§ Amendments made: In page 201, line 46, at end insert: "section 33 (3)".— [Sir K. Joseph.]
§ In page 202, line 45, column 3, leave out "6" and insert "10 to 16".
§ In page 202, leave out lines 47 to 49.
§ In page 204, line 53, at end insert:
|9 Edw. 7. c.lxvii||The City of London (Street Traffic) Act 1909.||Section 2 (2).|
§ In page 209, line 56, at end insert:
|2 & 3 Geo. 6 c. c.||The London County Council (General Powers) Act 1939.||Section 76.|
In page 213, line 56, at end insert:
In section 74 (1), in the definition of 'Public Health Acts', the words from 'or' onwards".—[Sir K. Joseph.]
In page 214, line 10, column 3, leave out "5" and insert:
4, paragraph 5 (a) from 'or' onwards".—[Mr. Hay.]
§ In page 219, line 3, column 3, after "sections", insert: "22, 23".
§ In page 219, line 54, at end insert:
|8 & 9 Eliz. 2. c. 62.||The Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960.||Sections 24 (9) and 31.|
§ —[Sir K. Joseph.]
§ In page 222, line 29, at end insert:
|10 & 11 Eliz. 2. c. 46.||The Transport Act 1962.||In section 46 (8), the words "outside the county of London but".|
§ —[Mr. Hay.]
§ Order for Third Reading read.—[Queen's Consent, on behalf of the Crown, signified]
§ 8.12 p.m.
§ The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Housing and Local Government (Mr. F. V. Corfield)
I beg to move, That the Bill be now read the Third time.
The Bill we have been considering today, as a result of the very large number of Amendments moved in Committee and on Report, differs in a number of important details from the Bill which we considered in December on Second Reading. I make no apology for the large number of Amendments. I emphatically repudiate the suggestion attributed to the hon. Member for Fulham (Mr. M. Stewart) in the Press that this implies ill-preparation of the Bill.
What the large number of Amendments does reflect is the reality and usefulness of the Committee stage, which spread over four extended days on the Floor of the House and 21 sittings in Standing Committee, giving a total time equivalent to 33 sittings of a normal Standing Committee. It is true to say that, despite the timetable, all the important aspects have, at least, been discussed, even if we have not been able to agree upon them.
§ Mr. Corfield
The hon. Gentleman refers to this evening. Those matters certainly were discussed in Standing Committee.
Many of the Amendments, of course, were moved by the Government, but many of them were moved in response to representations and suggestions from bodies or individuals greatly experienced in local government, and London Government in particular. I have no doubt that hon. Members on both sides who moved the large number of Amendments which came not from the Government themselves will be the first to recognise that many of their Amendments, too, apart from reflecting their own individual views, also reflected the views of important bodies such as the Association of Municipal Corporations, the London County Council, the County Councils Association and several professional bodies the members of which are intimately connected with this matter. It would have been a criticism of the Government if we had not been prepared to listen to the views, and learn, from the experience, of bodies and individuals of this kind.
Even if it can be said that a great many more Amendments have been made than is usual, it is as well to remember that it was not until the Bill was published and had been accorded a Second Reading in the House that many of the bodies which would otherwise have been consulted previously, and which we were anxious to consult, made themselves available for consultations.
Despite the Amendments in detail, the structure of the Bill and the main divisions of function remain basically unchanged. The Bill remains based on the broad recommendations of the Royal Commission, except in the two important departures relating to the size of the boroughs, on the one hand, and the arrangements for education in the central area, on the other. Within this pattern there are two particular matters which are, I think, still the subject of some misunderstanding, and it is on these that I shall say a few words now.
The first relates to the allocation of planning functions between the Greater London Council and the London boroughs. With regard to what may be called the positive functions of planning, the broad principle remains that the 353 Greater London Council will be responsible for the overall plan, and the London boroughs for so to speak, filling in the details, but in doing so they must, of course, conform to the overall Greater London plan.
To suggest, as hon. Members opposite have consistently suggested, that this is to undermine the advantages of the cohesion to be obtained from the overall planning power of the Greater London Council by introducing, as they put it, 32 separate plans, is to display a complete misunderstanding of what is involved in preparing a development plan and the objectives in doing so.
In a vast urban area such as Greater London, obviously, the first step must be to provide the broad skeleton of the plan, a skeleton composed on the one hand, of the pattern of communications, the location of industry and of other forms of employment, and, on the other, a balance of land use dictated by the trends in the population not merely as to its absolute increase in numbers but also in the changes of habits and patterns which that population is likely to develop in the second half of the twentieth century. But when this has been done, the detailed planning on the ground—the allocation of the specific areas for housing, shops, and other uses—has, in any case, to be done by different teams of planners operating simultaneously in different areas.
If there is to be such a sub-division, it is logical to adopt for the purpose the areas of the London boroughs. If there is to be no such sub-division, we shall simply fail to learn from the difficulties of the past and take so long to produce our plans that they will be out of date before they are published, certainly long before they have been submitted to the scrutiny of public inquiry and have been finally approved by the Minister.
It seems to me that part of the problem is to produce a degree of flexibility, and in this the method we propose will help us. If, as hon. Members opposite suggest, we do not adopt this principle, we shall in effect be refusing to make use of staffs particularly qualified because of their familiarity, in their day-to-day planning control functions, with the topography and needs of their areas—people who are in constant touch with the local 354 planning problems and adding to their knowledge day by day.
The second matter on which I want to say a few words is the size of the London boroughs. To me, some of the most revealing passages in the Royal Commission's Report are those which examine the services one by one and show how they have devolved on existing local authorities with little regard to the relationship of the size and strength of those authorities to the nature of the functions. The conclusion seems to me to be quite irrefutable, that, if one were to take them service by service, one must inevitably come to an ideal unit of local administration which would probably be different for each of the services.
I firmly believe that the corollary of a genuine belief in local government is a degree of compromise and that time will very rapidly show that the compromise of a broad framework of large and strong London boroughs comparable to some of the largest units in the provinces will produce a framework and pattern for the future of which we can be proud.
The third and rather less important matter on which I wish to touch is this. I remind hon. Members of the criticisms which were made earlier of the reserve powers of my right hon. Friend the Minister of Transport. I think that those criticisms are well summarised in a comment contained in a report of the L.C.C. Roads Committee to its full Council in January this year. It stated:We think that it would not be wholly unreasonable for the Minister to have reserve powers, but that, notwithstanding the Government's expressed intention that they are only for use in the last resort, they should be clearly defined in the Bill as default powers exercisable only when the Minister is of the opinion, after consultation, that the G.L.C. have not taken the appropriate action".I think that the hon. Member for Bermondsey (Mr. Mellish) put that point in similar terms in Committee. I therefore remind the House that the Government's Amendments to Clauses 9, 10, 11 and 13 have been made to meet that criticism.
Looking back over the Committee stage of the Bill, we have had a great deal of discussion, despite what the hon. Member for Barking (Mr. Driberg) has said, on the safeguards for the staff. We have had our differences of opinion, but I emphasise again the Government's 355 anxiety to give the utmost assurances to local government staff, without prejudicing those matters which should be settled by the new authorities or which are traditionally the function of the normal negotiating machinery.
I remind the House that four important changes have been made to improve the safeguards and provisions for local government employees. First, there is the statutory requirement on my right hon. Friend to ensure that all employees of existing authorities will be transferred to one or other of their successors. Secondly, there is a statutory provision on the lines of the Local Government Act, 1929, guaranteeing the present terms and conditions of service to transferred staff and safeguards to salary while employed on comparable duties. Thirdly, there is an obligation on my right hon. Friend to establish the Staff Commission within one month of the passing of the Bill. Fourthly, there are provisions as to joint committees of existing authorities so that county council representatives will be included and the needs and interests of county council employees can therefore be considered.
I remind the House again that there have also been important modifications made in matters which were the subject of criticism with regard to planning control. The Bill now provides that my right hon. Friend may prescribe classes of applications which shall be referred to the Greater London Council for comment and direction as well as prescribe by regulations particular classes of planning applications to be referred to the Greater London Council for decision.
We have had a number of Amendments on finance, in particular, Amendments to preserve for the Greater London Council the Money Bill procedure of the London County Council. The provisions for the initial expenses of the new authorities have been written into the Bill instead of being provided by order. There have been further Amendments to ease the burden of the truncated counties. I know that those Amendments do not entirely satisfy some of my hon. Friends and the people from those counties, but they certainly alleviate the position and are a con- 356 siderable advance on what was originally in the Bill.
I realise that there are a number of other undertakings given by the Government which it has not yet been possible to fulfil. They cover such matters as land in the green belt, liabilities under the Town Development Act, land drainage and flood prevention, compensation for employees injured during the course of duty, and superannuation funds. The only reason why they have not yet been fulfilled is that we are still seeking the best means of fufilling them, and I can assure the House that, although the list may be long, we have not overlooked them, and provision will be made in another place.
I conclude by saying that the Government believe that the basic pattern for the future government of London which the Bill provides is sound. We are confident that it will attract men and women of the right calibre and in the right quantity, both as officers and as elected representatives, able to work in the full knowledge that they have a framework through which they can most efficiently serve, even better than in the past, the needs of Londoners of the future. The broad framework remains, but in detail the Bill has been improved, and I commend it to the House.
§ 8.27 p.m.
§ Mr. Mellish
The House will readily understand that we oppose the Third Reading of the Bill. We shall be consistent to the bitter end. We objected to the Bill when it was first presented and had its First Reading. We opposed it on Second Reading. In fact, we have opposed it at every possible stage.
In Committee, we put down about 1,000 Amendments. I am not sure whether that was an all-time record, but there were 1,000 Amendments which had to be considered—or, at least, the Minister of Housing and Local Government had to be briefed on most of them. I hope that the Minister, when he winds up the debate, will agree that our Amendments were designed to improve the Bill and were not wrecking Amendments.
§ Sir K. Joseph indicated assent.
§ Mr. Mellish
We worked under a Guillotine, which was a great hardship to the Committee. We on this side found it extremely difficult to ensure that matters were adequately debated.
357 It is wrong of the Parliamentary Secretary to say that we discussed all the important details of the Bill. We certainly did not. If he looks back, he will find that many important parts of the Bill had to go by the board because of the Guillotine. This procedure has now been established. The Tory Government have put this principle forward and we on this side should not ignore it when we become the Government.
When, as the next Labour Government, we present a Bill which obviously will be contentious, the thing to do is to introduce a Guillotine with it. I do not know how many hon. Members opposite will be in the next Parliament—I doubt whether there will be more than a few of them as things stand—but I hope these words will be recalled—that that would be the right policy for the Labour Government if we follow the logic of what the Tory Government have done. Almost from the word "Go", they decided upon the Guillotine. It is true that they gave us two free sessions when they tried us out, so they said, to see how well we behaved ourselves. Eventually, however, having made up their minds in the first place, they brought in a Guillotine.
The Bill has not been changed in any principle. It has been changed in some detail but not in any great consequence for us. Unless the Minister gives way to some of his Conservative friends in Putney, Part I of the Bill, which we bitterly opposed, will result in the same shotgun weddings as were first envisaged. There has been no alteration in that respect.
The upset and alarm which has been caused in the constituencies has to be understood to be believed. There has been great disturbance amongst local authorities which have been settled for many years. The irony of the situation was that those of us who argued about the traditions of some of the smaller local authorities, as I tried to argue about my own, were brushed aside and told that traditions were of no importance. The only tradition that mattered in the Bill was the City of London. To judge from the Minister's statement, that was the only justification why the City should he retained. As for everybody else, however, traditions were ignored.
358 Part II of the Bill deals with traffic and roads. Despite what the Minister says about Amendments, we still do not believe that the powers of the Minister of Transport have been curbed and that he will be left with default powers only. In simple terms, as the Bill has come through Committee and leaves this House, it adds up to the fact that for the whole of the Greater London area, 60 per cent. of Class I roads will be transferred to the Greater London Council and 40 per cent. to the London boroughs. The 60 per cent. will be called Metropolitan roads. All trunk roads remain with the Minister of Transport. All other roads—Classes II, III and IV—will go to the London boroughs.
Is it really to be believed that we can get genuine planning and co-ordination with all these various people involved in trying to deal with the road situation? This is anarchy. That is why there has been misunderstanding by some of our friends outside, who afterwards criticise us for trying to give more power to the Greater London Council. Once Part I of the Bill had gone through and the G.L.C. had been established, our task was to give it real power. We wanted the Greater London Council to have the sort of authority which many of us on this side have dreamed of, particularly in regard to roads, traffic and planning. At the end of the day, the Minister has the power. He has power concerning finance. He can always say "No" by refusing to advance money. He always has default power to step in and amend any plans which are not in the interest of the nation.
A body of the size of the Greater London Council should have been given genuine powers, no matter what political party may run it. A great chance has been missed in the Bill and we have left behind a shambles which is divided amongst 32 Greater London boroughs, all of which will have their arguments. With responsibility for Class I roads being split up in this way and the Minister of Transport coming in with trunk roads, how can we expect genuine co-ordination? There is bound to be delay and a great deal of consultation, argument, rowing and the sort of thing of which the Minister has often spoken when saying that he has been unable 359 ever to get agreement with local authorities. We have missed a great chance with the Bill.
