HC Deb 10 July 1968 vol 768 cc588-650

1. Subject to the provisions of this Schedule, section 38(2) of the Interpretation Act, 1889 (effect of repeals) shall apply, in the event of the expiration of sections 1 to 3 of this Act, as if those sections had been repealed by another Act.

2. In the event of the expiration of the said sections 1 to 3, the enactments repealed by this Act shall, subject to paragraph 3 below, thereupon revive; but if other provision is made by a law of the States of Jersey or of Guernsey or by an Act of Tynwald, the Summer Time Acts, 1922 to 1947 as revived by this paragraph shall not apply to the Bailiwick of Jersey, the Bailiwick of Guernsey or the Isle of Man, as the case may be.

3. Section 1(2) of the Summer Time Act, 1925 (which altered the period of summer time) shall not revive by virtue of paragraph 2 above in any event; and if the other provisions of the Summer Tim Acts, 1922 to 1947 so revive, they shall have effect subject to the modification that in section 3(1) of the Summer Time Act, 1922 (which defines the period of summer time)—

  1. (a) for the word 'April', in both places where it occurs, there shall be substituted the word 'March'; and
  2. (b) for the words from 'following' (where that word last occurs) onwards there shall be substituted the words "following the fourth Saturday in October".—[Mr. Ennals.]

Brought up, read the First and Second time, and added to the Bill.

6.37 p.m.

Mr. Ennals

I beg to move, That the Bill be now read the Third time.

The Bill is the outcome of substantial consultations with representative organisations covering almost every aspect of life, economic, social and otherwise, in England, Wales and Scotland. It is based on the corporate wisdom of those involved in industry, commerce, education and social welfare. No independent observer, with the weight of evidence from responsible and expert bodies, could have reached any other conclusion than that we should at least experiment with what some have called "permanent summer time".

The main advantages economically are well set out in a statement issued by the London Chamber of Commerce, which I quoted in Committee, but which is, I think, of interest to the House generally—

Mr. Emrys Hughes (South Ayrshire)

We have heard the views of the London Chamber of Commerce before, in Committee, and they did not impress us very much. In view of the weight of evidence, can my hon. Friend produce any more evidence which has the overwhelming weight of opinion in Scotland behind it? Would it not be desirable that the Undersecretary of State for Scotland, who is present, should take part in the debate, if possible?

Mr. Ennals

It is possible that my hon. Friend will intervene in the debate, if he feels it necessary, though we heard in Committee and may well hear today expressions of Scottish opinion, and I shall give some consideration to this in my speech.

My hon. Friend said that the House has heard the views of the London Chamber of Commerce, but the House has not: this was the privilege of hon. Members who were on the Committee. The Chamber of Commerce believes that … the advantages of using British Summer Time throughout the year are both domestic and international. By using more daylight for working hours, economies can be made in both fuel and lighting and with reductions being made in the working week time saved at the end of the day will give more daylight for leisure. For airline operators providing services in the United Kingdom, it would vastly improve the utilisation of aircraft through better communications between Europe and domestic services. It would also make for uniformity in scheduling throughout the year and make a considerable saving in administrative expenses incurred in printing double timetables and other sales documents. However, the greatest advantage would come in international trade, particularly in drawing closer to Western Europe. All the countries in E.F.T.A. and the Common Market use mid-European time and with business hours in Europe tending to be earlier than those in Britain, putting clocks back one hour only puts British industry at a disadvantage. Other benefits would be better communications, particularly in transport and in dealings in commodies. After consultation with all the London Commodity Markets, the London Chamber believes that the use of British Summer Time will bring considerable benefits to London as a trading centre. Of course, this Bill is not just about London, although London is a vital trading centre. It is not irrelevant that there is support nationally in the United Kingdom—in England, Wales and Scotland—from the Confederation of British Industry and the Trades Union Congress. The Scottish section of the C.B.I., as well as the Scottish T.U.C., has supported this Measure, for some of the economic reasons which I have given.

Mr. Ian MacArthur (Perth and East Perthshire)

I am sure that the hon. Member wants to present the case fairly. Instead of quoting only from the few friends of the Bill, will he also give the evidence presented to the Government by the 91 official organisations in Scotland which opposed the Bill completely?

Mr. Ennals

I, or my hon. Friend, will refer to representations from Scotland. Consideration was given in Standing Committee both to those organisations in Scotland which support the Bill and to those organisations in Scotland which oppose it. I will indicate in a minute, as I indicated on Second Reading, that I recognise that there are certain sections of society and certain parts of the country which have shown a greater opposition to the measures proposed in the Bill, for reasons which can be well understood. In deciding whether to bring the Measure forward, the Government had to weigh up both the advantages and the disadvantages.

It would be absurd if we did not recognise the disadvantages, which certainly apply to some rural areas—and there is opposition to the Bill from rural areas. It would be folly also not to recognise that there are difficulties in the building industry. Indeed, there are some divisions of opinion within the building industry.

We listened in Committee to hon. Members opposite explaining their great expertise and knowledge of the subject. Some of them suggested that they better understand the needs and risks of school children than do teachers' organisations. In England an overwhelming mass of educational organisations are convinced that this change will be for the benefit of schools—

Mr. MacArthur

What about Scotland?

Mr. Ennals

It is true that the majority of teachers in Scotland take a different view. I recognise that we cannot burke views which are held in different parts of the country. In Standing Committee hon. Members sought to doubt the conclusions of the Road Research Laboratory and, presumably the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, both of whom considered this Measure and concluded that there would be advantages in terms of road safety, especially for children.

Mr. Buck

Will the Minister tell us where we can see the detailed evidence of the Road Research Laboratory? Hon. Members on both sides of the House have found this statement about what is likely to happen to road casualties extremely unconvincing, especially those arguments relating to accidents among young children.

Mr. Ennals

In Standing Committee I quoted the conclusions of the Road Research Laboratory, which hon. Members on both sides of the House recognised to be a responsible body and which had worked out the estimated saving in fatal and serious casualties as a result of this change. It was concluded that, while there would be more danger for those travelling early in the morning in the depth of winter, in the dark, there would be additional advantages for those travelling home from school in hours of daylight.

We have been told that the Government ought not to have paid much attention to the views of the representative organisations but should have relied on the corporate wisdom of the House, which, I suppose, in the view of hon. Members opposite, means the untested opinion of the opponents of the Bill. It is a privilege of the Opposition to pretend to omniscience, but the Government have been much more modest in their claims. Many hon. Members opposite said that they absolutely know that there will be no advantages in this change and that we should not experiment. What the Government said—and what we say—is that in our belief we should benefit from adopting the equivalent of Summer Time throughout the year and that this view has been steadily growing among informed opinion in this country. Thorough inquiries carried out over a wide range of representative and expert opinion showed an indisputable majority to hold that view. It also showed a sizeable minority who, for understandable reasons, do not accept the view that this change will be beneficial, especially in the rural areas and especially because of the difficulties which it may bring in the construction industries.

Mr. Dempsey

And to industry.

Mr. Ennals

The Confederation of British Industry in Scotland and the Trades Union Congress in Scotland believe that the economic advantages are in favour of this Measure.

Mr. Bruce-Gardyne

The Minister said that the Government were much more modest in their claims than were those opposing the Bill. If they are showing such modesty, why have they felt it necessary to impose the Whips to get the Bill through?

Mr. Ennals

It is not a matter of imposing the Whips to get the Bill through. The Government having weighed all the considerations and reached the conclusion that it is in the interest of the country that this experiment should be conducted, it is reasonable for them to ask Government supporters to support the Government's decision in the Division Lobby. If there are differences among hon. Members opposite—and clearly there are—they are free to go into which ever Division Lobby they wish. If hon. Members look at what happened in Standing Committee, they will see that there was certainly as much freedom on the Government side of that Committee as there was among hon. Members opposite.

Having made these investigations and having assessed opinion, the Government felt that it was clear that the time had come to put the matter to the test of experience. We could go on for ever speculating over the effects of the change. From the nature of the matter, there could be no certainty without an experiment. There must come a time when hesitation is not wisdom but is mere timidity, and that point has been reached.

No responsible Government, I submit, could have ignored the weight of opinion in favour of the change. It is much greater than the Government expected to find when their inquiries were launched. and it is to be found in most unexpected quarters. The Government have no wish, however, to be either foolhardy or unfair. They are proposing nothing irreversible. They are proposing merely that the community as a whole—every section of it—should be given a chance to test their opinions against the realities.

In this the Government are very far from being concerned only with the reactions of representative organisations. We care just as much about those of private citizens, whether they come from the extreme north of Scotland or from my own constituency of Dover. We are as much concerned with the opinions of the old as with those of the young. In Standing Committee we discussed the interests of the very young, but little was heard of the interests of the old, who form such a substantial part of our community. All the indications are that the change introduced by the Bill will be very much in the interest of the old people who will expect to receive the benefit of the extra hour of daylight in the afternoons. Those who are best able to speak for them, such as the W.R.V.S., believe this to be the case.

This is another indication of the tendency among those who oppose this experiment to entirely leave out of account the advantages to be gained at the end of the day and to concentrate on what will happen in the mornings. The old, perhaps more than any other section of the community, will benefit from this change.

Mr. Dempsey


Mr. Ennals

My hon. Friend should be aware that retired people do not have great need, particularly in the dead of winter, to go out during the very early hours. Later on in the day they go out to do their shopping, draw their pensions, sit in the park and attend welfare centres. They will be able to get home before it is dark as a result of this extra hour. The Government have no doubt that they are right to make the experiment which is introduced by the Bill.

Mr. Bruce-Gardyne rose

Mr. Ennals

I have given way to the hon. Gentleman once. I wish to conclude my remarks so that he and others have an opportunity of speaking.

On the information before us, we believe that this experiment is right, al- though we are ready to be proved wrong. We ask that people approach this matter with open mindedness and that the opponents of the experiment have a little less commitment. The experimental period is, we believe, the minimum that can be allowed if the findings are to be credible.

Those who vote against the Third Reading will do so because they are so invincibly sure of their own judgment and think so lightly of the views of representative opinion that they do not consider that the issue need even be tested. It has been suggested that such a test was conducted during the war, but the circumstances then, with the hours of black-out, were quite unfair and unreasonable for the purposes of a test. In any event, the majority of young people have no recollection of that time.

I trust that, with these comments, hon. Members will give the Bill a Third Reading.

6.53 p.m.

Mr. Buck

It might be convenient if I once again made the attitude of my hon. Friends towards the Bill entirely clear. The House will recollect that on Second Reading my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for St. Marylebone (Mr. Hogg) said that this sort of Measure should, in a civilised assembly, not be a matter for the Party Whips. I regret the jibe which we had from the Parliamentary Secretary about whipping. He is in a vulnerable position on this matter. This should be a House of Commons decision, untramelled by the Whips. Praise be, I suspect that on the benches opposite we have people like the hon. Member for Liverpool, Walton (Mr. Heffer) who are impervious to the lash of the Whip and who, in spite of it, will allow this to be a matter of conscience.

Mr. A. Woodburn (Clackmannan and East Stirlingshire)

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that instead of speaking about this side of the House and the freedom of my hon. Friends to vote as they wish, he should address himself to the views of his hon. Friends, and perhaps wait until he knows the result of the vote before making too much of their views?

Mr. Buck

I would never presume to speak for hon. Gentlemen opposite. On this side we are divided on this issue. However, we do not regard it as a party matter. Some of my hon. Friends believe that there are marginal benefits to be gained from the Bill. Others have come to the view that, marginally, it is not a good Bill. Hon. Gentlemen opposite are equally divided, and that is why this should not be a matter for the Whips or for jibes about whipping from the Parliamentary Secretary.

In Committee we worked with a fair degree of amicability to endeavour to improve the Bill. As a result of pressure put on the Government, it has been improved, at any rate to the point of getting them to agree to an experimental period. I would have thought that a two-year experiment would have been adequate. The Government have not agreed with that, but at least they have agreed to introduce this change on an experimental basis; an alteration in the original position which they took, and that is to be welcomed.

Since this whole matter was fully dealt with in Committee, I will not delay the House. We in Britain have had a settled pattern of about 21 weeks of the year being Greenwich Mean Time and about 31 weeks being off G.M.T. This has been the settled pattern and convention. I admit that it has been an entirely arbitrary matter and that over the years we have changed our time so that we could more conveniently correlate our activities to the convention of the clock, bearing in mind the available daylight. This has worked. If we are to displace this convention—time is a convention; the position of the hands on the clock is governed by the position of the sun—a strong case must be made out.

If people must alter their patterns of behaviour because of an alteration in time, there is likely to be considerable disruption. In Committee a degree of the disruption that is likely to occur was emphasised. When I first considered this matter some years ago I was marginally in favour of the change, but as I have listened to the arguments both for and against, I have come to the conclusion that the balance is against rather than for the Bill.

I recognise, of course, that there are advantages appertaining to the Measure. The Parliamentary Secretary was wrong to suggest that those who oppose the Bill do not recognise that there is certain merit in it. We appreciate, for example, that people will be able to arrive home in daylight and have more daylight in the evenings for leisure. I used to find the argument that we should correlate our time more closely to that of the Continent of Europe attractive—until I went into the matter in detail and discovered that the advantages are minimal. The Parliamentary Secretary is on record as having said the same.

