HC Deb 09 April 1968 vol 762 cc1161-87

(1) It shall be the duty of a highway authority in the exercise of their powers to maintain any stile, gate or other structure across a footpath or bridleway (hereafter called 'the structure ') in such a state as not to cause any harm or inconvenience to persons using the footpath or bridleway.

(2) If it appears to the highway authority for the footpath or bridleway that the structure is in need of repair whether with or without prior notification of that fact having been made to it by the owner or occupier of the land it stall have power to make arrangements for the owner or occupier of the land to take all reasonable steps to repair and make good tie structure.

(3) Where any such arrangement as referred to in subsection (2) above is made, the highway authority shall make a contribution of seventy-five per cent. of the reasonable expenses incurred by the owner or occupier of the land in repairing and making good the structure.

(4) This section shall be construed as one with the Highways Act 1959.—[Mr. Channon.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

Mr. Channon

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

Mr. Speaker

With this Clause I suggest that we discuss Amendment No. 61, in page 24, line 20, leave out "the amount" and insert "three-quarters"; Amendment No. 62, in page 24, line 22, leave out "subsection" to end and Government Amendment No. 63 and the Amendment to Government Amendment No. 63 in the name of the right hon. and learned Member for Hexham (Mr. Rippon).

Mr. Channon

That suggested grouping is convenient, because it enables the House to decide how to treat this very important problem. Unlike my hon. Friend the Member for Westmorland (Mr. Jopling), I think that this is probably the most important new Clause that we have to discuss. I am glad that it has been possible to discuss all the Amendments relating to stiles together. There is no doubt that the rights of way Clauses are hound to have an important effect on the lives of those who live in or frequently visit the countryside.

The Clause enables the House to decide whether the duty to repair stiles, gates and other structures across footpaths or bridleways should be placed upon the highway authority or, as the Government propose, upon owners and occupiers of land. The Government have come forward with proposals which, as my hon. Friend the Member for Hereford (Mr. Gibson-Watt) said in Committee, will be revolutionary for the countryside. There will be widespread feeling and anxiety about them. The Government propose to make farmers responsible for the first time for the maintenance of stiles over public footpaths.

There will be many small farmers with large numbers of stiles over footpaths on their land to whom this will be a great burden. In the Committee my hon. Friend the Member for Rye (Mr. Bryant Godman Irvine) quoted the example of a very small farm on which there were no fewer than 34 stiles. It has been estimated that it would cost about £8 to maintain each stile. My hon. Friend said that in his part of the country stiles last on an average for about two weeks, so this is a substantial burden.

It must be admitted that the law has been confusing up to the present. Most authorities agree that it has been the duty of highway authorities to repair gates, stiles and footpaths. I shall not discuss at great length the legal position in regard to stiles, because many hon. Members, among whom is certainly the Joint Parliamentary Secretary, know the position very well. Many cases point out that, if the local authority is responsible for the surface repairs on a road, it is also responsible for the stiles and gates.

This situation will change when the Bill becomes law. The Gosling Committee recommended in paragraphs 42 to 46 that the maintenance of stiles and gates should be transferred to the landowner or the occupier. It did so on the grounds of keeping costs to a minimum and for various practical reasons.

In paragraph 44 of its Report, the Gosling Committee said: We have heard evidence that, bearing in mind the present and prospective recreational use of footpaths, there is a strong case for a substantial part of the cost of maintenance of stiles and gates to be met from the public purse. But in the interest of keeping these costs to a minimum and also for practical reasons, we recommend that owners and occupiers should be responsible for the task of maintenance. In paragraph 45, the Committee said: '… it seems to us fair, and we recommend, that owners or occupiers should, as of right, receive a reasonable contribution from the highway authority towards maintenance costs, subject only to the work being carried out to an acceptable standard. I have two criticisms of the Gosling Committee's recommendations. Fist, I do not think that the Committee paid enough attention to the argument on equity, the great change which would affect people in the countryside, particularly small farmers, to a very great degree. Second, its recommendation was too general. It did not say what it had in mind or how much recompense should be made to the owners of land affected by the proposal. In the result, the Government did not at first accept the Gosling Committee's interim recommendation, when the Bill was printed and at the Second Reading stage.

In Standing Committee, my hon. Friends and I pressed strongly—and we had the support of certain hon. Members opposite—that there should be a mandatory contribution by the highway authority for the maintenance of stiles, gates and other structures. We argued that that mandatory contribution should be 75 per cent., unless the duty was not complied with by the landowner. If the owner did not carry out his duties—this is Clause 22(2)—the highway authority would have to do the work itself and would then recover 50 per cent., so that it would cost the owner more if he did not do the work.

The Parliamentary Secretary accepted the principle of a mandatory contribution but he was not prepared to go beyond 25 per cent., the figure written into the Government Amendment now before us. The sense of the Committee on that occasion, on both sides, was against the figure of 25 per cent. My hon. Friends and I argued for 75 per cent. The hon. Member for Monmouth (Mr. Anderson)—this is column 1215—suggested a mandatory contribution of 50 per cent. The hon. Member for Lewisham, South (Mr. Carol Johnson)—this is column 1217—suggested some such figure as 60 per cent. The hon. Member for The High Peak (Mr. Peter M. Jackson)—this is column 1221—argued somewhat differently from myself but said that there should be power to contribute up to 75 per cent. I did not regard that as satisfactory because it did not have a mandatory lower figure, which I thought essential. It is fair to say, therefore, that opinion in the Standing Committee, although it did not go as far as 75 per cent., was in favour of a great deal more than 25 per cent.

The Parliamentary Secretary argued that the 25 per cent. mandatory contribution would be discretionary and that in certain cases highway authorities could go higher, sometimes even going up to 100 per cent. We all know what happens with a discretionary payment system. The 25 per cent. would almost certainly become the maximum in all but a small minority of cases.

I still regard the 25 per cent. proposed by the Government as unsatisfactory, and I hope that hon. Members opposite will agree. It seems to me that the choice lies between the new Clause, which would keep the onus and duty on the highway authority, and the Government's proposal to put the burden on the owner, with a 25 per cent. mandatory contribution from the highway authority. Before I discuss the merits of those two courses, I shall explain the purpose of new Clause No. 9 a little further.

7.45 p.m.

