HC Deb 27 May 1968 vol 765 cc1369-427
Mr. Michael Heseltine

I beg to move Amendment No. 537, in page 12, line 26, after 'Minister' to insert: 'after the reorganisation of local government shall have been implemented following the Report of the Royal Commission on Local Government'. We are now going to deal with the problems of the setting up of passenger transport authorities. The great dilemma which we have had to face throughout the time the proposal to create passenger transport authorities has been before us is that we have been unable to contact any reputable body to support the proposal, wherever the idea has been canvassed. We have, therefore, tried to argue the proposal detail by detail; we have tried to examine the disadvantages, as we see them; and to make it clear to the Government that the whole concept of passenger transport authorities is based upon a fundamental misunder- standing of what the problems in the conurbations actually are. We have had difficulty in succeeding in this. Therefore, we have tonight put down in one Amendment precisely what our objections are.

Our objections are that passenger transport authorities deal with the problem of congestion in towns, not by dealing with congestion, not by dealing with the growth of the number of cars, not by trying to co-ordinate planning authorities, not by trying to improve traffic management, but by transferring the ownership of buses from municipal undertakings to a new passenger transport authority. We are not convinced that this tackles the problem as it should be tackled. We believe for many reasons that the problem should await the Report of the Royal Commission on Local Government.

To steamroller on with the proposal of public transport authorities will stir up in the conurbations concerned rivalries between operators, conflicts between local authorities and clashes with local people, all of which could be avoided if the Government would have the patience to wait until the job can be done comprehensively and properly. Our first reason for wanting passenger transport authorities to be delayed until after the Report has been implemented is to avoid the strife which has already been caused in the main conurbations as the proposals have been put forward.

It is important that all hon. Members should understand the full implications of the proposals. A great deal of publicity has been given to the concept that the passenger transport authorities are to be set up only in the four guinea-pig areas of Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle and Birmingham. Many people, including local councillors, have come to believe that they will not be affected by the proposals for the P.T.A.s because they will come into existence only in these four areas. It is made quite clear in Clause 9(1) that passenger transport authorities can be set up in any area of Great Britain that the Minister decides.

Mr. Lubbock

Can the hon. Member tell me what reactions there have been to the Government proposals from the four authorities which he has mentioned?

Mr. Heseltine

The hon. Member has asked a rather embarrassing question. The Government would rather not reveal that all the local areas concerned time and time again have devoted themselves to making it clear that they are implacably opposed to the passenger transport authorities as proposed in the Bill.

Mr. Speaker

The hon. Gentleman is being tempted to get away from the Amendment.

Mr. Heseltine

I accept your Ruling, Mr. Speaker, but I was answering a question which was specifically put to me. I do not wish to stray on to that point.

The main objection on this side of the House is that the proposals constitute no solution in the eyes of the people whose interests they are designed to serve. Hon. Members opposite who represent constituencies in the first four areas will know that the democratically elected local councils in those areas have made it clear to the public and to the Ministry that they do not want passenger transport authorities.

10.0 p.m.

The second reason which I wish to advocate in support of the Amendment is that if we go ahead with the reorganisation and all the upheaval involved in setting up these authorities and then the Maud Commission reports, it is likely that what has been set up will not fit in with the recommendations in the Report and, in the course of a year or two, it will be necessary to have another upheaval and reorganisation in the same areas.

Everyone understands that the root cause of the problem in our major cities is congestion arising out of increased car ownership. It is quite extraordinary that we should be encouraging local authorities to divert their attention from the principal task to which they should address themselves, in which they should be attempting to deal with the congestion in terms of parking policies, land use studies, and so on, and towards ways of setting up new bureaucratic frameworks to take on existing bureau- cratic frameworks concerned with owning buses, which are totally irrelevant. We are diverting attention from the main problem in our great cities, and that is why the cities themselves are so opposed to it.

There is a third reason which the House should take extremely seriously. By delaying the P.T.A. proposals, it would be possible to avoid a major breach in the theory and practice of democracy as we know it—[Interruption.] I know that hon. Gentlemen opposite laugh at the theory and practice of democracy. I know that it is changing day by day under this Government, and I am not sure that the changes are for the best—

Mr. Speaker

Order. We have had an orderly debate so far. I hope that we can keep it so, on both sides of the House.

Mr. Heseltine

We are concerned with what we believe to be a fundamental breach of democracy which could be avoided. It takes the form of the nomination by the Ministry of Transport of one-seventh of the members of the P.T.A.s, answerable not to the elected local representatives, not even directly to this House, but simply to the Ministry. There are no precedents in current use of which I am aware whereby the central Government nominate—

Mr. Speaker

Order. With respect, we cannot debate the Clause. We are deciding whether certain proposals should wait for the reorganisation of local government as a result of the Boundary Commission's Report.

Mr. Heseltine

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I seek to advance the view that only by delaying the setting up of the P.T.A.s can we avoid these obnoxious proposals. If that is out of order, I bow to your Ruling, but this is a matter of grave concern and, if I were allowed to argue that point, it would help my case.

Such nominations by the central Government represent a major breach of precedent. Such a precedent was drawn to the Committee's attention by my hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow, Cath-cart (Mr. Edward M. Taylor), who referred to a situation in Glasgow where local interests nominated people to the City Council. The Labour people in Glasgow objected strongly to the nomination of outside people and succeeded in having them removed. I am arguing that this would give us in this House the opportunity of ensuring that local government: was conducted by local people democratically elected, and by no one else.

The fourth point that I would advocate in support of the Amendment is that it is quite impossible for any hon. Member in this House and for anyone in the Ministry of Transport to understand precisely what recommendations may come from the Maud Commission in respect of the reorganisation of local transport in our major cities. Until we know the Commission's recommendations, it is ludicrous for this House to waste time examining a set of proposals which, before they are implemented fully, may well be out-dated by the specific proposals of the Royal Commission set up to examine the problem. The House will be aware that the Ministry of Transport has submitted specialised evidence to the Maud Commission on how it would want to see the reorganisation of passenger transport and transport generally in these areas.

The Royal Commission will have wanted to take into account that the crying need of these conurbations is to draw together all the agencies at present responsible for dealing with the various problems associated with transport. It is totally impossible to try to solve the problem of congestion in our cities unless we draw together the planners and they have some co-ordinating operation with the operators. It is unnecessary for the planners to own the operators. It is equally unnecessary to add to the already large number of planning bodies yet one more planning body, which is what the passenger transport authority, in one aspect of its work, amounts to.

It is no surprise to those of us who have made any study of the problem and been to the areas to find out what local people think the solutions are and what they would like to see done to find that the Association of Municipal Corporations, which is by no means a party organisation—[HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] —I note the intervention. If we are to make this a party matter, which I deplore, I would draw the attention of hon. Gentlemen opposite to the fact that the quotation that I am about to read was based at a time when the Association of Municipal Corporations was controlled by the Labour Party. It is not surprising to find, in a special statement in the Municipal Review of January, 1968—and hon. Members will remember that January, 1968, was a time before the country had had an opportunity of making its wishes known clearly in local authority affairs—these words: Our attitude remains that fundamentally the establishment of Passenger Transport Authorities should await the re-organisation of local government following the report of the Royal Commission so that transport operation over areas such as conurbations can be dealt with more effectively and be more purposefully linked with land use planning and the provision of major highways. That is not a quotation of any party organisation, but of the professionals in the local areas which will be affected by the passenger transport authorities. It calls into question the highy technical work which we are supposed to be doing in this specialised field. When one considers the proposals in detail, one finds that they have been opposed by every reputable organisation either of local government or of transportation. In the teeth of that opposition, without regard to what the professional experts or the democratically elected people say should happen to cure the problem, it is an extraordinary indictment of the Government that they are so big-headed that they are not prepared to listen to the experts.

Mr. Manuel

Despite the cool welcome from the Opposition, I will not be deterred from my point of view.

It has never been my conception of a sensible transport system that it should be based on any local authority boundaries settled by a Royal Commission, as instanced by the Amendment. I do not agree that we should do nothing, with the chaotic conditions that apply within our great conurbations today, until the Royal Commission has reported. It will be a very long time before we get legislation. There are conditions applying in some of our great cities today which causes losses of many millions of pounds to commercial concerns through delays. There is a heavy toll of human life and serious injury because of a lack of control, and a lack of a co-ordinated traffic policy.

The hon. Member for Tavistock moved the Amendment in his usual capable way. He rather implied that what was proposed was a local authority concept as we know it today. He knows that that is not so. The area of a passenger transport authority will not be decided by local boundaries, by city boundaries, or any such thing. It may include 8, 10 or even 12 local authorities depending on the transport needs of the area.

I agree that there will be only four passenger transport authorities, but they will be enlarged to deal with all the passenger problems within their areas, both rail and bus. I am convinced that once the scheme becomes known it will receive a general welcome from the travelling public who will see being fashioned in their areas a system to meet needs which have been neglected for a long time. Rail and bus travel will be dovetailed to avoid people having to carry heavy luggage from a railway station to a bus station, or vice versa. The needs of the private motorist. too, will be considered.

The hon. Member for Tavistock talked wildly about us committing some cardinal sin because we are to try to bring in this concept as soon as we can after 1st January next. The hon. Gentleman thinks that when the Royal Commission on Local Government reports there will be larger local authority areas than there are now, but that does not mean that the areas to be covered by the passenger transport authorities cannot be as large as they might be after the Royal Commission has reported.

I hope that hon. Gentlemen opposite will not be carried away by the evidence trotted out by the hon. Member for Tavistock who said that the experts in municipal transport, members of the municipal transport authority—

Mr. Heseltine

Municipal Vehicle Operators Association.

Mr. Manuel

It is the people in the municipal transport authority who will be affected.

Mr. Heseltine

Those who run municipal undertakings are known as the Municipal Vehicle Operators Association. There is no such thing as a municipal transport authority.

10.15 p.m.

Mr. Manuel

The body from which I quoted earlier wanted the new Clause which the hon. Gentleman voted against—

Mr. Heseltine

I quoted from the Association of Municipal Corporations, which represents all the local authorities and is not specifically an association of transport experts. The hon. Member is quoting from the Municipal Vehicle Operators Association, the association specifically of transport undertakings. Both these organisations have come out flat against the proposals.

Mr. Manuel

But obviously the Association which I quoted was in favour of new Clause 2, which the hon. Member for Tavistock (Mr. Michael Heseltine) voted against, with all his party. So we win one each; agreed? No kudos can be won by the hon. Member, and if I misnamed the organisation, I apologise, since I did not mean to mislead the House.

The hon. Member for Tavistock was talking as if outside people will run the present municipal transport organisations, but if they are a group of six, seven or eight authorities, the P.T.A.s will be recruited from the members of those authorities. Only one seventh, a complete minority, will be nominated by the Minister, and, as my right hon. Friend explained at length in Committee, the last thing which he wants to do is interfere in their work. But obviously, under any legislation, under all Tory legislation, the Minister can direct. Tory Governments did this, supported by the hon. Member—

Mr. Speaker

Order. They may have done, but it is a little wide of this Amendment.

Mr. Manuel

I thought that I was on the local authority composition, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker

No, with respect, we are on the question of whether this proposal should be delayed until the Royal Commission on Local Government has reported.

Mr. Manuel


Mr. Frederic Harris (Croydon, North-West)

The hon. Gentleman had better start again.