In spite of what the Parliamentary Secretary has said about planning, we believe that this is a function which should have been mainly that of the Greater London Council, together with its road and traffic powers, so that this body could do a first-class job. Instead, the powers are being divided. No matter what the Minister says about the future, more time will be spent in consultation than in real planning. The Minister has said that there will have to be different teams of planners. I can see how many teams we will have, all of them with different ideas, dashing about the area.
I turn now to education. In Committee, I spoke of the position of voluntary schools, which are worried that they will have to consult more than 20 of the outer authorities, including the Inner London Education Authority. They are alarmed and worried. This is no party political argument. We asked for assurances from the Minister and thought that he might have done something on Report, but he has made no attempt to do it. Most of us regard the replies that we were given in Committee as most unsatisfactory. I warn the Minister that this is not the last that his Department has heard of that one. We are coming back to it; if not in another place then he will hear about it in many other ways. We have been told that the demonstrations by parents and teachers against the Bill were somehow politically inspired. I beg hon. Members opposite to believe that that is not true.
There is genuine fear that the great education service built up by the L.C.C. will be destroyed in 1970. We have had all sorts of assurances from the Government. But I say again that the provision making it mandatory to have a review of the education service in 1970 can be interpreted only as showing that the original intention of the Government to hand education over to the boroughs still stands. Despite their assurances, we do not trust the Government on this issue. The only satisfaction we have is that we think that their days in office are numbered and that therefore it does not matter what they say now. Let us hope that in 1970 they will not be around.
360 The present situation fully justifies the anxieties of parents and teachers. I have been in this House for 17 years and I have never before seen such voluntary demonstrations as we witnessed while this Bill was in progress. What is democracy about if those who are vitally concerned are brushed aside? We had a demonstration by 4,000 teachers and parents on the night before we discussed this issue in Committee upstairs. They have no banners. No police were knocked around. There was no political inspiration. People came from my constituency whom I have never seen before.
The demonstration was genuine. Hon. Members opposite knew that it was genuine but nevertheless they brushed it aside. The Minister was pleased when some of his hon. Friends claimed that the protest was inspired by Left-wing organisations. I point out to them that those remarks have got back to the parents and teachers concerned and have caused a number of them who were no political friends of ours to think very seriously indeed about this. They came to this House convinced that they would be listened to by hon. Members opposite. That did not happen and they will remember.
We have never said that many of the present services provided by the counties should not be transferred to the boroughs. The Labour Party has for years said that there was need for some sort of reform of London government. Since 1953 we have been urging that some of the services now performed by the county councils should be given to the boroughs. But the extent to which they are now to be transferred, and the maner in which it is to be done, Ls asking for very serious trouble.
The one test we have sought to use in considering the transference of services and their fragmentation, is whether they will be at least as well run as they are at the moment—not necessarily better run but at least as well run. We have never been given such assurances and some of us are very alarmed that some services might be hurt.
If services of this kind are transferred to various authorities in an area, then we are bound to get unevenness. Some boroughs will do their job better than others. That is not overstating the case. But it will be tragedy for people in one 361 borough where a service is not as good as it is in a neighbouring borough.
We have agreed that on Third Reading all our speeches will be short. In order to prove that the critical approach to this has been non-political from this side of the House, I will explain how I am affected as a Member of this House by these mergers and shotgun weddings. The boundaries will have to be redrawn in order to cover the appropriate electorates. I will come out of that with one of the biggest Labour majorities in the country. But I do not want it like this.
It would have paid me to have sat back on this Bill and watched the machine going through on the ground that I was all right individually. But I am too proud of London to have done so. Nevertheless, I point out to Members opposite that politically I will be better off. Thus, if I had approached this matter purely in my political interest I should have been supporting the Bill. The harm which has been done to the services far outweighs any personal advantages which I may gain.
I should like to pay tribute to my hon. Friend the Member for Fulham (Mr. M. Stewart). He led us magnificently in Committee. His own personal performance brought him great credit and certainly brought my party credit. His homework was quite extraordinary and those of us who worked alongside him can only feel proud of what he did.
The Government have no mandate for the Bill. I believe—and I can say this with authority as chairman of the London Labour Party, which is a political organisation—that when the next General Election comes—and I pray it comes soon—we shall make this the number one issue in London. The hon. Member for Lewisham, North (Mr. Chataway) can take it from me that he will have to defend what he said in Committee, but this time in public. I can guarantee if I know the people of London—and I think that I know them pretty well—that I have no doubt as to the verdict which they will bring. Many of the so-called Londoners who supported the Bill will not be here after the next General Election.
§ 8.41 p.m.
§ Sir Lionel Heald (Chertsey)
During the passage of the Bill through the House attention, naturally, has been concentrated on those areas and those people who are 362 directly affected by the Bill, and at first sight it may be wondered why someone representing Chertsey should take part in the debate. It is right to say that throughout the Bill Ministers have frankly recognised that those counties which are to lose their metropolitan fringes are entitled to consideration and have arguments which should be taken into account.
Notably on Second Reading, my right hon. Friend the Minister referred especially to Clause 66, as it then was, which provided for compensation in respect of the additional financial burden which would fall on the excluded areas. My right hon. Friend the Member for Reigate (Sir J. Vaughan-Morgan) has asked me to say that he very much regrets that he cannot be here this evening. He has taken a great part in the consideration of this matter and I have to act as a substitute for him, however inadequately.
On Second Reading, he made it clear—he was the champion of the Surrey position throughout—that the adequacy of Clause 66 would have to be considered very carefully. Clause 66 emerged from Committee unamended. We cannot discuss or even know what took place in Committee, but it will probably not be any revelation of a secret to say that my right hon. Friend the Member for Reigate did his best to ensure that the Clause would be amended, but the only change as it appeared yesterday was that its number had been changed to 68.
My right hon. Friend the Minister clearly appreciated that that aspect of the matter required further consideration, because Clause 68 was one of the Clauses included in the Recommittal stage. Having been returned from that further consideration, the Clause now differs from the original in two respects. First, it extends the length of the tapering period from five to eight years and, secondly, it reduces what my right hon. Friend called the threshold from 6d. to 5d., that is to say, it is necessary to show a deficiency of only 5d. rather than 6d. in order to qualify.
That amounts to very little because that is a difference of a penny and during the tapering period there is a continuous reduction of a fraction of that penny until we get down to one-eighth of a penny in the last period. My right hon. Friend the Member for Reigate described that 363 threshold provision as a bar, but it is certainly not an appropriate word for us because we get no refreshment from it.
The first that was known of the Government's proposal for ameliorating the position was when the Motion for Recommittal of the Bill was tabled. There was not time to get sufficient information from the council with regard to the matter, but I am now advised on what I believe to be very reliable authority that the reduction from 6d. to 5d. of this threshold will be nugatory from Surrey's point of view.
We have to remember that on revaluation the 5d. becomes 1s. 3d. and that, therefore, before Surrey can obtain any relief it would have to suffer a deficiency of 1s. 3d. in the £, which, on the new rateable value, is a substantial sum. Indeed, I am told that the position in Surrey is that on the Government's proposals as they stood before yesterday's Amendment we would not have qualified for any compensation because under the new assessment the 6d. is equal to nearly 1s. 6d., and even with the additional 1d. the sum involved would be very small indeed. In effect, there would be no compensation at all.
It is inappropriate to discuss the details of that matter on this occasion, but I find it difficult to believe that that is what my right hon. Friend the Minister really intended or would wish to see. During the Second Reading debate he said that he would consider this matter, and there is no doubt that he clearly intended by this Amendment which has now been introduced to ensure that some compensation was obtainable, but in fact it appears that the figures do not justify it.
We recognise—certainly I do—that my right hon. Friend and his predecessor have throughout been understanding and sympathetic to the points of view of the fringe areas.
§ Sir L. Heald
I do not think that the hon. Gentleman appreciates that these matters can only be dealt with by those who are present in the Committee, and I was not a member of the Committee. When the hon. Gentleman says that I was not here, I think that he is wrong 364 about that. He was talking about the Committee, and we are not in Committee now.
§ Sir L. Heald
The hon. Gentleman did not quite appreciate what I meant. I thought that he was inaccurate, but never mind that; it may be something that it is not possible to avoid. I was referring to the preparation of the Bill, to the discussions that took place, and to the representations that were made by my constituents and other people which my right hon. Friend and his predecessor considered very carefully.
§ Sir L. Heald
That is not true. We in Chertsey have not forgotten the breadth of approach which resulted in the exclusion from the scheme of our neighbours in Walton, Weybridge, Esher, Sunbury, and Staines, and which provided—[Laughter.] The hon. Member may be amused, but I think that he may learn something if he listens to what I say.
§ Mr. Mellish
I do not want to be too serious about this, but the right hon. and learned Gentleman seems to be saying that he is delighted with the Bill because he and his Friends are not in it.
§ Sir L. Heald
That is a very easy thing to say. I am sure that he likes a nice easy ball to hit, because he has had a lot of difficulties over the Bill. I was saying that we appreciate that this difficult problem of the fringe areas has in most respects been considered with sympathy and understanding.
Two points of importance were concerned here. The first was that our own divisional education area in Surrey would have been seriously affected if these adjoining areas—and the boundary between constituencies is simply a line on a map—had been put into Greater 365 London. That point was dealt with for us. In addition, we had the problem of the Green Belt, which we were most anxious to retain in Surrey and which was in fact retained in that area. That was a very important matter.
§ Mr. Doughty
My right hon. and learned Friend may be speaking for Chertsey, but he is not speaking for Coulsdon and Purley, or Epsom. The things that he has said are grossly inaccurate.
§ Sir L. Heald
I never try to speak for any constituency except my own, but I am prepared to speak for that, and with great respect to my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Surrey, East (Mr. Doughty), I am entitled to do so.
I am sure that my right hon. Friend intended that the concession that he introduced by the Amendment yesterday should be of benefit to Surrey. In fact, as I have said, I am advised on what I believe to be excellent authority that in the form in which it was produced the Amendment does not have any financially beneficial effect.
In those circumstances, before my right hon. Friend asks us to give the Bill a Third Reading, I hope that he will assure us that he will consider the figures and details, which are not available to me this evening, but which do exist, and that he will allow the Surrey County Council to put them before him. Secondly, if the figures disclose the state of affairs that I have suggested, I hope that he will agree to give serious consideration to the matter either in another pace or before the Bill goes there. By doing so he will be able to feel that he is doing what he intended to do, namely, provide substantial compensation and, secondly, he will certainly make it less difficult for a number of hon. Members representing Surrey constituencies to support the Bill's Third Reading.
§ 8.54 p.m.
§ Mr. Pavitt
I know that the right hon. and learned Member for Chertsey (Sir L. Heald) will forgive me if I do not follow him too, far, first into the heart of Surrey and, secondly, into the intricacies of the financial arrangements therefor during the transitional period. Having heard his contribution to the 366 Third Reading debate, I hope that if he does not obtain the assurance that he wants from the Minister he will join us in voting against the Bill.
I have never been so pleased to reach the end of a Bill as I have been to reach the end of this one. It was a thoroughly bad Bill to start with, and our proceedings in Committee have been a tiring and tedious exercise, twice a week and all day long on Tuesdays, in an endeavour to try to do something to provide the maximum amount of benefit for local government in the London area. When the Government introduced the Bill they had two conscious intentions. First, they took the view that it was time for a reform of local government in the London area, and they were prepared to tackle the problem. I take no exception to that. Hon. Members on this side of the House have accepted that the form of London government will not remain static for all time. The intention was good. But what has emerged in the final form of the Bill has been entirely bad.
The second conscious intention of the Government in introducing this Bill was to make local government a reality and bring it closer to the people. The more we study the separate sections of the Bill the more it becomes obvious that here, too, the Government have failed. But in their dark subconscious lurked the real intention that provided the driving force. They wanted to get rid of the London County Council and in that they have succeeded. One of the most fantastic features of the debates which led to the present geographical boundaries of the new boroughs was that among all the speeches from both sides of the House only one hon. Member, so far as I recollect, indicated any kind of acceptance of the proposals of the Government. That was the hon. Member for Ilford, South (Mr. Cooper). Whenever there were discussions which affected their areas hon. Members who knew their own localities raised objections.
The discussions were not without their blessings and I shall treasure for a long time one of the gems of our debates—if I may so put it without being fulsome—contributed by my hon. Friend the Member for Bermondsey (Mr. Mellish) who made a passionate and sincere plea for his own area. That was a contribution 367 which the House thoroughly enjoyed. I congratulate the Minister on rising to the same standard on that occasion as was exhibited by the Opposition Front Bench. He dealt with the matter at the same high level of debate. Apart from one or two odd moments such as that, we found that we were going miserably into a shotgun marriage between areas which we felt were often incompatible.
