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Orders Of The Day

Volume 205: debated on Tuesday 3 March 1992

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Further And Higher Education Bill Lords

Allotted Day

As amended (in the Standing Committee), considered.

New Clause 1

Report On Provision For Adult Education

  • '.—(1) The Secretary of State shall, for each calendar year, lay before both Houses of Parliament a report on provision for the education of adults, following consultation with the higher and further education funding councils, local education authorities, designated institutions, appropriate voluntary organisations, training and enterprise councils, Her Majesty's Chief Inspector and such other persons as the Secretary of State may determine.
  • (2) Any report under subsection (1) above shall set out—
  • (a) the allocation of resourses for adult learning;
  • (b) what adult education opportunities are available in each local education authority area and in the area served by each further education corporation;
  • (c) the numbers of people progressing between sectors, and other agreed outcomes of adult learning programmes, by local education authority and further education corporation catchment area;
  • (d) the numbers of participants, and the extent to which the participants in educational programmes for adults reflect the whole population served by each local education authority, further education corporation and designated institution;
  • (e) the Secretary of State's judgement on the extent to which the educational needs of the population are served by higher and further education institutions, by designated institutions and by local education authorities;
  • (f) the Secretary of State's judgement on the quality of provision and the effectiveness of resource allocation;
  • (g) the capital programmes committed to the education of adults; and
  • (h) plans for the development of adult education in subsequent years.'.—[Mr. Fatchett.]
  • Brought up, and read the First time.

    5.12 pm

    I beg to move, That the clause be read a Second time.

    The one positive outcome of our debates on the Bill has been to raise the profile of adult education as an issue and a service. That has been important, as millions of our fellow citizens benefit from the adult education classes organised by local education authorities and voluntary organisations, and often on a self-help basis.

    In Committee, many of my hon. Friends referred to their immediate and direct experience of adult education and the way in which it had provided them with a ladder, leading to new employment, education and help in their self-interest. They also spoke as people who had taught in the service and realised the benefits that they, as adult educators, had provided for others in society. Adult education is an important service.

    The new clause would impose a responsibility on the Secretary of State to prepare a report each year, and to provide Parliament with that report, so that we could understand the extent to which the adult education service was secured and guaranteed under the legislation.

    None of my hon. Friends would go along with the Further Education Funding Council mechanism as the best way of providing for adult education. In that context, we are looking for a way to lessen what we see as damaging provisions affecting the service. The amendments that we attempted to secure in Standing Committee were all designed with the one purpose of securing the funding of adult education. We listened to the thousands of voices throughout the country, and read the many letters that we received during the Committee stage, expressing unhappiness with the provisions of the Bill. The main fear is that there are no guarantees for the future of the adult education service.

    All our amendments were rejected. They were turned down not because our arguments lacked strength but because we have in power a Government concerned only with the general election timetable. They are not concerned to take note of the debate on education issues or about the future of adult education. When we debate the next education measure, with Labour in power, there will then be a Government who will listen to people concerned about the adult education service.

    I will give way later. We are operating under a tight guillotine. The hon. Gentleman voted in favour of it. Having done that, it is remiss of him then to try to disrupt our proceedings, albeit in the best natured way.

    Within a few weeks, we shall have in power a Government who will listen to the voices of students, teachers and administrators. I promise them that that Government will be sensitive to the needs of adult education.

    All members of the Standing Committee, including Conservative members, appreciate the importance of the adult education service. The difference between us is that my hon. Friends recognise, and want to secure, the value of the service, while the Conservatives recognise its value but do not appreciate the consequences of this legislation.

    In that context, I will take the House through the complex system of funding that the Bill provides. The Secretary of State has created a division in adult education provision, some of which will be deemed to be schedule 2 work. In Committee, the Minister of State referred to schedule 2 work as "national priority work". It was clear from his words that while the Government had dropped the rhetoric suggesting a split between vocational and leisure courses—because they realised that it was insulting to hundreds of thousands of people—they had continued with their assumption that some courses in adult education should have greater priority than others.

    That is what schedule 2 is about. It contains the notion, as the Minister of State put it in Committee, that there can be some guarantee of resources for schedule 2 courses. But courses which fall outside schedule 2 will no longer be regarded as national priority courses.

    indicated dissent.

    The Minister may not have used those words, but that is the logical implication of what he said. Clearly, if he believes that some courses are a national priority, others cannot have that priority. So some provision will find itself in extreme difficulty.

    The Secretary of State goes on to say in this extremely complicated system—presumably it would be equally complicated in practice, although it will never become practice—that non-schedule work should be the responsibility of the LEA. That is where the Government's argument runs into trouble. LEAs are under no statutory responsibility to provide for adult education.

    Conservative authorities throughout the country have been making cuts in their adult education services. For example, last year there were substantial cuts in Hampshire's budget, so we already know that at local authority level the Tories give a low priority to adult education. Deep cuts in the service are being made in Warwickshire this year. The Secretary of State is not keen to defend such cuts.

    That all goes to show that the system relies on non-schedule work being provided but of LEA resources. The first weakness in that argument is that LEAs in many parts of the country, sometimes for ideological reasons, are not prepared to make the resources available. The second weakness is that, because of the poll tax and standard spending assessments, many LEAs are faced with particularly tight budgets. Anyone who has been reading local papers in the past few weeks will have seen that Labour and Conservative authorities have been battling to set a budget and work out their poll tax. That shows the downward pressure on local authority expenditure.

    The Secretary of State asks us to believe that, once individual authorities have lost control over further education colleges and schedule 2 work has been transferred to the further education funding council, local authorities faced with scarce resources will then make money available to support adult education. That is a fanciful notion. We already know what has happened in Tory authorities and about the squeeze on budgets in all parts of the country.

    The Government's notion then runs into real difficulty. Who will fund schedule 2 and non-schedule 2 work? Will it be funded by local authorities, which are tight for resources?

    If the Secretary of State is now looking for schedule 2, that is an improvement on Second Reading, when he did not even know that it existed.

    I covered schedule 2 on Second Reading. I am looking up clause 11, because I shall shortly remind the hon. Gentleman of the statutory duty on local education authorities to provide adult education. It is one of the several errors that he has made in his speech so far. He should not make such basic errors, having spent so long debating the measure.

    The Secretary of State falls into a trap in his own legislation. He knows that the duty under clause 11 does not mean that individual local authorities have to provide an adequate or satisfactory service. The provisions of the clause can be met in minimalist terms. If the Secretary of State says that clause 11 provides that local authorities such as Hampshire must expand their adult education services after last year's cuts, that will be real progress.

    Clause 11 sets out the statutory duties on local government as they are now and as they have been during the period of expansion of adult education in the past few years. When we were drafting the Bill, I took care to ensure that, although the existing statutory duties will be divided between the funding councils and the local education authorities, no statutory duty was removed. The hon. Gentleman's claim that there is no statutory duty on local authorities is therefore nonsense. The same statutory duty lies on them now as in the past, and it has enabled a general expansion across the country.

    Naturally, the different local authorities can make different judgments. Hence Labour-controlled Lancashire is currently cutting back on adult education, and Labour-controlled Nottinghamshire cut back savagely on its grant for the Workers Educational Association in the current year, although its resources for education as a whole have risen by 16 per cent.

    Despite all the words, the Secretary of State's answer to my question seems to be no.

    If the hon. Lady will listen, I will tell her what the question was. The Secretary of State will not have the power, under that provision, to make a judgment about Hampshire or Warwickshire. His final comment reinforces my argument. He recognises that individual local education authorities will be totally free to make cuts in their adult education services.

    One of the arguments that the Minister of State often used was that local education authorities should be essentially written out of post-16 provision because they could not be trusted with the strategic and detailed role of providing it. In Committee, the whole of the Government's rhetoric and argument amounted to an attack on local education authorities. The growth in adult education occurred under the control of local education authorities under a system which the Bill will abolish.

    The hon. Gentleman talks about local authorities' success in expanding adult education under existing statutory provisions. We are restating the statutory provisions in their entirety. We are merely dividing them between the funding councils and the local authorities. Yet the hon. Gentleman says that the same statutory provisions are inadequate to allow expansion in future.

    The point that the Secretary of State has just made reinforces my argument: there is no consistent system. The Bill changes the system by bifurcating the responsibilities. Local education authorities will be responsible for non-schedule 2 work and the funding councils will be responsible for schedule 2 work. It is extremely difficult to see how the Secretary of State can maintain the pretence that that is the same system which existed before the introduction of the Bill. The Bill proposes a change.

    We have been promised that the Government will give some reassurance on local authorities' spending on adult education and on standard spending assessments. The Minister of State promised us that by Third Reading a DES survey of local education authorities would be available—

    Yes, he did. He said that the survey would be available by the end of February, showing that adult education would be secure. Because of the rush with the Bill, the House has been denied the prospect of seeing that survey. We do not know how much money will be available or the current expenditure. All we know is that the Government are offering sweet words but no guarantees to secure an adult education service.

    We have a complicated, bureaucratic system which divides responsibility and considers some courses as being of national priority while others have a lower status. The system depends on local education authority funding at a time when local education authorities are squeezed for resources and under the Bill will lose the ability to manage their total post-16 provision. The Secretary of State asks for an act of faith when he says that the system is secure under the Bill.

    I suspect that all hon. Members will have received letters from adult education centres in places such as Devon. Such adult education centres will be larger in terms of adult education provision than the neighbourhood further education colleges. What will happen to those institutions? If they have schedule 2 work, they can ask the neighbourhood further education college to make a bid to the further education funding council, but they cannot make that bid in their own right. Thus they are dependent, despite being successful institutions, on the further education college's willingness to submit a bid to the further education funding council. The institution cannot do that on its own.

    Dr. William Waterworth, who chairs the management committee of the St. Clare's centre in Devon, says:
    "the system is difficult to understand and will be complicated.
    He draws attention to the quality of provision at St. Clare's, an institution which may be familiar to hon. Members. He says:
    "Despite operating in a scattered rural area, St. Clare's has built up a comprehensive adult education programme over the last 21 years. We enrol 1,500 students a year and 25 per cent. of these join courses leading to academic or vocational qualifications. Our overall pass rate for GCSE A-levels, RSA and City and Guilds is over 90 per cent. and about a third of our candidates are awarded grade As or distinctions. All of this is now threatened by the legislation as it now stands."
    That letter shows the dangers that exist in the Bill. I will take the House through it stage by stage.

    I have made a careful note of what the hon. Gentleman said. He said that adult education colleges will be dependent on the further education colleges being willing to submit a claim to the funding council. Those were his precise words. That point was raised with me by my adult education college, so I took the trouble of discussing the matter with the chief executive designate of the funding council. He said that he would not permit any further education college simply to try to sweep under the carpet a bid from an adult education college. He said that, if the college did not forward the bid to him, he would want to know why. If there were a dispute between the college of further education and the adult education college, it would be reasonable in the circumstances for him or one of his team to go to the college and discuss the matter in extenso. He said that there would be no question of further education authorities being allowed simply to bin the applications of adult education colleges.

    5.30 pm

    I am grateful to the hon. Lady for making that point, and I do not deny the words of the chief executive designate of the funding council. He makes almost the same point as Dr. William Waterworth, and shows up the cumbersome nature of the procedure.

    I will explain what would happen. The individual adult education centre would have to ask the further education college to submit a bid to the funding council. Time scales are important. The college may well refuse to do so. Let us set that up as a hypothesis and presume that the college is not co-operative. In those circumstances, presumably the adult education centre will take the problem to the Further Education Funding Council, and Mr. Stubbs can then intervene.

    Previously, the system would have been that the matter would have been resolved locally by the local education authority. Now there are at least three distinct parties: the funding council, the further education college, and the adult education centre. That is no way to increase the efficiency of the system.

    I will take the argument further. We have been talking about an adult education college. In my county there is an adult education service—a countywide service—with a range of individual colleges and services. My county is divided between north and south Humberside, with different further education colleges. There are problems about which college will make a bid and how the bid is to be made for a complete service, not just one college. If the system is bureaucratic in relation to one college, it will be almost impossible in terms of a complete service.

    My hon. Friend makes much the same point as has been raised in many letters to us. The system is likely to be inefficient and to lead to a reduction in the overall provision.

    The letter from St. Clare's is important. That successful adult education centre is providing a range of schedule 2 and non-schedule 2 provision. How will that centre be funded in future? It could ask a further education college to make a bid to the funding council for schedule 2 provision—the first mechanism. Let us assume that there are no difficulties there. Some of the work—I calculate about one third—will be through the funding council. The other two thirds will need to go to the local education authority to seek permission and resources. That is a messy system.

    As the committee chairman says, at present Devon local education authority, which has a substantial commitment to adult education, for which I praise it, is able to devise a programme and a set of resources to help St. Clare's run an expanding programme. What sense does it make not to listen to those powerful arguments and not to produce an efficient system based on them?

    In Committee, we tabled an amendment that would have dealt with some of the problems and circumvented some of the administration. We moved an amendment to allow the individual adult education centre to make a bid to the Further Education Funding Council. The amendment was voted down by Conservative Members. It would have helped to alleviate some of the problems raised by my hon. Friend the Member for Glanford and Scunthorpe (Mr. Morley) and would have helped many of those who have written to us about what has happened to their service.

    As a result of the guillotine, I do not have time to mention all the letters, but I refer the House to some of them. They do not come from just one part of the country and are not merely a lobby organised by the Labour party or a trade union, which is how the Secretary of State often dismisses such opposition. They come from people in all walks of life, from all parts of the country and represent important views on adult education. We have letters from Reading, Leicester, Chelmsford, Essex, Derby, Devon, Yorkshire and Humberside, all reflecting deep anxiety about the provisions.

    If, in Committee, the Secretary of State or the Minister of State had listened to the arguments and voices, the adult education centres, of which there are many up and down the country, could have had automatic designation so that they could have tendered the bids to the funding council. That would have helped the position. That system would not have been ideal as it would have created a divided responsibility, but at least we could have made some progress, rather than being faced with the existing position.

    Do not a vast number of individuals, companies, education and arts bodies, and institutions of all sorts obtain funding from more than one source? Is that not perfectly normal in this country? That is not normally seen to threaten the future of those organisations or individuals, provided that the sources of finance are sound?

    The Government claim that there has been an expansion—an expansion funded under the existing arrangements.

    The hon. Member for Twickenham (Mr. Jessel) should have listened to what some of his colleagues said on Second Reading about adult education and, more broadly, in terms of further education. They made the simple point that, if something is working, we should not mend it or change it. The system is working at present. If the hon. Gentleman were the principal of an adult education centre and were told that he might now have to make bids in two or three different directions to raise money for a programme previously financed from one source, he would have some difficulty being persuaded that that was the most efficient way of making progress. That is what we said throughout the Standing Committee. That was what was said in our amendments and by many thousands of people up and down the country who are worried about long-term provision.

    That is said in the constituency of the hon. Member for Twickenham. The flourishing adult education centre in his constituency is much better served by the existing arrangements than it would be under the change that is likely to come about under the legislation.

    The flaw in the hon. Gentleman's argument is that he predicates that all except Conservative-controlled local authorities are well intentioned towards adult education. However, the snag is that local authorities' standard spending assessment money is never earmarked, but always at large. The money going to the funding council is categorically to be used for one purpose, and cannot be taken away—it is much more certain. In my county, I would far rather trust my adult education students and the funding council, directly or indirectly, than leave the matter to Lancashire county council which has just completely cut off discretionary allowances to those aged 19 and over for a whole year.

    In a sense, the hon. Lady has taken the argument half way. I will take it a stage further. I agree with her that the money for the further education funding council is ring-fenced, so it may be guaranteed. We do not know how much money there is, but we cannot criticise that, as Government programmes are coming forward. However, the other part of the funding for non-schedule 2 work—the bulk of the work of an adult education service in a county such as Lancashire—has to come from the local education authority. The hon. Lady is absolutely right in terms of her argument when she says that there can be no guarantee that individual local education authorities will spend the full amount.

    But that is the weakness, not in my argument, but in the Secretary of State's, because to make his proposed system work he has to rely on individual local education authorities picking up the bill. [Interruption.] The Secretary of State may find that amusing, but millions of adult education students do not. LEAs have to pick up the bill in circumstances of a tight SSA and a tight budget and in which the local authority, Labour, Conservative or Liberal, will have just lost control of its further education college.

    The weakness in the Secretary of State's argument lies in the fact that, with the best will in the world, it is difficult to see how local education authorities can pick up the bill and meet the demands for an adult education service.

    Following the comments of the hon. Member for Lancaster (Dame E. Kellett-Bowman), does my hon. Friend agree that the funding council will probably enjoy the same guarantee of funding under this Government as training and enterprise councils did?

    That is a good point; anyone from Bradford or Leeds will know of the large cuts in TEC budgets.

    Once it is clear that the schedule 2 work is crucial work that will be funded through the Further Education Funding Council the signal sent to local authorities will surely be that their other work is of secondary importance.

    We debate the new clause against a backcloth of anxiety about the future of the adult education service. That anxiety has not been whipped up for political purposes—

    I am grateful for the hon. Gentleman's attribution to me of power to influence millions of people throughout the country. The fact remains that people who do not vote Labour or Liberal but vote Conservative are worried about this Bill—although they are less likely to vote Conservative in the future as a result of its provisions.

    The new clause is all about putting the Secretary of State's word to the test. Let us set up a highly unlikely hypothesis: that the Government win the election and the Bill is passed, whereupon the proposals are implemented. I do not know whether the Secretary of State wants to remain in his office if there is a Conservative victory, but he has said that the proposals will work. New clause I merely builds into the Bill the necessity to find out whether they will. That is a reasonably modest responsibility to impose on the Secretary of State.

    I know that the hon. Gentleman is seeking to improve the Bill, although he has taken a long time to get to new clause 1. He has just mentioned it for the first time in a quarter of an hour. Can he give us any idea how much the new clause would cost? As I read it, it will provide for an army of additional civil servants. It would be—untypically—dishonest of the hon. Gentleman if he did not provide the House with that information.

    The costs will be minimal. The information, however, is crucial and it would allow us to make judgments on issues about which I know that the hon. Gentleman is concerned. This is a modest measure —certainly not so draconian as the hon. Gentleman's amendment No. 7 which would have written out clauses 1 to 61. Our ambitions are much more modest—we are merely trying to get from the Government some information about the future of the adult education service. We need this information. We believe that the Government's proposals for a new system of funding will not work. They will lead to a reduction in the service, which is why the new clause is designed to elicit the truth in the unlikely event that these proposals are implemented, although I doubt that they ever will be.

    I am pleased that the new clause gives us the opportunity to debate education for adults. The Government have an excellent record of presiding over a great expansion of provision. The Bill gives us an opportunity to improve on that record, and I welcome the chance to respond to the fears continually being raised —that somehow the Bill threatens to check progress of the service or to restrict local education authorities' ability to provide the sort of adult courses about which the hon. Member for Leeds, Central (Mr. Fatchett) expressed anxiety.

    At one point, the hon. Gentleman rather disingenuously denied that the national campaign on this subject was politically motivated. I do not accept that; it has been sustained for quite some time, although I would not pay the hon. Gentleman the compliment of saying that he had organised it all. I do not think that the women's institutes have been involved for purely political reasons, but I do see the hand of the Labour-controlled Association of Metropolitan Authorities behind the campaign.

    5.45 pm

    A great number of ridiculous fears have been whipped up. Many who take these courses have been alarmed by what they have been told will happen: it is all total nonsense. It has been one of the sillier campaigns with which the Labour party has been associated in recent months—a highly competitive field that has been, too. The Bill in no way reduces the legal responsibilities of various public bodies to provide adult education of all kinds; nor does it reduce the availability of public funds from the Government for such education.

    The Bill is expressly designed to extend opportunities further. I shall make one final effort to persuade Opposition Members of the basic principle underlying the Bill. The hon. Member for Leeds, Central claims that the purpose of the new clause is to offer some basis, in the form of reports, on which a future Parliament might be able to determine how well adult education has fared under Conservative rule. I certainly agree that in these debates we should be judged by those outside on our respective records, so let us look at the Conservative Government's commitment to adult and further education over the past decade.

    During the past 10 years, the number of enrolments in adult and further education of all kinds has risen by about 27 per cent. and the numbers now taking part have increased by more than a quarter. The numbers in further education colleges alone have increased by more than 50 per cent. and approach 1·5 million enrolments a year in England.

    Access courses, preparing adults for entry to higher education and virtually unknown 10 years ago, are now available. There are more than 700 in England alone. Partly as a result of those courses, the number of mature students in higher education rose by 55 per cent., or to 216,000 by 1990.

    The Secretary of State talks about an expansion, but all of it has taken place under the existing system administered by local education authorities. Will he take this chance of congratulating those authorities on their success: and will he answer the question asked by a number of his hon. Friends on Second Reading: if the system is working, why bother to change it?

    I accept that the expansion has been achieved by LEAs and colleges and by all engaged in adult education—and all with the active and practical support of the Government, who have provided increased expenditure leading to the expansion.

    Let me underline the practical support that we have given and show what has happened to spending on adult and further education services. First, expenditure on adult education centres increased between 1979–80 and 1989–90 by 31 per cent. in real terms. Spending on further education colleges—here I cannot give figures which disaggregate adults—increased in real terms by 16 per cent. in the same 10 years. That is a substantial increase in public spending on adult education centres and further education colleges and is in stark contrast with the record of the last Labour Government. When Labour last had an opportunity to act, it neglected that whole area.

    I shall not dwell for long on the period many years ago when Labour was last in power. I trust that many years will pass before we see a Labour Government again, because we do not want a repeat of the shocking record of the last Labour Government. Between 1975 and 1979, spending on adult education centres went down by 12 per cent. in real terms, and spending on further education colleges rose by only 1 per cent. above inflation.

    Under the last Labour Government, adult education was declining and further education colleges were stagnating. In the past 10 years under this Government, further education and adult education of all kinds have been expanded. The Bill's purpose is to improve on that.

    Given the appalling record of the last Labour Government, does my right hon. and learned Friend find it extraordinary that Opposition Members rise as the defenders of further education colleges?

    They do it without shame. When that sector of education was declining, it was apparently the fault of Conservative local authorities, but when it expands it is apparently because of Labour local authorities. Labour's partisan bias on this supposedly non-political campaign is becoming utterly childish and simplistic. When Labour was in office providing the resources and setting priorities, this part of education was neglected and declining. It required a Conservative Government to give priority and resources, and we have presided over a period of dramatic expansion. That is accelerating, because enrolment rates at further education colleges are high this year. The Bill seeks to expand education, and the vast majority of principals agree with us that it is likely to enable them to expand opportunities even faster than before under the Government.

    Labour's dramatic contribution to the debate is, "If it works, don't fix it." For the past 10 years, England has had the only left-of-centre party in western Europe which is against changing anything. On most social issues, Labour has no policy worth the name. It occasionally invents a quango, but it resists any reform at the behest of some vested interest. That is about Labour's only contribution. Labour's years in power are a history of neglect of the subject, but our years in power have been marked by expansion, and all that Labour can say is, "Don't change anything. We prefer to keep the present arrangements."

    The broader discussions on the Bill have shown that its purpose is to speed progress and expand opportunities. We want to build on our record and improve further the education opportunities that are available to adults. Schedule 2 sets out, for the first time, a list of the courses which we want to see available all over the country and for which we propose national funding. Access to those courses should not depend on where a person lives, as often happens at present. Therefore, we are making the Further Education Funding Councils responsible for securing adequate provision of those courses.

    The courses are not, as some people claim, solely vocational. They go a long way beyond that and include academic, access and basic skills courses, courses for those who need to improve their English and courses for the disabled. As my hon. Friend the Minister of State has said, schedule 2 describes our national priorities. They are national, because we shall provide national funding for them and we wish to guarantee access to such courses to everyone who can benefit from them.

    My hon. Friend the Member for Lancaster (Dame E. Kellett-Bowman) rightly said that such funding is a positive advance for that part of further education because at the moment it is possible for funds that are intended in part for further education to be used by local authorities for something else. The principals of sixth form and further education colleges are anxious to have the provision whereby money will be made available to a funding council for a specific purpose and cannot be filched by councils such as Labour Nottinghamshire and Labour Lancashire for other purposes. That money will have to go into further education. Principals know that we are following for funding councils the pattern that we established for polytechnics, which have had expanding resources and growing provision, and there has been a tremendous growth in education.

    I accept what my right hon. and learned Friend says and congratulate him on his admirable desire to provide wider education opportunities. However, I should like my right hon. and learned Friend to deal with the more specific point of Devon's local community colleges where the existing machinery works well. Does he agree that such colleges would respond better to local needs in rural areas if they operated on a manageable timetable? I fear the problems of an appeal taking overmuch time while courses are being structured. Our community colleges reinforce the Government's successful implementation of the local management of schools. Because they are locally based, community colleges can suss out exactly what is needed locally for adult education. I agree that funding should come from the centre outward to rural areas, but it need not come via the local sixth form college, which might have a tendency to abstract.