The Clause would place on the highway authority the duty to maintain stiles, gates and so on across footpaths. One passage in the new Clause would require amendment if it were accepted by the House. Instead of providing that the stiles or gates should be kept in such a state as not to cause harm or inconvenience", it would have to agree with the Government Amendment as regards harm or inconvenience. I say that at once because I do not want it to be thrown out on drafting grounds.

The highway authority would have power to delegate its duties if it wished, but it would then make a contribution of 75 per cent. of the reasonable expenses incurred by the owner or occupier of the hind. In general, the responsibility to maintain would rest on the highway authorities themselves.

Hon. Members may hold different opinions on whether it is right that this duty should fall on the highway authority or on the owner of the land. I agree that, on balance, it would be more convenient if the duty were put on the owner but, in that event, the compensation must be reasonable. In my view, the worst of all possible solutions would be to leave Clause 22 unamended. No one wants to do that. The best possible solution would be acceptance of our Amendment to the Government Amendment, which would make the mandatory contribution 50 per cent. Failing that, as second best, I should press new Clause No. 9, which would keep the duty on the highway authorities.

I very much hope that the Government will not stick to their solution, which is to make the mandatory contribution 25 per cent. I look forward to hearing hon. Members opposite, if they agree that there is a case for increasing the mandatory contributions, and I hope that the Government will be persuaded to raise the figure from 25 to 50 per cent. If they agree, I shall ask leave to withdraw the new Clause. If they do not, I shall ask my hon. Friends to press the new Clause, because we think that it would be better than keeping such a small fig are as 25 per cent. for the mandatory contribution.

The House is united in its wish to see greater opportunities for access and enjoyment of the countryside after the Bill becomes law. It is united also, I think, in agreeing that, if there is this great increase in access, there will inevitably be great problems for those who live and work in the countryside. Great burdens will be placed on small farmers, and they will find it very difficult to meet them. I hope that the Government recognise that.

My hon. Friends and I have moved from our proposed 75 per cent. mandatory contribution to the figure of 50 per cent. because, in the light of our discussion in Committee, we took it to be the general view that that was an acceptable figure which all hon. Members could support. This a genuine attempt to find a solution which will not put upon highway authorities so great a burden as would be unreasonable, while, on the other hand, not putting too great a burden upon the people who will have the duty of mending stiles and looking after them, paying for the work out of their own pocket.

This is a genuine attempt to find a solution acceptable to both sides in the discussion. There is no party political difference between us. It is purely a question of the practical way to deal with the problem so that all sides can be satisfied with the Bill when it becomes law. I hope that the Government will accept, not necessarily the new Clause, but the Amendment raising the mandatory contribution from 25 per cent. to 50 per cent. If they do so, a broadly satisfactory solution to this very difficult problem can be reached. Those who live and work in the countryside will be very grateful that an answer is found which recognises their problems and at the same time is a satisfactory solution to what I think is the most worrying feature of the whole Bill.

Mr. Turton

I have rather more affection for the new Clause than has my hon. Friend the Member for Southend, West (Mr. Channon). A strong case has not been made out by the Gosling Committee for shifting the responsibility for the repair of stiles from the highway authority, where it generally is, to the owner or occupier. I leave out gates, for they are quite a different matter. In the interests of those who will use the footpath it will be far better not to disturb the liability but to look at the problem from the farmer's point of view. He wants his field encased by a hedge or a post and rails. As there are footpaths through it somebody will have to enable the pedestrian to get over the hedge or the post and rails, and therefore the stile is introduced. Generally—certainly in my area—the obligation to repair a stile is on the highway authority. The case of a gate is different, because that is normally erected to keep stock in where there has been a right of way, though I accept that this varies by custom in different parts of the country.

I beg the Government to hesitate before accepting this part of the Gosling Report. As I see it, the Committee said that in general it would like this shifting of responsibility, but that where an owner could establish that he had dedicated a path expressly excluding liability for maintenance he should be reimbursed in full. It is noticeable that the Government have not accepted that part of paragraph 5 of the Report, which I suggest is not very well designed. What about the cases where owners from time immemorial have made it clear that they have no liability under the Enclosure Acts for the stiles? There are many old Enclosure Acts in which that has been laid down. But the Government should not suddenly at this stage thrust the responsibility on to the farmers, that is a burden that should not be placed on them at present.

There is one small point that is not clear in either the new Clause or Clause 22, and that concerns the position in my area, in North Yorkshire, where one finds footbridges with a stile or gate at the end for the protection of pedestrians. Clearly, that should go with the footbridge. I gather that the Government agree that a footbridge is the responsibility of the highway authority, and it will be ridiculous if the footbridge is to be maintained by the highway authority but the approach—a stile where the pedestrian comes on to it—becomes the farmer's responsibility. I beg the Government to think again about this, because in my area where there are many ghylls and ravines it is a very normal practice to have a bridge with a stile or a gate at the approach to it.

If the responsibility is to be shifted it is wrong to place the huge burden of 75 per cent. of the cost on farmers, limiting the recovery to a minimum of 25 per cent. It is far better when drafting legislation not to say "not less than" but to state exactly the percentage that should be paid, because, as my hon. Friend said, one always finds that the minimum tends to become the maximum paid by a local authority.

If the responsibility is shifted, and we are as ungenerous as the Government propose, the stiles will not be maintained properly, or in some cases will be maintained in a very dangerous way by the farmer. I know many of my constituent farmers who will see when they maintain a stile that they have a nice little piece of barbed wire, which they love using, on the top rail. I warn pedestrians that it is far better to have their interests looked after by a highway authority than by a farmer, who will be looking after his own interests and deterring pedestrians rather than encouraging them.

Mr. Anderson

I shall not rehearse the arguments already raised by the hon. Member for Southend, West (Mr. Channon) in what I thought was a good and very conciliatory speech, nor the arguments I raised in Committee in favour of a 50–50 breakdown.

This is not a party political debate in any sense but rather one about where it is equitable to draw the line of responsibility. As I maintained in Committee and still believe, a 50–50 breakdown is on the whole likely to be most equitable and to be greeted as most fair by the country people on whom we shall rely for carrying out the provisions of the Bill.

Mr. James Ramsden (Harrogate)

This question does not involve really big money for local authorities, even if they have to bear the whole cost and continue to be responsible for maintenance. On reflection since Committee, I think that that would be the right course. It does not involve really big money for farmers although it involves a certain amount of inconvenience and, for the small farmer, a considerable outlay of money.

