(B'ham H'll Gr')Skinner, Dennis
    Home Robertson, JohnSpearing, Nigel
    Howells, Dr. Kim (Pontypridd)Taylor, Teddy(S'end E)
    Hughes, John(Coventry NE)Thompson, Patrick(Norwich N)
    Hughes, Simon(Southwark)Wells, Bowen
    Illsley, EricWelsh, Andrew(Angus E)
    Irvine, MichaelWise, Mrs Audrey
    Knapman, RogerWoodcock, Dr. Mike
    Knowles, MichaelWray, Jimmy
    Leighton, Ron
    Lofthouse, Geoffrey

    Tellers for the Ayes:

    McKay, Allen(Barnsley West)

    Mr. Bob Cryer and Mr. Jimmy Hood.

    Marshall, Jim(Leicester S)
    Michie, Bill(Sheffield Heeley)


    Arbuthnot, JamesGreenway, Harry (Ealing N)
    Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham)Greenway, John (Ryedale)
    Arnold, Sir ThomasGriffiths, Peter (Portsmouth N)
    Atkins, RobertGrist, Ian
    Atkinson, DavidHague, William
    Baker, Rt Hon K. (Mole Valley)Hamilton, Neil (Tatton)
    Baker, Nicholas (Dorset N)Hanley, Jeremy
    Baldry, TonyHannam, John
    Beggs, RoyHarris, David
    Bendall, VivianHayhoe, Rt Hon Sir Barney
    Bennett, Nicholas (Pembroke)Heathcoat-Amory, David
    Bevan, David GilroyHind, Kenneth
    Boscawen, Hon RobertHordern, Sir Peter
    Bottomley, PeterHowarth, Alan (Strat'd-on-A)
    Bottomley, Mrs VirginiaHowarth, G. (Cannock & B'wd)
    Bowis, JohnHowe, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey
    Bright, GrahamHowells, Geraint
    Brooke, Rt Hon PeterHughes, Robert G. (Harrow W)
    Brown, Michael (Brigg & Cl't's)Hunt, David (Wirral W)
    Browne, John (Winchester)Jack, Michael
    Burns, SimonJackson, Robert
    Carlisle, John, (Luton N)Janman, Tim
    Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)Jopling, Rt Hon Michael
    Carrington, MatthewKellett-Bowman, Dame Elaine
    Channon, Rt Hon PaulKey, Robert
    Chapman, SydneyKilfedder, James
    Chope, ChristopherKing, Roger (B'ham N'thfield)
    Clark, Hon Alan (Plym'th S'n)Kirkhope, Timothy
    Colvin, MichaelKnight, Greg (Derby North)
    Conway, DerekKnight, Dame Jill (Edgbaston)
    Coombs, Simon (Swindon)Lamont, Rt Hon Norman
    Cope, Rt Hon JohnLawrence, Ivan
    Cormack, Patrick Lee, John (Pendle)
    Curry, DavidLester, Jim (Broxtowe)
    Davies, Q. (Stamf'd & Spald'g)Lightbown, David
    Davis, David (Boothferry)Lilley, Peter
    Douglas-Hamilton, Lord JamesLloyd, Peter (Fareham)
    Dover, DenLord, Michael
    Dunn, BobLyell, Rt Hon Sir Nicholas
    Emery, Sir PeterMacKay, Andrew (E Berkshire)
    Fallon, MichaelMaclean, David
    Favell, TonyMcLoughlin, Patrick
    Finsberg, Sir GeoffreyMans, Keith
    Forsyth, Michael (Stirling)Maples, John
    Forsythe, Clifford (Antrim S)Martin, David (Portsmouth S)
    Forth, EricMates, Michael
    Fox, Sir MarcusMitchell, Andrew (Gedling)
    Freeman, RogerMorrison, Rt Hon P (Chester)
    Gale, RogerMoss, Malcolm
    Garel-Jones, TristanMoynihan, Hon Colin
    Glyn, Dr Sir AlanNeedham, Richard
    Goodlad, AlastairPage, Richard
    Goodson-Wickes, Dr CharlesPaice, James

