HC Deb 25 July 1963 vol 681 cc1883-928

Lords Amendment: In page 92, line 24, leave out "and" and insert "or".

Mr. Corfield

I beg to move. That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment.

Although this looks like drafting it is rather more than that in that it widens the requirements and gives additional flexibility. If hon. Members read the Clause as it now stands with the word "and" instead of "or", they will see that the Amendment goes rather further than mere drafting.

Question put and agreed to.

Lords Amendment: In page 92, line 38, leave out from "persons" to end of line 40 and insert: elected by, or appointed by or on the nomination of—

  1. (i) any council affected by Part I of this Act; or
  2. (ii) any two or more bodies who include such a council;".

Mr. Corfield

I beg to move, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment.

Paragraph (b) of Clause 81(2) provides that orders dealing with transitional provisions may make the necessary substitution where any authority affected by re organisation is represented on or appoints

Lords Amendment: In page 94, line 15, leave out from "provision" to end of line 22 and insert—
5 "with respect to any person who is transferred under this Act (or, as the case may be, in pursuance of any agreement under the said section 24(7)) from the employment of one authorrity to that of another as to secure that—
10 (a) so long as he continues in the employment of that other authority by virtue of the transfer and until he is served with a statement in writing of new terms and conditions of employment, he enjoys terms and conditions of employment not less favourable than those he enjoyed immediately before the date of transfer; and

members to some other body. In the case of the Lea Conservancy Catchment Board the membership of which is set out in the local Act of 1950 the majority of the members are appointed by local authorities but four members are elected by groups of authorities in accordance with specified procedure. Some are within and some outside the Greater London area. The Amendment enables the necessary substitution to be made not only in respect of elected members but also of members appointed by the authorities.

Question put and agreed to.

Lords Amendment: In page 93, line 7, leave out from "in" to second "of" in line 10 and insert "section 148(l)(a) to (h) and (2)".

7.45 p.m.

Miss Pike

I beg to move, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment.

This Amendment goes with the next, in line 20. It enables an Order under Clause 81, which relates to supplementary and transitional matters, to make provision regarding the matters mentioned in Section 148(1,d) of the Local Government Act, 1933. The paragraph deals among other things with the functions and area of jurisdiction of public bodies and all courts and officers connected with the administration of justice. In the Bill as it left this House that paragraph applied only to areas outside Greater London. It may be necessary for it to apply to the Greater London area, also.

The second Amendment extends the power to make supplementary or transitional orders under Clause 81(2,e) as Amended by the first amendment.

Question put and agreed to.

Subsequent Lords Amendments agreed to.

(b) the said new terms and conditions are such that—
(i) so long as he is engaged in duties reasonably comparable to those in which he was engaged immediately before the date of transfer, the scale of his salary or remuneration, and 15
(ii) the other terms and conditions of his employment,
are not less favourable than those he enjoyed immediately before the date of transfer." 20

Read a Second time.

Mr. M. Stewart

I beg to move, as an Amendment to the Lords Amendment, in line 6, to leave out from "transfer" to "he" in line 7.

I should mention that a later Amendment, not the next but the following Amendment to the Lords Amendment, would be consequential to this one in that, if the one I am moving were accepted, the words from "transferred" in line 11 onwards would then become unnecessary. I mention that to show that these two Amendments, one in line 7 and one in line 11, are linked.

The principle involved is that when an officer is transferred from the employment of one authority to that of another as a result of the operation of this Bill he should not suffer loss of emoluments whether or not he is transferred to what are called similar duties. As matters stand, if such an officer is transferred to what are regarded as similar duties his emoluments, conditions, and so on, remain the same, but if he is transferred to what are not considered similar duties but lesser duties he could, and in some cases will, suffer a loss of emoluments and prospects. We argued this complex matter of staff at considerable length in Committee and on Report. Opinion was divided not always on strict party lines. When faced with the difficulty on Report at one point an Amendment which the Government were inclined to regard with favour was declared to be out of order. Since then the matter has been the subject of further consideration in another place.

I say that by way of prelude, because I think that now we should try to look at this question afresh and without prejudice, and consider what are the merits of the principle that when, as a result of the operation of this Bill, an officer is transferred from one authority to another it should be assured to him that he does not suffer in salary, in prospects or in pension as a result solely of the operation of this Bill and his transfer under it.

There is one general argument in favour of such a proposition. It is that the servants of local government, like the servants of central Government, are given to understand that, provided they do their work well and continue to deserve to be employed, they have the security of their job and the salary that goes with the job. That is one reason why the State is able to attract to its service, in both central Government and local government, able people who could command higher salaries outside. The State is able to do that partly because of a genuine desire by some people to serve their country and enjoy the distinction that goes with it, but to quite a considerable extent it is because of the special security of tenure and prospects that is supposed to go with civil Service or local government work. That is an important principle, and if we do not provide in this Bill that an officer is properly protected when he is transferred from the employment of an old authority to a new one, or from one authority to another as a result of this Bill, we jeopardise that principle.

If we want to justify the proposition which I am advancing we are asked to prove two things. First, whether from the point of view of the person concerned a loss may be involved, and, secondly—it may appear to conflict—if the amount of extra expenditure which may fall on the State as a result of this proposal is totalled up, that total will not be very big. As a matter of fact, both those propositions could properly be claimed in this case. It could make a serious difference to the officers concerned. Take, for example, a fairly senior officer say, in the children's department of the London County Council. I choose the London County Council, not because it is the only authority whose employees are affected—not by a long chalk—but because it is the biggest example. I choose the children's service because it is the most striking example of a service now on a county basis which is to be broken up in the smaller authorities.

We may get a fairly senior officer in the children's service of the L.C.C. now earning, say, £1,710 a year and with the prospect of his salary rising in the following year to its maximum of £1,760 for that kind of work. Such a man might very well find himself transferred to a post in the service of a borough to do work in the children's service at a salary of £1,623. That would mean a loss in the first year for him in his new employment of £87 and for every suceeding year for which he was employed of £137. That is a very considerable sum. If we do not insert in the Bill something such as I am proposing, that sort of thing could happen to certain persons.

Further, it could make a serious difference to the individual. It may be said that although that is what could happen, it is very unlikely to happen except to a very few individuals. If that be so—I think it is—that is all the more reason for doing what I am asking should be done. I am asking for something which cannot add up to a very serious burden on the whole body of ratepayers and taxpayers, whereas not doing it may impose a serious loss on individuals concerned. Therefore, both those necessary propositions are proved.

Next we have to notice what will be the effect on the pension prospects of some of these officers. Pensions are, of course, normally reckoned on the average salary drawn by the person concerned in the last few years of service. A person who in middle-age is moved from one authority to another, could suffer a loss of salary such as I have described and he might find himself with a permanently lower pension because during the last five years or so of his employment, which would come under the new authority, his salary would be lower than otherwise it would have been.

When we debated this matter in this House on 1st April—it was after mid-day and so the Minister cannot plead that this was done with the jocularity customary on that day—the right hon. Gentleman said that he gave a firm undertaking that pension rights would be protected. I find it difficult to see how that undertaking can be firm unless the Amendment which I am moving, or something very like it, is introduced into the Bill.

There is another reason which I would not press too far although I think that it deserves some attention. As the Bill stands now, with the Amendment offered to us by another place, a good deal will turn on the definition of what are similar duties. That will make a difference between whether a man has £100 or £120 a year more or less. In some cases this may be a very difficult question to decide and it will, indeed, be a burning question for the individual. Are we so sure that we can know with positive certainty in every case whether a person's new duties are or are not similar, for the purposes of the legislation to his old duties? Are we so sure of it that we can leave the position that it may make a difference of £100, £120 or £130 a year to a man when the decision goes one way or the other?

The other thing which one is always expected to prove when advancing a case about pensions such as this is that if one is given what is asked it will not create an alarming precedent involving the State in a great deal of expenditure in other spheres, or that it will not create a position in which there could be an argument by analogy from this case which would oblige the State to spend far more than would at first appear to be required for the group of people for whom one is arguing. Here the position is that at present the weight of example and analogy is on my side of the argument. As was very cogently, and indeed dramatically, pointed out by my hon. Friend the Member for Hayes and Arlington (Mr. Skeffington) when we were debating this, or a similar issue, during the Committee stage proceedings, the proposition that when an officer is transferred he should not be the loser, even if he is not transferred to similar duties, is already admitted in Orders made by Ministers under the Water legislation of 1945 and 1948.

8.0 p.m.

That is relevant to our present argument because a little while ago the Government announced their intention, in a subsequent Measure, to transfer the functions of the Metropolitan Water Board to the Greater London Council. A good deal has happened since that remark was made and the Government may be feeling too dispirited to proceed with that operation. If they do, they will be faced with this problem. If they transfer employees from the Metropolitan Water Board to the Greater London Council and do not make provision that they shall not lose, even if they are not transferred to similar duties, they will be treating the employees of the Board differently from transferees in the water industry elsewhere, and it will be difficult to defend that anomaly.

If, on the other hand, they said that when they transferred the Water Board employees to the Greater London Council they would still treat them as other water transferees, to coin a term, were treated in the Orders made under the Acts of 1945 and 1948, they would find that the water transferee in the Greater London set-up would be treated more generously than the transferee who has been transferred from some other service, and that also would be quite indefensible. I agree that the point sounds a little comical, but it will be a very serious one. The moment we start bringing in the water people we are almost driven, without an Amendment of this kind, to treat one group or the other in a way that could quite properly cause resentment.

I notice that it is proposed in the reshaping of British Railways that the principle embodied in my Amendment should be adopted. The original proposal for the railways was that it should be adopted for a period of five years only, but the latest information that I have is that even that limitation has gone.

