HC Deb 24 July 1967 vol 751 cc212-39

Lords Amendment: No. 7, in page 22, leave out lines 20 to 23.

Dr. Dickson Mabon

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

Perhaps, Mr. Deputy Speaker, it might be for the convenience of the House if, at the same time, we discussed Amendment No. 8, in page 22, leave out line 27, and Amendment No. 9, in page 23, line 24, at end insert:

"10A. The Orkney and Zetland Water Board. Limits of supply of:—
Kirkwall Town Council
Orkney County Council
Stromness Town Council
Lerwick Town Council
Zetland County Council"

I hope that the House will forgive me if I spend a little time in discussing the reasons why the Government wish to persuade the House that we should disagree with the Lords in the said Amendment. In the Government's view, the Amendment would deny to the North of Scotland the benefits that derive from the establishment of a regional water board covering the four counties of Sutherland, Caithness, Orkney and Shetland. I have spent a great deal of time in discussion, and a great deal of time going into the matter thoroughly, as has my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State, who has, naturally, taken into account, not only the correspondence he has had on the matter since the Report stage, and the discussions, not only in the other place but with Members of the other place.

I read with a great deal of interest the letter in The Times of 6th July, signed by a number of their Lordships, whose signatures were headed by the signature of the hon. Member for Moray and Nairn (Mr. G. Campbell). I would point out that there are at least three errors in that letter—which, I quite understand, was written in a completely non-partisan frame of mind, and with the serious intent of persuading the Minister to think again. But it is rather important that I should highlight the errors in the letter.

First of all, it is not fair, though it is the custom in all these arguments, to imagine that the place from which the united board will be administered is settled by Ministers. It is not. At no time has any Minister ever said that the board would be settled at Wick. It could just as well be settled in any town chosen by the united authority. Indeed, at one time I said that there is no reason why the authority should not meet on a rotating basis, as is the case with the fire authority which unites not just four counties but many more in the Highlands. It is wrong, therefore, for the following to be said in that letter, signed by two former Secretaries of State and several ex-junior Ministers, who should have known better, or should have been advised better about what is done in these matters. First, the letter says: which will be administered from Wick". That is an error. Secondly, it goes on to talk about this being the combination of a water authority which would be as sensible as combining Cumberland and Cornwall. What is meant by that is beyond my comprehension. If it is meant to refer to geographical distance it might have a point, but I do not see its relevance. Thirdly, it talks about piping "water across the sea". No one has ever recommended—no committee, be it 23 years ago or last year—that we should pipe water from any part of the mainland to these islands.

The fourth and most serious error is this. The letter says: The Government, recognising the common sense and the unanimous wishes of the island local authorities… It is not true that at the time we discussed it on 31st March the wishes of the authorities were unanimous. The authorities agreed that they would go home and discuss it. The representations made to me—I have a whole file of representations here to give to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State—were against that. Indeed, on the evening of our debate on Report the right hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland (Mr. Grimond) was the first person to inform us of the unanimous wishes of the island authorities. At that time the correspondence we had received the day before was to the contrary.

Mr. Gordon Campbell (Moray and Nairn)

I was about to ask whether later the island authorities were unanimous. The hon. Gentleman has now answered that.

Dr. Mabon

That is quite true, but it was after our debate. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] No, it is absolutely true. The Government were at no time informed, either up to Report stage or on the day of Report stage, except through the mouth of the right hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland. I have all the correspondence. I have reminded various hon. Members that we all had had a letter signed by two distinguished members of the local authorities on the Island of Shetland saying that they were against unification with anyone else. This is the point of departure for the House.

Mr. G. Campbell

This was 6th July, much later. So in saying that the island authorities were unanimous then we were absolutely right.

Dr. Mabon

The point is the situation when we were discussing this on Report on 25th April. We were referring to the meeting which I held—a meeting which, incidentally, I did not have to hold but which I wanted to hold and which involved not merely Orkney and Shetland but the other three counties. The letter says: the unanimous wishes of the island local authorities … on 31st March". By no means would I have held Orkney and Shetland to a pledge that they were unanimous on 31st March. They said that they were agreeable to go back and discuss it. Some of them were even willing to recommend it to their respective authorities. As I told the House in April, that was repudiated by everyone. It seems to be forgotten as we go on discussing this affair that there are three other counties. The missing signatories are my hon. Friend the Member for Caithness and Sutherland (Mr. Maclennan) and the hon. Member for Ross and Cromarty (Mr. Alasdair Mackenzie).

Mr. G. Campbell

They are missing now.

Dr. Mabon

There are reasons why those hon. Members are not here tonight. The hon. Gentleman should think of that before he attacks them. [HON. MEMBERS: "Why?"] The hon. Gentleman should know about the hon. Member for Ross and Cromarty. I certainly know about my hon. Friend the Member for Caithness and Sutherland.

Mr. J. Grimond (Orkney and Shetland)

My hon. Friend the Member for Ross and Cromarty (Mr. Alasdair Mackenzie) is ill.

Dr. Mabon

That is a very good reason for his being absent, and it is also a very good reason why he should not be attacked for his absence. My hon. Friend the Member for Caithness and Sutherland is on other parliamentary duties at the moment. It is a little unfair to attack hon. Members who may be absent for quite legitimate reasons. Those are the two missing signatories.

I cannot help feeling a little alarmed at one of the remarks made in the summing up for the opposition, that what we are concerned with are the needs of of the islands and that to a certain extent what happens on the mainland is irrelevant. The Government have to consider the whole of Scotland when we are discussing Scottish Bills and not just consider the welfare of the islands and ignore the welfare of the other counties.

11.0 p.m.

Going back to the reason why the Schedule should be as it was before the other place amended it, we accept that the Scottish Advisory Committee, in its Report, The Water Service in Scotland, was reasonably impartial and authoritative. In the opening pages of the Report the Committee makes three major recommendations. It says: First, we consider that a major overhaul of the administrative structure of the water service is urgently necessary. To a substantial extent responsibility at present rests in the hands of small authorities without adequate resources to match modern needs. Alongside this in several districts there are separate water systems which could in the public interest be more efficiently and more economically operated as one. We believe that the solution lies in the creation of larger water supply areas by the amalgamation of local water authorities within a stronger financial, administrative and technical structure. We therefore recommend that the Scottish water service should be regionalised … It must be all Scotland, not in some parts.