Alliances were made across the Chamber and they were not on party lines. I am pleased to see that the hon. Member for Wembley, South (Mr. Russell) is in the Chamber, because at one time there existed a "troika" consisting of the two Conservative Members of Parliament who represent Wembley and the hon. Member on this side of the House who represents Willesden, West, because of the thoroughly bad arrangement of that part of the Bill affecting those two places.
It was with concern that we came to discuss the representation on the Greater London Council which now emerges in this final edition of the Bill. When examining in detail the broad overall provisions, one naturally refers to them in terms of one's own locality. The 175,000 people in Willesden are to have two representatives on the Greater London Council. Apart from any idea of their being able to give good service as local authority representatives, this means that the idea of the Government about bringing the Greater London Council closer to the people has not materialised in my constituency. How can two representatives keep in contact with great measures of planning in an over-built area such as that which I represent? Planning will be the responsibility of the Greater London Council and the development of new communities will affect Willesden people for the next generation or two. Yet we are to have this inadequate representation.
One of the hopes which emerges from the mass of misery which the Bill brings in its train is the possibility of joint action between boroughs to repair some of the damage caused by fragmentation. I do not desire to discuss parts of the Bill other than those which have been, throughout its passage my particular interest, namely, those dealing with health 368 and welfare and child care. Now that the Bill is in this form, I hope that full advantage will be taken of the co-ordination and co-operation between a number of new boroughs in order that the services, as they are at present constituted, shall not suffer. I am concerned particularly with mental health. It is true that in the day-to-day application we need close personal contact in the domiciliary care for people suffering from mental disorders of any kind. But the only way in which that care can be sustained is by having adequate specialist advice and services at the top and provision for training, and institutional and other forms of residential care covering a wide variety of forms to back up the domiciliary service. In planning, policy and scale of provision this will mean that the 32 boroughs must find some groupings by which they can get together if the service is not to suffer.
In welfare we have precisely the same problem. I concentrate on only one part of that, the welfare of the blind. As I said in Committee, unless the Minister is able to persuade the local boroughs to get together, provision for blind people cannot go on on the same standard as now. In the whole of nine boroughs there are only two people qualified to deal with the blind deaf. How are we to share them? In the next five years how can we provide the trained experts necessary to give an adequate service? The only way in which I can see the standards of provisions we have under the present dispensation being maintained is by achieving a much greater degree of co-ordination and centralised direction of services in a cooperative form which can be used by the local boroughs concerned through mutual agreement.
Provision and use of accommodation are talked of in blanket terms of welfare and health, yet in each specialty there is a wide variety. In residential accommodation for welfare there may be one specialty with as many as 10 different variations in 10 different boroughs. There is need for agreement, for example, over the education of the sub-normal, in another case in treatment of the mentally disordered and in another the geriatric cases which have slight mental instability. We have to make provision for each of these. There cannot be provision for all of them in each borough. The only way 369 to meet the problem is to have some agreement whereby one borough will cater for a particulary specialty in return for another borough catering for another specialty.
When we talk about local government we mean the mass of the residents in an area. The provisions of local government for health and welfare are made for those with special needs and not for the normal members of the community. That is one of the reasons for having a local authority which can provide services which individuals cannot provide for themselves. In child care we shall have absolute chaos unless there can be agreement between local authorities to operate a service with similar policies. If we have a widely different set of standards in one area from that of another next door, in the system of migration which goes on between borough and borough in the London area we can have the appalling situation whereby a family of four children are all treated on different scales of charges and in different ways of rehabilitation. Then we have more difficulty in what after all is one of the basic matters of child care, the reuniting of the family under care under the same roof as normal members of the community.
We have hammered away at all these things in Committee to get some conformity in the services, but I am afraid that we have failed. Responsibility for the sick, the needy, the mentally distressed or mentally disordered, the blind and the deaf—with all these categories we shall be making a gamble by this Bill as to whether or not they have the same standards of treatment. We are not gambling among ourselves but with people whom we have no right to put in jeopardy.
We reach the Third Reading of this Bill, which will now go on its way. I have faith in the Londoners that they will make the best of a bad job. I have faith that we shall get the best possible out of the new boroughs and the best possible services they can provide. I have faith that people will still come forward, in spite of the difficulties which the Minister has tied round our necks, and will try to solve these problems to the best of their ability. It would have been a far better thing if we had nor to face the hazards which the Minister has placed in our way.
370 This Bill will be a problem for all those concerned with local government in the decade ahead. My only hope is that perhaps this tired Government will find it expedient to quit and that we may have a General Election before April, 1964. If we do my pressure will be for a small Bill to put this position back again until such time as we can reorganise London government in a way worthy of London's traditions.
§ 9.6 p.m.
§ Mr. Ronald Russell (Wembley, South)
The hon. Member for Willesden, West (Mr. Pavitt), who is one of my political next-door neighbours, referred to the cooperation that existed between us on one particular stage of the Bill. It was not my intention to refer to that tonight. I have not changed my views on the merger, but if the Bill becomes law, I shall do my best, as I am sure he will do, to try to make it work. It is our duty to do that.
I want to refer to something quite different. It is something that is in the Bill, which, with all due deference to my hon. Friend the Joint Parliamentary Secretary, has not been discussed, so far as I know, either in Committee or on the Floor of the House. That is the method of election under the Fourth Schedule, paragraph 8, page 124, which, in rather complicated matters of legislation by reference, lays down that in the whole of the area the 32 new boroughs will have triennial elections. That means a complete change of system for the 20 new boroughs which are at present outside the L.C.C. area, and the same system for those that are in the L.C.C. area.
I have had experience of working in the L.C.C. area in Southwark before the last war, in Norwood, where I was L.C.C. member for Lambeth during the first six years after the last war, and in Wembley, during the last fourteen years. I cannot help feeling, although I am open to argument on this, that the system now used in outside areas is better than the triennial one. I think that it is better for the reason that triennial elections usually result in a lower percentage poll, partly because people do not get used to voting regularly at the same time every year as they do in annual elections.
In the metropolitan borough council elections of 1959, the average poll of the 371 28 metropolitan boroughs was 30.4 per cent. I have calculated that—my arithmetic is not always very good—from figures given in the Registrar General's Statistical Review of England and Wales, 1961. The corresponding figures for 1962 were just a shade higher, 30.6 per cent. On the other hand, in the Middlesex boroughs and urban districts, not in those same two years, but in 1961 and 1962, the corresponding figures were 38.5 and 439 per cent.
§ Mrs. Corbet
Does the hon. Gentleman think it fair to give figures like those when there are such discrepancies in the London area itself, as, for instance, between Wandsworth and Hampstead and Bethnal Green?
§ Mr. Russell
I am coming to that and I shall quote one or two disparities. In the Borough of Stepney, for instance, in 1962, the average poll was 18 per cent. I once stood in an L.C.C. election in Southwark before the war. My Conservative colleague was the present Lord Jessel. We were opposing the right hon. Member for Vauxhall (Mr. Strauss) and Lord Silkin. We made such an impact on the electorate that 79 per cent. of them stayed at home on polling day. The figure for Stepney is even worse; 18 per cent, voted in the election in 1962 as compared, as the hon. Lady said, with 42.1 per cent, in Wandsworth and 41 per cent, in Fulham.
§ Mrs. Corbet
Does not the hon. Gentleman draw a moral from that? Can he not think of another reason than the one he is giving? I can.
§ Mr. Russell
There may be many reasons. There are equal disparities in the Middlesex boroughs. In 1962, Edmonton had a 75 per cent, poll and Tottenham, which, I think, is next door to it, had a 26 per cent. poll. That is a big disparity. I could quote more figures, but I do not want to weary the House.
I think that the system of elections may have something to do with the reduction in the percentage. It is a question which my right hon. Friend should examine. In none of the other boroughs and county boroughs in England and Wales, nor in most of the urban districts, nor, as far as I can make out, in the Scottish burghs do they have triennial elections as we are proposing for the whole of the London 372 area. I wonder why. I wonder whether it is my right hon. Friend's intention to change the system throughout the country.
I do not think that the system should be changed without an investigation being made and some reason being given. I know that my right hon. Friend has not yet had an opportunity of doing so. I wonder whether, in his winding-up speech, he could say what consideration he has given to this and what his views are. If there are any doubts about it, I hope that he will consider it again and, if necessary, amend the Bill in another place.
Another argument against this system is that it makes for a lack of continuity. I think that I mentioned this point in another speech on the Bill. For example, in Stoke Newington, when the council came to an end at the end of the war, there was a swing over from a Conservative majority the exact nature of which I do not know in 1945, but I think that it was a 100 per cent, majority when the council was elected in 1938. At any rate, it swung over from a very large Conservative majority to a 100 per cent. Labour majority. In 1949, it swung back again to 23 Conservatives out of 30 and seven Socialists. Four years later it swung back the other way to six Conservatives and 24 Socialists. These are the figures which have been given to me. If the hon. and learned Member for Stoke Newington and Hackney, North (Mr. Weitzman) would care to correct them I should be only too happy.
§ Mr. Weitzman
I have not got the figures with me, but I am sure that the horn. Gentleman must be wrong when he speaks of a swing over to a Conservative majority. I do not think that we have had a swing over to a Conservative majority since we saw the light in 1938.
§ Mr. Russell
These figures have been given to me as correct. This is another objection to the triennial system. It sometimes gives acute swings like that which may make it difficult for the new party returned to power to make chairmen of committees.
§ Mr. Mellish
I think that the hon. Gentleman must be speaking for himself. I understand that the political parties would favour triennial and not annual elections.
§ Mr. Russell
The hon. Gentleman is entitled to his opinion, but one or two of my right hon. and hon. Friends would certainly like the matter to be examined. They are not at all happy about a system of triennial election.
My point is that this is a big change in the method of election for boroughs outside the L.C.C. area, particularly remembering that the system employed by the vast majority of boroughs and county boroughs in England and Wales is the same as that outside the L.C.C. area. I do not think that this system should be adopted without some reasons being given for the change, some reasons which will convince me that the system is better.
If my right hon. Friend is not so convinced, I hope that he will not hesitate to make an Amendment to the Bill in another place.
§ 9.15 p.m.
§ Mr. Driberg
On the relatively few occasions on which I have been able to intervene in these debates, I have always been treated by the Minister with perfect courtesy. He has occasionally been a bit quick on the draw—a little touchy even—but always courteous. It is some consolation to the condemned man when the hangman has nice manners. I thank the Minister for that, at any rate.
He has been noticeably more tender, in his substantial handling of Amendments, to some of his hon. Friends than he has to my hon. Friends and myself. In saying that, I must judge by the case which is, naturally, most interesting to me, that of my own constituency of Barking. It has been treated in the most brutally and inequitably harsh way in this Bill: it is being merged with Dagenham. Dagenham people are of sterling character, but we in Barking were anxious, as the Minister knows and as we could well have done, to continue on our own.
Barking has traditions and a history at least as ancient and honourable as those of the City of London, which the Minister has been so anxious in the Bill to safeguard. Naturally, the moguls of the City are his friends also; and I speak in a party political sense. Since the primary object of the Bill is the murder of the London County Council, with its built-in Labour 374 majority, it is not surprising that this has been the Government's attitude during these debates. It is, perhaps, their determination to preserve the City of London as it is, with all its obsolete, archaic, illogical flummery, that illustrates most clearly the difference between the real purposes and the pretended purposes of the Bill. Of course, the City of London should be merged with Stepney—although that might be rather an insult to Stepney. Throgmorton Street is a far more disgusting street than Cable Street.
Despite all this, I want to mention one or two points of detail which are in the Bill. I feel sure that the Minister, who, as I have said—and I meant it genuinely—is always so courteous, will not follow the example of the Parliamentary Secretary in chiding those of us who were not called to serve on the Standing Committee for daring to raise in the House matters which are perfectly in order but which may have been more or—probably, I suppose—less exhaustively dealt with upstairs.
I propose, therefore, to raise several specific points of detail on which I would like some explanation from the right hon. Gentleman. Clause 44, which deals with cemeteries and crematoria, contains this paragraph:Provided that nothing in any such Order shall prevent the interment of the body of any person in the cathedral church of St. Paul's, London, or in the collegiate church of St. Peter's, Westminster, if Her Majesty signifies Her pleasure that the body be so interred.Incidentally, there are, of course, in line 27 two otiose apostrophe s's which should not be there; another slip of drafting, I suppose.
As we know, Mr. Speaker, Her Majesty is a constitutional monarch who acts in all public matters on the advice of her Ministers. I take it, therefore, that in this respect, too, she will be acting on the advice of her Ministers? She does, after all, so act in ecclesiastical matters, such as the appointment of bishops, as well as in secular matters.
If that be so, I cannot quite understand how the position and the rights of the Dean and Chapter of Westminster are safeguarded. It is, admittedly, a Royal peculiar, but it is still a peculiar, and I think that the Dean and Chapter have complete power in the Abbey 375 Church. Similar, if not identical, considerations apply to St. Paul's Cathedral. I wonder whether the Minister can let me know—if he can obtain the information within the next hour or two—what exactly the phrase… if Her Majesty signifies Her pleasure …means in this context; and, possibly, whether he may feel disposed in another place to add a few appropriate references to the Deans and Chapters?