We are most likely to get the matter right if we try to take the discussion out of the realms of responsibility under the law, where it has been so far, and of the option between 25 per cent. or 50 per cent. and try to relate it to fulfilling the main purpose of the Bill—to get more people out into the countryside to enjoy themselves there, to make sure that they are welcome when they go there, and to see that the Bill's aims are supported by the feeling of the local people. We have all agreed that the Bill cannot work without that.

I agree with my right hon. Friend the Member for Thirsk and Malton (Mr. Turton) that the impact on the farming community of suddenly finding themselves responsible for the maintenance of stiles will be considerable. I do not think that it will conduce to the good relations which are necessary if the Bill is to work properly.

I have discussed this with a gentleman in my constituency with whom I have been in close touch about matters affecting the interests of ramblers, because he knows a great deal about the subject and has successfully represented their interests in our locality. He feels the same way. He does not think that this is a reasonable imposition to lay on the farming community and he believes that if it is imposed it will not make for the achievement of the sort of relations between farmers and ramblers which both sides wish to see.

I hope that the Government will think again about this. It would be reasonable, following the Gosling Report, for the local authorities to accept the duty of repair and to make arrangements with the local occupiers to do the work, since they would do it more practically and more cheaply. I hope that the Government will do this in the interests of good relations between the farming community and those going into the countryside and will look at the matter again from that point of view.

8.0 p.m.

Mr. MacDermot

I am not seeking to bring the debate to a close, for I know that a number of other hon. Members wish to speak. This is a difficult topic and I do not pretend that it is easy to get the right answer, but it might be helpful if I put forward the considerations which the Gosling Committee had before it and the reason for these proposals.

The new Clause and the Amendments raise two questions. The first is where the duty should lie to do the job of maintenance and repair. The second is who should pay for it and, following that, whether the cost could be shared and in what proportions. First—where should the duty lie? Right hon. and hon. Members opposite have been talking as though the Gosling Committee was making a recommendation for transferring an existing liability from the local authority to the landowner or occupier. That is not correct and it is not a view which the Committee itself took, because it said in paragraph 43: The intention of the present law on maintenance of stiles and gates is not immediately apparent. There is much confusion because it is not clear whether the liability rests on the landowner or occupier on the one hand or on the highway authority on the other. Clearly, it is unsatisfactory that in a matter of this kind, there should be doubt as to where liability lies. We know from practical experience how rickety stiles can be. The right hon. Member for Thirsk and Malton (Mr. Turton) spoke of elderly people using them often and emphasised both the importance of the stiles being properly maintained and the question of where the liability should rest being put beyond doubt. The Committee recommended, with eminent good sense, that the most satisfactory course is to place liability on people in a position to do the job best and most cheaply. It said in paragraph 44: …in the interest of keeping these costs to a minimum and also for practical reasons we recommend that owners and occupiers should be responsible for the task of maintenance. Surely that is something that we should clearly accept. For that reason, if for that reason alone, I would advise rejection of new Clause 9, which would seek to place the responsibility on the local authorities.

Secondly, there is the question of payment. Again, of course, there is doubt at the moment as to where legal liability stands. The arguments are fairly clear. Those who think that the landowner or occupier should pay say that the footpath is a highway—and so it is—over which the public has the right of way and that the public has no need for stiles or for gates. They say that it is the farmer who needs them to keep his stock in and that this is why there is a gate or stile, otherwise the footpath would continue through a gap in the hedge or fence. On this argument, one sees that the responsibility should rest in a sense with the farmer, not only to erect the gate or stile but to maintain and repair it, since it is for his benefit that it exists.

The argument the other way is that the use of these footpaths is the use of the general public and that it is usually the general public who get the advantage of being able to use them. Therefore when, as a result of their use, these stiles or gates fall into disrepair, it is right that the public should pay for their maintenance and upkeep.

If one is minded to attach weight to each argument and to say that there is something to be said on both sides, this would lead most people to think in terms of a 50–50 conclusion and say, "Split the difference and let the local authorities contribute 50 per cent. of the cost ". I understand the right hon. Gentleman and my hon. Friend the Member for Monmouth (Mr. Anderson) to be arguing that it would be better to have a fixed contribution from public funds in all cases. This is not what the Gosling Committee recommended. It accepted that there is a strong case for a substantial part of the cost of maintenance of stiles and gates to be met from the public purse and it recommended that owners and occupiers should, as of right, receive a reasonable contribution.

The fact that the Committee made its recommendation in these terms indicates to me that it thought that there should not be a fixed contribution, because whatever sum one fixed would tend to be unfair in some cases. We have heard references in debates—I am not sure whether it was referred to in the Gosling Report—to vandalism in the countryside and to stiles which had been erected being destroyed in a short time by vandals. If a case of that kind occurred, it seems to me that, if one were to have a flexible system, there would be a strong argument for saying that there should be a 100 per cent. contribution from public funds.

At the moment, there is a power for local authorities to contribute, and I understand that in some cases they exercise that power, so that, on occasion, they contribute 100 per cent. The question is whether we want to give effect to the Gosling recommendation by providing that a contribution should be made and leaving it to the local authorities' discretion to decide what is the reasonable contribution to make in any particular circumstances.

One can try to marry that provision either to a maximum contribution or to a minimum contribution by the local authorities. The great danger of that is that we know from experience that any minimum contribution laid down tends to become the maximum. The higher the minimum contribution is fixed, the greater is the tendency. That is why we believe the right solution to be a flexible one with power to pay up to 100 per cent., and since there was a feeling that there should be a minimum contribution, we thought it better to recommend aiming at a low minimum contribution—and it is low at 25 per cent.—because then there would be a good prospect that it would not be treated as the maximum and that the local authorities would direct their minds to what was a fair contribution to make in each particular case.

Once one shifted that minimum up to, say, 50 per cent. contribution, it is my belief that it would become the maximum. If that is what we want, we should say, "It is better to have a fixed contribution and make it 50 per cent., and be content with that 50 per cent. contribution in all cases". If the feeling of the House is that this would be the better solution, I would be prepared to agree to it. Provided it is workable, my belief is that there would be more justice in a flexible system under which the duty was on the local authority to make a reasonable contribution. That would be in accordance with the Gosling Committee's recommendations.