It is always difficult to deal with administration in these parts of the British Isles which are separated from the mainland, but that is not a reason why we should exclude them from county administration. The Government base their arguments on the three matters I have mentioned in the Report. The area outside the central belt is the most challenging part of our country to administer whether it be by local authorities, of which there are 93 with populations of less than 10,000 in the area, or whether it be by regionalisation.

Of the total population of Scotland, 5 per cent. are in the Highlands and Islands and their rating resources are even smaller in proportion. The conclusion of the Committee was that the Highlands and Islands area should be divided into four regions, first, Argyll, which has about 1 per cent. of Scotland's population, then Inverness-shire which has 1½ per cent., then Ross and Cromarty which has 1 per cent. and the area of the remaining four counties, which together have about 1½ per cent. of the population. Each of the regions would have a smaller population and smaller rateable value than any of the nine regions among which the remaining 95 per cent. of Scotland's population is to be divided.

The Committee's Report made it clear that in its view any smaller groupings than it proposed would not be viable units, would be unable to recruit trained staff and use it to the best advantage, and would be unable to take full advantage of modern technical facilities. That is the view which the Government have agreed all along. Despite these firm recommendations I, perhaps unwisely although I do not regret it, thought it useful to bring the Members of Parliament concerned and the local authorities concerned to a meeting involving the five counties, the four in the first group and Ross and Cromarty, and sought to get what I have called a second-best solution, but which was politically more acceptable to Orkney and Shetland and to some extent Ross and Cromarty, but which certainly did not satisfy Caithness and Sutherland.

Of the five counties, when we entered the room two were in favour of the Committee's recommendation, endorsed by the Government, and three were against. When the meeting broke up, four were in favour of the compromise, which did not square with what I have read out but which I was prepared to recommend to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State, and one was in disagreement. After the meeting every one repudiated that agreement and only after the Report stage did we have this agreement with Orkney and Shetland, endorsed elsewhere, that they would form their own region leaving Caithness and Sutherland and Ross and Cromarty to "gang their own gait".

What seems to be forgotten is that no one has ever written letters asking what happened to the views of the people of Ross and Cromarty as a consequence of this Amendment in the other place. Every single authority has written to represent that it should not be included in a larger area. I have said emphatically that this cannot be done, which means that it will be impossible to leave Caithness and Sutherland in their position. Sutherland wants to be dealt with Ross and Cromarty, and it would seem that nobody is a friend of Caithness. But the Government cannot go into these almost internecine arguments. They must come out with a practical, workable and sensible arrangement.

That is why it is best, the compromise having failed, that the second best solution, which was technically unwise perhaps but politically more acceptable, is now not one that we can return to, and it is with a certain amount of regret that I recommend to the House that we disagree with the Lords in this Amendment and see Schedule 1 restored, so that the North of Scotland Board will consist of the four counties.

Mr. Grimond

The madness, which I think is the correct word, of the attitude of the Government could not be better illustrated than in the major reason now advanced by the Minister of State for asking the House to reject the Amendment from the Lords. His reason is that if Ross and Cromarty had agreed to go with Caithness and Sutherland all would be well, but because Ross and Cromarty refused to go in, Orkney and Shetland, who have a much stronger case for not going in, should be dragooned into this arrangement. That has only to be said to be seen to be ridiculous.

I turn at once to the account that the hon. Gentleman has given of these negotiations and the criticisms that he has made of the letter to The Times. His account, to say the least, is disingenuous. To begin with, anyone who refers to the Second Reading or the Committee stage will find no indication that it would be only after a meeting with all the authorities concerned that he might consider amending the Bill. On the contrary, from the Second Reading onwards and at various meetings that I had with him he held out not an undertaking, but a clear indication that the Bill could be amended.

Secondly, I refuse to have the local authorities of Orkney and Shetland blamed because at this meeting in Edinburgh they went further than they had gone before to try to meet the Government's wishes. It is perfectly true that they would have preferred to have had a separate authority for Orkney and a separate authority for Shetland. On the Second Reading, the Minister of State said that that was his view, too. Never until we arrived at Edinburgh did he indicate that what he wanted was what he called a second best solution of a joint board for Orkney and Shetland.

At that meeting the local authority for Orkney and Shetland said that it must consider the suggestion. It took a fortnight or three weeks to consider it. I believe that the authority had actually written to the Minister of State before the Report stage. If the Scottish Office complains of the local authority taking three weeks to make up its mind, the Scottish Office ought to look to its own affairs. It took the Secretary of State six weeks to tell me what it intended to do on Report.

So we come to the letter in The Times. The first objection made by the Minister is that it is not true that the authority will be administered from Wick. I hope that he is right. I trust that if it is administered from Wick he will apologise for indicating that this was a ridiculous suggestion. But our argument is that the position is not made any better wherever it is administered from. Our argument is that to administer an area of this size 250 miles long and much of it across the sea, even from Kirkwall or Lerwick, is ridiculous. If the Minister of State has not grasped that by this time, I despair of getting any argument through to him at all.

The Minister of State complains about the suggestion that the proposal is tantamount to a board administering Cumberland and Cornwall. The point is that these places are very far apart. But it is far easier to get from Cumberland to Cornwall than it is to get from Sutherland to Shetland. The simple point is that these centres are very far apart and I do not think that the Scottish Office would seriously consider such a Board.

Then there is the allegation that he was not told about the decision of the local authorities; but the local authorities took this decision in an effort to please the Scottish Office, and the right hon. Gentleman was informed of it at an early stage. They were not told until the meeting in Edinburgh that they would be joined to Caithness and Sutherland unless they combined when he says that he was not told of their reaction in time, well, I can only say that he has known of this decision for three months and he has had plenty of time in which to change his mind.

As one who is very jealous of the reputation of this House, I must say that I find it most disturbing to see that both reason and democracy appear to have far more effect in another place than they do here; at least, so far as the Scottish Office is concerned. I do not want to go all over the argument again, but it would seem that the Scottish Office insists on raising new points. There is the issue of population now introduced, but that was not mentioned by the Minister of State during the Commons proceedings. Nor did he then say that a separate Board for Orkney and Shetland was something which might have commended itself.

Throughout these proceedings the Scottish Office has shown that sort of attachment to some of the worst features of government; and this attachment is a sign, not of strength, but of weakness. First, we have this passion for uniformity—the attitude of mind which thinks in terms of circulars and the Civil Service hierarchy we are asked whether we should not like to have trained staff. But where do we go from there? Of course there will have to be trained staff. There will have to be trained staff in the four counties whether we join or not as there is now. This is the sort of argument which alienates serious-minded people from government in this country today. There are two former Secretaries of State for Scotland who have had some experience in this matter and who know that the creation of a Water Board for Caithness and Sutherland, with another for the islands is nearer common sense, but they are also ignored. The Scottish Office insist on a proposal which cannot he supported by physical facts nor by the wishes of the people.