    My hon. Friend takes me to my second point—courses which will still normally be funded locally. Under clause 11, community colleges will get funds from the local authority for some courses, and schedule 2 will provide funding council funds. The hon. Member for Leeds, Central tried to describe that procedure as complicated, slow and threatening. I know that there are concerns about that in Devon, Leicestershire, Richmond and elsewhere. I sought to address those concerns on Second Reading and I shall repeat the process.

    It is a simple debating device for the hon. Member for Leeds, Central to read out the provisions in as complicated a way as possible and to say that this is a wholly complicated way to get funds. My hon. Friend the Member for Devon, North (Mr. Speller) spoke about concerns in Devon and the fear that the timetable would be elaborate and slow. The Further Education Funding Council has made it quite clear that it will have to establish a timetable for dealing with clause 6(5) applications to ensure that there is no chance of worthwhile applications being lost because of delay.

    The hon. Member for Leeds, Central could benefit from the initiative demonstrated by my hon. Friend the Member for Lancaster. He could visit the chief executive-designate, who is well respected on all sides, to go over the mechanics. As my hon. Friend the Member for Twickenham (Mr. Jesse]) said, countless education facilities are used to getting funds from more than one source. Almost every further education college principal does that already when obtaining funds for various courses. Dual funding is not necessarily complicated. The Labour party continues to speak about such funding as if it is some arcane new discovery, in an unnecessary attempt to sound alarm bells in rural areas. It says that the funding council will not be able to cope with dual funding, but there are perfectly adequate facilities to ensure funding.

    The Secretary of State can continue to insult the Labour party because that is par for the course. Why is it that, after Second Reading, Committee and proceedings in the other place, he has still failed to persuade the principals of colleges and their governing bodies in places such as Devon and Leicester? Is that a policy failure or a failure of the right hon. and learned Gentleman's eloquence?

    I think that it is as a result of continual campaigning by those who wilfully fail to follow the explanations, and set out to fan the fears again.

    I am being somewhat aggressive towards the Labour party because I do not think that Opposition Front Benchers genuinely believe in the case that they are advancing. They have known all along that there is no threat to the less formal adult education classes, but they have invented legalistic and other arguments that have aroused understandable fears among those who take the courses and those who provide them.

    Although debate on this important Bill is timetabled, Opposition Members are devoting a large part of it to an attempt to fan those fears yet further. They have not adopted the simple expedient of doing Ministers the courtesy of listening to their arguments—presented on the Floor of the House and, repeatedly, in Committee—rather than constantly misrepresenting those arguments. Moreover, had they taken the elementary step of consulting the chief executive of the funding council and asking for reassurance about the practicalities, they would have dispelled most of their fears.

    Opposition Members do not want to listen to the arguments. It is easy to lark about on the Floor of the House, misreading the Bill and getting the issues slightly wrong in the hope of securing cheap votes. Labour does that because it is devoid of any sensible policies on further or adult education: on this and every other subject, the party is entirely wedded to bureaucratic control by local authorities.

    6 pm

    I am anxious to do all I can to support my right hon. and learned Friend. Given the rate at which we are progressing and the strict timetable by which we are governed, it is possible that we shall not reach new clause 7, which deals with a specific worry affecting my constituency in Leicestershire. Under the new clause, colleges of further education, and the basic adult education system, would remain untouched, and further education colleges would have the right to apply directly to the funding councils.

    I will not go into detail, but my right hon. and learned Friend knows what we want in Leicestershire. We have a splendid system there: Her Majesty's inspectorate has visited the area and praised it. Will my right hon. and learned Friend at least tell me that he recognises that that system works, and that it will therefore be allowed to continue to work as effectively as it does now?

    I have given my hon. Friend such an assurance before, and I now give it to him again. I realise that the point is addressed more directly by new clause 7 —tabled by my hon. Friend, among others—but the hon. Member for Leeds, Central has drawn us back to it, and it is partially relevant to the report that is being discussed.

    I have just been covering the procedure whereby the moneys will be pursued. In my opinion, closer examination not only of the Bill but of the declared intentions of the funding council and its chief executive make it clear that there is no threat to the system in Leicestershire, the system in Devon or the position of Richmond college, or to the service provided in Humberside.

    I shall make one further attempt to explain matters—first, the local authority powers, because they have been challenged, and then the procedures applying to an adult education college wishing to pursue funding council money for the part of its work that falls within schedule 2 to the Bill.

    I am not convinced by what the Secretary of State said. The anxiety that I have encountered has been expressed by professionals in the adult education system —who provide a first-class service—rather than by members of the Labour party, or any other party.

    The Secretary of State has not addressed this point. We are not talking about just one adult education college; we are talking about—in some cases—a full service, with many centres all around the country. How can those colleges bid for the element of funding that they will lose: funding for basic education, access courses and award-bearing courses? How can they plan to maintain the full structure of their services, when they have no idea whether they will receive the money? If they do not receive it, the infrastructure—small centres in rural areas—will collapse, and the service will deteriorate.

    Those colleges will obtain a large part of their funding in the ordinary way, from the local authority. It will fall within the part of further education provision —adult provision—that continues to be determined locally. That does not mean that it will be given a lower priority, as was suggested by the hon. Member for Leeds, Central. Given the variety of less formal courses that exist, it is much better to judge the position at local level.

    To deal with that part of the funding—50 per cent. in the case of the Humberside service, according to the hon. Member for Leeds, Central—the local authorities will retain the powers that they have now. Those powers will be re-stated: they will not be lessened at all. As we have always made clear, the funding will be based on what the colleges spend now. Not only will we maintain the local education authority's duty to provide the courses for adults that are not the responsibility of the funding council; as we have said repeatedly, we will ensure that local education authorities have—through the revenue support grant system—at least as much money in real terms, allowing for inflation, to fulfil their duties in 1993–94 as they had in 1992–93.

    Let me repeat that the 50 per cent. that will continue to be provided locally will not be affected by the Bill. That aspect of adult education will not change. Campaigns about what have been described as leisure courses have been organised. The Bill, and the Government's policy, will not affect the present position; nor will it affect funding for such courses in any way. The case made in regard to the so-called leisure courses was entirely misconceived—and remains misconceived, where it continues to be made.

    Because local provision and local authorities are involved, authorities will have discretion either to increase or to reduce provision—to raise fees, or to lower them. Some LEAs are raising fees now, and seeking somehow to attribute that to the Government's reforms. The fact is that those reforms make no difference to so-called leisure courses, or to the many other vital adult courses that lie beyond the funding council's remit.

    If a service is being cut or the fees are being raised, that is because local councillors are making their own determined judgments, for their own reasons. There is no point in bringing in party politics—some Labour-controlled local authorities have a poor record of either sustaining or expanding expenditure in that regard.

    Another point that gives rise to concern is the fact that adult colleges providing services that fall within the provisions of schedule 2 will look to guaranteed funding council money. As was made clear at length on Second Reading, clause 6(5) explains how a college or service will have access to funds if it is not designated under other provisions in the Bill. Under clause 6(5), institutions maintained by local education authorities that make provision for adults should be able to apply, through the further education colleges, for funds to support that part of their work that falls within the funding councils' remit. The further education colleges must forward their applications to the councils where the provision in question would not otherwise be adequate in the area.

    The whole purpose of clause 6(5) is to enable community providers to have their schedule 2 work considered by a funding council. We have not merely stated that as an intention; a number of safeguards have been provided to ensure that it happens. If the procedures are to work effectively, a clear framework will of course be needed. We do not want complications, inefficiency or delay, for—as my hon. Friend the Member for Devon, North rightly says—that would threaten essential provision in some places.

    The Government will assist by giving guidance on the procedures for schedule 2 applications. A circular letter issued recently by my Further Education Funding Council unit includes the initial guidance for institutions on clause 6(5), and we shall follow it up with further guidance on procedures as soon as possible.

    As we said on Second Reading, the Further Education Funding Council will lay down a timetable which will allow plenty of time for the clause 6(5) procedures to work. Local education authorities—and through them, their institutions or services—will be given good notice of when applications should be made. The colleges will be asked to prepare for the applications by making sure that they are well acquainted with all the existing schedule 2 provision in their areas.

    The colleges will be given time to consider the applications and, certainly if the descriptions given to me by my hon. Friends the Members for Harborough (Sir J. Farr), for Twickenham and for Devon, North are correct, I am sure that in most cases where relationships are perfectly satisfactory, the colleges will put them to the council. However, if they do not and if all the suspicions that have been fanned are correct, my hon. Friend the Member for Lancaster is right and they will have to notify the council. The council will not tolerate further education colleges ignoring the provisions of clause 6(5) and failing to put forward well judged applications for services that are accessible either because they are in rural areas or because they merely happen to be convenient in urban areas and people wish to pursue them.

    Where a bid is not put forward, the provider—the college or the service—will approach the council. In England it will approach its regional office which, as Mr. Stubbs apparently said in the meeting with my hon. Friend the Member for Lancaster, will seek to resolve the conflict. It is not necessary to write that into the Bill. There is one overriding protection in the Bill to which the council will have regard when deciding what to do. The council has a statutory duty to ensure that adequate provision is made in different parts of the country.

    I am sure that Mr. Gunn, the chairman-designate, Mr. Stubbs, the chief executive-designate, and the people appointed to the Further Education Funding Council will not stand by if people in Devon or Leicestershire start saying that the colleges are not forwarding well-judged applications for schedule 2 funding. The funding council will be under a statutory duty to secure adequate provision in different parts of the country. I do not believe that the procedures that I have described are overly complicated or will cause delay. If for some reason they do not work and if the community provider is still unsatisfied, it is open to the college to appeal to the Secretary of State on the ground that the further education college or the council has acted unreasonably or has failed in its statutory duty.

    We can return to these issues, if we wish, when we debate new clause 7. There are perfectly clear mechanisms which people will follow but they can be made to sound complicated. When we discuss on Report a Bill which has necessarily been drafted in legal language, it is easy to debate it in terms which sound unfamiliar to the layman. With the greatest respect, I have been in the House for a long time—unlike most Conservative Members, I can remember being in opposition—and I confess that I have probably played that trick of making something sound frightfully obscure and complicated. But there is no point in alarming people in Devon or Leicester and making them fear that there is no perfectly straightforward procedure to get the funding council and the Secretary of State to sort things out if a local further education college starts messing about and not forwarding applications. We can deal with that when we debate new clause 7.

    If there is a countywide service, could that service make an application through one particular college, bearing in mind that some of the other colleges in the county would have annexes which would include part of the adult education service?

    Again, I am sure that we can correct this later if I am wrong, but a service would not have to go to the nearest further education college. If there were a countywide service, it would go to one within the county but a college would not have to go to the nearest FE college if it feared that the FE college might regard the adult college as a rival. It must go through a further education college in the locality to get the college to hand on the application to the funding council if the college is satisfied that there is a legitimate claim.

    I hope that we have covered that issue adequately at this stage. I accept that it is important. My hon. Friend the Member for Harborough, who is very experienced in these matters, is very concerned about the state of affairs in Leicestershire, but I believe that repeated debates will at least satisfy people that a procedure exists which will maintain the worthwhile provision needed to maintain an adequate service in all parts of the country.

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    Where there is split funding for an adult college and a request for capital provision, can my right hon. and learned Friend throw any light on who would be responsible for the funding where incorporation had taken place?

    It depends on what the funding is for—that is my first reaction. Again, I shall write to my hon. Friend. For most purposes, if the capital bid is to provide schedule 2 funding, it is plain that one will look to the capital provision that we have made for the Further Education Funding Council. If it is for local services, one will look to the local authority. However, just as money from two sources will not defeat the flow of revenue, split provision will not defeat the flow of capital.

    The Secretary of State is opening up an interesting new part of the Bill. If a bid from an adult education centre is for capital, largely in relation to schedule 2 work, is the Secretary of State saying that the centre would have to make that bid through a further education college, or can it make its bid separately? If it can make its bid separately for capital, why cannot it do so for revenue?

    If a further education college is incorporated with the funding council, it will make its capital bid to the funding council. If the adult college remains a local authority college, it will look to the local authority for its capital provision. It is the sector that will largely determine the source of capital. Of course, there are provisions under which colleges that do not automatically become incorporated as further education colleges within the funding council's ambit can apply to be incorporated if they so wish, but it is the sector that will largely determine their capital bids.

    I think that the Secretary of State is finding out more about the Bill as we go along. Is the answer to the question asked by the hon. Member for Twickenham (Mr. Jessel) that if the work is predominantly schedule 2 work and that, if there is a need for capital expenditure on the adult college in, for example, Richmond, that bid must be made through the local education authority—yes or no?

    It would, if the college had decided not to seek incorporation; but if it had chosen to concentrate on schedule 2 work, it would perhaps be a straight decision by the college not to seek incorporation. The sector would determine the application.

    We have covered the same ground again. This debate is becoming well-trodden ground. It is a popular Bill with a non-contentious purpose—the expansion of further education, of sixth form opportunities and of adult education. Most of our debates have eventually come to rest in the narrow area of complication with the procedures for schedule 2 funding for adult colleges. That is because there is so little real dispute about the Bill among people genuinely concerned about the subject. The Opposition are ideologically committed to local authority management of this matter as they are in almost every other part of education. They know that most people involved in further and adult education disagree with them fundamentally.

    The new clause is a red herring. It covers issues of genuine concern in some parts of the country, but I hope that the fact that we have debated it at great length yet again at the behest of the Opposition at the start of the timetable motion will enable us to put fears to rest. The Bill will expand opportunities for young people and for adults in all parts of education and training. I ask the House to accept that, to reject the unnecessary new clause and to enable us to move a step nearer to putting these new opportunities in place.

    The Secretary of State referred to the success story of adult education under this Government, although he acknowledged when pressed that that may have had something to do with the local education authorities. That is typical of the Government, who like to claim success as a Government success, but who see failure in terms of local authority failure. We do not see that only in education.

    It was rightly said that every amendment tabled in Committee was defeated. That was not because Ministers did not accept some of the arguments, but simply because the Government want to get the Bill through before the general election. They can then claim that they did well to get it on the statute book.

    Hon. Members have received many representations regretting the haste with which the measure is proceeding. The representations have come not only from councillors, but from the providers and users of adult education and further education. They regret very much that the timing of the measure means that debate will be curtailed and that there may not be the right atmosphere for a considered discussion of the issues.

    There may be support from further education college principals for the aim of getting the measure on to the statute book quickly, but they represent only a small fraction of those who have an interest and an active involvement in using and providing the services. I counsel that the wider view, not simply the view of a narrow group, is heeded.

    As we know, schedule 2 work is to be transferred to the funding councils, and adult education colleges may apply through the further education colleges to the funding councils for their schedule 2 work. Would it not have been sensible to allow direct application from adult education colleges as many are larger than the FE colleges through which they may have to apply? It would also have been sensible to allow consortia of adult education centres to combine in applying directly for schedule 2 funding.

    The same applies to whole county adult education services, which should not have to go through FE colleges. Although the Secretary of State has spoken at great length today to try to reassure people that there is not a valid worry, there is a genuine worry that some further education colleges may be a little less likely to apply promptly if they see the threat of competition from another source.

    Since the White Paper was published last summer, hon. Members of all parties have received shoals of letters from people who are concerned about the proposal—from users and providers of adult education. The hon. Member for Rugby and Kenilworth (Mr. Pawsey) referred in his inimitable way in Committee to the pile of environmental refuse around him, much of which was no doubt letters that he had received on the subject. We all received such letters. The fact that Ministers have made many attempts—

    I hope that the hon. Gentleman is not implying that letters from constituents or from any one else were lying on the floor in Committee. I am sure that the hon. Gentleman agrees that correspondence from constituents is far too important and far too valued to be treated in such a cavalier fashion.

    I agree entirely. I did not seek to imply that the hon. Gentleman treats his constituents' letters with contempt. I know that that is not the case. I merely referred to the mountain of material, whether on the floor or on the Benches, as evidence of considerable correspondence on the matter. I trust that the hon. Gentleman accepts my explanation.

    Many letters have been received. Before I came into the Chamber, I talked briefly with my hon. Friend the Member for Southwark and Bermondsey (Mr. Hughes). He told me that he had received more letters on this matter than on any other since he became a Member of Parliament. Only this morning, he met pensioners in his constituency. The two matters uppermost in their minds were the future of libraries and the future of adult education classes. Ministers have not yet convinced the public, many of whom have written since the completion of the Committee stage, that all is well.

    If the new clause were accepted, it would show the people who have written to hon. Members and those who are concerned that the Government's words of reassurance mean something. I strongly support the new clause, and urge the Government to accept it.

    From listening to Opposition Members, their new philosophy seems to be, "If it works, don't fix it". That seems to be a powerful argument for no change and no innovation. The hon. Member for Leeds, Central (Mr. Fatchett), in whose speech I sought to intervene, referred to what he described as the first Bill on education that an incoming Labour Government would introduce. If he had given way—I was a little surprised that he did not—I would have asked him whether he would confirm that the first Bill on education introduced by a Labour Government would be an abolitionist Bill—a Bill to abolish the grammar schools, the grant-maintained schools, the assisted places scheme and the city technology colleges.

    I would have asked him how he would reconcile his "If it works, don't fix it" philosophy with those abolitionist policies. Everyone agrees that the grammar schools certainly work, that the grant-maintained schools certainly work, that the city technology colleges certainly work and that the assisted places scheme certainly works. The problem with Opposition Members is that they cannot see excellence when it stands up and hits them in the face.

    There were many comments about the success of local education authority policies. I remind Opposition Members that the polytechnics were part of the local authority empire. They have been freed up, and no one seriously argues that the polytechnics should return to the LEAs.

    I was interested in the speech of the hon. Member for Ribble Valley (Mr. Carr). Has he had an opportunity to read an article in The House Magazine by his hon. Friend the Member for Truro (Mr. Taylor)? I accept the commitment of the hon. Member for Ribble Valley to higher education and especially to further education. I listened to him with interest in Committee and I felt that he developed some interesting points. Can he tell me why—I will give way—in the whole of the article by his hon. Friend the Member for Truro, I cannot find a reference to FE colleges or to further education?

    My hon. Friend expresses surprise. I was equally surprised. If the hon. Member for Ribble Valley wants to answer the point and to tell me why his hon. Friend the Member for Truro failed to mention further education, I will give way.

    I do not presume to answer for my hon. Friend the Member for Truro (Mr. Taylor) on that. He was invited to write an article for The House Magazine, which he duly did. I suggest that the hon. Member for Rugby and Kenilworth (Mr. Pawsey) writes to my hon. Friend, who will answer him directly.

    Will the hon. Member for Rugby and Kenilworth (Mr. Pawsey) acknowledge that his right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Education and Science in a equivalent article did not mention adult education—an ignorance amply revealed in the debate?

    When I read the contribution by the hon. Member for Oxford, East (Mr. Smith) in the same magazine, the only reference I could find was this:

    "Adult education has already been hit very hard by government-imposed cuts in local authority expenditure and poll-tax capping. The House should block this new assault."
    I find that remarkable, given the figures that my right hon. and learned Friend cited earlier. What did that "assault", as it was described by the hon. Member for Oxford, East consist of? It was an assault with money. There was an annual real decrease in expenditure on adult centres of 4 per cent. between 1975–76 and 1978–79, compared with an annual real increase of 3·1 per cent. between 1979–80 and 1989–90.

    6.30 pm

    I hear my hon. Friend asking, from a sedentary position, "Who was in power?" I suspect that that is something of a rhetorical question. My hon. Friend knows that it was the Labour Government—the same Government who had to bring in the International Monetary Fund to sort out the problems that they had caused. That was the only time in the nation's history when it was necessary to bring in the outside bankers.

    Let me continue on the same theme. There was an annual real increase in spend on further education colleges of less than 0·5 per cent. between 1975–76 and 1978–79, compared with an annual real increase of 1·6 per cent. between 1979–80 and 1989–90. If that is Opposition Members' idea of an assault, I wish that people would assault me in the same fashion and pour money over my head as the Government have poured money into adult education.

    The hon. Gentleman will be aware that the quality of adult education very much depends on the local education authority and on whether it is Conservative or Labour-controlled. Would he like to explain why, in my county of Humberside, there was recently a scandal involving people from Lincolnshire giving forged Humberside addresses because they wanted to make use of the superior adult education facilities—facilities that are virtually non-existent in Lincolnshire?

    I suspect that I should leave questions of forgery to Opposition Members.

    The present Bill is another important education Bill which continues the main thrust of the Government's policy—a policy designed to reduce bureaucracy and give additional powers and responsibility to those involved in the running of the nation's institutions. It is a policy that is in marked contrast to that of the Opposition, to whom only the grey uniformity of LEA control is acceptable. I have never been able to understand the socialist reasoning that the only good state education is LEA education.

    Just as the Education Reform Act 1988 gave additional powers to parents and schools, and the Education (Student Loans) Act 1989 freed up the polytechnics and cut the apron strings that secured them to the LEAs, so this Bill frees the 450 colleges of further education. I am convinced that power and responsibility should reside more closely with those who are involved in the day-to-day administration. Such a system will enable them to respond that much more quickly to the demands and challenges of students, employers and local communities.

    I am delighted that I have the support of my hon. Friend on that point.

    It should also be remembered that the LEAs are not always the colleges' best friends. Let me call in aid The Independent—not always regarded as the friend of the Conservative party. On 5 November last year, it said:
    "There is a tendency for LEAs to reduce funds to further education sector and put them into schools. But the provision of funds directly to a further education funding council will mean the funds being ring-fenced."
    The Independent may not normally be sympathetic to Government policy but on this occasion the newspaper certainly has it right. Under the Bill, funding for further education will be protected and—not before time—the unwelcome interference by LEAs in the running of colleges of further education will become a thing of the past.

    The Government now provide some £2 billion a year for further education in England and Wales. That funding will henceforth be protected. Money intended for further education will reach further education, to the benefit of all those studying in that sector.

    The Bill certainly cuts bureaucracy. At present, principals of colleges of further education must fight their corners every year with the officials at shire hall. They must take their place—often a lowly place—in the priority queue for funds with schools and administration. In future, all that will change.

    From the visits that I have made to the East Warwickshire college of further education in my constituency, I am aware that there is a wealth of talent in staffrooms and classrooms. The Bill will free up that talent and broaden the vision. It will do for colleges of further education what the 1988 Act did for the polytechnics.

    Let me give the House a couple of examples taken from the East Warwickshire college of further education. The principal tells me that he has plans to extend the college's courses—and not just for local people locally participating. He is going national and will seek to attract students to a much wider range of courses. Already he has pioneered a unique money-back guarantee to any part-time student who is not satisfied with his course. The principal is prepared for his college to be placed on a commercial rather than an institutional footing, and he welcomes the challenge the Bill will present. The freeing up of the colleges will result in a substantial increase in the variety and number of college courses so that they become more attractive to a much wider range of students.

    I many ways, the liberation of polytechnics from local authority control will serve as a blueprint for this latest transfer of control from LEA to individual institution. Given the success of that operation, no one now argues that the polytechnics should be returned to LEA control.

    In Committee, it was argued with some justification that adult and further education had been something of a Cinderella. Funds had either been sucked into the schools or directed to advanced education, sometimes at the expense of colleges of further education which had become poor relations. The Bill changes that. If, in the past, we have not done enough for young people leaving school at 16, or for adults who, for whatever reason, require additional education and training, the Bill helps to remedy that defect.

    At present, the further education colleges take about 360,000 full-time students and 700,000 part-time day students, with another 700,000 part-time evening students. Those students are spread among 450 institutions. The hon. Member for Leeds, Central has sought to dismiss those figures on the grounds that a substantial percentage do not receive a qualification at the end of the course. Although certificates are undoubtedly desirable, the fact that not everyone receives one on completion of a course does not mean that either the student or the course was unsatisfactory. In many cases—particularly in the case of short courses for adults that are designed to improve the quality of life through general education or leisure pursuits—certificates would be inappropriate. The absence of a certificate does not mean that a student has not benefited from the course that he has attended or that he has been wasting his time.

    In Committee, much emphasis was placed on the need to continue and extend adult education provision, whether for leisure or for learning. The Committee appreciated that good and useful courses do not always depend on certificates to justify their existence. Do I see the hon. Member for Ashfield (Mr. Haynes) looking at me quizzically? I shall willingly give way to him if he wishes me to.

    The hon. Gentleman does not wish to intervene. I am sure that the hon. Member for Ashfield (Mr. Haynes) will agree with me that, when control of the colleges is transferred, as it surely will be when the Bill is enacted, from the office of the director of education to the college principals, we will see a change of attitude and a substantial growth in opportunity.