Mr. Turton

The hon. and learned Gentleman is talking of reasonable contributions recommended in the Gosling Report. The Gosling Committee went further and said that in certain cases there should be full reimbursement. I do not think that the Gosling Report put the case correctly. It said: "Where there had been an expressed intention." It ought also to have included: …where there is an express legal liability on the highway authority.

Mr. MacDermot

If one put it in that form one is back to all the doubts and complexities of the present legal situation. I have a brief here, several pages long, dealing with the legal points. I assure the right hon. Gentleman that the situation is complex. It is a matter which is open in any particular case to a very great deal of argument as to where the legal duty rests. I have not forgotten the right hon. Gentleman's point about the last sentence of paragraph 45. We have provided for that in Amendment 63. The first subsection provides that where an owner had dedicated a path expressly excluding his liability for maintenance, he will be entitled to be reimbursed in full. Otherwise, we have provided that it will be open to the local authority in any particular case to pay up to 100 per cent.

Looking at our Amendment and the wording of the Clause, I see in subsection (3): The highway authority shall have power to make contributions towards expenses incurred in compliance with subsection (1) above. If hon. Members think that it would be helpful, I would be prepared to consider introducing in another place a wording—pitting that positively and adopting the wording of the Gosling recommendation—that the authority shall make such contribution as in all the circumstances appears to it reasonable, or words to that effect, and then provide for a minimum contribution of 25 per cent. This seems to be a provision that would give some flexibility and result in justice in a greater number of cases.

There was an occasion when a former Member of this House, Mr. D. N. Pritt, opened a case in the Court of Appeal, against a judgment, which had been described by the judge who gave it as "rough justice", by questioning whether this was rough justice or just roughness. The danger of the 50–50 solution is that it will be just roughness.

Mr. Channon

Can the Minister of State repeat what might be proposed to be in place of subsection (3)?

Mr. MacDermot

I was only seeking to adopt the wording of the Gosling recommendation, and say that the highway authority shall make such provision toward the expenses incurred in compliance with subsection (1) as in all the circumstances of the case, appears to it reasonable, or words to that effect. I would then suggest that we added the provision that in any event the contribution should be a minimum of 25 per cent.

Mr. Pardoe

Farmers, through their union, have welcomed the increased access to the countryside. As the Minister has said, all we are trying to do is to decide who will pay. Nothing costs nothing, and this greater freedom of access will cost someone something. We have to ask who will gain. As far as we can see the farmers will not gain anything from this increased access. The people who will gain are those who have the greater access and, to a certain extent perhaps, local authorities who may benefit from increased tourism. The farmer will gain nothing but it will cost him a great deal.

He will be forced to pay the price of other people's freedom and this is wrong in principle. It is not just a question of putting the present costs on the farmer's shoulders. To some extent in some places he already bears these. In some respects, with gates as opposed to stiles, he has this responsibility. It is not only the present costs, because it has already been pointed out that we have 581 people to the square mile. There will inevitably be more people and more and more will walk down the footpaths, climbing gates and stiles. Wear and tear will be considerably greater.

The situation has vastly changed since the purpose of the footpath was to get from A to B by a few whose daily chores made it necessary for them to walk to work. Their interest was to maintain stiles and footpaths in adequate repair because they had to use them, morning and evening. Vandalism and hooliganism have been mentioned, and unfortunately some people who use the footpaths will have no such interest in them, because they will probably use them only once in their lives. Unfortunately, some human beings will tear almost anything apart.

8.15 p.m.

Gosling has made a rather strange distinction. It is said that there is a strong case for a substantial part of the cost of maintenance for stiles and gates to be made from the public purse, but he goes on to say that for administrative reasons, owners and occupiers should be responsible for maintenance. The hon. and learned Gentleman made the distinction that there is the cost on one side and on the other the physical business of doing the work. Rather than worry too much about the 50 per cent. of 75 per cent.—and I have already made it clear that I favour the public authorities' paying a larger share since the farmers are being forced to pay too much—why try to divide the work? It is extremely difficult to assess labour in this. Why not leave the labour element out of it, leave it to the farming community to do?

In most small farms the farmer will do it himself. We should fix whatever percentage we decide upon on the actual cost of materials. I can see the distinction about administration; it will be extremely difficult to assess how much time anyone is spending bashing in posts for a stile, putting the plank across and hammering the nails in. The actual cost of the materials is not open to anything like as much doubt, and would be administratively simpler.

Mr. Peter M. Jackson

I should like to congratulate my hon. and learned Friend on the terms of his reply. The principle which he enunciated is perfectly right, and I am happy to say that I accept it. I am a little unhappy about the wording of the Amendment, and I very much fear that it might be misconstrued by local authorities. I should like my hon. and learned Friend to clear this up. Amendment 63 reads: (4) The highway authority shall, in exercise of the powers conferred by subsection (3) above, contribute not less than one-quarter of any expenses shown to their satisfaction to have been reasonably incurred. (5) Subsection (1) above shall not apply to any structure if and so long as the highway authority are, under an agreement in writing with any other person, liable to maintain the structure. I am not a lawyer or a county surveyor, but a layman. I must confess that my reading of that subsection suggests that all that I. as the local authority official, would be obliged to contribute would be 25 per cent. My hon. and learned Friend must spell this out. He said that this is the minimum, and he is quite prepared to envisage circumstances in which local authorities could bear the full cost. I very much fear that local authorities will read him in the way in which I have read him, and will contribute no more than 25 per cent. I should like him to make the principle a little clearer in Amendments tabled in another place. Alternatively, he might do it in a circular to local authorities, to bring home to them that the 25 per cent. is a minimum and there are certain circumstances where they will be expected to pay more.

I turn to the circumstances in which I feel that local authorities should be encouraged to pay more. There was reference in Committee, and there is reference in the White Paper, to setting up long-distance routes. We know how very few new creations there are. We hope that long-distance routes will be set up. New creations require the co-operation of landowners. My hon. and learned Friend will be seized of the point when I suggest that landowners will be reluctant to agree to creating new footpaths if it involves considerable obligations in respect of stiles and gates.

Therefore, when it is right and proper for the local authority or the National Parks Commission to meet the full cost of stiles and gates, I hope that, perhaps not in Amendments, but in circulars, my hon. and learned Friend the Minister of State will inform local authorities that it is not unreasonable for them to pay up to 100 per cent. of the cost.