I am against this change for a number of reasons. I do not accept that the plight of school children in country areas has been satisfactorily considered. How will the Bill affect them during the transitional period? This problem weighs heavily with me. I have many connections with the countryside and my constituency is a mixed urban and country one.

I have discussed the matter with those who are most likely to be affected, namely those who are involved in education in village areas and remoter parts of my constituency, and it seems obvious that there will be considerable difficulties for school children in the mornings. This applies a fortiori in northern parts of the country, although my constituency is a southern one. We hear that educational opinion in Scotland is getting near to unanimity against the Bill, whereas previously there were a number of organisations in that part of the country only expressing doubts.

I have been impressed, on examining the documents, by the case made by the building industry. The hon. Member for Walton made an impressive speech on this subject on Second Reading. I am convinced that the building industry will be considerably affected, particularly during the transitional period in the coming winter. Employers and some employees in the industry have spoken about safety. The early hours, just before dawn, are extremely dangerous from the safety point of view. The hon. Member for Walton spoke of those who must work on scaffolding which in winter is liable to be covered with ice, particularly in the early hours. He emphasised, as have others, the additional hazards that are likely to be placed on the building industry.

It is absurd merely to suggest that building sites can be lit. It is practicable to light only the very large ones and anybody who knows anything about artificial lighting is aware that, particularly on places like building sites, there is likely to be danger from pools of darkness. Perhaps in time the building industry will alter its habits, but the effect of the Bill will be disruptive on that industry both from the safety point of view and for its operating efficiency.

The arguments that impressed me most in Committee were those emanating from hon. Members from north of the Border and from the north of England. As one who represents a southern constituency, I would be reluctant to impose the degree of near-hardship which it seems likely will be imposed for a period on those in the northern part of the island without there being overwhelming advantages; in so doing. I have yet to be convinced that there are those overwhelming advantages.

There are other considerations. There is a commuter element in Colchester, many of its residents working in the City. The prospect of travelling to work in the morning in the dark did not receive a rapturous response from those commuters, in spite of the advantage of an extra half-hour of daylight in the evening.

By and large, I come out against the Bill because I think that it will cause some marginal degree of hardship to some of the most vulnerable and weak sections of the population. If there is a Division on Third Reading, I shall be inclined to vote against the Bill.

7.0 p.m.

Mr. Dempsey

We should examine this problem as it affects others parts of the country. I am not at all impressed by the argument advanced by my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State that this will benefit the older people because although it will add an hour of darkness in the morning, from 9 o'clock to 10 o'clock, there will be a corresponding increase in daylight in the evening. I do not see where this sort of argument comes into the discussion. I have no old people in my constituency who go out at 9 or 10 o'clock, and I know that most of them are home early in the afternoon. During every Recess I visit all the clubs in my constituency, and I know that all of them finish their proceedings by 3.30 so that the members can get home by 4 o'clock.

I am also very much surprised by my hon. Friend's argument that people will save fuel. In my part of the world, because of the climate, we use fuel even in the summer month of July. That point has no bearing on the argument.

I did not vote for the Bill on Second Reading because I have strong personal conscientious objections to the whole system. We should be honest, realistic and frank about the whole affair, and admit that this proposal is connected with the country's entry into Europe. In this way we are tying up with business and commercial interests in Europe. We are doing the spadework for the entry into Europe, and it is wrong to take such a step when, for a very long time to come, we shall have no real opportunity of entering Europe.

It would be much wiser to ask our industrialists to get up an hour earlier and start work an hour earlier, and in that way operate in line with European interests. We are being dragged along behind the lazy business executive—

Mr. Brewis

Would not the hon. Gentleman agree that if these people did get up an hour earlier, it would not help very much with traffic congestion in larger places like London?

Mr. Dempsey

I am speaking from the point of view of Scotland. My hon. Friend the Under-Secretary comes from the south and has unintentionally spoken with a sort of southern bias. He was obviously impressed, for instance, by his fuel argument, but the climate here is much milder than it is in the North. I do not criticise him for speaking in that way. He is trying to build up the most effective case for the Bill, but I do not see any reason why Scotland should be dragged along behind lazy industrial executives. Indeed, I am surprised that my T.U.C. colleagues should pander to this type of emotionalism, when we are already doing fairly well in trading with E.F.T.A. and members of the European Economic Community. All this is being done on conjecture, and it is wrong to interfere with a long-standing practice on a basis of conjecture.

Hon. Members have referred to the effect of the change on children in the rural areas, but the Bill will affect children in industrial areas even more because there are more of them. It will mean that children will go to school in the morning in the dark. Wiseacres say that that is so, but that the children will be coming back in the evening in the light. That is to ignore the fear that is the most important element in the attitude of parents. When children go off to school in the dark in the morning there is no knowing that they have not arrived at school. That would not be known until the evening. During that period anyone could abscond with a child. I can say quite sincerely that this is the great fear of parents in my constituency.

I represent the two towns of Coatbridge and Airdrie. Coatbridge is the one town in Scotland that has had a phenomenal increase in the birthrate—it is the highest in Scotland. We have a lot of children of 5 years of age and upwards living in places from which they have to walk to school by circuitous routes, with no buses at all. One hon. Member opposite has told us that his children stand at the top of the road and wait for a public conveyance to take them to school, but I know of hundreds of children who have no public conveyance. Children at this early age can be the prey of the wicked elements in society, of which there are far too many at present.

It is this fear that is driving parents to an effort to prevent this Bill from becoming law. Without exception, all the people to whom I have spoken in the clubs, in the churches and other institutions have expressed apprehension of what will happen to young children who have to leave for school in the morning in the dark. This is a very legitimate fear. It is a realistic appraisal of what is likely to happen if this Bill is enacted, and I think that the Minister and my own Government have been wrongly advised in taking this decision. They have put far too much emphasis on elements of consideration not nearly so important as those to which I have referred. In this case they have got their priorities wrong. For that reason I did not support the Second Reading, and on conscientious grounds I cannot support the Third Reading.

7.10 p.m.

Mr. Brewis

I am glad to follow the hon. Member for Coatbridge and Airdrie (Mr. Dempsey). I agree with many of the arguments he put forward. He spoke about children from an industrial area whose parents would fear that they might be attacked, but one can put this matter on more mundane grounds. In a rural area a child might have an accident while on the way to school in the dark and his absence from school not being noticed, he may be discovered on a road which is infrequently used only because he did not arrive home at night.

I think the Government have been obsessed with the idea that there will be lighter afternoons all the year round. This argument has been presented as if we had not had Summer Time for many years. The existence of Summer Time from March to October procures the greater part of the advantages which can be saved by altering the clocks. I think it is generally accepted that we should have Summer Time between April and October but the extension to February in my part of the world has certainly been greatly resented. I am sure that the addition of British Standard Time all the year round will be resented even more. The possibility of saving daylight at the end of the day in those months when in future we shall have British Standard Time— from November to February—is very limited indeed.

There is a time in December when office workers who start work at 9 and finish at 5 will actually get less daylight because they will lose daylight in the morning and come out of their offices after sunset. This effect is accentuated further north when one gets into the Glasgow region. For example, on 22nd November, office workers in Glasgow will lose 54 minutes of daylight because they will arrive at the office while it is still dark and leave the office when it has already got dark. At present, they get at least 54 minutes daylight before they get to the office.

This effect goes on in Scotland until 6th January, so in Scotland the advantages of adding British Summer Time are infinitely less than in England. Many manual workers start work at 8 o'clock in the morning. For them the position will be even worse in the Border areas, the North of England and South-West Scotland. At present those starting work at 8 o'clock in the morning in that area find that it is dark on 40 mornings a year, but under this system it will be dark on 105 mornings a year. This is bound to lead to considerable loss of efficiency among all outdoor workers, particularly building workers. If the hon. Member for Liverpool, Walton (Mr. Heffer) catches your eye, Mr. Speaker, he will be able to speak better than I can on the disadvantages for building workers.

As was pointed out in Committe, it is pointless to say that people can start work an hour later and continue work until 6 p.m. If that were done there would be no point in changing the time. In Committee the Under-Secretary appeared to think that schools would be able to stagger their hours starting at the equivalent of 10.30 in the morning in winter. This would lead to considerable difficulties for working mothers. They would have to go to work at 9 and get their children ready for school although the children would not go to school until 10.30. It would also lead to great difficulties in the time-tabling and running of buses in country areas. At the moment time-tables can be arranged so that the buses take people to work and then take children to school.

I do not think this Bill enjoys the support which the Government say it does. There is a tendency for a Government to take a majority view, to consult 80 organisations and to say that because over 40 are in favour it must be right. The standing of many organisations is entirely different. For example, the Government asked the opinion of about eight organisations which are engaged in travel. Everyone engaged in travel, particularly over the 24 hour day like the airlines, is automatically in favour of a Bill such as this. The Government asked the views of about 10 organisations whose activities are concerned with afternoon sport. No fewer than six of the organisations are concerned with playing football.

The Government started with a built-in complement of 20 organisations—in the total of 80—which obviously would be in favour of the Bill. If I asked about 20 organisations concerned with people who work early in the morning, milk roundsmen, postmen and the like, I am sure that I could arrive at exactly the opposite result. The Government have been completely hoodwinking people about the organisations consulted.

Mr. Ennals

The hon. Member is being less than fair. He knows that not only were sporting organisations and organisations with an interest in tourism consulted, but all the local authority associations, the Confederation of British Industries, the T.U.C., teachers' organisations, women's organisations and social welfare organisations. We had no reason to know the views of those organisations before we asked for them. We did not give them any guidance and they had no pre-committal to enter into what is contained in the Bill. This was a search for their views and we based our action on what came out of the search.

Mr. Brewis

The hon. Gentleman has not asked specifically anyone who works in the early mornings.

Mr. Ennals

The trade union movement.

Mr. Brewis

Six of the organisations were concerned with football and their sole activity is in the afternoons. I think this Bill will be very disadvantageous to Scotland and I shall certainly vote against it.

7.18 p.m.

Mr. Heffer

I find myself in a position of complete opposition in relation to this Bill. On Second Reading I urged that there should be an experimental period. My hon. Friend the Under-Secretary agreed that there should be a three years' experimental period, but, after thinking over the matter I consider that it would have been much wiser and more sensible if the Bill had not been brought in.

I have thought seriously about why the Government brought the Bill in. I have gone over the reasons time and time again and I have developed a theory. I have the theory that there are certain people, I am sure they are very honourable, civil servants, with a number of Bills stached away in pigeon holes which they bring out periodically and urge on successive Ministers. Sometimes they are successful and sometimes they are not. On this occasion I think that they were successful in convincing my hon. Friend that it was right to bring the Bill out of the pigeonhole and that it should be adopted by the Government, possibly on the argument, "You have not got much to do at the moment. This would be a good Bill for you to introduce. It would keep the boys happy. They would be busy going through the lobbies on this matter and would be diverted from other subjects".

I cannot think of any other reason. I have carefully examined the arguments adduced by my hon. Friend on Second Reading. One would have thought that one of the vital arguments would have been that there are immense economic advantages in this and that, therefore, the basic reason for the Bill is that we will gain tremendously economically. My hon. Friend said this on Second Reading: … I have no wish to overpitch the economic arguments. We have found that, considering the whole economic aspect, the advantages and disadvantages are pretty evenly matched". There goes the economic argument. It is not an overwhelming economic argument.

Possibly there are other arguments which are very good ones. My hon. Friend put one forward on Second Reading when he said this: Hon. Members will not dispute that the change will have advantages for all outdoor sport, entertainment and leisure-time activities, although it is true that in the depths of winter these advantages may be apparent only at weekends."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 23rd January, 1968; Vol. 757, c. 293–6.] So even the advantages in relation to outdoor sport will apply only at weekends.

In future, a building operative working on a site where artificial lighting cannot be provided will perhaps go to work at 9 o'clock. He will then work an hour longer from his point of view, in the at five in the winter he will now finish at five in the winter he will not finish at six. Possibly he has an hour's journey home. He will reach home at seven. That is one hour's leisure time taken from him. His family is deprived of his presence for that hour. It is no good saying that he can have an extra hour in bed. He does not want an extra hour in bed. He will prefer to have the extra hour with his family, possibly going to the cinema or doing other things.

I do not think that the arguments are valid. I repeat that I think that my hon. Friend was presented with the Bill out of a pigeon hole and he thought that there was nothing better to do at the moment, so he will accept the Bill.

I oppose the Bill for three basic reasons. First, it is unnecessary. I cannot see why it has been introduced, unless it was to get us, as the London Chamber of Commerce has suggested, closer to the Continent. Everyone knows that I am a European, so to speak. I believe that Britain should enter the European Economic Community, using that argument and the corollary of the extra commercial efficiency which will follow, what about commercial efficiency in the United States? New York does not have the same time as Los Angeles. Does anybody suggest that inefficiency results and that they cannot conduct their business properly because they have different times?

Mr. Ennals

My hon. Friend will agree that it would be a great advantage for the Americans if there was uniform time throughout that country.

Mr. Heffer

Of course it would be an advantage. The fact is that there is not a common time there. No one would suggest that American industry is inefficient because different times operate in various parts of America. That is a nonsensical argument.