Mr. Manuel

No, I will not start again: Mr. Speaker would not like that.

I thought that I was dealing with that very point, whether this should be done now or later. However, I have tried to answer the hon. Member for Tavistock and I think that I have talked sound sense. I believe that ordinary, fair-minded people, in the interests of the general good of those living in the conurbations, will support the proposition in the Bill.

Mr. Lubbock

I do not know what authority the hon. Member for Central Ayrshire (Mr. Manuel) has for saying that the ordinary travelling public favour these proposals. This is a curious argument which cannot be countenanced by any hon. Member whose post bag is as large as mine but does not contain one solitary word in favour of these proposals—

Mr. Manuel

I tried to explain why they would have the support of the general public—because of the co-ordination of bus and rail, principally, and the avoidance of carrying heavy luggage between two points. The general public are confused by lies from the Liberal and Tory Parties, and once the case is known they will support it.

Mr. Lubbock

I will not bother to ask the hon. Gentleman to withdraw that accusation, although he knows that it is an unparliamentary expression to say that I have told a lie. It is the hon. Member who is telling lies—

Mr. Speaker

Order. If the hon. Member for Central Ayrshire (Mr. Manuel) had said that the hon. Member for Orpington (Mr. Lubbock) had told a lie, he would have had to withdraw it. He was making a charge against parties; he may do that.

Mr. Lubbock

I will tell the hon. Gentleman, then, that he is mistaken if he thinks that the ordinary travelling public have expressed any opinion on the P.T.A.s. I do not know how he has the gall to pretend that he represents the views of the people of this country, since he knows that that is absolute nonsense. The hon. Gentleman has no right to claim to represent the views of the people when the only views he is representing is that of himself. I have never heard such balderdash talked in this House as I heard advanced by the hon. Gentleman. He must, of course, pretend that he has the support of the general public because that is the only argument he could advance in favour of the proposal to establish these authorities before the Royal Commission on Local Government has reported. He thought that he would not be challenged on this, but he has been caught and he cannot quote one letter from the travelling public to support the Government's proposition.

It is unarguable that one should await the Report of the Royal Commission before moves of this type are undertaken. If the Government establish this network of authorities we may find, after a short period—I am not as pessimistic as the hon. Gentleman in thinking that legislation for local government reform will be so long delayed—that other steps must be taken to ensure that local government does not break down. I hope that the hon. Gentleman is wrong when he says that the Government will delay for a considerable time the implementation of the Royal Commission's findings.

Mr. Manuel indicated dissent.

Mr. Lubbock

That was the import of his remarks.

Mr. Manuel

I did not say that. I said—

Mr. Speaker

Order. Hon. Gentlemen who have been listened to in silence ought to listen to the case made against themselves.

Mr. Lubbock

The Government recognise that local government is creaky and obsolete and that the whole structure must be reformed. As the hon. Member for Tavistock (Mr. Michael Heseltine) said, the Ministry of Transport has put its proposals to the Royal Commission, There is a fundamental argument about whether we should have perhaps 50 city regions—which is, I understand, the view of the Ministerial evidence submitted to the Royal Commission—or a much smaller number, perhaps 10 or 12, which is the view of other experts, with a similar concentration into large authorities in other parts of the country.

If the authorities as proposed by the Government are established and then, as I hope, the reorganisation of local government is based on much wider groupings, there will be the colossal expense and administrative inconvenience of making a transfer of these undertakings from city regions to the larger groupings that may come into existence. It would, therefore, be better to wait a short time rather than have two administrative upheavals within a short period.

We must remember that the legislation which is going through at present and the many measures which the Government hope to introduce are all subject to overriding considerations relating to the economic situation. We are encouraging local authorities to defer capital expenditure, we are trying to prune the capital expenditure of the nationalised industries and we are placing brakes on expenditure in private industry. In this situation, which I think may last for another 12 to 18 months, we should not be encouraging the expenditure provided for under the Clause when a short delay would lead to immense savings.

That is a good argument for the Amendment, in addition to which I support the view that if we delayed setting up these authorities until a reorganisation of local government could come about on a proper footing, the authorities could be entirely democratic, of which no hon. Gentleman opposite will disapprove. One might not take so strong an objection to having one-seventh of the authority appointed by the Ministry of Transport, but it must be acceptable and the whole should be democratically controlled by regional authorities.

Is it to be said that it is desirable for ever more to have some members appointed by the Minister? I do not think hon. Members would defend that in their constituencies, where they are always talking about restoring power to the people. Is it not inconsistent now to be talking about the establishment of local authorities a proportion of which will be appointed from Whitehall? This is the reversal of regionalism.

Mr. Speaker

Order. The hon. Member is speaking on the Clause. He must stick to the Amendment.

Mr. Lubbock

This is an aspect which would be avoided if we passed this Amendment. If we were to delay the setting up of these authorities until the Royal Commission reported, it would not be necessary for members of the authorities to be appointed from Whitehall. For all these reasons, I object to the proposal particularly because no one has had a good word to say for it. All the organisations which have been consulted have been unanimously opposed to the proposal. The Minister would be unwise to ignore this considerable weight of opinion.

If all these authorities and the experts say that they would prefer not to make this change at this stage, the Minister of State would be extremely unwise not to accept the Amendment.

Mr. Charles Mapp (Oldham, East)

The speeches made so far on this subject seem by implication to accept that the boundaries of local government have been ideal for transport purposes in the past and that they will be ideal for passenger transport purposes in the future. Hon. Members know that the boundaries of local government in the past, and those which are likely to be made, are quite immaterial to the operating of a passenger transport fleet. Anyone with knowledge of this subject, particularly hon. Members on the Opposition Front Bench, knows that is the case.

I suppose that this great city would not have had its present organisation, although it is to be reorganised shortly, if in the thirties we had waited for the kind of argument involved in this Amendment. It is a delaying argument and designed for avoiding decision. In Lancashire there are county boroughs formed with little regard to geography which are historically well defined but in terms of the modern age they should be joined together and knitted into the great conurbations.

I know the Liverpool and Manchester areas well. Tonight my wife happens to be travelling from outside Stockport to Oldham and she has to use public transport in three separate services to do a journey of 12 miles. That is because she does not drive the car, which is in the garage. That is a typical instance of what occurs in Lancashire where, because of vested interests of local authorities as well as private operators, the systems have never been big enough to see the wider claim put before them. The wider claim in the modern age is that people want to travel between Stockport and Bolton, Liverpool and Wigan and Burnley and Oldham, but there is cross-fertilisation between the transport systems in the county and also in the Midlands. For hon. Members opposite to plead history for this is to put their party prejudice before their practical knowledge.

10.30 p.m.

Mr. Daniel Awdry (Chippenham)

The hon. Gentleman says that local government boundaries will still be inappropriate for transport matters, even after the Report of the Royal Commission. Would it not be better to wait for the result of the Royal Commission?

Mr. Mapp

The hon. Gentleman has a point, but Chippenham and Lancashire are totally different places. The evidence being given to the Royal Commission will not primarily concern transport matters. It will deal with local government, housing, water and other services. Transport will be an important also-ran. The Royal Commission will not redraw the boundaries of Lancashire or anywhere else from the point of view of operating a passenger transport fleet.

The proposition contained in the Amendment is not practical. Anyone running a transport fleet in an area where there was a mixture of population wanting to travel for work, shopping or pleasure would not give more than two minutes' consideration to this proposition. He is more concerned with the passengers being carried by his fleet and with the populous districts and less populous districts where a combined fleet could operate with a reasonable schedule. This is sheer time wasting of the type that went on in Standing Committee.

I have a perfectly open mind on this. I have a little knowledge of the subject. I have not heard a contribution today, nor read one that was made in Standing Committee, which was directed to the nub of the problem of how we can organise passenger transport in and around the conurbations in the Midlands, in Glasgow, in the North-East, and in the Lancashire area. Had I heard any such contribution, I should have been prepared to examine it and perhaps give a little advice to the Minister. This is a delaying operation. The hon. Member for Orpington (Mr. Lubbock) sits there smiling, thinking that this can be done in a few months. The Report of the Royal Commission may be here within 12 months, but it will take two years to get it through the House with all the manifest differences of opinion amongst the Tories and within his own party. This is nothing more than a delaying operation.

Londoners are blessed with a centrally operated, large passenger transport undertaking. It may have its defects, but that principle of being able to spread the load throughout the area where transport is required is right. Local boundaries are not the yardstick of a transport operator. London faced up to this 30 years ago. Rearrangements are being made, but the main issue is not in question. The only way to run a reasonably large passenger system to serve the new areas which our society is creating is on a conurbation basis of some form or other, and to mix this question up with local government is to waste time. I say that whether the reference is to local government as it exists now or as it will be.

Let the thing be done according to the practical realities. At another time, I could explain to the Minister why I am not too happy about the present way of approaching this matter. I should like to see the country divided up so that urban areas would help rural areas. But that is another argument for another time. There is no argument whatever for the proposal advanced by the Opposition here.

Mr. Awdry

I resent the suggestion that this proposal is a delaying operation, the idea being that the Government think that they can steamroller their Bill through—the Guillotine gives support to that view—and that anyone who speaks from this side is merely trying to delay matters. That is not so at all. We have consistently opposed this Part of the Bill, for reasons which we sincerely hold. I did not speak in the Standing Committee on the question of the P.T.As, though I spoke on other matters, but I speak on this Amendment now because I feel very strongly about it.

The Amendment is an expression of plain common sense. There is no enthusiasm for the P.T.As. The hon. Member for Orpington (Mr. Lubbock) challenged hon. Members opposite to say whether they had received a single letter or any evidence whatever that there was enthusiastic support for the concept of P.T.As, and not a murmur of response came. I almost felt sorry for the hon. Member for Central Ayrshire (Mr. Manuel); I have never seen an hon. Member's argument so completely demolished.

We all agree that local government needs reform. We have waited far too long for local government reform. We should like to see, and we shall see, the total reform of the areas of local government, the financial structure of local government, the status of local government, and—to meet the point made by the hon. Member for Oldham, East (Mr. Mapp)—we look forward to a re-examination of the question of transport in local government. The hon. Gentleman seemed to think that even when local government was reorganised, it would still be ineffective to deal with transport. I hope that that will not be so. I hope that the new organisation of local government will arrange the authorities in such a way that they can deal properly with transport problems.

Local government reform is on the way. This year, we expect to receive the Report of the Maud Commission. How stupid it would be to arrange the P.T.As after this Bill is passed and then, a year or two later, when local government is reformed, dislocate the whole thing again.

Mr. Ron Lewis

Can the hon. Gentleman assure me that what he has said about local government reform is the official policy of the Tory Party?

Mr. Awdry

I can give the assurance that the Tory Party would like to see the reform of local government. There is no question about that. Any member of any political party knows that the one thing in this country which needs reform more thany anything else is local government. What we on this side say would be utterly ludicrous would be to steamroller through the new concept of P.T.As, which will have a great dislocating effect, and then, two years later, with the reform of local government and have to reshape everything again. As was said hour after hour in Committee, the P.T.As are not democratic. It is because people feel today that our institutions are not democratic that disillusionment is setting in. That was the burden of the speech of the Minister of Technology over the weekend. Further organisations of this type which are not truly democratic will be a step in the wrong direction.