    Patten, Rt Hon JohnSteen, Anthony
    Pawsey, JamesStewart, Allan(Eastwood)
    Peacock, Mrs ElizabethStewart, Andy(Sherwood)
    Portillo, MichaelSummerson, Hugo
    Redwood, JohnTaylor, Ian(Esher)
    Renton, Rt Hon TimTaylor, Rt Hon J. D.(S'ford)
    Riddick, GrahamTaylor, John M(Solihull)
    Roberts, Sir Wyn(Conwy)Tebbit, Rt Hon Norman
    Rost, PeterTracey, Richard
    Sackville, Hon TomTrotter, Neville
    Sainsbury, Hon TimWheeler, Sir John
    Shaw, Sir Giles(Pudsey)Wilkinson, John
    Shaw, Sir Michael(Scarb')Wood, Timothy
    Shelton, Sir WilliamYoung, Sir George(Acton)
    Shepherd, Colin(Hereford)
    Smith, Tim(Beaconsfield)

    Tellers for the Noes:

    Spicer, Sir Jim(Dorset W)

    Mr. Irvine Patrick and Mr. Tim Boswell.

    Stanbrook, Ivor

    Amendment accordingly negatived.

    Amendment made to the Question: No. 4, as a further consequential Amendment to Standing Order No. 84 (Constitution of standing committees), line 1 at the beginning insert:

    'Subject to the provisions of paragraph (1) of Standing Order No. 102 (European Standing Committees)'.— [Mr. Spearing.]

    Main Question, as amended, put and agreed to.

    Select Committee On European Legislation

    Motion made, and Question put,

    That with effect from the beginning of the next Session of Parliament Standing Order No. 127 (Select Committee on European Legislation) be amended by leaving out paragraph (1) and inserting:

    (1) There shall be a select committee, to be called the Select Committee on European Legislation, to examine European Community Documents and—

  • (a) to report its opinion on the legal and political importance of each such document and, where it considers appropriate, to report also on the reasons for its opinion and on any matters of principle, policy or law which may be affected;
  • (b) to make recommendations for the further consideration of any such document pursuant to Standing Order No. 102 (European Standing Committees); and
  • (c) to consider any issue arising upon any such document or group of documents.
  • The expression 'European Community Documents' means—

  • (i) any proposal under the Community Treaties for legislation by the Council of Ministers;
  • (ii) any document which is published for submission to the European Council or the Council of Ministers;
  • (iii) any document (not falling within (ii) above) which is published by one Community institution for or with a view to submission to another Community institution and which does not relate exclusively to consideration of any proposal for legislation;
  • (iv) any other document relating to European Community matters deposited in the House by a Minister of the Crown.—[Sir Geoffrey Howe.]
  • The House divided: Ayes 170, Noes 2.

    Division No. 336]

    [7.35 pm


    Abbott, Ms DianeBanks, Tony(Newham NW)
    Allen, GrahamBarnes, Harry(Derbyshire NE)
    Arbuthnot, JamesBarron, Kevin
    Arnold, Jacques(Gravesham)Beggs, Roy
    Arnold, Sir ThomasBendall, Vivian
    Atkins, RobertBennett, Nicholas(Pembroke)
    Atkinson, DavidBenyon, W.
    Baker, Rt Hon K.(Mole Valley)Boscawen, Hon Robert