I think that the Minister will agree that we have not tried to be at all malicious or contentious in today's debate. We had a little fun with him about the charters at the beginning of the debate, but we have now come up against a serious point affecting the livelihood, income and pension prospects of distinguished public servants. It is important that we come to the right decision. I am pure that the Government will agree that we should consider this entirely on its merits. There is no question of the prestige of the Government being involved. No one would feel that the Government had lost face if they accepted these Amendments. Secondly, there is no serious difficulty of procedure. It means, of course, that if we make an Amendment to their Lordships' Amendment we shall have to trot the Bill to another place before it receives the Royal Assent, but that can be done in the time available. The argument that "it is only a little one" is really valid on this occasion. There is no difficulty about procedure or prestige. We can consider the matter on its merits. I believe, for the reasons I have advanced, that its merits are good and I hope that the Government will be willing to accept the Amendment.

Mr. Skeffington

I support the Amendment of my hon. Friend the Member for Fulham (Mr. M. Stewart), which he has put forward very persuasively and comprehensively.

This is going to be a very large transfer of staff—I suppose the largest transfer in the history of local government. It would be a great pity, when it would be possible to ensure the utmost good will, if the Government did anything to prevent that happening. We are trying to ensure, in this Amendment, that those who are transferred and have to undertake new tasks, not as a result of anything that they have done or their councils have done but because of something that the Government have done, should not suffer. This is an elementary point of justice which, I am sure, will commend itself to all hon. Members. A large number of people will be moved through no fault of their own.

If an officer who is transferred receives, in effect, a salary of a lesser amount than he is now obtaining, he is not, as my hon. Friend showed very dramatically in the case of the children's officer, losing only in actual salary which, in the case he quoted, is about £80 in the first year and £120 for each of the remaining twenty years or so in which he would be the employed, but his pension is affected because it is calculated generally speaking, on the average of the last three years' service. So we would not only hit the transferred officer at the time of transfer, but we would also see that he gets less pension than that which he has looked forward to.

We have been served in local government, as in the Civil Service, by many of those whose qualifications both professionally and academically would enable them to secure much larger salaries in the world outside, but who, because of the security as well as the constructive nature of much of the work, prefer to work in either local government or in the Civil Service. It seems particularly unfortunate that men and women who have devoted themselves in this way should, through no fault of their own, be penalised because the Government have decided that they want to introduce this scheme of reorganisation with all the consequential upheaval for personnel.

I should like to emphasise again a point made by my hon. Friend and that is the difficulty of defining in the case of transfer what are comparable duties. I speak, as the Spanish say, out of my wounds on this matter, because for some years I was a member of the Civil Service Arbitration Tribunal, where we had to consider these matters. One of the greatest difficulties was to find out what was a similar duty. If the Amendment were accepted this would not be a subject for arbitration or argument or negotiation. The point would be met because no officer transferred would be in a worse position than he now is. It it very important that this technical difficulty of definition should be overcome and they would be short circuited if these two Amendments were adopted.

The debate that we had on 1st April was rather complicated and unfortunate. There were two staff interests involved and that meant that the issue became obscure for many hon. Members. There was the additional point that the Amendment which I understood that the Government were to accept was out of order. But as my hon. Friend has pointed out, the Minister said: …I give a firm undertaking that pension rights are protected and will be protected by order. I will take further advice on this matter."—[Official Report, 1st April, 1963; Vol. 675 c. 67.] I do not know what further advice has been taken but we have had no indication of the Minister's conclusions. If an Amendment on the lines suggested is not accepted by the Government, pension rights will not be safeguarded and the Minister could not be said to have satisfied his undertaking.

For all these reasons, I hope that even at this late stage the Government will feel able to accept the Amendment.

Dr. Alan Glyn

Throughout the Bill's passage, hon. Members on both sides of the House have been concerned with the rights of those who have served us so well. We have been concerned about the preservation of their salaries, prospects and pensions and to see that, where it is not possible to give them similar jobs, they are adequately compensated. This is a problem not reserved to the London Government Bill. It will increase as jobs throughout every industry are changed. In considering the problem, possibly for the first time, we have to realise that we may well be setting the pattern for the future. Any changes that we make should be regarded in that light.

There are still anxieties among members of the L.C.C. staff about their future. Much of that anxiety is unfounded in that there will be more jobs in the enlarged boroughs, but in any reshuffle of this nature and size there must always be some people who cannot be fitted into the exact place and salary which they have before. That is why we have to ensure that the few people who suffer hardship through no fault of their own are compensated.

Hon. Members have received a document from the London County Council Staff Association expressing concern if this Amendment is not accepted. This is the last ditch at which we have any chance of ensuring that the staff get a fair deal, and I hope that my right hon. Friend will specifically refer to this document.

Finally, there is a procedural difficulty, which was slightly underestimated by the hon. Member for Fulham (Mr. M. Stewart). The Bill would have to be unscrambled for such an Amendment to be made at this stage and there are very few days of the Session left. It may well be that the Government think that it is not possible to incorporate Amendments of this type at this very late stage—and I am prepared to accept that—but if that is so, could my right hon. Friend give some assurance to the staff that he has powers in the Bill to give a degree of flexibility—as I see it, there is very little room for arbitration in these cases—and that he has reserved powers which he can use so that the few people who lose by this transfer are compensated by administrative action. If there is any machinery like that, I hope that my right hon. Friend will publicise it so that some of the staff's anxieties can be allayed.

Mr. Mellish

The hon. Member spoke about the procedural difficulty of accepting the Amendment because of the shortage of time; but I cam say emphatically that if it were accepted, noble Lords in another place representing my party would be most anxious to co-operate to ensure that this Amendment went through without difficulty. There is time if there is good will.

Dr. Glyn

I am grateful to the hon. Member and I am sure that that will be dealt with. I hope that my right hon. Friend will specifically refer to this point, because we are all concerned to ensure that the staff generally and particularly those few remaining people who are not fitted in are given as square a deal as is humanly possible.

Mr. Pavitt

I welcome the fact that from the Benches opposite the hon. Member for Clapham (Dr. Alan Glyn) has voiced the concern and anxiety which has been felt on both sides of the House. I hope that his right hon. Friend will accept the Amendment, but that if he does not, the hon. Gentleman will support us.

Of all our discussions on the Bill, our discussion of this matter in Standing Committee was one of the most frustrating. It is true that we were able to discuss some of the anxieties mentioned by the hon. Member for Clapham on Second Reading and on Report, but in Standing Committee the time spent discussing this part of the Bill was one of the shortest devoted to any provision. On one occasion we reached an important issue with only four minutes to go before the Committee adjourned.

We welcome the opportunity which their Lordships have given us to see whether we can resolve some of the acute anxieties among people whose livelihoods and future may be affected. Their family responsibilities and commitments will be affected by our decision tonight. Acceptance of the Amendment would go a long way to allay many fears.

We still condemn this as a thoroughly bad Bill. The number of drafting Amendments made in the last two hours has shown that when the Bill is on the Statute Book, it will be essential during the vast reshuffle and changes in functions and duties for local government officers concerned to be able to approach matters with good will in order to be able to smooth out problems. If they have grievances and a sense of injustice about their present conditions of service and salary and prospects, the transitional period will be even more difficult than it has promised to be.

It has already emerged in discussions between various local authorities that there will be differing scales and that transfers may result in local government officers going a couple of pegs down the incremental scale because of different conditions of service and designations and so on. We would be grateful if the right hon. Gentleman could assure us that that cannot happen. From discussions that have taken place it appears that under the projected arrangements a man who has received a certain number of increments will find himself perhaps two years behind, having to catch up to the position he occupied before the change. I hope that the Minister will deal with this fear when he replies.

The remarks that have been made about the children's services apply equally to the welfare and mental health services. This matter was raised at some length in Committee upstairs, particularly with reference to finding the right niche for centralised specialist services such as the mental health, welfare and children's services. At present within the L.C.C. and the Middlesex County Council there exists a highly centralised situation with direction and facilities covering a wide number of functions. Residential hostels, for example, have in the past been administered from the centre.

One result of putting these services into 32 different departments instead of one is the likely loss of the specialised services and those who man them. As the Minister knows, there has already been a tendency for some of these highly specialised people to apply for jobs outside the Greater London area, in places like Lancashire, Yorkshire and Scotland. We who with to see these services continue for the citizens in the new areas want to ensure that the Greater London Council will have people with specialised knowledge at its disposal. I am, of course, referring to people who have had years of training and experience in the services which must be provided.

We have time and again referred to the technical problems involved particularly on the broader issues and principles. But when one considers the technical, day-to-day working of a number of these specialised departments one realises that the difficulties are enormous. An important problem is that of trying to refit the various activities that have been built up over many years in Middlesex and London and the question of reabsorbing those who will be needed if these services are to continue. Whenever this matter has been discussed we have returned to the solution that if these services are to continue it will be necessary for two, three or more of the new boroughs to get together to provide certain services which one borough alone could not possibly provide.

Provision for doing this already exists. It may be possible for as many as 10 boroughs to get together for the running of certain facilities—for, say, the mentally handicapped. If the Amendment is passed it may be possible, even though we cannot at the moment designate their future jobs, for us to retain the specialists we need to run these services. Unless these skilled people are prepared to stay in their present areas we will lose the reservoir of skill which it has taken years for the L.C.C. and the M.C.C. to build up. Acceptance of the Amendment may enable us to retain them, remembering that many of them are in their late forties and early fifties, have families, and do not particularly wish to move to Lancashire, Yorkshire and elsewhere. If they can be assured that their present financial position and their superannuation arrangements will not greatly deteriorate, it may be possible, through negotiation, to show that while it is not possible to designate them for precisely the same rôle at the moment, another designation can be offered to them where their specialist knowledge can be put to use, whatever the final shape our local government arrangements may take.