Far too much legislation is going through at present. Every single newspaper is saying just that. Every article was on that theme this weekend. As local government reform is now on the way it is nothing less than madness to try to push this through now. That is why the Amendment is common sense. It is a pity that only about 20 hon. Members opposite have taken the trouble to come to listen to the debate. That sort of thing is the reason why Parliamentarians get a little frustrated. This is a very important matter, and I hope that the Minister will, even now, think again.

Mr. Leslie Huckfield

I was amazed to hear the hon. Member for Chippenham (Mr. Awdry), who we know has vast experience of local government, refer to the democratic control which exists, for instance, of companies like the Midland Red or the Tillings Group. At least passenger transport authorities are an advance on the kind of democracy that exists already in some of our conurbations.

I was even more surprised to hear the hon. Member for Orpington (Mr. Lubbock), who is normally in favour of brave experiments in local government, say that he did not want to go through with this one. I should have thought that if anything would be considered a step forward towards regional government it would be the passenger transport authority concept.

I am rather suspicious to hear hon. Gentlemen on the Front Bench opposite arguing fiercely in favour of local authorities, especially in the light of some of the not too complimentary things they were quite happy to say about local authorities earlier this evening. We on this side of the House all know the true purpose of the Amendment is to wreck passenger transport authorities. Hon. Members opposite all know full well that even when the Maud Commission's Report on local government is published there is bound to be a tremendous interval, during which there will be a whole host of arguments, before that Report can be implemented.

The hon. Member for Tavistock (Mr. Michael Heseltine) is shaking his head. We know full well that he is really arguing for putting off P.T.As completely. If that is so, I suggest that in the visits he claims he has made to some of the conurbations which will have P.T.As lie did not consider adequately the kind of situation we have had recently in the West Midlands. The situation there, including two complete public and private passenger transport undertaking breakdowns, will not wait for the Royal Commission's Report; it probably will not wait longer than the end of this year. So, in at least one conurbation, and I suspect, in others soon, P.T.As—

Mr. Michael Heseltine

Which of the authorities in the West Midlands believe that their problems would be solved by the introduction of P.T.As?

Mr. Huckfield

Most West Midlands local authorities are acting on the advice of the Tory Central Office. Since I represent a West Midlands constituency— [Interruption]—I am likely to be in my position a bit longer than the hon. Member for Tavistock, because at least my constituency does not disappear under the Boundary Commission's recommendtions.

Mr. Bessell

Before the latest local council elections, which Labour local councils approved of the passenger transport authorities?

10.45 p.m.

Mr. Huckfield

Again, that is a rather misleading question. The hon. Member knows full well that the main local authorities are voicing opinions on passenger transport authorities precisely on the advice of Tory Central Office.

Mr. Michael Heseltine


Mr. Huckfield

I would prefer to make my own speech. [Interruption.] I can understand the great feeling that is bound to exist on passenger transport authorities in Knutsford.

Hon. Members opposite simply have not understood the Bill. All that the Bill provides is that a transport passenger authority, once set up, will have power to vary boundaries. Taking the precedents which have been set for the establishment of passenger transport authorities, the proposals to vary the boundaries, perhaps in conjunction with the recommendations of the Royal Commission, are feasible even within the terms of the passenger transport authority scheme.

Hon. Members opposite refer to the vast opposition, as they say, which has come from certain local authorities. They should take a very close look at the source of some of the leaflets which some local authorities are putting out against passenger transport authorities. I do not think they will find that the opposition comes from the local authorities, except Newcastle, which is fighting the authorities on the rates, which is rather unusual. The source of these leaflets is the Tory Central Office.

Mr. Anthony Berry (Southgate)

I have many times followed the hon. Member for Nuneaton (Mr. Leslie Huckfield) in debate in the past few months. He has not learned very much from our discussions. I am disappointed in him. I remember the enthusiasm with which he went off a month or two ago to help in the by-election in Meriden. We have not heard very much about that.

Mr. Leslie Huckfield

In the part of the Meriden constituency in which I helped the results were quite good.

Mr. Berry

I am not surprised that the hon. Member is suspicious about local authorities. I do not blame him for that. It is a natural feeling in his party at this time.

However, I am surprised that hon. Members opposite should be so doubtful about this very reasonable Amendment, which was moved, as always, by my hon. Friend the Member for Tavistock (Mr. Michael Heseltine) in his quiet and effective way. Since so many hon. Members opposite—I am glad to see that they are still interested in the Bill—were with us during the months which we spent upstairs, I should have thought that, having heard the arguments and having had the opportunity of restudying the Minister's speech on this important part of the Bill, they would have come to the conclusion, as we on this side of the House have, that this part of the Bill should be put off.

I was surprised that the hon. Member for Oldham, East (Mr. Mapp), who spoke about the future rôle of local government, referred to transport as "an also ran". I should have thought that transport merited a higher rating than that. I much prefer the approach of the hon. Member for Orpington (Mr. Lubbock). He spoke as fluently and logically as his hon. Friend the Member for Bodmin (Mr. Bessell) did so often in Committee. The hon. Member for Central Ayrshire (Mr. Manuel) was not as effective as usual. He referred to areas being perhaps not so large once the Royal Commission has reported. But that is not the point. Indeed, the areas can be quite different. The result may be that authorities set up for certain areas will find themselves operating in completely different ones. Surely that is the relevant consideration.

Having re-examined the reasons given by the then Minister in Committee, I am still not convinced that she really believed in the necessity of these authorities. She said she wished to have democratic control locally and that this was being circumvented by the Royal Commission. But that is not a good approach for a good democrat. She said that setting up the authorities was the only way to stop traffic in these areas becoming snarled up—her word, not mine, for I dislike it. But that approach of hers is ludicrous.

Traffic problems are a quite separate consideration. Snarling up in conurbations will not be solved by the Bill. Traffic problems need discussion separately and without delay—certainly not the delay caused by the size of this Bill. The right hon. Lady referred to the setting up of the authorities as being … an ad hoc solution, pending the reorganisation of local government…. This is an interim solution to meet an interim situation…."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, Standing Committee F, 7th February, 1968, c. 472–3.] How can these vast authorities be an interim solution? Large sums of money will be spent on them. The Minister will have power not only to set them up in the four areas we are discussing but all over the country, although not in London, happily. Hon. Members opposite have prayed in aid the fact that the G.L.C. is setting up an authority. But it is a very different type of authority. There is no question there of local railways entering into the picture.

Mr. Swingler

What is being done in London is by agreement between my right hon. Friend and the G.L.C. The details, including any details about railways, have not yet been set out. They will be set out in a White Paper that will result from the discussion some time in the next few weeks.

Mr. Berry

It is news to me that the railways are to come into this in London. Obviously, the hon. Gentleman has seen the documents. I am still prepared to bet with him, however, that the railways are not part of the scheme. No one has said a good word for this idea. It is a disgraceful proposition. The sooner we put off this part of the Bill the better.

Mr. Hugh Jenkins (Putney)

We are all anxiously awaiting the Report of the Royal Commission on Local Government. We do not know what it will report, and the range is wide. It could recommend a number of large regional authorities, or a much larger number of city authorities. I share the view of the hon. Member for Orpington (Mr. Lubbock) who said that he hoped that the recommendation would be a small number of large regional authorities. The proposition that we are asked to accept in this Amendment—if it has any sense at all, which I doubt—is that we are to wait before any action is taken, until the Royal Commission has reported. What is the object of the exercise?

Is it suggested that whatever the Royal Commission recommends will automatically be the right size for a P.T.A.? If it is not the proposition, what is the sense in this Amendment? If we are to await the Report there must be some reason, unless it is, as I suspect, purely a delaying tactic. If we are to await the Report, the reason must be that the Report is expected to make some recommendation which will have some relevance to the question of transport. What hon. Gentlemen opposite are saying is that they know in advance what sort of area the Royal Commission will recommend and this will be the sort of area relevant to transport. If this is not the case there can be no object in the exercise.

This is a "phoney" Amendment. There is nothing in it. If we take "London", the last time I looked there were nine "Londons". Among them are the Transport London, the Metropolitan Police London, the Metropolitan Water Board London, the G.L.C. London, the Inner London Education Authority London, the Electricity Board London, the Gas Board London. [An HON. MEMBER: "The London Telephone Directory."] They are all different shapes and sizes drawn up for different functions. This is the case with transport. No one would suggest that the Royal Commission's recommendations about local government will automatically have any relevance to transport. It is an absurdity, and I hope that the House will throw this Amendment out, as it thoroughly deserves.

Mr. R. Gresham Cooke (Twickenham)

A few months ago I was listening to the radio and there came over the air the dulcet tones of a former Minister of Transport, now Secretary of State for Employment and Productivity. She was addressing herself to the women of Britain. She said: "Do you want to stand in the rain, waiting for buses. Do you want to strap-hang in overcrowded buses? Of course you do not. Do you want to have all those buses swishing past you, covering you with mud as you stand by the side of the road? The answer is that if all the buses in the conurbation in which you live are under one ownership everything will be all right. I will introduce a Bill which will put the buses under one ownership and all these problems will be solved."

Three days later I was with the Estimates Sub-Committee in Liverpool. We were trying to catch the train to London at about five o'clock in the evening. In front of us were 20 huge red buses, delaying our progress, I watched this, and being an open-minded man, I thought of the Minister of Transport. I thought, "Here is a disorganised unco-ordinated bus service. If only they were under one ownership, everything would be all right." But, as we wormed our way through this covey, this conglomeration of buses, we found that every one of them was already under the ownership of the one authority.

11.0 p.m.

So, to my mind, the whole basis of this ridiculous argument that we should put the buses under one ownership fell completely to the ground because when I went to one of the authority areas which were going to be put into the right pigeonhole I found that the buses already belonged to one authority and that they were already late and already crowded, and that the solution to the problem, as my hon. Friend indicated, lay more in traffic engineering and not in any ownership by one authority.

Mr. Leadbitter

A new term has crept in at the latter part of our debate, and that is "brevity". I thank the hon. Member for his brevity. It is a change because we have discussed this particular matter in Committee for an overlong time. I cannot understand why the hon. Member for Tavistock (Mr. Michael Heseltine) has not repeated his performance—

Mr. Manuel

He did.

Mr. Leadbitter

Yes, but not in the way in which he did it upstairs. He must admit that we went into this very deeply and very carefully.

The hon. Member for Worcester (Mr. Peter Walker) made a very great mistake when he referred to the minutes of the Association of Municipal Corporations. He took out of these minutes, in order to suit the purpose of his argument in support of this kind of Amendment, some letter which referred to transport associations.

What he did not say to the Committee upstairs, and what has not been said here tonight, was that this was a letter within the minutes of the Association of Municipal Corporations. I reminded him and his colleagues—and indeed the whole of the Committee—that the conclusions of the Association of Municipal Corporations on this subject were what we should direct our minds to.

The fact is that the Association of Municipal Corporations does not oppose the setting up of P.T.As. On two grounds hon. Members opposite have challenged my hon. Friend the Member for Nuneaton (Mr. Leslie Huckfield). On the one hand, they put a question to him arising out of the context of Tory-controlled councils, and the hon. Member for Bodmin (Mr. Bessell) referred to what was the opinion of Labour-controlled councils.