Sir Frank Pearson (Clitheroe)

I have not the advantage of having followed all the debates in Committee, but I wish to intervene because this is one of the most important proposals and the debate on it is of extreme importance to people living in the countryside, and we want the countryside to be enjoyed very much more than it has been by townspeople. The right of use of footpaths and bridlepaths is the centre of the problem.

We should consider how the footpaths originally came to be used. In the past, they were purely local amenities used by local people. By the Bill, we are substantially extending their use. Most people in the countryside would welcome this extension. Under the old system, when the use of footpaths was relatively limited, it was not a heavy burden for the people through whose land the footpath ran to maintain stiles and gates. But we are now altering the whole concept of the use of footpaths. We want to encourage people to use footpaths, but this will be a very heavy burden on the people through whose land they run.

I do not think that the Minister of State was entirely right in saying that it was rational to place the full burden on the landowner or farmer. If the Bill is to succeed, we must have the willing collaboration of the farming community and the landlords. It is niggling little points like this which make the Government appear to be mean-minded. These are the sort of points which will put the landowners and tenant farmers against the Bill. I ask the Minister to reconsider this matter. There is not a big sum involved. Once we extend the right to use footpaths to a much wider public, and once we look on the use of footpaths as something of social importance and national good, it is right to say that the public authority should stand the greater part of the cost of maintaining stiles and gates.

My right hon. Friend the Member for Thirsk and Malton (Mr. Turton) made a valid point. It is already accepted that local authorities shall maintain bridges. On my own land, there is a path which goes across three bridges. They are all maintained by the local authority. If anything happens on them, it is not the landowner but the local authority which is responsible for the damage. Is it not reasonable to take that a step further and say that the same principle should apply to gates and stiles? I cannot help feeling that that must be right.

The hon. Member for The High Peak (Mr. Peter M. Jackson) made the point that by laying down a 25 per cent. limit we are laying down a limit to which local authorities will say that they will go. I ask the Minister of State to have another look at the matter. I should like him to go the whole hog and say that highway authorities shall be responsible in full for the maintenance of stiles and gates. If he cannot go as far as that, I ask him to go much further than he has gone up to now. This is a point which could create justifiable ill feeling and we do not want that to happen. The landowners and tenant farmers wish to encourage the public to go to the countryside, but if we lay restrictions of this sort on them we are going the right way about turning them against the Bill.

Mr. Bryant Godman Irvine

I have not had the advantage of seeing the brief which the Minister of State has in his possession. That may be a piece of good fortune, because, apparently, he feels that, as a result of the brief, his view of the law is rather obscure. I set out my view of the law on Second Reading and you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, will be pleased to know that I do not propose to go over it. However, I heard nothing in Committee which led me to alter my view that the liability for the maintenance of stiles is squarely on the highway authority. Therefore, I should find the greatest difficulty in accepting paragraph 43 of the Gosling Report. It follows that this legislation alters the burden on the local authorities and places it on shoulders which did not carry it before.

A point to which I referred once or twice in Committee, and to which I have not had an answer, is that, if we do that, what will be the position concerning negligence if a stile is not properly maintained? I think that the law is reasonably clear. One of the cases is Rundle v. Hearle, which doubtless the Minister of State will find in his brief and which he knows all about. The position concerning negligence is quite clearly covered at present, but I am not sure that it will be after the Bill is passed. Perhaps the hon. and learned Gentleman will consider this.

Secondly, the Gosling Committee said, in paragraph 44 of its Report, that a substantial part of the cost of maintenance should be met from the public purse". When the Minister of State made his Second Reading speech, he referred to the "affluent motorised society". That phrase has remained with me throughout these proceedings. It is the affluent motorised society for which the Minister is legislating, and it is that society which will use the stiles. If the Gosling Committee says that a substantial part of the cost of maintaining stiles for the affluent motorised society should be met from the public purse, I find it difficult to accept the proposition that 25 per cent. should be written in the Bill. Therefore, I ask the Minister of State to say that a much higher figure should be written in. There is no reason why more than 50 per cent. should not be written in, but I see no justification for starting at 25 per cent.

The Minister said that the work was to be done by the people in the best position to do it. By that he meant that the farmer living near the stile can more easily do it than anybody else. Most farmers, when they drive around the countryside and see the staff which is maintained by highway authorities would dearly like to have the same amount of labour available to them to do the work on the rights of way. Most farmers these days run their farms with very few staff indeed. The hon. Member for Southend, West (Mr. Channon) referred to a farm where there are 34 stiles. This farm was composed of 40 fields, 18 of which had no rights of way and the remaining 22 had one to three rights of way in each. That is a sizeable burden to place on any small organisation, but that is what we are asking the farmer to take on.

8.30 p.m.

A constituent of mine only a few days ago told me that in the middle of his farm there is a disused iron mine, which is not unusual in Sussex. For over 100 years there have been seven rights of way leading to the place where this iron mine used to be. My constituent runs a small farm, but he will be responsible for maintaining stiles on seven rights of way which do not go anywhere.

The Minister said that stiles are there for the benefit of the farmer. I hope he will think again about that, because the farmer could farm quite happily without any stiles. He does not use stiles. It is merely that the right of way happens to be there and it is there for the use of the public.

If my view of the law is correct, it is the affluent motorised society that the Minister has been talking about which uses the stiles. Therefore, the Gosling Committee's recommendation, that a substantial part of the cost should be met from the public purse, is right.

For these reasons, I sincerely hope that the Minister will have another look at this proposition and consider whether he cannot do something better than is suggested.

Mr. Carol Johnson

We have had a wide-ranging debate and I do not propose to repeat the arguments which have already been made, nor to rehash the arguments we had in Standing Committee.

The Minister of State has gone some way to meet the points urged by the Opposition concerning new Clause 9. He has moved from Clause 22(3), as it now stands, where the highway authority simply has the power to make contributions, because Amendment No. 63 says, The highway authority shall … contribute not less than one quarter of any expenses shown to their satisfaction to have been reasonably incurred. One point of difference is that this is a permissive power and, as I read new Clause 9, would impose an obligation on the highway authority to make a contribution in all cases of 75 per cent. What is at issue, therefore, is, first, whether it shall be mandatory, and, secondly, what the contribution shall be.