While this is almost the eleventh hour I hope that the Minister will accept the Amendment. If he does he will find a welcome for his decision not only on both sides of the House and in another place but among a large number of families who are at present anxious to know where their next step will take them. These specialist workers wish to fulfil their vocational training and knowledge, to look after their families and to earn a reasonable livelihood.

Mr. Lubbock

If the eloquent speech of the hon. Member for Fulham (Mr. M. Stewart) in moving the Amendment did not convince the Minister that he would be wrong not to accept it, the speech of the right hon. Gentleman's hon. Friend the Member for Clapham (Dr. Alan Glyn) must have convinced him. As the hon. Member for Willesden, West (Mr. Pavitt) said, support for the Amendment has come from all sides of the House. Were the hon. Member for Hendon, South (Sir H. Lucas-Tooth) still in his place he would be supporting it. It is significant to note that not a single hon. Member has spoken against it, and I am convinced that if we had a free vote the Amendment would be passed by an overwhelming majority. Despite the change in my position, I still believe that a free vote is a good thing on occasions, but not always.

The apprehension at present felt by virtually every one working in local government has been emphasised. When the Minister replies he will probably tell us that these apprehensions are unfounded. I think I saw the right hon. Gentleman nod his head in agreement when one hon. Member said that there would be more jobs under the new arrangements. This may be true in some cases, so why will the Minister not accept the Amendment? If he says that the compensation provisions will not act adversely against those affected by the changes, why will he not accept it? I agree with the hon. Member for Fulham that the financial effects would be very small.

It is very important that we should make the correct decision tonight. It is not only the employees of the London local authorities who will be involved; the pattern of change established by this Bill is likely to be repeated over the country as a whole, and local authority officers, wherever they may be, will watch our decision.

8.30 p.m.

Sir K. Joseph

I do not doubt for a moment the strong feeling and concern of hon. Members on both sides of the House, and I accept that, as the hon. Member for Orpington (Mr. Lubbock) has just said, the content and the result of this debate will be watched with considerable interest outside the House.

Before I go into the details of my reply, I particularly want to answer what I thought was a most unfair point made by the hon. Member for Willesden, West (Mr. Pavitt). I did not mean to put this in the middle of a speech, but I have been teased. It is not good enough for hon. Members opposite continually to tease the Government with the number of drafting and other Amendments that have had to be made. The fact is that, for its own reasons, the London County Council refused that collaboration and consultation that is normal and customary in the drafting of great Bills, and since we had to do without the L.C.C.'s advice on the best way of dealing with the machinery and the purpose on which it is such an expert, there were bound to be occasions when, having had the London County Council's advice indirectly through hon. Members, we were able to improve things. We must all be glad that such improvements have been possible.

I now want to deal at length, and with full gravity, with the points that have been made. I believe that the projected reorganisation will lead to more job opportunities, but I do not maintain that there will not occasionally be a situation in which a particular man or woman cannot find an exactly similar job to which to be transferred. There will, therefore, be occasions when, for such a man or woman, there will be the alternative either to accept work that is not comparable within Greater London or to seek comparable or better work outside London.

I think that such occasions will be very rare. The hon. Member for Fulham (Mr. M. Stewart) did not exaggerate here. I think that he himself accepts that this predicament will occur only infrequently. In fact, he built part of his argument on that, because he said that although the total cost of accepting the Amendment would be small, its affect on individuals might be severe. So it is common ground between us all that the problem with which the Amendment seeks to deal will not be a frequent one. I say that the more because what we are dealing with, in general, is a transfer of functions from one authority to a num- ber of authorities and, in general, that will mean more job opportunities.

If, therefore, it were simply a question of cash, I do not see that there would be a strong argument against the Amendment, but there is more to it than that. It is not just cash, and it is not just the cash involved in this particular reorganisation scheme. There is here at stake a principle, and there are involved considerations of precedent.

The principle at stake is this. The Amendment, in substance, maintains that whatever work a local government servant in the Greater London area is called upon to do he shall receive at least as much pay and at least as good conditions of employment as he had immediately before the change. The difference between the pay to which his new job would entitle him and the pay that he will actually receive would under the Amendment be made up to him indefinitely at the public expense. This has a quite considerable implication. Rates and taxes are not so popular that we can light-heartedly accept the very heavy, and continuing, commitment that this might involve.

After all, reorganisation is not confined to London and is not confined to local government. There have been—I shall come back to this later—no fewer than 19 separate situations to which the post-war compensation code has had to be applied. The Government are at the moment in the midst of major structural reorganisations of a number of different systems of administration in this country, local government being one. There are groupings of water undertakings and various other reorganisations going on, and there will be more in future.

I do not utter a threat. This is not a party issue. Both parties must, if they wish to maintain this country in an efficient state, from time to time undertake, unpopular though it may be, reorganisation in one field or another. What hon. Members opposite are asking us to do is to guarantee that, no matter what the reorganisation, no matter what the total cost may be, the ratepayer and the taxpayer shall permanently maintain at least the pay and conditions of service of all people who may be transferred or who may be have to accept changed employment as a result of one or other of these reorganisations.

Mr. Richard Marsh (Greenwich)

I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman for giving way. I see his point, but surely this principle has been accepted in a large sphere of Government activity. Certainly it was the position in the National Health Service take-over in 1948, with the principle of no detriment clauses. Where there is a change in rates of pay and conditions of service this is a very old principle. What is so unusual about this one?

Sir K. Joseph

The hon. Gentleman is throwing at me some rather broad and imprecise alleged analogies.

Mr. Marsh

I can particularise if the right hon. Gentleman would like me to do so.

Sir K. Joseph

I would be grateful if the hon. Gentleman would.

I maintain that in all this sort of reorganisation there is a compensation procedure and, as I say—I referred to it just now and I will refer to it now at more length—until the war there was a compensation procedure written into the Local Government Act, 1933. After the war, I believe that it was the Labour Government, in 1948, who thought that this pre-war compensation code was not entirely suitable for the post-war full employment era. The pre-war compensation code provided compensation in such a way—not to go into details—that there was no incentive for a person compensated to seek alternative work. That may have been right at the time because alternative work was very hard to come by.

Mr. Pavitt

I could give a specific case, that of the medical superintendent of a hospital who lost his post when the local authority hospitals came under the National Health Service. He retained his full salary and superannuation that he had previously.

Mr. Mellish

I could give another example. Under the National Health Service now there are regroupings and reorganisations. Groups are merged and administrative officers at a high level are in effect redundant, but they are held in the service, and at their previous rates of pay. I can give specific examples of where that is done.

Mr. Marsh

If the right hon. Gentleman would like another example, the London Transport Executive, after the amalgamation, proceeded on exactly the same policy. There is nothing new in this.

Sir K. Joseph

I do not carry in my head the exact details of every one of the reorganisations, but if all the analogies which have been given are as wrong as some that have been given to me before, I am not very frightened of them. It was partly to deal with the setting up of the National Health Service and the complicated transfers involved that the Labour Government evolved the post-war compensation code. There was, therefore, accepted by the Labour Government—that is not the end of the story, I agree—the principle that some people would have to accept a lower award and that for that situation there should be a compensation code. I am meeting the intervention of the hon. Member for Greenwich (Mr. Marsh).

Mr. Marsh

I am sorry to intervene again, but this is a material point. Is the right hon. Gentleman sure that what he is talking about is not, in fact, compensation for loss of office, whereas the maintenance of a no detriment clause in the National Health Service has gone through the whole time? Where an employee has been transferred to a different job at a lower rate of pay he has suffered no detriment. There is nothing unusual in this in any nationalised industry. Where an employee has lost his office, he has been compensated.

Sir K. Joseph

That is not my understanding. My understanding is that the compensation code provides, among other things, for complete redundancy, for early retirement, for a lower-paid post and for the implications on a man's pension expectations of a lower-paid post. These and, probably, other things which I do not carry in my mind are all covered by the post-war compensation code, which has been applied to nineteen separate structural reorganisations.

Therefore, what hon. Members opposite and my hon. Friend are asking me to do is to accept on account of London government—in which, we are all agreed, very few people will be affected—a major change in the whole attitude of Government, affec

"Oh."] That is not a provocative statement. I am stating what is a fact.

Mr. Lubbock

The Minister keeps contradicting himself. He says, first, that very few people will be concerned with these provisions, and secondly, that it will be a great burden on the taxpayer and ratepayer. He cannot have it both ways.

Sir K. Joseph

I can. If the hon. Gentleman would heed my argument, I am saying that we are all agreed that relatively few people with be involved, but that if we accept the principle here we must accept it for all future reorganisations. These, to the knowledge of the House, already involve local government all over the country, already involve water authorities all over the country and may, for aught I know, involve a lot of other organisations, too, in due course. Therefore, this is both small in its human impact in the Bill and large in its consequential implications for the ratepayer and the taxpayer.

Mr. Norman Cole (Bedfordshire, South)

My right hon. Friend will, I hope, agree with information which I have been given that although the numbers may not be large, no fewer than three different salary structures are assimilated in the new structure: those of the Metropolitan Water Board, the London County Council and other local authorities.

Sir K. Joseph

The point made by my hon. Friend comes next in my notes.

Having stated the general principle, I come to a number of the analogies which have been pressed upon me and I want to meet them fairly and squarely before dealing with the other questions. It was said, first, that the Amendment involves nothing very new and that it is no more than is already provided under the Water Acts for the merger and amalgamation of statutory water undertakings.

The hon. Member for Fulham (Mr. M. Stewart) constructed what I might call a Fulham fork in connection with the Metropolitan Water Board. He said that if, in the next Session of Parliament, we transfer, as we intend to do, the functions of the Metropolitan Water Board to the Greater London Council, we will be carrying out a water merger and, therefore, we must employ the logic of the Water Acts, which, as the hon. Member says, support his Amendment. If we do that but refuse his Amendment, the water transferees will have been treated better than the local government transferees. If we do not—this was the other prong of the hon. Member's fork—we deny the principle of the Water Acts.