On the next page, page 61—still on the subject of cemeteries and crematoria—the last few lines of subsection (5) read:… the foregoing provisions of this subsection shall not affect the right of the incumbent of any ecclesiastical parish in the City to perform funeral services in respect of his own parishioners.Those words seems to ignore the existence of the relatively new but highly imaginative experiment known as the Guild Churches. The Minister will be aware—because I know that he has a genuine love of Wren architecture, the fine old buildings generally—of this experiment, by which it has proved possible to preserve a number of these notable churches; but, though they are, of course, still used for services during the week, they are not parish churches. Do the words in this subsection mean that Guild Church vicars are not allowed to hold funeral services for members of their congregations? I should be grateful for a clarification of these words.
Turning to page 72, I come to a point which I am sure the Minister will have no difficulty in answering. Indeed, if he does not feel disposed, or has not time, to answer it, I shall not press him unduly. In Clause 57 there is a list of the various properties—such as Kenwood, the Royal Festival Hall, the Geffrye Museum, and other institutions connected with the arts—which the Greater London Council will be taking over from the L.C.C. The L.C.C. has built up over the years a tremendous tradition of enlightened patronage of the arts. I need only mention, apart from the buildings listed here, the exhibitions of sculpture in Battersea Park and elsewhere. I hope very much that the Minister can tell us that the Greater London Council will perpetuate that tradition. It would make a real gap in the cultural life of London if that were lost with the L.C.C.
376 My final point arises on page 183 of the Bill. I was interested to see the mention in Clause 57 of the Royal Festival Hall, which is such a great asset to London, because it is not mentioned in the top six lines of page 183—Schedule 12—where we find listed various "Royal" places of entertainment, such as the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, the Royal Covent Garden Opera House, and so on. A very serious omission, which I hope the Minister may feel disposed to correct in another place, is the omission of the most vital and important Theatre Royal in London—I mean, of course, the Theatre Royal, Stratford, E.15. Will the right hon. Gentleman deal with that point when he replies?
§ 9.25 p.m.
§ Mr. John Biggs-Davison (Chigwell)
Unlike the hon. Member for Barking (Mr. Driberg) and other hon. Members who have spoken from the other side of the House, I have supported the Bill and I hope to vote for its Third Reading. The Tory Party, a reforming party, has undertaken a courageous and overdue reform. I would give it to the hon. Member for Bermondsey (Mr. Mellish) that my support has been more willingly given for the exclusion from the Greater London Area of the Chigwell urban district, the exclusion made by my right hon. Friend's predecessor on the undisputed facts of what is very much a green belt district.
The County of Essex, however, is deeply disturbed about a matter which was raised by my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Chertsey (Sir L. Heald), namely that of transitional assistance. I do not wish to go into this matter deeply myself. My name has appeared above certain Amendments on the Order Paper which have not been called, and it may be that others of my hon. Friends will be seeking to catch your eye, Mr. Speaker, to raise this matter about which the County of Essex, even worse treated than the other truncated counties, feels very strongly.
I wish to refer to another matter which was not raised on Second Reading and was perhaps more appropriate to the Committee stage. My hon. Friend the Member for Ilford, North (Mr. Iremonger) tried to move an Amendment in Standing Committee on 19th March but was unsuccessful. It is the 377 matter of the relationship between the new Greater London Area and the Metropolitan Police District. The view which I want to put forward is the view of both the Essex County Council and the Chigwell Urban District Council and of many of my constituents.
They wish Chigwell urban district to be excluded from the Metropolitan Police District, and not included as provided in Clause 73. The County Council has had correspondence with the Home Office, and in this correspondence it has had no satisfactory or recent reply. The Chigwell Urban District Council resolved by a substantial majority on 19th December last to inform the Home Secretary thatHaving regard to action proposed in respect of Hornchurch and Romford, as Chigwell Urban District Council is to be excluded from the Greater London Area, the Council feels that it would be logical to adjust the boundaries of the Metropolitan Police District in the area covered by the Essex county police.The Council went on to ask for the necessary steps to be taken.
I have asked a number of Parliamentary Questions and have been referred in reply to an undertaking given by the Home Secretary to the Chigwell Urban District Council that its representations would be borne in mind in the course of further consideration of the Bill. My hon. Friend the Joint Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department gave a like undertaking in a letter to me on 21st January. He told me that his right hon. Friendreached the conclusion that, while it would be necessary to bring Romford and Horn-church into the Metropolitan Police District "—That is a change—no further change should be made.How was that conclusion reached and why is no further change to be entertained?
My hon. Friend in his letter went on to tell me thatThe Home Secretary's view was that the boundary which has remained substantially unchanged for over a century best meets the operational requirements of the police.He adds thatthere are special problems involved in policing the Metropolis.We have not been informed what are these operational requirements and what are the special problems.
378 I pay a tribute to the Metropolitan Police and to the Essex Constabulary. The Metropolitan Police operating in the Chigwell urban district have difficult problems, some difficult people and difficult localities. But I ask whether the views of, for example, the Chief Constable of Essex and the Standing Joint Committee have been considered. It is surely a matter of public order that there should be close contact between the police force and many county services. The highway, ambulance and fire services spring to mind.
The Bill, as it stands, leaves Chigwell and Waltham Holy Cross as the only county districts outside the Essex police area. It is only fair to say that there is, I believe, a different view held in Waltham Holy Cross, which is represented by my hon. Friend the Member for Epping (Mr. Finlay). However, I consider that my local council and the local people should have been taken more into the Government's confidence. There should have been consultation.
I am not necessarily opposing the retention of Chigwell within the Metropolitan Police District because it is anomalous. Some anomalies can be defended. I am willing to be persuaded, if it be possible, that public order will be better served by leaving matters as they are. The councillors of Chigwell are reasonable and sensible people, and so are the county councillors. I ask my right hon. Friend to consider whether the change we desire can be made in another place. At least, if the Government are adamant about it, let them talk to the councillors concerned. Let them take us into their confidence. I feel that the Government owe this to my constituents and they owe it also to their standing with the public of Chigwell and Essex.
§ Captain Walter Elliot (Carshalton)
May I draw my hon. Friend's attention to the situation in districts in Surrey, including Banstead, which I represent, which are now outside the Greater London Area but are still within the Metropolitan Police District? We have exactly the same problem. The reason I have been given locally for why these areas have been included in the Metropolitan Police District is that there are big racecourses there. 1 do not know whether that applies to Chigwell. It applies to Esher, I think, and. of course, to Epsom; but it does not 379 apply to Banstead, where we have no racecourse.
§ Mr. Biggs-Davison
Alas, we have no racecourse. But I am most grateful for my hon. and gallant Friend's support.
§ 9.34 p.m.
§ Mr. Weitzman
As one who served on the Committee and took some part in its deliberations, I feel very sad and bitter tonight that we have now reached the Third Reading of the Bill, and I can only express the hope that, even at this late hour, the House will see fit to reject it on Third Reading.
This is an unwanted Bill. It certainly was not wanted by any Member on this side of the House. It was not wanted, I venture to suggest, by many hon. Members opposite. Hon. Members opposite whose constituencies are directly affected by the Bill were, I submit, against it. They may have agreed with certain parts of it, but they were certainly against the carving up contemplated under the Bill. Why were Members representing interests affected by the Bill against it? The Minister must know the answer. They were against the Bill because the people in their areas did not want it.
I have said that I am very sorry about the stage that we have reached tonight, because the Bill involves the disappearance of the boroughs which I have the honour to represent, Stoke Newington and Hackney. They will be joined with another borough and will lose their individuality as boroughs. Boroughs which have worked happily and well in the past are now to be joined with others. What is the reason for this? The answer is, to allow the Government to carry out an experiment.
I have said that many hon. Members opposite representing areas affected and Members on this side of this House are against the Bill. If the Bill rested with Members representing areas affected by it, it would not, in my judgment, have the remotest chance of being passed. It is being pushed through by the Government only because they have the support of Members who have nothing to do with the areas affected by it. Members directly interested in the Bill have made their contributions on Second Reading, and we have discussed the Bill in Committee and on Report. The 380 Minister has put forward his desires in the form of Amendments, and so on, and hon. Members with not the faintest idea of what the Bill is about, and not affected by it, have supported the Government. Because of the opposition to the Bill, the Government have sought, by means of the Guillotine, to rush it through with unseemly haste.
I wish particularly to deal with something that the Parliamentary Secretary said on moving the Third Reading. He had the audacity to say—I use the word advisedly—that there was ample time in which to discuss the Bill's provisions. That is simply not true, and it is most important that the electorate should know how untrue it is.
The Second Reading took place on 10th and 11th December. The Christmas Recess intervened between the Second Reading and the next stage. Clause 1 was taken on the Floor of the House and we then had 21 sittings in Committee. Sometimes, morning and afternoon, two days of the week were devoted to the Committee stage. We have had 21 sittings in Committee which were rushed through in that unseemly fashion. The Report stage has also been rushed through and we are now on Second Reading—[Laughter.] I mean Third Reading. This may be a matter of amusement for some hon. Members opposite. I think that it is absolutely scandalous. The electorate should know the stupid, silly and ignorant way in which these things are done. When we remember what the Bill does, and what it contains, it is disgraceful to contemplate the mode of its passage.
This is a Bill of major importance. It has 90 Clauses and 17 Schedules, many of them long and complex. It deals with the future of millions of people. One has only to look at the Bill to see the sort of things that it deals with. I put it in detail because it is so important to recognise the position. Road traffic, highways, motor vehicles, housing, town and country planning, education and youth services, application of the Public Health Acts, health and welfare centres and rating and valuation—all of these affect the lives of millions of people. Each of these matters would be enough to be contained in a Bill on its own. If hon. Members opposite think for a moment, they will recognise the truth of this.
381 Think of the detail. I take as an example one of the matters that we have discussed for only a short time—the subject of education. Have we had any real time to discuss the tremendous change which is made in education, the creation of the Inner London Education Authority and the transfer of education administration to the outer London boroughs? We have concentrated, so to speak, on discussion mainly of only one item—whether there should be a review before 1970.
Think of the many other problems concerning education. When did we have the opportunity to discuss them? Is it right or fair that a Bill of this kind, making such enormous changes, should not be discussed in detail in the House? As other hon. Members have said, there have been tremendous protests by parents and teachers. No notice has been taken of them and the iniquitous provision concerning the review still remains in the Bill.
Another point which has aroused a certain amount of discussion is the changes affecting the staff. If ever there was a disgraceful action by the Minister—I say this directly to him—it is in regard to the course of conduct he has adopted about safeguarding the interests of the staff. In Committee, a Clause was inserted in the Bill with the support of hon. Members on both sides. On Report, the Clause has been deleted with nothing in its place to safeguard the interests of the staff. It is true that we have an assurance from the Minister and he can refer to certain Schedules, but the Clause has gone and to a considerable extent we have to rely upon the assurances given by the Minister. I have no doubt that he means to carry them out. He is a man of honour and, no doubt, will do it. but if by any tragic fate another Tory Government were to be returned—which I do not consider likely or at all possible—how do we know that an assurance of that kind would be carried out?
Criticism has been made concerning public health, housing and the many problems to be dealt with in various other spheres. When have we had time to discuss these matters in any detail? What has happened is that at the end of a certain period, we have been left with a considerable number of Amendments which could not possibly be discussed with the result that they went by the 382 board. This important Measure has been dealt with in that way.
§ Mr. A. E. Cooper (Ilford, South)
In the days before the Guillotine was put on the Bill, very nearly five hours was lost by the hon. Member for Fulham (Mr. M. Stewart) calling Divisions on all sorts of Amendments. This was time which could have been used for debating various items. Yesterday, another l¼ hours was lost through Divisions being called, plus a 25-minute speech by the hon. Member for Willesden, West (Mr. Pavitt). So, if the hon. and learned Member for Stoke Newington and Hackney, North (Mr. Weitzman) is criticising the lack of time for discussion, it is not to this side that he should look but to his own side.
§ Mr. Speaker
Order. We cannot have intervention upon intervention. The hon. and learned Member for Stoke Newington and Hackney, North (Mr. Weitzman) has the Floor.
§ Mr. Weitzman
The hon. Member for Ilford, South (Mr. Cooper) was not on the Standing Committee. I was present when the Guillotine Motion was discussed. The time referred to by the hon. Gentleman was well spent in opposing the disgraceful proposals by the Government, but that is no excuse for the Government's action in preventing proper discussion of this Measure. It is disgraceful and I hope that the electorate will know about this and the way in which the Bill has been pushed through.
It is quite obvious that the Parliamentary draftsmen had a gigantic task because they were asked to include words affecting other Bills and to deal with many complex and detailed matters. It is not surprising that many of the Clauses are badly drafted. That has been obvious from the number of drafting Amendments.