I oppose the Bill, secondly, because I think that it will cause difficulties in industries such as the constructive industry and outdoor agricultural work. I have carefully studied the various speeches which were made in Committee. The hon. and learned Member for Buckinghamshire, South (Mr. Ronald Bell) and I are not at one on most issues. On some issues we could never get very close. However, I am pleased that he quoted the speech I made on Second Reading. On this issue the hon. and learned Gentleman and I agree about the question of the building industry. He and other Members raised the question in Committee. It was brushed aside too lightly. There are problems as regards the building industry.

At present the employers' federation is still 100 per cent. against the introduction of the Bill. My side of the industry is always much more amenable and tries to help everybody to get out of a difficulty. We are trying to help. We said that we do not like it, but that, if it is introduced, we will do our best.

It will mean that the whole basis of the national agreements on starting times, finishing times, dinner breaks, and so on, must be renegotiated. The National Joint Council for the Building Industry has issued guide lines throughout the country so that both sides can get round the table and begin to discuss the problems. They will run into difficulties with the membership, once the membership realises what is happening. The members may want overtime for the last hour. They may say, "We must now start at 9 o'clock, because you cannot provide artificial lighting. We shall want overtime from 5 o'clock to 6 o'clock". If the employers say "We are not going to pay overtime rates", there will be a few difficulties, to put it mildly. There are the questions of safety, the organisation of materials, and travelling time. I do not believe that my hon. Friends have paid sufficient attention to these very real problems which will arise in the building industry.

Thirdly, the Bill will cause very real problems, not only in Scotland, but also in the North of England and, because of the way the line sweeps, in Wales and other parts of these islands.

The Bill is not a vote catcher. My right hon. and hon. Friends are on a hiding to nothing. The people have not quite woken up yet to what it will mean. It is all very well for the Government to say that they have consulted many organisations. Organisations such as those have a long agenda. At the bottom of the agenda there is an item, "British Standard Time—approach by the Government for our views". The secretary says, "What does anybody know about this?" Somebody says, "Not very much. We are not really against it, are we?" The secretary says, "All right. We will tell the Government that we are not against it". Later they find out what it is that they have agreed to. The membership revolts and asks, "Why did you agree to it?" The reply is, "Unfortunately we did not understand what it meant". The public will understand once it is in operation.

I do not know whether other hon. Members are receiving letters on the matter. I have been receiving them, and I do not live in the North of Scotland.

Mr. James Hamilton (Bothwell)

According to HANSARD, my hon. Friend voted for the Second Reading of the Bill, as I did, but I wish to make perfectly clear that I agree with him in saying that we did not fully discuss the matter, and what he has said can be applied to the Constructional Engineering Union, of which I am the president.

Mr. Heffer

I am grateful to my hon. Friend. He has underlined the point which I made and clearly shown what happens when, in a busy trade union organisation dealing with many issues, we do not, perhaps, understand all that is involved.

I have had several discussions on this matter with my hon. Friend, sometimes in the corridors, and a few harsh words have passed between us. He said that concessions would be granted, but I said that the best concession of all would be to drop the Bill. I make an appeal to him even at this stage. Let him have further thoughts about the Bill. Never mind what is written in the Bill—at the end of the first year of the three-year period let the Government have another look at it at that stage. In my opinion, in the light of the experience which they will gain throughout the country in that time, they will wisely decide not to go ahead with the Bill and it will be dropped altogether. If not, the electoral results will be disastrous.

7.30 p.m.

Dr. M. P. Winstanley (Cheadle)

I welcome the opportunity to remind the Under-Secretary of State, lest he may be beginning to doubt it, that there are people who support him on this matter. [An HON. MEMBER: "Two."] No, there are more than two. Perhaps it is understandable that the opposition is a little more vociferous at this stage. I make no criticism on that account, because those who favour a scheme of this kind tend to feel that the battle is already won and there is nothing for them to say about it. At this stage, we are hearing the opposition and the views of those who realise that the Bill is soon to become a reality.

Like the Conservative Party, we in the Liberal Party have a free vote. I compliment the Conservatives on having a free vote, and I fully accept that it is harder for them, a large Parliamentary party, to decide to have a free vote than it is for us. I pay tribute to them for doing it on this occasion. Just as they were right in doing it on the similar question of a decimal currency, they are right now, and I am glad that we are doing the same.

I took some encouragement from the speech of the Opposition Front Bench spokesman, from which I understood that if at the end of the experimental three-year period it were necessary to seek the opinion of the House again and the Conservative Party was then in Government, as seems not unlikely, the then Conservative Government would again have a free vote. One understands that that is the undertaking intended.

I readily acknowledge that there are different views on the Bill in my party. For my part, I have for a long time supported the object which the Bill will enact. Long before I came to the House I held that view. In one of my election addresses, before I was successful in coming here, I named it as one of my objectives, and it is a matter on which I have campaigned for some years.

I fully acknowledge that I have been motivated perhaps by rather limited personal considerations in that I found the biannual sudden change of routine an irritation. I found that it interfered with activities in which I was involved, though I freely admit that the life which I have lived has generally been in an urban society and the occupations in which I have been concerned have in general led me to the opinion which is represented by the Bill, tending to bring me into closer contact with the sort of people who favour such a move. I acknowledge that I have, as it were, developed that mode of thinking for reasons which are not necessarily absolute.

However, having formed that opinion, I have, as I should expect others to do, endeavoured to explore how the scheme will affect other people. I have been satisfied by the balance of argument. True, some of the arguments are marginal, but I regard the economic arguments as compelling. The hon. Member for Liverpool, Walton (Mr. Heffer) told us of arguments on the other side arising in the construction industry, but I can- not speak about that with the expertise which hon. Members opposite have.

Generally, it is clear that there will be an immediate advantage in that firms engaged in commerce and business with countries in Europe will experience an immediate saving of about three hours of communication time each day, an hour at the beginning, an hour later, and an hour in the middle. I accept that a saving could be made by a rearrangement of their own without the need to change all the clocks of Britain, and I know that some firms have been so convinced of the advantages that they have changed their own clocks and endeavoured, as it were, to adopt the scheme unilaterally; but I regard the argument based on economic advantage as compelling. I am convinced by the arguments advanced by chambers of commerce and those who represent business and industry, as well as what has been said, not just blindly, by the T.U.C. itself. I believe that the T.U.C. has examined the scheme carefully and considers that, by and large, it is in the interest of its members.

Some of the other arguments are more marginal, for example, the suggestion that there will be a saving on fuel and power. There may be a saving. I have considered the argument that, by the rearrangement of our clocks and the change in people's habits, there may be a reduction in the consumption of power, but we shall not know this for certain. Neither shall we know for certain whether there will be much benefit in road safety and a reduction of accidents and injuries. This argument also is marginal or speculative, but I agree that theoretical considerations lead one to think that such a benefit is likely. One has even heard it argued by the police that there may be some effect in reducing crime. Again, this is marginal, but the change in the hours of daylight may have some such effect.

I freely acknowledge that some of the arguments are marginal and that I am motivated much more by what I regard as the most compelling reason, namely, the cessation of the biannual change in the routine of the country which, in my view, has a harmful effect on many different aspects of life.

I suspect that many of the arguments which we shall hear from Scotland and from those concerned in agriculture are directed not at retaining the present system but at adopting Greenwich Meantime all the year round in Scotland. In other words, they are in part on my side because they recognise the damaging effect of the biannual change which we have had hitherto.

There are special problems for agriculture. Just because there are more people living in urban surroundings than living in agricultural or rural areas, we should not for a moment assume that the opinion of the former is necessarily more worthwhile than that of the latter. We must give full weight to what happens in rural areas and in an industry like agriculture. But the situation in agriculture has changed considerably since the beginning of the century. For example, fanners' methods of work have changed. The farmer is no longer tied to a routine dictated by the sun. In many ways he almost dictates the routine himself. Milking times and all sorts of times have changed. An hon. Member shakes his head, but animal husbandry is such that many animals, far from knowing what time it is, do not even know what day it is. Agriculturists have been able to reorganise their routine in many ways so as to rake charge of the clock to suit their convenience. They are not the slaves of the sun that they once were.

I believe that people in agriculture will be able to adjust to the change much more easily than they would have done some years ago, but I recognise that their own view has changed. When I first spoke to officers of the N.F.U. about the matter I was told clearly that it was not opposed to such a Measure. Those officers felt that many of their members might be opposed to it, but on balance they believed that the benefit they would gain from being able to operate a continual, round-the-year routine without two changes would compensate for the difficulties. Their view has rather shifted, because their members protested. I would have expected it to shift because there is a natural, almost inbuilt resistance to change in almost all of us, but I am not suggesting that the farmers' objections are not real. The nearer we come to change, the more we are inclined to examine the reasons for not making it, to look for a difficulty for the solution. Therefore, it is understand- able that resistance should now be growing.

Mr. Noble

Would not the hon. Gentleman also consider that one of the reasons why these changes happen, not only in this case, is that the original opinion was given by chair-bound officers in an office, and that when they were told by their members what really went on they had to change?

Dr. Winstanley

I could not say how they arrive at their conclusions. But I should not regard some of the officers to whom I spoke as chair-bound. Many are practical farmers as active in agriculture as people at the periphery in the N.F.U. People in agriculture take both sides on this.

The Bill has been improved by the adoption of an experimental period. I am sure that the Minister is right to say that it will not be possible to say with certainty whether the effects are or are not as predicted until we have had such an experiment. With an experiment of a reasonable duration it will be possible to compile statistics and to assess to what extent there are real advantages.

I believe that when the system has been operating for a time people will become convinced of its value. When they have become used to it they will find it relatively easy to make the necessary adjustments. But I appreciate that I speak as a person who lives in a certain kind of area and lives a certain kind of life. We cannot say with finality what will be the views of the people of Scotland. It may be that the Scots will wish to apply their own solution, but we must sooner or later get away from the nonsense of messing about and altering the clocks once a year. For that reason I welcome the Bill, and particularly the fact that it is to be for an experimental period.

Mr. Speaker

Order. I remind the House that we are debating time. Many hon. Members wish to speak.

7.45 p.m.

Mr. Robert Maclennan (Caithness and Sutherland)

Here we are in the middle of the summer, with high temperatures and the sun beating down, in a centrally-heated atmosphere. Perhaps in those circumstances it demands an enormous effort of imagination on the part of hon. Members to envisage the sort of situation about which my constituents in the north of Scotland are complaining when they make their representations against the effects of the Bill.

We face a situation where young children will have to leave home in the middle of the country and stand shivering by the roadside at 6.30 in the morning, waiting for a bus to take them to school many miles away, where they may not necessarily have the opportunity of going into a warm classroom that has been prepared to receive them. We are talking about a situation of genuine hardship. It is a real situation, not a speculative one to be weighed in the balance against possible advantages. It does not require a three-year period of test; it does not require a one-year period of test. It is obvious to all that this will create difficulties and hardship in certain communities.

This must be weighed in the balance by all hon. Members in deciding their attitude to the Bill. I recognise that on this as on many other occasions, Members representing constituencies like mine find themselves obliged to weigh the national interest as it is conceived generally against the particular interests of the smaller number of people whom they represent, whose voice is not so loud and clamorous perhaps as that of the C.B.I. or even of the Scottish T.U.C. Despite that, we have an obligation to listen to these smaller voices and to weigh up the hardships that may be suffered by that smaller number of people against the speculative advantages which the Bill may confer.

The arguments put forward by the Government on the basis of broad national interest are sound in some respects. I have acknowledged this at earlier stages. I accept that there is much commercial advantage to be obtained from having a single time zone for the framework of our commercial relations.

I would tell my hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool, Walton (Mr. Heffer) that in my experience it is not true to say that it is not inconvenient on inefficient to have different time zones. I worked for a year in the State of New York, and every week I had to consult securities and exchange commissioners in the 50 States of the Union. That meant calling up people all round the continent, and the very few hours in the day when it is possible to do this in a country with no fewer than five different time zones made it very awkward to get through the business. This will become increasingly true as our business becomes move internationally orientated.

But we are not yet in the situation which has been adumbrated. We are not yet so closely integrated that the inconvenience of one hour's difference in most cass from our Continental trading partners is of such overwhelming moment that we must regard it as a clinching argument. My hon. Friend the Undersecretary of State has never presented it as such. He has produced it as one of many minor make-weight arguments in favour of the scheme which the Bill puts forward. There are, of course, the savings in fuel which are envisaged and also—probably the most important—road safety, which he foresees will be benefited by this.

I am not impressed by the fuel argument. This is an argument about social convenience, about whether society can or should afford this service. I believe that, in this kind of argument, one has to weigh the social disadvantages as well. The extra fuel cost resulting to the country from the present system—I question whether it has been calculated by my hon. Friends—should be borne by the country for the sake of those living in rural or remote areas.

I fully accept the point made by my hon. Friend the Member for Walton about consultation. I do not think it enough for Ministers to play off one body which is in favour of this scheme against another which is not. Without examining the evidence these bodies have put forward, one cannot evaluate their final conclusion. This is a view which the House and the public generally would normally take of expert evidence—that it is only as good as the argument behind it. We know nothing of the arguments which have led the Scottish T.U.C. to support this proposal. I do not even know how long the debates were on the matter in the Scottish T.U.C. Perhaps they were rather cursory.