The hon. Member's contention was based upon a misapprehension of what the Water Acts do. They provide that transferred officials shall receive the same conditions of pay when they are transferred. But what the Water Acts do not provide is any guarantee of employment.

8.45 p.m.

I do not wish to mislead hon. Members. Water mergers have a much smaller effect on staff than the London government reorganisation. There is very little chance of individual water officials being taken over under the Water Act and then dismissed.

Mr. Weitzman

What about the principle?

Sir K. Joseph

But in principle, as the hon. and learned Member rightly reminds me, there is nothing to stop a water company honouring its obligation to pay to a transferred official his own pay and conditions and then the next day either dismissing him altogether or dismissing and re-engaging him at a lower salary. I do not say that that happens, but what the hon. Member, in drawing an analogy from the Water Acts, is asking the House to accept is wrong. He is asking up to accept that, under the Water Acts, there is a guarantee of the indefinite continuation of similar pay and conditions to those which operated before transfer. I do not think that the Water Acts analogy—I did not mean to say this; it came naturally to me and I have not built up to it—holds water.

Secondly, it was pressed on me that the railway reorganisation scheme, with its fairly large guarantee of continued pay, is an analogy which we should respect. There is all the difference in the world between the deliberate contraction, with minimum damage to staff, which is going on in the railway services and the London Government reorganisation, which is likely, if anything, to lead to an increase in staff. We are not dealing with large numbers of people whose way of life is in danger of being removed, as may happen to some railway workers in some areas. With a reducing or contracting number of jobs, it is necessary to be far more generous than it is right to be when there are ample opportunities and an even larger number of opportunities under the reorganisation than there are at the moment.

Mr. Mellish

The right hon. Gentleman has said that the contraction going on in the railway industry is a special case. When the Greater London boroughs are merged there will be a tendency for fewer senior officials to be employed by the Greater London boroughs than is the case at present. Take the simple case of the town clerk. Three town clerks will be merged under one great London borough. There will be only one town clerk. I assume that the other two will be kept on at their existing salary and, perhaps, be made deputies. In the long term, by normal wastage, they will be got rid of. It is not fair to say that there will be no contraction.

Mr. Marsh

Does the Minister accept that the London County Council scales are superior to those generally accepted in local government? If so, he is not comparing like with like.

Sir K. Joseph

Those are two different cases with which I will deal. I will not shirk anything.

First, to get rid of one limited and easy question to answer, may I say to my hon. Friend the Member for Clapham (Dr. Alan Glyn) that the Minister has no reserve power. We are, therefore, dealing with the whole situation. It cannot be improved by any flexible change later.

I have been asked to comment on the example given on page 2 of the London County Council Staff Association circular. Although I do not doubt the concern felt by those who drafted it, I find it a little surprising that they should have chosen as their best example an instance from the children's service, where it is almost inevitable that there will be more job opportunities as a result of the reorganisation than there are now.

There will be nine authorities where there are now one. It is highly likely that there will be very few cases, if any, where L.C.C. children's officers will find employment that is not at least comparable.

The hon. Member for Willesden, West (Mr. Pavitt) said he was particularly concerned about the prospects of what he called the centrally employed specialists, for whom there would not be similar opportunities in the absolutely large, but relatively smaller borough organisations. But he forgets that there is power under Clause 5(3) for the boroughs to join together to employ such specialists.

Mr. Pavitt

I referred to that.

Sir K. Joseph

But the hon. Gentleman did not give enough emphasis to the fact that those specialists will find more opportunities in the boroughs than there are in the L.C.C. at present. It is true that the example given in this document is, on its own assumption, correct. But I find that the assumption that such a children's officer will only be able to find a post with less than comparable duties highly improbable.

Mr. A. Evans

The right hon. Gentleman does not understand the position in the higher offices of the children's department of the L.C.C. Their responsibility extends over the whole county. There are no comparable offices in any of the boroughs to be created, where the units will be very much smaller.

Mr. Cole

I am very concerned with this circular, as I was once an employee of the L.C.C. I understand that the main problem of L.C.C. officials is that their main scales are not exactly comparable with other scales in the London area.

Sir K. Joseph

But my hon. Friend the Member for Bedfordshire, South (Mr. Cole) has not taken the point that provided an official is transferred to comparable work he is guaranteed by the Bill the same pay and conditions as he enjoyed with the L.C.C., even if they are better than those working with him who have come not from the L.C.C. but from other local authorities.

Mr. Cole

But what about the maximum?

Sir K. Joseph

They will carry with them the full scale of pay and conditions and prospects as they had when they worked for the L.C.C. The worry is for those for whom there may not be comparable jobs and only for them; but we are all agreed that there will be very few.

I was asked about borough senior officers, including the town clerks. For instance, if we merge three boroughs only one town clerk will be needed out of the three town clerks. One answer may be that the job of deputy town clerk in a large borough may carry as much pay as the job of town clerk of a small borough. I do not rest on that argument, for I do not know what the rates will be, but it is one factor. There are also a number of senior officers who are approaching retiring age and who will either serve out the short time until retirement or retire earlier under the compensation arrangements which will be available.

It has been impressed on the Government that the dependence of this arrangement on comparable postings is a very vague and difficult one on which to rely. But I remind the House that this arrangement has been running a number of years. The compensation codes have depended for their application upon the availability of comparable jobs and there has been available machinery for deciding what is and what is not comparable. At the moment, there are tribunals, set up by the Minister of Labour, to decide whether a particular post is comparable or not. The exact machinery which will be used for the London government reorganisation has yet to be discussed and decided upon, but it would not be surprising if it were to involve some such tribunal to act as arbiter when there was doubt.

I think that I have answered all the questions that I was asked, except—

Mr. Mellish

What about pension rights?

Sir K. Joseph

—except that it was said that I had committed that most imprudent act of any Minister, a nod. Somebody accused me of nodding at some stage in Committee. In the case of the pension rights, I am alleged to have said that the arrangements would protect pension rights.

Mr. Skeffington

May I help the right hon. Gentleman? On 1st April he said this: …I give a firm undertaking that pension rights are protected and will be protected by order. I will take further advice on this matter."—[Official Report, 1st April, 1963; Vol 674, c. 67.] How are they protected if the average of their salary is reduced for pension purposes?

Sir K. Joseph

I used those words, but I used them in response to the hon. Member for Orpington (Mr. Lubbock), who was being at that time—I say this with all courtesy and from a ministerial point of view—an absolute pest. It is a credit to the hon. Gentleman that he was being so. He was trying to get me to define exactly what was covered by "conditions". He asked whether it included the size of the car, or whether it included petrol allowance. In desperation, because I did not know the answers to all these questions, I said, "Anyway, pension rights are fully protected". What I meant was not a reference to the pension rights of people who were transferred in connection with their further years of work, but the protection of their pension rights accrued from the years of work they have already given. I do not think that these words, which were produced not in answer to the specific question now being put to me, can be held against me in this connection.

I think that I have covered all the points raised by hon. Members opposite. I return to where I began. This cannot be considered in isolation as simply a concession which the Government could cheaply make—cheaply, though it is ratepayers' and taxpayers'money—to ensure that the few people who may not find comparable posts in the London Government reorganisation will lose not a penny of their salary or pension. For such people there is the compensation code. I remind the House that the compensation code to be applied to London has still to be discussed with the staff and other associations concerned. We are having a new compensation code which will cover this.

We cannot regard the Amendment as simply something that can be looked at in isolation. If we accept the principle that the Amendment enshrines, we accept that for this and for all future reorganisations the taxpayer and the ratepayer are to guarantee indefinitely the pay and conditions of all official servants of the bodies reorganised, regardless of the work they are called upon to do. That goes a very long way, far further than the arguments of hon. Members opposite or of my hon. Friend the Member for Clapham would sustain. We should think a very long time before going that far.

I hope that I have convinced hon. Gentlemen that the compensation code, which has yet to be discussed but which will be at least on the basis of the postwar compensation code, is the proper way to make good to the few concerned what I hope will be the temporary loss of some of their earning power. As for the example given in the circular from the L.C.C. Staff Association, I regard it as highly unlikely that cases of such a drop in earnings would occur, particularly in the children's service, where there will be so many more job opportunities as a result of reoganisation than there are now.

9.0 p.m.

Dr. Alan Glyn

Will my right hon. Friend deal with the point that there are certain machinery difficulties in incorporating it in an Act of Parliament at this late stage in the passage of the Bill?

Sir K. Joseph

I thought there would be difficulties, but they could be overcome.

Mr. Pavitt

Will the right hon. Gentleman answer my question? Where there is a transfer from a county office to one of the new borough offices, and no change of designation of job is involved, there could be a lowering of the salary because of fewer increments. Could a different scale apply at borough level to that at present applying at county level, which would mean that a man who went from one job to another could find himself on a lower scale?

Sir K. Joseph

Whatever work he is called on to do will be comparable to the work he has been doing. He will take with him all the increments to which he would have been entitled, and the pension to which he would have been entitled will remain with him in his new job, regardless of the pay and conditions of those who are working in the new authority at a lower rate of pay, increments and pension.

Mr. Ede

The right hon. Gentleman's speech will cause dismay throughout the local government services of the country, because under the 1958 Act we are reaching the stage when a number of reorganisation schemes will be brought forward. For instance, on Tyneside, part of which I have the honour to represent, there is a proposal that there should be four county boroughs, and that the work now performed in all the local government areas, which cater for a population of about 1 million, should be divided among these four boroughs.

Where a person is employed in a county office dealing with the population of the county he is, generally speaking, on a higher rate of salary than the person holding a comparable post in a borough. I am not concerned merely with the three town clerks, one of whom will find himself a new job as a town clerk, while the other two will be employed as deputy clerks, if they are lucky. It is unlikely that these latter gentlemen will get the same salary as the third member of the trinity who is made a town clerk, and this will happen throughout the country.