The Minister of State now comes up with that well-worn phrase, "The administration of this will be a great challenge". Well, let him give up the challenge. Do not let him bestir himself with this challenge because it is something which he is incapable of meeting. His ideas could only exist in a Government Department which fails to look at the world as it is.

In another place there was some talk of principle. That seemed to me to be a most curious use of inappropriate words because the only principle is that contained in the evidence of the engineers to the Select Committee which was that where an area is in a well-defined watershed there would seem to be no reason for going outside the boundaries of that watershed and introducing what is called regionalisation merely for the sake of creating a larger unit of authority. Yet this principle has been wholly violated by this plan for two large mainland counties and two separate groups of islands to be brought within the control of one Board.

Let me draw the attention of the Minister of State to the fact that, also in another place, the Government suddenly started producing figures not produced at any stage in this House, and the claim was then made that the water rate would be higher in Orkney and Shetland if the islands were left on their own than it would be if there was a joint Board. Goodness knows where these figures came from, or what relevance they have, but the fact that must be considered is what will happen when a large new layer of bureaucracy is put over these four counties.

11.15 p.m.

We know what will happen. Even the Minister of State admits it. Always, in the House of Commons, it was the Government's view that the water rates would go up and the scheme would make water rates more expensive. We know that only too well. We have experience already of what has happened in the fire services—apparently, one of the Government's triumphs—for which the expenses have gone up enormously.

There is then the curious suggestion that objections to this extraordinary spread over four counties and across the sea would be met if we had some sort of peripatetic board. We have one such already. We have a sort of biennial jamboree by the people who are supposed to look after the fire service and who come up in the height of the summer to look round Orkney and Shetland. It makes no sense, and it would be extremely expensive. If the Government are content with that idea, they should look at their information again.

All the proceedings over this matter have shaken my faith in the reliability of Ministers at the Scottish Office. I have already dealt with the extraordinary argument that the main reason, or the only reason, why this nonsense has to be perpetrated and why Orkney and Shetland have to be landed in with Caithness and Sutherland is that Ross and Cromarty refused to do it. It is such a contemptible argument that it need not be set out at length. It is seen as even more ridiculous when one remembers that, at least, Ross and Cromarty are contiguous on land with Sutherland and, therefore, with Caithness, while Shetland is over 100 miles away across the sea. As for figures of population, Ross and Cromarty are no larger than Orkney and Shetland. If they are allowed or encouraged to have a board of their own, why should not these two separate groups of islands have one of their own, too?

What is anyone to make of this experience in relation to the Government's ostensible campaign for economy and efficiency? We have been debating these questions all day. There are discussions about whether it will be necessary to cut essential services such as education or pensions. In my constituency, we need other things, like piers and lower freight charges. These are infinitely more important to us than the creation of some large headquarters or even a peripatetic headquarters of officials going round four counties. The Chancellor is right to say that Government expenditure will probably rise. That makes it all the more necessary to concentrate it on those purposes which are really essential.

But, as I have said before, the Scottish Office admits that this new arrangement will not cheapen the water. On the contrary; it will make it more expensive. Moreover, they seem to be quite happy to add this extra top-hamper to an area in which it will still be necessary to keep a staff based in Orkney and Shetland and in Caithness and Sutherland. Those staffs will remain, and all that will happen is that one will then have a lot more senior officials and new buildings, no doubt, with the peripatetic committee as well.

As I have said, we who have supported the plea by Orkney and Shetland to have a separate board have tried in every way and at every stage to be reasonable. We have been met again and again with new and different excuses—I do not call them arguments. None of the stuff which is trotted out today was trotted out at earlier stages of the Bill. On Second Reading, the Government were, apparently, prepared to consider this sensible suggestion.

The local authorities have compromised twice in an attempt to get at least some sense into the proposals. They have tried, as far as they could, to do what the Scottish Office wanted. However, in a manner which has become familiar to those who study the behaviour of Governments, the further we went the further the Government withdrew. Nothing, no promise which we have suggested, would satisfy the bureaucrats at St. Andrews House.

Why? Again, this weakens people's faith in the whole machinery of government and the ability to conduct affairs by argument and reason. No doubt, in a secret session in St. Andrews House, it was decided that the Government must stick by their proposals, that it would throw out the whole structure of the water services if Orkney and Shetland were treated as islands and not as part of the mainland. But the Government cannot expect this to commend itself to reasonable people in the North of Scotland.

It is a very sorry story. I am glad that it is not repeated by all Ministries, but it is repeated too often to encourage people to believe either that the Government are open to reason—or, at least, that the Scottish Office is open to reason—or that they take the slightest notice, when they do not want to, of the wishes of local people and their local authorities. This has done the Scottish Office great harm, and I hope that the opposition in this House will continue to the end.

Mr. G. Campbell

The House should agree with the Lords in the Amendment, and I therefore oppose the Government's motion. It is most depressing that the Government have not taken the course of common sense which is now open to them and accepted the Amendment. For anyone who looks into the position of the two groups of islands can see that it is entirely unnecessary to amalgamate them with the mainland. They are separated by many miles of sea water.

Here I should like to take up the Minister's third point about our letter in The Times of 6th July—the right hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland (Mr. Grimond) has dealt very adequately with the Minister's first two points. When we said that water could hardly be piped across the sea we were not suggesting that the Government would do this. We were simply pointing out that as there could be no supplies of water in either direction and that this reason for amalgamation which applied in many other amalgamations, could not apply here. To use that point as if we were suggesting that the Government proposed to do this just shows the weakness of the Government's case.

There are also all the difficulties of travelling between the islands and the mainland, wherever the headquarters will be. These difficulties have already been dealt with in previous debates.

There is a cast-iron case—perhaps one could say "water-tight"—for Orkney and Shetland to have their own amalgamation and regional water board. But the Government have slavishly adhered to the 13 regional boards suggested by the Scottish Water Advisory Committee long before the Bill was drafted. There is general agreement that there should be amalgamations on the scale suggested by that Committee. But it could never have expected that its exact proposals would be steam-rollered through Parliament by the Government. In some cases there were finely balanced arguments about what the amalgamation should be, which the Committee outlined in its Report, and some of the chief factors in those arguments have since changed considerably.