    Boswell, TimKey, Robert
    Bottomley, PeterKilfedder, James
    Bottomley, Mrs VirginiaKing, Roger(B'ham N'thfield)
    Bowis, JohnKirkhope, Timothy
    Brazier, JulianKnapman, Roger
    Bright, GrahamKnight, Greg(Derby North)
    Brooke, Rt Hon PeterKnowles, Michael
    Brown, Michael(Brigg & Cl't's)Lawrence, Ivan
    Browne, John(Winchester)Lester, Jim(Broxtowe)
    Buckley, George J.Lightbown, David
    Budgen, NicholasLilley, Peter
    Burns, SimonLivsey, Richard
    Butler, ChrisLloyd, Peter(Fareham)
    Carlisle, Kenneth(Lincoln)Lofthouse, Geoffrey
    Carrington, MatthewLord, Michael
    Cash, WilliamLyell, Rt Hon Sir Nicholas
    Channon, Rt Hon PaulMcKay, Allen(Barnsley West)
    Chapman, SydneyMacKay, Andrew(E Berkshire)
    Chope, ChristopherMaclean, David
    Churchill, MrMcLoughlin, Patrick
    Clark, Hon Alan(Plym'th S'n)McNair-Wilson, Sir Michael
    Conway, DerekMans, Keith
    Coombs, Anthony(Wyre F'rest)Maples, John
    Coombs, Simon(Swindon)Martin, David(Portsmouth S)
    Cope, Rt Hon JohnMellor, David
    Cormack, PatrickMichie, Bill(Sheffield Heeley)
    Couchman, JamesMitchell, Andrew(Gedling)
    Curry, DavidMorrison, Rt Hon P(Chester)
    Dalyell, TamMoss, Malcolm
    Davies, Q.(Stamf'd & Spald'g)Moynihan, Hon Colin
    Dixon, DonNeedham, Richard
    Douglas-Hamilton, Lord JamesNeubert, Michael
    Dover, DenNewton, Rt Hon Tony
    Emery, Sir PeterNicholson, David(Taunton)
    Fallon, MichaelNorris, Steve
    Flynn, PaulO'Brien, William
    Forsythe, Clifford(Antrim S)Page, Richard
    Forth, EricPaice, James
    Freeman, RogerPatnick, Irvine
    Gale, RogerPatten, Rt Hon John
    Garel-Jones, TristanPortillo, Michael
    Glyn, Dr Sir AlanPrimarolo, Dawn
    Godman, Dr Norman A.Raffan, Keith
    Golding, Mrs LlinRedwood, John
    Goodlad, AlastairRiddick, Graham
    Goodson-Wickes, Dr CharlesRoberts, Sir Wyn(Conwy)
    Graham, ThomasRyder, Richard
    Greenway, Harry(Ealing N)Sackville, Hon Tom
    Greenway, John(Ryedale)Sainsbury, Hon Tim
    Griffiths, Peter(Portsmouth N)Salmond, Alex
    Grist, IanShaw, Sir Giles(Pudsey)
    Hague, WilliamShaw, Sir Michael(Scarb')
    Hamilton, Neil(Tatton)Shelton, Sir William
    Hanley, JeremyShepherd, Colin(Hereford)
    Hargreaves, A.(B'ham H'll Gr')Sillars, Jim
    Harris, DavidSmith, Tim(Beaconsfield)
    Hawkins, ChristopherSpearing, Nigel
    Hayhoe, Rt Hon Sir BarneySpicer, Sir Jim(Dorset W)
    Heathcoat-Amory, DavidSteen, Anthony
    Heseltine, Rt Hon MichaelStewart, Andy(Sherwood)
    Hind, KennethSummerson, Hugo
    Home Robertson, JohnTaylor, Ian(Esher)
    Hood, JimmyTaylor, Rt Hon J. D.(S'ford)
    Hordern, Sir PeterTaylor, John M(Solihull)
    Howarth, Alan(Strat'd-on-A)Taylor, Matthew(Truro)
    Howarth, G.(Cannock & B'wd)Tebbit, Rt Hon Norman
    Howe, Rt Hon Sir GeoffreyThompson, D.(Calder Valley)
    Howells, GeraintThompson, Patrick(Norwich N)
    Howells, Dr. Kim (Pontypridd)Tracey, Richard
    Hughes, John(Coventry NE)Wells, Bowen
    Hughes, Robert G.(Harrow W)Welsh, Andrew(Angus E)
    Hughes, Simon(Southwark)Wheeler, Sir John
    Hunt, David(Wirral W)Wise, Mrs Audrey
    Illsley, EricWoodcock, Dr. Mike
    Irvine, MichaelYoung, Sir George(Acton)
    Jack, Michael
    Jackson, Robert

    Tellers for the Ayes:

    Jopling, Rt Hon Michael

    Mr. Nicholas Baker and Mr. Timothy Wood.
    Kellett-Bowman, Dame Elaine


    Patchett, Terry

    Tellers for the Noes:

    Skinner, Dennis

    Mr. Bob Cryer and Mr. Peter L. Pike.