Sir K. Joseph

Surely the right hon. Gentleman does not mean that? His argument depends on the fact that they will not get at least as good a salary as they had before. Nobody expects them all to get as good a salary as the new type town clerk.

Mr. Ede

I was assuming that the new town clerk would get the same salary as the old one.

Mr. Mellish

I understand that in local government, whatever rate the town clerk is paid, if a deputy does the job he gets only 80 per cent. of that salary. I assume in such a case that the 80 per cent. rate would be comparable to the rate he was getting before?

Mr. Ede

Having had to deal with the review of county districts in a county which had 33 local authorities, that was not how it worked out. That is not how the officials who came under the new arrangements were treated. I am certain that when what the right hon. Gentleman has said tonight is known, the tasks of reorganising London government in the various areas, under the schemes provided for by the 1958 Act, will be greatly impeded. There will be a considerable volume of grievance, which will continually be brought to the right hon. Gentleman's notice. I know that he decides everything on the basis of principle. I can only say that I believe that he will find that his view of what is principle in this matter will not be shared by the staffs of local government bodies.

Mr. Cole

I have been listening to the debate for a short while, and it strikes me that there is a misunderstanding between those who are trying to make certain about the compensation provisions for transferred staff and what I am sure are the sincere wishes and intentions of the Minister. I believe that the two sides are not far apart from each other. I read with care the three bases that the London County Council Staff Association sent to me, in common with other Members of Parliament. As I have already told the House, I had a special reason for taking more than the ordinary interest in the future of these transferred officers.

It seems to me that these bases are eminently reasonable. There must be some lack of clarity in the matter, because in my view their reasoning seems to be on all fours with what my right hon. Friend appears to be seeking to do. I believe that we are spending too much time in debating a minute difference. The Association asks simply that an officer should receive his existing rate of pay and scale or be compensated for any loss if, for any reason not his own fault, he has to take a lower-scale job-—

Sir K. Joseph indicated dissent.

Mr. Cole

—or if he finds himself engaged on duties not comparable with those in which he was formerly engaged. Does my right hon. Friend wish to intervene?

Sir K. Joseph

My hon. Friend has just put himself right. At first he referred to a transfer to a job on a lower scale. That situation is protected. The person transferring carries his own higher scale with him, provided, as my hon. Friend himself said in putting himself right, that the new job is comparable with the old in its functions.

Mr. Cole

The Association offers the alternative compensation, which I take it is salaried compensation on the formula basis. That seems an eminently reasonable point of view.

Mr. A. Evans

The hon. Member will appreciate that the compensation will not in all cases be equivalent to the decrease in salary.

Mr. Cole

My right hon. Friend admitted that there will be a certain loss in one year and a greater loss in future years.

My right hon. Friend has already con ceded the second basis in his explanation of the Government's view that no officer should suffer a diminution of pension as a result of transfer—

Sir K. Joseph

No. My hon. Friend is trying to be helpful to the House and to the local government officials concerned, but there is a difference between our points of view. I have not said that a guaranteed pension related to the transferred officer's previous pay and conditions is involved in what is undertaken here. I have said that the compensation will make good part of any loss of pension that may result.

Mr. Cole

This is the nub of what I said at the beginning. This is where there is a lack of clarity. My right hon. Friend said that no accrued pension conditions would be lost, and he said that in reply to the hon. Member for Hayes and Harlington (Mr. Skeffington) when he quoted from the report of the debate of 1st April.

There is a statement, No officer should suffer any diminution in pension, as a result of transfer". That is not entirely clear. Does it mean at present, up to the date of the transfer or for the future? I cannot think that it means for the future because no one knows what the pension entitlement will be in the future since it depends so much on the job.

I speak with some knowledge here. A man who suddenly gets a job at £2,000 a year when he has been earning £1,200, and maintains the new rate for the last five years of his employment, has enhanced pension rights. Thus, nobody can estimate the pension rights of a man in the future. They are a matter of ability, good fortune and choice of a higher job. My right hon. Friend said that no accrued pension rights would in any way be embarrassed by the transfer.

The third point is the most reasonable of all, and I believe that there is no difference between the two sides of the House about it. It states that no officer is to be served with notice of new terms and conditions of employment before those terms and conditions have been the subject of consultation and agreement between the authorities and the staff organisation concerned and, in the event of failure to agree, by award or arbitration. It did not seem to me that I was very different from anything that my right hon. Friend said in this matter except for the nicer points which he made in the course of my remarks.

With great respect, my right hon. Friend did not clarify my mind on these points and I, and I am sure many local government officers, would like to know what is to happen in the three kinds of body which are to be transferred to the new Greater London authority. What happens to a man or a woman on a scale, even though it is an A.P.T. scale, where the maximum of the scale in his present authority is higher than that in his new authority? If he is transferred to a new post in a new authority, does he keep his existing maximum although it does not conform to the new authority scale?

In agreeing that these figures were correct, my right hon. Friend stressed that nobody in the children's service, particularly, was likely to get a worse job. With that I agree. But we are concerned not so much about his getting a worse job as about whether he gets the same maximum salary for the same job. I am not concerned at the moment with his getting a different job or a better job. Let us hope that he gets a better job. But the maximum given in one case is £1,760 and in another case £1,580—a difference of £180 a year for the same job in the two authorities. I want a simple answer to this question: does a man on the ordinary A.P.T. scale get that enhanced maximum in a new authority until new terms and conditions are negotiated?

With respect to all concerned, I think that in considering the Amendments we are suffering mostly from a lack of complete understanding of each other's minds. I hope that this can be clarified for the benefit of all existing officers who will be transferred and of those who will consider in the intervening two years going into local government, where in the past they have considered that there was a high degree of security of employment. I hope that they will so consider in future. I hope that for their sake we can soon resolve the misunderstandings and reach mutual agreement.

9.15 p.m.

Mr. Weitzman

I have always admired the ingenuity of the right hon. Gentleman the Minister, but I have never listened to a more tortuous argument than the one he has made on this Amendment. The case is a very simple one and to a certain extent the right hon. Gentleman recognised the justice of it as it was put forward. Here we have a Government interfering with the security of employment and terms of employment of certain individuals. They are naturally apprehensive about the change to be brought about. They have relied upon their position and on the fact that they had that security. The Government, with this Measure, alter that state of affairs and these people are to be transferred. They may be transferred to like jobs and get the same money, the same terms and conditions, or they may not be transferred.

The right hon. Gentleman starts by admitting that there will be more jobs, so it is very unlikely that there will be any great number of cases, but a very few cases will be affected. He admits that from the financial point of view there is not an acute problem in any shape or form. He should surely recognise the elementary justice of the proposition that, if we interfere with the security of employment and if people have for years had a job and relied upon it and then the Government interfere, whatever job we put those people into we ought to see that the terms of their employment are secure. That is elementary justice. The right hon. Gentleman to a certain extent admits that, but his answer is that it is wrong from the point of view of principle to allow that to be done.

Sir K. Joseph

I hope the hon. and learned Member will answer in his argument the point I made about precedent. The precedent is that under the Labour Government there was a new post-war compensation code provided especially for cases where the Government interfere, as we are now doing—I do not dispute it—with the secure employment of local government or equivalent officials. That compensation code has applied in 19 reconstruction cases since the war. It will apply in future. The hon. and learned Member has to meet the precedent of the past and the precedent for the future.

Mr. Mellish

Surely it is unfair to say that because the Labour Government did this it must be done for all time. If we think the code should be altered, it should be done.

Mr. Weitzman

Is it really an answer on the part of the Minister to say. "Look what another Government have done"?

Sir K. Joseph

I withdraw the words, "Labour Government". The point is being made that we are acting repugnantly to elementary justice. Reorganisation is something with which all Governments have to deal. It has gone on for a long time and we shall have many more reorganisations in future.

Mr. Weitzman

I leave out the words "Labour Government" in the same way as the Minister does, but is he saying that, because a Government have done something in the past, through the ages we should recognise that as a position to be adopted and that we should perpetuate an injustice? Either the case is a just one or it is not a just one. If I am right in saying that it is elementary justice when a Government interfere with security of employment that they should put the persons concerned in the same position and on the same conditions of employment, that is either right or it is not. I should have thought the right hon. Gentleman would be the first to recognise the justice of it; indeed, he did so. He started by saying that he did, but he then went on to justify his refusal to accept the Amendment by saying that this is a question of principle and that we would be creating a tremendous precedent.

I do not accept that the precedents are such as the right hon. Gentleman says they are. There were many instances

given by my hon. Friends about the water board. There was another with reference to the Civil Aviation Act and others to which one could refer. By pointing to the principle, are we really dealing with the justice of this case? Does that provide an answer?

The right hon. Gentleman recognises that there will be few instances where hardship will occur. Surely that is a strong argument in favour of accepting the Amendment; unless the right hon. Gentleman is saying that here is a tremendous principle which will affect Government Measures right through the years. That is the only effective answer which he has given. The Minister must recognise, when considering the question of compensation, that it can be only a partial satisfaction with regard to changing the job. Individuals will suffer an injustice. We can salve our consciences for allowing him to suffer that injustice only by saying that it is for the good of the community. That means that if we do this sort of thing the taxpayer will suffer in some way. If, as the right hon. Gentleman maintains, there will be few instances, how can the taxpayer suffer?

The only other point is whether we are creating a precedent. The Minister heard what was said with regard to precedents. I wish that Ministers would sometimes try to deal with Bills, proposals, and so on, on first principles and not attempt to refute arguments by saying that it is all a question of principle; that a precedent is created; that it is most important. That is rubbish. I could only wish that the Minister had been sitting on this side of the House listening to his own argument. Then he would have realised what nonsense it was.