    I said earlier that Opposition Members seem to believe that the only good education is that provided by the local education authority. Grant-maintained schools show that that is not true. That trend, which was continued with the polytechnics, will now grow into a flood with FE colleges.

    I was disappointed to learn that the hon. Member for Leeds, Central (Mr. Fatchett) said recently in a speech to principals of FE colleges that, were there to be a Labour Government—God forbid—Labour would repeal this legislation. No wonder the principals who bothered to listen to the hon. Gentleman looked shell-shocked. They were looking forward to developing a spirit of enterprise. Instead, they were promised stagnation—not so much liberation, more a case of renationalisation. No wonder the hon. Gentleman uncharacteristically remained silent in Comittee when I challenged him specifically on that point.

    Did the hon. Gentleman issue a press release of his remarks before he made his speech?

    I never issue press releases of my speeches, because they are always so good that the press always pick them up anyway.

    When the hon. Member for Leeds, Central opened the debate, he said that new clause 1 was a probing new clause. I believe that it is mischievous, and I hope that the House will reject it.

    I am delighted but rather surprised to be called next to follow the eloquent and modest comments of my hon. Friend the Member for Rugby and Kenilworth (Mr. Pawsey), because I would have expected more Opposition Members to be present to participate in this important debate.

    We are not participating in the debate because we are quite happy that our local authorities are doing the job. The hon. Member for Rugby and Kenilworth (Mr. Pawsey) forgot to point out that the local authority which is so obnoxious in his area is Conservative-controlled.

    Order. One intervention at a time, please.

    I will come back to the local government point, but of course I will give way to my hon. Friend the Member for Rugby and Kenilworth (Mr. Pawsey).

    I must tell the hon. Member for Rhondda (Mr. Rogers) that I was a member of Warwickshire county council for about six years, from 1974 to 1979 or thereabouts. I do not believe that Warwickshire county council is in any way obnoxious. Had the hon. Member for Rhondda been present for our debate on 4 February, he would have learnt that I spoke strongly in defence of my county. It is all there in Hansard. I happen to think that in many ways—

    6.45 pm

    I feel like a letter box, but I am honoured to pass the message from my hon. Friend the Member for Rugby and Kenilworth to the hon. Member for Rhondda (Mr. Rogers).

    Perhaps I can now declare two interests as I am an adviser to the Association of Colleges for Further and Higher Education and the Association of College Management. As a former governor of the polytechnic in Kingston, I entirely endorse what my hon. Friend the Member for Rugby and Kenilworth said about the experience of polytechnics moving from the local authority nursery to independence.

    I also want to pay tribute to the local authorities that nurtured the polytechnics in their early days and so allowed them to become independent. As a former governor of an FE college in the royal borough of Kingston, I pay tribute to the role of local government in Kingston and elsewhere in respect of the way in which local government has brought up our FE colleges so that they are not ready to become independent.

    I must tell the hon. Member for Ribble Valley that it is not just the college principals who are in favour of the Bill. It has received endorsement throughout the further education sector. My colleagues have been urged over the past few years to introduce such a measure and they have responded to that urging. The college principals, governors, teaching staff and other staff members as well as people in local authorities working with the colleges have supported the measure. As my hon. Friend the Member for Rugby and Kenilworth said, they are dismayed at the possibility that the Bill might be undone were the unthinkable to happen and a Labour Government elected who reneged on this forward-looking measure.

    New clause 1 relates to adult education, and I am pleased to have an opportunity to refer to that subject. I am a great believer in continuing education, which I believe lasts from the cradle to the grave. No doubt some hon. Members will say that it goes way beyond the grave. Up there, in the wide blue yonder—I stress the blue—no doubt there are former educationists and Secretaries of State for Education and Science who are busy providing continuing education beyond this life—and that is as it should be.

    Adult education is a crucial part of overall education, and it should be encouraged. I know of many people who, as a result of adult education services, have found new opportunities in life. Many people have discovered quite late in life that they have the ability to benefit from further education as a result of their introduction to education through the adult service.

    New clause 1 paragraph (2)(c) refers to
    "the numbers of people progressing between sectors".
    We should be considering that important point. I have said before in this place that I have been impressed by people of all ages who have taken tip adult education courses even in fairly innocuous pastimes such as cake decoration. I was impressed by the fact that some people who took cake decorating courses progressed to FE courses in how to set up their own businesses. Other people who had been kept out of education because English is not their first language have found a welcome mat at adult education and gone on to courses in English as a second language.

    Is my hon. Friend aware that there is an adult education centre in my constituency called the Percival guild house? I recently visited the house and witnessed the courses available, which ranged from local history and the way in which the canals and railways emerged to practical courses in French, German and other languages. I am sure that my hon. Friend will agree that it is critically important that such centres are maintained. Under the Bill, matters will be easier, not harder.

    My hon. Friend is right. New clause I is useful because our debate has sent a message to local education authorities that there is nothing to stop them providing the excellent provision that they provided in the past. Some people have been concerned about the apparent divide between leisure and vocational work, but there is no reason why that should be anything more than an imaginary barrier, because there are different ways of achieving funding. The message from the debate should be that we expect our local education authorities, good as we may deem them to be, to continue to provide that excellent range of and access to education.

    Although everybody appreciates and welcomes the efforts by local authorities in adult vocational and further education in particular, does my hon. Friend recognise that there is widespread concern about the future funding of adult education and what appears to be the intrinsic contradiction in the current legislation in relation to the funding and composition of regional councils?

    I accept that funding is important. The hon. Member for Leeds, Central also referred to funding. In future, there will be various methods of funding adult education. The size of resources does not necessarily equate to the quality of provision. I recently handed out certificates at the annual prize-giving ceremony at I he Wandsworth adult education college. In its first year, having been liberated, to use the term that was mentioned by my hon. Friend the Member for Rugby and Kenilworth, from the clutches of the ILEA, that college has not only enabled adult education to thrive but has taught record numbers of students a far wider range of subjects than would have been possible under the ILEA. It was not a matter of resources: it was a matter of the efficient use of available resources for local education authorities to spend on adult education.

    When I think of the quality of those courses, I think of the range of students who undertook GCSE art, all of whom managed to attain an A grade. Their ages ranged from 18 to 85. I think also of the quality of the work being done for special needs students. I am glad that my right hon. and learned Friend has made provision for that. Some students never thought of being able to achieve a certificate, but their receiving certificates is another sign of quality adult education within existing resources. Of course we want resources to be expanded. They are available if they are efficiently used.

    My hon. Friend mentions adult education. He will know that there has been much concern in many local authorities about the distinction between vocational and non-vocational courses. All resources necessary for vocational courses are coming through from our right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State. Local authorities are receiving funding for non-vocation courses through the Department of the Environment, but they are not making that clear to their local people. People are being told that a reduction in funding is the reason why their non-vocational courses are being cut. That simply is not true. Will my hon. Friend address that point?

    My hon. Friend is correct. As a former governor of an FE college and a former chairman of an educational committee of the ILEA, I know the pressures that one is under as chairman of education when it comes to resources which, in theory, are being passed down the line from the Government and which other departments of a council are all too quick to snatch up. That is one of the main reasons why we have had pressure from the colleges for this measure. They believe that, with a future separate funding council, that money will be put directly into the sector and not be hived off for the management expenses of an authority or for whatever dubious works a council may have in mind, often according to its political persuasions, or its preferences for spending money on a traffic management scheme rather than on education.

    As a sector, FE will have its own financing system through the funding council. As a result, we will give adult education the opportunity to benefit. It is not a matter of not allowing all adult education into the funding sector. We are saying to adult education, "We will permit you to benefit from the funding system that is coming into further education." My hon. Friend the Member for Lancaster (Dame E. Kellett-Bowman) rightly pointed out that, if funding does not come through as the result of an application through an FE college, a system of appeal can be used to ensure that the decision is vetted. At the very least, there is a possibility that the college would be overruled in its refusal to pass on the application.

    Does my hon. Friend recognise that, in the case of community colleges, there is a problem about direct access to funding councils? There may be a contradiction between further education colleges and community colleges apparently bidding for exactly the same money from the regional council.

    I hear what my hon. Friend says. I hope that my hon. Friend the Minister of State has also heard it and will respond. I do not have community college experience in my constituency or indeed in my LEA, but I take note of the problem in Devon, Leicester, Richmond and elsewhere.

    I hope that the Government will look carefully in future at the way in which adult education colleges have or have not the right to apply directly for funding. Under the Bill, there is a way in which they can apply for direct funding if they succeed in obtaining incorporation, but that is not the most simple or straightforward way of achieving it. Some adult education colleges are concerned that the Government should keep that point under review and see whether there are ways in which colleges can get a direct connection. We must not allow education colleges which are doing FE work which is comparable to that done by FE colleges to be regarded as second-class citizens.

    I ask my hon. Friend the Minister of State also to consider concern in the FE and AE sectors about the transitional period. That may well be a matter for regulations rather than the Bill, but there is concern that, in the coming year, local education authorities will not spend as much as they might otherwise spend on the sector for the obvious reason they are making a commitment which will be paid direct next year by a funding council. I hope that that point will be taken into account and that those concerns can be put at rest.

    The new clause is unnecessary and expensive, as my hon. Friend the Member for Harborough (Sir J. Farr) mentioned. It is ineffectual because, apart from anything else, its forward planning is based on figures that nobody has seen. It is Government interference in the running of local councils. For these reasons, I oppose it.

    I endorse the remarks of my hon. Friend the Member for Battersea (Mr. Bowis). [H0N. MEMBERS: "Speak up."] I have been asked to speak up, and I am trying to do so, but several colleagues are making their own speeches. We have far too many reports. We have stacks and stacks of them. There is far too much reading matter. Most of it is unread and wasted. We need fewer reports. We should remember the philosophical principle of Occam's razor—do not multiply entities beyond necessity. I shall therefore vote against the proposal that we should have one more annual report.

    The new clause gives us the opportunity to debate the merits of adult education and to raise our anxieties about adult education in our constituencies. The growth in adult education under the Conservative Government has been tremendously impressive. My right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State said, if I heard him right, that there had been a 55 per cent. increase in the number of mature students in Britain in the past 10 years. The figure is now 215,000 or 216,000. That is a substantial number. It reflects well on the adult education departments of local authorities, of whatever political hue, which have sponsored and supported mature students.

    7 pm

    My constituency and that of my hon. Friend the Member for Richmond and Barnes (Mr. Hanley) are well served by the Richmond-upon-Thames adult college, and we are both tremendously proud of it. It is a first-class college which offers an excellent range of courses. Last year, my hon. Friend and I were glad to sponsor an excellent art exhibition from the college in the Upper Waiting Hall of the Palace of Westminster. Conservative and Opposition Members alike will have been delighted to see that exhibition. It was to a high standard, as is much else that the college produces. It provides a great deal of enrichment and fulfilment of the lives of many of our constituents, both in the arts and on the vocational side—I share the view that it is often difficult to draw the line between the two.

    If I thought that anything in the Bill threatened Richmond-upon-Thames adult college, I could not support the Bill, but I do not see any such threat, despite a great deal of scaremongering. Some of the scares have gained some credence among gullible people, but it seems to me that the college is in no jeopardy.

    My hon. Friend the Member for Richmond and Barnes and I have received many letters reflecting the anxieties of some people in our constituencies. My hon. Friend the Minister of State met my hon. Friend and me in the Department on the morning of II February before the debate on Second Reading, and we expressed those anxieties. During the debate, in response to a question from me, my hon. Friend the Minister referred at some length to the particular case of Richmond-upon-Thames adult college. He said:
    "It is widely recognised that that is an excellent college which serves the local community well. I am well aware of the concerns felt in Richmond about the future of the college, and I wish to put them at rest."—[Official Report, 11 February 1992; Vol. 203, c. 903.]
    He went on to outline two ways in which the college could be funded in the future. The second was under clause 6(5), whereby the college would apply for funds through another college. I for one, regard that second option as undesirable—indeed, unacceptable—and I believe that it should be ruled out. It is not right that that excellent college should obtain its funding by applying through another college.

    My hon. Friend the Minister had outlined earlier the first option, which to my mind is the preferred one—that the college should be incorporated under clause 16, which my hon. Friend said was expressly designed to cover cases such as that of Richmond upon Thames adult college. Under that option, the college would apply for its basic funding to the Further Education Funding Council to be set up under the Bill. The college would he incorporated so that it received its basic funding from the FEFC.

    There is no need to amend the Bill to enable the college to receive that basic funding because that is already provided for in the Bill. However, the other part of its funding would continue to come from Richmond upon Thames borough council. That council, under Conservative control until 1984 and since then under Liberal control, has done its best over the years to uphold and advance the highly valuable and useful work of the college. The council's record has been good under both administrations, and I have no doubt that that good record will continue.

    There is no reason to believe that the council's intention to uphold the work of the college would diminish. First, we understand that the Bill places a statutory duty on the council to uphold the work of the college. Secondly, there is enormously strong and vociferous local public opinion in favour of adult education. It would be politically impossible for Richmond upon Thames borough council, under the control of whatever party, to desert the cause of adult education. Thirdly, the council has always upheld the college and there is no reason to think that it would stop.

    There is therefore no threat to the second part of Richmond college's funding, let alone to the first part of its funding through incorporation under the relevant clause of the Bill. Those who, for whatever motive, try to foment false fears in others act dishonourably. The college has provided an extremely impressive range of courses and an excellent service. I am happy that its future is safe and I am sure that the college will step forward with confidence into the future. I know that that is also the view of my hon. Friend the Member for Richmond and Barnes.

    I am grateful for the opportunity to speak on the new clause because Opposition Members, and especially the hon. Member for Leeds, Central (Mr. Fatchett), made certain assertions which he said were the background to new clause 1. He said that the background to the new clause was that Conservative education authorities were cutting their further education budgets and that the whole system under which the Bill was introduced would therefore come apart.

    I draw the attention of the hon. Member for Leeds, Central to Labour-controlled Lancashire local education authority, for example. Its budget was increased by 16 per cent., but it has nevertheless cut its further education budget. But I especially wish to draw the attention of Opposition Members and in particular the hon. Members for Leeds, Central and for Oxford, East (Mr. Smith) to Labour-controlled Birmingham education authority. Last year, Birmingham city council was awarded £456 million by the Government for education. It spent only £392 million. It chose to spend the remainder on such things as marrying up statues, marble steps for the council building and Caribbean night clubs.

    This year, Birmingham city council has been awarded £5 million by the Government and apparently plans to spend only £423 million. It then has the gall to seek to persuade the people of Birmingham that it has increased spending by £30 million. Of course, the richly deserved award to teachers will take up the majority of that increase in any case. The real increase is nearer £2 million. Once again, it will not spend the full amount that the Government have given it to spend on education.

    Therefore, the hon. Member for Leeds, Central cannot assert that new clause 1 is necessary because Conservative-controlled councils have cut their budgets for further education and therefore the Bill will come apart. It is perfectly obvious that Labour-controlled local education authorities have treated further education in a scandalous fashion. Birmingham is a good example.

    The hon. Member for Leeds, Central also made much play of the number of representations that he had received from various people involved in further education and adult education. He might be interested in the example of my college of further education—Hall Green college in my constituency.

    I rang the principal and the deputy principal to ask them their views on the Bill, and they said, "We pray you get it through as soon as possible." I have just given the House the reason—they do not trust the local education authority in Birmingham to give them the money which is theirs by right.

    My hon. Friend can scarcely be surprised that his colleges do not trust the local education authority, when it is not prepared to spend the funding that the Government make available. The catalogue of wasteful expenditure that he describes is truly appalling. The sooner that the city of Birmingham rejects that Labour administration and brings in a sensible council the better.

    I must agree with my hon. Friend. I hope and pray that the people of Birmingham will take that decision in the forthcoming local elections.

    In the meantime, principals in charge of further education colleges throughout Birmingham will he looking forward to the passage of the Bill and its implementation as soon as possible.

    It might be interesting for my hon. Friend the Member for Rugby and Kenilworth (Mr. Pawsey) to know that the underfunding has continued for some years. Birmingham city council has underspent the money which the Government have awarded it for education in the past four years. In each of those years, the Government have given it a substantial increase over and above inflation.

    When the hon. Member for Leeds, Central asks why we do not trust local education authorities, I tell him to look at Birmingham. Then he will see why we are trying to do something to set further education colleges free, and to give them the opportunity to thrive in the same way that polytechnics have been given that opportunity. New clause 1 is totally otiose in that process. It would merely add a huge army of civil servants. What would be their purpose —to act as some form of unpaid research assistants for the Labour party? I think not. The new clause would serve no purpose.

    The funding council will ring-fence expenditure on further and adult education—as my hon. Friend the Member for Lancaster (Dame E. Kellett-Bowman) said—to the further education colleges, where it should go. It gives them the surety that they will get the funds that they have been awarded by central Government. That is the purpose of the Bill, and that is why I commend it to the House.

    New clause 1 is utterly against all the interests of my constituents. We have a long tradition of community colleges in Devon. While I am utterly opposed to any report being submitted annually by the Secretary of State to the House, as new clause 1 provides, I have concerns about the funding of further education in Devon.

    Paignton community college broadly welcomes the Bill. It will do a great deal for adult education. However, there is continuing concern about the funding council. I hope that community colleges will be allowed direct access to funding councils.

    I shall not stray off new clause 1 on to the subject of the composition of the funding councils, as I hope that there will be time to discuss that later, but it is important that vocational and non-vocational courses should continue to be offered in Devon colleges. Furthermore, I hope that there would be an element of ring fencing to funding from central Government.

    The key issue is who will benefit from the Bill. If it were just the staff, I would certainly oppose it. The Bill will benefit everyone who has the option of further or adult education, whatever the subject of the course they take. It is important that those courses should be maintained, and that naturally boils down to money. I hope that the Minister will take another long hard look at access to the funding councils, which is the key.

    7.15 pm

    In Paignton and Torquay, adult courses are extremely popular. However, there is great anxiety, especially among staff, that, if there were to be some kind of competition for the limited funds, one college might be able to offer one set of courses and thereby poach students from another. Devon is such a widespread community that we do not have the same opportunities as the metropolitan areas to provide a variety of courses. It is essential that money be provided for those courses, and that the staff who teach them have confidence that what is happening to them does not mean an ultimate reduction in funding.

    There is concern about the funding councils, but my hon. Friend the Minister could get around that problem by arranging for community colleges—which are not unique to Devon but are certainly helpful—to be able to apply directly for funds.

    Nothing in new clause 1 will be helpful to students or staff of community colleges in Devon. I hope that the House will reject it and will thereby find time to discuss new clause 7, which stands in the name of my hon. Friend the Member for Tiverton (Sir R. Maxwell-Hyslop) and is an extremely important contribution to the Bill. Paignton community college has done sterling service—

    Order. We are not on new clause 7. Perhaps the hon. Gentleman would hold his comments until that time.

    Yes, Madam Deputy Speaker. We are discussing new clause 1, and I am especially concerned about subsection (2)(a)—

    "the allocation of resources for adult learning".
    That is my prime concern, and that of many of my constituents and the staff and students of Devon colleges which will be directly affected by the Bill.

    Broadly speaking, the Bill is welcome. New clause 1 would not be welcomed, because implied within it is a level of bureaucracy which would make life more complicated, rather than easier, for students and staff.

    Reports to the Secretary of State are not the key: the key is the confidence of staff that they have access to the money and that they will not have to compete with other colleges in the same area offering the same courses. Accordingly, I urge the House to reject new clause 1.

    I am grateful for the opportunity to make a short contribution, and I apologise to the House for being unable to attend the earlier part of the debate.

    There has been a resurgence of interest in adult education during the past few years, as there has been in many other areas. The adult education school in Bury has a long and proud history. My mother and grandmother attended courses there. The importance of the college was emphasised to the local community last year, when it was under threat of closure by the local authority. A tremendous campaign was organised against the closure, and it was prevented.

    Following that success, however, people in the town became concerned about elements in the original White Paper upon which the Bill is based and about threats to the future of the college. At the time, I made representations to the Minister and to his right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State, with my hon. Friend the Member for Bury, South (Mr. Sumberg).Since then, I believe that developments in adult education have been more encouraging, and I have no doubt that adult education has put itself more firmly on the map as a result of the various representations made to my hon. Friend. I see from his wry smile that he acknowledges the impact which various campaigners have had upon him.

    I pay tribute to Molly Smith, who has led students of the adult education school in Bury extremely well, and to Cliff Baxendale, the principal, who, supported by colleagues in other parts of adult education in Bury, has also mounted an extremely good campaign.

    Pleased as I am with the responses, there are other problems affecting adult education. Hon. Members will note that my name appears on new clause 7, which will be debated later. However, new clause I will not deal with the problems adequately. It merely contains an element of gloss, as it simply requires a report to be made on adult education; it has no substance behind it.

    As so often, new clause 1 reflects the Opposition's view that they need not make a solid commitment. It is all a ploy; they raise an issue and dress it up, but they avoid the commitment to further expenditure which is required by Beckett's law on the future of public expenditure under a supposed Labour Government. The Opposition hope to have the best of both worlds.

    My hon. Friend will recall that my hon. Friend the Member for Twickenham (Mr. Jessel) raised precisely that point. By the time all the reports had been filled in, one would have written a small book.

    My hon. Friend makes a fair point. I appreciate that that is the problem. If we wish to do something properly for adult education, new clause 1 is not the way to do it.

    The cause of adult education has been raised and given extra importance during the passage of the Bill and because of the efforts that have been made around the country. We all recognise the importance of adult education, but that recognition is not adequately covered by the new clause. My right hon. and learned Friend and his colleagues have addressed some of the problems, but others remain.

    Like most hon. Members, I wish the improvements made in adult education in recent years to be safeguarded. I also wish to safeguard the opportunities for adults to train through life, be they on vocational or non-vocational courses. That is for people to choose. It is important that such opportunities are safeguarded in the future. I am sure that there is nothing in the Bill that will actively harm them.

    I am happy to see that local authorities will retain a degree of control and that colleges will need to relate closely to the adult education schools in their area in order to provide a proper service.

    If it were possible to safeguard adult education by the issue of reports, the new clause would be an admirable way to achieve that. Unfortunately, that will not work, and I prefer the approach of my hon. Friends. If I have an opportunity to catch your eye, Madam Deputy Speaker, on a later new clause, I may suggest a way in which to improve things further.

    Question put, That the clause be read a Second time:—

    The House divided:Ayes 192, Noes 291.