This Bill deals in detail with many diverse and complex matters. It is badly drafted. It is unwanted by those whose interests are directly affected. It has been denied discussion in detail and has been 383 rushed through with unseemly haste. That summarises the history of the Bill far more aptly than the Joint Parliamentary Secretary did when he moved the Third Reading.
Why has this been done? Much has been said about the Government's opposition to the L.C.C. and their desire to destroy it. I have said before, and I repeat, that the reason behind this Bill is political. I believe that the Government recognised the writing on the wall. They knew their time was coming to an end and desperately tried to push this stupid, ill-considered and ill-advised Measure through in an endeavour to improve their political lot. But it will not do, and I urge those Members opposite who are, in their hearts, dead against the Bill to join us in defeating this Measure. I know that many of them feel that way and that the Bill could be defeated if they were true to what they really believe in.
I express the further hope that, if the Bill does receive its Third Reading, before there is any chance of it to become effective a Labour Government will be returned who will see that the troubles and difficulties created by it are removed.
§ 9.50 p.m.
§ Mr. Edward Gardner (Billericay)
I rise to speak on this Third Reading not because my constituency is directly associated with London, but because it is directly affected by the Bill. The Bill directly affects many home counties, particularly Essex. Because of Clause 68, the Bill will inflict upon the ratepayers of the new County of Essex an additional rate burden of more than £1 million a year.
The reason for this unhappy situation is that the Bill cuts the present County of Essex into two parts. One part, the metropolitan part, is to be, and is now, the richest and most densely populated part of the present county. The second part will be the new County of Essex in which the cost of county services, including education, is more than £4 million a year greater than the cost which is now being borne by the metropolitan part of the county.
Essex has the remarkable achievement of having built more schools than any other local authority since the war. 384 Three hundred of those schools are spread over the county. When the county is severed, 200 of them will be in the new county. In addition, the new county is taking about 20,000 people a year from the Metropolis, a figure which has been maintained since the war. It is an extraordinary intake and the people are going mainly to that part of Essex which will be the new county.
The Royal Commission accepted the principle that counties like Essex, severed by the Bill, would need financial aid, and Clause 68 as now amended—and for this small mercy I, for one, am grateful on behalf of the ratepayers of Essex—is supposed to cushion any sudden increase in the rates. But before any aid is given to the ratepayers of the new county, the additional rate in 1965 and 1966 must exceed 5d., and the first 5d. will not attract any aid. The ratepayers of the new county will therefore have to pay an additional burden of about £1,250,000, or nearly all of the additional burden which will result from the severance of the county, before they receive any relief, and that relief is limited by Clause 68 to only eight years. After that there will be no special relief.
The only direct effect of the Bill upon Essex is the imposition of this quite intolerable new rate burden and it is not surprising—and I ask my right hon. Friend the Minister to note this—that the ratepayers of Essex are pretty hopping mad about the failure of the Government to give them what they consider to be proper protection. They describe it as wrong, unjust, and wholly unacceptable, and so do I, and I ask my right hon. Friend to give the House an assurance tonight that at some later stage, possibly in another place, an Amendment will be introduced to give proper protection to the ratepayers of Essex instead of imposing on them what I submit is an unjust burden. Unless I get that assurance, I shall not be able to support the Government tonight.
§ 9.55 p.m.
§ Mr. Michael Cliffe (Shoreditch and Finsbury)
We are reaching the end of our consideration of the Bill, and I have no doubt that the Government will get it through the House. I cannot imagine that some of the critics on the other side will be bold enough to join us in the Division Lobby against the Government.
385 The Bill is likely to have an effect on thousands of officers and officials connected with local authorities and county council authorities, and the speed with which it has been pushed through the House has done a great disservice to democracy. Objections to the Bill were raised by professional organisations and associations, and by hon. Members on both sides of the House. Despite all these objections, the Government decided to go through with it, and this is a dangerous practice.
Nobody, with the possible exception of a few senior civil servants in Whitehall and the Ministers responsible for seeing the Bill through the House, knows precisely what is the best thing to do for this review area. The Government will get the Bill and a good deal of work will be transferred from the London County Council to the local authorities and the county councils concerned, but this will not be the end of the problem; it will be only the beginning.
Thousands of people connected with local government have spent many years studying for and passing various examinations to enter the service, believing that it provided a worth-while career in which they would have complete security. The Bill will completely upset their calculations. My hon. Friend the Member for Fulham (Mr. M. Stewart) worked diligently and conscientiously to ensure that these local government employees were catered for during the transitional period. Compensation of itself is not sufficient reward for what they will lose. It will be no reward for those who have spent perhaps thirty years of their lives working up to the position which they now hold. Status is important to people. Local government services are no different from any others in this respect.
I do not want to do anything more than repeat what has been said over and over again by my hon. Friends about the London County Council. I have never been more convinced about anything in my life than I am that the Bill has been introduced because successive Tory Governments have been determined to see that the L.C.C. comes to an end, despite all the work that it has done. The services carried out by the Council have been the envy 386 of many people from other parts of the world.
I have heard hon. Members opposite boasting of those services. Yet, when the Bill was introduced, the Government argued that the London County Council was a remote body, and that nobody knew anything about it. They said that at L.C.C. elections only a small percentage of the electorate voted, because people did not know of the Council's existence. The truth is that its existence can be seen in every metropolitan borough, in the services which operate from County Hall. Those services operate even outside London—especially for the mentally handicapped.
I am not saying that what the London County Council does could not be achieved by local authorities, but we suggest that no political significance ought to be attached to anything we attempt to do in this respect which would in any way act to the detriment of services such as those for the mentally handicapped, and rehabilitation services of one kind and another which have been carefully worked out as a result of experience gained over many years. We take the view that the transitional period should extend to three, four or even five years, to enable the services to be properly transferred. Yet all the stages of the Bill have been hurried through with indecent haste, since last December.
I venture to express the view that we are not likely to prove more successful in what we are attempting to do in the review areas than we have been in respect of almost every other major policy decision of the Government during the past eighteen months. The Government have lost their way. They are now on their way out. In those circumstances, it is a great tragedy that they should have introduced a Bill such as this, from the point of view of those who will be seriously affected. I can only repeat what my hon. Friends have said. I hope that the General Election will come in time to ensure that the worst provisions of the Bill will not be carried out. Whenever the election comes, I know that my party will be returned as the Government, but the earlier we have the election the fewer tragedies will be caused by the Bill, especially in the review areas.
§ 10.5 p.m.
§ Lady Gammans (Hornsey)
Now that we have reached the Third Reading of the Bill I wish to say again, speaking for myself and for the Borough of Hornsey, that we welcome the Measure as a whole. We consider that the reform of London Government was long overdue, but I think that the Minister is aware that the majority of the Hornsey Borough Council, and many residents in Hornsey, were very disappointed with the proposal of the town clerks regarding the grouping of Borough 31 and 32. We considered that these proposals were contrary to the terms of reference laid down for the town clerks and approved by the Minister. We think that it was a mistaken decision to join Hornsey to Tottenham and Wood Green and not to Southgate and Wood Green. This view is shared by Tottenham.
Now that the decision for this grouping is final, and we have lost the fight we put up for our own proposals, I wish to assure my right hon. Friend that we in Hornsey propose to make every effort to ensure that the new borough will function efficiently, although we still maintain that the necessary ingredients, as it were, to make a workable borough are not present. I said during the Second Reading debate that the three main ingredients necessary for a workable borough are good communications, right density and community of interest. In the present grouping they are all lacking, in our view. However, in spite of this drawback we intend to do our best to make the borough work efficiently.
With this exception, which admittedly is a considerable exception, we welcome the other provisions in the Bill. There is little serious disagreement about the rest of this Measure from the point of view of Hornsey. We have always had a good reputation for education and we have been noted for the high standard of the schools in Hornsey. We think that the provisions in the Bill will enable us to do even better in the future regarding education than we have done in the past. In spite of the difficulties and problems, which will be many, we regard the task ahead as presenting a challenge. Believing as they do that the reform of London Government was long overdue, the people of Hornsey intend to do their best to play a fitting part in the London of the future.
§ 10.10 p.m.
§ Mr. R. W. Sorensen (Leyton)
I shall try to emulate so far as I can the exemplary brevity of the hon. Lady the Member for Hornsey (Lady Gammans), I am glad of the opportunity to intervene for a short time because, although I have not intervened before in discussions on this Bill, nor even had the privilege of serving on the Committee, nevertheless I represent an outer London area affected by the provisions and proposals of the Bill.
I was quite moved when the hon. and learned Member of Billericay (Mr. Gardner) referred to the trials and tribulations of Essex County Council and the fears that the financial provisions of the Bill are quite inadequate to meet the needs of the truncated county council of the future. I was moved because I served on that body for 21 years. I am sorry to know that it is in such difficulties and that henceforth it will not have the same dignity as the vast administrative county body had in previous years. I share with the hon. and learned Member appreciation of the great work, particularly in education, which that county council has rendered in bygone days. I hope that, even though with greater limitations, the new body will have the same spirit of service as the various councillors, aldermen and chairmen of the past county council had in their day.
Naturally I deplore, with other hon. Members on this side of the House—and I believe a few at least of the hon. Members opposite—the disappearance of London County Council. Anyone looking at the matter impartially and objectively would agree that it is no exaggeration to describe it as a world-famous municipal body. It is true that any of us who has been to other parts of the world has been impressed by the high regard in which the L.C.C. is held in very distant parts. In many fields it has set an example of splendid, dedicated and efficient service which will never be forgotten.
Now the L.C.C. is to disappear and we all should deeply regret this. That is not to say that there was not some need and scope for a measure of reorganisation. At the same time, however, there were many alternatives which 389 needed and demanded far greater consideration than that which has been given to them. I wondered at one time why it was not possible to leave the L.C.C. and its area as it is and take the rest of the outer London areas and divide them roughly into four parts if it was found desirable to have greater authorities administering larger areas. In any case that is now irrelevant. For good or ill the old L.C.C. will pass away and this new vaster body will take its place. I cannot understand those who, quite rightly, constantly deplore increased centralisation yet are themselves party to the establishment of a very large centralised administrative body like the future Greater London Council.
What applies in that respect applies also to my borough of Leyton. Leyton has been a borough for only comparatively few years, since about 1926, but as a township it is mentioned in Domesday Book. Together with its twin, Waltham-stow, it has a long and interesting history. It grew from very small beginnings until the two areas have merged and vied with each other in as splendid a service to the community as did the L.C.C. to its area.
I deplore the passing of Leyton Borough Council, as I am sure my hon. Friend the Member for Walthamstow, West (Mr. Redhead), who represents me in Parliament, equally deplores the passing of the Walthamstow borough, part of which he has had the privilege and honour to represent. One of the perhaps rather odd points of regret that I feel is that in the contemplated merger of three boroughs, Leyton, Walthamstow and Chingford, there will have to be only one mayor instead of, as now, three chief citizens of their respective districts. I regret this very much because of the reduced opportunity for ordinary citizens to become chief citizens, to wear the panoply of office for a whole area and have vested in them the significance of representing a large and important community, which is a very great honour that we should try to spread as much as possible.
The Bill will mean that in the merger of Leyton, Walthamstow and Chingford in future there will be one mayor and correspondingly less chance for ordinary citizens to be invested with this high office. I do not understand fully why 390 there should be this merger. I can understand certain arguments on the ground of technical efficiency, but against that there is surely the very serious loss of diminishing even still further the human contact between citizens on the one hand and their local authority on the other.
I would utter this warning. If this is but the prelude to further pressure towards centralisation, the country will be the loser. I register that small point because I feel that this is not a trivial matter. Many of my acquaintances and friends in the Boroughs of Leyton and of Walthamstow, some of them from very humble beginnings, have become chief citizens for a year. It is deplorable that the chance of that now has grown less.
I hope most earnestly that the Minister will give further consideration to the possibility of serious financial losses accruing from the Bill when it becomes an Act of Parliament. Reference has been made to Clause 68. I have read the debates that have taken place on Clause 66 and I know that there are genuine fears in many quarters that the proposals therein will operate adversely regarding the ratepayers of the new boroughs. My own town clerk has written to me on more than one occasion and I am sure that the four Members of Parliament for the area of the new borough to be merged have had communications from their present local authorities warning them of the possible financial dangers. I hope most earnestly, therefore, that the Minister will look at this very seriously again.
I hope on the other hand that if, against all our regrets, in the course of time there comes into existence this new merged body of Leyton and the other amalgamated bodies elsewhere it will lead to a stimulation of civic interest. If only the indignation that has been so sincerely evidenced tonight can be converted into greater stimulus of civic interest we shall have some gain to offset the loss.
It is quite true that the percentage of those who vote in municipal elections is lamentably low compared with other parts of the world in countries such as India which I had the privilege of visiting a short time ago. There is no reason why there should not be a much greater percentage of citizens voting if only they would take to themselves a real sense of civic responsibility.
391 Years ago where I was born in the city of Islington, which makes me all the more interested in the passing of the L.C.C., in my boyhood days I remember my father standing as a "Progressive" candidate. Nostalgically I confess that in those days there seemed to be more election excitement than there is now. But a mere superficial effervescence in electioneering is no real measure of the value of the services rendered, and although electioneering may be quieter today I am convinced that the quietness does not denote any real lack of dedicated service or civic concern.