Question put, That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Lords Amendment: —

The Home divided: Ayes 164, Noes 111.

Division No. 176.] AYES [9.23 p.m.
Aitken, Sir William Berkeley, Humphry Brains, Bernard
Allason, James Bidgood, John C. Brown, Alan (Tottenham)
Atkins, Humphrey Biffen, John Bryan, Paul
Awdry, Daniel (Chippenham) Bingham, R. M. Butcher, Sir Herbert
Barlow, Sir John Bishop, F. P. Campbell, Gordon (Moray & Nairn)
Barter, John Black, Sir Cyril Channon, H. P. G.
Baxter, Sir Beverley (Southgate) Bossom, Hon. Clive Chichester-Clark, R.
Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton Bourne-Arton, A. Clark, Henry (Antrim, N.)
Bennett, F. M. (Torquay) Boyle, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward Clark, William (Nottingham, S.
Cleaver, Leonard Joseph, Rt. Hon. Sir Keith Prior-Palmer, Brig. Sir Otho
Cole, Norman Kerans Cdr. J. S. Pym, Francis
Cooper, A. E. Kerr, Sir Hamilton Quennell, Miss J. M.
Corfield, F. V. Kirk, Peter Redmayne, Rt. Hon. Martin
Craddock, Sir Beresford (Speltnorne) Lambton, Viscount Rees, Hugh (Swansea, W.)
Critchley, Julian Langford-Holt, Sir John Renton, Rt. Hon. David
Cunningham, Knox Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry Roberts, Sir Peter (Heeley)
Curran, Charles Linstead, Sir Hugh Robinson, Rt. Hn. Sir R. (B'pool, S.)
d'Avigdor-Coldsmid, Sir Henry Litchfield, Capt. John Robson, Brown, Sir William
Digby, Simon Wingfield Longbottom, Charles Roots, William
Duncan, Sir James Longden, Gilbert Scott-Hopkins, James
Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton) Loveys, Walter H. Shaw, M.
Errington, Sir Eric Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Shepherd, William
Farey-Jones, F. W. MacArthur, Ian Sheet, T. H. H.
Finlay, Graeme McLaren, Martin Spearman, Sir Alexander
Fisher, Nigel McLaughlin, Mrs. Patricia Steward, Harold (Stochport, S.)
Fraser, Ian (Plymouth, Sutton) Maclay, Rt. Hon. John Stodart, J. A.
Freeth, Denzil Macleod, Rt. Hn. Iain (Enfield, W.) Storey, Sir Samuel
Gardner, Edward McMaster, Stanley R. Summers, Sir Spencer
Grant-Ferris, R. Macmillan, Rt. Hn. Harold (Bromley) Tapsell, Peter
Green, Alan Macpherson, Rt. Hn. Niall (Dumfries) Taylor, Frank (M'ch'st'r, Moss Side)
Gresham Cooke, R. Maddan, Martin Teeling, Sir William
Gurden, Harold Matthews, Gordon (Meriden) Thatcher, Mrs. Margaret
Hamilton, Michael (Wellingborough) Mawby, Ray Thomas, Peter (Conway)
Harris, Reader (Heston) Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J. Thompson, Sir Kenneth (Walton)
Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye) Maydon, Lt.-Cmdr. S. L. C. Thompson, Sir Richard (Croydon, S.)
Harvey, John (Walthamstow, E.) Mills, stratton Thorneycroft, Rt. Hon. Peter
Harvie Anderson, Miss Miscampbell, Norman Thornton-Kemsley, Sir Colin
Henderson, John (Cathcart) More, Jasper (Ludlow) Touche, Rt. Hon. Sir Gordon
Hill, J. E. B. (S. Norfolk) Morgan, William Turner, Colin
Hirst, Geoffrey Nicholson, Sir Godfrey Turton, Rt. Hon. R. H.
Holland, Philip Nugent, Rt. Hon. Sir Richard Vickers, Miss Joan
Hopkins, Alan Orr, Capt. L. P. S. Vosper, Rt. Hon. Dennis
Hornby, R. P. Osborne, Sir Cyril (Louth) Walder, David
Hornsby-Smith, Rt. Hon. Dame P. Page, John (Harrow, West) Walker, Peter
Howard, Hon. G. R. (St. Ives) Page, Graham (Crosby) Ward, Dame Irene
Howard, John (Southampton, Test) Pannell, Norman (Kirkdale) wells, John (Maidstone)
Hughes Hallett, Vice-Admiral John Partridge, E. Whitelaw, William
Hughes-Young, Michael Pearson, Frank (Clitheroe) Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Hulbert, Sir Norman Percival, Ian Wise, A. R.
Iremonger, T. L. Pickthorn, Sir Kenneth Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick
Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye) Pike, Miss Mervyn Woodhouse, C. M.
Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich) Pitman, Sir James Worsley, Marcus
Johnson, Dr. Donald (Carlisle) Pitt, Dame Edith
Johnson, Eric (Blackley) Pott, Percivall TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Johnson Smith, Geoffrey Price, David (Eastleigh) Mr. Peel and Mr. Batsford.
Jones, Arthur (Northants, S.) Prior, J. M. L.
Abse, Leo Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly) Morris, John
Albu, Austen Gunter, Ray Mulley, Frederick
Allen, Scholfield (Crewe) Hamilton, William (West Fife) Noel-Baker, Francis (Swindon)
Barnett, Guy Hannan, William Noel-Baker, Rt. Hn. Philip (Derby, S.)
Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J. Harper, Joseph O'Malley, B. K.
Blackburn, F. Hayman, F. H. Oram, A. E.
Bottomley, Rt. Hon. A. G. Herbison, Miss Margaret Pannell, Charles (Leeds, W.)
Bowden, Rt. Hn. H, W. (Leics, S. W.) Holman, Percy Parker, John
Bowen, Roderic (Cardigan) Hooson, H. E. Pavitt, Laurence
Bray, Dr. Jeremy Houghton, Douglas Pentland, Norman
Brockway, A. Fenner Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Popplewell, Ernest
Broughton, Dr. A. D. D. Hunter, A. E. Prentice, R. E.
Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.) Hynd, H. (Accrington) Probert, Arthur
Carmichael, Neil Hynd, John (Attercliffe) Pursey, Cmdr. Harry
Cliffe, Michael Jenkins, Roy (Stechford) Redhead, E. C.
Collick, Percy Jones, Dan (Burnley) Rees, Merlyn (Leeds, S.)
Cronin, John Jones, Elwyn (West Ham, S.) Reynolds, G. W.
Crosland, Anthony Kenyon, Clifford Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)
Crossman, R. H. S. King, Dr. Horace Ross, William
Dalyell, Tam Lawson, George Short, Edward
Diamond, John Lee, Frederick (Newton) Skeffington, Arthur
Dodds, Norman Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock) Slater, Joseph (Sedgefield)
Duffy, A. E. P. (Colne Valley) Lever, Harold (Cheetham) Small, William
Ede, Rt. Hon. C. Lubbock, Eric Sorensen, R. W.
Edwards, Walter (Stepney) McBride, N. Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank
Evans, Albert MacDermot, Niall Steele, Thomas
Foley, Maurice McKay, John (Wallsend) Stewart, Michael (Fulham)
Foot, Michael (Ebbw Vale) Manuel, Archie Stones, William
Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton) Marsh, Richard Stross, Dr. Barnett (Stoke-on-Trent, C.)
George, LadyMeganLloyd (Crmrthn) Mayhew, Christopher Swingler, Stephen
Ginsburg, David Mellish, R. J. Taverne, D.
Greenwood, Anthony Milne, Edward Tomney, Frank
Crey, Charles Mitchison, G. R. Wainwright, Edwin
Griffiths, David (Rother Valley) Moody, A. S. Warbey, William
Weitzman, David Williams, W. R. (Openshaw) Woof, Robert
Wells, William (Walsall, N.) Williams W. T. (Warrington)
Whitlock, William Willis, E. G. (Edinburgh, E.) TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Witkins, W. A. Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton) Mr. G. H. R. Rogers and Mr. Charles A. Howell
Mr. Charles A. Howell
Mr. Skeffington

I beg to move, as an Amendment to the Lords Amendment, in line 7, after "employment", to insert: being terms and conditions of employment which have been settled by agreement or award". A similar Amendment was discussed in another place and an undertaking given on 30th May by the Government spokesman that if that Amendment were withdrawn, the matter would be considered. However, no alternative Amendment has been put forward by the Government and those who are interested, as I know many hon. Members from both sides of the House are, have put forward this reasonable and much more modest Amendment than that which we have just considered.

The object is simply to ensure that officers transferred to the new authorities and to the Greater London Council itself do not have forced upon them, as is theoretically possible, a unilateral scale of salaries and conditions which have not been negotiated. It has been common practice in all these services, certainly local government services throughout the country, to settle terms and conditions by negotiation or, in some cases, by agreement with a staff council or some similar body. This general practice was confirmed when the matter was discussed in the other place.

When this House discussed the matter, on 1st and 2nd April, the Minister indicated, either in an aside or by one of his many nods, that he agreed with the practice in principle. As he indicated that he would have accepted one of the Amendments, which was unfortunately out of order, it is surprising that the Government have not brought forward an Amendment to deal with this matter. The staff cannot understand, in view of the general agreement on common practices, the undertaking given to look at the matter again and what appeared to be the agreement of the Minister with his principle at an earlier stage, why nothing has appeared on the Order Paper.

In its scope the Amendment is more modest than the earlier proposal. It is

right that we should do everything we can, in the turmoil that may arise in the transfer of staff, to remove the anxiety that some authorities may unilaterally impose a scheme which had not been discussed through the ordinary machinery or by arbitration.

Sir K. Joseph

I cannot advise the House to accept the Amendment.