    Question accordingly agreed to.

    European Community Legislation

    Motion made, and Question put,

    That in the opinion of this House:—

    (1) No Minister of the Crown should give agreement in the Council of Ministers to any proposal for European Community legislation—

  • (a) which is still subject to scrutiny (that is, on which the Select Committee on European Legislation has not completed its scrutiny) or
  • (b) which is awaiting consideration by the House (that is, which has been recommended by the Select Committee for consideration pursuant to Standing Order No. 102 (European Standing Committees) but in respect of which the House has not come to a Resolution, either on a Resolution reported by a European Standing Committee or otherwise);
  • (2) In this Resolution, any reference to agreement to a proposal includes, in the case of a proposal on which the Council acts in co-operation with the European Parliament, agreement to a common position.

    (3) The Minister concerned may, however, give agreement:—

  • (a) to a proposal which is still subject to scrutiny if he considers that it is confidential, routine or trivial or is substantially the same as a proposal on which scrutiny has been completed;
  • (b) to a proposal which is awaiting consideration by the House if the Select Committee has indicated that agreement need not be withheld pending consideration.
  • (4) The Minister concerned may also give agreement to a proposal which is still subject to scrutiny or awaiting consideration by the House if he decides that for special reasons agreement should be given; but he should explain his reasons—

  • (i) in every such case, to the Select Committee at the first opportunity after reaching his decision; and
  • (ii) in the case of a proposal awaiting consideration by the House, to the House at the first opportunity after giving agreement.
  • (5) In relation to any proposal which requires adoption by unanimity, abstention shall, for the purposes of paragraph (4), be treated as giving agreement.— [Mr. Chapman.]

    The House proceeded to a Division—

    ( seated and covered)

    On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. I wish to draw your attention to motion No. 5, paragraph (5) of which states:

    "abstention shall, for the purposes of paragraph (4), be treated as giving agreement."
    Is there any precedent in the history of British Parliaments for abstention being treated as agreement?

    Order. I should not go so far as to say that there was a precedent, but I can inform the hon. Gentleman that it is certainly not a matter for the Chair.

    The House having divided: Ayes 165, Noes 8.

    Division No. 337]



    Abbott, Ms DianeBaker, Nicholas(Dorset N)
    Allen, GrahamBanks, Tony(Newham NW)
    Arbuthnot, JamesBarnes, Harry(Derbyshire NE)
    Arnold, Jacques(Gravesham)Barron, Kevin
    Arnold, Sir ThomasBeggs, Roy
    Atkins, RobertBendall, Vivian
    Atkinson, DavidBennett, Nicholas(Pembroke)
    Baker, Rt Hon K.(Mole Valley)Benyon, W.