The Gosling Committee used language which suggests that 25 per cent. is in these circumstances not adequate. The use of the phrase in paragraph 44, there is a strong case for a substantial part of the cost of maintenance of stiles and gate,, to be met from the public purse", would not be met by a contribution of 25 per cent. I do not think that the Minister would argue that that was a substantial contribution. Therefore, I ask the Minister, if he cannot extend the offer that he has made, first, to find some way of writing into the Bill that the contribution shall be made as of right, and, secondly, that in assessing it it shall be made clear that, if 25 per cent. or any other percentage is included, this is not to be taken as applicable to all cases. It may be to the disadvantage of farmers if we write in 50 per cent. because there may be cases where a grant of 75 per cent. or even 100 per cent. would be payable. I gather that there are cases where a 100 per cent. contribution is made. If we write in 50 per cent. it might be to the disadvantage of those who would otherwise receive a higher sum. Therefore, I hope that serious consideration will be given to this aspect.

We have long passed the stage where we can argue about legal niceties. I was impressed by what underlines the suggestion of the Gosling Committee: that it is concerned not with the past but with the future. It stresses the present and prospective recreational use of footpaths. I would therefore ask the Minister of State to go a little beyond what he said, and to make it quite clear that there is no limit to the amount of contribution. It might then be possible for us to agree generally that in another place a new Clause could be introduced or an Amendment made to cover all these points.

Mr. Gibson-Watt

We have had an informed and serious debate on a difficult matter. We have heard legal opinion from both sides of the House and we have heard a great number of people with practical experience of the problems of stiles in the countryside.

I would say two things to the Minister. He quite rightly said that we were discussing two points: first, a question of law, whether it was the responsibility of the local authority or the occupier; and secondly, the question of how much who should pay.

On the first point he came down on one side. I do not argue with this; he is a lawyer and I am not. I do not have his ability to get the material and to understand it. The Minister must realise that he has definitely said that in his view the law should be changed to make the occupier of the land responsible for repairing stiles. Other points were made by my hon. Friend the Member for Rye (Mr. Bryant Godman Irvine) to cast doubt upon this assertion. The right hon. Gentleman and the hon. Member are bath lawyers. Who am I to decide between them? All I am saying is that the right hon. Member the Minister of State has come down on the first alternative on one side of the fence.

If responsibility is put on the owner, then I agree with many of my hon. Friends and with hon. Gentlemen on the other side of the House when they say that a substantial contribution must be given to the occupier. This is borne out at page 12 of the Interim Report of the Gosling Committee. The Minister of State thought the occupier would do better if the minimum were 25 per cent. than if a definite figure of 50 per cent. were included. I must point out to him that if he were to follow our Amendmmt in line 2, to leave out "quarter" and insert "half" his Amendment would then read— The highway authority shall, in exercise of the powers conferred by subsection (3) above, contribute not less than one half of any expenses I do not understand how he could argue that a local authority, faced with these words, would be less likely to make a suitable reimbursement to an owner than if the minimum limit were 25 per cent. I have sat on a council for a long time, as have many other hon. Members. We know the working of the minds of the chairman of the finance committee, the county treasurer and the city treasurer.

The hon. Member for The High Peak (Mr. Peter M. Jackson) rightly said that, if the wording is "not less than 25 per cent." it will be 25 per cent. except in very exceptional circumstances, and of course in regard to Section 5 which he has referred to. I put to the hon. Gentleman that the hon. Member for Lewisham, South (Mr. Carol Johnson), who probably knows as much about the problems of walking on footpaths as anyone in the House, discussed this matter not only in Committee but also with a good deal of fervour this evening. He has appealed to the Minister to reconsider the figure.

If we lumber occupiers of land for ever more with the responsibility of keeping stiles and gates, which can cost a considerable amount of money, if we take away what, in the estimation of many occupiers of land, is today the responsibility of the highway authority, then I am certain, and my hon. and right hon. Friends are certain, that the figure should not be less than 50 per cent.

In what he has to say, I hope that the Minister of State will go along with the feeling of the whole House that a slight adjustment in the figure is necessary. If he will say that he is happy to look at the position again and, at a later stage, will bring forward the figure of 50 per cent. as the basic minimum and not less than 50 per cent., we will accept the position. On the other hand, if he cannot, I must tell him that we on this side feel strongly about the matter. What he has said so far is inadequate and, much as we dislike doing it on a Clause about which there has been a great measure of agreement on both sides, we shall feel bound to divided the House.

Mr. MacDermot

I invited hon. Members to say whether they would prefer a fixed percentage or a flexible system. Apart from those hon. Members who asked for a 100 per cent. contribution, no one asked for a fixed percentage.

If it is argued that a 25 per cent. minimum is in danger of becoming a maximum, my retort is that a 50 per cent. contribution is certain to be a maximum. That is why I say that, if hon. Members are really strongly in favour of a 50 per cent. minimum, let us settle for a 50 per cent. fixed contribution. However, that would produce very rough justice. Surely all the arguments about the minds of a Committee faced with a 25 per cent. contribution apply a fortiori to a 50 per cent. contribution, and no one will get more. My view is that the justice of the matter lies in a flexible system. As a general rule, I think upwards of 50 per cent. ought to be paid by way of contribution. But if one is to have a flexible system which allows 100 per cent. in some cases, it is right also that one should meet the case where a person would not get more than 25 per cent.

The cost of a repair will be affected greatly by the extent to which maintenance has been done. If a stile or gate is inspected regularly, and a repair is carried out at an early stage, it will be a cheap job, but if defects are allowed to go on uncorrected, complete replacement will eventually be required. Whereas before, it would have been possible to get away with a cheap repair—it will now be necessary to install a new stile or gate and it will be due to the negligence or failure of the owner. In those circumstances, it does not follow that, if what is required is a new gate or stile, it would be fair that the local authority should contribute more than 25 per cent. That is not a typical case, but if one is to have a flexible system to allow for 100 per cent., it is reasonable also to have a low minimum.

Mr. Peter M. Jackson

I agree about a flexible system, but would my hon. and learned Friend consider the possibility of stating no percentage at all?

Mr. MacDermot

That is what I had originally in the Bill. I think that would be the best solution. I would prefer to change the wording and follow the recommendations of the Gosling Committee and, instead of merely giving them power to make a contribution, put on them the duty to make a contribution of what is a reasonable amount in all the circumstances. I think that that would be better. However, I was under immense pressure to introduce a minimum, and, because I wanted to keep the system flexible, I acceded to it and said that in that case we should have a low minimum.