Mr. E. G. Willis (Edinburgh, East)


Sir K. Joseph

It is good to hear a voice from Scotland in our deliberations.

The Amendment omits to take into account the fact that, as is well known, in practice these terms and conditions emerge as the result of negotiations. There is no conceivable reason to think that the negotiations will not be as successfully achieved in future as they have been in the past. The hon. Member for Hayes and Harlington (Mr. Skeffington) in moving the Amendment did not give any reason whatever for thinking that the Greater London Council will not be a satisfactory employer. I do not see from his remarks that there is any reason why we should seek to bind the Council's hands in this way.

As for the eloquent nod I am alleged to have given and the willingness I am alleged to have shown to advise the Committee at an earlier stage to support an Amendment, it may well be that I would have welcomed a particular Amendment on the Order Paper as putting partly right the havoc and damage that had been caused in Committee when an Amendment which went far further than the Government thought right happened to be moved successfully against us. The Government thought that it was wrong and at a later stage the damage was repaired.

The hon. Member for Hayes and Harlington is seeking to urge the House to anticipate and bind the hands of the employers before they have had an opportunity to negotiate the pay and conditions of the staff. I cannot, therefore, advise the House to accept the Amendment.

Mr. Weitzman

The Alice in Wonderland attitude of the Minister grows greater as the debate progresses. Does the right hon. Gentleman consider that he has adequately answered the case adduced by my hon. Friend the Member for Hayes and Harlington (Mr. Skeffington)? The Amendment merely seeks to insert the words being terms and conditions of employment which have been settled by agreement or award". To this the Minister merely says, "They are all very good employers and they always negotiate". If they do, what is wrong with accepting the Amendment? The words "by agreement" mean by negotiation. If a case should arise where they do not negotiate, one then has the word "award". There is no validity in the Minister's argument and I was amazed to hear his comments.

Mr. Cole

I intervene briefly because, bearing in mind the great respect I have for his intellect and integrity, I was surprised at the reply of my right hon. Friend. I leave aside for the moment the general question of what may happen in two years' time and I wish to consider the transferees. I speak as one who, up to some years ago, was a local government officer of 20 years' standing. We all know that these things are not always arranged amicably. There is a big meeting in the Kings way Hall, the populace gets to know about it, and someone has to give way, but for those concerned it is a lot more comforting to have the procedure laid down in a Statute that is affecting their future careers.

The Lords Amendment, which we will presumably be asked to accept, speaks of …terms and conditions of his employment…not less favourable than those he enjoyed immediately before the date of transfer. I should have thought that those words went a long way further, yet my right hon. Friend has swallowed those but cannot accept something which, unless I am very naïve, is intended to codify existing practice.

If my right hon. Friend puts the suggested words into the Statute then, in the event of a dispute—and especially at the beginning of the affair—we put on both sides an implicit responsibility to go to arbitration. The employers might be so minded and the employees might not be, but the employees would have to go to arbitration because that would be implicit here.

Personally, if I were handling this Clause I should prefer to put into it exactly what I expect to happen, rather than rely on 32 local authorities and the Greater London Council, all of whom, having that autonomy that we want to see, will have different ways of looking at things. I should have thought that those authorities would welcome this House telling them that the terms and conditions must be agreed or taken to arbitration for an award.

I cannot see why we cannot put into the Bill what are, to me, innocuous words. If there is something behind them that I do not understand, my right hon. Friend will no doubt improve my education—

Captain W. Elliot

My hon. Friend has called these innocuous words. I was a member of the Committee, spoke on the Amendment and voted against the Government. I do not quite see how the words being terms and conditions of employment which have been settled by agreement or award would strengthen the Lords Amendment.

Mr. Cole

I am sure that my hon. and gallant Friend knows what I mean. I mean that the words convey no hidden meaning and are quite simple and harmless in their application. This Amendment would merely put in certain words and, goodness knows, we have enough words in the Bill for a few more not to matter. We are putting in so many words what all of us hope will happen—indeed, must happen, if local government in Greater London and the boroughs is to continue.

There is the psychological effect on local government officers and their families of knowing that the terms and conditions must be settled by agreement or by award. That is not the end of the story; it merely keeps the door open for them to argue things out, and stops any suspicion, however unjustified, that any arbitrary local authority can settle these things without the staff having any redress. We have made good progress so far. I appeal to my right hon. Friend not to hold up that progress and embarrass his hon. Friends and people outside who are his admirers by insisting that these words should not be inserted.

I did not quite understand what my hon. Friend meant by referring to what happened in Committee, but I rather gather that, in certain circumstances, he would have accepted these words.

9.45 p.m.

Mr. Marsh

What is puzzling a lot of us on both sides of the House is exactly what is the Minister's point of disagreement with this Amendment. We shall be very pleased to hear it. As I understand it, all that we are seeking to do is to ensure that these staff in the reorganisation are not asked to accept conditions and rates of pay which have not been negotiated or agreed. The reason for this is obvious. It is to avoid the possibility—which I must confess, until the Minister showed his objection to the Amendment, I would have thought was very faint—of imposed conditions of service and salaries upon local government staff.

I can appreciate that there are some conditions and agreements that the staff would not want, but, on the whole, there has been in local government a long history of conditions of service which were applied by agreement and by negotiation. Within the local government service there are scales and agreed conditions of service which with adjustments could be applied to these staff. The right hon. Gentleman has got to say something other than the fact that he does not like this Amendment.

The hon. Member for Bedfordshire, South (Mr. Cole) with whom I would normally hope to disagree—I have spent the last three minutes working out why I agree with him, and I still come to the conclusion that it must be because the Minister is wrong—made the point that this is a position which has existed in local government. There have been within the London County Council from time to time arguments about whether certain conditions of service were agreed, and there are arguments as to which organisations or which people had to join together to constitute an agreement. But there has never been this disagreement about conditions of service within the national local government service.

One would have thought that the principle of negotiation for local government employees in local government service was something with which we would all agree on both sides of the House. I hope the light hon. Gentleman will be able to give us a wider reason than the one which he has just given, which seems to be quite contrary to the general policy.

Sir K. Joseph

Perhaps I did not make myself clear. Indeed, I am sure I cannot have done for my hon. Friend the Member for Bedfordshire, South (Mr. Cole) to make the speech he has made.

This Amendment introduces a totally new concept—not a principle, but a concept—into the settlement of pay and conditions in local government service. What is involved here is some form of external arbitration. First, it does not make sense to have an Amendment which involves arbitration without also having in the Amendment some machinery for the arbitration. There is no such machinery in this Amendment or associated with it.

Secondly, it would be a very grave step indeed for the Government to be willing to introduce this revolutionary proposal in the settlement of pay and conditions of local government servants without having proper consultations with the employing and the staff sides of local government. So far as the Government can see, there is absolutely no reason why local government should not in the future, as in the past, rely upon the existing Whitley Council machinery. Hon. Members must recognise that they are seeking to introduce a new element into the negotiations.

Mr. Marsh

Surely the local government service joint industrial council negotiates very well the terms and conditions of service, as is the case within industry generally. The industrial courts are separate issues. What additional machinery does the Minister want?

Sir K. Joseph

The hon. Member must realise that what exists in local government service exists by agreement and not because of statutory obligations. It would be a new element to introduce a statutory obligation upon local government to agree or to accept arbitration. If local government accepts arbitration by its own good voluntary discretion, that is fine—that is how we work at the moment; but for the Government, without any reason, to think that the present system is not working well and to say, "You people cannot agree. We will, therefore, provide for an external arbiter in quarrels which do not exist", would be unjustified. The hon. Member has not shown or tried to show that there is any reason to introduce this new concept or element of machinery.

Mr. Marsh

Is the Minister honestly saying that members of a local authority could, with his agreement, refuse to go to the Industrial Court and could refuse in law to accept the decision of that court?

Sir K. Joseph

I am seeking to avoid limiting in any way what, voluntarily, local government employers and employees may do. We have relied effectively on their voluntary co-operation in settling terms and conditions and no argument has been adduced to show that we should not go on so relying in the future. The voluntary system works well. We have no evidence why we should not rely upon it.

The Amendment would discard the voluntary system by introducing a compulsory element. [An HON. MEMBER: "No."] If it would not will the hon. Member explain what he is doing in introducing the word "award" into a Statute? What local government employer and employee sides wish to do is their own affair. They run their own negotiations. The Government would have to think many times before intervening in this process. No argument has been made to justify doing so.

In reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Bedfordshire, South (Mr. Cole), it is true that the basic Lords Amendment to which we are discussing Amendments goes a long way, but it still relies, obviously, upon the voluntary means for negotiating terms and conditions. The House would be wise to rest upon this in the future, as in the past.

Mr. Pavitt

I am not surprised that the Minister does not want to be revolu-

tionary, but I am disappointed that he is so adamant against any new concept. The Amendment would allay many of the fears which have been expressed, from both sides, about the future of employees who will be affected by the Bill. The anxieties are recognised by the Minister and the proposition put forward by my hon. Friend the Member for Hayes and Harlington (Mr. Skeffington) would do a great deal to allay those fears.

On a previous Amendment, the Minister indicated that there would be a possibility of a tribunal to settle awkward cases. Would not such a tribunal then reach an award? This is not such a revolutionary concept—

Sir K. Joseph

That is a machinery for settling difficult cases which has been voluntarily adopted by both sides. That is very different from the Statute laying down that they shall accept or shall do anything in particular. It is up to them.

Mr. Pavitt

The point has been made more effectively by one of the Minister's hon. Friends. It is true that once this becomes part of the Statute, there is an obligation. Is not that precisely what we are seeking to do, to provide a safeguard so that when the various problems arise, when the existing employees are to be chopped and changed from the present to the new authorities, they will feel that by statute they have protection, and the matter is not simply left to a take-it-or-leave-it attitude, when the employee is entirely in the hands of the employer? The case has been well made by my hon. Friend. I am surprised that the Minister is so adamant concerning such an elementary commonsense approach to the problem.