The answer to both questions is quite simple—that both these types of authorities are represented on the Association of Municipal Corporations, and the Association has made it quite clear in the minutes of January this year that it is not opposed to P.T.As. On the contrary, the Association said it considered that as a matter of urgency P.T.As should be set up in the conurbations.

I admit that outside the area of the conurbations it has some reservations. Nevertheless—as the Minister of State said upstairs and I hope it will be repeated here—on the very serious problem of congestion in our cities and towns, on the overlapping of services, on the lack of integration as far as schedules are concerned, there is a great need for integration and it is foolhardy for hon. Members opposite to talk in terms of waiting for the local boundary recommendations.

The Royal Commission will be dealing with a vast range of things other than transport. It will be concerned with the social services within the local authority set-up in this country. The transport aspect is completely outside that sort of consideration, and it is a matter of some urgency.

There is no question but that in the conurbations there is a major and urgent matter to be settled, and the agreement the Minister has had with the G.L.C. has already indicated that all responsible people agree that one cannot wait for the recommendations of the Royal Commission, which is working under terms of reference much wider than this. So I suggest to hon. Members opposite that this debate could well have been very brief on that account. [Interruption.] I have looked at the time. The hon. Member for Worcester looked at the clock, but I spotted the time I got up. Hon. Members spent a considerable amount of time on this subject, and they were defeated hands down, because the urgency of the problem is such that no Government could wait for the Royal Commission's Report.

Sir Harmar Nicholls

The hon. Member has finished, I gather?

Mr. Leadbitter

I have not. I sat down because I thought I was going to have an interesting intervention in my speech.

I want to impress upon hon. Members opposite that long before the Bill was printed and long before the Standing Committee sat, and spent 210 hours on the Bill, there were long discussions between the Ministry and the local authorities on transport matters and others apart from Clause 9, and the results of those discussions have been translated in practical terms in the Bill. Hon. Members opposite have not said so much about Clause 9(2) which says: Before making any order under subsection (1)"— which sets up P.T.As— the Minister shall consult with every such local authority as aforesaid".

Mr. Peter Walker

On a point of order. The hon. Member is now discussing a part of these provisions which has absolutely nothing to do with the Amendment.

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Sir Eric Fletcher)

It sems to me that the hon. Member's argument is relevant to the Amendment.

Mr. Leadbitter

I think that if I had dealt at length with subsection (2) I would have been ruled out of order. I mentioned it only in passing in support of the submission that it is relevant to the operation of subsection (1).

The Amendment suggests that nothing shall be done till the Royal Commission reports. From my experience in local government I can tell hon. Members opposite that problems are not resolved by sitting; back and waiting and doing nothing. Indeed, conflicts can arise between one' local authority and another, no matter what social service may be involved, and sometimes those battles are ended only by the Government stepping in. Hon. Members should look at this matter in practical terms. Is there an urgent problem to deal with? Is there congestion in the conurbations? The A.M.C. says, "Yes." The most authoritative opinion says, "Yes"—except hon. Members opposite.

Mr. Peter Walker

Since the hon. Member has quoted the A.M.C. will he explain how it is that in the January minutes of the General Purposes Committee of the A.M.C. the words are used, Our attitude remains that, fundamentally, the establishment of passenger transport authorities should await the reorganisation of local government following the report of the Royal Commission."?

Mr. Leadbitter

I invite the hon. Gentleman to turn the page and read the following paragraph, in which the A.M.C. says that it considers as a matter of urgency the question of not opposing P.T.As. in the conurbations. Certainly it has some reservations outside that. But, to establish that the A.M.C. accepts the principle of P.T.A.s, will he turn the page and read the next paragraph?

Mr. Peter Walker

We are debating— [HON. MEMBERS: "Read it."]—Certainly not. I recognise that, once again, the hon. Gentleman is endeavouring to filibuster. I have no intention of going out of order by reading arguments for or against the setting up of P.T.A.s. The Amendment is concerned with whether we should await the forthcoming proposals for local government reform. We have the support of the A.M.C. Hon. Gentlemen opposite do not.

Mr. Leadbitter

If he turns the page, the hon. Gentleman will see that, in effect, the A.M.C. has established clearly and distinctly that it supports the principle of P.T.A.s, and it says that it is a matter of urgency for the conurbations. The principle is not in question. However, we are a complex and highly industrialised community, and there are bound to be reasonable reservations outside the general areas of urgency. I ask the hon. Member for Worcester again to read the paragraph over the page. If he will not do it, I will get the relevant minutes and ask one of my hon. Friends to read it. But the hon. Gentleman should read it. [HON. MEMBERS: "It is out of order."] The last thing that I want to do is to be out of order. But the hon. Gentleman has read from the minutes. If it is suggested that he is seeking to mislead the House, in fairness to both sides, he ought to read the paragraph on the next page.

Sir Harmar Nicholls

It is not pleasant to open an intervention on a personal note, but I think that the hon. Member for The Hartlepools (Mr. Leadbitter) should stop insulting the House with this double-talk—

Mr. Leadbitter

I hope that the hon. Member for Peterborough (Sir Harmar Nicholls), who is reasonable from time to time, will not press the suggestion that I have insulted the House. I have asked for a matter of fact to be read to the House, and nothing more.

Sir Harmar Nicholls

I am not on the point about whether the relevant paragraph should be read. However, if an hon. Member on one side of the House adduces an argument, supporting it with a quotation from a paper, and an hon. Member on the other side wants to contradict the point made with the aid of a further quotation, he ought to read the passage himself.

Mr. Leadbitter

I have read it myself, of course, I would not ask the hon. Member for Worcester to read it unless I had read it myself.

Sir Harmar Nicholls

The hon. Member for The Hartlepools ought to let the House have it from his mouth, and not ask my hon. Friend the Member for Worcester to read it. However, I have charged him with double-talk, and we have had prolonged double-talk from him. Earlier, we had a charge of filibustering. The hon. Gentleman is guilty of that. He ought to take a lesson from the youngest hon. Member in the House, the hon. Member for Nuneaton (Mr. Leslie Huckfield) who, when he was found to be on the wrong track, admitted it. He suggested that Conservative and Labour councillors were in favour of P.T.As. When he was corrected, he admitted that he was wrong—

Mr. Leadbitter


Sir Harmar Nicholls

The hon. Gentleman is trying to come back again—

Mr. Leadbitter

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I must seek your protection. If I have said anything that I ought to withdraw, with great respect, that kind of Ruling should come from you.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

It certainly will. That is not a point of order. Sir Harmar Nicholls.

Sir Harmar Nicholls

I will leave the hon. Member for The Hartlepools.—[An HON. MEMBER: "Yes, leave him alone."] —I am concerned about the Government. Will they never learn? If they publish the interim report that the Minister of Technology wants to put out, in which they admit all their weaknesses and failures of the last three years, the one thing that they have admitted time and time again is their bad timing. They have made wrong and stupid decisions on matters of fundamental importance, but in addition the timing has been bad. Have they not learned the lesson that timing is as important as the principle behind an argument? Perhaps I might have the attention of the Minister of State, because he represents the Department.

11.15 p.m.

Timing is one of the most important matters if it is to be a reasonable Government. The arguments adduced so far have made it clear that even if the setting up of P.T.As is the right solution and that they should be put into practice for the good of transport, the Government should realise that the time that that idea is brought in is equally important.

The message from the Amendment speaks for itself. We do not know who will bring in the reform of local government boundaries. My hon. Friend the Member for Tavistock (Mr. Michael Heseltine) was asked whether he would speak on behalf of the Conservative Opposition and say that we would see that there was local government reform. Everybody in this House knows that in the near future, whatever the views of the two political parties, there will be local government reform. We know that, following the Maud Commission, the boundaries of local authorities will be broadened. Realising that within the boundaries of any form of local government transport is an important ingredient, the least we can do, before we set down the pattern and build the framework for the sort of transport system we want, we should wait to see what the local government boundaries will be. It is a matter of which should come first.

Hon. Gentlemen opposite have suggested that we should set up the pattern of transport and let local government boundaries more or less follow that pattern. That is the only logical explanation of their argument. It is abundantly clear that if we want something which will be lasting, if we do not always want to be messing about with the transport system that we want and the size of the organisations within it, we should wait to see what the new local government boundaries are to be. I believe that the words of the Amendment speak for themselves.

Until about a quarter of an hour ago, only people outside London appeared to be concerned about this bad timing. Londoners seemed to be reasonably happy that they knew where they were going, because they were not included in the terms of the Bill. But about a quarter of an hour ago the hon. Gentleman frightened the Londoners. This leak about a White Paper that is to come out which will set up some new pattern of aligning the railways with the road transport system in London will frighten my hon. Friends. Was it a leak? Did the hon. Gentleman intend to say what he did? If he intended to tell us about what is to happen to London which is a reasonably important part of the United Kingdom, we should have had it in more detail. It ought not to have been slipped out like that. I believe that the hon. Gentleman has upset the confidence of many people inside London who thought that they were being saved from the bad timing which is implicit in this part of the Bill.

I will not follow the filibustering lead of the hon. Member for The Hartlepools. I merely say that if the Government recognise the importance of timing—and some of the trouble that they have had ought to have imprinted its importance on their mind—they should withdraw this part of their new machinery until they see what the new local government boundaries are. The Commission is sitting and we know that it will report. Quite apart from the Commission, we also know that the force and march of events make it absolutely essential that there will be different and bigger local government boundaries.

Mr. Harry Howarth

How does the hon. Gentleman know?

Sir Harmar Nicholls

The hon. Member for Nuneaton (Mr. Leslie Huckfield), I think, asks how I know. He should be more worried than the Government. He is the youngest Member for this House. One would hope that the young Members of the Government party would be the ones looking to the future. The hon. Gentleman is as doctrinaire as all the others.

Mr. Leslie Huckfield

I did not say it.

Sir Harmar Nicholls

If it was not the hon. Gentleman, I withdraw what I said.

Mr. Huckfield

The hon. Gentleman should consult his hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow, Cathcart (Mr. Edward M. Taylor) who said that I was a Stone Age Socialist.

Sir Harmar Nicholls

My father told me that there were young men of all ages, and old men of all ages. The hon. Gentleman is like Keir Hardie's first platoon man. That has got me worried. The Government should face the fact that the transport machine ought to fit into the local government boundaries, and they ought therefore to delay the implementation of this part of the Bill until we see what the new boundaries are.

Mr. Swingler

Apart from the speech of the hon. Member for Peterborough (Sir Harmar Nicholls), to which I shall return in a moment, the discussion has evoked strong memories of Standing Committee F. The hon. Member for Nantwich (Mr. Grant-Ferris) will recall that the most unexpected Amendments contained the seeds of great debates which went on for longer than predicted. I hope that if I reply briefly, as I think I should because there are many Amendments with which hon. Members wish to deal, I shall not be accused of not having dotted every i and crossed every t, as happens when one abbreviates one's speech.

It does not particularly concern him, and therefore I can understand why the hon. Member for Peterborough did not understand my reference to the London situation in my interpolation in the speech of the hon. Member for Southgate (Mr. Berry). The hon. Gentleman said that the Greater London Council was proceeding to set up a transportation authority in London. The position is that my right hon. Friend's predecessor came to an agreement with the leaders of the G.L.C. that, since in London we have a nationalised bus undertaking, and a nationalised underground transport system, but we have a situation which does not give us the virtues of a transport authority, there should be an agreement—which will involve legislation by Parliament—to make the G.L.C. into the transportation authority.