    Boscawen, Hon RobertLawrence, Ivan
    Boswell, TimLeighton, Ron
    Bottomley, PeterLester, Jim(Broxtowe)
    Bottomley, Mrs VirginiaLightbown, David
    Bowis, JohnLilley, Peter
    Brazier, JulianLivsey, Richard
    Bright, GrahamLloyd, Peter(Fareham)
    Brooke, Rt Hon PeterLofthouse, Geoffrey
    Browne, John(Winchester)Lord, Michael
    Buckley, George J.Lyell, Rt Hon Sir Nicholas
    Budgen, NicholasMcKay, Allen(Barnsley West)
    Burns, SimonMacKay, Andrew(E Berkshire)
    Carlisle, Kenneth(Lincoln)Maclean, David
    Carrington, MatthewMcLoughlin, Patrick
    Cash, WilliamMans, Keith
    Channon, Rt Hon PaulMaples, John
    Chapman, SydneyMartin, David(Portsmouth S)
    Churchill, MrMellor, David
    Clark, Hon Alan(Plym'th S'n)Michael, Alun
    Colvin, MichaelMitchell, Andrew(Gedling)
    Conway, DerekMorrison, Rt Hon P(Chester)
    Cope, Rt Hon JohnMoss, Malcolm
    Cormack, PatrickMoynihan, Hon Colin
    Curry, DavidNeale, Gerrard
    Dalyell, TamNeedham, Richard
    Davies, Q.(Stamf'd & Spald'g)Neubert, Michael
    Davis, David(Boothferry)Newton, Rt Hon Tony
    Dixon, DonNicholson, David(Taunton)
    Douglas-Hamilton, Lord JamesNorris, Steve
    Dover, DenO'Brien, William
    Emery, Sir PeterOrme, Rt Hon Stanley
    Fallon, MichaelPage, Richard
    Fishburn, John DudleyPaice, James
    Flynn, PaulPatchett, Terry
    Forsythe, Clifford(Antrim S)Patnick, Irvine
    Freeman, RogerPatten, Rt Hon John
    Gale, RogerPike, Peter L.
    Garel-Jones, TristanPrimarolo, Dawn
    Glyn, Dr Sir AlanRaffan, Keith
    Godman, Dr Norman A.Redwood, John
    Golding, Mrs LlinRoberts, Sir Wyn(Conwy)
    Goodlad, AlastairSackville, Hon Tom
    Graham, ThomasSainsbury, Hon Tim
    Greenway, Harry(Ealing N)Salmond, Alex
    Greenway, John(Ryedale)Shaw, Sir Giles(Pudsey)
    Griffiths, Peter(Portsmouth N)Shaw, Sir Michael(Scarb')
    Grist, IanShelton, Sir William
    Hague, WilliamShepherd, Colin(Hereford)
    Hanley, JeremySillars, Jim
    Hargreaves, A.(B'ham H'll Gr')Skeet, Sir Trevor
    Harris, DavidSmith, Tim(Beaconsfield)
    Hawkins, ChristopherSpearing, Nigel
    Hayhoe, Rt Hon Sir BarneySteen, Anthony
    Heathcoat-Amory, DavidStevens, Lewis
    Heseltine, Rt Hon MichaelStewart, Andy(Sherwood)
    Hind, KennethSummerson, Hugo
    Home Robertson, JohnTaylor, Ian(Esher)
    Hordern, Sir PeterTaylor, Rt Hon J. D.(S'ford)
    Howarth, Alan(Strat'd-on-A)Taylor, John M(Solihull)
    Howe, Rt Hon Sir GeoffreyTebbit, Rt Hon Norman
    Howell, Rt Hon David(G'dford)Thompson, D.(Calder Valley)
    Howells, GeraintThompson, Patrick(Norwich N)
    Howells, Dr. Kim (Pontypridd)Thurnham, Peter
    Hughes, Robert G.(Harrow W)Tracey, Richard
    Hughes, Simon(Southwark)Wells, Bowen
    Hunt, David(Wirral W)Welsh, Andrew(Angus E)
    Irvine, MichaelWheeler, Sir John
    Irving, Sir CharlesWise, Mrs Audrey
    Jack, MichaelWood, Timothy
    Jackson, RobertWoodcock, Dr. Mike
    Jopling, Rt Hon MichaelYeo, Tim
    Kellett-Bowman, Dame ElaineYoung, Sir George(Acton)
    Key, Robert
    Kilfedder, James

    Tellers for the Ayes:

    King, Roger(B'ham N'thfield)

    Mr. Neil Hamilton and Mr. Timothy Kirkhope.

    Knight, Greg(Derby North)
    Knowles, Michael


    Clay, BobSkinner, Dennis
    Corbyn, JeremyTaylor, Teddy(S'end E)
    Cousins, Jim
    Cryer, Bob

    Tellers for the Noes:

    Knapman, Roger

    Mr. Eric Illsley and Mr. Bill Michie.

    Nellist, Dave

    Question accordingly agreed to.