    Division No. 103]

    [7.21 pm


    Adams, Mrs Irene (Paisley, N.)Canavan, Dennis
    Alton, DavidCarlile, Alex (Mont'g)
    Archer, Rt Hon PeterCarr, Michael
    Armstrong, HilaryCartwright, John
    Ashdown, Rt Hon PaddyClark, Dr David (S Shields)
    Ashley, Rt Hon JackClarke, Tom (Monklands W)
    Ashton, JoeClelland, David
    Banks, Tony (Newham NW)Clwyd, Mrs Ann
    Barnes, Harry (Derbyshire NE)Cohen, Harry
    Barnes, Mrs Rosie (Greenwich)Corbett, Robin
    Barron, KevinCousins, Jim
    Beckett, MargaretCrowther, Stan
    Beggs, RoyCryer, Bob
    Beith, A. J.Cummings, John
    Bell, StuartCunlitfe, Lawrence
    Bellotti, DavidDalyell, Tarn
    Benn, Rt Hon TonyDarling, Alistair
    Bennett, A. F. (D'nt'n & R'dish)Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelll)
    Benton, JosephDavies, Ron (Caerphilly)
    Bermingham, GeraldDewar, Donald
    Blair, TonyDixon, Don
    Blunkett, DavidDoran, Frank
    Boyes, RolandDuffy, Sir A. E. P.
    Brown, Nicholas (Newcastle E)Dunwoody, Hon Mrs Gwyneth
    Brown, Ron (Edinburgh Leith)Eadie, Alexander
    Caborn, RichardEastham, Ken
    Callaghan, JimEnright, Derek
    Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE)Evans, John (St Helens N)
    Campbell, Ron (Blyth Valley)Ewing, Harry (Falkirk E)
    Campbell-Savours, D. N.Fatchett, Derek

    Faulds, AndrewMarshall, David (Shettleston)
    Fearn, RonaldMarshall, Jim (Leicester S)
    Flannery, MartinMartin, Michael J. (Springburn)
    Flynn, PaulMartlew, Eric
    Foot, Rt Hon MichaelMeacher, Michael
    Foster, DerekMeale, Alan
    Foulkes, GeorgeMichael, Alun
    Fraser, JohnMichie, Bill (Sheffield Heeley)
    Fyfe, MariaMitchell, Austin (G't Grimsby)
    Garrett, John (Norwich South)Molyneaux, Rt Hon James
    Garrett, Ted (Wallsend)Moonie, Dr Lewis
    Godman, Dr Norman A.Morley, Elliot
    Golding, Mrs LlinMorris, Rt Hon A. (W'shawe)
    Gordon, MildredMowlam, Marjorie
    Gould, BryanMullin, Chris
    Grant, Bernie (Tottenham)O'Brien, William
    Grocott, BruceO'Hara, Edward
    Hain, PeterO'Neill, Martin
    Hardy, PeterOrme, Rt Hon Stanley
    Haynes, FrankParry, Robert
    Heal, Mrs SylviaPatchett, Terry
    Henderson, DougPendry, Tom
    Hinchliffe, DavidPowell, Ray (Ogmore)
    Hoey, Kate (Vauxhall)Prescott, John
    Hogg, N. (C'nauld & Kilsyth)Primarolo, Dawn
    Home Robertson, JohnRadice, Giles
    Hood, JimmyRandall, Stuart
    Howarth, George (Knowsley N)Redmond, Martin
    Howell, Rt Hon D. (S'heath)Rees, Rt Hon Merlyn
    Howells, GeraintReid, Dr John
    Howells, Dr. Kim (Pontypridd)Robinson, Geoffrey
    Hoyle, DougRooker, Jeff
    Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)Rooney, Terence
    Hughes, Roy (Newport E)Rowlands, Ted
    Hughes, Simon (Southwark)Ruddock, Joan
    Illsley, EricSedgemore, Brian
    Ingram, AdamSheerman, Barry
    Jones, Barry (Alyn & Deeside)Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert
    Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S W)Shore, Rt Hon Peter
    Kaufman, Rt Hon GeraldShort, Clare
    Kennedy, CharlesSkinner, Dennis
    Kilfoyle, PeterSmith, Andrew (Oxford E)
    Kinnock, Rt Hon NeilSnape, Peter
    Kirkwood, ArchySoley, Clive
    Lambie, DavidSpearing, Nigel
    Leadbitter, TedSteel, Rt Hon Sir David
    Leighton, RonSteinberg, Gerry
    Lestor, Joan (Eccles)Stephen, Nicol
    Lewis, TerryStott, Roger
    Litherland, RobertStraw, Jack
    Livingstone, KenTaylor, Matthew (Truro)
    Lofthouse, GeoffreyThomas, Dr Dafydd Elis
    Loyden, EddieThompson, Jack (Wansbeck)
    McAllion, JohnWallace, James
    McAvoy, ThomasWalley, Joan
    McCartney, IanWelsh, Michael (Doncaster N)
    Macdonald, Calum A.Wigley, Dafydd
    McFall, JohnWilliams, Rt Hon Alan
    McKay, Allen (Barnsley West)Williams, Alan W. (Carm'then)
    McKelvey, WilliamWinnlck, David
    McLeish, HenryWise, Mrs Audrey
    Maclennan, RobertWorthington, Tony
    McMaster, GordonWray, Jimmy
    McNamara, KevinYoung, David (Bolton SE)
    McWilliam, John
    Madden, Max

    Tellers for the Ayes:

    Mahon, Mrs Alice

    Mr. Robert N. Wareing and

    Marek, Dr John

    Mr. Jimmy Dunnachie.


    Adley, RobertAspinwall, Jack
    Alexander, RichardAtkins, Robert
    Alison, Rt Hon MichaelAtkinson, David
    Allason, RupertBaker, Nicholas (Dorset N)
    Amess, DavidBaldry, Tony
    Amos, AlanBeaumont-Dark, Anthony
    Arbuthnot, JamesBellingham, Henry
    Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham)Bendall, Vivian
    Arnold, Sir ThomasBennett, Nicholas (Pembroke)
    Ashby, DavidBenyon, W.

    Bevan, David GilroyGorman, Mrs Teresa
    Blackburn, Dr John G.Gorst, John
    Blaker, Rt Hon Sir PeterGrant, Sir Anthony (CambsSW)
    Body, Sir RichardGreenway, Harry (Eating N)
    Bonsor, Sir NicholasGreenway, John (Ryedale)
    Boscawen, Hon RobertGregory, Conal
    Boswell, TimGriffiths, Peter (Portsmouth N)
    Bottomley, Mrs VirginiaGrist, Ian
    Bowden, A. (Brighton K'pto'n)Ground, Patrick
    Bowden, Gerald (Dulwich)Hague, William
    Bowis, JohnHamilton, Rt Hon Archie
    Boyson, Rt Hon Dr Sir RhodesHamilton, Neil (Tatton)
    Braine, Rt Hon Sir BernardHannam, Sir John
    Brandon-Bravo, MartinHargreaves, A. (B'ham H'll Gr')
    Brazier, JulianHargreaves, Ken (Hyndburn)
    Bright, GrahamHarris, David
    Brown, Michael (Brigg & Cl't's)Haselhurst, Alan
    Browne, John (Winchester)Hawkins, Christopher
    Bruce, Ian (Dorset South)Hayes, Jerry
    Burns, SimonHayhoe, Rt Hon Sir Barney
    Burt, AlistairHayward, Robert
    Butler, ChrisHeathcoat-Amory, David
    Butterfill, JohnHicks, Mrs Maureen (Wolv' NE)
    Carlisle, John, (Luton N)Hicks, Robert (Cornwall SE)
    Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)Higgins, Rt Hon Terence L.
    Carrington, MatthewHill, James
    Carttiss, MichaelHind, Kenneth
    Cash, WilliamHogg, Hon Douglas (Gr'th'm)
    Channon, Rt Hon PaulHordern, Sir Peter
    Chapman, SydneyHoward, Rt Hon Michael
    Churchill, MrHowarth, Alan (Strat'd-on-A)
    Clark, Dr Michael (Rochford)Howarth, G. (Cannock & B'wd)
    Clark, Rt Hon Sir WilliamHowe, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey
    Clarke, Rt Hon K. (Rushcliffe)Hughes, Robert G. (Harrow W)
    Colvin, MichaelHunt, Sir John (Ravensbourne)
    Conway, DerekHunter, Andrew
    Coombs, Anthony (Wyre F'rest)Irvine, Michael
    Coombs, Simon (Swindon)Irving, Sir Charles
    Cope, Rt Hon Sir JohnJack, Michael
    Cormack, PatrickJackson, Robert
    Couchman, JamesJanman, Tim
    Currie, Mrs EdwinaJessel, Toby
    Davies, Q. (Stamf'd & Spald'g)Johnson Smith, Sir Geoffrey
    Davis, David (Boothferry)Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N)
    Day, StephenJones, Robert B (Herts W)
    Dickens, GeoffreyKellett-Bowman, Dame Elaine
    Dicks, TerryKey, Robert
    Dorrell, StephenKilfedder, James
    Douglas-Hamilton, Lord JamesKing, Roger (B'ham N'thfield)
    Dover, DenKing, Rt Hon Tom (Bridgwater)
    Dunn, BobKirkhope, Timothy
    Durant, Sir AnthonyKnapman, Roger
    Dykes, HughKnight, Greg (Derby North)
    Eggar, TimKnowles, Michael
    Emery, Sir PeterKnox, David
    Evans, David (Welwyn Hatf'd)Latham, Michael
    Evennett, DavidLawrence. Ivan
    Fallon, MichaelLee, John (Pendle)
    Farr, Sir JohnLester, Jim (Broxtowe)
    Favell, TonyLilley, Rt Hon Peter
    Fenner, Dame PeggyLloyd, Sir Ian (Havant)
    Field, Barry (Isle of Wight)Lloyd, Peter (Fareham)
    Fishburn, John DudleyLord, Michael
    Fookes, Dame JanetLuce, Rt Hon Sir Richard
    Forman, NigelLyell, Rt Hon Sir Nicholas
    Forsyth, Michael (Stirling)Macfarlane, Sir Neil
    Forth, EricMacGregor, Rt Hon John
    Fowler, Rt Hon Sir NormanMacKay, Andrew (E Berkshire)
    Fox, Sir MarcusMcLoughlin, Patrick
    Franks, CecilMcNair-Wilson, Sir Michael
    French, DouglasMcNair-Wilson, Sir Patrick
    Fry, PeterMalins, Humfrey
    Gale, RogerMans, Keith
    Gardiner, Sir GeorgeMaples, John
    Garel-Jones, Rt Hon TristanMarland, Paul
    Gill, ChristopherMarlow, Tony
    Glyn, Dr Sir AlanMarshall, John (Hendon S)
    Goodhart, Sir PhilipMarshall, Sir Michael (Arundel)
    Goodlad, Rt Hon AlastairMartin, David (Portsmouth S)
    Goodson-Wickes, Dr CharlesMates, Michael

    Maude, Hon FrancisShersby, Michael
    Mawhinney, Dr BrianSims, Roger
    Mayhew, Rt Hon Sir PatrickSkeet, Sir Trevor
    Mellor, Rt Hon DavidSmith, Tim (Beaconsfield)
    Mills, IainSoames, Hon Nicholas
    Mitchell, Andrew (Gedling)Speller, Tony
    Mitchell, Sir DavidSpicer, Sir Jim (Dorset W)
    Moate, RogerSpicer, Michael (S Worcs)
    Monro, Sir HectorSquire, Robin
    Montgomery, Sir FergusStanbrook, Ivor
    Moore, Rt Hon JohnStanley, Rt Hon Sir John
    Morris, M (N'hampton S)Steen, Anthony
    Morrison, Sir CharlesStern, Michael
    Morrison, Rt Hon Sir PeterStevens, Lewis
    Moss, MalcolmStewart, Allan (Eastwood)
    Neale, Sir GerrardStewart, Andy (Sherwood)
    Nelson, AnthonyStewart, Rt Hon Sir Ian
    Newton, Rt Hon TonySumberg, David
    Nicholls, PatrickSummerson, Hugo
    Nicholson, David (Taunton)Tapsell, Sir Peter
    Nicholson, Emma (Devon West)Taylor, Ian (Esher)
    Norris, SteveTaylor, Sir Teddy
    Onslow, Rt Hon CranleyTemple-Morris, Peter
    Oppenheim, PhillipThompson, Sir D. (Calder Vly)
    Page, RichardThompson, Patrick (Norwich N)
    Paice, JamesThorne, Neil
    Patnick, IrvineThornton, Malcolm
    Patten, Rt Hon Chris (Bath)Thurnham, Peter
    Patten, Rt Hon JohnTownsend, Cyril D. (B'heath)
    Pattie, Rt Hon Sir GeoffreyTracey, Richard
    Pawsey, JamesTredinnick, David
    Peacock, Mrs ElizabethTrippier, David
    Porter, David (Waveney)Twinn, Dr Ian
    Portillo, MichaelVaughan, Sir Gerard
    Powell, William (Corby)Waldegrave, Rt Hon William
    Price, Sir DavidWaller, Gary
    Raffan, KeithWalters. Sir Dennis
    Raison, Rt Hon Sir TimothyWard, John
    Rathbone, TimWardle, Charles (Bexhill)
    Redwood, JohnWatts, John
    Rhodes James, Sir RobertWells, Bowen
    Riddick, GrahamWheeler, Sir John
    Ridley, Rt Hon NicholasWhitney, Ray
    Ridsdale, Sir JulianWiddecombe, Ann
    Rifkind, Rt Hon MalcolmWilkinson, John
    Roberts, Rt Hon Sir WynWilshire, David
    Roe, Mrs MarionWinterton, Nicholas
    Rossi, Sir HughWolfson, Mark
    Rost, PeterWood, Timothy
    Rowe, AndrewWoodcock, Dr. Mike
    Ryder, Rt Hon RichardYeo, Tim
    Sackville, Hon TomYoung, Sir George (Acton)
    Sayeed, JonathanYounger, Rt Hon George
    Scott, Rt Hon Nicholas
    Shaw, David (Dover)

    Tellers for the Noes:

    Shaw, Sir Michael (Scarb')

    Mr. David Lightbown and

    Shelton, Sir William

    Mr. John M. Taylor.

    Shephard, Mrs G. (Norfolk SW)

    Question accordingly negatived.

    New Clause 6

    University Pay Review Body

    The Secretary of State shall establish a pay review body for university academic and academic-related staffs.—[Mr. Straw.]

    Brought up, and read the First time.

    I beg to move, That the clause be read a Second time.

    Hon. Members will note that the clause stands in the name of my hon. Friends and me and, I am pleased to say, three Liberal Democrats, including the hon. Member for Ribble Valley (Mr. Carr). It proposes that a pay review body shall be established by the Secretary of State for university academic and academic-related staffs.

    The proposition that university staffs should have a pay review body was widely supported by hon. Members in all parts of the House. The official Opposition were asked about our attitude towards a pay review body in June 1991, and I was happy to reply to the secretary of the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals and the general secretary of the Association of University Teachers that the Labour party in government would establish a pay review body. I shall read from the letter that I wrote to those bodies setting out the terms on which a pay review body for university academic staff would be established.

    Since then—indeed, just over a month ago—the hon. Member for Leeds, North-West (Dr. Hampson) tabled early-day motion 597 proposing that there should be such a review body. I am astonished that, having gone to the trouble of tabling that motion, the hon. Gentleman is absent today.

    I note what my hon. Friend says. The hon. Member for Leeds, North-West is an assiduous attender here. Whatever else he may be learning from the Chinese Government, I suspect that the People's Republic does not yet have a pay review body for university academic staff. [Interruption.] My hon. Friend the Member for Leeds, Central (Mr. Fatchett) murmurs that there is a review body for everybody in the last state on earth which still practices democratic centralism.

    The early-day motion says:
    "That this House acknowledges the important contribution that universities have made to the country's economic and social well-being; recognises the productivity and efficiency gains that they have achieved as numbers have risen by 8·7 per cent. in 1991; is conscious that Britain's system of higher education is one of the finest in the world and is rightly held in great esteem; recognises that pay review bodies which cover such groups as doctors, dentists and school teachers do, in the view of Her Majesty's Government, enhance professionalism and the raising of morale; and therefore calls upon Her Majesty's Government to establish a pay review body for university academic and related staffs."
    It was signed by 71 hon. Members, of whom 56 were Conservatives. I understand why the hon. Member for Leeds, North-West is absent—he is in China—but I doubt whether the other 55 are on that trip.

    The fact that only two of the Conservative Members who signed the motion are present to debate that important motion shows their lack of seriousness of purpose. We shall look with even greater interest later this evening to see how many of those 56 hon. Members go into the Lobby to support the proposal. I suspect that they thought that they could sign an early-day motion and tell their local papers that they were supporting it, but when it comes to the simple straightforward proposition that the Secretary of State should establish a pay review body for university academic and related staff, on the recommendation of the Minister and through the Whips, all those Members will be dragooned into the Lobby to vote against the proposal. It is highly probable that few of those 56 Conservative Members will even know what they are voting about.

    I wish to place on record the body of a letter that I wrote to the Committee of Vice Chancellors and Principals and the Association of University Teachers on 25 July 1991. I said:
    "After consultation with Labour's Treasury Team, I am pleased to confirm that a Labour government would, as soon as practicable, establish a Pay Review body for university academic and related staff. This would be in respect of pay. I should like to consider further the question of how issues of conditions should best be settled, and I should be glad to have your views on this, as well, of course, those of the CVCP"—
    that particular copy of the letter was to the AUT. The letter continued:
    "This Review Body would operate in a manner similar to already established Review Bodies, such as the Doctors' and Dentists'. A Labour government would undertake, as in the case of other review bodies, to implement the Review Body's recommendations unless there were clear and compelling reasons to the contrary.
    The present government is proposing the amalgamation of the funding councils, and the end of the distinction between universities and polytechnics. We support both these proposals, and would implement them.
    This has clear implications for polytechnic staffs. I am therefore sending a copy of this letter to the Committee of Directors of Polytechnics, National Association Teachers in Further and Higher Education, and the Association of Polytechnic and College Teachers to seek their views on future pay settlement arrangements for polytechnic staff. It would seem to me that there would be considerable advantage in having unified pay settlement arrangements for all higher education academic staff, though there are plainly some transitional matters which would have carefully to be considered."
    My announcement on 25 July last year that a Labour Government would establish a funding control for academic and related staff in universities has been widely welcomed. The present system for settling university teachers' pay is byzantine. With the revenue support grant, it reminds one of the Schleswig-Holstein issue. The Under-Secretary of State, the hon. Member for Stratford-on-Avon (Mr. Howarth), is a historian and will know exactly what I mean, if not the answer to the problem. The system of committees A and B and their 27 reports is obscure and has not worked to the advantage of the universities or university academic staff. There has been no parity as to exactly who is the employer, nor much clarity about the nature of the settlements.

    7.45 pm

    The Under-Secretary of State, when he replies to the debate, may say that, although university teachers are paid principally from public funds, their employer is not central or local government but the universities, which rightly have a high degree of autonomy from the Government at a national level. That should not be an overwhelming problem in the settlement of university teachers' pay by a pay review body. Doctors and dentists are not directly employed by Whitehall, by the Department of Health in their case.

    Those who work in district health authority hospitals are paid by regional health authorities and those who work in opt-out trusts are paid by opt-out trusts. The fact that their employers are legally separate from the Department of Health has not prevented their pay from being settled by the Doctors and Dentists Remuneration Review Body. General practitioners and dentists are self-employed. Nevertheless, the DDRRB settles the parameters of their pay.

    A similar if not exact parallel exists in respect of school-teachers. Their pay and conditions are settled by a review body. In the past they were settled by central negotiating machinery under the Burnham arrangements. The employers of teachers in county schools are local authorities and the employers of teachers in voluntary-aided schools are various boards and voluntary-aided trusts. I hope that the Minister will not make heavy weather of the fact that university teachers are not directly employed by the state, because other groups who are the subject of pay review arrangements are not employed by central Government and the arrangements appear to work well for them.

    Another important issue that I raised in that letter was whether a review body for university academic staff should include consideration of conditions as well as pay. The school teachers pay review body is unique in that it is statutory and considers conditions as well as pay. The other review bodies consider only pay and conditions are left for separate, usually across-the-table negotiations.

    The specific commitment that I have given on behalf of a future Labour Government is that a review body for university and related academic staff would consider pay alone. As I said in my letter to Diana Warwick and to the Committee of Vice Chancellors and Principals, we would consider whether conditions should also be included in a review body's terms of reference. My initial view is that it would be better for conditions to be separately negotiated and that the parallel with the doctors and dentists review body should best apply.

    At present, because polytechnics have been a separate system, their pay is negotiated separately. There has been much need for the settlement of polytechnic staffs pay at a polytechnic rather than a national level. Naturally, there will be transitional problems as the polytechnics become fully fledged universities, both in respect of their funding arrangements—there has been a different methodology for those—and in respect of the settlement of their pay.

    If we are to make the polytechnics fully fledged universities with the same funding methodology as universities, it seems essential that once the transitional period is complete they should have the same systems for settling pay. Whatever the House decides is appropriate for one side of the old sector should apply to both. In our judgment, the review body should cover all staff within the new univeristy sector once the higher education funding council is established. A question mark will remain over those Higher Education Funding Council staff employed in non-university institutions. For the sake of tidiness, if nothing else, we believe that the pay review body should also cover those individuals.

    We had some interesting debates on the merits of review bodies six, nine and 12 months ago. In November 1990, on the day of the first ballot result of the Conservative leadership contest, the present Secretary of State came to the House and recommended that the House approve the first School Teachers Pay and Conditions Bill, which proposed across-the-table negotiations. I am glad that the hon. Member for Battersea (Mr. Bowis) is present, as he was in the House on that occasion when we were told that the new version of across-the-table negotiations was an almost perfect way of settling school teachers' pay and conditions.

    On that occasion, the Secretary of State made it clear that he was not entertaining any other alternatives, including that of a pay review body. That idea from the Secretary of State disappeared into a large black hole. Some months later, in the middle of April 1991—I think it was 18 April—the Secretary of State came to the House and said that he had abandoned that idea, which he had recommended to the House only five months before, and proposed a pay review body for school teachers. There was considerable debate about that in Committee and in the Chamber. We made it clear at the time that we had no objection to pay review bodies per se. How could we, when we had happily endorsed the doctors and dentists and top salaries pay review bodies?

    My hon. Friend—to whom I am ever grateful—says, "And nurses." He might also have reminded me of the armed forces—I know that that was on the tip of my hon. Friend's tongue. We had also suggested that there should be a pay review body for ambulance personnel, which the current Secretary of State for Education and Science—then Secretary of State for Health —had resisted.

    The argument about a school teachers pay review body was then about the extent of potential control that the Treasury was seeking to exercise over the school teachers pay and conditions review body. Section 1 of the School Teachers Pay and Conditions Act 1991 provides for the Treasury to impose conditions not imposed on any other pay review body and allows for the establishment of the pay review body without discussion with, let alone the consent of, employers or formal consultation with associations representing staff. Neither of those considerations apply in respect of our proposition.

    The Association of University Teachers and the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals both agree that there should be a review body. Obviously, that is a sensible way of proceeding. I think that the suggestion has the support of all Opposition Members and all Opposition parties, and of at least 56 Government Members. I hope that, in the light of that overwhelming support, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary will say that the Government accept the Opposition's proposal and are happy to endorse it.

    The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education and Science
    (Mr. Alan Howarth)

    Pay levels and conditions for lecturers in higher education institutions are currently matters for negotiation between employers and staff, and it is quite proper that they should be so. It would greatly detract from the autonomy of those institutions were that responsibility to be handed over to an independent body.

    The Labour party professes to be jealous and zealous on behalf of academic freedom. I do not accept that it can be consistent for the Labour party to claim to be the upholder of the right of higher education institutions to be autonomous managers of their own affairs while at the same time arguing in favour of responsibility for something so central to the management of those great institutions as pay determination to be taken to a central agency. Higher education institutions need to be able to manage their own affairs and arrange matters in the light of their particular needs and circumstances.

    I am grateful to the Minister for taking an intervention so early in his speech.

    The Minister has every reason to know that the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals is, to a degree, jealous about issues of academic freedom, as is the Association of University Teachers. However, both organisations, particularly the CVCP, have called for a pay review body for academic staff. They do not believe that there is any remote threat to academic freedom posed by that.

    In holding these two attitudes, those two organisations seem to be guilty of inconsistency. It would be presumptuous of me to speculate what is going on in the minds of their members—minds of great distinction. It appears that the importance of institutional independence recedes a little into the background of the consciousness of some vice-chancellors when they contemplate the device of a pay review body, which they suppose might be the means to secure more money from the tax payer to pay their staff. I understand the temptation they feel, but I think that there are inconsistencies in their position.

    The Government have set up pay review bodies for a comparatively small number of professions in the public sector because of their specific role in particular services. Many professions within the public sector do not have pay review bodies. There is no such body for the vast majority of civil servants or local government employees. Central Government and local government employees embrace among their numbers a range of professions including administrators, lawyers, architects, engineers and surveyors, to name but a few. They do not have pay review bodies.

    The analogy with schoolteachers put forward by the hon. Member for Blackburn (Mr. Straw) is not at all persuasive. Over the years, there have always been quite different arrangements for schoolteachers and university dons for settling pay. There are important differences between the employers. Local government employs the teachers, but is not involved in the employment of university academics. A locally managed or grant-maintained school is a different sort of employing body from a university.

    Universities are large, diverse institutions with important managerial responsibilities for large budgets and various sources of income. There would seem to be no sense in managerial terms in imposing externally determined rigidities on their biggest single cost—salaries.

    I emphasise that not having a review body is in no sense a slur on a particular group. The Government value immensely the efforts of staff in higher education institutions to sustain high-quality teaching and research, and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of their institutions. We applaud the way in which they do so.

    My hon. Friend referred to the diverse funding of universities. Is he aware that, during the past five years, the university of Lancaster has increased its outside funding from £2 million to £8 million because of the excellence of its work? It has been rewarded in that it has received that 10·9 per cent. increase in research funding. That shows that good universities can do well out of the system.

    As so often, my hon. Friend makes a useful point. I endorse her praise of Lancaster university and of the way in which it has diversified its sources of funding. About 40 per cent. of the income of higher education institutions now derives from sources other than the taxpayer—a powerful reason why it would be quite wrong of central Government to establish a pay review body to determine pay in institutions that depend to only a limited extent on the resources provided by the taxpayer.

    The Labour party appears to have taken up a rather curious variety of positions in review bodies.

    8 pm

    Let me remind the hon. Gentleman of the range of the Labour party's inconsistencies. During the passage of the School Teachers Pay and Conditions (No. 2) Bill, the Labour party demonstrated its opposition to the School Teachers Pay Review Body which we proposed and have created. Now that that body has been set up, the Labour party seems to think that it is rather a good idea that the arrangement which it criticised for school teachers should be extended to university lecturers. It is puzzling that the Labour party should be quite so confused once again. I suspect that the hon. Members for Blackburn and for Oxford, East (Mr. Smith) instruct their research assistants to ring round the trade unions to discover what they want. They exhibit an opportunistic set of inconsistent policies.