The purpose of my intervention was simply to warn hon. Members that since that agreement was announced last December between my right hon. Friend's predecessor and the G.L.C. there have been many discussions about details to implement the decision to make the G.L.C. into the transport authority for London. I think that hon. Gentlemen would be wise to await the forthcoming White Paper before making any pronouncements on details.

I am saying no more than that as it is obvious that the present London Transport Board is not just a bus authority, but also runs trains. The G.L.C, if it becomes the transport authority, will become responsible for running the trains, but it will not make sense not to provide for a proper relationship between it and British Railways in view of the important commuter catchment areas around London. All those matters have been discussed in detail in preparation for the White Paper which will be put before the House in the near future with proposals for legislation. I say that to explain what I had in mind.

Mr. Lubbock

When does the Minister expect the White Paper to be published?

Mr. Swingler

In the next few weeks; before the end of June.

Perhaps I might reply to the debate by answering four questions. I do not think that I need deal with the speech of the hon. Member for Tavistock (Mr. Michael Heseltine), because he suggested that it was a wrecking Amendment. He did not argue, as some other hon. Members, including the hon. Member for Orpington (Mr. Lubbock) did, the merits, such as they are, of the Amendment. He argued, as we have done across the Committee for many weeks, against the P.T.As. as such, and I hope that I understand now— if I do not I never will—that he objects root and branch to the whole concept and details of what we have proposed. He therefore, naturally, argues for postponement, in the hope that that will kill them altogether. That is understandable from hon. Gentlemen who deeply and passionately oppose P.T.As.

Others wonder whether, although they might be viable, this is the right time to introduce P.T.As. The point is not just a postponement until the Report of the Royal Commission, but, in the words of the Amendment, until … the reorganisation of local government shall have been implemented following its Report. But should we wait at all? Is not the traffic situation in our great towns so congested that we should not wait? Our answer is not to take opinion polls but to act.

Is not one of the most important contributions to tackling urban traffic congestion the improvement, or at least the prevention of the deterioration, of public transport? Some hon. Gentlemen do not think so: they think that public transport has no future and should be allowed to deteriorate, but we think that the two are connected and that the improvement of public transport would be an important contribution to the relief of urban congestion. Ever since I have been at the Ministry, people outside, and hon. Members, have complained, "Why is something not done about the Buchanan Report on Traffic in Towns?" It is a long time since we received it and there have been many representations about it. One answer is that the machinery does not exist so long as there is fragmentation in the planning of the highway network and traffic engineering divorced from the planning of transport. We do not make the necessary progress in tackling congestion—

Mr. Peter Walker

But the hon. Gentleman will surely agree that the P.T.A.s will not possess these powers, that the local authorities will retain planning and traffic engineering powers, while the P.T.As. will have public transport powers. So what the hon. Gentleman is doing is creating the very fragmentation which he is talking about.

Mr. Swingler

In spite of what the hon. Gentleman has said in the country, the P.T.As. are a projection of local government, of the local authorities which have the major highway and traffic management powers. That is why they are designed in this form, and why it is important to create them in the most congested areas. They will become focal points for the planning of land use, transportation, traffic engineering and the highway network. They will be the representatives of the local authorities which have these powers. That is why they will be mainly composed of local authority representatives. We discussed almost ad nauseam in Committee the framework of the P.T.As. and their composition, with local government representatives, people from authorities with highway and traffic powers and so on. In the congested areas it is urgent that something is done, and although at a later date we must perhaps adapt what is done to any decisions of Parliament to reorganise local government, we cannot wait to establish these authorities until that time.

11.30 p.m.

Mr. Geoffrey Rippon (Hexham)

I am almost beside myself with rage at the Minister's remarks about what he imagines happens in local government. Perhaps hon. Members who served on the Standing Committee went over this matter many times, but if they had to listen to the sort of stuff the hon. Gentleman has just been serving up, I am not surprised that the Government have not made better progress with the Bill.

Some hon. Gentlemen opposite seem to think that this is a wrecking Amendment—[HON. MEMBERS: "It is."]—but it is not. This is a vital issue to those in local government and what we are heading for if we are not careful is a monumental shambles. The position will not be helped by the facile and inadequate observations of the Minister about London. One Labour councillor in Wigan has described the Government's proposals as "a load of codswallop". I cannot understand why the Government will not accept the Amendment. There is bitter and consistent opposition to these proposals from local authorities and it would be absolute madness, as my hon. Friend the Member for Chippenham (Mr. Awdry) said, to introduce these passenger transport authorities before the Royal Commission has reported on the reorganisation of local government.

The Association of Municipal Corporations has made it clear that its members would prefer the whole matter to be held over until the Commission has reported. The furthest that they have gone is to say that they would be prepared to see some sort of passenger transport authorities now, provided that they could be integrated within the present local government structure provided that this could also be integrated into the future structure and provided that such authorities began as—passenger transport planning, advisory and coordinating bodies. The Association has made it clear that these bodies cannot, in absolute isolation, consider traffic problems. They must be linked with land use planning and the provision of major highways.

Socialist, Liberal and Conservative councillors throughout the country hold strong feelings on this subject. It is a local government matter and people in local authorities are fed up with this dictatorship from Whitehall. At the whim of the Government—

Mr. Kenneth Marks (Manchester, Gorton) rose—

Mr. Rippon

—which is sustained only by the payroll vote—[Interruption.] Hon. Gentlemen opposite should accept that it is wrong to set up ad hoc bodies which will not be responsible to or representative of local opinion or control but will merely be creatures of the Minister.

Mr. Marks

Since the right hon. and learned Gentleman has been speaking of dictatorship, is he aware that Manchester City Council, through a sub-committee which was set up specifically to examine this matter, through its Parliamentary Committee and other committees submitted amendments, having carefully studied the matter, but has approved the Government's view, particularly on the question of the P.T.A.s, but that at the instigation of the Conservative Central Office—[HON. MEMBERS: "TOO long."] I have a letter with me from the clerk— [Interruption.]

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Sir Eric Fletcher)

Order. That intervention is much too long.

Mr. Rippon

This House must take note of the Newcastle City Council, Liverpool City Council, Manchester and Birmingham views. As the hon. Member for The Hartlepools (Mr. Leadbitter) knows, some Socialist authorities have already had reservations on this matter. Local authorities as a whole, expressing their views through the Association of Municipal Corporations and other bodies, have made quite clear that they do not like and do not want the Government's present policies. The reason is clear—they do not want continued dictatorship from Whitehall by the Minister.

The Government's White Paper on Public Transport and Traffic stated that local public transport should be a matter for local rather than central government. When they first considered the Bill, local authorities thought that was what the Government had in mind, but this proposal will not help local government. Although six-sevenths will be from local authorities, a seventh of the members will be appointed by the Minister, who will have the greatest powers.

Many local authorities which have public transport will have their municipal undertakings compulsorily acquired without compensation. That could never happen under any form of reorganisation suggested by the Royal Commission or by either side of the House. It is all very well to talk about an integrated transport plan, but that has nothing to do with the ownership provisions which the Bill has in mind. In the passenger transport authorities as proposed the majority of powers of local authorities will be taken away and given to the Minister in Whitehall.

I do not want to analyse individually the 23 or more separate powers the Minister claims, but some relate directly to this Amendment. I understand that the Minister may set up a passenger transport authority in any area of Great Britain if it is considered expedient and local authorities will have no right of public inquiry. They will not be able by a public inquiry to review the boundaries drawn by the Minister. That could not possibly happen under any proposals for reorganisation of local government which anyone might bring forward.

As the Bill stands, the extent of the power to precept on the rates and impose a charge on the rates outside the control of the council will be completely in the hands of the Minister. No reorganisation of local government which anyone can conceive of would allow that to continue. The annual accounts will be presented in a manner which the Minister directs. Investment grants will all be at the discretion of the Minister. The Minister will be the sole arbiter in any arrangement between passenger transport authorities and the railways. The Minister will have complete power over capital expenditure. All these matters, in relation to rates, power to levy precepts and all these provisions, will be in the hands of the Minister and not of the local passenger authorities.

Mr. Leslie Huckfield

On a point of order. I have been trying to follow the right hon. and learned Gentleman, but I cannot see what this has to do with the Amendment.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

That must be the fault of the hon. Member. Everything that the right hon. and learned Member has said seems perfectly relevant to this Amendment.

Mr. Rippon

I should be wasting the time of the House if I tried to explain to the hon. Member in further detail the view of this side of the House and the great majority of local authorities, as represented through the Association of Municipal Corporations and individual councils, that it would be utterly wrong to impose on the people of the country passenger transport authorities which are the creatures of the Minister and which will exercise powers they could not claim to maintain under any reorganised system of local government that anyone who has given evidence to the Royal Commission could possibly conceive of.

As the hon. Member for Orpington (Mr. Lubbock) said, there is no popular support of any kind for the Government's proposals. Not one word, apart from those on the payroll vote opposite, has been said in favour of these proposals. I therefore hope that the Amendment will be carried by a large majority.

Mr. Peter Mahon

The right hon. and learned Member for Hexham (Mr. Rippon) should not have used the words "monumental ignorance". That has been displayed in no uncertain manner by hon. Members opposite. They have demonstrated, not only their ignorance, but also the fact that they have not considered the contents of the Bill. I say this with sincerity because, together with the hon. Member for Chippenham (Mr. Awdry), I agreed to sponsor several of the Amendments put forward by the Association of Municipal Corporations. I would not have done so had I thought that the Association was utterly opposed to the Bill. There was nothing in the recommendations which the Association made or in the Amendments which it submitted which indicated that it was against the Bill.

The more that hon. Members opposite succeed in local government elections— they have succeeded in recent weeks in no uncertain manner—the more their confidence seems to diminish. We cannot wonder at that. We have no general quarrel with their outlook. Perhaps we can now understand why Lord Derby is anxious to give them a hand, apart from other considerations that are uppermost in his mind. To delay the setting up of the P.T.As until we have the proposals on regionalisation is a weak-kneed proposal, because we on this side believe that the changes that it is necessary to make are imperative and will not brook delay. Procrastination in this important matter is the thief of time.

The hon. Member for Orpington (Mr. Lubbock) suggested that local government is creaking and is absolutely obsolete. I do not know where he has been. I do not know whether before he came here he had any experience of local government.

Mr. Lubbock

I was a member of the Orpington Urban District Council.

Mr. Mahon

I am delighted to receive that enlightenment. Even from an ex-member of an urban district council, it is a scathing indictment. We do not believe it. We believe that local government is as good as central government has allowed it to be. The Conservative Government for many years did not give local government the encouragement it deserved. Any criticism of local government is a criticism of central government itself.