In my constituency, opinion was divided. Caithness County Council, for example, thought that we should see how the scheme worked, which is reasonable. But some of its sub-committees, after protracted debates, came down on the side of opposition to the Bill. We should not be persuaded by the arguments of any single pressure group or organisation which has a vested interest, but should take account of all the arguments and try to weigh them up for what they are each against the other.

In the last analysis, if the economic and social arguments are only marginally on one side of the balance, we should be extremely reluctant to foist any time system on this country which creates the undoubted hardship this Bill can be seen to create in the circumstances I have described.

We in this country are always ready to listen to the arguments of industrialists because we are an industrial country. We are perhaps not so ready to listen to the arguments of the farming community as we should be, perhaps because the farming community represents a smaller proportion of the nation. Some three percent. of our community is involved in agricultural production. But that does not mean that the weight of their arguments is not considerable.

I am convinced that, in the present state of British agriculture, and not in the automated 1984 situation which the hon. Member for Cheadle (Dr. Winstanley) described, in which farmers still have to milk the cows and do not find it done automatically for them, where the shepherd still has to go out on to the hills and the eggs still have to be collected, the arguments against the Bill are powerful. My hon. Friend the Member for Walton is right about the building industry but I speak with no personal knowledge or experience of it and would not elaborate the point.

In sum, having considered all the arguments, having listened to the Government's case on a number of occasions and having read the debates with great care, I find myself ready to accept that of course people will adapt themselves to this situation, however unpleasant or awkward, and will make the best of it. But they should not be asked to make this adaptation because it seems so patently unnecessary. If the Government cannot see fit to take the Bill away altogether, I hope that they will follow the advice of my hon. Friend, who speaks with great sense and will look at this again before the three-year period is up and will consider some of the arguments which have been made today.

Much has been made of the question of whether this is a matter of conscience or not. Some of my hon. Friends have said that, in conscience, they cannot support the Government. I cannot conceive it as a matter of conscience in the normally conceived sense. But it is a matter directly affecting my constituency and although the opinion of my constituents has been divided, I have made up my mind and consequently I find it impossible to support the Government in this matter.

7.58 p.m.

Mr. R. H. Turton (Thirsk and Malton)

My constituents are unanimously opposed to the Bill and therefore I have no difficulty in deciding to vote against it. It is a bad Bill. First, at a time when we are trying to get productivity away from the South-East into the North-East and Scotland, we are putting a handicap on those who live in the North-East and Scotland and that is unwise at present. Secondly, there is the agricultural argument. I was interested in the agricultural experiment of the hon. Member for Cheadle (Dr. Winstanley). I invite him to get on to a tractor at 8 a.m. in February and try driving it in the dark in my constituency. I should like to see what kind of furrow he had ploughed at the end of the day.

Mr. Emrys Hughes

And on an icy road.

Mr. Turton

Quite. Clearly, this will affect agriculture in the North of England.

Dr. Winstanley

I do not want the right hon. Gentleman to misunderstand me. I accept that this will mean a change and possibly difficulties for orthodox farmers—and, incidentally, I have relatives who are farmers. All I am saying is that modern techniques of husbandry which are becoming more widely established mean that many farmers are not dependent upon the clerk of the time. That is the point I made and I am sure that he will recognise its validity.

Mr. Turton

Perhaps the hon. Gentleman is only interested in intensive agriculture. Yet Cheshire is great dairy country and one cannot get round the fact that cows must be milked, even in a 1984 way. The fact is that this Bill is an added burden on the agricultural industry at a time when we should be trying to save imports by increasing home production. Therefore, it is a bad Bill.

My third and last point concerns the schools in my constituency and, I expect, those in the constituencies of many other Members. My education committee is violently opposed to this proposal. It has gone into some detail about what it will entail. At present, it is able to get all primary school children to and from school in daylight during the 12 months of the year. As a result of the Bill, a great proportion of primary school children will have to be in darkness for half an hour for four months while going to school. That is the measure of the difficulty. That will be bad from the point of view not only of education but of road safety.

In my county, 25 per cent. of the accidents to children under 15 years of age occur during the hours of darkness, which are to be extended. Since I was absent at a Select Committee, I have heard only at second hand what the Under-Secretary of State said, but I gather that he made a suggestion about some alteration in school hours. That possibility has been investigated by my education committee. Because it is at present using 500 vehicles and spending £300,000 a year on transport, it would be impossible for it to alter the half hour in question because the vehicles, which are mostly public service vehicles, cannot be altered to suit its requirements. If they can be, there will be a very large additional rate burden on my constituents.

For those three reasons, I believe that this is a bad Bill. I do not think it is made a better Bill by the new Clause which makes it a temporary Measure for three years, because if school children are killed during that time, if agricultural production is held back at a time when we want more agricultural production, or if industry is switched to the South-East and away from the North and Scotland, irretrievable harm will be done. Therefore, I shall vote against the Bill.

8.2 p.m.

Mr. Brian Parkyn (Bedford)

I listened with interest to the arguments put forward by the right hon. Member for Thirsk and Malton (Mr. Turton). However, they have permeated the discussion today, in Committee and on Second Reading. I do not support them. This is a small Measure, a minute Bill, but I agree with my hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool, Walton (Mr. Heffer) that it will have a profound effect for some time on many of the population and, in a way, an effect which is far greater than many of the more important Measures which we pass, because it will have an immediate effect on people's lives.

I agree very strongly with the views expressed on Second Reading by my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State. The arguments basically are fairly evenly matched. I cannot help feeling that many of the arguments for and against the Bill have been stretched too far and have been pushed too hard for credibility. There is a certain agreement among all of us, whether we support the Bill or not. I should have thought that, broadly speaking, those who support it represent urban areas and have urban interests and that those who oppose it have rural interests.

Mr. Heffer


Mr. Parkyn

My hon. Friend says "No". We all know the problems of the building industry. Perhaps if I were to refer to those who work outside that would make it a little wider.

We have two problems which are diametrically opposed. First, I should have thought that there was agreement that we needed one time zone for the whole of Western Europe. Secondly, many of us feel that we are being put into the wrong time zone, a zone which is more appropriate to Berlin than to this country. On one side, there is obviously great advantage in having one time zone for the very large population in Western Europe, such as the population which there is in the time zone in the Eastern part of the United States or in the mid-time zone or in the West Coast zone in the United States. The problem has always been to counter the argument about the desirability of having one time zone in this area with the problem of our being put in the wrong time zone. We all know that we should get the Europeans into our time zone rather than that we should join theirs.

I cannot help feeling that many of the arguments about road accidents and the problem of schools and school buses and the advantages of businesses communicating with the Continent have, on the whole, been pushed a little hard. Basically we are trying to balance the advantages of having one time zone with the problem of being in the wrong zone. I come down in favour of having one time zone.

A point which was made very strongly by the right hon. and learned Member for St. Marylebone (Mr. Hogg) on Second Reading was that, whatever else Parliament can do, we cannot affect the relationship in space between the earth and the sun. Perhaps it is fortunate that we cannot. Because of this, if we put the clock forward or back a few hours, in twenty years' time people, being what they are, will adjust their way of life accordingly. Therefore, it is not all that important whether we support the Bill or not. On balance, I come down in favour of supporting it, particularly in view of the new Clause to which we are agreed, to operate it for an experimental period of three years. I urge my hon. Friends and hon. Members opposite to support the Bill.

8.7 p.m.

Mr. Noble

I have listened with great interest to the whole of the debate. I was impressed by two things said by hon. Members opposite. The hon. Member for Coatbridge and Airdrie (Mr. Dempsey) said that the Minister had produced no evidence and no facts; he had merely produced judgments. That is true. The hon. Member for Liverpool, Walton (Mr. Heffer) quoted what the Minister had said on Second Reading to the effect that there was only a very small balance in deciding whether the proposed change would be of benefit to the economy.

We are asked to consider a Bill which on the Minister's own assumption, with which many of us would agree, that if there is any economic advantage it is very small. We on this side do not claim omniscience, as the Minister said, but we do claim that we know something about how our constituents feel. Like the hon. Member for Walton, I have had a very large number of letters on this subject, I think more than I have had on any other subject since I have been a Member. Out of all of them from all over Scotland I have had one letter supporting the Bill. Therefore, it does not look as though there are many people in Scotland who passionately feel that the Bill is right.

The reason why I oppose the Bill and will vote against it—I should vote twice if I had the power—is that the Government know that the balance of economic advantage is very narrow, because they have said so. They know that in the rural areas throughout the country, but particularly in the North of England and in Scotland, there is almost unanimous opposition to the Bill.

The point was made by the hon. Member for Cheadle (Dr. Winstanley) that agriculture was changing. Of course it is, but he did not say that one of the major changes in agriculture is that very much smaller numbers of men are being employed to do jobs. These men have to work early and late, and there is no shift system to get the cows in from a field in the dark and the cold.

In looking at this problem the Government have come down in favour of the Bill for two seriously wrong reasons. The first is that when one is considering which is in balance one should try to favour that section of the community which needs help most. There is no question whatever—the Minister said it—that there are certain sections of the country badly affected. By pure chance these happen to be the areas in the north and Scotland which Governments over the last two years have been doing their best to encourage and to get going. This Bill is flatly contradictory to the policy of the Government and the policy which would be supported by every party at election time.

Secondly, and I do not make this point with any tremendous verve, but I believe that it is right, we in this House live a most unnatural life. We often do not know whether it is day, night or morning, and it does not make very much difference to us because we are in this large room, adequately controlled for heat and light. It does not mean that many of us who worked out of doors before we came into this House have forgotten the difficulties, dangers and discomforts of working out of doors in all weathers.

This is a human problem and these people deserve special consideration. I do not disagree with my hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool, Wavertree (Mr. Tilney) when he said that we are an industrial nation, and industry as a whole wants this. I think that he meant commerce. Never mind, these people are working in much better conditions, in offices and shops. We in Parliament often legislate to make certain that they are pleasant, comfortable, warm and light places to work in. These people can be protected, but those working out of doors cannot. The Government are seriously wrong in bringing this Bill forward, because it most affects the parts of the country which should be most carefully looked after. It affects most severely those who have to work out of doors, when no government can control the weather, or make their work in bad weather more pleasant.

8.13 p.m.

Mr. Emrys Hughes

I voted for the Government on Second Reading of this Bill, but I find that I cannot vote for the Government tonight, after listening to the speeches in the House and in Committee. I am not violently opposed to the Bil, but I do not see how anyone representing a rural constituency in Scotland could possibly represent his electors by voting for the Bill. What is the evidence that the Minister has produced? I have a great deal of sympathy for him, because he has had to meet a large volume of criticism from a great many quarters. He began his defence of the Bill by talking about the London Chamber of Commerce.

I have no great prejudice against the London Chamber of Commerce, except to say that it does not have a great deal of influence in Scotland. I would not be prejudiced against it on nationalist grounds however. If the London Chamber of Commerce is so keen about this Bill, surely it has representatives in this House who could come along and give it enthusiastic support. In issues concerning the Chamber it is not usually silent, yet from the benches opposite, which usually represent big industrial organisations, the voices of the London Chamber of Commerce and the Confederation of British Industry have not been heard. No one has come forward and said that this is vital for the future of the country's industry.

We have heard about the T.U.C. It, too, has representatives in this House. If this was a matter upon which the T.U.C. or about which the Scottish T.U.C. were greatly concerned, I would hardly have an opportunity of speaking in this debate, because of those who come here and put the point of view of the T.U.C. I am driven to the conclusion that there is no great enthusiastic body of opinion, organised at any rate, ready to go to the stake for this Bill. It is a very unpopular Bill, and to my mind the case for it has become weaker and weaker as the debate has proceeded. It is unfortunate that the Minister represents Dover. As I said in Committee, the more I heard him speak the more I became convinced that Dover might be presented to Calais and that it has very little in common with, say, Inverness or Ayrshire.

I cannot believe that his arguments would impress Scotland at all. All along I have been wanting to hear an authoritative, enthusiastic case from the representatives of the Scottish Office, in favour of this Bill. I do not think we will get this, because there were rumours, with which no one is associated, that the Scottish Office was, at the beginning, against the Bill. If the Scottish Office had been against the Bill it would be representing the point of view of the people of Scotland. I agree with those who have spoken about the difficulties of farmers. It is essential, if we are to get more productivity, that we should listen to the farmers' point of view about the hours they work.

There is no doubt that in Scotland farmers are against the Bill, and that their wives, too, are against it. The letters I have received from the Rural Institutes, representing the rural point of view, are more emphatic about this issue than any that has come up for some time. I realise, as the right hon. Member for Thirsk and Malton (Mr. Turton) does, that this will mean hardship for children in rural areas, coming to school in the darkness. I agree too with other reasons put forward by my hon. Friend the Member for Coatbridge and Airdrie (Mr. Dempsey).