I end as I began by uttering this word of praise for the L.C.C. for its great services to London and indeed to the country and the world. I hope earnestly that whatever the result of our debate tonight and the Division afterwards, those of us who have to accept this regretted necessity will ensure that we do all that we can to make the new institutions as noble as those that may now pass away.
§ 10.19 p.m.
§ Captain John Litchfield (Chelsea)
Although the hon. and learned Member for Stoke Newington and Hackney, North (Mr. Weitzman) is not now in the Chamber, I must correct one thing that he said. He said that hon. Members on this side whose constituencies were affected by the Bill might be in favour of some points in it, but were against it as a whole. That is entirely contrary to the facts.
The facts are that many of us whose constituencies may be adversely affected by the Bill have reservations and criticisms to make an certain points, but are for the Bill as a whole. That certainly goes for me. The Bill has been for experts on local government, and those of us who were not authorities on local government before we started to debate the Bill have certainly learned a lot since it began its passage through the House.
The Bill has a limited interest to hon. Members outside the London area, but I think that it is not a bad thing that the House has been called on to make this very considerable effort for the improvement of local government in our capital, especially in view of the effort which we are frequently called upon to 392 make for regional interests of possibly less importance.
I congratulate my right hon. Friend and his hon. Friends who assisted him, in Committee particularly, on their achievements in handling such a complex Bill successfully through all its stages. If I may be allowed to do so, I should also like to pay tribute to right hon. and hon. Members opposite for their constructive and to me very responsible attitude towards what must to them be a detestable piece of legislation. There has been no disposition to obstruct in any of the proceedings which I have attended. Nor has there been any undue obtrusion of parish pump politics. I hope that if I now immediately descend rather near the parish pump myself I shall not be accused of that. May I assure the hon. Member for Fulham (Mr. M. Stewart) that I have my eye very closely on the clock, in his interests.
There are three points in which my constituency is disappointed. In my estimation, they offend against one of the basic principles of the Bill, which is the maximum possible delegation of authority to local authorities. I will not do more than summarise the three points, because they have already been exhaustively argued either on the Floor of the House or in Standing Committee. I am disappointed that my right hon. Friend was not more forthcoming on the question of the maximum number of councillors in the new combined boroughs. I say that for the record. I am also extremely disappointed in the decision giving the Minister of Transport power to impose parking meters upon local authorities which do not wish to have them. That is a retrograde step. I object to it now, and I give notice that I shall object to it far more strongly if it ever happens in Chelsea.
I am a little disappointed that the appointment of borough architects has been made imperative in the Bill. I will not develop this point any further.
The final point, which I have left until last, in case I am ruled out of order, is that I express regret at the manner in which the inquiry into the areas of the London boroughs in the First Schedule was conducted before my right hon. Friend entered into his previous office. I do not necessarily disagree with anything in the Schedule, but the plain fact 393 is that when imposing these agreements upon unwilling authorities it is most important that the people who are being imposed upon rightly or wrongly should fee! that they have had a fair hearing, that the issue has not been decided before they have been heard, and that it has not merely been a summary act. I will say no more about that. My right hon. Friend knows what I mean.
The hon. Member for Bermondsey (Mr. Mellish) made a great deal of play, as indeed many other hon. Members have, on the question of shotgun marriages. The expression "a shotgun marriage" might be suitable for a marriage between his constituency and mine, but it certainly is not appropriate to describe a marriage between Kensington and Chelsea, which perhaps might more aptly be described as a marriage of convenience between a beautiful young lady of artistic accomplishments and ancient lineage and a wealthy, large and very respectable—I will not say "dull"—gentleman in Kensington.
I think that all Members would agree that the Bill has had a fair fight, both upstairs and on the Floor of the House, and has emerged strengthened and improved as a result of the criticisms of some of the best-informed authorities on local government in the world. It now remains—assuming that the Bill becomes an Act—for the local authorities to implement it with the same sense of responsibility, whether or not they like it, as has been shown by hon. Members on both sides of the House.
§ 10.25 p.m.
§ Mr. M. Stewart
I am glad that the hon. Member for Chelsea (Captain Litchfield) managed to make his short speech, because it was the most enthusiastic praise for the Bill we have had from the benches opposite during the whole of the Third Reading debate. Only about two-thirds of his speech was hostile to the Bill.
In general, this debate has followed the pattern of earlier debates from the point of view of hon. Members opposite. Their speeches have contained a hurried sentence at the beginning—like a mumbled grace before meat—saying that they approve of the Bill as a whole, after which they have embarked on their dislikes of certain parts of it. The right hon. and learned Member for Chertsey 394 (Sir L. Heald) was delighted with the Bill now that Chertsey is out of it. The hon. Member for Chigwell (Mr. Biggs-Davison) was strongly in favour of it now that Chigwell is out of it. It did not emerge from their speeches just what were their other reasons for supporting the Bill.
As for the hon. and learned Member for Billericay (Mr. Gardner), have the Minister and the Chief Whip no heart when they think of the hon. Members who know that the Bill is wrong for their constituencies, but who are being forced to vote for it tonight? The Minister has not had a word of encouragement from his back benches. It was the same on Second Reading and in the debate on the White Paper.
We must note, too, that this Third Reading debate comes after very inadequate discussion of the Bill in Committee and on Report. That inadequacy is not due to any wasting of time, unless one takes the curious view of the hon. Member for Ilford, South (Mr. Cooper) that it is all right to discuss things in the House provided one is not embarking on wasting time by voting at the end of the discussion. Unless one adopts that view—a view more appropriate to the Supreme Soviet than to the United Kingdom Parliament—no one can say that time has been wasted in our discussion of the Bill.
Under the Guillotine we have worked diligently to make the best use of the time available to us. Even so, in Committee the important subjects of housing and planning could not be adequately discussed because of the time element and the Committee was left uncertain as to the division of powers between the Greater London Council and the boroughs. The Committee had to be content with assurances that at some later date ministerial orders and pronouncements would sort out that obscure question.
We had no time to adequately discuss the care of the blind. We had some discussion of the treatment of the mentally afflicted, but that, also, was not adequately discussed. We have been left, as the result of further discussion today, with the claims of the staff still unsatisfied and with their anxieties still unallayed. There are topics of considerable importance on which we simply have not been able to spend a minute. On the important question of what are to be the auditing 395 arrangements for the new boroughs, a subject in which many hon. Members are interested, not a moment was available for us to discuss that.
The hon. Member for Wembley, South (Mr. Russell), one of the Government's most titular supporters, raised the subject of having annual rather than triennial elections; but there has been no opportunity to have a word about that, although there were Amendments down to that effect. We are bound to say, therefore, that the Bill has been inadequately discussed and that that is the fault of no one but those who voted to put the Guillotine on the Measure.
None the less, even in that inadequate discussion we have been able to make some improvements. It would be churlish to deny that some part of the credit for those improvements lies with the Minister, to whose diligence and zeal in wrongdoing all of us on this side of the House will be willing to pay tribute.
But the right hon. Gentleman must also admit that a great many of such improvements were made on very important points which, in a properly drafted Bill, would have been taken into account at the start. There was a remarkable number of things of which the Opposition had to remind the Government. We were told over and over again that it was an intrinsic part of the whole theory of the Bill, when we talked of the breakdown of certain important services to the boroughs, that that would be all right because there would be a lot of co-operation between the boroughs. It was the Opposition who had to provide in the Bill for arrangements for joint ownership of property and for joint employment of staff. The co-operation envisaged by the Government was only between two boroughs. The right hon. Gentleman will find it was an Opposition Amendment which extended it from two to two or more boroughs. Then there was the cutting down of the still overgrown powers of direction of the Minister of Transport, which the Parliamentary Secretary, in opening this debate, implicitly admitted were too large when the Bill appeared in its first draft.
Then there were a few trifles which the Government did not think of putting in the Bill at all until the Opposition Amendments appeared on the Notice 396 Paper. There was some provision for the new borough councils in their first year, 1964–65, to have some money. The Bill provided that they would have to spend money. It was the Opposition who had to think up whence they were to get it, and the Government had to model their Amendment on the Opposition's to that effect.
Then there was the question of permanent finance of the Greater London Council. It was the Opposition who had to remind the Government that the L.C.C. has always had an annual money Bill, and that frankly, if we create a metropolitan authority of this size, we have still got to have such a device if its permanent finance is to be put on a proper footing. The Government were supposed to have devoted much attention to education. It was the Opposition who had to remind them that unless we put something in their Bill there would be no agreed syllabuses for religious instruction in any of the schools by the time they passed the Bill.
And as for the civic rights of teachers and other employees in the Inner London Education Authority, the Government showed—and this was a sign of grace, I think—a naïve delight and pleasure when we pointed out to them, first that they had forgotten those rights in the original drafting of the Bill, and, secondly, when we provided them with a suggestion as to how this defect could be remedied.
This is a really remarkable story of neglect and bad drafting by the Government. So, to that extent, we have made improvements, but the Government must understand that the fact that, in Committee, we were prepared to try to help make the Bill not a recipe for chaos does not commit us at all to the general principles, to which we are still wholly opposed, of the Government's policy. However, these improvements have been made. Now, can we say that the result is a good Bill? Can we say of this Bill what one of George Ill's chamberlains said of a lady of the Court, "She has reached an age where the first bloom of her ugliness is begining to wear off"? I am afraid not. We cannot say so.
If we look not at the particular details of the Bill, but at the essential nature of 397 it, we see, first, that is an enormous lost opportunity in the field of town and country and regional planning. I have made that point over and over again. If we want to solve the planning, housing and traffic problems of the Metropolis we have got to think not merely of the built up conurbation in the middle but of the south-eastern region, and we have got to support local government reform by other measures of policy in which the Government show no sign of being interested.
The comment is well made in The Guardian today. That newspaper was originally rather favourably inclined towards the Bill; but today, in the light of the recent findings of the Standing Conference on London Regional Planning, the Guardian, after surveying the gradual choking of the Metropolis, comments:… as the standing conference points out, there are no purely local solutions. National policies on land profiteering, capital investment, location of jobs, transport, and building controls arc all relevant But it seems nobody's job in the Government to look at the problem as a whole. Nor will the reform of London's local government solve the dilemma. The Greater London Council will have responsibilities for 8 million people. But the standing conference is worried about an area where 13 million people live and work.That, I think, summarises very well the real nature of the defect of the Bill and why I call it a lost opportunity.
It is a lost opportunity of planning in another respect, a respect often argued by my hon. Friend the Member for Hayes and Harlington (Mr. Skeffington). He was rebuked at one stage by the Government for having pointed out that when the Government started their reform there were nine planning authorities in Greater London and now, in the interests of simplicity, streamlining and overall strategic planning, there are 33.
The Government claim that that is not so. But let them look at the Bill. The Greater London Council is to prepare a development plan. Then each borough, and the Common Council of the City of London—which occurs as a refrain in almost each Clause of the Bill—is to prepare a plan of its own and to make in the Greater London Council's plan such modifications as it thinks necessary and proper provided that they are not inconsistent with the Greater London plan. But who is the judge of whether they 398 are inconsistent or not?—in the first instance the borough itself and in the case of final dispute the Minister. This is exactly what the Royal Commission complained of. It said, "Here are independent planning authorities, and they are always asking the Minister to resolve their conflicts." That is what we have here—planning authorities armed with sufficient power to be able to stand up one against another with the Minister as final arbiter, and 33 of them instead of nine. A lost opportunity!
Secondly, great damage is done to the social services. I do not believe that anybody who knows education is really satisfied with the set-up. We all know that the Inner London Education Authority is an extremely untidy creation. Yet if we try to reconcile the Government's original ideas in the Bill with the preservation of anything tolerable for the education of children in London, one can only do it, or even appear to do it, by this makeshift creation of the I.L.E.A. On nearly every one of the social services the verdict of those with expert knowledge is solidly against the Government. I do not believe that there is a single body of expert opinion that the Government have been able to mobilise on their side, though they have been able to placate to some extent the architects by a special Amendment mentioning them in certain Clauses, which resulted immediately in demands from the Institute of Housing Managers that they should be mentioned in the Bill as well.
Then there is the resentment of the truncated counties, so eloquently voiced by the right hon. and learned Member for Chertsey, the right hon. Member for Reigate (Sir J. Vaughan-Morgan) and the hon. and learned Member for Billericay, and there is the very unhappy and uncertain position of the staff.
Altogether, then, the Bill has been slovenly in its drafting, inadequately considered and harshly inconsiderate to the many people whose lives it affects. Finally, the Bill is the creature of a Government who not only have no mandate for it but have lost the confidence of the country in every field of policy.
I am glad to see in the House tonight my hon. Friends the Members for Colne Valley (Mr. Duffy), Rotherham (Mr. O'Malley) Swansea, West (Mr. McBride) and Dorset, South (Mr. Barnett). Their 399 presence here, and the circumstances in which they arrived are sufficient evidence of what I have just been saying.