The hon. Member for Chippenham said, as I understood, the hon. Members on this side are deploying delaying tactics. I do not agree. We have tried to be very objective today, despite the

Division No. 175.] AYES [11.50 p.m.
Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash) Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Dean, Paul (Somerset, N.)
Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead) Bruce-Gardyne, J. Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F. (Ashford)
Astor, John Bryan, Paul Digby, Simon Wingfield
Atkins, Humphrey (M't'n & M'd'n') Buchanan-Smith,ANck(Angus,N&M) Dodds-Parker, Douglas
Awdry, Daniel Bullus, Sir Eric Doughty, Charles
Baker, Kenneth (Acton) Burden, F. A. Drayson, G. B.
Barber, Rt. Hn. Anthony Campbell, Cordon du Cann, Rt. Hn. Edward
Batsford, Brian Carlisle, Mark Eden, Sir John
Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert Elliot, Capt. Water (Carshalton)
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gos, & Fhm) Cary, Sir Robert Elliott, R.W.(N'c'tte-upon-Tyne, N.Z
Berry, Hn. Anthony Channon, H. P. G. Emery, Peter
Bessell, Peter Chichester-Clark, R. Errington, Sir Eric
Biffen, John Clark, Henry Fair, John
Biggs-Davison, John Clegg, Walter Fisher, Nigel
Birch, Rt. Hn. Nigel Cooke, Robert Fietcher-Cooke, Charles
Black, Sir Cyril Corfield, F. V. Fortescue, Tim
Blaker, Peter Costain, A. P. Foster, Sir John
Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S.W.) Craddock, Sir Beresford (Spelthorne) Fraser, Rt. Hn. Hugh (St'fford & Stone)
Body, Richard Crouch, David Galbraith, Hn. T. G.
Bossom, Sir Clive Crowder, F. P. Gibson-Watt, David
Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hn. John Cunningham, Sir Knox Giles, Rear-Adm. Morgan
Boyle, Rt. Hn. Sir Edward Currie, G. B. H. Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, C.)
Braine, Bernard Dalkeith, Earl of Glyn, Sir Richard
Brewfe, John Dance, James Godber, Rt. Hn. J. B.
Brinton, Sir Tatton Davidson, James (Aberdeenshire, W.) Goodhart, Philip
Bromley-Daveiport. Lt.-Col. SirWalter d'Avigdor-Coldemid, Sir Henry Goodhew, Victor

fact that there has been tremendous ill-informed provocation on the part of hon. Members opposite.

11.45 p.m.

One hon. Member opposite—[An HON. MEMBER: "A filibuster."] No. I am not filibustering, and I shall not speak much longer. I must refer to what one hon. Member said in referring to the Liverpool bus strike. If anything which happened in recent months proves the dire necessity for this sort of change, the Liverpool bus strike is it. Liverpool people feel that, if it had been London people who had been so afflicted, there would have been more direct action taken on their behalf. The poor benighted people of Liverpool, who have been walking to and from work, the old, the sick and the infirm having to walk to and from hospital—

Mr. Gresham Cooke

If the hon. Gentleman is referring to my remarks about Liverpool, I must tell him that I never mentioned the strike. I was referring to the time when the strike was not operating and the buses were running.

Mr. Mahon

The hon. Gentleman knows what he said, and so do I. I have not dreamed this up. It was a most unfortunate reference. However, I promised that I would not speak for very long, and I shall not.

Question put, That the Amendment be made: —

The House divided: Ayes, 232, Noes 285.

Gower, Raymond MacArthur, lan Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks)
Grant, Anthony Mackenzie, Alasdair (Ross & Crom'ty) Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)
Grant-Ferris, R. Maclean, Sir Fitzroy Royle, Anthony
Gresham Cooke, R. Macleod, Rt. Hn. lain Russeff, Sir Ronald
Grieve, Percy McMaster, Stanley St. John-Stevas, Norman
Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds) Macmillan, Maurice (Farnham) Sandys, Rt. Hn. D.
Gurden, Harold Maddan, Martin Scott, Nicholas
Hall, John (Wycombe) Maginnis, John E. Scott-Hopkins, James
Hall-Davis, A. G. F. Marples, Rt. Hn. Ernest Sharples, Richard
Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) Marten, Neil Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)
Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.W.) Maude, Angus Silvester, Frederick
Harrison, Brian (Maidon) Mawby, Ray Sinclair, Sir George
Harvey, Sir Arthur Vere Maydon, Lt.-Cmdr. S. L. C. Smith, Dudley (W'wick & L'mington)
Harvie Anderson, Miss Mills, Peter (Torrington) Smith, John (London & W'minster)
Hawkins, Paul Mills, Stratton (Belfast, N.) Speed, Keith
Hay, John Miscampbell, Norman Stainton, Keith
Heald, Rt. Hn. S r Lionel Mitchell, David (Basingstoke) Steel, David (Roxburgh)
Heath, Rt. Hn. Edward Monro, Hector Stodart, Anthony
Heseltine, Michael Montgomery, Fergus Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M. (Ripon)
Higgins, Terence L. More, Jasper Tapsell, Peter
Hiley, Joseph Morgan, Geraint (Denbigh) Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)
Hill, J. E. B. Morrison, Charles (Devizes) Taylor, Edward M.(C'gow,Cathcart)
Hirst, Geoffrey Mott-Radclyffe, Sir Charles Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)
Hogg, Rt. Hn. Quintin Munro-Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Temple, John M.
Holland, Philip Murton, Oscar Thatcher, Mrs. Margaret
Hooson, Emlyn Neave, Airey Thorpe, Rt. Hn. Jeremy
Hordern, Peter Nicholls, Sir Harmar Tilney, John
Hornby, Richard Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael Turton, Rt. Hn. R. H.
Howell, David (Guildford) Nott, John Man Straubenzee, W. R.
Hunt, John Onslow, Cranley Vaughan-Morgan, Rt. Hn. Sir John
Hutchison, Michael Clark Orr, Capt. L. P. S. Vickers, Dame Joan
Iremonger, T. L. Page, Graham (Crosby) Wainwright. Richard (Colne Valley)
Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye) Page, John (Harrow, W.) Walker, Peter (Worcester)
Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford) Pardoe, John Walters, Dennis
Jennings, J. C. (Burton) Pearson, Sir Frank (Clitheroe) Webster, David
Johnson Smith, G. (E. Grinstead) Peel, John Wells, John (Maidstone)
Jones, Arthur (Northants, S.) Percival, lan Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William
Kaberry, Sir Donald Peyton, John Williams, Donald (Dudley)
Kerby, Capt. Henry Pike, Miss Mervyn Wills, Sir Gerald (Bridgwater)
Kershaw, Anthony Pink, R. Bonner Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Kimball, Marcus Pounder, Rafton Winstanley, Dr. M. P.
King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.) Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick
Kirk, Peter Price, David (Eastteigh) Wood Rt. Hn. Richard
Kitson, Timothy Prior, J. M. L. Woodnutt, Mark
Lambton, Viscount Pym, Francis Worsley, Marcus
Lancaster, Col. C. G. Quennett, Miss J. M. Wright, Esmond
Lane, David Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter Wylie, N. R.
Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry Rees-Davies, W. R. Younger, Hn. George
Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland) Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David
Lloyd, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey (Sut'nC'dfield) Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Lloyd, lan (p'tsm'th, Langstone) Ridley, Hn. Nicholas Mr. Bernard Weatherill and
Longden, Gilbert Ridsdale, Julian Mr. Reginald Eyre.
Lubbock, Eric Rippon, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey
Albu, Austen Brooks, Edwin Delargy, Hugh
Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.) Broughton, Dr. A. D. D. Dell, Edmund
Alldritt, Walter Brown, Rt. Hn. George (Belper) Dempsey, James
Allen, Scholefield Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan) Dewar, Donald
Anderson, Donald Brown, Bob (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, W.) Diamond, Rt. Hn. John
Archer, Peter Brown, R. W. (Shoreditch & F'bury) Dickens, James
Armstrong, Ernest Buchan, Norman Dobson, Ray
Atkins, Ronald (Preston, N.) Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn) Doig, Peter
Atkinson, Norman (Tottenham) Carmichael, Neil Driberg, Tom
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Castle, Rt. Hn. Barbara Dunn, James A.
Barnes, Michael Coe, Denis Dunnett, Jack
Barnett, Joel Coleman, Donald Dunwoody, Mrs. Gwyneth (Exeter)
Baxter, William Concannon, J. D. Dunwoody, Dr. John (F'th & C'b'e)
Bence, Cyril Conlan, Bernard Eadie, Alex
Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood Corbet, Mrs. Freda Edwards, Robert (Bilston)
Bennett, James (G'gow, Bridgeton) Craddock, George (Bradford, S.) Edwards, William (Merioneth)
Bidwell, Sydney Crawshaw, Richard Ellis, John
Binns, John Cronin, John English, Michael
Bishop, E. S. Crosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony Ennals, David
Blackburn, F. Crossman, Rt. Hn. Richard Ensor, David
Blenkinsop, Arthur Cullen, Mrs. Alice Evans, Albert (Islington, S.W.)
Boardman, H. (Leigh) Dalyell, Tam Evans, loan L. (Birm'h'm, Yardley)
Booth, Albert Davidson, Arthur (Accrington) Faulds, Andrew
Bottomley, Rt. Hn. Arthur Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.) Fernyhough, E.
Boyden, James Davies, Dr. Ernest (Stretford) Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston)
Braddock, Mrs. E. M. Davies, Harold (Leek) Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)
Bradley, Tom Davies, Ifor (Gower) Foley, Maurice
Bray, Dr. Jeremy de Freitas, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey Foot, Rt. Hn. Sir Dingle (Ipswich)
Foot, Michael (Ebbw Vale) Luard, Evan Price, William (Rugby)
Ford, Ben Lyon, Alexander W. (York) Probert, Arthur
Forrester, John Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson Rankin, John
Fowler, Gerry McBride, Neil Rees, Merlyn
Fraser, John (Norwood) McCann, John Reynolds, G. W.
Freeson, Reginald MacColl, James Rhodes, Geoffrey
Galpern, Sir Myer MacDermot, Niall Richard, Ivor
Gardner, Tony Macdonald, A. H. Roberts, Albert (Normanton)
Ginsburg, David McCuire, Michael Roberts, Gwrlym (Bedforshire, S.)
Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Anthony McKay, Mrs. Margaret Robertston, John (Paisley)
Gregory, Arnold Mackenzie, Gregor (Rutherglen) Robinson, Rt. Hn. Kenneth (St.P'c'as)
Grey, Charles (Durham) Mackintosh, John P. Robinson, W. O. J. (Walthamstow, E.)
Griffiths, David (Rother Valley) Maclennan, Robert Rodgers, William (Stockton)
Griffiths, Will (Exchange) MacMillan, Malcolm (Western Isles) Roebuck, Roy
Gunter, Rt. Hn. R. J. McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.) Rose, Paul
Hamilton, James (Bothwell) McNamara, J. Kevin Ross, Rt. Hn. William
Hamling, William MacPherson, Malcolm Rowlands, E. (Cardiff, N.)
Hannan, William Mahon, Peter (Preston, S.) Shaw, Arnold (llford, S.)
Harper, Joseph Mahon, Simon (Bootle) Sheldon, Robert
Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg) Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney)
Hart, Rt. Hn. Judith Mallalieu, J.P.W.(Huddersfield, E.) Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)
Haseldine, Norman Manuel, Archie Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich)
Hattersley, Roy Mapp, Charles Silverman, Julius (Aston)
Hazell, Bert Marks, Kenneth Slater, Joseph
Healey, Rt. Hn. Denis Marquand, David Small, William
Heffer, Eric S. Marsh, Rt. Hn. Richard Spriggs, Leslie
Henig, Stanley Mason, Rt. Hn. Roy Stewart, Rt. Hn. Michael
Hooley, Frank Maxwell, Robert Stonehouse, John
Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas Mayhew, Christopher Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R.
Howarth, Harry (Wellingborough) Mendelson, J. J. Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley
Howarth, Robert (Bolton, E.) Mikardo, lan Swain, Thomas
Howie, W. Millan, Bruce Swingler, Stephen
Hoy, James Miller, Dr. M. S. Taverne, Dick
Huckfield, Leslie Milne, Edward (Blyth) Thomas, Rt. Hn. George
Hughes, Rt. Hn. Cledwyn (Anglesey) Mitchell, R. C. (S'th'pton, Test) Thomson, Rt. Hn. George
Hughes, Emrys (Ayrshire, S.) Moonman, Eric Thornton, Ernest
Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire) Tinn, James
Hughes, Roy (Newport) Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe) Tomney, Frank
Hunter, Adam Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw) Urwin T. W.
Hynd, John Morris, John (Aberavon) Varley, Eric G.
Irvine, Sir Arthur (Edge Hill) Moyle, Roland Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne Valley)
Jackson, Colin (B'h'se & Spenb'gh) Murray, Albert Walden, Brian (All Saints)
Jackson, Peter M. (High Peak) Neal, Harold Walker, Harold (Doneaster)
Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas Newens, Stan Wallace, George
Jeger, Mrs. Lena (H'b'n&St.P'cras,S.) Noel-Baker, Rt. Hn. Philip (Derby,S.) Watkins David (Consett)
Jenkins, Hugh (Putney) Norwood, Christopher Watkins, Tudor (Brecon & Radnor)
Jenkins, Rt. Hn. Roy (Stechford) Oakes, Cordon Weitzman David
Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.) Ogden, Eric Wellbeloved, James
Johnson, Janus (K'ston-on-Hull, W.) O'Malley, Brian Whitaker Ben
Jones, Dan (Burnley) Oram, Albert E. White, MRS. Eirene
Jones, Rt. Hn. Sir Elwyn(W.Ham,S.) Orme, Stanley Whitlock, William
Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham) Oswald, Thomas Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)
Judd, Frank Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, S'tn) Williams, Alan Lee (Hornchurch)
Kelley, Richard Owen, Will (Morpeth) Wiliams, Clifford (Abertillery)
Kenyon, Clifford Page, Derek (King's Lynn) Williams Mrs. Shipley (Hitchin)
Kerr, Dr. David (W'worth, central) Paget, R. T. Willis, Rt. Hn. George
Kerr, Russell (Feltham) Palmer. Arthur Wilson, Rt. Hn. Harold (Huyton)
Lawson, George Pannell, Rt. Hn. Charles Wilson, Williams (Coventry, S.)
Leadbitter, Ted Park, Trevor Winnick, David
Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick (Newton) Parker, John (Dagenham) Woodburn, Rt. Hn. A.
Lee, John (Reading) Parkyn, Brian (Bedford) Woof, Robert
Lestor, Miss Joan Pavitt, Laurence Wyatt, Woodrow
Lever, Harold (Cheetham) Pearson, Arthur (Pontypridd) Yates, Victor
Lever, L. M. (Ardwick) Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred
Lewis, Arthur (W. Ham, N.) Pentland, Norman TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Perry, Ernest G. (Battersea, S.)
Lipton, Marcus Perry, George H. (Nottingham, S.) Mr. Harry Gourlay and
Lomas, Kenneth Prentice, Rt. Hn. R. E. Mr. Alan Fitch
Loughlin, Charles Price, Thomas (Westhoughton)
Dr. Dickson Mabon