As I said on Report, the Government's evident determination to stick to the number of 13 was a major error. Why are they still using the steam-roller to retain exactly these original proposals?

Mr. Archie Manuel (Central Ayrshire)

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for giving way. Is he convinced quite sincerely that the rating strength of Orkney and Shetland is sufficient to give a full and pure water supply in an expanding economy for the future, embracing whatever industry, agriculture and tourist trade could take place there? I think that the cost would be a terrible burden to the people of the islands, and that a larger structure is needed, with a greater rating ability to provide them with sufficient water for these projects.

Mr. Campbell

I am glad to be able to tell the hon. Member that I believe that the islands can certainlly do that, if they have their own regional board, as I hope that they will when the Amendment is accepted. Their problems are very different from those of the highly-populated industrial area in the South of Scotland, where there may be the kinds of problem which the hon. Gentleman has raised.

Mr. Grimond

I do not know whether the hon. Gentleman opposite realises that Caithness has the highest water rate in Scotland— —

Mr. Manuel


Mr. Grimond

—and that the Government's view is that Orkney and Shetland should subsidise Caithness and Sutherland.

Mr. G. Campbell

I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman for putting that point. I hope that the hon. Member opposite will now listen to what is said from this side and learn a bit more about these problems of the north of Scotland.

When the Government appeared to relent and consider what is called the compromise solution, it was suggested, at the same time, that Caithness and Sutherland should be put in with Ross and Cromarty, which had nothing to do with this. Therefore, it was understandable that Ross and Cromarty should object and ask why they should be brought into this and be made to amalgamate with Caithness and Sutherland. The only answer that we can see is that the Government were still wedded to the figure of 13 and found it impossible to make it 14.

The Minister appeared not to realise that the Amendments which have come from another place are for an additional amalgamation, an additional regional board, which would produce 14. The Amendments from the other place are not suggesting that Ross and Cromarty should be pushed in with Caithness and Sutherland. That was a mad suggestion which came forward from the Government as part of what they called the compromise.

To illustrate this, I will read from page 40 of the Water Advisory Committee's Report where it says: As regards the first we came to the conclusion that a combination of Sutherland with Ross and Cromarty—two Counties of extensive and difficult areas each with a large number of scattered local sources—would aggravate rather than ease the task of day-to-day management in them both. So this suggestion did not have the backing of the Report of the Water Advisory Committee.

We cannot understand why the Government were not prepared to have 14 or 15 boards when they were making such reductions in the large number of water authorities, with which there was general agreement. To fear an addition to the Schedule, because this might open the flood gates for other proposals for additional boards, was, as the right hon. Gentleman said, a sign of weakness in the Government. It is weak and flaccid government which tries to steamroller something through without any change, despite the arguments, because they fear there would be a whole lot more proposals being pressed if they accepted one.

The Amendment would leave Ross and Cromarty on its own and it would also leave Caithness and Sutherland on its own. The Government have never explained why Caithness and Sutherland, a very large area, could not have a separate regional board.

There is another cause of dismay on this side of the House. This is an entirely Scottish matter. The proposals in the Bill and the objections that have been raised to Amendments to the Bill have all followed from decisions by Scottish Ministers in Edinburgh. There is no question of Whitehall or the Treasury being involved, which is sometimes made an excuse for this kind of over-centralisation. Labour Ministers at the Scottish Office have made it clear that they have no understanding of the problems of the north of Scotland or of the special difficulties caused by geography there. Moreover, it appears that they have no sympathy with those problems.

Mr. Manuel

Rubbish. That is nonsense.

Mr. Campbell

The Minister who was dealing with this in the other place advanced as an explanation that those who were putting the case from Orkney and Shetland were against any change. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] I hear assent from the other side. All it does is prove that the Ministers concerned have totally misunderstood the feelings of the Islanders in putting forward their proposals which were based on common sense.

However, it is still not too late. If the Government want to indicate that they have some understanding of the problems of the north of Scotland and some sympathy for them they can, even at this stage, decide to change their mind and accept the Amendment. It would be a good Amendment and widely welcomed not only in the north of Scotland, but in the rest of Scotland, too.

11.30 p.m.

Mr. Donald Dewar (Aberdeen, South)

I intend to detain the House only briefly. I have listened with interest and incasing alarm to the notes struck some of the speeches from the benches opposite and listened with some puzzlement to the sinister principles which some hon. Members have managed to see in the proposal by the Government. I think that the Opposition have been rather more enthusiastic critics of the Government's motives than accurate.

They have painted a picture of the unfortunate County Council of Orkney and Shetland specifically, uniquely and deliberately victimised and pulled into a kind of unworkable forced marriage, with the mainland inevitably the more dominant of the partners in this unfortunate match.

This, I think, is not a fair interpretation of what has happened. I accept that the Minister of State has spent an enormous amount of time—indeed, there must have been periods in the last months when he could have been doing little else—on this problem when one takes into account the enormous number of meetings and consultations that there has been on the admittedly vexed business.

We had five parties. Five counties were involved and there are so many permutations that the only thing proved is the number of mathematical combinations possible with five units. The one factor which emerged ultimately from all the proposals and all the possibilities was that everyone was unpopular with the parties concerned.

I am sorry that my hon. Friend the Member for Caithness and Sutherland (Mr. Maclennan) is not here. He is unavoidably detained abroad on important business. The attacks made on him in interventions from the benches opposite were uncharitable and unjustifiable. He would have wished to forcefully put forward the point of view of other local authorities in his area, particularly that of Caithness, who feel every bit as strongly, justifiably from a local point of view, as did the right hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland (Mr. Grimond) from his local point of view.

It is impossible to get a solution which is satisfactory to all the parties. It is one of tragedies of regionalism in any form that one stamps on toes and offends local interests. But ultimately the Government have to listen to their technical advisers and technical experts as to the best solution. I would like to think that I was justified in thinking that hon. Members opposite listened to their experts, but, considering the policies which they produced in the past, one wonders if they did.

It is no good expecting the Government to accept as a principle, as some of the speeches have almost suggested that they should, that if local authorities in a specific area object to a Govern- ment proposal then the proposal should be dropped. If we were to accept that principle and follow that line we would have given way over Banff and the hon. Member for Moray and Nairn (Mr. G. Campbell) fought very hard for Banff. We would have given way over Kincardine, and we all listened with sympathy to the hon. Member for North Angus and Mearns (Mr. Buchanan-Smith) arguing eloquently that we were splitting his county. The technical arguments were heavily on one side and the Government had to stand their ground in the same way as they have to stand their ground tonight.