    For instance, Labour tabled a new clause requiring the Further Education Funding Council to ensure that, in each FE institution in receipt of a grant from the council, appropriate machinery is established for the determination of staff pay. So Labour is against a review body for school-teachers and in favour of one for academics—and it wants a funding council to be responsible for pay and conditions in the furthur education sector. So the Labour party advanced three different solutions to try to appeal politically to three different groups. That is irrational and nonsensical.

    I do not think it wise of the Under-Secretary to pursue the charge of inconsistency. He is a member of the ministerial team that has told us how wonderful pay review bodies are for teachers, yet despite the support of 56 of his hon. Friends for a pay review body for university teachers, he comes up with extraordinary excuses—I suspect that they were written for him by the Treasury —to explain why the idea should be resisted.

    The hon. Gentleman has not followed my earlier arguments. Judgments on whether particular groups of public sector employees or of those paid exclusively from the public purse should have their pay settled by a pay review body are made case by case in the light of prevailing circumstances.

    I illustrate the Labour party's woolly thinking in this area by noting that during the recent Committee stage of this Bill the hon. Members for Oxford, East and for Leeds, Central (Mr. Fatchett) proposed a new clause that would have required my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State to take such steps as may be necessary to ensure proper collective bargaining machinery in the further and higher education sectors. My right hon. and learned Friend would also have been required to ensure that new corporations established national negotiating machinery to determine salaries, wages, terms and conditions. So one day Labour Members want collective bargaining and national negotiating machinery; the next, they do a U-turn and want a review body. The Labour party does not know what it wants.

    Government policy on lecturers' pay is that it should be sufficient to recruit, retain and motivate staff of the required quality. There is no evidence of general recruitment and retention difficulties. If problems occur in specific teaching disciplines, they can be targeted through the flexibility in the pay structure that we have been encouraging year by year.

    As is well known, we are prepared to examine other proposals that are put to us by the CVCP or by the unions, but we have a disposition to look favourably on a rather more decentralised system, consistent with our encouragement of differentiation between the higher education institutions—each charting its own academic mission, which in turn should relate sensibly to the plurality of the sources of its funding.

    University lecturers' pay has increased by more than 14 per cent. in real terms since 1979. Last year's settlement was good for academics. They received 5 per cent. from 1 April, a further 1·4 per cent. from 1 September and an additional 1 per cent. from 1 January 1992, to be used at local management discretion. This must be seen in the context of inflation at just over 4 per cent.

    I am glad that our academics have received a real-terms increase in pay this year. We owe them much for all that they achieve, but it would not be sensible to establish a pay review body for them, and I ask the House to reject the new clause.

    I note the Minister's comments about the inconsistency of the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals. Perhaps one of the reasons why it supports a pay review body so strongly is that it does not want to become embroiled in the annual round of shilly-shallying that may result from having to determine a string of local pay agreements. That support is shared by the Association of University Teachers and other organisations.

    The Liberal Democrats have been consistent. We favour a pay review body. We supported the introduction of one for the schoolteachers: we would like one in further education and another to fix the salaries of academics in universities and polytechnics.

    A pay review body would be independent and fair. Among the groups whose pay is determined by this method are the so-called top people, the doctors and dentists, the armed services and now schoolteachers. There appears to be wide support for determining public sector pay for key groups by that method.

    The hon. Gentleman has heard the Minister clearly say that 40 per cent. of universities' funding does not come from the state. The other three bodies that he has mentioned are entirely state funded—a wholly different kettle of fish.

    I do not necessarily agree. There may be different sources of funding, but the people undertaking the work in the universities are employed by the universities. It makes sense to determine the pay of university teachers, especially those involved in research, in this way. They will have to compete against teachers and universities in other parts of the country. I do not accept that merely because some funding comes from elsewhere the pay cannot be determined by that method.

    The Minister himself said that the universities, not contributors of their funds, will determine pay—

    The point is that the lively universities such as mine attract more funds and will be in a better position to pay their staff well. I see no earthly reason why universities such as Lancaster should have to subsidise other universities that do not get their act together. We attract research, we attract overseas students, and we do exceptionally well. We are going up the ladder; I do not see why we should be dragged down by other universities.

    I entirely agree that Lancaster university is going up the ladder. I pay tribute to it, as I represent a Lancashire constituency myself. Nevertheless, the pay of university teachers will be determined not by those contributing their funds but, under the Minister's system, by the universities. Through the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals, universities have strongly supported the concept of a pay review body.

    In 1987, the Government recognised that the present system was not as effective as it should be. However, they have not presented any proposals to improve it. The Minister spoke about the salaries of university teachers. The present salary at the top of the lecturers' scale has 91 per cent. of the purchasing power that it had in 1971. Since 1979, university salaries, measured against the non-manual average earnings index, have fallen by 25 per cent. In 1979, a grade 7 civil servant earned the same salary as a non-clinical lecturer. Now, that same civil servant earns £4,000 a year more.

    Those three factors show the need to look again at the pay of university academics, and it should be looked at by means of a system that is increasingly recognised as being independent and fair—a pay review body. In Committee, and in today's debate, the Minister advanced arguments against such a body. I urge him to listen to the non-political voices of people in higher education who are calling for such a system.

    At least 56 Conservative Members have signed an early-day motion that unequivocally calls for a pay review body for university teachers. However, only four or five of those hon. Members are present in the Chamber.

    The hon. Lady is twittering, as she sometimes does, from a sedentary position. The Opposition are not divided on the matter. We all support the setting up of a pay review body, and my hon. Friends are happy to leave matters to those of us on the Front Bench. There is a raging argument among Conservatives, because 56 Conservative Members have broken ranks and refused to accept the arguments advanced by the Under-Secretary of State. They have added their names to a proposition that clearly calls for a pay review body.

    An examination of the names of those 56 Members shows—surprise, surprise—that a whole string of them represent towns and cities with universities. I hope that I can remember the constituencies. The list contains the names of Conservative Members from Bristol. It contains the name of the hon. Member for Chorley (Mr. Dover) who no doubt has academic staff from the university of Lancaster and from the universities in Manchester and Liverpool in his constituency. The list contains the names of hon. Members from Leeds and West Yorkshire, and includes the name of the hon. Member for Pudsey (Sir G. Shaw) who has in his constituency many university staff from the universities of Bradford and Leeds. The list has a surprising connection with Conservative marginals which could be affected by the student vote. [Interruption.] We shall have to send Hansard round.

    I am sure that many of those Conservative Members who have signed the early-day motion feel threatened by the election and fear a loss of support from among academic staff. They will have told their local papers how they are standing up for university academic staff. They have said that they will take no nonsense from Ministers, but will fight hard for a pay review body. It does not take much to sign one's name on early-day motions. Hon. Members often sign them without realising what they are signing.

    8.15 pm

    Whatever else I might say about the hon. Lady, I would never accuse her of that.

    I shall give way to the hon. Member for Battersea (Mr. Bowis) and then I shall give way to the hon. Lady, who always knows what she supports and above all what she is against. It is one thing to sign an early-day motion and another to speak or vote in support of it.

    The hon. Gentleman will not find my name on that early-day motion. He said that it was my motion in Committee which led to the setting up of the review body for teachers. There is a difference between institutions to which money other than taxpayers' money is committed and those which are funded by the taxpayer. I hope that the hon. Gentleman will deal with that. He also said that he had shadow Treasury approval for his commitments. I have a reasonably open mind on the subject and I hope that the hon. Gentleman will tell us how much the review body and the research that will be needed to back it will cost. I think he also spoke about a commitment to bring polytechnic pay into line with university pay when they become part of the same sector. What will be the cost of that?

    I shall deal with those questions and then give way to the hon. Member for Lancaster. I would not dare not to.

    The hon. Gentleman is right to say that his proposition partly provoked the Government into reconsidering the Bill about teachers' pay and conditions. To explain away the Government's inconsistency on pay review bodies, the Under-Secretary of State said that their setting up had to be judged case by case in the light of circumstances. I think that those were his exact words. In one sense, that statement is entirely fair and may explain the position of the Government and the Opposition. We do not say that there should be review bodies for every area of public sector employment: nobody proposes that.

    The hon. Member for Battersea asked whether there could be review bodies for institutions which did not derive a significant proportion of their income from public funds. An increasing proportion of a university's income now comes from non public sector sources, and most of that income is used for research. It is not used for routine academic teaching, and certainly not for the teaching of undergraduates. We are considering the core teaching and publicly funded research activities of universities that are overwhelmingly publicly funded. I do not suggest for a moment that the review body should comment on the remuneration that a specific group of researchers should receive for work that they are carrying out on contract for an individual company or, say, a medical charity.

    The 40 per cent. figure is slightly deceptive, in terms of the core activities of institutions. Every university contains a core of academic staff whose job is to teach undergraduates and postgraduates who are themselves, in the main, publicly funded. If they are "home" students, their tuition is paid for by public funds, and some of their research will also be financed in that way. I do not think that there is any distinction of principle between university academic staffs and schoolteachers—or, as I said earlier, doctors and dentists.

    Some schools now raise some of the costs of teachers' salaries through raffles, appeals and the like: I can prove that by means of letters that I have received. It is at the margin, but it takes place. I do not place the same weight on that point as the Minister appears to do.

    A new point has arisen since I first tried to intervene. The point is not simply that 40 per cent. of funds are provided by bodies other than the Government; staff in universities are much more interchangeable. They may go into industry or the civil service, for instance: they move in and out of the academic world, while schoolteachers tend to stay in the teaching profession.

    My original point—which I tried to raise some time ago —was this. Of course it is our duty to consider carefully all representations made by our constituents, but our overwhelming duty is to consider the long-term welfare of the institutions that we represent. It would be all too easy to say to students, "I will vote for you to have much larger grants," but that would mean fewer students, and it would also mean had luck for those who were already five years down the road. Such a move would be popular, and it might mean a few votes for the hon. Member concerned; but he would not deserve them.

    The same applies to the university lecturers' review body. As the hon. Member for Blackburn (Mr. Straw) has suggested, it is always easier to sign an early-day motion than to argue the case with, in this instance, a lot of very erudite lecturers, but I believe that this case should and can be argued. I believe that it would be entirely wrong to set up a university pay review body—

    I will put it briefly. I do not believe in signing early-day motions: I believe in arguing the toss, and getting it right.

    I cannot. Long service on the Opposition Front Bench has taught me never to try to beat interventions by the hon. Member for Lancaster, but simply to duck.

    I do not think that there is more transfer of academic staff in universities than there is in school teaching. A small number of staff move in and out of academic work a good deal, but beneath that is a core that scarcely moves at all. We shall simply have to disagree about whether a pay review body would he appropriate. I do not subscribe to every representation that is made to me, and I hope that few other hon. Members do; each of us must weigh up the merits of the case that is advanced, and then make a judgment.

    The hon. Member for Battersea (Mr. Bowis) asked what we expected our commitment to a pay review body to cost. First, there is the cost of the additional research that would, I assume, be carried out by the Office of Manpower Economics: I would expect that to be in six figures rather than seven—possibly in five. Such a commitment is marginal, even according to the fantastic imagination of Conservative central office.

    Then there is the potential cost of the review body. We have made no commitment in regard to additional resources for university academic staff, simply because of the existence of a pay review body. We are talking about the machinery for settling pay, not about pay levels themselves. I have read out a list of the conditions under which a future Government would consider the recommendations of a pay review body for university teachers, which would be the same as for the review bodies established for doctors, dentists and so forth. According to wording that has applied to successive Governments of different political colours, a Government would be ready to accept the recommendations of a pay review body unless there were "clear and compelling" reasons to the contrary.

    I dealt with the polytechnics in my opening remarks. We are still consulting, but, as the polytechnics are to become part of the university sector, I assume that, once the transition had been completed, the same arrangements would apply to them. as to other university staffs.

    The same applies to that.

    I listened carefully to what the Minister said. His arguments were flimsy in the extreme. The flimsiest was his suggestion that academic freedom would be threatened by the establishment of a pay review body. I fancy that that suggestion will produce guffaws, not to say hysteria, in the offices of the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals in Tavistock square. For a Higher Education Minister in the current Administration to pray in aid academic freedom in defence of the line that he is taking is most unusual.

    I am glad to see that even the Minister can see the joke. It was a good try on the part of his officials to make bricks without straw, to coin a phrase, but I am not sure that it succeeded. [Interruption.] I should not have said that. It was a grave error to make a pun on my own name.

    The case for a university pay review body is overwhelming, and it enjoys the support' of the 56 Conservative Members who signed that early-day motion. We shall, of course, consult each of the signatories to find out whether he is about to stand on his head and vote the proposal down. The new clause, however, would ensure that university teachers' pay was settled sensibly, without any recourse to industrial action, and I commend it to the House.

    Question put, That the clause be read a Second time:—

    The House divided: Ayes 200, Noes 265.

    Division No. 104]

    [8.26 pm


    Adams, Mrs Irene (Paisley, N.)Griffiths. Win (Bridgend)
    Alton, DavidGrocott, Bruce
    Archer, Rt Hon PeterHain, Peter
    Armstrong, HilaryHardy, Peter
    Ashdown, Rt Hon PaddyHaynes, Frank
    Ashley, Rt Hon JackHeal, Mrs Sylvia
    Ashton, JoeHenderson, Doug
    Banks, Tony (Newham NW)Hinchliffe, David
    Barnes, Harry (Derbyshire NE)Hoey, Kate (Vauxhall)
    Barnes, Mrs Rosie (Greenwich)Hogg, N. (C'nauld & Kilsyth)
    Barron, KevinHome Robertson, John
    Beckett, MargaretHood, Jimmy
    Beggs, RoyHowarth, George (Knowsley N)
    Bell, StuartHowell, Rt Hon D. (S'heath)
    Bellotti, DavidHowells, Geraint
    Benn, Rt Hon TonyHowells, Dr. Kim (Pontypridd)
    Bennett, A. F. (D'nt'n & R'dish)Hoyle, Doug
    Benton, JosephHughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)
    Bermingham, GeraldHughes, Simon (Southwark)
    Blunkett, DavidIllsley, Eric
    Boyes, RolandIngram. Adam
    Brown, Gordon (D'mline E)Janner, Greville
    Brown, Nicholas (Newcastle E)Jones, Barry (Alyn & Deeside)
    Caborn, RichardJones, Martyn (Clwyd S W)
    Callaghan, JimKaufman, Rt Hon Gerald
    Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE)Kennedy, Charles
    Campbell, Ron (Blyth Valley)Kilfoyle, Peter
    Campbell-Savours, D. N.Kirkwood, Archy
    Canavan, DennisKumar, Dr. Ashok
    Carlile, Alex (Mont'g)Lambie, David
    Carr, MichaelLeadbitter, Ted
    Cartwright, JohnLeighton, Ron
    Clarke, Tom (Monklands W)Lestor, Joan (Eccles)
    Clelland, DavidLewis, Terry
    Clwyd, Mrs AnnLitherland, Robert
    Cohen, HarryLloyd, Tony (Stretford)
    Corbett, RobinLofthouse, Geoffrey
    Corbyn, JeremyLoyden, Eddie
    Cousins, JimMcAllion. John
    Crowther, StanMcCartney, Ian
    Cryer, BobMacdonald, Calum A.
    Cummings, JohnMcFall, John
    Cunliffe, LawrenceMcKelvey, William
    Dalyell, TamMcLeish, Henry
    Darling, AlistairMaclennan, Robert
    Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli)McMaster, Gordon
    Davies, Ron (Caerphilly)McNamara, Kevin
    Dewar, DonaldMcWilliam, John
    Dixon, DonMadden, Max
    Dobson, FrankMahon, Mrs Alice
    Doran, FrankMarek, Dr John
    Duffy, Sir A. E. P.Marshall, David (Shettleston)
    Dunnachie, JimmyMarshall, Jim (Leicester S)
    Dunwoody, Hon Mrs GwynethMartin, Michael J. (Springburn)
    Eadie, AlexanderMartlew, Eric
    Eastham, KenMeacher, Michael
    Enright, DerekMeale, Alan
    Evans, John (St Helens N)Michael, Alun
    Ewing, Harry (Falkirk E)Michie, Bill (Sheffield Heeley)
    Fatchett, DerekMichie, Mrs Ray (Arg'l & Bute)
    Faulds, AndrewMitchell, Austin (G't Grimsby)
    Fearn, RonaldMolyneaux, Rt Hon James
    Field, Frank (Birkenhead)Moonie, Dr Lewis
    Flannery, MartinMorley, Elliot
    Flynn, PaulMorris, Rt Hon A. (W'shawe)
    Foot, Rt Hon MichaelMorris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon)
    Foster, DerekMowlam, Marjorie
    Foulkes, GeorgeMullin, Chris
    Fraser, JohnO'Brien, William
    Fyfe, MariaO'Hara, Edward
    Garrett, John (Norwich South)O'Neill, Martin
    Garrett, Ted (Wallsend)Orme, Rt Hon Stanley
    Godman, Dr Norman A.Paisley, Rev Ian
    Golding, Mrs LlinParry, Robert
    Gordon, MildredPatchett, Terry
    Grant, Bernie (Tottenham)Pendry, Tom
    Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)Powell, Ray (Ogmore)

    Prescott, JohnSteinberg, Gerry
    Primarolo, DawnStephen, Nicol
    Quin, Ms JoyceStott, Roger
    Radice, GilesStraw, Jack
    Randall, StuartTaylor, Matthew (Truro)
    Redmond, MartinThomas, Dr Dafydd Elis
    Rees, Rt Hon MerlynThompson, Jack (Wansbeck)
    Reid, Dr JohnTrimble, David
    Robinson, GeoffreyTurner, Dennis
    Robinson, Peter (Belfast E)Wallace, James
    Rogers, AllanWareing, Robert N.
    Rooker, JeffWelsh, Michael (Doncaster N)
    Rooney, TerenceWigley, Dafydd
    Rowlands, TedWilliams, Rt Hon Alan
    Ruddock, JoanWilliams, Alan W. (Carm'then)
    Sedgemore, BrianWilson, Brian
    Sheldon, Rt Hon RobertWinnick, David
    Shore, Rt Hon PeterWise, Mrs Audrey
    Short, ClareWorthington, Tony
    Skinner, DennisWray, Jimmy
    Smith, Andrew (Oxford E)Young, David (Bolton SE)
    Smith, Rt Hon J. (Monk'ds E)
    Snape, Peter

    Tellers for the Ayes:

    Soley, Clive

    Mr. Thomas McAvoy and

    Spearing, Nigel

    Mr. Allen McKay.


    Adley, RobertCoombs, Simon (Swindon)
    Alexander, RichardCope, Rt Hon Sir John
    Alison, Rt Hon MichaelCormack, Patrick
    Allason, RupertCouchman, James
    Amess, DavidCran, James
    Amos, AlanCurrie, Mrs Edwina
    Arbuthnot, JamesDavies, Q. (Stamf'd & Spald'g)
    Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham)Day, Stephen
    Arnold, Sir ThomasDickens, Geoffrey
    Ashby, DavidDicks, Terry
    Aspinwall, JackDorrell, Stephen
    Atkins, RobertDouglas-Hamilton, Lord James
    Atkinson, DavidDover, Den
    Baldry, TonyDunn, Bob
    Batiste, SpencerDurant, Sir Anthony
    Bellingham, HenryDykes, Hugh
    Bendall, VivianEggar, Tim
    Bennett, Nicholas (Pembroke)Evans, David (Welwyn Hatf'd)
    Benyon, W.Evennett, David
    Bevan, David GilroyFallon, Michael
    Blackburn, Dr John G.Farr, Sir John
    Blaker, Rt Hon Sir PeterFenner, Dame Peggy
    Body, Sir RichardField, Barry (Isle of Wight)
    Bonsor, Sir NicholasFookes, Dame Janet
    Boscawen, Hon RobertForman, Nigel
    Boswell, TimForsyth, Michael (Stirling)
    Bowden, A. (Brighton K'pto'n)Forth, Eric
    Bowden, Gerald (Dulwich)Fowler, Rt Hon Sir Norman
    Bowis, JohnFox, Sir Marcus
    Boyson, Rt Hon Dr Sir RhodesFranks, Cecil
    Braine, Rt Hon Sir BernardFrench, Douglas
    Brazier, JulianGale, Roger
    Bright, GrahamGardiner, Sir George
    Brown, Michael (Brigg & Cl't's)Garel-Jones, Rt Hon Tristan
    Browne, John (Winchester)Gill, Christopher
    Bruce, Ian (Dorset South)Glyn, Dr Sir Alan
    Burns, SimonGoodhart, Sir Philip
    Butler, ChrisGoodlad, Rt Hon Alastair
    Butterfill, JohnGoodson-Wickes, Dr Charles
    Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)Gorman, Mrs Teresa
    Carrington, MatthewGorst, John
    Carttiss, MichaelGreenway, John (Ryedale)
    Cash, WilliamGriffiths, Peter (Portsmouth N)
    Chalker, Rt Hon Mrs LyndaGround, Patrick
    Chapman, SydneyHague, William
    Chope, ChristopherHamilton, Rt Hon Archie
    Churchill, MrHamilton, Neil (Tatton)
    Clark, Dr Michael (Rochford)Hargreaves, A. (B'ham H'll Gr')
    Clark, Rt Hon Sir WilliamHarris, David
    Clarke, Rt Hon K. (Rushcliffe)Haselhurst, Alan
    Colvin, MichaelHawkins, Christopher
    Conway, DerekHayes, Jerry
    Coombs, Anthony (Wyre F'rest)Hayhoe, Rt Hon Sir Barney

    Hayward, RobertNicholson, Emma (Devon West)
    Heathcoat-Amory, DavidNorris, Steve
    Hicks, Mrs Maureen (Wolv' NE)Onslow, Rt Hon Cranley
    Hicks, Robert (Cornwall SE)Page, Richard
    Higgins, Rt Hon Terence L.Paice, James
    Hill, JamesPatnick, Irvine
    Hogg, Hon Douglas (Gr'th'm)Patten, Rt Hon John
    Hordern, Sir PeterPattie, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey
    Howard, Rt Hon MichaelPawsey, James
    Howarth, Alan (Strat'd-on-A)Peacock, Mrs Elizabeth
    Howarth, G. (Cannock & B'wd)Porter, David (Waveney)
    Howe, Rt Hon Sir GeoffreyPortillo, Michael
    Howell, Rt Hon David (G'dford)Powell, William (Corby)
    Howell, Ralph (North Norfolk)Price, Sir David
    Hughes, Robert G. (Harrow W)Raison, Rt Hon Sir Timothy
    Hunt, Sir John (Ravensbourne)Rathbone, Tim
    Hunter, AndrewRedwood, John
    Irvine, MichaelRiddick, Graham
    Irving, Sir CharlesRidsdale, Sir Julian
    Jack, MichaelRifkind, Rt Hon Malcolm
    Jackson, RobertRoberts, Rt Hon Sir Wyn
    Janman, TimRoe, Mrs Marion
    Jessel, TobyRossi, Sir Hugh
    Johnson Smith, Sir GeoffreyRost, Peter
    Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N)Rowe, Andrew
    Jones, Robert B (Herts W)Ryder, Rt Hon Richard
    Kellett-Bowman, Dame ElaineSayeed, Jonathan
    Key, RobertShaw, David (Dover)
    Kilfedder, JamesShaw, Sir Michael (Scarb')
    King, Roger (B'ham N'thfield)Shelton, Sir William
    King, Rt Hon Tom (Bridgwater)Shephard, Mrs G. (Norfolk SW)
    Kirkhope, TimothyShersby, Michael
    Knapman, RogerSims, Roger
    Knowles, MichaelSkeet, Sir Trevor
    Knox, DavidSmith, Tim (Beaconsfield)
    Lang, Rt Hon IanSoames, Hon Nicholas
    Latham, MichaelSpeller, Tony
    Lawrence, IvanSpicer, Sir Jim (Dorset W)
    Lee, John (Pendle)Spicer, Michael (S Worcs)
    Leigh, Edward (Gainsbor'gh)Squire, Robin
    Lightbown, DavidStanbrook, Ivor
    Lilley, Rt Hon PeterStanley, Rt Hon Sir John
    Lloyd, Peter (Fareham)Steen, Anthony
    Lord, MichaelStern, Michael
    Macfarlane, Sir NeilStevens, Lewis
    MacGregor, Rt Hon JohnStewart, Allan (Eastwood)
    MacKay, Andrew (E Berkshire)Stewart, Andy (Sherwood)
    McLoughlin, PatrickStewart, Rt Hon Sir Ian
    McNair-Wilson, Sir MichaelSummerson, Hugo
    McNair-Wilson, Sir PatrickTapsell, Sir Peter
    Malins, HumfreyTaylor, Ian (Esher)
    Mans, KeithTaylor, John M (Solihull)
    Maples, JohnTaylor, Sir Teddy
    Marlow, TonyTemple-Morris, Peter
    Marshall, John (Hendon S)Thompson, Sir D. (Calder Vly)
    Marshall, Sir Michael (Arundel)Thorne, Neil
    Martin, David (Portsmouth S)Thurnham, Peter
    Maude, Hon FrancisTownsend, Cyril D. (B'heath)
    Mawhinney, Dr BrianTracey, Richard
    Mayhew, Rt Hon Sir PatrickTredinnick, David
    Mellor, Rt Hon DavidTrippier, David
    Miller, Sir HalTwinn, Dr Ian
    Mills, IainVaughan, Sir Gerard
    Mitchell, Andrew (Gedling)Waldegrave, Rt Hon William
    Mitchell, Sir DavidWaller, Gary
    Moate, RogerWalters, Sir Dennis
    Monro, Sir HectorWard, John
    Montgomery, Sir FergusWardle, Charles (Bexhill)
    Moore, Rt Hon JohnWatts, John
    Morris, M (N'hampton S)Wells, Bowen
    Morrison, Sir CharlesWheeler, Sir John
    Morrison, Rt Hon Sir PeterWhitney, Ray
    Moss, MalcolmWiddecombe, Ann
    Neale, Sir GerrardWilkinson, John
    Nelson, AnthonyWilshire, David
    Newton, Rt Hon TonyWinterton, Nicholas
    Nicholls, PatrickWolfson, Mark
    Nicholson, David (Taunton)Wood, Timothy

    Woodcock, Dr. Mike

    Tellers for the Noes:

    Young, Sir George (Acton)

    Mr. Tom Sackville and

    Younger, Rt Hon George

    Mr. Nicholas Baker.