Question put, That those words be there inserted in the Lords Amendment: —

The House divided: Ayes 111, Noes 163.

Division No. 177.] AYES [9.55 p.m.
Abse, Leo Cilffe, Michael Evans, Albert
Albu, Austen Collick, Percy Foley, Maurice
Barnett, Guy Cronin, John Foot, Michael (Ebbw Vale)
Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J. Crosland, Anthony Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton)
Blackburn, F. Crossman, R. H. S. George, LadyMegan Lloyd (Crmrthn)
Bottomley, Rt. Hon. A. G. Dalyell, Tam Ginsburg, David
Bowden, Rt. Hn. H. W. (Leics, S. W.) Delargy, Hugh Gordon Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C.
Bowen, Roderic (Cardigan) Diamond, John Greenwood, Anthony
Bray, Dr. Jeremy Dodde, Norman Grey, Charles
Brockway, A. Fenner Duffy, A. E. P. (Colne Valley) Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)
Broughton, Dr. A. D. D. Ede, Rt. Hon. C. Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly)
Carmichael, Neil Edwards, Walter (Stepney) Gunter, Ray
Hamilton, William (West Fife) Manuel, Archie Slater, Joseph (Sedgefield)
Hannan, William Marsh, Richard Small, William
Harper, Joseph Mayhew, Christopher Sorensen, R. W.
Hayman, F. H. Mellish, R. J. Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank
Herbison, Miss Margaret Milne, Edward Steele, Thomas
Holman, Percy Mitchison, G. R. Stewart, Michael (Fulham)
Hooson, H. E. Morris, John Stones, William
Houghton, Douglas Noel-Baker, Francis (Swindon) Stross, Dr. Barnett (Stoke-on-Trent, C.)
Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Noel-Baker, Rt. Hn. Philip (Derby, S.) Swingler, Stephen
Hunter, A. E. O'Malley, B. K. Taverne, D.
Hynd, H. (Accrington) Oram, A. E. Wade, Donald
Hynd, John (Attercliffe) Panned, Charles (Leeds, W.) Wainwright, Edwin
Jenkins, Roy (Stechford) Parker, John Warbey, William
Jones, Dan (Burnley) Pavitt, Laurence Weitzman, David
Jones, Elwyn (West Ham, S.) Pentland, Norman Wells, William (Walsall, N.)
Kenyon, Clifford Popplewell Ernest Whitlock, William
King, Dr. Horace Prentice, R. E. Wigg, George
Lawson, George Probert, Arthur Wilkins, W. A.
Lee, Frederick (Newton) Pursey, Cmdr. Harry Williams, W. R. (Openshaw)
Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock) Redhead, E. C. Williams, W. T. (Warrington)
Lever, Harold (Cheetham) Rees, Merlyn (Leeds, S.) Willis, E. G. (Edinburgh, E.)
Lubbock, Eric Reynolds, G. W. Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)
McBride, N. Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.) Woof, Robert
MacDermot, Niall Ross, William
McKay, John (Wallsend) Short, Edward TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling) Skeffington, Arthur Mr. G. H. R. Rogers and
Mr. Charles A. Howell.
Aitken, Sir William Gurden, Harold Nugent, Rt. Hon. Sir Richard
Allason, James Hamilton, Michael (Wellingborough) Orr, Capt. L. P. S.
Atkins, Humphrey Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye) Osborne, Sir Cyril (Louth)
Awdry, Daniel (Chippenham) Harvey, John (Walthamstow, E.) Page, Graham (Crosby)
Barlow, Sir John Harvie Anderson, Miss Page, John (Harrow, West)
Barter, John Heald, Rt. Hon. Sir Lionel Pannell, Norman (Kirkdale)
Batsford, Brian Henderson, John (Cathcart) Pearson, Frank (Clitheroe)
Baxter, Sir Beverley (Southgate) Hill, J. E. B. (S. Norfolk) Percival, Ian
Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton Hirst, Geoffrey Pickthorn, Sir Kenneth
Bennett, F. M. (Torquay) Holland, Philip Pike, Miss Mervyn
Berkeley, Humphry Hopkins, Alan Pitman, Sir James
Bidgood, John C. Hornby, R. P. Pitt, Dame Edith
Biffen, John Hornsby-Smith, Rt. Hon. Dame P. Pott, Percivall
Bingham, R. M. Howard, Hon. G. R. (St. Ives) Powell, Rt. Hon. J. Enoch
Birch, Rt. Hon. Nigel Howard, John (Southampton, Test) Price, David (Eastleigh)
Bishop, F. P. Hughes Hallett, Vice-Admiral John Prior, J. M. L.
Black, Sir Cyril Hughes-Young, Michael Prior-Palmer, Brig. Sir Otho
Bossom, Hon. Clive Hulbert, Sir Norman Quennell, Miss J. M.
Bourne-Arton, A. Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye) Redmayne, Rt. Hon. Martin
Boyle, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich) Rees, Hugh (Swansea, W.)
Braine, Bernard Johnson, Dr. Donald (Carlisle) Roberts, Sir Peter (Heeley)
Brown, Alan (Tottenham) Johnson, Eric (Blackley) Robinson, Rt. Hn. Sir R. (B'pool,S,)
Bryan, Paul Jones, Arthur (Northants, S.) Robson Brown, Sir William
Butcher, Sir Herbert Joseph, Rt. Hon. Sir Keith Roots, William
Campbell, Cordon (Moray & Nairn) Kerans, Cdr. J. S. Scott-Hopkins, James
Channon, H. P. G. Kirk, Peter Shaw, M,
Chichester-Clark, R. Lambton, Viscount Shepherd, William
Clark, Henry (Antrim, N.) Langford-Holt, Sir John Skeet, T. H. H.
Clark, William (Nottingham, S.) Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry Spearman, Sir Alexander
Cleaver, Leonard Linstead, Sir Hugh Steward, Harold (Stockport, S.)
Cooper, A. E. Litchfield, Capt. John Stodart, J. A.
Cooper-Key, Sir Neill Longbottom, Charles Storey, Sir Samuel
Corfield, F. V. Longden, Gilbert Summers, Sir Spencer
Craddock, Sir Beresford (Spelthorne) Loveys, Walter H. Tapsell, Peter
Critchley, Julian Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Taylor,Frank (M'ch'st'r, Moss Side)
Cunningham, Knox McAdden, Sir Stephen Teeling, Sir William
Curran, Charles MacArthur, Ian Thatcher, Mrs. Margaret
Currie, G. B. H. McLaren, Martin Thomas, Peter (Conway)
d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry Maclay, Rt. Hon. John Thompson, Sir Kenneth (Walton)
Digby, Simon Wingfield Macleod, Rt. Hn. Iain (Enfield, W.) Thompson, Sir Richard (Croydon, S.)
Duncan, Sir James McMaster, Stanley R. Thorneycroft, Rt. Hon. Peter
Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton) Macmillan, Rt. Hn. Harold (Bromley) Thornton-Kemsley, Sir Colin
Errington, Sir Eric Macphereon, Rt. Hn. Niall (Dumfries) Touche, HI, Hon. Sir Gordon
Farey-Jones, F. W. Maddan, Martin Turner, Colin
Finlay, Graeme Matthews, Gordon (Meriden) Turton, Rt. Hon. R. H.
Fisher, Nigel Mawby, Ray Vickers, Miss Joan
Fraser, Ian (Plymouth, Sutton) Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J. Vosper, Rt. Hon. Dennis
Freeth, Denzil Maydon, Lt.-Cmdr. S. L. C. Walder, David
Gardner, Edward Mills, Stratton Walker, Peter
Glyn, Sir Richard (Dorset, N.) Miscampbell, Norman Ward, Dame Irene
Grant-Ferris, R. More, Jasper (Ludlow) Wells, John (Maidstone)
Green, Alan Morgan, William Whitelaw, William
Gresham, Cooke, R. Nicholson, Sir Godfrey Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Wise, A.R. Woodhouse, C.M. TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Wolrige-Gordon Patrick Worsley, Marcus Mr. Peel and Mr. Pym.

Lords Amendment agreed to.

Subsequent Lords Amendment agreed to. [Special Entry.]

Lords Amendment: In page 94, line 28, after "are" insert: or who but for any such service by them as may be so prescribed would be".

Mr. Corfield

I beg to move, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment.

This Amendment secures that the regulations which will be made under Clause 82(4) will also provide for compensating any persons who would have been employed at the material time but for the fact that they were engaged on some other service—for example, National Service. In the relevant Acts "National Service" is fairly widely defined to cover service rather wider than the ordinary service with the Armed Forces.

Question put and agreed to. [Special Entry.]

Subsequent Lords Amendment agreed to. [Special Entry.]

Lords Amendment: in page 94, line 45, leave out from "considering" to "affected" in line 47 and insert: and keeping under review the arrangements for the recruitment of staff by the Greater London Council and the London borough councils and for the transfer in consequence of the provisions of this Act or any instrument made there under of staff employed by other local authorities affected by Part I of this Act;

Sir K. Joseph

I beg to move, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment.

This Amendment and the next Amendment both indicate with rather greater precision the main task of the staff commission, though without limiting in any way the Minister's right to direct the commission on other subjects as well.

Question put and agreed to.

Subsequent Lords Amendment agreed to.

Lords Amendment: In page 95, line 7, after "to" insert: the furnishing of any information requested and".

Mr. Corfield

I beg to move, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment.

This Amendment was tabled in another place in response to representations by the Opposition to ensure that the Staff Commission will, if necessary, be able to get the direction of my right hon. Friend to local authorities to give any information that the Commission may require.

Question put and agreed to.

Subsequent Lords Amendments agreed to. [Special Entry.]