Slippery roads and discomfort, and many other difficulties, outweigh completely the arguments of the people from the London Chamber of Commerce, the C.B.I. and the T.U.C., who have never even come along to attend this debate. I cannot believe that they will be bitterly disappointed if the Bill is not approved. I cannot conceive that the industrial prosperity of this country, its economic efficiency, will be affected by .001 per cent. as a result of this Bill. Those of us who have protested on behalf of Scottish constituents are doing our duty and have the overwhelming volume of public opinion behind us. We have the teachers, the E.I.S.—unfortunately the Minister thought that the Scottish Schoolmasters' Association represented Scotland. I can understand his ignorance of this matter. The obvious lack of knowledge on his part was apparent to every Scottish Member of the Committee.

The Church of Scotland is also against the Bill. Therefore, if we take a cross-section of public opinion in Scotland, the overwhelming expression of opinion would be against the Bill. Apart from the T.U.C. and the C.B.I., if anything like a referendum, a plebiscite or a Gallup poll could take place in Scotland, I am sure we would find our people would be overwhelmingly against the Bill.

The miners in my constituency are not greatly affected, because they have to work in the dark anyway. It is largely irrelevant to them if the Bill goes through. But if one has to travel in the early hours of the morning in winter—I have to travel to the airport across Mearns Moor—one finds a large number of workers: bus drivers and conductors, milkmen, and those who deliver newspapers. This section of public opinion should be considered. I would not be justified in supporting the Government going ahead with a Bill which has so little popular support in Scotland.

8.22 p.m.

Mr. Ronald Bell

I am sorry that the hon. Member for Cheadle (Dr. Winstanley) is not here, but the matter which he raised about the chambers of commerce has also been dealt with by the hon. Member for South Ayrshire (Mr. Emrys Hughes). The interrogation of the hon. Member for Cheadle can perhaps be answered in this way. I do not believe that the chambers of commerce were pressing for this Bill. I think that they were asked for and gave their opinions by that somewhat obscure mechanism which has been described by many hon. Members. Those opinions, reached in that somewhat haphazard way, are now quoted in support of the Bill. However, it would be wrong to give the impression that there was spontaneous pressure from the chambers of commerce for the Bill.

The question I asked myself was the question which the hon. Member for Liverpool, Walton (Mr. Heffer) asked himself, namely: why was this Bill ever introduced? I do not know that I shall be able to supply an answer to that question, but perhaps I may explain how I approached this matter and how I come to be interested in it.

There is an international system for time, agreed in 1884 at the International Prime Meridian Conference. I think that one should stick to the internationally agreed system unless one can make a strong case for departing from it. That is the way I approached it. If one can make a compelling case, one may perhaps justifiably abandon the system to which, on the whole, everybody throughout the world works. Therefore, I say that the burden of proof lies upon the Government.

Have the Government discharged that burden? Again, I find it very difficult to see how they can even think that they have discharged it. One might ask, as the hon. Members for Walton, for South Ayrshire and for Coatbridge and Airdrie (Mr. Dempsey) asked: is there some great economic advantage which the Government ought to take into account and commend to Parliament as a powerful reason why the international system should be broken by Britain? But the Government do not tell us that. We should have to take serious account of it if the executive Government of the country said that, but they do not. They say that in the whole economic field the disadvantages and the advantages are evenly matched. Therefore, we do not have to consider all these economic arguments, because we are advised by the Government that they cancel out.

The Government have said that the deciding factor is the social advantage. When it comes to social advantage I think that we are all well qualified to speak for our constituents. Economics is a more difficult matter. One may have to consider statistics and consult economists. Whether one would get the right answer by consulting economists is open to doubt. If one consulted several, one might get many different answers. However, when it comes to social advantage, surely people can speak for themselves and hon. Members in all parts of this House can speak for their constituents.

I am sorry that the Under-Secretary of State is not present. I do not regard the Bill in its impact upon the people as a triviality. I think that we ought to have had present this afternoon the Secretary of State for Home Affairs, or at least the Secretary of State for Scotland, because, if the Bill goes through tonight, it will go out from this House as an Act of Parliament. Yet, those of us who have been present in this Chamber know that Parliament does not want to do this. We also know that the public do not want it. The hon. Member for South Ayrshire said that he wished there could be a referendum or some such method of consulting the public direct. Members of Parliament hear pretty quickly what their constituents want. Therefore, we all know that the public, by a considerable balance, is against the Bill, although that would not diminish the authority of Parliament to pass a Statute if it thought it wise to do so.

The Under-Secretary could hardly claim that the Government had won the debate. Only three hon. Members, of all who have spoken from both sides, have supported the Bill.

Mr. James Davidson

Two, I think.

Mr. Bell

I am obliged. I was being over-generous. No, it is three. There was on hon. Member who, after balancing back and forth three times, decided in the end that, by the way the scale came down, he would support the Bill, so there are three.

On Second Reading we had 21 speakers from both sides, 17 against and four in favour. Today, it has been three in favour. Everyone knows that if we had a free vote in the House tonight the Bill would be defeated. Therefore, if the Bill goes out as an Act of Par- liament it will be because of those Members who, when the bells ring, will come in from the Tea Rooms and other parts of the building, having heard nothing of the debate, and vote solely in accordance with the instructions of the Whips.

That is a bad thing. When great issues are at stake the Government party must have cohesion to carry through the main policy of the State. There are occasions when the balance of Parliamentary opinion is in doubt to such a degree that no scandal attaches to the use of the Whips, but, from the overwhelming balance of this debate, the debate in Committee, and the Second Reading debate, everybody knows that if this Bill goes through it will do so owing to the power of the Executive to control party power by the dog licence system, and that is bad for the reputation of Parliament. That is why I say the Secretary of State should have been here to listen to the debate, because only he has authority to say that the Government will withdraw the Motion for the Third Reading and consider the matter again in the light of what hon. Members have said about this proposed legislation. It is very sad that the matter is going forward differently from that.

I want to recapitulate, almost under headings, the reasons why I opposed, and still oppose, the Bill. First, there is the educational aspect, and this has been mentioned by many hon. Members. During the last few months education committees throughout the country have been considering the implications of the Bill. West Bromwich is thinking of buying 20,000 luminous uniforms for school children so that they might avoid danger in the dark. In my constituency one small authority is proposing to incur an expenditure of £600 to keep the street lighting on all through the night so that during the four months affected by the Bill children will be able to go to school in the light. The Bill applies just to the four mid-winter months. Why anyone should bring in a Bill to give us this experience in the four mid-winter months puzzles me.

Next, there is the construction industry. The hon. Member for Walton knows so much more about this than I do that I feel it is almost an impertinence to speak about this industry. The Government talk about social advantage but the danger to workers in this industry—to which the hon. Member for Walton referred in detail during the Second Reading debate—of increased liability to accidents in the earlier hour, the one hour of extra darkness and coldness in the morning, is so great that I do not see how they can be in favour of extending British Summer Time to these four months.

Agriculture has been referred to by many hon. Members who know more about this industry than I do, so I shall say no more about that.

I wonder whether the Government have considered another aspect which has not been mentioned since the Second Reading debate, and that is the strain on electricity supplies? The morning rush will become even more concentrated. We know that the Government's advice to the House at the beginning of the discussions on the Bill was that the electricity supply industry had advised them that it would be able to manage because there was enough spare capacity—by the way, it does not sound much like fuel saving—but that was at a time when industrial production was stagnant. I do not know whether the Government are forecasting continued stagnation in industrial production, but if they are hoping for a considerable expansion they must realise that the margin of generating capacity upon which the earlier advice was given will have disappeared. What will the Government say if, having introduced this Measure, we are faced with power cuts in that hour of darkness and cold of the morning rush which they have brought into existence? I mention that only because the Government's whole case is social advantage. I ask the Government to realise that they have not made out any sort of case and that the burden of proof lies on them.

Perhaps I might conclude by quoting the words of the Under-Secretary of State during the Second Reading debate. Having run through the economic picture and given us the summary which I have quoted, and then having referred to various conflicting aspects of social advantage—which I must say did not seem to me to add up to a case in favour of the Bill—he concluded with these remarkable words, which were applied not to the economic factor, but to the general conspectus: We are going in the dark here. Those are appropriate words We do not know what the consequences will be. We can make our studies and research on the best possible information with such details as we have, but it is obvious that only time will tell."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 23rd January, 1968; Vol. 757, c. 364.] The Under-Secretary says that that is why the Government have introduced the experiment; time will tell. That is all very well. We can have all sorts of odd legislation on that principle—"We do not know what the effect will be, but let us have a bash and see what happens". An international time system which, with few exceptions, is observed by civilised countries, was established by the International Prime Meridian Conference of 1884. Europe is in the Central European Time zone. It is on its right time. France is a rogue elephant, and is in breach of the agreement, but only just, because part of it is in the Central European Time zone, and therefore it is not a great fault that France should have tipped into the wrong zone.

But we have not the shadow of an excuse. The whole of Britain, except for Dover and places in the same area, lies west of the Greenwich meridian. The United Kingdom lies in the Greenwich Meridian Time zone except for a tiny piece which lies in zone plus 1, to the west of the Greenwich Time zone.

Ours, therefore, is a gross and flagrant breach, and the Government have no right to say that they do not know what the accumulative balance of advantage and disadvantage, economic and social, will be; they are merely having a bash and they will see what happens. It is not a case to put before Parliament, and it is a disgrace that after the two debates we have had the Bill is not being withdrawn. It is the duty of the Undersecretary to send for the Secretary of State in order that he can hear what hon. Members on both sides of the House have said, and can reach a decision whether the Motion for the Third Reading should be agreed to tonight.

8.37 p.m.

Miss Harvie Anderson (Renfrew, East)

I want briefly to contribute to the opposition to the Bill. I do so because in recent times few Measures have brought to Members—certainly those representing Scottish constituencies—the amount of correspondence which has been my lot in this case. As my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Buckinghamshire, South (Mr. Ronald Bell) has said, the Government have sought to justify the Bill on the balance of social advantage. There is no such balance of advantage for my constituents. I have been very impressed by the amount of correspondence that I have received, especially concerning children who will have to go to school under much less safe conditions after this Bill is passed.

I do not want to dwell upon the agricultural position, which is of primary importance to Scotland; it has already been well covered. My constituency contains a considerable range of small fanners who are responsible for taking milk supplies to Glasgow. I am sure that this duty will be made no easier by this Measure. I want to enter a plea for them, to accompany the many pleas which have been made on behalf of agriculture by my hon. Friends.

I want, however, to dwell primarily upon the effect of the Bill upon education. In any big city this is of the utmost importance. It is right to bring to the notice of the Government the stark fact, which they are so reluctant to regard, that there have been considerable cuts in the school building programme. The relevance of that to this debate is that many children are obliged to travel to get their education. This is equally true in the northern part of England. We are discussing a Measure which becomes increasingly unfavourable to the community as we move north.

There is a well-known case of children having to travel as much as an additional two miles on top of what they would normally expect because of the cut in the school building programme—I see the Under-Secretary lookng unhappy, as I had hoped he would. In fact, that case is just south of his responsibility, but it is a practical illustration of the kind of difficulty which inadequate school buildings inevitably bring about. Therefore, at worst, there are school children who have to travel a considerable distance across a built-up area to get their normal educational facilities. I cannot think that it is to their advantage that they should do so spending a longer period in the dark than hitherto.

At the other end of the scale is the rush hour and the question of what time it begins and to what extent the Bill aggravates conditions. Therefore, I put forward with emphasis the plea put to me by so many parents, that, in educational terms, this is a very unfortunate Bill.

Then there is the question of the construction industry. I am sorry that I did not hear the speech of the hon. Member for Liverpool, Walton (Mr. Heffer), but, just as I have had wide correspondence about the educational problems with the Scottish office, so I have had correspondence with the Ministry of Public Building and Works about the construction industry. As a result of a Parliamentary Question which I put some time ago, I have a detailed account of those institutions which were asked for their views and it is significant that those who were against this change are so widely representative of the construction industry.

The Minister has said in correspondence that there was no unanimous view and that this was clearly a question which left a good deal of scope for personal opinion. It is because of my personal opinion that I am making this speech. The Minister went on to confirm what those Ministers who are present are probably already aware of, that, among the organisations consulted in the building industry, was the N.F.B.T.E., which opposed the change and gave very cogent reasons for doing so. Also, the F.C.E.C. opposed the change. This seems a significant body of opinion in the construction industry. There is also a list of those who have expressed views which are not unanimous or about which there were definitely divided opinions.

On the whole, it seems that the Ministry, having consulted the construction industry widely, has received no information which would suggest that the change is to the benefit of that industry. Since in Scotland, we have, to date, had perhaps rather less industrial building than in any other part of the United Kingdom, it seems of particular importance that the traditional building methods should go ahead with the least impediment which the Government can devise—and, with respect, they have devised some pretty big impediments to the building industry in their time of office. I very much hope that these three important facets of our life—agriculture, building and education—will be given much greater consideration than they have been given to date when this issue is decided.

Although I was not a member of the Standing Committee, I understand that the proposition that the period of the experiment should be reduced was very well argued. The least that the Government could have done was to yield to that pressure. The weight of opposition to this proposal is such that I am amazed that the Government have persisted with it. I very much hope that they will discharge their responsibility honourably in that, if it proves to be the disaster expected, they will, even at this late stage, reduce the period of the experiment to only one year.