Mr. Michael Noble (Argyll)

Could the hon. Member tell us of one technical expert either inside or outside the Scottish Office who today believes that the Government are right?

Mr. Manuel

How do you know?

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. I hope that we will not have debate by interventions shouted across the Chamber.

Mr. Dewar

If the people who wrote the Scottish Water Advisory Committee Report are now wearing sackcloth and ashes and are repenting of their views in public, it is news to me. If the right hon. Member for Argyll (Mr. Noble) can produce evidence to show that those who wrote the Report are now saying that they were wrong, I shall listen with a great deal more sympathy to the arguments of hon. Members opposite.

No doubt the right hon. Gentleman will intervene later in the debate, or one of his colleagues on the Opposition Front Bench will, when I shall be interested to hear the evidence that those who produced the Report, and who are acknowledged experts and who have done the work in the field, are now saying that the Government are wrong and that hon. Members opposite are right.

When the Bill was last before the House, the hon. Member for Roxburgh, Selkirk and Peebles (Mr. David Steel) said that he saw a sinister trend emerging from this whole affair. He saw an increasing tendency by the Government to ignore the obvious interests of Members of Parliament and he went on to ask—and I suppose that it was a cri de coeur—which of us was to be next. I suppose that on many future occasions the Government will be committing an offence against the obvious interests of a Member of Parliament—and presumably this was in the back of the mind of the hon. Member's right hon. Friend the Member for Orkney and Shetland (Mr. Grimond).

But any Government worth their salt when they believe that they are right and when their technical ground is correct will be prepared to do this. The hon. Member for Roxburgh, Selkirk and Peebles is an enthusiastic supporter and a very persuasive advocate of regional government and regional planning authorities and wants more teeth put into them, but ultimately that can only be at the expense of local authorities to some extent. Regionalism is bound to involve exactly this kind of tendency.

Mr. David Steel (Roxburgh, Selkirk and Peebles)

I trust that the hon. Gentleman will do me the credit of recognising that what I said was that where there was an obvious conflict between the Government on the one hand, and the local authorities and the Member of Parliament, on the other, and the local authorities and the Member of Parliament, on the other, then the burden of proof and the burden of argument lay heavily with the Government. We have had no such burden or argument from the Government.

Mr. Manuel

The hon. Gentleman does not understand it, but he has had it.

Mr. Dewar

I do not accept that. I accept that the burden of proof is on the Government. but the fact that there is an enormous amount of local opposition means merely that the Government have a duty to consult, as they have, and to listen, as they have, and if they can find some kind of compromise which is acceptable to local opinion, they should implement it. But the Government have made every possible concession and the compromise has been even more unacceptable. The right hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland himself said that it was only second best and with that stark choice the Government must accept the advice of the technical committee.

If my memory is right, the Minister of State did not say that the administrative centre would be at Wick. He said that it would not necessarily be at Wick and that the decision would lie with the authority itself, which is very different. I do not accept the discouraging message which the right hon. Member tried to put across and which was that any kind of regionalism involving Orkney and Shetland would ultimately be unworkable. I do not agree that the Fire Board, for example, has been the disaster which he has suggested it to be. It has led to a much more efficient service for everybody and I do not see why the analogy should not be usefully followed in the present case.

The right hon. Gentleman made a powerful stand about the high level of the water rate in Caithness. It is well known and the calculations have been published and, as far as I know, have not been disputed by hon. Members opposite, that, if the Government's proposals go through, the domestic water rate for the new area will be 4s. 9d. whereas for Orkney and Shetland on their own it would be 6s. 2d., for Orkney separately, 5s. 2d., and for Shetland separately, 7s. 2d. I am prepared to listen to argument refuting those figures which have been authoritatively published for some time and not so far disputed. If they stand, one important plank on which the right hon. Gentleman rested his case will have turned out to be rotten, and I suspect that that is symptomatic of a large number of other planks in the platform on which he has been desperately and parochially balancing.

Mr. George Younger (Ayr)

I do not know whether the hon. Member for Aberdeenshire, South (Mr. Dewar) was speaking of Government policy in his last remarks, but if he was I can only say that he has rather weakened the Government's case. It seemed that the burden of his remarks was built round the proposition that, because the compromise solution was unacceptable to every local authority, therefore the Government should stick rigidly to their original suggestion.

This seems to be a very strange argument. The question is: are the Government doing the right thing? The burden of our case, as argued by the right hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland (Mr. Grimond) and other hon. Members on this side of the House, is that the Government are proposing to do the wrong thing for Orkney and Shetland, for water suppliers in the area, and the wrong thing within the scope of their own Bill.

Ross and Cromarty were perfectly right, in their own interests, to say that they did not wish to go into this compromise solution. The whole question of Ross and Cromarty is a red herring. The interest of Ross and Cromarty as a counter-balance to the argument is a blatant attempt to play one local authority against another. Ross and Cromarty can be left out of the consideration.

We have to consider whether the proposals that the Government want to stick to are right in the interests of the water undertakings generally, and in the interests of the people of the area. I submit that they are not in any sense right in either case. The chief reasons for the amalgamations, with which I entirely agree, were that to get a better arrangement of water suppliers, in collecting and distributing, larger units would be necessary. We all accept that. This surely does not mean that because the principle is right, it should be rigidly and blindly pursued in every corner of the country, irrespective of any other consideration?

It is the function of the Government not merely to lay down principles, but to interpret them intelligently, and they are not doing so in the case of Orkney and Shetland. I hope that by now we have dismissed the absurd argument about the question of piped water supplies. This is not an issue, but it is germane and relevant to the extent that one of the advantages of larger administrative water areas in Scotland generally is the ability, in mainland areas, to connect and inter-connect water supplies within large areas, to combine catchment areas and to get them spread to the most economic parts.

After all, what is the Loch Lomond scheme other than that? It is the whole object of it. This is totally impractical and cannot apply in any sense at all to an authority which comprises the islands of Orkney and Shetland, and the mainland counties of Caithness and Sutherland.

Mr. Manuel

Would the hon. Gentleman not agree that the strongest and most salient point in favour of larger unit amal- gamations is the greater financial rating strength that can be achieved in order to carry out the necessary schemes?