    Question accordingly negatived.

    New Clause 7

    Adult Education Funding For Community Colleges

  • '.—(1) A community college may, notwithstanding the provisions of section 6 of this Act, for the provision of specific courses offering further or higher education to adult persons, submit direct to the Funding Council covering the location in which it is located, an application for financial support, to be given on terms laid down by the Funding Council concerned requiring the applicant to apply such funding only for the specified purpose.
  • (2) Every community college applying under the provisions of subsection (1) above shall keep and maintain separate accounts to receive such Funding Council payments: and the money in such accounts shall he held in trust for expenditure only in accordance with the terms laid down by the Funding Council as a condition of making such funding available.
  • (3) For the purposes of this Act, the term "community college" shall be taken to mean a school (whether or not owned by a local education authority) which offers to adults courses of further or higher education in addition to its primary function of providing secondary education to children of school age.'.
  • Brought up, and read the First time.

    I beg to move, That the clause be read a Second time.

    With this we may consider the following amendments: No. 6, in clause 5, page 4, line 26, at end insert

    '(c) an existing service which provides a course or courses mentioned in Schedule 2 to this Act and which is the local deliverer of quality provision meeting local needs.'.
    No. 14, in clause 6, page 6, line 21, at end insert;
    (c) where an external institution has an existing substantial and significant profile of courses falling within Schedule 2 to this Act, its governing body may seek permission from a regional committee to make application directly to a council subject to conditions specified in an order made by the Secretary of State.'.

    The purpose of new clause 7 is to enable community colleges, for courses approved by the funding councils, to be funded directly by the funding councils after direct application has been made to them. By establishing that the payments received by community colleges for such courses shall be held in trust for the purpose for which the funding council provides them, that gets round the difficulty about which my hon. Friend the Minister of State wrote to me last November, when he pointed out that community colleges do not have a legal identity. Of course, a trust fund does. This not only provides the legal identity, which was, I think quite authentically, worrying my hon. Friend; it also ensures that the money cannot be siphoned off by a malign LEA for another purpose. That other principal worry of Department of Education and Science Ministers is dealt with in this carefully drafted new clause.

    Is it desirable that there should be community colleges? We are not talking about something that does not exist. We are talking about secondary schools—that is their main purpose—which also use their facilities, when they are not using them for providing secondary education for children, for providing a whole range of courses for adults. But, of course, the funding council would not fund the whole range of a community college's adult education courses, only those which met its criteria. There is no question that money provided by central Government would in this way be used for a purpose outside that which central Government intend. That is why I drafted the new clause—I drafted it myself—with very considerable care.

    I am aware that there are some community colleges —most notably Richmond—which do not fall within my definition of a community college, because they are not primarily secondary education colleges who provide adult education as an extra. What I am saying is that the community college structure within the pattern of our education makes the best possible use of the resources, not just the resources of buildings, but of the equipment, of the facilities and of the staff. Very often—although not universally—they are in rural areas: not universally.

    Plymouth certainly is not a rural area, yet it has a thriving community college. Indeed, its principal was one of the five whom I took to see, together with my hon. Friend the Member for Devon, North (Mr. Speller), the Secretary of State very early in September to persuade him to write into his Bill, while he still had time to do so, the provisions which I am now bringing forth. He could, in fact, had he wished to, have thought up means of getting round his own objections. However, as that is, we have to assume, beyond the skill of the parliamentary draftsmen, well, I have done it for them.

    It is a particular pleasure to see that it has attracted support from both main parties and others as well. It is in no sense a doctrinare new clause, unless one calls it doctrinaire to try and get the fullest possible use out of educational facilities rather than leaving them to stand idle when they need not do so in evenings. It also gets round in rural areas the undeniable problems of the changing—rapidly changing—pattern of public transportation.

    The task, without this new clause, placed by my hon. Friend and by my right hon. and learned Friend, who is not gracing us with his presence tonight, on FE colleges is a very formidable one indeed because the FE college to whom community colleges will otherwise have to make their applications has to know about their accessibility and the accessibility of the community colleges by public transport. Because public transport can alter its pattern or, indeed, disappear after a week, the gift of prophecy is required, not just hard work to acquire knowledge.

    8.45 pm

    It is also, as I pointed out on Second Reading, necessary for the FE college not just to know what it is intending to put on itself, but to know what other FE colleges are putting on. That is quite a task, because the other FE colleges will not know what they are putting on until the course has been advertised and they know whether they have got a high enough response to decide to put it on rather than not to put it on. This is the reality.

    Yet before that is known, the FE college which has to handle the community college's applications has to exercise this quite astonishing degree of prophetic power, so that it can either forward it, saying in good faith to the funding council that it does not think—it cannot know —that there is adequate provision for the course concerned without the community college putting it on; or that there is not adequate public transport to get potential students from the area where the community college is to the location where the FE college concerned is—or, hypothetically, another FE college. This is the problem it is going to be faced with.

    I do not need to speak at any further length, Mr. Deputy Speaker, because I really deployed the case for this on Second Reading. That case is unchanged. What I have had since then is a large number of letters from community colleges outside Devon—of course, I have been dealing with community colleges inside Devon before, but I have now had letters from community colleges all over the place where, frankly, I did not know that they existed, and very helpful some of those letters have been too.

    I will end again by saying that I have been at great pains to meet the specific objections which the Minister of State wrote in his letter as recently as last November to me. Those objections cannot apply to new clause 7. I therefore hope that my hon. Friend's response will be one of gratitude and acceptance. He will know that, if this is accepted and added to the Bill tonight, it does not reopen the whole Bill in another place. It only opens this particular new clause to acceptance, rejection or amendment. Since I do not doubt that there is a majority for it as it is in the other place, there will be every incentive for them to hasten it back here rather than to hold it up so that they lose what they have given plenty of evidence of what, in fact, they want—namely, a provision of this kind in the Bill.

    I am deeply grateful to the hon. Member for Lancaster (Dame E. Kellett-Bowman) for being concerned about my apparent loneliness; I am greatly touched.

    I do not propose to make a lengthy speech because the hon. Member for Tiverton (Sir R. Maxwell-Hyslop) argued his case admirably. Ever since I was a practising teacher—long before I came to this place— I have been surprised that the model offered by community schools and colleges has not been followed elsewhere. Many authorities and areas—particularly rural areas—would benefit from having community colleges.

    The community colleges offer a range of opportunities for adults to return to and continue with their education. They also provide a focal point for many other community activities. Although we are not here to discuss those activities now, it is worth mentioning that the community schools and colleges contribute more to the communities in which they are located than merely the provision of educational opportunities.

    Let us consider the schedule 2 provision that community colleges seek to make. New clause 7 certainly sets the matter out simply. There will be no problem about maintaining separate accounts. We heard from Ministers earlier about the receipt of funding for higher education institutions from a number of different sources. The arrangements do not appear to present a problem in respect of higher education institutions and there is no reason why they should present a problem here. The new clause will give community colleges the right to apply direct to the funding councils in respect of schedule 2 courses.

    Many adults progress from community colleges to follow award-bearing vocational courses and, in rural areas, the Bill as drafted sheds some doubt over those arrangements. I am not from Devon and I am not familiar with Devon's pattern of provision, but I am assured, in letters that I have received from Devon, that the community colleges there are widely supported and highly regarded by those whom they serve. Right across the community, and irrespective of political or other affiliation, there is a desire to ensure that the colleges continue to provide the excellent education facilities that they offer at present.

    The Government have rightly given flexibility to schools through the local management arrangements. Despite Ministers' rhetoric about decentralisation and the devolved administration of educational establishments, the Bill is a centralising measure, in the sense that it gives powers to funding councils that are answerable to Ministers. The new clause recognises the role that the community colleges have played and the fact that they need to be separately funded from further education colleges.

    I support the new clause so ably advocated by my hon. Friend the Member for Tiverton (Sir R. Maxwell-Hyslop). Fortunately, my amendment No. 6 has been grouped with it. That gives me an opportunity not only to explain my support for my hon. Friend's proposal but to touch upon the real concerns that we still have in Leicestershire.

    I say "still" because my hon. Friend the Minister of State was kind enough to see me on two occasions with two delegations of Leicestershire Members. On the first occasion, we said, in a nutshell, that we wanted amendment No. 6—or, rather, an amendment identical to that amendment. He said, "Come back with your experts and convince us." A week later, my hon. Friend was kind enough to see several of my hon. Friends representing Leicestershire constituencies, together with our chairmen of governors and our community college and adult basic education principals.

    I think that we won the argument, and at the time I was confident. I was utterly shocked to learn a couple of weeks after our last meeting with my hon. Friend that the Bill was to proceed in its present form. In view of the fears that are felt in Leicestershire and elsewhere in the country—colleagues from East Anglia and Essex are also a little concerned about the consequences of the Bill as drafted —the least we expected was that my hon. Friend would proceed with the higher education part of the Bill and leave the further education part for further reflection and consideration. He did not take that course, and I therefore have no option but to support the new clause.

    As I explained, amendment No. 6 is a chrysalised version of the original amendment which I submitted to my hon. Friend the Minister of State before Christmas. It is the amendment we wanted and the one we talked about when we were lucky enough to see my hon. Friend in January and February.

    Let me explain why we wanted the amendment. In Leicestershire we have a highly advanced system of adult basic education as of right. We are proud of our system of one-to-one education in the home and feel that it is something on which we should build. Her Majesty's inspectors have recently examined our adult basic education system in the county and say in their report—of which 1 have a copy—that it is the sort of system that should be built upon.

    I come now to further education, about which my hon. Friend the Member for Tiverton spoke so ably. In Market Harborough, we have a community education centre called Welland Park community college. The buildings are in full-time educational use. As soon as the kids from the local secondary school go home at tea time, the FE college takes over. Full use is made of those fine buildings, for the benefit of the community.

    After I went to see my hon. Friend the Minister with my experts from the county, I had a meeting with them and they told me that they felt that they would lose unless changes were made in the Bill. They listened carefully to what my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State said on Second Reading. In relation to provisions in clause 5 which I have mentioned, he referred to parts of clause 6. We had a further meeting in Leicestershire and the education experts considered what was said. They felt that, unless specific mention was made somewhere in the Bill and colleges of further education had direct access to the Further Education Funding Council, we would lose out.

    I endorse everything that the hon. Gentleman has said. I know the Leicestershire system very well, as I was the parliamentary candidate for Bosworth in the 1979 general election and I got to know Leicestershire very well. I lost on that occasion and I am not sure what that says about the people of Leicestershire. However, the adult education service and the community colleges in Leicestershire were supported by all the electorate and all political parties. It is interesting to note in Leicestershire the extent to which the development of the community colleges has occurred not on a partisan basis but across all three political parties, largely because of the nature of the local authority.

    I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for that helpful intervention. Leicestershire has a hung or balanced local authority. For many years, no one party has had overall control. The adult basic education structure and further education structure in the county has blossomed so much because the three parties have got together around the committee table and done what is best for the people who created that balanced authority.

    9 pm

    The purpose of amendment No. 6 is to encourage funding councils to recognise and retain existing high-quality provision such as free-standing adult basic education and English as a second language schemes in Leicestershire which have a structure that meets the needs of local users.

    My hon. Friends the Members for Rutland and Melton (Mr. Latham), for Bosworth (Mr. Tredinnick) and for Leicestershire, North-West (Mr. Ashby) came with me to meet my hon. Friend the Minister. However, there are still real fears that, as a result of the Bill, the county will lose out in respect of its present highly regarded situation.

    There has been much comment about the damage that may be caused to the county. As my hon. Friend the member for Tiverton said, we do not have a system in Leicestershire that is based specifically on FE. Some of the education takes place in community colleges and some in students' homes, in village halls, in very small groups or, quite frequently, on a one-to-one basis in the home. The purpose of our FE structure is to build up the confidence of people who found school difficult and to whom a classroom atmosphere has always been alien. That is why I will vote in favour of new clause 7.

    I want to finish by leaving with the House a message contained in a letter that I have just received from Mr. Lee, the head of community education at Welland Park community college, after he and I had the benefit to meet my hon. Friend the Minister of State. He wrote:
    "The Government would create a lot of goodwill if they allowed selective other institutions—ie Welland Park college —to have direct access to the funding councils."
    I endorse that request and nothing that my hon. Friend the Minister said has led me to change my view that we, in Leicestershire, have something that is too precious to lose. I will vote for the new clause.

    I welcome amendment No. 14 and give it my full support. I cannot understand why the Minister of State continues to say that there is no problem in community colleges, adult education colleges or adult education consortia which can go to various further education colleges and make applications. If they could go through that system, it would surely make a lot more sense to accept the amendment.

    It worries me that the hon. Member for Harborough (Sir J. Farr) and his hon. Friends have gone along to the Minister of State with local experts, local people and principals of adult education colleges and community colleges to put that point. I am sure that they put their point fairly and professionally in a non-partisan manner, but they have been completely ignored. That is what worries me about the thrust of the Bill. If there are issues in it that the Government consider worthy, why do they not listen to the reasonable arguments about securing important parts of the adult education service, whether it be the community college side or the adult education service?

    I fail to understand why the Government cannot allow those organisations to make their own bids in the same way as a sixth form college or a further education college would. Why should they be treated in that way? I do not accept the Minister of State's assurances. We have already seen the Secretary of State floundering when answering a question by the hon. Member for Twickenham (Mr. Jessel) about capital allocation and how it will work.

    I now refer to the adult education service on a countywide basis. Some very important difficulties have not yet been cleared up, or I certainly have not heard the answers. I appreciate that the Secretary of State tried to be helpful in dealing with some of the points that I raised with him, but he did not satisfactorily answer my question. For example, if there is a countywide service and more than one community college, if they have to make a bid to the existing FE college, which FE college will it be? In the case of community colleges, does it have to be the nearest FE college? The right hon. and learned Gentleman did not say that they could channel a bid through one college. I take that as a helpful clarification of what can be done.

    The Humberside adult education service is bigger than most of the FE colleges in the county. It is a matter of how the bid is channelled through the colleges. In my constituency, the adult education service has several adult education centres. One of those centres is in a building known as Ancholme house. The building is owned by the FE college, but the adult education service operates within that building and provides a range of services, including basic education, which is actually being taken away from it by the Bill. There is a further complication. To get the service back, it would have to bid possibly through the very college which has the service within its own buildings. One can see the potential for complications and difficulties in such a situation.

    There is no doubt about the value of adult education in community colleges or consortia. That point has been made time and again. It is not good enough for the Government to say that there will be no changes and that every level of service will be guaranteed. At present, they are not in a position to say that because of the way those colleges will have to bid. The amendment would safeguard community colleges at least and make the position much clearer and more coherent in respect of obtaining funding. For adult education consortia, there is still a worry about bidding and how they will obtain money.

    The Minister of State fails to understand that, with a countywide service, a consortium and some community colleges which will be part of such a consortium, the service is provided on the basis of the total number of courses. The service is staffed to meet those courses and it is resourced to meet those courses. Under the proposals, in my county of Humberside 50 per cent. of those courses would be lost and would go technically under the control of the colleges of further education. They may or may not be given back to the adult education service as part of its bid. We do not know: no one knows. The Minister does not know, and I certainly do not know. The service does not know.

    The adult education service has an infrastructure of adult education centres. I went round the one in Priory road in my constituency recently and I have visited the one in Ancholme house. I saw the nature and range of the work that the adult education service does. If the service loses half its staffing and half its funding, the county council LEA will not be able to maintain all those centres, whether in villages, towns or cities. The level of provision and potential level of service of the whole consortium will be undermined. That issue has not yet been dealt with satisfactorily by the Government.

    The principle behind the new clause is perfectly sound and rational. If the Government believe that there will not be a problem, why do they not accept the new clause? All of us in the Chamber believe that the new clause is a much more rational approach to funding adult education than the bits and pieces approach under which no one is clear what will happen. I hope that the hon. Member for Tiverton (Mr. Maxwell-Hyslop) can persuade as many of his hon. Friends as possible to vote for the new clause and send it back to another place, where it can be given sympathetic consideration to speed this part of the Bill through.

    Earlier we heard a diatribe from the Secretary of State against local authorities, and Labour authorities in particular, but he grudgingly conceded that adult education under LEA control has prospered and done well, despite all the obstacles that the Government have put in its way. Standard spending assessment calculations, which are bizarre, and the threat of poll tax capping have had an impact which has been felt by adult education services.

    In my county, despite all the problems that Humberside LEA has, I am pleased to say that the LEA spends its full SSA allocation on adult education and provides one of the highest levels of service in Britain. It is one of the largest providers of adult education. It has every right to bid as a service direct to the funding council to ensure independence, continuity and the same high standard to which the service has been delivered by Humberside county council. The principle behind the new clause is sound and I hope that the House will support it.

    Unless I have misunderstood the Bill, there is no great merit in the new clause. As I understand the Bill, the further education colleges, and perhaps sixth-form colleges, will have to bid to the regional further education funding council for their funds. Some vocational and academic courses are run in community centres or community schools. If those courses lead to a certified national award, I am sure that the FEFC will be willing to fund them.

    The Bill is about the pursuit of excellence. We want to compete with the rest of the world and develop our brain power. The only way to do that is to ensure that our higher and further education is second to none.

    Community education, on the other hand, is basically leisure and recreational, although much of it may lead towards a more vocational course. It is terribly important in terms of building people's self-esteem and giving there a social life outside their home. As I understand it, it is to be funded by the LEA.

    Both in writing and verbally, we have all heard from the Secretary of State that the LEAs will not be underfunded, and that community leisure and recreational courses will continue as normal.

    I represent two boroughs, Rochdale and Oldham. About 20,000 people enjoy community education in both boroughs. If some of those community centres or schools run vocational or academic courses, the proper place to get funding for the continuation of the courses is through the FE college, via the regional FE funding council.

    I do not think that the people of Littleborough, Saddleworth or the village of Shore would wish to be dragged into the centre of Oldham or Rochdale to the FE college, as it would mean long journeys late at night. People, and especially the elderly, do not like travelling late at night because of transport costs, difficulties with transport and fear of travelling at night, which is a real fear and one that must not be set aside.

    As I understand it, the Bill does not try to make difficulties for education but tries to improve it. I cannot believe that, if a well-supported course—which leads to, or is part of, a vocational or academic qualification—is run in a village a long way from anywhere, the bid by the FE college locally, through the FE funding council, will not be successful and allow the course to continue.

    If I have understood the Bill correctly—I think I have —there will be no need for my hon. Friend's new clause or for the fears expressed by some of my hon. Friends and by the Opposition. I shall wait until I have heard what the Minister has to say, and I shall reserve my judgment.

    I honestly believe that I have understood the Bill correctly and that we are talking about the pursuit of excellence—ensuring that the United Kingdom develops people to their full potential so that we can compete with the rest of the world in terms of brain power, which will make us successful. If we do not do that, we might as well stay at home, because we will not be competitive or win orders throughout the world. We must not forget that this nation produced the jet engine, which made the world smaller, and television, which came from radar, We have always had brain power. We had it long before we found mineral wealth.

    I am sure that the Bill is designed to encourage the development of our brain power and to prevent a brain drain abroad, so that we can develop our nation and go forward in the pursuit of excellence.

    9.15 pm

    I am not surprised at that contribution from the hon. Member for Littleborough and Saddleworth (Mr. Dickens). I listened carefully to the hon. Member for Tavistock. Is it Tavistock? [HON. MEMBERS: "Tiverton."] I am sorry. I visited that beautiful town during the summer recess last year.

    Tiverton. The hon. Member for Chelmsford (Mr. Burns) was a little cheeky upstairs. Now he is being cheeky down here.

    No, he will not.

    I support the new clause. We shall be looking to see whether the Government take it on board, and I want to tell hon. Members why. Honestly, we never won a thing in Committee. The Minister rejected every amendment out of hand. That is what will happen tonight, unless the Minister tells us at the Dispatch Box that we have won and that he accepts the new clause.

    The important thing is that I am back on the subject of Fred Riddell, who—for your information, Mr. Deputy Speaker—is the chairman of Nottinghamshire local education authority. If we are not careful, as my hon. Friend the Member for Glanford and Scunthorpe (Mr. Morley) said, we will lose a fair amount of what we already have, and the situation will get worse.

    Make no mistake about it: the Bill is full of obstacles, and that is why the hon. Member for Tiverton (Sir R. Maxwell-Hyslop) and his hon. Friends have tabled the new clause, especially in the interests of adult education.

    It is all right the hon. Member for Littleborough and Saddleworth talking about facilities for leisure in the community. That is an important thing to our constituents.

    The hon. Gentleman flippantly went across it, and he blew it out of the water.

    We want to be able to provide the proper facilities for adult, further and higher education. However, when the community colleges make an application to the funding councils, we must remember that the Minister and his cronies will have loaded the councils with their own kind. Nine times out of 10, the councils will say, "Get lost. You can't have anything." That is what is wrong with the system and that is what we are afraid of.

    The Labour party will change all that after 9 April. My hon. Friends will be sitting on the Government Benches and some of the Conservative Members will be sitting on this side. You, Mr. Deputy Speaker, will be in the Chair listening to a Labour Government. The Labour Government will make all the changes that are necessary to further, adult and higher education. There is no doubt about that. People outside the Chamber, who are clamouring for change, will get the satisfaction that they do not get under this lot. The Government are destroying further education.

    I never forget Fred Riddell telling me what happened in Nottinghamshire as a result of the Government's provision of resources. We know that the Government want to put money into the pockets of the rich at the expense of the poor. Those people who have been put out of work and cannot get jobs want to better themselves in adult and further education and, if they can, in higher education. This lot and the Bill have put a block on that.

    I will be in the Lobby to support those Conservative hon. Members who tabled the new clause, because it is a good one.

    On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. The hon. Member for Ashfield (Mr. Haynes) misrepresented my speech. I said that community education built self-esteem.

    I have enjoyed not just the debate, but the work which led up to it. It has been one of those occasions when one is rightly obliged to consult principals of community colleges and those in further education colleges and to listen to what is said.

    Three points have come over most strongly to me. The first is that many non-vocational courses that are taken almost for pleasure may lead to a vocational course. It would be criminal to make cuts and force a student to go to authority A for one course and authority B for another.

    The excellent community colleges in Devon have been referred to at some length. The principals have community tutors and teachers who make full use of the premises for youngsters by day and for older students in the evening. They are fully aware of what the local community requires. With the best will in the world, the worst thing one can do is to seek to impose national uniformity across a country where, over recent years, we have sought to allow local folk to take control of local matters in the educational sector. It would be a retrograde step, when we have attempted to improve local choice and responsibility and appointed local governors, to seek to apply the whitewash of uniformity.

    I agree with my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State that money has been well provided. I do not suggest that both sides of the House do not want the same thing, which is better education for both youngsters and older people. I have been interested in the arguments of hon. Members in all parts of the House, who all want the best. Some are schoolteachers and, years ago, I was a chairman of a local education authority at a time when our schools were turning comprehensive even though that was against my political wishes. We can be successful in education only by working together, with all-party co-operation. We must not mess about with education.