8.47 p.m.

Mr. James Davidson

It has already been noted that of those who have spoken in the debate only three have supported the Bill. One was the Minister and of the other two one was my hon. Friend the Member for Cheadle (Dr. Winstanley), with whom I disagree on this point. Incidentally, reference was made to my hon. Friend's lack of knowledge of farming. Hon. Members may be interested to know that he has two uncles farming in my constituency.

I have had many letters about this Bill, all opposed to it. I have not had one letter in favour of the Bill. That is significant, and it is representative of the experience of other Scottish Members. I do not intend to speak long in the debate, and perhaps I ought to declare my interest. In fact, my interests are five—my interest as a parent, my interest as a Scot, my interest as a farmer, my interest as a European and my interest as a former navigator—all relevant to the Bill.

As a parent, I would point out that I farm at 850 feet in a very cold part of Aberdeenshire and that I have two young children attending the local school. I dislike at any time seeing them leave for school in the dark, having to wait for up to half-an-hour at the end of the road for the school bus. I am certain that my views are shared by other parents in similar circumstances when I say that I would much rather that they came home in the dark at the end of the day when the snow ploughs had had a chance to clear the road and life was on the move. It has been suggested that the Bill will lead to a saving in fuel. In fact, families in the rural areas will have to get up earlier, and more fuel will be used.

The view which I take on this issue as a Scot has been clearly put by the hon. and learned Member for Buckinghamshire, South (Mr. Ronald Bell), who pointed out that all Scotland lies considerably to the west of the Greenwich meridian, and, indeed, that all but a tiny part of the British Isles lies to the west of it. It is all very well for the Government to talk about our being linked in time with Europe, but by looking at the map the Minister will see that we lie considerably to the west of Europe. They get the sun on average much more than an hour before we do, because it rises in the east—an obvious point but one which has not been made in the debate.

As a fanner, I have three arguments to make. At hay and harvest time in our part of the world, we must frequently wait until 11 a.m. or noon until the dew is off the crop and the hay before we begin work. The change proposed in the Bill will mean an extra hour to wait and at the end of the day we shall have to pay for at least an extra hour of overtime, which is another burden on farmers.

I have made my comment about Europe. Finally, as a navigator, I put the point that there is a scientific basis for the time zone in which we lie. G.M.T. is in international use. Indeed, Clause 1(2) states: Nothing in this section affects the use of Greenwich mean time for purposes of astronomy, meteorology, navigation … It is just as well that it does not.

Why not stick to G.M.T., which was arrived at on a sound scientific basis? If firms and organisations wish to alter their working hours to get an earlier start or to give more time to their employees to work in their gardens at the end of the day or drink beer in the sunshine, let them rearrange their working hours. But why need we confuse the issue with this Measure? What was the origin of the thought behind the Bill? Whence comes the great upsurge of popular demand for the all-year-round establishment of B.S.T. one hour in advance of G.M.T.? Is it, as I suspect, just one more example of the Government's reluctance to let well alone?

I am far from being a Conservative, but I believe that G.M.T. derives from a sensible scientific basis, that we should stick to it and that we should leave it to the free choice of employers, in consultation with employees, to rearrange their working hours as necessary. Unless the Minister has purposely closed his ears during the debate—and, being a reasonable man, I am sure that he has not; nor has the Under-Secretary of State for Scotland—he must be aware that this is a thoroughly unpopular Bill. Not a tenable argument has been adduced in its favour while many sound arguments have been adduced against it.

The Government must be aware that if the Whips were not on on the benches opposite, the Bill would not stand the remotest chance of being passed. I hope that hon. Gentlemen opposite who have spoken against the Bill will have the courage to vote against it.

8.53 p.m.

The Under-Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. Norman Buchan)

It was not my intention to intervene in the debate, but in view of the comments that have been made by hon. Members who represent Scottish constituencies, it may be convenient if a representative of the Scottish Office speaks at this time.

I apologise to hon. Members, particularly those from Scotland, who still wish to speak and who will address the House after me. I speak at this point because had I waited to reply until all Scottish hon. Members had spoken, hon. Members would probably find themselves faced with two Government speeches in reply, which, if not a record, might have confused the issue.

Mr. Bruce-Gardyne rose

Mr. Buchan

I have not said anything yet.

Mr. Bruce-Gardyne

Would the hon. Gentleman explain why he cannot reply to the whole debate?

Mr. Buchan

Simply because many general arguments have been adduced as well as arguments relating specifically to Scotland. I want to deal with the arguments addressed specifically to Scotland. My speaking now seems the most satisfactory way of dealing with the matter; and then my hon. Friend the Undersecretary will deal with the general arguments. Although he represents Dover, he is well aware of the problems facing the United Kingdom as a whole in this matter.

Many Scottish hon. Members have expressed anxiety—they have reflected the genuine anxiety that has been expressed in Scotland—about the Bill. I assure them that these anxieties have not been ignored. We are well aware of them and they have been thoroughly considered. It is equally true that a large number of organisations have objected to the Bill.

The hon. Member for Cheadle (Dr. Winstanley) pointed out that there is a tendency, particularly when we reach a certain time with Parliamentary proposals, for one side to cease making representations. On such an occasion people note that the Government have come forward with a Bill, after which there is a tendency for those who wish to protest to go on making representations, while those who do not protest become inactive. In other words, one side continues while the other does not say, "We support the Bill." I am not exaggerating this state of affairs. This is really the way in which human beings work and it is inevitable. Indeed, it is the correct order of democracy. Perhaps hon. Members have ignored the fact that the voice of democracy has been listened to because what we have been discussing is the introduction of a change for an experimental period. Perhaps hon. Members should have paid more attention to this fact when adducing arguments concerning Scotland. We may be right or we may be wrong in what we are doing, but we say, "Let us see how the thing works." I know that we are dealing with a serious matter, and not with a triviality, but it is still not a matter of such account that it cannot be left to experiment.

My hon. Friend the Member for Caithness and Sutherland (Mr. MacLennan) stressed, as did other hon. Members, the difficulties in connection with children. He said that this was not a matter needing experiment; that it was not speculation, but that we know what will happen. Again, I think that some hon. Members tend to underrate human ingenuity and human adaptability. In human affairs, as things happen human beings can take measures to deal with them, and they can adapt themselves to new situations.

It is not true to say that every local body in Scotland was opposed to the Bill. By and large, I think that the largest number of representations was 92—not 91 as the hon. Member for Perth and East Perthshire (Mr. MacArthur) said—

Mr. MacArthur

I was quoting last week's figure. The Under-Secretary will recognise that the number increases week by week.

Mr. Buchan

And we have been informing the hon. Gentleman of the increase, and, by and large, most of the representations have come from local authorities in rural areas. I must inform my hon. Friend the Member for Coat-bridge and Airdrie (Mr. Dempsey) that we have not been getting this kind of representation to any great extent from industrial area. Nevertheless, I accept that that does not mean that there is not anxiety, There is a general feeling that an experimental period is perhaps the most satisfactory solution.

I recognise the difficulties that arise in agriculture—

Mr. Dempsey

Individual authorities have made representations opposing the Bill. I believe that both the Glasgow Corporation and the Edinburgh City Council have indicated their opposition.

Mr. Buchan

Not according to my information, and we published the information in the House on 25th June—

Mr. Dempsey

It was stated in Committee.

Mr. Buchan

Then a correction might have been made earlier.

I recognise the difficulties with regard to young people, but we also have to consider the old people. The point was made that the Bill will not affect them one way or the other in the morning because they do not go out between 9 and 10 o'clock, but it is precisely because of that fact that the extension of daylight in the afternoon is of assistance to them. They will be affected favourably in the afternoon on returning from their associations, and the like.

Mr. Bruce-Gardyne

I think that from the Government side we have had the most fatuous explanation of the problem of the old people that we have had of anything. The Under-Secretary said that the old people do not go out in the mornings so they benefit in the evening, but he has to establish the fact that they go out in the evening. I suggest that on this aspect he is quite wrong.

Mr. Buchan

I do not object to being called fatuous if the hon. Gentleman will only listen to the argument. That statement did not come from me but from one of my hon. Friends who said that old people will not be affected in the morning because they do not leave home between the hours of 9 and 10 o'clock. I accept that, but I say that the balancing extension of daylight in the evening is in favour of old-age pensioners.

I have intervened, not to deploy the arguments for or against but to try to outline, I thought fairly, the reflection on the balance of opinion in Scotland. The right hon. Member for Argyll (Mr. Noble) said that on balance we should help those who most need help. He recognised that the Government's policy has been to help the North and the Highlands. I was grateful for that concession. He said this Bill is flatly contradictory to that, but I am glad that the recognition has been made that our general policy has been of assistance. We might have been given credit for the fact that our assistance has not been of the kind which would harm those areas. I see one hon. Member opposite nodding in agreement.

On the effect on industry in Scotland and elsewhere there has been strength in the argument put by the hon. Member for Liverpool, Walton (Mr. Heffer). Despite that and despite the fact that we have been accused of cuts which it is said have held back the construction industry in housing, factory building and school building, that is not so for record figures have been achieved in the construction industry.

We recognise the anxiety which exists among many people and organisations. Many of them have been divided in their views on this matter. I accept the criticism about the speed at which the decision was made but this argument cannot be used in both ways. If it is said that we took decisions too quickly, the number of organisations consulted should not be thrown against us. This is the very reason why we require an experimental period—so that this will no longer be a matter of speculation but we shall be able to see whether the results are beneficial for Scotland and elsewhere.

I am surprised at the number of hon. Members who have rejected some of the considerable advantages. The Scottish Trades Union Congress support this proposal. We cannot shrug off the fact. The Confederation of British Industry, Scottish Section, is also in favour. Views on this matter are not all one way. I have been glad to participate in this debate. I have been glad to listen to points of view which have been put forward. We shall now have to place the accuracy of the speculation against the facts of a three year experiment. I think most hon. Members will recognise that that is the correct intelligent and practical decision for us to take in Scotland as elsewhere in the United Kingdom.

9.4 p.m.

Mr. Patrick Wolrige-Gordon (Aberdeenshire, East)

I have been watching the anguish of the Under-Secretary of State for Scotland during this debate and wondering when it would produce the speech to which we have just listened. I am afraid that I must disappoint the hon. Gentleman. He saw me nodding my head, but that was because I thought his speech fatuous. In case he misunderstands or objects, I must tell him that I did listen to his argument.

He told us that he was not interested in setting forth the argument but only in delineating the different organisations, councils and bodies which have made representations to the Government for and against this Bill. Incidentally, I thought it extraordinary that a Member of the Government should so obviously get different information from that which apparently his colleagues gave to the Committee when they were considering the Bill on the question of which councils opposed or supported the Measure. This is something which the Government should clear up. If we are right in thinking that there is much more than just a rural interest involved in feelings about the Measure, the Government had better be absolutely accurate about who is and who is not in favour of the Bill.

The other point which the Under-Secretary made was that, after all the talk, the Government have listened to the voice of democracy because they have introduced an experimental period. The Government have introduced experimental measures before. Indeed, the whole history of this Government has been a series of experimental measures. I cannot think of one of them which has worked. What they have hoped for was that the Bill would have been in operation for three years and by that time everybody would have got tired, would have forgotten, and would perhaps have adjusted to the change.

I believe that the opposition to the Bill is sufficiently strong and sensible for us not to accept the bromide of the three-year period. I still have to be convinced of the strength of the Government's argument in support of the Bill. Only one Government back bencher has supported the Bill. His argument was that everybody wanted to be in one time zone and that, after a great deal of coming and going, he had decided that we should get into this time zone because everybody was in it and it was a very good idea for everybody to be in one time zone.

Britain has not been in that time zone for a considerable number of years. I do not discriminate between someone in one time zone and someone in another. I work out which time will be most convenient to get in touch with him and conduct our business in that way. No difficulty arises. Many countries must do so all the time in the normal course of their business. It is perfectly well understood and acceptable. It works well.

Any argument to the contrary must be much more convincing before I would accept that there is anything more in it than what I believe is at the back of this ridiculous Bill, which is the extraordinary desire of the Government to conform with everybody else in every way that they can. They want to make every possible gesture to prove that they are as good Europeans as anybody else and that we can have the same time, as we have the same outward performance in every other way.

This conformity has gone too far. Britain is an individual country. It has its own way of life. I do not think that we should chop and change it to meet the convenience of people in another time zone whose time meridian is East of Berlin. I do not see any rational argument for that, whereas I see great disadvantages in this change for those in my constituency and for people all over Scotland. It is suggested that commerce and industry in general are in favour of the change. I do not think they have pressed the Government hard to make it. They did not have to, anyway. They do not particularly care. They have operated one system. Another system does not make that much difference to them.

However this is a matter of great importance to the people in the North of Scotland, in particular, to people all over Scotland, to people in the North of England, and particularly to those in the rural areas. Their interests have been totally disregarded in favour of this spurious unity and conformity which the Government have sought so misguidedly. That is why I thought that the Under-Secretary of State for Scotland exhibited a certain amount of anguish as he sat on the Front Bench, because he must know the reality of the case which has been put to him from these benches and by the hon. Member for South Ayrshire (Mr. Emrys Hughes) as to what it will mean to rural communities, particularly to our children, to farmers, to the construction industry, and to anyone whose life will be affected by this serious, far-reaching and fundamental change for which the Government have not yet produced any coherent reason beyond the catalogue of people who may or may not be against the Bill. Even that is not clear. I hope that for this reason the Government will not proceed with the Bill.