Since, then, a change of Government is imminent, I should plainly say that we on this side of the House do not accept the pattern imposed on London by the Bill. A new Government will have the right to provide London with a sounder and wiser plan. Therefore, if the change of Government occurs this year, we shall repeal the Bill. If the change of Government occurs after the new borough councils are elected, we shall halt the transfer of functions and the break-up of the social services which the Bill seeks to effect. One or the other of those steps, according to time, will be neceessary, and will be taken so as to reserve to a new Government the right and the power to recast the government of London in a manner truly in accord with the needs of the time.
§ 10.41 p.m.
§ Sir K. Joseph
The hon. Member for Fulham (Mr. M. Stewart) has had all the glory of building a new London with words, without having had any of the problems, the difficulties and the odium of tackling the real job which this Government have tried to do. But, having said that, I add that I know that all hon. Members who were on the Committee would wish me to start my speech by paying a tribute to the same hon. Member for the conscientious, clear way in which he has fought this Bill at every stage. He has played a most responsible part. As I shall criticise much that he has done, it is only fair that I should say that.
The Committee has been a most useful though time-consuming one, and it is true that a number of worth while Amendments have been made. 1 think that in a number of cases functions and powers that were to have been arranged by order have, by Amendments, often from hon. Members opposite, been put into the Bill. This is not a major achievement—it may have appeased hon. Members opposite, and the Government were anxious to save time, but it is quite wrong to pretend otherwise. In fact, the credit for the Amendments that were made fell just as much with my hon. Friends as with hon. Members opposite. Finally, on Amendments, I should add 400 that had the London County Council come to life earlier, a lot of the clarification that would have emerged from the normal consuliation that occurs with Bills of this sort would have been able to have been put in the original drafting of the Bill.
Before passing from reference to the Committee stage, I would pay a tribute to the services of hon. Members on both sides of that Committee who did so much homework and who were so patient and, in most cases, so constructive. I would add a special word of thanks to my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary for his diligent and steady work, and for the services of my hon. Friends the other Parliamentary Secretaries concerned.
I have been asked a number of questions, and I want to deal with as many of them as possible, but I hope that the hon. Member for Barking (Mr. Driberg) will allow me to answer one of his four questions now, and to write to him later about the other three. There is absolutely no reason why the Greater London Council, which will have the powers, should not be just as enlightened a patron of the arts as the London County Council has been.
§ Sit K. Joseph
Perhaps I may put it the other way: that the hon. Member enjoyed himself in asking absolutely difficult questions on the more obscure parts of the Bill. I have the answers here, but I do not think that the House would thank me for giving them now.
My hon. Friend the Member for Wembley, South (Mr. Russell) raised a subject of triennial or annual elections, and there is here a question to consider. I doubt whether he is quite right in his analysis of the cause of low polls. The Royal Commission in analysing London low polls thought that in the Metropolitan borough councils they were due both to the complexity of local government in London and to the narrow powers of the Metropolitan borough councils.
My right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Chertsey (Sir L. Heald), backed up vigorously by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Billericay (Mr. Gardner) and my hon. Friend the Member for Chigwell (Mr. Biggs-Davison), urged more transitional assistance to truncated counties. This is a 401 grievance that I well understand and which I am quite willing to consider if new figures can be brought to me. That assurance I can give, but I think I ought to make it plain that in the view of the Government there is bound, in the shifting of populations and as the result of local government reform, to be some change in the rate burden, sometimes up and sometimes down, which does not fall upon the Government or the ratepayers from the areas immediately concerned completely to iron out.
There is need for transitional assistance and I very gladly undertake to look at any figures presented to me. I cannot give such a firm assurance to my hon. Friend the Member for Chigwell, wearing the hat of his other grievance about the Metropolitan Police District, but there is, perhaps, some more information which may help him to understand the Government's reason and my hon. Friend the Joint Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department will be writing to him in full.
I have only time to deal with a number of individual items this evening before I come to recapitulate the main advantages that the Government see in this Measure. Perhaps I should pick mainly, with the limited time at my disposal, on the planning functions which are particularly dear to my heart because I think that on the quality of the planning so much of the future for Londoners depends.
The hon. Member for Fulham has given a caricature of the position. We have to distinguish clearly between the development plan functions of local authorities and the development control factions. So far as the development plan is concerned, the powers are firmly in the hands of the Greater London Council to make a Great London development plan and to see to it that the local development plans evolved by the individual London boroughs conform with the Metropolitan development plan. So much for the development plan.
Now I come to development control, where the Bill equally firmly puts the power on the boroughs though giving to the Greater London Council the right to receive and possibly change those planning applications which would have a wider than local impact or which may 402 be thought to depart from the Greater London plan. The very idea which seems implicit in the hon. Gentleman's criticism that development control over an area with a population of 8½ million could be centralised in the Greater London Council shocks me and I am surprised that he could imagine such a thing. It would absolutely drown the Greater London Council which is meant to reserve its efforts for the strategic functions of London as a whole.
When it comes to quality, we quite realise that it is not for planners to have such terms that they can ride over an area of 8½ million people in the matter of beautiful architecture as well as handling all the other necessary matters in their charge. If we are to get technically modern architecture we need to create centres of enthusiasm, quality and skill in the boroughs working within a Great London development plan and referring where proper, of course, to the Greater London authority.
This is why I make no apology whatever for trying to create in Greater London boroughs which will have control over their local development within the Metropolitan planning area.
If I may try and dig beneath the many different issues which have divided the Committee and the House during our discussions to a deeper level still, what we have been really discussing in principle is how best to equip local government to tackle the complex and inter-related problems of today and tomorrow on behalf of a population, with rising standards, of 8½ million. This is not an ignoble task to set ourselves and it is right that there might be differences of opinion. The Government believe that the London borough, a local authority of a major size, with population of a quarter of a million standard, will be able to afford first-class staff and good resources and therefore will be able to attract men and women with ideals and competence the better able to improve the life of the people than the present system of smaller units with limited powers under powerful but remote counties. That was the opinion of the Royal Commission. That is the Government's opinion, and I believe that it is also the opinion of a large number of people all over London who would never dream of voting other than Socialist.
403 I believe that there are many people in Socialist boroughs and on Socialist councils who believe strongly that their councils, merged perhaps with others, should have wider powers because they see how much needs to be done for their citizens which they can get on with given the proper powers within a proper framework. It is an uphill struggle to achieve local government reorganisation. On that I am sure there will be no disagreement. I am not for a moment claiming that there is any virtue in unpopularity, but there are some objectives so worth while that they are worth struggling and fighting for. In the Government's view this is one of them.
Any effective reorganisation must involve some breaking of treasured attachments. I realise the strength of the views of hon. Members. In particular, since I am grateful for their support in many cases despite their views on narrow parts of the Bill, I appreciate the general support of my hon. Friends who have criticised the Bill in detail. They are those who, like my hon. Friend the Member for Hornsey (Lady Gammans), object to it strongly where it affects their local position. [Laughter.] I see nothing to laugh at. They are hon. Members who believe something to be so good in general that they subordinate local objections in the light of the general interest. As my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Chelsea (Captain Litchfield) said, in a vigorous and very salty and excellent speech just now, in nearly every case my hon. Friends approved the Bill despite what are quite proper objections in principle and in detail which many of them made in Committee.
The Bill is based on the conviction that local government for Londoners needs new powers and a new structure and that, given those, men and women of good will will be brought back to local government from all the other outlets which their enthusiasm may find today. The Bill provides the new powers, creating for the first time a Metropolitan authority, armed with effective planning, transport and redevelopment powers and with the duty to provide housing outside London for those who cannot be housed decently within. The Bill provides a new structure, re-forming 90 or more local autho- 404 rities of a widely differing size into 32 broadly similar London boroughs with sufficient resources and population to be able to undertake the whole range of normal local authority and personal services.
§ Sir K. Joseph
For the first time, the problem of London will be able to be settled and dealt with as a whole so that regional planning in the South-East may have at its call an administration, as far as regional factors are concerned, for the whole of the 8½ million population of Greater London. Armed with these new powers, and organised in this new structure, local government, we are convinced, will do better for Londoners than the present system.
Hon. Members on both sides of the House have pleaded, in the interests of special cases, in health, welfare or the children's services, that a longer transition period is needed, or that county control, despite the mammoth organisation which would be involved, is preferable to embarking upon the difficulties of reorganisation. I believe, and the Government are convinced, that the objective of putting into the hands of strong and relatively local London boroughs all the personal services is a worth-while one and will achieve for the citizen better services even than now. This will not be because officers and members are not now struggling valiantly and effectively to provide the best possible services but because much of their effort has to go into making a very large organisation work.
Secondly, we believe that, while the vast bulk of the case loads will fall squarely within the London boroughs' capacity to provide decent services, the smaller number of relatively rare cases which can be served only over a catchment area larger than a London borough will, by various means and by various services, be as well looked after as they are now.
§ Sir K. Joseph
The right hon. Gentleman continues to interrupt from a sitting position. He says "A noble claim". Indeed, I am claiming that, for the broad mass of the case load, the services to Londoners will be better, and for the others the services will be at least as good.
Against all this, the Opposition have been perverse, parochial and static. They have been perverse because they have met this constructive and courageous project of the Government by allegations that our motives are unworthy, although they themselves agree that London government needs reform. They have been parochial because, time after time, their arguments have been addressed only to the London County Council area, as if they had forgotten
§ that, time and again during the past decades, the urges of Ilford, Ealing and other boroughs to achieve county borough status have had to be refused pending the comprehensive review that the Government have now undertaken. They have been static not because they have wrecked but because they have fought a defensive action without an ounce of positive dynamic in it.
§ It is because we have had the resolution to do what needs to be done for the good of Londoners that I ask the House to give the Bill massive support on Third Reading tonight.