    If education needs anything today, it is a period of peace. I fully understand the need for change where change is necessary, but we must now allow the education authorities to settle down. I plead with the Minister to remember that dual decision and dual funding are the classical bases for dispute. That is bound to happen, be it in the health service or in the social services. Where there is national and local funding, the question who is to lead and who is to pay the greater proportion is bound to arise. Where one authority is producing the cash and making the decisions that makes sense.

    I agree almost entirely with the principles behind the Bill and should hate to have to vote against it in toto because i disagree with it in part. I urge the Minister to be cautious. I have spoken in North Devon to my intelligent and principled principals, their associates and local governors, all of whom have told me, "Our present sustem is good." I have been worried by the ministerial argument today which says, "Because it is only working all right, we must somehow improve it." I am happy with it as it stands, so I support my hon Friend the Member for Tiverton (Sir R. Maxwell-Hyslop).

    The hon. Member for Littleborough and Saddleworth (Mr. Dickens) said more than once, "If I understand the Bill correctly." He does not understand it. He does not understand the process of adult education correctly. He is equally lost in understanding the new clause.

    Adult education is not, as the hon. Gentleman seemed to suggest at one stage, a substitute for a course of psychiatric treatment, although I do not deny that he might have regarded it as such at one time. Nor is adult education about providing certificates in every subject. It is about people wanting to participate in the education process without necessarily obtaining a qualification.

    The hon. Member for Tiverton (Sir R. Maxwell-Hyslop) talks about community colleges providing liberal, non-vocational, adult education. In that sense, it will not at the end of the day have to deliver a certificate as a result of a course having been taken. That is not to say that the content of the course might not be far higher than many purely academic courses leading to a qualification. Had the hon. Member for Littleborough and Saddleworth attended extra-mural or local authority courses in the areas of which we are speaking, he would be aware of the wonderful provision that we make in Britain.

    Adult education is in many respects non-political. My experience of it in Wales is that it did not matter what was the politics of the local authority. It was purely and simply a matter of whether people were committed to education. Whatever their political complexion, if they had a commitment to adult education, the facilities were provided, but if that commitment was missing, the resources were not made available.

    The hon. Member for Tiverton is trying to ensure that the money and resources not for further or higher but for adult education in free-standing community and adult colleges are available. We may have funding councils and give money to local authorities, further education colleges, and so on, but experience shows that when demands are made on the purses of those bodies, adult education is shuffled off and is the last item for which provision is made. The reason for that is sound in some ways. Because no certificate is awarded at the end of a course, local authorities understandably feel that they must fund certain courses because people depend on them for a living, so there is an imperative on those who dispense the money. If we are to have a properly funded adult education service, which this country has never had, the Minister should take the new clause on board.

    9.30 pm

    Although I shall support the new clause, it could have been changed to take account of free-standing adult education colleges which operate like community colleges but entirely in their own premises. In answer to a letter, the Minister told me that those colleges would be properly funded, and there have been examples of that. Ministers keep giving that reassurance, which is fine, but how do we resolve the problem in Gwent, where a community college is attached to a school? It uses all the school's facilities but is separate from the school. How will such a college he funded?

    That may be so, but who decides? Ultimately, adult education is shuffled off the end.

    People go into adult education for different reasons. While some take psychiatric courses or courses to repair certain objects, others undertake courses as a development programme, to attain a certificate or even as access to further education. We need adult education and I plead with the Minister to look carefully at the new clause and accept it as it stands, perhaps amending it in the future if he wishes to do so.

    I understand why the Minister is against the suggestion that local authorities should run adult education. It is simply because the Government distrust all local government whether Tory or Labour. For some peculiar reason, the former Prime Minister, the right hon. Member for Finchley (Mrs. Thatcher), did not like local government and it has been bashed for the past 10 years. It is about time the Government stopped bashing local government and Ministers were mature enough to get rid of their hang-up about local government.

    I am grateful, as we should always he, to the hon. Member for Tiverton (Sir R. Maxwell-Hyslop) because he often tables amendments that enable us to express long-standing questions and grievances about the Bill that have not otherwise been identified. His ability to identify those issues is an example to us all.

    I hope that something good will come out of the Bill. The Minister must be well aware that in many community colleges throughout the country people are concerned, alarmed and distressed about what they think is happening. Although I have sent him only a few examples, he will also be well aware that many people who attend community colleges where leisure, recreational and education classes are provided together have been given to understand that, once the Bill becomes law, leisure and recreational classes will be closed down and fees for all classes will increase.

    I received four letters this morning from people who attend the dressmaking class at Ambleside Drive college asking me to get an assurance from the Minister that those classes will not close down because of his horrible Bill. Those complaints are not from people who go around with sledgehammers and throw bottles and bombs; they are from those who are among the huge number of people who very much enjoy the activities that community colleges offer. I hope that the Minister will take the opportunity provided by my hon. Friend the Member for Tiverton to get across some facts clearly.

    I have sent all my constituents a splendid letter, as the Minister says, saying that no money will he cut, no class will be required to close and no fees will need to go up. Although I am constantly sending such letters, people unfortunately have the impression that that what I have just said is not the case. The college staff are acutely worried about what is happening, with the result that posters are being put on the walls urging people to stop the Tory plot to close down the dressmaking classes at Ampleside Drive college.

    We know that the colleges are terribly popular. The attendance rate at Ampleside Drive college shows that it is undoubtedly a big success. We must try to find out what the Bill provides for and what the amendment provides for. I hope that the Minister will explain what good comes from the Bill.

    Does the Minister accept that there are some dangers posed to community colleges? We all know that, although county councils are wonderful organisations, when there is a change of Government policy, those councils—whether Conservative, Labour or Liberal Democrat—sometimes do nasty things and blame them on the Government. That could happen in this instance. Some county councils might decide to close down classes such as the dressmaking class at Ampleside Drive college and let the Government carry the blame.

    Some colleges provide education, recreational and leisure classes, with the entire college working extremely well and efficiently. If one section of the college is taken out —for example, the education part—and shoved somewhere else, there is a danger that the college will not be so economically sound. As a consequence, instead of three colleges in one town, there may be only two or two and a half, and instead of five colleges in a large town, their numbers might be reduced to three and a half. That prospect worries college staff.

    What can be done now? I hope that the Minister will correct me if I am wrong, but my understanding is that, if the splendid Ampleside Drive college wants its education classes to continue, and wants to remain a leisure, recreational and educational college, it can seek to co-operate with the local further education college. It could ask the FE college to include it when the FE college makes its requests of the council. The FE college may say yes or no. In the short term it will probably say yes, as accommodation may not otherwise be available. Instead of education coming under the control of the college principal, there would be a system of subcontracting.

    Instead of the college superior, principal or director being in charge of everything, he would be in charge of leisure and recreation, while the control and administration of education would come under the remit of one of the clever people in charge of the FE college. I think that the Minister would accept that that would create problems, tensions, distress and alarm among college staff.

    Does the Minister appreciate that, if the amendment were accepted, it would mean that education would be commissioned directly from the funding council? Instead of being a sort of odd job done under a subcontract, the college could go straight to the council to ask if it could run the education service. The college director would still be in charge of everything.

    It will make a big difference to a college if there is uncertainty—as there undoubtedly will be—first, as to whether some of the work might be taken away and, secondly, as to whether the local authority might do nasty things because of the change. In addition, college staff would feel humiliated at the education section being placed under the control of someone else. On that basis, I think that the Minister will see why there has been so much concern, distress and alarm.

    Will the Minister assure me that I can tell my splendid local college that it can still continue with the education classes if that is agreed with the council and the local FE college? Some of the staff have the impression that those classes will be whipped away. My understanding is that they will not be, but will continue.

    I promise my hon. Friend that I will sit down before 9.40 pm. I am sure that he will accept that, if there is to be change, it will cause upset, particularly among academic staff.

    I rarely praise Ministers—I like to attack them—but the Minister of State takes education seriously and is fair-minded. Does he accept that people in charge of colleges providing education, leisure and recreation may be humiliated when they suddenly find that the glowing part of their responsibilities suddenly come under the control of others? That will cause distress and allegations of unfairness, not to mention feelings of discontent. Outsiders who may be less highly regarded may take over control of important parts of these activities, and the luscious relationship based on direct funding from the funding council may come to an end. In those circumstances, will colleges be able to approach someone to have their problems discussed?

    The new clause tabled by my hon. Friend the Member for Tiverton represents an attempt to give the colleges some security in the knowledge that they are maintaining a high profile and a direct right to provide education. That is important for their status. By contrast, the new clause undermines the work of the council. If further education is provided by new local bodies, some of them subcontracted, it will be undermined.

    I ask Ministers to accept that there is a problem of education humiliation for some people, and to accept that there is a real problem. I see no reason why these colleges cannot carry on providing education. I hope that the Minister of State will show understanding of this real problem and will assure us that some of our worst fears are not well founded.

    It is a measure of the importance that attaches to adult education and of the extent of dissatisfaction with the Government's proposals that we have heard so many speeches by Conservative Members this evening. As the hon. Member for Southend, East (Sir T. Taylor) has said, there is a real problem, and his colleagues underlined its extent and the need for a solution by means of the new clause.

    It is to the credit of Conservative Members who support the new clause—it fits in well with our amendment No. 14—that they have listened to what is being said in their constituencies and have heard, like the rest of us, the representations from colleges and centres. Conservative Members have listened, while the Government resolutely refuse to listen.

    The hon. Member for Tiverton (Sir R. Maxwell-Hyslop) outlined a commendably strong case for the contribution of community colleges in the south-west. He pointed out that they offer evening use and the effective use of resources, and he mentioned the difficulties that they could be caused by the Bill.

    These problems arise from the distinction or division that the Bill would entrench between schedule 2 and non-schedule 2 work. We had some exchanges in Committee over the Minister's attributing less priority to non-schedule 2 work. He said then:
    "Schedule 2 encapsulates the course which the Government consider to be a matter of national economic and educational priority."—[Official Report, Standing Committee F, 20 February 1992; c. 223.]
    That cannot but give the signal that courses not in schedule 2 are not matters of national economic and educational priority.

    9.45 pm

    The second great fear of all concerned with adult education concerns the adequacy of the funding that would be left through the local education authority route, given the confines imposed on local authorities by poll tax capping and Government cuts. The Minister has said that the Government are undertaking a survey, but when I asked him about this on 14 February, he gave me a reply which was not much of a valentine for those in adult education. Dealing with the report analysing the distribution of present local authority expenditure between schedule 2 and non-schedule 2 work, he said:
    "The consultant's report is expected towards the end of this month and I will deposit a copy in the Library."—[Official Report, 14 February 1992; Vol. 203, c. 646.]
    That report had not appeared by the end of February, and it has not been deposited in the Library. That shows contempt for the public, for adult education and for the House. Hon. Members are being invited to pronounce on an issue without having had the benefit of seeing the evidence that the Government rely upon for their case.

    The hon. Member for Ribble Valley (Mr. Carr) spoke about the important contribution made by community colleges in rural areas. I emphasise that that contribution is also important in urban areas. The hon. Member for Harborough (Sir J. Farr) spoke from his experience of community college provision in his constituency. I understand that the hon. Gentleman may have made his last contribution to our debates. We shall all miss the characteristic sincerity with which he spoke on behalf of his constituents. He underlined the damage that the Bill would cause in Leicestershire. It will be interesting to see how his hon. Friends who represent Leicestershire constituencies vote.

    My hon. Friend the Member for Glanford and Scunthorpe (Mr. Morley) made a powerful case for fairness of treatment between institutions which, under the terms of the Bill, will remain the responsibility of local education authorities and those which are incorporated. The new clause and the amendments are all about fairness. My hon. Friend spoke about the impossible difficulties that would be encountered through countywide services having to make bids via a further education college. He said that community education centres in Humberside would be at risk. They will also be at risk in Essex, Leicestershire, Cambridgeshire, Devon, and Surrey and all the other areas from which we have had so many representations.

    Community colleges, adult colleges and community education services are being placed in an impossible position educationally, managerially and financially, because they will have to look to different sources of funding and will never know where they stand in relation to the planning of courses and the finance that is available for them.

    My hon. Friend the Member for Ashfield (Mr. Haynes) was uncharacteristically soft-spoken and gentle in his demolition of the Government's case. My hon. Friend may be called in the Budget debate, but if his speech tonight turns out to be his last, we shall miss the force of his arguments, his personality and the brightness with which his political principles burn through all his comments.

    The hon. Member for Devon, North (Mr. Speller) made a persuasive case on the vital contribution made by adult education as a bridge to widen educational opportunities. Many people on so-called non-vocational or leisure courses have an opportunity for the first time to develop self-confidence, and their involvement in a collegiate atmosphere leads them to further studies and qualifications. When people start such courses, it is impossible to predict whether they will proceed to qualifications. That is the fundamental flaw in the Bill.

    My hon. Friend the Member for Rhondda (Mr. Rogers) made a powerful case for liberal non-vocational education which is provided in colleges all over the country. It is indefensible that that is totally overlooked in the Bill. The Government have not been interested in listening to what the public and those who are involved in adult education have been saying. From the publication of the White Papers last May to these guillotined proceedings, the Government have not paid attention to the hundreds of representations that they have received.

    If the White Papers and the Bill have one achievement, it is that they have assembled a formidable coalition of opposition. It is not, as the Secretary of State suggested, a politically motivated coalition, but one that is concerned about education and its members range from women's institutes to the Association of County Councils and from some Conservative Members to the Workers Educational Association and the trade unions.

    The Government have not listened to the concerns expressed by those bodies, any more than they have listened to the adult education colleges, the community education centres and the open college networks. Throughout our deliberations on the Bill, they have treated adult education and the 3·4 million people it serves as poor relations—as an afterthought. They have hacked the service about to fit their predetermined policy on further education colleges.

    Deaf to the chorus of protest, the Government have whipped and guillotined to ensure that their measure goes through unchanged, threatening the division and destruction of adult education should the Conservatives be returned to power. The Government have not listened, and the Government have not learned; but the millions who care about adult education will know from the Government's shabby treatment of the service in the Bill that only Labour can be trusted to make a reality of educational opportunity for all our citizens.

    The Conservatives will learn the hard way. Adult education will prove to be one more reason why they will lose the election and we will win. I urge the House to support the new clause and the amendments.

    At least the hon. Member for Oxford, East (Mr. Smith) had the decency to smile when he claimed that Labour would provide the solution for adult students. He knows the record of the last Labour Government. In real terms, funding for adult education centres fell by 12 per cent. over five years. Under the present Government, it has risen by no less than 31 per cent. in real terms; moreover, there has been an increase of nearly 50 per cent. in the number of adults educated in further education colleges.

    The Bill is concerned with finding ways in which to provide more students with a better quality of adult education. That is its whole objective. That is why we have chosen to provide ring-fenced funding for schedule 2 courses for adults, and that is why we have given a categorical assurance that local education authorities will have no excuse for raising students' fees or cancelling classes as a result of the Bill.

    The hon. Member for Glanford and Scunthorpe (Mr. Morley) and my hon. Friend the Member for Twickenham (Mr. Jessel) raised the question of capital funding. Capital funding for LEA-maintained institutions, including those which do schedule 2 work, will come from LEAs, and we shall expect LEAs to bid for capital allocations as they do at present.

    The hon. Member for Glanford and Scunthorpe asked whether a countywide service could apply through one further education college. The answer is yes. The hon. Member for Oxford, East referred to the consultants' report. Ministers have not yet received that report, but as I have said, when they do it will be placed in the Library. In the meantime, the Labour party might urge Labour-controlled LEAs which have not yet returned their questionnaires about the provision of adult education to the Department to do so.

    My hon. Friends the Members for Tiverton (Mr. Maxwell-Hyslop) and for Devon, North (Mr. Speller) spoke eloquently about community colleges in Devon. I have not had the pleasure of discussing the Devon case with them, but I have discussed the position in Leicestershire in considerable detail with my hon. Friend the Member for Harborough (Sir J. Farr). I recognise the very considerable service provided by community colleges to adult education. I am wholly committed to open and flexible learning, and I accept that community colleges provide a type of open and flexible learning which is especially suitable to rural communities.

    The Bill contains sound mechanisms to secure the funding of schedule 2 education which is provided in adult colleges and centres and in community colleges. There are three methods. The first is incorporation through clause 16, but I know that my hon. Friends believeunderstandably—that that is not appropriate for most community colleges.

    Another method which has been drawn to the Committee's attention is that of designation under clause 28. There has been some misunderstanding about designation because it is not appropriate for a college or institution which is not an independent legal entity. Therefore, as my hon. Friends have made clear, most community providers will decide to use clause 6(5).

    Under clause 6(5), further education colleges must forward the community college application to the councils where the provision in question would not otherwise be adequate in the area—that is, the application from the community college. It is the specific purpose of clause 6(5) that community providers should have the opportunity to have their schedule 2 work considered for funding by the funding councils. I assure my hon. Friend the Member for Southend, East (Sir T. Taylor) that there will be a number of safeguards to ensure that that happens.

    For the procedure to work effectively, there will need to be a clear framework and the Government will assist by giving guidance on the procedure for schedule 2 applications. Indeed, a circular letter has recently issued from the Further Education Funding Council unit which provides initial guidance to institutions on clause 5. That guidance will be supplemented at a later date by further guidance on procedures. I recommend my hon. Friends who have not yet seen the guidance which was issued on 28 February to study it. It states:
    "If it"—
    the further education college—
    "decides not to support such an application, it will be expected to give its reasons for not doing so. The LEA institution"—
    in other words, the community college—
    "will have the right to appeal against the decision to the Council."
    However, protection for community colleges goes further than an appeal to the council. Of course, I expect that this procedure of application to a further education college and then, if necessary, an appeal to the council will sort out almost all—if not all—the problems which might arise, but if the community provider is still not satisfied it is open to the community institution to appeal to my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State on the ground that the FE college or the council has acted unreasonably or has failed in its statutory duty. The Secretary of State will seek to deal expeditiously with such complaints. If it is not possible to resolve the matter before the funding council announces its annual allocation—this was the point raised by my hon. Friend the Member for Tiverton—it will be possible to hold back the small sums involved for later distribution.

    My hon. Friend the Member for Tiverton mentioned structure in terms of the methodology of bidding. Community colleges will be able to bid to the funding council for a package of provision according to the timetable that has been set down. It will not be a matter merely of waiting to see whether the students turn up, as my hon. Friend implied. Bidding will be well in advance, on a timetable, so that colleges and community providers will know exactly what courses they can lay on.

    We believe that it is right that applications from community colleges and other community providers should go through the appropriate FE college. We believe that the FE colleges will act responsibly in response to local demands for courses. In most cases, if not the vast majority of cases, they will accept the bids put forward by the community colleges. We are totally committed to better quality adult education and to more being available in all areas. I urge the House to reject the new clause.

    It being Ten o'clock, MR. SPEAKER, pursuant to Order [11 February], put the Question already proposed from the Chair.

    The House divided: Ayes 218, Noes 300.

    Division No. 105]

    [10 pm


    Adams, Mrs Irene (Paisley, N.)Golding, Mrs Llin
    Alton, DavidGordon, Mildred
    Archer, Rt Hon PeterGould, Bryan
    Armstrong, HilaryGraham, Thomas
    Ashley, Rt Hon JackGrant, Bernie (Tottenham)
    Ashton, JoeGriffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)
    Banks, Tony (Newham NW)Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
    Barnes, Harry (Derbyshire NE)Grocott, Bruce
    Barnes, Mrs Rosie (Greenwich)Hain, Peter
    Barron, KevinHardy, Peter
    Beckett, MargaretHaynes, Frank
    Beggs, RoyHeal, Mrs Sylvia
    Beith, A. J.Healey, Rt Hon Denis
    Bell, StuartHenderson, Doug
    Bellotti, DavidHinchliffe, David
    Benn, Rt Hon TonyHoey, Kate (Vauxhall)
    Bennett, A. F. (D'nt'n & R'dish)Hogg, N. (C'nauld & Kilsyth)
    Benton, JosephHome Robertson, John
    Bermingham, GeraldHood, Jimmy
    Blunkett, DavidHowarth, George (Knowsley N)
    Boateng, PaulHowell, Rt Hon D. (S'heath)
    Boyes, RolandHowells, Geraint
    Brown, Nicholas (Newcastle E)Howells, Dr. Kim (Pontypridd)
    Brown, Ron (Edinburgh Leith)Hoyle, Doug
    Caborn, RichardHughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)
    Callaghan, JimHughes, Roy (Newport E)
    Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE)Hughes, Simon (Southwark)
    Campbell, Ron (Blyth Valley)Illsley, Eric
    Campbell-Savours, D. N.Ingram, Adam
    Canavan, DennisJanner, Greville
    Carlile, Alex (Mont'g)Jones, Barry (Alyn & Deeside)
    Carr, MichaelJones, Martyn (Clwyd S W)
    Cartwright, JohnKaufman, Rt Hon Gerald
    Clark, Dr David (S Shields)Kilfoyle, Peter
    Clarke, Tom (Monklands W)Kumar, Dr. Ashok
    Clelland, DavidLambie, David
    Clwyd, Mrs AnnLeadbitter, Ted
    Cohen, HarryLeighton, Ron
    Corbett, RobinLestor, Joan (Eccles)
    Corbyn, JeremyLewis, Terry
    Cousins, JimLitherland, Robert
    Crowther, StanLivingstone, Ken
    Cryer, BobLloyd, Tony (Stretford)
    Cummings, JohnLofthouse, Geoffrey
    Cunliffe, LawrenceLoyden, Eddie
    Dalyell, TarnMcAllion, John
    Darling, AlistairMcAvoy, Thomas
    Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli)McCartney, Ian
    Davies, Ron (Caerphilly)Macdonald, Calum A.
    Dewar, DonaldMcFall, John
    Dixon, DonMcGrady, Eddie
    Oobson, FrankMcKay, Allen (Barnsley West)
    Doran, FrankMcKelvey, William
    Duffy, Sir A. E. P.McLeish, Henry
    Dunnachie, JimmyMcMaster, Gordon
    Dunwoody, Hon Mrs GwynethMcNamara, Kevin
    Eadie, AlexanderMcWilliam, John
    Eastham, KenMadden, Max
    Enright, DerekMarion, Mrs Alice
    Evans, John (St Helens N)Marek, Dr John
    Ewing, Harry (Falklrk E)Marshall, David (Shettleston)
    Farr, Sir JohnMarshall, Jim (Leicester S)
    Fatchett, DerekMartin, Michael J. (Springburn)
    Faulds, AndrewMartlew, Eric
    Fearn, RonaldMeacher, Michael
    Field, Frank (Birkenhead)Meale, Alan
    Fisher, MarkMichael, Alun
    Flannery, MartinMichie, Bill (Sheffield Heeley)
    Flynn, PaulMichie, Mrs Ray (Arg'l & Bute)
    Foot, Rt Hon MichaelMitchell, Austin (G't Grtmsby)
    Foster, DerekMolyneaux, Rt Hon James
    Foulkes, GeorgeMoonie, Dr Lewis
    Fraser, JohnMorgan, Rhodri
    Fyfe, MariaMorley, Elliot
    Garrett, John (Norwich South)Morris, Rt Hon A. (W'shawe)
    Garrett, Ted (Wallsend)Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon)
    Godman, Dr Norman A.Mowlam, Mariorie

    Mullin, ChrisSmith, Andrew (Oxford E)
    Murphy, PaulSmith, C. (lsl 'ton & F'bury)
    Nellist, DaveSmith, Rt Hon J. (Monk'ds E)
    Oakes, Rt Hon GordonSmyth, Rev Martin (Belfast S)
    O'Brien, WilliamSnape, Peter
    O'Hara, EdwardSoley, Clive
    O'Neill, MartinSpearing, Nigel
    Orme, Rt Hon StanleySteinberg, Gerry
    Paisley, Rev IanStephen, Nicol
    Parry, RobertStott, Roger
    Patchett, TerryStraw, Jack
    Pendry, TomTaylor, Mrs Ann (Dewsbury)
    Powell, Ray (Ogmore)Taylor, Matthew (Truro)
    Prescott, JohnThomas, Dr Dafydd Elis
    Primarolo, DawnThompson, Jack (Wansbeck)
    Quin, Ms JoyceTrimble, David
    Radice, GilesTurner, Dennis
    Randall, StuartWallace, James
    Redmond, MartinWalley, Joan
    Rees, Rt Hon MerlynWareing, Robert N.
    Reid, Dr JohnWelsh, Michael (Doncaster N)
    Robinson, GeoffreyWigley, Dafydd
    Robinson, Peter (Belfast E)Williams, Rt Hon Alan
    Rogers, AllanWilliams, Alan W. (Carm'then)
    Rooker, JeffWilson, Brian
    Rooney, TerenceWinnick, David
    Rowlands, TedWise, Mrs Audrey
    Ruddock, JoanWorthington, Tony
    Sedgemore, BrianWray, Jimmy
    Sheerman, BarryYoung, David (Bolton SE)
    Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert
    Shore, Rt Hon Peter

    Tellers for the Ayes:

    Short, Clare

    Sir Robin Maxwell-Hyslop and

    Skinner, Dennis

    Mr. Tony Speller.