9.10 p.m.

Mr. Ian MacArthur (Perth and East Perthshire)

Hon. and right hon. Members from Scotland are grateful to the Undersecretary of State for taking part in the debate and doing his best, but I must tell him that he did not add anything to the argument which the Government have advanced, an argument which I find totally unacceptable. All the hon. Gentleman could say in support of the Bill on Third Reading, beyond quoting a representation received from the London Chamber of Commerce, was that it would bring a marginal advantage. No more than that. Throughout the debate, hon. Members have reminded the House again and again that the line taken by Government spokesmen from the beginning of consideration of the Bill has been that the balance is narrow and that the advantage will be minimal.

The disadvantage to Scotland will be far more than marginal. In my view, proper consideration has not been given to the weight of evidence put to the Government from Scotland, not only by hon. Members but by the 91 official organisations which have protested to the Government against the Measure. In his intervention just now, the Under-Secretary of State said that, although 91—or, perhaps, 92—official organisations had made representations, we should not exaggerate their significance because, lurking somewhere in the shadows, there were other official bodies, no doubt, which would have got round to making representations in support of the Bill if they had thought of it. That is the effect of what he said. In reply to a Question the other day, the Secretary of State said that not one official body or organisation had made representations to the Government in support of the Bill.

To be fair, I recognise that the Scottish T.U.C. and the Confederation of British Industry have been called in aid by the Government in support of the Bill. I do not know how enthusiastic their support is. I have respect for their views, but I have no less respect for the views of all the others who have made representations from Scotland against the Bill. I have no less respect for the rural areas which object to the Bill, the rural areas being the ones which will suffer most.

Hon. Members who have supported the Bill have spoken about "some rural areas", the impression conveyed being that only a handful of remote agricultural workers are behaving unreasonably and objecting to the Bill. This is the impression given if the Minister dismisses the opposition as opposition from "some rural areas". In fact, in Scotland alone 14 county councils have taken the trouble to write to the Government saying that they oppose the Bill. So have 45 town councils, the bulk of them from rural areas, because they would feel the effect most. So have three district councils and five presbyteries of the Church of Scotland. Under the heading of other organisations, massive bodies have opposed the Bill. The Association of Council Councils, the Convention of Royal Burghs, the National Farmers' Union of Scotland and other bodies representing enormous sections of public opinion have made representations to the Government against the Bill.

It is no use the Under-Secretary of State proudly crying that the voice of democracy has been heeded and the Government have introduced their experimental period of three years. What he has done is to say that the voice of democracy has not been listened to by the Government. It has been totally ignored.

I must emphasise what has been said, particularly by my right hon. Friend the Member for Argyle (Mr. Noble) about the impact the Bill will have on agriculture in Scotland. The hon. Gentleman, who is responsible for agriculture in Scotland should pay more regard to the farming voice in Scotland about the cost it will involve for Scottish agriculture and the difficulty for farm workers.

We heard from a number of hon. Members about the problem of children going to school. It is a problem of the rural areas as well as the town. In large parts of Scotland children must go to the road end to wait for the bus to take them to school some miles away. Because of the closure of many rural schools many journeys are becoming much longer. I dread to think of the conditions in which children will now wait at the road end, trembling in the cold and dark as they wait for the bus. They will be going to school and returning in the dark for months every year. Even in Glasgow it will be dark. Sunrise will not occur until nine o'clock or later for three months in the year. The further north one goes the more serious the situation becomes, and sunrise is not daylight.

Mr. Woodburn

The hon. Gentleman has been very good about giving us statistics of the people opposed to the measure. He spoke of five presbyteries, but out of how many are they? He spoke of a number of county councils, but out of how many? His figures do not give a very clear idea of their proportion that they are of the people concerned.

Mr. MacArthur

If the right hon. Gentleman hears where the presbyteries are, he will understand why their opinion is important. They are the presbyteries of Caithness, Garioch, and Shetland, and the Synod of Ross, Sutherland and Caithness, all in the far North of Scotland, the presbyteries that will be the hardest hit in Britain. There is also the Presbytery of Angus and Mearns. These are the people who will suffer most, and I am very glad that the presbyteries have made representations in this way.

The county councils concerned cover the vast bulk of rural Scotland. There are 14 of them, and the Association of County Councils has made representations to the Government against the Bill on behalf of all the county councils in Scotland. Therefore, I am sure that the right hon. Gentleman would not want to suggest that this interest is only in a corner of Scotland. It is a deeply felt interest over the whole country.

I was talking about schoolchildren waiting at the road end for the bus, exposed to dangers not only from traffic but from other hazards which we in the House are all too conscious of. The Secretary of State for Scotland has made it clear that education authorities have the power to adjust school hours to conform with the clock. That is so, but in saying that he shows a total disregard for the distortion this would have in family life. The child is not an individual detached from other people, but part of a family with real influence on the conduct of family life and the shaping of the pattern in which people live. It cannot be said that it is easy to change school hours and that that will not have any effect on the family. It will have a very real effect. The Government have totally ignored the convenience of people and the pattern of life.

Their attitude to the authoritative representations against the Bill from all over Scotland has been very much the attitude of a nanny towards a naughty child who dares to question its elders. Throughout the whole affair, their attitude to Scotland has been that nanny knows best. They are doing grave harm by the way in which Scotland has been treated over this matter. I say this to them with great seriousness. They have given the impression that the Government lack understanding, interest and care in Scotland. This, I believe, is creating a situation which is serious for government.

I am sure that the people of Scotland cannot comprehend why, on an issue of this kind, the Government have put the Whips on. The Scottish Government Whip will have to crack his whip hard in order to force Scottish hon. Members opposite into the Lobby for the Government. If the Government were to remove the Whips, they know that the Bill would be defeated.

If it were defeated, I do not think that the Government would lose face. They might be disappointed to lose the Bill but I do not believe that they would lose standing if the voice of Parliament were seen to be freely and properly expressed in this way. What should concern us more is the gain there would be to the prestige of Parliament in the eyes of the people not only in Scotland but throughout Britain if we were seen, on an issue of this kind, to be expressing our own consciences as dictating the way we vote tonight.

9.21 p.m.

The Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. David Ennals)

We have had a long debate. At certain stages it seemed to me that I was attending a meeting of the Scottish Grand Committee, and I feel such respect for that body that I felt it an honour and privilege to be here. It is significant that almost all the views expressed against the Bill on both sides have come from Scottish hon. Members and my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Scotland has made it clear that we recognise that there are difficulties in Scotland. It was partly because we recognise these difficulties that we decided to make this an experimental period. It is interesting to note that few hon. Members representing England and Wales have come to state opposition to the Bill.

The basis of the Government's consultations was not in order to oblige any organisation or any of the bodies consulted to take a particular position. We wanted to know their views, not because we wished to force anything on them, but because we wished to know their views in the interests of the country. We put forward four alternatives as the basis of consultation. First, we should revert to a five and a half month Summer Time; secondly, we should continue with our extended seven month Summer Time; thirdly, we should extend the period still further, perhaps to nine months Summer Time; fourthly, we should introduce Standard Time, Summer Time, throughout the year. Few organisations showed an interest either in the first or the third proposal. The majority fell either with the second or the fourth, and clearly the majority of organisations in the United Kingdom were in favour of introducing Standard Time.

My hon. Friend the Member for Coat-bridge and Airdrie (Mr. Dempsey) said we had adopted our position on the basis of conjecture and the hon. Lady the Member for Renfrew, East (Miss Harvie Anderson) said that hon. Members were giving their personal opinions. In a sense, this is true. We can ask responsible organisations what their assessment is of what would be the consequences and they can reach their conclusions. But we recognise that we cannot estimate, gauge and know what will be the result until we have had an experiment and so we are having an experiment to see just what is the effect.

The Government have no other motive than the welfare of the country as a whole, and that means not only social but also economic welfare. It is not some desire simply for the sake of it to be closer to Europe but if, by having a time common with that of Europe, it brings economic advantages, tourist advantages and travel advantages, then, of course, that is part of the assessment that we must make. This is why we are conducting an experiment.

Mr. Michael Clark Hutchison (Edinburgh, South)

What proof is there that there will be any economic advantages or other advantages?

Mr. Ennals

I object to the hon. Gentleman, who has not been here during the debate and did not hear the case put forward at the beginning, asking that question. There is a powerful economic case. Consult the British National Export Council, which is in favour. Consult the Confederation of British Industry, which has a concern for expanding exports. Consult the Association of British Chambers of Commerce. Consult the bodies concerned with the ports and transport. The British Transport Docks Board, the British Railways Board and all the airline companies are in favour and see advantages for the country in common time.

An argument was advanced on Second Reading and elaborated in Committee concerning the advantages for business concerns of common working time with the other countries of Europe. There will be a great increase in common working time as a result of the Bill.

Mr. Buck

If that be the case, how could the hon. Gentleman have said earlier that the economic advantages were so evenly balanced?

Mr. Ennals

I knew that it would be unwise of me to give way, because I was about to show that, apart from advantages, there are disadvantages. Hon. Members opposite have simply not tried to be fair. They have enumerated all the snags and disadvantages which they could think of while the Government have tried to make an assessment of the economic advantage and disadvantage.

Reference has been made to the building industry for which it is thought there would be disadvantages. The hon. Lady the Member for Renfrew, East mentioned, rightly, that the National Federation of Building Trade Employers and the Federation of Civil Engineering Contractors were opposed to this proposal. On the other hand, the problem was considered by the Winter Building Advisory Committee, which was appointed by the Ministry of Public Building and Works the majority of whose members consider that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.

I recognise that probably, on balance, unless there are certain adjustments of timing, there will be some disadvantages for the building industry. I recognise that there may need to be some adjustment in timing for agriculture, and particularly for agriculture in Scotland. But, as has been said, the fanner is almost always tied to the sun and the weather. Inevitably he must make adjustments to his working hours. He is not a 9 to 7 or 8 to 6 man. He must adjust his work to the conditions of the day, the weather and the sun.

Mr. Heffer

Would not my hon. Friend agree that the disadvantages about which he speaks can lead to a fairly steep increase in building costs, which will be a very serious disadvantage for the people of this country?

Mr. Ennals

That is a matter of dispute. It is a view which is held by the National Federation of Building Trade Employers, but the argument made within the Winter Building Advisory Committee was that in some cases more hours would be worked as a result of the adjustment of hours rather than shorter hours, as was suggested by my hon. Friend.

Apart from the economic considerations, there are the social considerations. A good deal of play has been made concerning children. It is true that more children will go to school in the hours of darkness, but, equally, more children will come home in the hours of daylight. If we relate this specifically to Scotland, while it is true that many children will go to school in the dark, more children will return home in daylight in the depths of winter.

In Glasgow, for example, on 26th November, with British Standard Time, the sun will rise at 9.13 a.m. and set at 4.55 p.m. On 24th December the sun will rise at 9.47 a.m. and will set at 4.46 p.m. If the sun is setting at 3.46 p.m. or 3.55 p.m., the likelihood is that children will be returning from school in the dark, whereas, since the sun will be setting at 4.55 p.m. and 4.46 p.m., respectively, in November and December, there will be more hours of daylight for returning home from school. Most teaching organisations in England are in favour of this Measure, and are of the opinion that there is less danger to a child going to school in the morning in darkness than coming back in the evening in darkness because the child goes more directly to school, and also because there is less playing, less danger of what my hon. Friend the Member for Coatbridge and Airdrie referred to, the danger of children being abducted. There is much less danger of this in the early hours of the morning than in the afternoon.

Mr. Gordon Campbell (Moray and Nairn rose

Mr. Bruce-Gardyne rose

Mr. Ennals

I have given way many times and we have had a long debate.

There are two other points, one is to do with road accidents. I have said the Road Research Laboratory has reached the conclusion that there would be an advantage, from the point of view of reduction of accidents, serious and fatal, if the change were made. The Laboratory has calculated that if British Standard Time had been in force in 1964 there would have been about 586 extra fatal and serious casualties on weekday working mornings and about 870 fewer fatal and serious accidents in the evenings. This gives an estimated saving of 290 fatal and serious casualties during the period not at present subject to British Standard Time. A net saving of about 100 fatal and serious casualties would similarly have arisen at the weekend. That means a total net saving of about 290 fatal and serious casualties, which is under 0.4 per cent. of the annual total.

This is an estimate of the Road Research Laboratory, and we will not know whether these are savings until we have the experimental period to which the Government are committed.

There are advantages and disadvantages. It is clear, on the basis of the assessments that have been made by the Government, not just on the basis of estimates and guesses, but of responsible opinion, that it would be to the advantage of the country to have this experiment. We propose therefore to have it. If it is clear that the disadvantages outweigh the advantages, we will take action. There is no earthly reason why we should wish to continue the system if it will not be to the clear advantage, economically and socially of the country.

Mr. Donald Chapman (Birmingham, Northfield) rose in his place and claimed to move, That the Question be now put.