§ Question put, That the Bill be now read the Third time:—
§ The House divided: Ayes 285, Noes 226.409
|Division No. 92.]||AYES||[10.58 p.m.|
|Agnew, Sir Peter||Couison, Michael||Henderson, John (Cathcart)|
|Allan, Robert (Paddington, S.)||Courtney, Cdr. Anthony||Hendry, Forbes|
|Allason, James||Craddock, Sir Beresford(Spelthorne)||Hicks Beach, Maj. W.|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Julian||Crawley, Aidan||Hiley, Joseph|
|Ashton, Sir Hubert||Critchley, Julian||Hill, Dr. Rt. Hon. Charles (Luton)|
|Atkins, Humphrey||Crowder, F. P.||Hill, Mrs. Eveline (Wythenshawe)|
|Awdry, Daniel (Chippenham)||Cunningham, Knox||Hill, J. E. B. (S. Norfolk)|
|Balniel, Lord||Curran, Charles||Hirst, Geoffrey|
|Barber, Anthony||Dance, James||Hobson, Sir John|
|Barlow, Sir John||d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry||Hocking, Philip N.|
|Barter, John||Deedes, Rt. Hon. W. F.||Holland, Philip|
|Batsford, Brian||Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. M.||Hollingworth, John|
|Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Cos & Fhm)||Drayson, G. B.||Hope, Rt. Hon. Lord John|
|Berkeley, Humphry||du Cann, Edward||Hopkins, Alan|
|Bevins, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Duncan, Sir James||Hornby, R. P.|
|Bidgood, John C.||Elliot, Capt Walter (Carshalton)||Hornsby-Smith, Rt. Hon. Dame P.|
|Bitten, John||Elllott.R.W.(Newc'tle-upon-Tyne.N.)||Howard, Hon. C. R. (St. Ives)|
|Biggs-Davison, John||Emery, Peter||Howard, John (Southampton, Test)|
|Bingham, R. M.||Emmet, Hon. Mrs. Evelyn||Hughes Hallett, Vice-Admiral John|
|Birch, Rt. Hon. Nigel||Errington, Sir Eric||Hughes-Young, Michael|
|Bishop, F. P.||Erroll, Rt, Hon. F. J.||Hulbert, Sir Norman|
|Bossom, Hon. Clive||Farr, John||Hutchison, Michael Clark|
|Bourne-Arton, A.||Fletcher-Cooke, Charles||Iremonger, T. L.|
|Box, Donald||Forrest, George||Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hon. John||Foster, John||Jackson, John|
|Boyle, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward||Fraser,Rt.Hn.Hugh(Stafford&Stone)||James, David|
|Braine, Bernard||Fraser, Ian (Plymouth, Sutton)||Jennings, J. C.|
|Brewis, John||Freeth, Denzil||Johnson, Or. Donald (Carlisle)|
|Bromley-Davenport.Lt.-Col.SlrWaltei||Galbraith, Hon. T. G. D.||Johnson, Eric (Blackley)|
|Brooke, Rt. Hon. Henry||Gammans. Lady||Johnson Smith, Geoffrey|
|Brown, Alan (Tottenham)||Gibson-Watt, David||Jones, Arthur (Northants, S.)|
|Bryan, Paul||Cilmour, Ian (Norfolk, Central)||Jones, Rt. Hn. Aubrey (Hall Green)|
|Bullard, Denys||Gilmour, Sir John (East Fife)||Joseph, Rt. Hon. Sir Keith|
|Burden, F. A.||Glyn, Dr. Alan (Clapham)||Kaberry, Sir Donald|
|Butcher, Sir Herbert||Glyn, Sir Richard (Dorset, N.)||Kerby, Cant. Henry|
|Butler,Rt.Hn.R,A.(Saffron Walden)||Goodhart, Philip||Kerr, Sir Hamilton|
|Campbell, Cordon (Moray & Nairn)||Goodhew, Victor||Kirk, Peter|
|Carr, Robert (Barons Court)||Gower, Raymond||Kitson, Timothy|
|Carr, Robert (Mitcham)||Grant.Ferris, R.||Lancaster, col. C. G.|
|Gary, Sir Robert||Green, Alan||Langford-Holt, Sir John|
|Channon, H. P. G.||Gresham Cooke, R.||Leather, Sir Edwin|
|Chataway, Christopher||Grosvenor, Lt.-Col. R. G.||Leavey, J. A.|
|Ctark, Henry (Antrim, N.)||Gurden, Harold||Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry|
|Clark, William (Nottingham, S.)||Hall, John (Wycombe)||Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)|
|Clarke, Brig. Terence(Portsmth,W.)||Hamilton, Michael (Wellingborough)||Lilley, F. J. P.|
|Cleaver, Leonard||Hare, Rt. Hon. John||Lindsay, Sir Martin|
|Cole, Norman||Harris, Reader (Heston)||Linstead, Sir Hugh|
|Cooke, Robert||Harrison, Brian (Maldon)||Litchfield, Capt. John|
|Cooper, A. E.||Harrison, Col Sir Harwood (Eye)||Lloyd,Rt.Hn.Ceoffrey(Sut'nC'dfield)|
|Cooper-Key, Sir Neill||Harvey, John (Walthamstow, E.)||Lloyd, Rt. Hon. Seiwrn (Wirral)|
|Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K.||Harvie Anderson, Miss||Longden, Gilbert|
|Corfield, F. V.||Hastings, Stephen||Loveys, Walter H.|
|Costain, A. P.||Hay, John||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh|
|Heald, Rt. Hon. Sir Lionel|
|MacArthur, Ian||Plckthorn, Sir Kenneth||Tapsell, Peter|
|McLaren, Martin||Pitman, Sir James||Taylor, Edwin (Bolton, E.)|
|McLaughlin, Mrs. Patricia||Pott, Percivall||Taylor, Frank (M'ch'at'r, Moss Side)|
|Maclay, Rt. Hon. John||Powell, Rt. Hon. J. Enoch||Temple, John M.|
|Macleod, Rt. Hn. Iain (Enfield, W.)||Price, David (Eastleigh)||Thatcher, Mrs. Margaret|
|MacLeod, John (Ross A Cromarty)||Price, H. A. (Lewisham, W.)||Thomas, sir Leslie (Canterbury)|
|McMaster, Stanley R.||Prior, J. M. L.||Thomas, Peter (Conway)|
|Macmillan,Rt.Hn.Harold(Bromley)||Profumo, Rt. Hon. John||Thompson, Sir Kenneth (Walton)|
|Macmillan, Maurice (Halifax)||Proudfoot, Wilfred||Thompson, Sir Richard (Croydon,S.)|
|Macpherson,Ht.Hn.Niall(Dumfries)||Pym, Francis||Thorneycroft, Rt. Hon. Peter|
|Maddan, Martin||Quennell, Miss J. M.||Thornton-Kemsley, Sir Colin|
|Maginnis, John E.||Ramsden, James||Tiley, Arthur (Bradford, W.)|
|Maitland, Sir John||Redmayne, Rt. Hon. Martin||Touche, Rt. Hon. Sir Gordon|
|Marples, Rt. Hon. Ernest||Rees, Hugh||Turner, Colin|
|Marten, Neil||Renton, Rt. Hon. David||Turton, Rt. Hon. R. H.|
|Mathew, Robert (Honiton)||Ridsdale, Julian||Tweedsmuir, Lady|
|Matthews, Gordon (Meriden)||Roberts, Sir Peter (Heeley)||van Straubenzee, W. R.|
|Mawby, Ray||Robinson, Rt. Hn. Sir R. (B'pool,S.)||Vane, W. M. F.|
|Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.||Robson Brown, Sir William||Vickers, Miss Joan|
|Maydon, Lt.-Cmdr. S. L. C.||Rodgers, John (Sevenoaks)||Vosper, Rt. Hon. Dennis|
|Mills, Stratum||Roots, William||Wakefield, Sir Wavell|
|Miscampbell, Norman||Ropner, Col. Sir Leonard||W alder, David|
|More, Jasper (Ludlow)||Royle, Anthony (Richmond, Surrey)||walker, Peter|
|Morgan, William||St. Clair, M.||Wall, Patrick|
|Mott-Radclyffe, Sir Charles||Sandys, Rt. Hon. Duncan||Ward, Dame Irene|
|Nabarro, Sir Gerald||Scott-Hopkins, James||Watkinson, Rt. Hon. Harold|
|Neave, Airey||Sharpies, Richard||Webster, David|
|Nicholls, Sir Harmar||Shaw, M.||Wells, John (Maidstone)|
|Noble, Rt. Hon. Michael||Shepherd, William||Whitelaw, William|
|Nugent, Rt. Hon. Sir Richard||Skeet, T. H. H.||Williams, Dudley (Exeter)|
|Oakshott, Sir Hendrie||Smith, Dudley (Br'ntf'd & Chiswick)||Williams, Paul (Sunderland, S.)|
|Orr, Capt. L. P. S.||Smyth, Rt. Hon. Brig. Sir John||Wills, Sir Gerald (Bridgwater)|
|Orr-Ewing, C. Ian||Soames, Rt. Hon. Christopher||Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)|
|Osborn, John (Hallam)||Spearman, Sir Alexander||Wise, A. R.|
|Osborne, Sir Cyril (Louth)||Spelr, Rupert||Wolrige-Cordon, Patrick|
|Page, Graham (Crosby)||Stanley, Hon. Richard||Woodhouse, C. M.|
|Page, John (Harrow, West)||Stevens, Geoffrey||Woodnutt, Mark|
|Pannell, Norman (Kirkdale)||Steward, Harold (Stockport, S.)||Woollam, John|
|Partridge, E.||Stodart, J. A.||Worsley, Marcus|
|Pearson, Frank (Clitheroe)||Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir Malcolm|
|Peel, John||Storey, Sir Samuel||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Percival, Ian||Studholme, Sir Henry||Mr. Chichester-Clarl e and|
|Peyton, John||Summers, Sir Spencer||Mr. Finlay.|
|Ainsley, William||Darling, George||Hayman, F. H.|
|Albu, Austen||Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.)||Henderson,Rt.Hn.Arthur(RwlyRegis)|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford E.)||Davies, Harold (Leek)||Hill, J. (Midlothian)|
|Awbery, Stan (Bristol Central)||Davies, Ifor (Gower)||Hilton, A. V.|
|Bacon, Miss Alice||Deer, George||Holman, Percy|
|Baird, John||Delargy, Hugh||Hooson, H. E.|
|Barnett, Cuy||Dempsey, James||Houghton, Douglas|
|Baxter, William (Stirlingshire W.)||Diamond, John||Howell, Charles A. (Perry Barr)|
|Beaney, Alan||Dodds, Norman||Howell, Denis (Small Heath)|
|Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J.||Donnelly, Desmond||Hoy, James H.|
|Bence, Cyril||Doughty, Charles||Hughes, Cledwyn (Anglesey)|
|Bennett, J. (Glasgow, Bridgeton)||Driberg, Tom||Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)|
|Benson, Sir George||Duffy, A. E. P.||Hunter, A. E.|
|Black, Sir Cyril||Edelman, Maurice||Hynd, H. (Accrington)|
|Blackburn, F.||Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly)||Hynd, John (Attercliffe)|
|Blyton, William||Edwards, Robert (Bilston)||Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill)|
|Boardman, H,||Edwards, Walter (stepney)||Irving, Sydney (Dartford)|
|Bowden, Rt. Hn. H. W. (Leics,S.W.)||Finch, Harold||Janner, Sir Barnett|
|Bowles, Frank||Fitch, Alan||Jay, Rt. Hon. Douglas|
|Boyden, James||Fletcher, Eric||Jeger, George|
|Bradley, Tom||Foot, Michael (Ebbw Vale)||Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, s.)|
|Bray, Dr. Jeremy||Forman, J. c.||Jones, Dan (Burnley)|
|Brockway, A. Fenner||Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton)||Jones, Elwyn (West Ham, S.)|
|Broughton, Dr. A. D. D.||Galpern, Sir Myer||Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham)|
|Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper)||Ginsburg, David||Jones, T. W. (Merioneth)|
|Bullus, Wing Commander Eric||Gourlay, Harry||Kelley, Richard|
|Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.)||Greenwood, Anthony||King, Dr. Horace|
|Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)||Grey, Charles||Lawson, George|
|Callaghan, James||Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)||Ledger, Ron|
|Carmichael, Nell||Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly)||Lee, Frederick (Newton)|
|Castle, Mrs. Barbara||Griffiths, W. (Exchange)||Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock)|
|Chapman, Donald||Grimond, Rt. Hon. J.||Lever, Harold (Cheetham)|
|Cliffe, Michael||Gunter, Ray||Lever, L. M. (Ardwick)|
|Collick, Percy||Hale, Leslie (Oldham, W.)||Lewis, Arthur (West Ham, N.)|
|Corbet, Mrs. Freda||Hamilton, William (West Fife)||Lipton, Marcus|
|Craddock, George (Bradford, S.)||Hannan, William||Loughlin, Charles|
|Cronin, John||Harper, Joseph||Lubbock, Erie|
|Crosland, Anthony||Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.W.)||McBrlde, N.|
|Dalyell, Tam||Hart, Mrs. Judith||McCann, John|
|MacColl, James||Pavitt, Laurence||Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R. (Vauxhall)|
|MacDermot, Niall||Pearson, Arthur (Pontypridd)||Stross,Dr.Barnett(Stoke-on-Trent,C.)|
|McInnes, James||Peart, Frederick||Swain, Thomas|
|McKay, John (Wallsend)||Pentland, Norman||Swingler, Stephen|
|Mackie, John (Enfield, East)||Plummer, Sir Leslie||Symonds, J. B.|
|McLeavy, Frank||Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)||Taverne, D.|
|MacMillan, Malcolm (Western Isles)||Probert, Arthur||Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)|
|MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling)||Proctor, W. T.||Thomas, George (Cardiff, W.)|
|Mahon, Simon||Pursey, Cmdr. Harry||Thomas, Iorwerth (Rhondda, W.)|
|Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)||Rankin, John||Thompson, Dr. Alan (Dunfermline)|
|Mallalieu,J.P.W. (Huddersfield,E.)||Redhead, E, C.||Thomson, CM. (Dundee, E.)|
|Manuel, Archie||Reid, William||Thornton, Ernest|
|Mapp, Charles||Reynolds, G. W.||Timmons, John|
|Marsh, Richard||Rhodes, H.||Tomney, Frank|
|Mason, Roy||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)||Wainwright, Edwin|
|Mayhew, Christopher||Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon)||Warbey, William|
|Mellish, R. J.||Robertson, John (Paisley)||Watkins, Tudor|
|Mendelson, J. J.||Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)||Weitzman, David|
|Millan, Bruce||Rodgers, W. T. (Stockton)||Wells, William (Walsall, N.)|
|Milne, Edward||Ross, William||White, Mrs. Eirene|
|Mitchison, C. R,||Russell, Ronald||Whitlock, William|
|Monslow, Walter||Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.||Wigg, George|
|Moody, A. S.||Silverman, Julius (Aston)||Wilkins, W. A.|
|Morris, John||Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)||Willey, Frederick|
|Mulley, Frederick||Skeffington, Arthur||Williams, D. J. (Neath)|
|Neal, Harold||Slater, Joseph (Sedgefield)||Williams, L.l. (Abertillery)|
|Noel-Baker, Francis (Swindon)||Small, William||Williams, W. R. (Openshaw)|
|Noel-Baker,Rt.Hn.Phillp(Derby,S.)||Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)||Williams, W. T. (Warrington)|
|O'Mally, B K.||Oram, Julian||Willis, E. G. (Edinburgh, E.)|
|Oram, A. E.||Sorensen, R. W.||Winterbottom, R. E.|
|Oswald, Thomas||Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank||Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A.|
|Owen, Will||Spriggs, Leslie||Woof, Robert|
|Padley, w. E.||Steele, Thomas||Wyatt, Woodrow|
|Stewart, Michael (Fulham)||Yates, Victor (Ladywood)|
|Paget, R. T.||Zilliacus, K.|
|Pannell, Charles (Leeds, W.)||Stonehouse, John|
|Parker, John||Stones, William||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Parkin, B. T,||Strachey, Rt. Hon. John||Mr. Shore and Mr. G. H. R. Rogers.|
§ Bill accordingly read the Third time and passed.