    Adley, RobertBurns, Simon
    Aitken, JonathanButler, Chris
    Alexander, RichardButterfill, John
    Alison, Rt Hon MichaelCarlisle, John, (Luton N)
    Allason, RupertCarlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)
    Amery, Rt Hon JulianCarrington, Matthew
    Amess, DavidCarttiss, Michael
    Amos, AlanCash, William
    Arbuthnot, JamesChalker, Rt Hon Mrs Lynda
    Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham)Chapman, Sydney
    Arnold, Sir ThomasChope, Christopher
    Ashby, DavidChurchill, Mr
    Aspinwall, JackClark, Dr Michael (Rochford)
    Atkins, RobertClark, Rt Hon Sir William
    Atkinson, DavidClarke, Rt Hon K. (Rushcliffe)
    Baker, Nicholas (Dorset N)Colvin, Michael
    Baldry, TonyConway, Derek
    Batiste, SpencerCoombs, Anthony (Wyre F'rest)
    Beaumont-Dark, AnthonyCoombs, Simon (Swindon)
    Bellingham, HenryCope, Rt Hon Sir John
    Bendall, VivianCormack, Patrick
    Bennett, Nicholas (Pembroke)Couchman, James
    Benyon, W.Cran, James
    Bevan, David GilroyDavies, Q. (Stamf'd & Spald'g)
    Biffen, Rt Hon JohnDavis, David (Boothferry)
    Blackburn, Dr John G.Day, Stephen
    Blaker, Rt Hon Sir PeterDickens, Geoffrey
    Body, Sir RichardDicks, Terry
    Bonsor, Sir NicholasDorrell, Stephen
    Boscawen, Hon RobertDouglas-Hamilton, Lord James
    Boswell, TimDover, Den
    Bottomley, PeterDunn, Bob
    Bottomley, Mrs VirginiaDurant, Sir Anthony
    Bowden, A. (Brighton K'pto'n)Dykes, Hugh
    Bowden, Gerald (Dulwich)Eggar, Tim
    Bowis, JohnEmery, Sir Peter
    Boyson, Rt Hon Dr Sir RhodesEvans, David (Welwyn Hatf'd)
    Braine, Rt Hon Sir BernardEvennett, David
    Brandon-Bravo, MartinFallon, Michael
    Brazier, JulianFavell, Tony
    Brown, Michael (Brigg & Cl't's)Fenner, Dame Peggy
    Browne, John (Winchester)Field, Barry (Isle of Wight)
    Bruce, Malcolm (Gordon)Fishburn, John Dudley
    Buck, Sir AntonyFookes, Dame Janet

    Forman, NigelLilley, Rt Hon Peter
    Forsyth, Michael (Stirling)Lloyd, Sir Ian (Havant)
    Forth, EricLloyd, Peter (Fareham)
    Fowler, Rt Hon Sir NormanLord, Michael
    Fox, Sir MarcusLuce, Rt Hon Sir Richard
    Franks, CecilLyell, Rt Hon Sir Nicholas
    French, DouglasMacfarlane, Sir Neil
    Fry, PeterMacGregor, Rt Hon John
    Gale, RogerMacKay, Andrew (E Berkshire)
    Gardiner, Sir GeorgeMcLoughlin, Patrick
    Garel-Jones, Rt Hon TristanMcNair-Wilson, Sir Michael
    Gill, ChristopherMcNair-Wilson, Sir Patrick
    Glyn, Or Sir AlanMadel, David
    Goodhart, Sir PhilipMalins, Humfrey
    Goodlad, Rt Hon AlastairMans, Keith
    Goodson-Wickes, Dr CharlesMaples, John
    Gorman, Mrs TeresaMarland, Paul
    Gorst, JohnMarlow, Tony
    Grant, Sir Anthony (CambsSW)Marshall, John (Hendon S)
    Greenway, Harry (Eating N)Marshall, Sir Michael (Arundel)
    Greenway, John (Ryedale)Martin, David (Portsmouth S)
    Gregory, ConalMates, Michael
    Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth N)Maude, Hon Francis
    Grist, IanMawhinney, Dr Brian
    Ground, PatrickMayhew, Rt Hon Sir Patrick
    Hague, WilliamMellor, Rt Hon David
    Hamilton, Rt Hon ArchieMiller, Sir Hal
    Hamilton, Neil (Tatton)Mills, Iain
    Hanley, JeremyMitchell, Andrew (Gedling)
    Hannam, Sir JohnMitchell, Sir David
    Hargreaves, A. (B'ham H'll Gr")Moate, Roger
    Hargreaves, Ken (Hyndburn)Monro, Sir Hector
    Harris, DavidMontgomery, Sir Fergus
    Haselhurst, AlanMoore, Rt Hon John
    Hawkins, ChristopherMorris, M (N'hampton S)
    Hayes, JerryMorrison, Sir Charles
    Hayhoe, Rt Hon Sir BarneyMorrison, Rt Hon Sir Peter
    Hayward, RobertMoss, Malcolm
    Heathcoat-Amory, DavidMudd, David
    Hicks, Mrs Maureen (Wolv' NE)Neale, Sir Gerrard
    Hicks, Robert (Cornwall SE)Nelson, Anthony
    Higgins, Rt Hon Terence L.Newton, Rt Hon Tony
    Hill, JamesNicholls, Patrick
    Hind, KennethNicholson, David (Taunton)
    Hogg, Hon Douglas (Gr'th'm)Nicholson, Emma (Devon West)
    Hordern, Sir PeterNorris, Steve
    Howard, Rt Hon MichaelOnslow, Rt Hon Cranley
    Howarth, Alan (Strat'd-on-A)Oppenheim, Phillip
    Howarth, G. (Cannock & B'wd)Page, Richard
    Howe, Rt Hon Sir GeoffreyPaice, James
    Howell, Rt Hon David (G'dford)Patnick, Irvine
    Howell, Ralph (North Norfolk)Patten, Rt Hon John
    Hughes, Robert G. (Harrow W)Pattie, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey
    Hunt, Sir John (Ravensbourne)Pawsey, James
    Hunter, AndrewPeacock, Mrs Elizabeth
    Irvine, MichaelPorter, David (Waveney)
    Irving, Sir CharlesPortillo, Michael
    Jack, MichaelPowell, William (Corby)
    Jackson, RobertPrice, Sir David
    Janman, TimRaison, Rt Hon Sir Timothy
    Jessel, TobyRathbone, Tim
    Johnson Smith, Sir GeoffreyRedwood, John
    Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N)Rhodes James, Sir Robert
    Jones, Robert B (Herts W)Riddick, Graham
    Kellett-Bowman, Dame ElaineRidsdale, Sir Julian
    Key, RobertRifkind, Rt Hon Malcolm
    Kilfedder, JamesRoberts, Rt Hon Sir Wyn
    King, Roger (B'ham N'thfield)Roe, Mrs Marion
    King, Rt Hon Tom (Bridgwater)Rossi, Sir Hugh
    Kirkhope, TimothyRost, Peter
    Knapman, RogerRowe, Andrew
    Knight, Greg (Derby North)Ryder, Rt Hon Richard
    Knowles, MichaelSayeed, Jonathan
    Knox, DavidScott, Rt Hon Nicholas
    Lamont, Rt Hon NormanShaw, David (Dover)
    Lang, Rt Hon IanShaw, Sir Michael (Scarb')
    Lawrence, IvanShelton, Sir William
    Lee, John (Pendle)Shephard, Mrs G. (Norfolk SW)
    Leigh, Edward (Gainsbor'gh)Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)
    Lester, Jim (Broxtowe)Shersby, Michael

    Sims, RogerTrippier, David
    Skeet, Sir TrevorTwinn, Dr Ian
    Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)Vaughan, Sir Gerard
    Soames, Hon NicholasViggers, Peter
    Spicer, Sir Jim (Dorset W)Waldegrave, Rt Hon William
    Spicer, Michael (S Worcs)Waller. Gary
    Squire, RobinWalters, Sir Dennis
    Stanbrook, IvorWard, John
    Stanley, Rt Hon Sir JohnWardle, Charles (Bexhill)
    Steen, AnthonyWatts, John
    Stern, MichaelWells, Bowen
    Stevens, LewisWheeler, Sir John
    Stewart, Allan (Eastwood)Whitney, Ray
    Stewart, Andy (Sherwood)Widdecombe, Ann
    Stewart, Rt Hon Sir IanWilkinson, John
    Summerson, HugoWilshire, David
    Tapsell, Sir PeterWinterton, Mrs Ann
    Taylor, Ian (Esher)Winterton, Nicholas
    Taylor, Sir TeddyWolfson, Mark
    Temple-Morris, PeterWood, Timothy
    Thompson, Sir D. (Calder Vly)Woodcock, Dr. Mike
    Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N)Yeo, Tim
    Thorne, NeilYoung, Sir George (Acton)
    Thornton, MalcolmYounger, Rt Hon George
    Thurnham, Peter
    Townsend, Cyril D. (B'heath)

    Tellers for the Noes:

    Tracey, Richard

    Mr. David Lightbown and

    Tredinnick, David

    Mr. John M. Taylor.

    Question accordingly negatived.

    Mr. Speaker then put forthwith the remaining Question which he was directed to put from the Chair.

    Queen's recommendation having been signified—

    Question put, That the Bill be now read the Third time:—

    The House divided: Ayes 305, Noes 210.

    Division No. 106]

    [10.14 pm


    Adley, RobertBrazier, Julian
    Aitken, JonathanBrown, Michael (Brigg & Cl't's)
    Alexander, RichardBrowne, John (Winchester)
    Alison, Rt Hon MichaelBruce, Ian (Dorset South)
    Allason, RupertBuck, Sir Antony
    Amery, Rt Hon JulianBurns, Simon
    Amess, DavidButler, Chris
    Amos, AlanButterfill, John
    Arbuthnot, JamesCarlisle, John, (Luton N)
    Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham)Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)
    Arnold, Sir ThomasCarrington, Matthew
    Ashby, DavidCarttiss, Michael
    Aspinwall, JackCartwright, John
    Atkins, RobertCash, William
    Atkinson, DavidChalker, Rt Hon Mrs Lynda
    Baker, Nicholas (Dorset N)Chapman, Sydney
    Baldry, TonyChope, Christopher
    Barnes, Mrs Rosie (Greenwich)Churchill, Mr
    Batiste, SpencerClark, Dr Michael (Rochford)
    Beaumont-Dark, AnthonyClark, Rt Hon Sir William
    Bellingham, HenryClarke, Rt Hon K. (Rushcliffe)
    Bendall, VivianColvin, Michael
    Bennett, Nicholas (Pembroke)Conway, Derek
    Benyon, W.Coombs, Anthony (Wyre F'rest)
    Bevan, David GilroyCoombs, Simon (Swindon)
    Biffen, Rt Hon JohnCope, Rt Hon Sir John
    Blackburn, Dr John G.Cormack, Patrick
    Blaker, Rt Hon Sir PeterCouchman, James
    Body, Sir RichardCran, James
    Bonsor, Sir NicholasDavies, Q. (Stamf'd & Spald'g)
    Boscawen, Hon RobertDavis, David (Boothferry)
    Bos well, TimDay, Stephen
    Bottomley, PeterDickens, Geoffrey
    Bottomley, Mrs VirginiaDicks, Terry
    Bowden, A. (Brighton K'pto'n)Dorrell, Stephen
    Bowden, Gerald (Dulwich)Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James
    Bowis, JohnDover, Den
    Boy son, Rt Hon Dr Sir RhodesDunn, Bob
    Braine, Rt Hon Sir BernardDurant, Sir Anthony
    Brandon-Bravo, MartinDykes, Hugh

    Eggar, TimKnapman, Roger
    Emery, Sir PeterKnight, Greg (Derby North)
    Evans, David (Welwyn Hatf'd)Knowles, Michael
    Evennett, DavidKnox, David
    Fallon, MichaelLamont, Rt Hon Norman
    Favell, TonyLang, Rt Hon Ian
    Fenner, Dame PeggyLatham, Michael
    Field, Barry (Isle of Wight)Lawrence, Ivan
    Fishburn, John DudleyLee, John (Pendle)
    Fookes, Dame JanetLeigh, Edward (Gainsbor'gh)
    Forman, NigelLester, Jim (Broxtowe)
    Forsyth, Michael (Stirling)Lilley, Rt Hon Peter
    Forth, EricLloyd, Sir Ian (Havant)
    Fowler, Rt Hon Sir NormanLloyd, Peter (Fareham)
    Fox, Sir MarcusLord, Michael
    Franks, CecilLuce, Rt Hon Sir Richard
    French, DouglasLyell, Rt Hon Sir Nicholas
    Fry, PeterMacfarlane, Sir Neil
    Gale, RogerMacGregor, Rt Hon John
    Gardiner, Sir GeorgeMacKay, Andrew (E Berkshire)
    Garel-Jones, Rt Hon TristanMcLoughlin, Patrick
    Gill, ChristopherMcNair-Wilson, Sir Michael
    Glyn, Dr Sir AlanMcNair-Wilson, Sir Patrick
    Goodhart, Sir PhilipMadel, David
    Goodlad, Rt Hon AlastairMalins, Humfrey
    Goodson-Wickes, Dr CharlesMans, Keith
    Gorman, Mrs TeresaMaples, John
    Gorst, JohnMarland, Paul
    Grant, Sir Anthony (CambsSW)Marlow, Tony
    Greenway, Harry (Eating N)Marshall, John (Hendon S)
    Greenway, John (Ryedale)Marshall, Sir Michael (Arundel)
    Gregory, ConalMartin, David (Portsmouth S)
    Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth N)Mates, Michael
    Grist, IanMaude, Hon Francis
    Ground, PatrickMawhinney, Dr Brian
    Hague, WilliamMayhew, Rt Hon Sir Patrick
    Hamilton, Rt Hon ArchieMellor, Rt Hon David
    Hamilton, Neil (Tatton)Miller, Sir Hal
    Hanley, JeremyMills, Iain
    Hannam, Sir JohnMitchell, Andrew (Gedling)
    Hargreaves, A. (B'ham H'll Gr')Mitchell, Sir David
    Hargreaves, Ken (Hyndburn)Moate, Roger
    Harris, DavidMonro, Sir Hector
    Haselhurst, AlanMontgomery, Sir Fergus
    Hawkins, ChristopherMoore, Rt Hon John
    Hayes, JerryMorris, M (N'hampton S)
    Hayhoe, Rt Hon Sir BarneyMorrison, Sir Charles
    Hayward, RobertMorrison, Rt Hon Sir Peter
    Heathcoat-Amory, DavidMoss, Malcolm
    Hicks, Mrs Maureen (Wolv' NE)Mudd, David
    Hicks, Robert (Cornwall SE)Neale, Sir Gerrard
    Higgins, Rt Hon Terence L.Nelson, Anthony
    Hill, JamesNewton, Rt Hon Tony
    Hind, KennethNicholls, Patrick
    Hogg, Hon Douglas (Gr'th'm)Nicholson, David (Taunton)
    Hordern, Sir PeterNicholson, Emma (Devon West)
    Howard, Rt Hon MichaelNorris, Steve
    Howarth, Alan (Strat'd-on-A)Onslow, Rt Hon Cranley
    Howarth, G. (Cannock & B'wd)Oppenheim, Phillip
    Howe, Rt Hon Sir GeoffreyPage, Richard
    Howell, Rt Hon David (G'dford)Paice, James
    Howell, Ralph (North Norfolk)Patnick, Irvine
    Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)Patten, Rt Hon John
    Hunt, Sir John (Ravensbourne)Pattie, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey
    Hunter, AndrewPawsey, James
    Irvine, MichaelPeacock, Mrs Elizabeth
    Irving, Sir CharlesPorter, David (Waveney)
    Jack, MichaelPortillo, Michael
    Jackson, RobertPowell, William (Corby)
    Janman, TimPrice, Sir David
    Jessel, TobyRaison, Rt Hon Sir Timothy
    Johnson Smith, Sir GeoffreyRathbone, Tim
    Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N)Redwood, John
    Jones, Robert B (Herts W)Rhodes James, Sir Robert
    Kellett-Bowman, Dame ElaineRiddick, Graham
    Key, RobertRidsdale, Sir Julian
    Kilfedder, JamesRifkind, Rt Hon Malcolm
    King, Roger (B'ham N'thfield)Roberts, Rt Hon Sir Wyn
    King, Rt Hon Tom (Bridgwater)Roe, Mrs Marion
    Kirkhope, TimothyRossi, Sir Hugh

    Rost, PeterThornton, Malcolm
    Rowe, AndrewThurnham, Peter
    Ryder, Rt Hon RichardTownsend, Cyril D. (B'heath)
    Sayeed, JonathanTracey, Richard
    Scott, Rt Hon NicholasTredinnick, David
    Shaw, David (Dover)Trippier, David
    Shaw, Sir Michael (Scarb')Twinn, Dr Ian
    Shelton, Sir WilliamVaughan, Sir Gerard
    Shephard, Mrs G. (Norfolk SW)Viggers, Peter
    Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)Waldegrave, Rt Hon William
    Shersby, MichaelWaller, Gary
    Sims, RogerWalters, Sir Dennis
    Skeet, Sir TrevorWard, John
    Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)Wardle, Charles (Bexhill)
    Soames, Hon NicholasWatts, John
    Spicer, Sir Jim (Dorset W)Wells, Bowen
    Spicer, Michael (S Worcs)Wheeler, Sir John
    Squire, RobinWhitney, Ray
    Stanbrook, IvorWiddecombe, Ann
    Stanley, Rt Hon Sir JohnWigley, Dafydd
    Steen, AnthonyWilkinson, John
    Stern, MichaelWilshire, David
    Stevens, LewisWinterton, Mrs Ann
    Stewart, Allan (Eastwood)Winterton, Nicholas
    Stewart, Andy (Sherwood)Wolfson, Mark
    Stewart, Rt Hon Sir IanWood, Timothy
    Summerson, HugoWoodcock, Dr. Mike
    Tapsell, Sir PeterYeo, Tim
    Taylor, Ian (Esher)Young, Sir George (Acton)
    Taylor, Sir TeddyYounger, Rt Hon George
    Temple-Morris, Peter
    Thomas, Dr Dafydd Elis

    Tellers for the Ayes:

    Thompson, Sir D. (Calder Vly)

    Mr. David Lightbown and

    Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N)

    Mr. John M. Taylor.

    Thorne, Neil


    Adams, Mrs Irene (Paisley, N.)Dalyell, Tarn
    Alton, DavidDarling, Alistair
    Archer, Rt Hon PeterDavies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli)
    Armstrong, HilaryDavies, Ron (Caerphilly)
    Ashley, Rt Hon JackDewar, Donald
    Ashton, JoeDixon, Don
    Banks, Tony (Newham NW)Dobson, Frank
    Barnes, Harry (Derbyshire NE)Doran, Frank
    Barron, KevinDuffy, Sir A. E. P.
    Beckett, MargaretDunnachie, Jimmy
    Beggs, RoyDunwoody, Hon Mrs Gwyneth
    Beith, A. J.Eadie, Alexander
    Bell, StuartEastham, Ken
    Beliotti, DavidEnright, Derek
    Benn, Rt Hon TonyEvans, John (St Helens N)
    Bennett, A. F. (D'nt'n & R'dish)Ewing, Harry (Falkirk E)
    Benton, JosephFatchett, Derek
    Bermingham, GeraldFaulds, Andrew
    Blunkett, DavidFearn, Ronald
    Boateng, PaulField, Frank (Birkenhead)
    Boyes, RolandFisher, Mark
    Brown, Nicholas (Newcastle E)Flannery, Martin
    Brown, Ron (Edinburgh Leith)Flynn, Paul
    Caborn, RichardFoot, Rt Hon Michael
    Callaghan, JimFoster, Derek
    Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE)Foulkes, George
    Campbell, Ron (Blyth Valley)Fraser, John
    Campbell-Savours, D. N.Fyfe, Maria
    Canavan, DennisGarrett, John (Norwich South)
    Carlile, Alex (Mont'g)Godman, Dr Norman A.
    Carr, MichaelGolding, Mrs Llin
    Clark, Dr David (S Shields)Gordon, Mildred
    Clarke, Tom (Monklands W)Gould, Bryan
    Clelland, DavidGraham, Thomas
    Clwyd, Mrs AnnGrant, Bernie (Tottenham)
    Cohen, HarryGriffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)
    Corbett, RobinGriffiths, Win (Bridgend)
    Corbyn, JeremyGrocott, Bruce
    Cousins, JimHain, Peter
    Crowther, StanHardy, Peter
    Cryer, BobHeal, Mrs Sylvia
    Cummings, JohnHealey, Rt Hon Denis
    Cunliffe, LawrenceHenderson, Doug

    Hinchliffe, DavidNellist, Dave
    Hoey, Kate (Vauxhall)Oakes, Rt Hon Gordon
    Hogg, N. (C'nauld & Kllsyth)O'Brien, William
    Home Robertson, JohnO'Hara, Edward
    Hood, JimmyO'Neill, Martin
    Howarth, George (Knowsley N)Orme, Rt Hon Stanley
    Howell, Rt Hon D. (S'heath)Paisley, Rev Ian
    Howells, GeraintParry, Robert
    Howells, Dr. Kim (Pontypridd)Patchett, Terry
    Hoyle, DougPendry, Tom
    Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)Powell, Ray (Ogmore)
    Hughes, Roy (Newport E)Prescott, John
    Hughes, Simon (Southwark)Primarolo, Dawn
    Ingram, AdamQuin, Ms Joyce
    Janner, GrevilleRadice, Giles
    Jones, Barry (Alyn & Deeside)Randall, Stuart
    Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S W)Redmond, Martin
    Kaufman, Rt Hon GeraldRees, Rt Hon Merlyn
    Kilfoyle, PeterReid, Dr John
    Kumar, Dr. AshokRobinson, Geoffrey
    Lambie, DavidRobinson, Peter (Belfast E)
    Leadbitter, TedRogers, Allan
    Leighton, RonRooker, Jeff
    Lestor, Joan (Eccles)Rooney, Terence
    Lewis, TerryRowlands, Ted
    Litherland, RobertRuddock, Joan
    Livingstone, KenSedgemore, Brian
    Lloyd, Tony (Stretford)Sheerman, Barry
    Lofthouse, GeoffreySheldon, Rt Hon Robert
    Loyden, EddieShore, Rt Hon Peter
    McAllion, JohnShort, Clare
    McAvoy, ThomasSkinner, Dennis
    McCartney, IanSmith, Andrew (Oxford E)
    Macdonald, Calum A.Smith, C. (Isl'ton & F'bury)
    McFall, JohnSmith, Rt Hon J. (Monk'ds E)
    McGrady, EddieSmyth, Rev Martin (Belfast S)
    McKay, Allen (Barnsley West)Snape, Peter
    McKelvey, WilliamSoley, Clive
    McLeish, HenrySpearing, Nigel
    McMaster, GordonSteinberg, Gerry
    McNamara, KevinStephen, Nico!
    McWilliam, JohnStott, Roger
    Madden, MaxStraw, Jack
    Mahon, Mrs AliceTaylor, Mrs Ann (Dewsbury)
    Marek, Dr JohnTaylor, Matthew (Truro)
    Marshall, David (Shettleston)Thompson, Jack (Wansbeck)
    Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)Trimble, David
    Martin, Michael J. (Springburn)Turner, Dennis
    Martlew, EricWallace, James
    Meacher, MichaelWalley, Joan
    Meale, AlanWareing, Robert N.
    Michael, AlunWelsh, Michael (Doncaster N)
    Michie, Bill (Sheffield Heeley)Williams, Rt Hon Alan
    Michie, Mrs Ray (Arg'l & Bute)Williams, Alan W. (Carm'then)
    Mitchell, Austin (G't Grimsby)Wilson, Brian
    Molyneaux, Rt Hon JamesWinnick, David
    Moonie, Dr LewisWise, Mrs Audrey
    Morgan, RhodriWorthington, Tony
    Morley, ElliotWray, Jimmy
    Morris, Rt Hon A. (W'shawe)Young, David (Bolton SE)
    Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon)
    Mowlam, Marjorie

    Tellers for the Noes:

    Mullin, Chris

    Mr. Eric Illsley and

    Murphy, Paul

    Mr. Frank Haynes.

    Question accordingly agreed to.

    Bill read the Third time, and passed.

    Business Of The House


    That, at this day's sitting, the Taxation of Cgargeable Gains Bill[Lords] may be proceeded with, though opposed, until any hour.—[Mr. Patnick.]