Mr. Ramsden

Ignoring percentages, if it were made clear that the contribution would be the reasonable cost, that would be acceptable, but that has not been made clear. A contribution has been taken to be some small proportion of the cost which it might seem fit to the local authority to provide. If the Government can endorse the principle that the contribution is the reasonable cost which, if done by local labour would obviously be less than if done by the county council, that would be acceptable.

Mr. MaeDermot

What the hon. Gentleman is arguing for now is 100 per cent. For a number of reasons, I do not think that that is right.

8.45 p.m.

May I comment on one or two further points before making my final recommendation? The hon. Gentleman the Member for Cornwall, North (Mr. Pardoe) asked why the work should not be divided. I do not think he meant that literally, that some labourers should do one part of the work while others did other parts, but rather that he was suggesting that the division should be between the local authority which should pay for materials and the farmer who should pay for labour. But that might work hardly for the farmer where no new materials were required and the whole of the cost was for labour, so that it would not be a very fair division.

My hon. Friend the Member for High Peak (Mr. Peter M. Jackson) raised the question of long-distance routes and hoped there would be power to take on the whole of the responsibility for the maintenance of new routes created. There would be power under the new Amendment No. 63, because they can by agreement repay the whole amount. The hon. Gentleman the Member for Clitheroe (Sir Frank Pearson), in arguing the 100 per cent. case, was arguing that the principle should be the same for stiles and gates as for footbridges. I do not agree, because the reason why it is right for a footbridge to be maintained by the local authority is that it is on the highway, for which the local authority is responsible, whereas a stile or gate is an obstruction to the highway, put there in the interests of the farmer. This is an argument for saying that the farmer ought to pay; and of course there were arguments the other way, but I do not want to be identified with one side or the other of those arguments. That is the reason why the treatment in respect of footbridges is different.

The hon. Member for Rye (Mr. Bryant Godman Irvine) asked where responsibility for negligence will lie. Hitherto, there has been doubt, but in future there will be no doubt. It will be on the landowner or occupier. That is made very c ear by the provisions of Clause 22(1), which means in practice that farmers will need to insure against this liability. This is a factor which ought to be borne in mind in considering what is a fair contribution to be made to farmers out of public funds.

Sir Frank Pearson

Will it be possible for that to be set off against tax?

Mr. MacDermot

That is something the hon Gentleman had better ask my successor, the Financial Secretary. What I have suggested as the kind of Amend

ment we should move in another place would, I believe, meet the points raised by my hon. Friend the Member for Lewisham, South (Mr. Carol Johnson) in making clear that 25 per cent. was not intended to be the norm, as it were; it was really meant as a minimum and there would be a duty on them to pay a contribution which would be reasonable in all circumstances.

For the reasons I have given, I still advise the House that I believe this is a better solution if we are to have a flexible system. If hon. Gentlemen want to say "No" to this, we must say we feel there is too great a risk that the farmer will be done down if he only gets 25 per cent. in all cases. I am prepared to go for the higher fixed percentage, but I believe it should be a fixed percentage, and my advice to the Committee is that the new Clause No. 9 should be rejected, our Amendment No. 63 should be accepted and that the Amendment to it should be rejected. If that is done, there is my undertaking to move in another place an Amendment to amend the wording of subsection (3) in the words I have indicated.

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

The House divided: Ayes 137, Noes 203.