Question put, That the Question be now put:—

The House divided: Ayes 143, Noes 98.

Division No. 276.] AYES [9.33 p.m.
Alldritt, Walter Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston) McBride, Neil
Archer, Peter Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) McGuire, Michael
Armstrong, Ernest Foley, Maurice Maclennan, Robert
Atkins, Ronald (Preston, N.) Forrester, John McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.)
Beaney, Alan Fowler, Gerry McNamara, J. Kevin
Bennett, James (G'gow, Bridgeton) Fraser, John (Norwood) Mahon, Peter (Preston, S.)
Binns, John Galpern, Sir Myer Mahon, Simon (Bootle)
Blackburn, F. Gray, Dr. Hugh (Yarmouth) Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)
Blenkinsop, Arthur Gregory, Arnold Manuel, Archie
Booth, Albert Grey, Charles (Durham) Marquand, David
Braddock, Mrs. E. M. Griffiths, David (Rother Valley) Mason, Rt. Hn. Roy
Broughton, Dr. A. D. D. Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside) Mendelson, J. J.
Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan) Hamilton, James (Bothwell) Millan, Bruce
Buchan, Norman Hannan, William Milne, Edward (Blyth)
Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn) Harper, Joseph Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire)
Cant, R. B. Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)
Chapman, Donald Haseldine, Norman Neal, Harold
Coe, Denis Hazell, Bert Newens, Stan
Concannon, J. D. Herbison, Rt. Hn. Margaret Noel-Baker, Rt. Hn. Philip (Derby, S.)
Conlan, Bernard Hooley, Frank Oakes, Gordon
Cullen, Mrs. Alice Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas Ogden, Eric
Dalyell, Tam Howarth, Harry (Wellingborough) O'Malley, Brian
Davies, Ednyfed Hudson (Conway) Howell, Denis (Small Heath) Oram, Albert E.
Davies, Dr. Ernest (Stratford) Hoy, James Orbach, Maurice
Davies, Harold (Leek) Huckfield, Leslie Palmer, Arthur
Davies, S. O. (Merthyr) Hunter, Adam Park, Trevor
Delargy, Hugh Hynd, John Parkyn, Brian (Bedford)
Dempsey, James Irvine, Sir Arthur (Edge Hill) Pavitt, Laurence
Dewar Donald Jackson, Colin (B'h'se & Spenb'gh) Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred
Dobson, Ray Jenkins, Hugh (Putney) Pentland, Norman
Doig, Peter Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.) Perry, Ernest G. (Battersea, S.)
Dunwoody, Mrs. Gwyneth (Exeter) Jones, Dan (Burnley) Prentice, Rt. Hn. R. E.
Dunwoody, Dr. John (F'th & C'b'e) Jones, Rt. Hn. Sir Elwyn (W.Ham, S.) Price, Christopher (Perry Barr)
Eadie, Alex Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham) Price, Thomas (Westhoughton)
Edwards, William (Merioneth) Kelley, Richard Price, William (Rugby)
Ellis, John Lawson, George Rankin, John
English, Michael Leadbitter, Ted Robertson, John (Paisley)
Ennals, David Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick (Newton) Robinson, Rt. Hn. Kenneth (St.P'c'as)
Ensor, David Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Robinson, W. O, J. (Walth'stow, E)
Evans, loan L. (Birm'h'm, Yardley) Lomas, Kenneth Rose, Paul
Fernyhough, E. Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.) Ross, Rt. Hn. William
Short, Rt. Hn. Edward(N'e'tle-u-Tyne) Varley, Eric G. Williams, W. T. (Warrington)
Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford) Walker, Harold (Doncaster) Willis, Rt. Hn. George
Silverman, Julius Watkins, David (Consett) Woodburn, Rt. Hn. A.
Slater, Joseph Whitaker, Ben Woof, Robert
Snow, Julian Whitlock, William
Spriggs, Leslie Wilkins, W. A. TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Thomson, Rt. Hn. George Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.) Mr. Harry Gourlay and
Urwin, T. W. Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchin) Mr. Alan Fitch.
Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton Gresham Cooke, R. Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael
Black, Sir Cyril Grieve, Percy Osborn, John (Hallam)
Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S.W.) Grimond, Rt. Hn. J. Osborne, Sir Cyril (Louth)
Body, Richard Gurden, Harold Percival, Ian
Braine, Bernard Hall, John (Wycombe) Price, David (Eastleigh)
Brinton, Sir Tatton Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye) Pym, Francis
Bruce-Gardyne, J. Harvie Anderson, Miss Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter
Buck, Antony (Colchester) Heald, Rt. Hn. Sir Lionel Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon
Bullus, Sir Eric Hill, J. E. B. Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)
Campbell, B. (Oldham, W.) Hirst, Geoffrey Russell, Sir Ronald
Campbell, Gordon (Moray & Nairn) Holland, Philip Sharples, Richard
Chichester-Clark, R. Hunt, John Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)
Clegg, Walter Hutchison, Michael Clark Smith, Dudley (W'wick & L'mington)
Cooper-Key, Sir Neill Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford) Smith, John (London & W'minster)
Corfield, F. V. Jennings, J. C. (Burton) Speed, Keith
Crouch, David Johnston, Russell (Inverness) Stainton, Keith
Currie, G. B. H. Kershaw, Anthony Steel, David (Roxburgh)
Davidson, James (Aberdeenshire, W.) Kirk, Peter Taylor, Edward M.(G'gow, Cathcart)
Dean, Paul (Somerset, N.) Kitson, Timothy Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)
Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F. (Ashford) Knight, Mrs. Jill Turton, Rt. Hn. R. H.
Douglas-Home, Rt. Hn. Sir Alec Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry Wainwright, Richard (Colne Valley)
Elliott, R. W. (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, N.) Lubbock, Eric Ward, Dame Irene
Emery, Peter Mackenzie, Alasdair (Ross & Crom'ty) Weatherill, Bernard
Errington, Sir Eric McMaster, Stanley Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William
Evans, Gwynfor (C'marthen) Macmillan, Maurice (Farnham) Williams, Donald (Dudley)
Ewing, Mrs. Winifred Maude, Angus Wills, Sir Gerald (Bridgwater)
Eyre, Reginald Maydon, Lt.-Cmdr. S. L. C. Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Farr, John Monro, Hector Winstanley, Dr. M. P.
Foster, Sir John More, Jasper Woodnutt, Mark
Gibson-Watt, David Morgan, Geraint (Denbigh) Younger, Hn. George
Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, C.) Mott-Radclyffe, Sir Charles
Godber, Rt. Hn. J. B. Munro-Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Grant, Anthony Murton, Oscar Mr. Ronald Bell and
Grant-Ferris, R. Nabarro, Sir Gerald Mr. John Brewis.

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

The House divided: Ayes 150, Noes 83.

Division No. 277.] AYES [9.42 p.m.
Alldritt, Walter Dunwoody, Dr. John (F'th & C'b'e) Hooley, Frank
Archer, Peter Eadie, Alex Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas
Armstrong, Ernest Edwards, William (Merioneth) Howarth, Harry (Wellingborough)
Atkins, Ronald (Preston, N.) Ellis, John Howell, Denis (Small Heath)
Beaney, Alan Emery, Peter Hoy, James
Bennett, James (G'gow, Bridgeton) English, Michael Huckfield, Leslie
Binns, John Ennals, David Hunter, Adam
Blackburn, F. Ensor, David Hynd, John
Blenkinsop, Arthur Evans, loan L. (Birm'h'm, Yardley) Irvine, Sir Arthur (Edge Hill)
Booth, Albert Fernyhough, E. Jackson, Colin (B'h'se & Spenb'gh)
Braddock, Mrs. E. M. Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston) Jenkins, Hugh (Putney)
Broughton, Dr. A. D. D. Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull W.)
Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan) Foley, Maurice Jones, Dan (Burnley)
Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn) Forrester John Jones, Rt. Hn. Sir Elwyn (W. Ham, S.)
Cant, R. B. Foster, Sir John Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham)
Chapman, Donald Fowler, Gerry Kelley, Richard
Coe, Denis Fraser, John (Norwood) Lane, David
Conlan, Bernard Gourlay, Harry Lawson, George
Cooper-Key, Sir Neill Gray, Dr. Hugh (Yarmouth) Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick (Newton)
Crouch, David Gregory, Arnold Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)
Cullen, Mrs. Alice Grey, Charles (Durham) Lomas, Kenneth
Dalyell, Tam Griffiths, David (Rother Valley) Lubbock, Eric
Davies, Ednyfed Hudson (Conway) Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside) Lyons, Edward (Bradford E.)
Davies, Dr. Ernest (Stretford) Hamilton, James (Bothwell) McBride, Neil
Davies, Harold (Leek) Hannan, William McGuire, Michael
Davies, S. O. (Merthyr) Harper, Joseph McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.)
Delargy, Hugh Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) McNamara, J. Kevin
Dewar, Donald Haseldine, Norman Mahon, Peter (Preston, S.)
Dobson, Ray Hazell, Bert Mahon, Simon (Bootle)
Doig, Peter Herbison, Rt. Hn. Margaret Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)
Dunwoody, Mrs. Gwyneth (Exeter) Hirst, Geoffrey Manuel, Archie
Marquand, David Pavitt, Laurence Thomson, Rt. tin. George
Mason, Rt. Hn. Roy Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred Thorpe, Rt. Hn. Jeremy
Maydon, Lt.-Cmdr. S. L. C. Pentland, Norman Tilney, John
Mendelson, J. J. Perry, Ernest G. (Battersea, S.) Urwin, T. W.
Millan, Bruce Prentice, Rt. Hn. R. E. Varley, Eric G.
Milne, Edward (Blyth) Price, Christopher (Perry Barr) Wainwright, Richard (Colne Valley)
Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire) Price, Thomas (Westhoughton) Walter, Harold (Doncaster)
Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe) Price, William (Rugby) Watkins, David (Consett)
Neal, Harold Rankin, John Whitaker, Ben
Newens, Stan Robertson, John (Paisley) Whitlock, William
Noel-Bakcr, Rt. Hn. Philip (Derby, S.) Robinson, Rt. Hn. Kenneth (St.P'c'as) Wilkins, W. A.
Oakes, Cordon Robinson, W. O. J. (Walth'stow, E.) Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)
Ogden, Eric Rose, Paul Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchin)
O'Malley, Brian Ross, Rt. Hn. William Williams, W. T. (Warrington)
Oram, Albert E. Short, Rt. Hn. Edward (N'c'tle-u-Tyne) Winstanley Dr. M. P.
Orbach, Maurice Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford) Woodburn, Rt. Hn. A.
Osborn, John (Hallam) Silverman, Julius Woof, Robert
Palmer, Arthur Slater, Joseph
Park, Trevor Snow, Julian TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Parkyn, Brian (Bedford) Spriggs, Leslie Mr. Alan Fitch and
Mr. J. D. Concannon.
Black, Sir Cyril Grieve, Percy Percival, Ian
Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S.W.) Grimond, Rt. Hn. J. Price, David (Eastleigh)
Body, Richard Gurden, Harold Pym, Francis
Braine, Bernard Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye) Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter
Brinton, Sir Tatton Harvie Anderson, Miss Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon
Bruce-Gardyne, J. Heald, Rt. Hn. Sir Lionel Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)
Buck, Antony (Colchester) Hill, J. E. B. Russell, Sir Ronald
Bullus, Sir Eric Holland, Philip Sharples, Richard
Campbell, B. (Oldham, West) Hutchison, Michael Clark Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)
Campbell, Gordon (Moray & Nairn) Jenkln, Patrick (Woodford) Smith, Dudley (W'wick & L'mington)
Chichester-Clark, R. Jennings, J. C. (Burton) Smith, John (London & W'minster)
Clegg, Walter Johnston, Russell (Inverness) Speed, Keith
Corfield, F. V. Kershaw, Anthony Stainton, Keith
Currie, G. B. H. Kirk, Peter Steel, David (Roxburgh)
Davidson, James (Aberdeenshire, W.) Kitson, Timothy Taylor, Edward M.(G'gow, Cathcart)
Dean, Paul (Somerset, N.) Knight, Mrs. Jill Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)
Douglas-Home, Rt. Hn. Sir Alec Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry Turton, Rt. Hn. R. H.
Elliott, R. W. (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, N.) Mackenzie, Alasdair (Ross & Crom'ty) Ward, Dame Irene
Errington, Sir Eric McMaster, Stanley Weatherill, Bernard
Evans, Gwynfor (C'marthen) Macmillan, Maurice (Farnham) Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William
Ewing, Mrs. Winifred Maude, Angus Williams, Donald (Dudley)
Farr, John Monro, Hector Wills, Sir Gerald (Bridgwater)
Fortescue, Tim More, Jasper Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Gibson-Watt, David Morgan, Geraint (Denbigh) Woodnutt, Mark
Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, C.) Mott-Radclyffe, Sir Charles Younger, Hn. George
Godber, Rt. Hn. J. B. Murton, Oscar
Grant, Anthony Nabarro, Sir Gerald TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Grant-Ferris, R. Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael Mr. Ronald Bell and
Gresham Cooke, R. Osborne, Sir Cyril (Louth) Mr. John Brewis.
Bill accordingly read the Third time and passed, with Amendments.