Mr. Younger

That reason exists, but I would not put it next. We have dismissed the common water supply angle. The second reason is mentioned, at page 40, paragraph 81 of the fourth Report of the Water Service in Scotland, which recommends that these should be amalgamated to provide the skilled management of other facilities necessary for the purposes of improving the water supply.

Mr. A. Woodburn (Clackmannan and East Stirlingshire)

Is the hon. Gentleman advocating that every little local authority should have special water engineers, and that design staffs of reservoirs should be duplicated in every local authority? The other point he made was that these people would be peregrinating round the islands. Is there not a greater distance between Orkney and Shetland than between Orkney and the mainland? If the argument on separation of water was introduced than there would be more reason to separate Orkney from Shetland than separate Orkney from Caithness?

11.45 p.m.

Mr. Younger

I am sorry that the right hon. Member for Clackmannan and East Stirlingshire (Mr. Woodburn) produced, albeit in his charming way, that irrelevant argument. I hope that, as time is short, he will forgive me if I do not digress to deal with it.

If there is a need for larger authorities, as I think there is, so that there should be better qualified water engineers, that cannot apply to anything like the same extent where the total area and size of the water undertaking and the land mass are so small as in Orkney and Shetland. If there were a huge new water area and if there were to be a scheme of the magnitude of a barrage or the Loch Lomond scheme, then a much larger staff, highly qualified, would be needed than in the case of a small water authority.

But as there is no possibility of this arising in Orkney and Shetland, and as we are dealing with small, locally contained islands which will always have their own water supplies on a comparatively small scale, then the existing staff are quite capable of carrying out the necessary water undertakings within the area of the islands.

All the arguments have been adequately rehearsed and the only possible conclusion is that there is only one reason why the Government are pressing this proposal—that it looks tidy on paper. Someone looked at the population of the islands and said that it could not justify anything other than amalgamation with a mainland company. Administrative tidiness is the only reason for the proposal. I echo the point made so admirably by my hon. Friend the Member for Moray and Nairn (Mr. G. Campbell): in no sense can we blame this on our old friend the gentleman in Whitehall for it is the sole responsibility of Scottish Ministers at St. Andrews House. It is they who are doing the wrong thing by the Islands of Orkney and Shetland.

Mr. MacArthur rose

Sir Gerald Nabarro (Worcestershire, South)


Mr. MacArthur

When the Minister moved this wretched and indefensible proposal that the House should disagree with the Lords Amendments he appeared to complain that we had spent a lot of time discussing this question during the various stages of the Bill. [HON. MEMBERS: "Too much."] I wish that we could spend much more time discussing it, because the more we discuss it the greater the opportunity the Minister has to advance valid or technical reasons for disagreeing with the Lords. So far, we have heard no such reasons in support of the Government's view.

We have heard a series of most extraordinary arguments from the Minister. He made a great point about the place from which the board would be administered, suggesting that there was no certainty that it would be administered from Wick. But is there any likelihood that it will be administered from somewhere other than Wick? Is he prepared to tell us that it will be administered from one of the islands? If so, what would be the reaction in Caithness and Sutherland? The argument has no substance.

The Minister made great play about the point during the earlier proceedings at which the local authorities in Orkney and Shetland had agreed to the alternative proposal that Orkney and Shetland should form a separate board.

Sir G. Nabarro


Mr. MacArthur

The time when this agreement was reached is completely irrelevant. The fact is that the local authorities agreed to this alternative, and it does not matter if they did so in April, May or June. We support the local authorities not just because this is what they want but because what they want is right. It is no good the Minister arguing that because they took so long to reach a decision it is now too late for the Government to go back and meet their proper and legitimate wishes.

I suspect that one of the reasons for their obstinacy is the argument used in another place by the Joint Under-Secretary of State, that the Government's view was that the reaction of the local authorities in Orkney and Shetland was simply against change and not founded on principle. It is because it is founded on a good and right principle that we oppose the Government. In his previous pleasant manner, the Minister of State suggested earlier in our proceedings that he would be flexible and that there was plenty of time before our debates on Schedule I, when we could discuss the composition of the regional boards, and that, if a reasonable case were advanced, he might give way.

In the debate on the principle on the Tuesday, he indicated that he would have something to say in his reply which would please the right hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland (Mr. Grimond) very much, but to my disappointment that open mind had changed to a closed mind by the Thursday, when all he said was that he would look further into the position. The more time passed, the more his flexibility changed into obstinacy.

The hon. Gentleman's objection is also based on the consequential problems which a change would produce on the mainland, but he has power, under Clause 5, to reorganise the mainland. This is no defence of his argument. The Government objections are based on tiredness and tidiness. I can understand the hon. Gentleman being tired of the Bill, on which he has worked hard for a long time, but he must reconsider this in the light of his powers under the Bill.

I cannot accept the case for tidiness. The hon. Gentleman said that the grouping in the Bill was workable, practical and sensible. I dispute that.

Rather than workable, it is clumsy and expensive. The Government have already said that the local officials will continue as before and there has been no technical argument in support of the Government's view.

If the right hon. Gentleman says that it is practical, he can never have looked at the map. It will take a member of the board from the islands two nights and three days to attend a meeting on the mainland, and when these public-spirited people leave the islands, it is not to Wick that they go but to Inverness and Aberdeen, where the main mainland interests of the islands lie. Air travel is uncertain and there is no direct sea communication between Caithness and Sutherland.

Sir G. Nabarro

On a point of order. May the English hon. Members, who are waiting patiently, be protected against the verbal diarrhoea of the Scots?

Mr. Deputy Speaker

That is not a point of order, however tempted the Chair may be to agree with the hon. Gentleman. I have no doubt that the hon. Gentleman heard what has been said.

Mr. MacArthur

I know that my hon. Friend the Member for Worcestershire, South (Sir G. Nabarro) supports common sense and rightness in Governmental matters. He will, therefore, I trust, support his other hon. Friends in the Lobby.

Orkney and Shetland are being regarded by the Government as little pieces which must be tidily placed on the administrative chequer board. The Government are preoccupied with the convenience of the "centre" and this is causing growing wonder and resentment in the outlying parts of these islands. Never has this tendency been more obvious than it is in this proposal, which I invite my hon. Friends to reject.

Dr. Dickson Mahon

I have been asked a number of questions, and I will—

Sir G. Nabarro

Not without permission. [Interruption.]

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. There are two matters. First, the Minister needs the permission of the House to speak again. Secondly, a little patience on the part of hon Gentlemen would bring the House to the point of a Division much earlier.