I beg to move Amendment No. 41, in page 13, line 12, to leave cut ' six ' and insert ' eight'.

I am sure that the paymasters of the Conservative Party must be immensely impressed by the fact that the hon. Member for Worcester (Mr. Peter Walker) is flagging and is unable to reply to the debates.

The Amendment is evidence of the Government's intention to try to improve the position laid down in the Bill. In Committee, the Opposition put down an Amendment which proposed that the minimum membership of the Passenger Transport Executive should be three. The hon. Member for Bodmin (Mr. Bessell) may recall the argument which took place in Committee. As a consequence of the debate in Committee, we thought it reasonable to look at this matter again. While we are still of the view that the minimum number laid down is right, we think it proper to raise the maximum membership from six to eight.

The right hon. and learned Member for Hexham (Mr. Rippon) did not quite grasp the meaning and purpose of the authorities. Perhaps he was unaware that they will have large bus fleets and that they will be required to reach agreement with the Railways Board to keep railway services under review.

12 m.

Mr. Rippon

On the contrary. This is exactly what I was complaining about.

Dr. Mabon

The right hon. and learned Gentleman clearly does not understand how local authorities exercise their traffic management plans and their other responsibilities. They will be able to coordinate all these activities by this Amendment. It is, therefore, important to have not six but eight members on an authority. They will be required not only to keep railway services under review but to plan comprehensively, to make full use of technological advances and to develop passenger transport of all kinds. This involves not only roads but fixed tracks as well as activities in estuarial waters in places like Liverpool and Glasgow.

The authorities will wish to recruit a wide range of professional expertise to their executives—experts not only in transport and engineering, management and development but in accountancy, finance, economics and so on. We show by this Amendment that not only are we willing to listen to arguments but to look again at the reconstruction of the authorities and the executives.

Amendment agreed to.

Mr. Michael Heseltine

I beg to move Amendment No. 43, in page 13, line 25, to leave out 'representations' and to insert 'objections'

Mr. Deputy Speaker

With this Amendment we can discuss the two following Amendments in the name of the hon. Gentleman, No. 44, in line 28, leave out from 'area' to 'but' in line 30, and No. 45, in line 38, at end insert: (2A) (1) If there are no objections which the Minister is required to consider, or if all such objections are withdrawn, the Minister may proceed with the making of an order under subsection (1) of this section, which shall have the effect of designating an area a Passenger Transport Area. (2) Where any objection under subsection (2) of this section is made and is not withdrawn, the Minister shall cause a public local inquiry to be held with respect thereto, and the Minister may, after considering the report of the person by whom the inquiry was held, make the order either in its original terms or subject to such amendments, additions or modifications as the Minister thinks fit. (3) The amendments, additions or modifications referred to in paragraph (2) of this subsection may amount to amendments, additions modifications to or of the area to be designated or the establishment or functions of the Authority or the Executive. (4) The Minister may with the consent of the Treasury pay out of moneys provided by Parliament to any person appointed to hold an inquiry for the purposes of this subsection such fees and allowances, and to persons giving evidence such allowances as he may with the consent of the Treasury determine.

Mr. Heseltine

Those who listened to our earlier discussions will realise the grave anxiety which exists about the authorities everywhere in the country except on the benches opposite. Before these proposals are implemented there should be a public inquiry in each area, which is what these Amendments would provide. As a result of a public inquiry locally, there would be the opportunity to make changes in the area of an authority, in its nature and in its functions.

This move has become necessary because of the partial nature of the consultations held by the right hon. Lady She visited the areas, explained her ideas, listened to questions, took no notice of what was said and left to put her original proposals into the Bill. This gave rise to the anxiety. The only way in which this situation can be brought home to the right hon. Gentleman— with whom we sympathise on his inheritance—is to lay it down that a public inquiry shall be held in each area to give full opportunity for the ventilation of the anxieties we have been warning the Government about ever since these proposals were published.

No two areas have the same problems in passenger transport. It is, therefore, ridiculous to set up identical authorities in each. Manchester, for example, is much larger than Newcastle and has different problems. This point has been made with great force by those running the passenger transport undertakings in the areas. First of all, a public inquiry could reveal that the muddle embodied in this legislation does not fit the divergent necessities of two particular areas. Secondly, it would be possible for the ratepayers, who are expected to finance this new bureaucratic structure, to have their say as to what they think will emerge after they find out the likely increase in precept or rates necessary to finance these authorities. Thirdly, it will be possible for the local commercial interests to have a say about what they regard as a most unfair form of competition, which will be possible from the P.T.A.s.

If we were simply talking about the running of buses hitherto run by municipal authorities, it would not be possible for me to sustain this argument with such force, but when one remembers that embodied in Clause 10 are no less than 32 subsections, all giving different powers to P.T.A.s to indulge in activities, which, in many respects, have nothing to do with transport, one can understand why local commercial interests are gravely worried.

One has in mind taxi-owners, excursion tour operators, refreshment and buffet operators, people responsible for running garages, filling stations, selling spare parts, petrol and oil—all these people will now find themselves in competition with organisations financed by the ratepayers, and with no financial disciplines placed on them. These organisations are not expected to make a profit; they are expected, in their totality, to break even, and we all know that the result of that is invariably to impose a vast burden on the ratepayer. [AN HON. MEMBER: "Glib talk."] The hon. Member may say "glib talk" but these are the ratepayers who inflicted upon the Government the most humiliating debacle that have ever experienced.

The final suggestion made in favour of P.T.A.s is that they will, in some mystical way, co-ordinate transport services in the area. Those with the slightest knowledge of how transport has built up in these areas over the years, knows that the degree and sophisticated nature of coordination in these areas is very far advanced.

We probed deeply into this in Committee, to try to reveal where the gaps were, but we could not find them. A public inquiry may bring home to the Ministers that the experience of the man on the spot is a great deal more relevant than that of the men from the Ministry of Transport. If these proposals, as we have constantly heard, are so much in the interests of the local people for whom they are apparently designed, what possible reason can there be for opposing a suggestion that the local people should be let into the secret, and given an opportunity to make their contribution before a final decision on the form of these authorities is made?

Mr. Marks

I was interested to hear the hon. Member for Tavistock (Mr. Michael Heseltine) talk about local opinion. When the City of Manchester decided to examine the Transport Bill —and at that time the council had a Conservative majority—it appointed a sub-committee of the Transport and the General and Parliamentary Committees to examine it and discuss it with the Minister. This sub-committee brought forward to the General and Parliamentary Committee its proposals, which were reasoned criticisms of the Bill. When these proposals came before the council, without warning, they were moved back, and later, rejection of the Bill was proposed.

I suggest that, after that examination by the knowledgeable and interested people in the city, a majority of them Conservatives, it was turned down at the instigation of the Conservative Central Office. In examining the Bill, and making recommendations, those councillors were acting as good Mancunians and good councillors. But that did not match with being good Conservatives, quite obviously.

Mr. Michael Heseltine

Will the hon. Member give way?

Mr. Marks

No, not yet.

I live in an urban district on the edge of Manchester which has six passenger transport authorities operating in its area and the local council and the local people have no say whatever in the running of anything. Under the proposals which have been put forward they will have a say, and they will welcome it.

Mr. John Pardoe (Cornwall, North)

I rise to support the Amendment. Whenever I see such a phrase in a Bill as "the Minister shall consult with" or "the Minister shall not make such an Order until he is satisfied that a reasonable opportunity exists ", I get a little worried about the processes of democracy.

These sort of phrases mean all things to all men, and I can envisage long arguments taking place about what was consultation, and what was reasonable opportunity. What is consultation in these matters to one side is anything but consultation to the other side.

I believe that a public inquiry would at least give the ghost of consultation some substance, some bones. People must be allowed and encouraged to take part in the decision-making processes of democracy, and that is why I cannot understand the Government's attitude to the Amendment already moved in Committee. I hope that we shall hear just why the Government are opposed to a public inquiry.