Division No. 116.] AYES [8.50 p.m.
Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead) Digby, Simon Wingfield Kimball, Marcus
Astor, John Dodds-Parker, Douglas King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.)
Atkins, Humphrey (M't'n & M'd'n) Doughty, Charles Lane, David
Baker, W. H. K. (Banff) Drayson, G. B. Langford-Holt, Sir John
Baker, Kenneth (Acton) Eden, Sir John Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry
Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton) Lloyd, Ian (P'tsm'th, Langstone)
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Cos. & Fhm) Errington, Sir Eric Loveys, W. H.
Biffen, John Eyre, Reginald Lubbock, Eric
Biggs-Davison, John Fisher, Nigel MacArthur, Ian
Black, Sir Cyril Fletcher-Cooke, Charles Mackenzie, Alasdair (Ross&Crom'tv)
Blaker, Peter Fortescue, Tim Maclean, Sir Fitzroy
Boardman, Tom Gibson-Watt, David Maddan, Martin
Body, Richard Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, C.) Maginnis, John E.
Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hn. John Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.) Mawby, Ray
Boyle, Rt. Hn. Sir Edward Goodhew, Victor Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.
Brewis, John Gower, Raymond Maydon, Lt.-Cmdr. S. L. C.
Brinton, Sir Tatton Grieve, Percy Mills, Peter (Torrington)
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. Sir Walter Grimond, Rt. Hn. J. Miscampbell, Norman
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Gurden, Harold Monro, Hector
Buchanan-Smith, Alick (Angus, N&M) Hamilton, Lord (Fermanagh) More, Jasper
Buck, Anthony (Colchester) Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye) Morgan, Geraint (Denbigh)
Bullus, Sir Eric Hawkins, Paul Morrison, Charles (Devizes)
Campbell, Gordon Heald, Rt. Hn. Sir Lionel Munro-Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh
Carlisle, Mark Hiley, Joseph Orr-Ewing, Sir Ian
Channon, H. P. G. Hill, J. E. B. Page, Graham (Crosby)
Chichester-Clark, R. Holland, Philip Page, John (Harrow, W.)
Clark, Henry Hooson, Emlyn Pardoe, John
Clegg, Walter Hornby, Richard Pearson, Sir Frank (Clitheroe)
Cooke, Robert Hunt, John Peel, John
Costain, A. P. Iremonger, T. L. Percival, Ian
Cunningham, Sir Knox Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye) Pink, R. Bonner
Dance, James Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford) Pounder, Rafton
Dean, Paul (Somerset, N.) Jennings, J. C. (Burton) Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch
Dendes, Rt. Hn. W. F. (Ashford) Jopling, Michael Prior, J. M. L.
Pym, Francis Smith, John (London & W'minster) Vaughan-Morgan, Rt. Hn. Sir John
Quennell, Miss J. M. Speed, Keith Vickers, Dame Joan
Ramsden, Rt. Hn. James Stainton, Keith Ward, Dame Irene
Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon Steel, David (Roxburgh) Webster, David
Ridley, Hn. Nicholas Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M. (Ripon) Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William
Ridsdale, Julian Taylor, Edward M.(G'gow, Cathcart) Winstanley, Dr. M. P.
Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey) Taylor, Frank (Moss Side) Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick
Royle, Anthony Teeling, Sir William Worsley, Marcus
Scott, Nicholas Thatcher, Mrs. Margaret Williams, W. D. (Dudley)
Scott-Hopkins, James Thorpe, Rt. Hn. Jeremy
Sharples, Richard Tilney, John TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Silvester, Frederick Turton, Rt. Hn. R. H. Mr. Anthony Grant and
Smith Dudley (W'wick & L'mington) van Straubenzee, W. R. Mr. Timothy Kitson
Abse, Leo Grey, Charles (Durham) Norwood, Christopher
Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.) Griffiths, Rt. Hn. James (Llanelly) Oakes, Gordon
Alldritt, Walter Hamilton, James (Bothwell) O'Malley, Brian
Armstrong, Ernest Hamling, William Oram, Albert E.
Atkins, Ronald (Preston, N.) Harman, William Orbach, Maurice
Atkinson, Norman (Tottenham) Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) Orme, Stanley
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Haseldine, Norman Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, S'tn)
Beaney, Alan Hazell, Bert Owen, Witt (Morpeth)
Bence, Cyril Herbison, Rt. Hn. Margaret Padley, Walter
Bidwell, Sydney Hilton, W. S. Page, Derek (King's Lynn)
Binns, John Hobden, Dennis (Brighton, K'town) Palmer, Arthur
Bishop, E. S. Hooley, Frank Pannell, Rt. Hn. Charles
Blackburn, F. Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas Parker, John (Dagenham)
Blenkinsop, Arthur Howarth, Robert (Bolton, E.) Parkyn, Brian (Bedford)
Boston, Terence Howell, Denis (Small Heath) Pearson, Arthur (Pontypridd)
Braddock, Mrs. E. M. Howie, W. Pentland, Norman
Bray, Dr. Jeremy Hoy, James Perry, George H. (Nottingham, S.)
Brooks, Edwin Huckfield, Leslie Price, Thomas (Westhoughton)
Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan) Hughes, Emrys (Ayrshire, S.) Price, William (Rugby)
Brown, Bob (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, W.) Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Probert, Arthur
Buchan, Norman Hughes, Roy (Newport) Randall, Harry
Cant, R. B. Hynd, John Rankin, John
Carmichael, Neil Janner, Sir Barnett Robertson, John (Paisley)
Carter-Jones, Lewis Jeger, Mrs.Lena (H'b'n&St.P'cras,s.) Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)
Castle, Rt. Hn. Barbara Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.) Rose, Paul
Coe, Denis Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.) Ross, Rt. Hn. William
Coleman, Donald Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham) Rowlands, E. (Cardiff, N.)
Concannon, J. D. Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, West) Shaw, Arnold (Ilford, S.)
Conlan, Bernard Kelley, Richard Short, Rt.Hn.Edward (N'c'tle-u-Tyne)
Corbet, Mrs. Freda Kerr, Mrs. Anne (R'ter & Chatham) Short, Mrs. Renée (W'hampton, N.E.)
Craddock, George (Bradford, S.) Kerr, Russell (Feltham) Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)
Cullen, Mrs. Alice Lawson, George Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich)
Dalyell, Tam Leadbitter, Ted Silverman, Julius (Aston)
Davidson, Arthur (Accrington) Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick (Newton) Skeffington, Arthur
Davies, Dr. Ernest (Stretford) Lee, John (Reading) Small, William
Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.) Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Snow, Julian
Davies, Ednyfed Hudson (Conway) Lomas, Kenneth Spriggs, Leslie
Davies, Harold (Leek) Loughlin, Charles Steele, Thomas (Dunbartonshire, W.)
Davies, Ifor (Gower) Luard, Evan Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R.
Dempsey, James Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.) Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley
Dewar, Donald McBride, Neil Swain, Thomas
Dickens, James McCann, John Swingler, Stephen
Doig, Peter MacDermot, Niall Symonds, J. B.
Driberg, Tom Macdonald, A. H. Thornton, Ernest
Dunn, James A. McGuire, Michael Tinn, James
Dunnett, Jack McKay, Mrs. Margaret Urwin, T. W.
Dunwoody, Mrs. Gwyneth (Exeter) Mackenzie, Gregor (Rutherglen) Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne Valley)
Dunwoody, Dr. John (F'th & C'b'e) Mackie, John Walden, Brian (All Saints)
Eadie, Alex Maclennan, Robert Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Edwards, Rt. Hn. Ness (Caerphilly) McNamara, J. Kevin Wallace, George
Edwards, Robert (Bilston) MacPherson, Malcolm Watkins, David (Consett)
Edwards, William (Merioneth) Mahon, Peter (Preston, S.) Watkins, Tudor (Brecon & Radnor)
Ellis, John Mahon, Simon (Bootle) Weitzman, David
Evans, Albert (Islington, S.W.) Mallalieu, J.P.W.(Huddersfield,E.) Wellbeloved, James
Evans, Ioan L. (Birm'h'm, Yardley) Mapp, Charles White, Mrs. Eirene
Fernyhough, E. Marks, Kenneth Whitlock, William
Fitch, Alan (Wigan) Marquand, David Wilkins, W. A.
Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston) Maxwell, Robert Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick
Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) Mendelson, J. J. Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)
Foley, Maurice Mikardo, Ian Williams, Alan Lee (Hornchurch)
Foot, Michael (Ebbw Vale) Miller, Dr. M. S. Williams, Clifford (Abertillery)
Ford, Ben Milne, Edward (Blyth) Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)
Forrester, John Mitchell, R. C. (S'th'pton, Test) Winnick, David
Fowler, Gerry Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire) Woodburn, Rt. Hn. A.
Galpern, Sir Myer Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe) Yates, Victor
Garrett, W. E. Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)
Gourlay, Harry Moyle, Roland TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Gray, Dr. Hugh (Yarmouth) Murray, Albert Mr. Joseph Harper and
Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Anthony Noel-Baker, Rt.Hn.Philip (Derby, S.) Mr. Eric G. Varley.