Dr. Mabon

With permission—

Sir G. Nabarro


Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. The leave of the House has not been granted. The Minister cannot speak again.

Question put, That this House doth disagree with the Lords in the said Amendment:—

The House divided: Ayes 143, Noes 102.

Division No. 485.] AYES [11.58 p.m.
Abse, Leo Culfen, Mrs. Alice Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)
Albu, Austen Darling, Rt. Hn. George Hattersley, Roy
Armstrong, Ernest Davidson, Arthur (Accrington) Hazell, Bert
Atkinson, Norman (Tottenham) Davies, Dr. Ernest (Stretford) Howarth, Robert (Bolton, E.)
Bacon, Rt. Hn, Alice Davies, Ifor (Gower) Howell, Denis (Small Heath)
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Dempsey, James Howie, W.
Beaney, Alan Dewar, Donald Hoy, James
Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood Dickens, James Huckfield, L.
Bennett, James (G'gow, Bridgeton) Dobson, Ray Hughes, Roy (Newport)
Bidwell, Sydney Doig, Peter Hunter, Adam
Binns, John Dunwoody, Dr. John (F'th & C'b'e) Hynd, John
Bishop, E. S. Eadle, Alex Jackson, Peter M. (High Peak)
Blackburn, F. Ellis, John Jenkins, Hugh (Putney)
Blenkinsop, Arthur English, Michael Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.)
Bray, Dr. Jeremy Ennals, David Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, West)
Brooks, Edwin Elisor, David Judd, Frank
Brown, Rt. Hn, George (Belper) Fitch, Alan (Wigan) Lawson, George
Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan) Fitt, Gerard (Belfast, W.) Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick (Newton)
Brown, Bob (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, W.) Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) Lestor, Miss Joan
Brown, ft. W. (Shoredicoh & F'bury) Forrester, John Lever, Harold (Cheetham)
Buchan, Norman Fraser, John (Norwood) Lever, L. M. (Ardwick)
Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn) Freeson, Reginald Lomas, Kenneth
Cant, R. B. Galpern, Sir Myer Loughlin, Charles
Carmichael, Neil Gardner, Tony Lyon, Alexander W. (York)
Coe, Denis G our lay, Harry Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.)
Coleman, Donald Gregory, Arnold Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson
Conlan, Bernard Griffiths, David (Rother Valley) McCann, John
Cronin, John Hamilton, James (Bothwell) MacColl, James
Crossman, Rt. Hn. Richard Harper, Joseph MacDermot, Niall
Macdonald, A. H. Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, S'tn) Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley
Mackintosh, John P. Page, Derek (King's Lynn) Tinn, James
McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.) Park, Trevor Urwin, T. W.
McNamara, J. Kevin Pavitt, Laurence Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne Valley)
MacPherson, Malcolm Pentland, Norman Walden, Brian (All Saints)
Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg) Perry, George H. (Nottingham, S.) Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Manuel, Archie Price, William (Rugby) Wallace, George
Mendelson, J. J. Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon) Watkins, David (Consett)
Millan, Bruce Roberts, Gwilym (Bedfordshire, S.) Wells, William (Walsall, N.)
Mitchell, R. C. (S'th'pton, Test) Robinson, W. O. J. (Walth'stow, E.) Whitaker, Ben
Moonman, Eric Rodgers, William (Stockton) Whitlock, William
Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire) Rose, Paul Williams, Alan Lee (Hornchurch)
Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe) Ross, Rt. Hn. William Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchin)
Murray, Albert Rowlands, E. (Cardiff, N.) Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)
Noel-Baker, Francis (Swindon) Shaw, Arnold (Ilford, S.) Winterbottom, R. E.
Oakes, Gordon Shore, Peter (Stepney) Woodburn, Rt. Hn. A.
Ogden, Eric Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)
O'Malley, Brian Silverman, Julius (Aston) TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Oram, Albert E. Slater, Joseph Mr Charles R. Morris and
Oswald, Thomas Spriggs, Leslie Mr. Neil McBride.
Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash) Grant-Ferris, R. Pink, R. Bonner
Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead) Grimond, Rt. Hn. J. Pounder, Rafton
Atkins, Humphrey (M't'n & M'd'n) Hall-Davis, A. G. F. Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch
Awdry, Daniel Harris, Reader (Heston) Pym, Francis
Baker, W. H. K. Harrison, Brian (Maldon) Ridley, Hn. Nicholas
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gos. & Fhm; Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye) Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks)
Berry, Hn. Anthony Harvie Anderson, Miss Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)
Boyle, Rt. Hn. Sir Edward Hawkins, Paul Royle, Anthony
Braine, Bernard Hiley, Joseph Russell, Sir Ronald
Hobson, Rt. Hn. Sir John
Brinton, Sir Tatton Holland, Philip Scott, Nicholas
Buchanan-Smith, Alick (Angus, N & M) Hunt, John Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)
Buck, Antony (Colchester) Hutchison, Michael Clark Smith, John
Campbell, Gordon Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford) Stainton, Keith
Carlisle, Mark Kimball, Marcus Steel, David (Roxburgh)
Chichester-Clark, R. King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.) Stodart, Anthony
Clegg, Walter Kirk, Peter Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)
Cooke, Robert Kitson, Timothy Taylor, Edward M.(C'gow, Cathcart)
Crowder, F. P. Lambton, Viscount Thorpe, Rt. Hn. Jeremy
Currie, G. B. H. Lubbock, Eric Tilney, John
Dalkeith, Earl of MacArthur, Ian Turton, Rt. Hn. R. H.
Dance, James Maginnis, John E. Wainwright, Richard (Colne Valley)
Dean, Paul (Somerset, N.) Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J. Walker, Peter (Worcester)
Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F. (Ashford) Maydon, Lt.-Cmdr. S. L. C. Wall, Patrick
Doughty, Charles Mitchell, David (Basingstoke) Weatherill, Bernard
Elliott, R.W. (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, N.) Montgomery, Fergus Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William
Emery, Peter More, Jasper Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Errington, Sir Eric Nabarro, Sir Gerald Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick
Farr, John Nicholls, Sir Harmar Worsley, Marcus
Fisher, Nigel Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael Wright, Esmond
Galbraith, Hon. T. G. Nott, John Wylie, N. R.
Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.) Osbom, John (Hallam) Younger, Hn. George
Glover, Sir Douglas Page, Graham (Crosby)
Goodhew, Victor Pardoe, John TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Gower, Raymond Percival, Ian Mr. Reginald Eyre and
Grant, Anthony Pike, Miss Mervyn Mr. Hector Monro,

Lords Amendment: No. 8, in page 22, leave out line 27.

Question put, That this House doth disagree with the Lords in 'the said Amendment:—

The House divided: Ayes 133, Noes 98.

Division No. 486.] AYES [12.6 a.m.
Albu, Austen Brown, Bob (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, W.) Dempsey, James
Armstrong, Ernest Brown, R. W. (Shoreditch & F'bury) Dewar, Donald
Atkinson, Norman (Tottenham) Buchan, Norman Dickens, James
Bacon, Rt. Hn. Alice Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn) Dobson, Ray
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Cant, R. B. Doig, Peter
Beaney, Alan Carmichael, Neil Dunwoody, Dr. John (F'th & C'b'e)
Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood Coe, Denis Eadie, Alex
Bennett, James (G'gow, Bridgeton) Coleman, Donald Ellis, John
Bidwell, Sydney Contlan, Bernard English, Michael
Binns, John Cronin, John Ennals, David
Bishop, E. S. Crossman, Rt. Hn. Richard Ensor, David
Blackburn, F. Cullen, Mrs. Alice Fitch, Alan (Wigan)
Brooks, Edwin Darling, Rt. Hn, George Fitt, Gerard (Belfast, W.)
Brown, Hush D. (G'gow, Provan) Davidson, Arthur (Accrington) Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)
Blenkinsop, Arthur Davies, Dr. Ernest (Stretford) Forrester, John
Bray, Dr. Jeremy Davies, Ifor (Gower) Fraser, John (Norwood)
Freeson, Reginald McCann, John Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon)
Galpern, Sir Myer MacColt, James Roberts, Gwilym (Bedfordshire, S.)
Gardner, Tony MacDermot, Niall Robinson, W. O. J, (Walth'stow, E.)
Gourlay, Harry Macdonald, A. H. Rose, Paul
Gregory, Arnold Mackintosh, John P. Ross, Rt. Hn. William
Griffiths, David (Rother Valley) McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, c.) Rowlands, E. (Cardiff, N.)
Hamilton, James (Bothwell) McNamara, J. Kevin Shaw, Arnold (Ilford, S.)
Harper, Joseph MacPherson, Malcolm Shore, Peter (Stepney)
Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg) Sifkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)
Hattersley, Roy Manuel, Archie Silverman, Julius (Aston)
Howarth, Robert (Bolton, E.) Mendelson, J. J. Slater, Joseph
Howell, Denis (Small Heath) Millan, Bruce Spriggs, Leslie
Howie, W. Mitchell, R. C. (S'th'pton, Test) Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley
Hoy, James Moonman, Eric Urwin, T. W.
Huckfield, L. Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire) Walden, Brian (All Saints)
Hughes, Roy (Newport) Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe) Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Hunter, Adam Murray, Albert Wallace, George
Noel-Baker, Francis (Swindon) Watkins, David (Consett)
Hynd, John Oakes, Gordon Wells, William (Walsall, N.)
Jackson, Peter M. (High Peak) Ogden, Eric Whitaker, Ben
Jenkins, Hugh (Putney) O'Malley, Brian Whitlock, William
Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, West) Oram, Albert E. Williams, Alan Lee (Hornchurch)
Judd, Frank Oswald, Thomas Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchin)
Lawson, George Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, S'tn) Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)
Lestor, Miss Joan Page, Derek (King's Lynn) Winter-bottom, R. E.
Lever, L. M. (Ardwick) Park, Trevor Woodburn, Rt. Hn. A.
Lomas, Kenneth Pavitt, Laurence TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Loughlin, Charles Pentland, Norman Mr. Charles R. Morris and
Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.) Perry, George H. (Nottingham, S.) Mr. Neil McBride.
Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson Price, William (Rugby)
Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash) Cower, Raymond Ridley, Hn. Nicholas
Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead) Grant, Anthony Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks)
Atkins, Humphrey (M't'n & M'd'n) Harvie Anderson, Miss Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)
Awdry, Daniel Hawkins, Paul Royle, Anthony
Baker, W. H. K. Hiley, Joseph Harris, Reader (Heston)
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gos. & Fhm) Holland, Philip Harrison, Brian (Maldon)
Berry, Hn. Anthony Hunt, John Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye)
Boyle, Rt. Hn. Sir Edward Hutchison, Michael Clark Grant-Ferris, R.
Braine, Bernard Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford) Grimond, Rt. Hn. J.
Brinton, Sir Tatton Kimball, Marcus Hall-Davis, A. G. F.
Buchanan-Smith, Alick Angus, N & M) King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.) Russell, Sir Ronald
Buck, Antony (Colchester) Kirk, Peter Scott, Nicholas
Campbell, Gordon Kitson, Timothy Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)
Carlisle, Mark Lambton, Viscount Stainton, Keith
Chichester-Clark, R. MacArthur, Ian Stodart, Anthony
Clegg, Walter Maginnis, John E. Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)
Cooke, Robert Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J. Taylor, Edward M.(G'gow, Cathcart)
Crowder, F. P. Maydon, Lt.-Cmdr. S. L. C. Thorpe, Rt. Hn. Jeremy
Currie, C. B. H. Mitchell, David (Basingstoke) Tilney, John
Dalkeith, Earl of Monro, Hector Wainwright, Richard (Colne Valley)
Dance, James Montgomery, Fergus Walker, Peter (Worcester)
Dean, Paul (Somerset, N.) More, Jasper Wall, Patrick
Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F. (Ashford) Nabarro, Sir Gerald Weatherill, Bernard
Doughty, Charles Nicholls, Sir Harmar Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William
Elliott, R.W. (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, N.) Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Emery, Peter Nott, John Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick
Errington, Sir Eric Page, Graham (Crosby) Worsley, Marcus
Eyre, Reginald Pardoe, John Wright, Esmond
Fair, John Percival, Ian Wylie, N. R.
Fisher, Nigel Pike, Miss Mervyn Younger, Hn. George
Galbraith, Hon. T. G. Pink, R. Bonner
Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.) Pounder, Rafton TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Glover, Sir Douglas Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch Mr. Eric Lubbock and
Goodhew, Victor Pym, Francis Mr. David Steel.

Lords Amendment: No. 9, in page 23, line 24, at end insert:

"10A. The Orkney and Zetland Water Board. Limits of supply of:—
Kirkwall Town Council
Orkney County Council
Stromness Town Council
Lerwick Town Council
Zetland County Council"

Question, That this House doth disagree with the Lords in the said Amendment, put and agreed to.