These matters are of fundamental importance to local people in these areas, and the Government should certainly accept a public inquiry. That is why I support the Amendment.

Mr. Swingler

Those hon. Members who heard me reply to an earlier Amendment will remember that I said the situation was urgent. I know that some hon. Members regard it with complacency and think that there is any amount of time to deal with it, and I said that this was obviously wrong when I proposed to the House that it would be wrong to wait for the reorganisation of local government.

Obviously, if we had that amount of time, arguments that we had time to indulge in inquiries and things of that order would be perfectly reasonable. But I have put forward the argument that arrangements for authorities to bring in policies of co-ordination are overdue, that the deterioration of public transport in the big cities of this country is

Division No. 176.] AYES [12.15 a.m.
Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash) Barber, Rt. Hn. Anthony Biffen, John
Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead) Batsford, Brian Biggs-Davison, John
Astor, John Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton Birch, Rt. Hn. Nigel
Atkins, Humphrey (M't'n & M'd'n) Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Goe. & Fhm) Black, Sir Cyril
Awdry, Daniel Berry, Hn. Anthony Blaker, Peter
Baker, Kenneth (Acton) Bessell, Peter Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S.W.)

becoming so bad that it cannot wait, and that someone has to take responsibility for this.

One cannot shuffle it off from one body to the next. The person responsible is the Minister, who is responsible in turn to Parliament. There have to be consultations. The Minister has to hear the views of the operators' associations. But in the last resort the Minister must make an Order, and that Order can be challenged in Parliament. But on any Order made for the arrangement of P.T.As the situation in the big cities is not one that will wait for the protracted holding of inquiries, any more than it will wait for the chewing over of the recommendations of the Royal Commission on Local Government.

Mr. Peter Walker

The House wants to make progress because there are many more Amendments to be discussed and only two and a quarter hours remaining on this section of the Bill. But the reply of the Minister of State was totally unsatisfactory. It reeked of the proposition that the man in the Ministry knows better than the local people, and the Government are completely unwilling even to see that the local people have a right of public inquiry. Even in the Labour Government's 1947 Act, local authorities were given the right to a public inquiry.

So far as consultation is concerned, the Minister of State must know full well that in writing the Minister told certain local authorities that they would be consulted after the publication of the White Paper, and then, three days after publication of the White Paper and without any consultation, the Bill was published. He cannot, therefore, expect the local authorities to take very much notice of a vague phrase promising consultations.

I would certainly urge my hon. Friends to divide on this Amendment.

Question put, That the Amendment be made: —

The House divided: Ayes 228, Noes 277.

Body, Richard Harrison, Brian (Maldon) Page, John (Harrow, W.)
Bossom, Sir Clive Harvey, Sir Arthur Vere Pardoe, John
Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hn. John Harvie Anderson, Miss Pearson, Sir Frank (Clitheroe)
Boyle, Rt. Hn. Sir Edward Hawkins, Paul Peel, John
Braine, Bernard Hay, John Percival, lan
Brewis, John Heald, Rt. Hn. Sr Lionel Peyton, John
Brinton, Sir Tatton Heath, Rt. Hn. Edward Pike, Miss Mervyn
Bromley-Davenport.Lt.-Col.SirWalter Heseltine, Michael Pink, R. Bormer
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Higgins, Terence L. Pounder, Rafton
Bruce-Gardyne, J. Hiley, Joseph Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch
Bryan, Paul Hill, J. E. B. Price, David (Eastleigh)
Buchanan-Smith,Alick(Angus,N&M) Hogg, Rt. Hn. Qu'nt'n Prior, J. M. L.
Bullus, Sir Eric Holland, Philip Pym, Francis
Burden, F. A. Hooson, Emlyn Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter
Campbell, Gordon Hordern, Peter Rees-Davies, W. R.
Carlisle, Mark Hornby, Richard Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David
Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert Howell, David (Guildford) Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon
Cary, Sir Robert Hunt, John Ridley, Hn. Nicholas
Channon, H. P. G. Hutchison, Michael Clark Ridsdale, Julian
Chichester-Clark, R. Iremonger, T. L. Rippon, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey
Clark, Henry Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye) Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks)
Clegg, Walter Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford) Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)
Cooke, Robert Jennings, J. C. (Burton) Russell, Sir Ronald
Corfield, F. V. Johnson Smith, G. (E. Grinstead) St. John-Stevas, Norman
Costaln, A. P. Jones, Arthur (Northants, S.) Sandys, Rt. Hn. D.
Craddock, Sir Beresford (Spelthorne) Kaberry, Sir Donald Scott, Nicholas
Crouch, David Kerby, Capt. Henry Scott-Hopkins, James
Crowder, F. P. Kershaw, Anthony Sharples, Richard
Cunningham, Sir Knox Kimball, Marcus Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)
Currie, G B. H. King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.) Silvester, Frederick
Dalkeith, Earl of Kirk, Peter Sinclair, Sir George
Dance, James Kitson, Timothy Smith, Dudley (W'wick & L'mington)
Davidson,James(Aberdeenshire,W.) Lambton, Viscount Smith, John (London & W'minster)
d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry Lancaster, Col. C. G. Speed, Keith
Dean, Paul (Somerset, N.) Lane, David Stainton, Keith
Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F. (Ashford) Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry Steel, David (Roxburgh)
Digby, Simon Wingfield Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland) Stodart, Anthony
Dodds-Parker, Douglas Lloyd,Rt.Hn.Geoffrey(Sut'nC'dfield) Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M. (Ripon)
Doughty, Charles Lloyd, Ian (P'tsm'th, Langstone) Tapsell, Peter
Drayson, G. B. Longden, Gilbert Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)
du Cann, Rt. Hn. Edward Lubbock, Eric Taylor, Edward M.(G'gow,Cathcart)
Eden, Sir John MacArthur, Ian Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)
Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton) Mackenzie,Alasdair(Ross&Crom'ty) Temple, John M.
Elliott,R.W.(N'c'tle-upon-Tyne,N.) Maclean, Sir Fitzroy Thatcher, Mrs. Margaret
Emery, Peter Macleod, Rt. Hn. lain Thorpe, Rt. Hn. Jeremy
Errington, Sir Eric McMaster, Stanley Tilney, John
Eyre, Reginald Macmillan, Maurice (Farnham) Turton, Rt. Hn. R. H.
Farr, John Maddan, Martin van Straubenzec, W. R.
Fisher, Nigel Maginnis, John E. Vaughan-Morgan, Rt. Hn. Sir John
Fletcher-Cooke, Charles Marples, Rt. Hn. Ernest Vickers, Dame Joan
Fortescue, Tim Marten, Neil Wainwrlght. Richard (Colne Valley)
Foster, Sir John Maude, Angus Walker, Peter (Worcester)
Fraser,Rt.Hn.Hugh(St'fford&Stone) Maydon, Lt.-Cmdr. S. L. C. Walters, Dennis
Galbraith, Hn. T. G. Mills, Peter (Torrington) Weatherill, Bernard
Gibson-Watt, David Mills, Stratton (Belfast, N.) Webster, David
Giles, Rear-Adm. Morgan Miscampbell, Norman Wells, John (Maidstone)
Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, C.) Mitchell, David (Basingstoke) Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William
Glyn, Sir Richard Montgomery, Fergus Williams, Donald (Dudley)
Godber, Rt. Hn. J. B. More, Jasper Wills, Sir Gerald (Bridgwater)
Goodhart, Philip Morgan, Geraint (Denbigh) Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Goodhew, Victor Morrison, Charles (Devizes) Winstanley, Dr. M. P.
Gower, Raymond Mott-Radclyffe, Sir Charles Wolrige-Cordon, Patrick
Grant, Anthony Munro-Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard
Grant-Ferri), R. Murton, Oscar Woodnutt, Mark
Cresham Cooke, R. Neave, Airey Worsley, Marcus
Grieve, Percy Nicholls, Sir Harmar Wright, Esmond
Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds) Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael Wylie, N. R.
Gurden, Harold Nott, John Younger, Hn. George
Hall, John (Wycombe) Onslow, Cranley
Hall-Davis, A. G. F. Orr, Capt. L. P. S. TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) Page, Graham (Crosby) Mr. Hector Monro and
Mr. Anthony Royle,
Albu, Austen Bagier, Gordon A. T. Blackburn, F.
Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.) Barnes, Michael Blenkinsop, Arthur
Alldritt, Walter Barnett, Joel Boardman, H. (Leigh)
Allen, Scholefield Baxter, William Booth, Albert
Anderson, Donald Bence, Cyril Bottomley, Rt. Hn. Arthur
Archer, Peter Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood Boyden, James
Armstrong, Ernest Bennett, James (G'gow, Bridgeton) Braddock, Mrs. E. M.
Atkins, Ronald (Preston, N.) Bidwell, Sydney Bradley, Tom
Atkinson, Norman (Tottenham) Binns, John Bray, Dr. Jeremy
Brooks, Edwin Howarth, Harry (Wellingborough) Orme, Stanley
Broughton, Dr. A. D. D. Howarth, Robert (Bolton, E.) Oswald, Thomas
Brown, Bob(N'ctie-upcm-Tyne,W.) Howie, W. Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, S'tn)
Brown, Rt. Hn. George (Belper) Hoy, James Owen, Will (Morpeth)
Brown, Hugh D. (C'gow, Provan) Huckfield, Leslie Page, Derek (King's Lynn)
Brown, R. W. (Shoreditch & F'bury) Hughes, Rt. Hn. Cledwyn (Anglesey) Paget, R. T.
Buchan, Norman Hughes, Emrys (Ayrshire, S.) Palmer, Arthur
Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn) Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Pannell, Rt. Hn. Charles
Carmichael, Neil Hughes, Roy (Newport) Park, Trevor
Castle, Rt. Hn. Barbara Hunter, Adam Parker, John (Dagsnham)
Coe, Denis Hynd, John Parkyn, Brian (Bedford)
Coleman, Donald Irvine, Sir Arthur (Edge Hill) Pavitt, Laurence
Concannon, J. D. Jackson, Colin (B'h'se & Spenb'gh) Pearson, Arthur (Pontypridd)
Conlan, Bernard Jackson, Peter M. (High Peak) Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred
Corbet, Mrs. Freda Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas Pentland, Norman
Craddock, George (Bradford, S.) Jeger,Mrs.Lena(H'b'n & St.Plcras,S.) Perry, George H. (Nottingham, S.)
Crawshaw, Richard Jenkins, Hugh (Putney) Prentice, Rt. Hn. R. E.
Cronin, John Jenkins, Rt. Hn. Roy (Stechford) Price, Thomas (Westhoughton)
Crosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.) Price, William (Rugby)
Crossman, Rt. Hn. Richard Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.) Probert, Arthur
Cullen, Mrs. Alice Jones, Rt. Hn. Sir Elwyn(W.Ham,S.) Rankin, John
Dalyell, Tam Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham) Rees, Merlyn
Davidson, Arthur (Accrington) Judd, Frank Reynolds, G. W.
Davies, Dr. Ernest (Stretford) Kelley, Richard Rhodes, Geoffrey
Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.) Kenyon, Clifford Richard, Ivor
Davies, Harold (Leek) Kerr, Dr. David (W'worth, Central) Roberts, Albert (Normanton)
Davies, Ifor (Gower) Kerr, Russell (Feltham) Roberts, Gwllym (Bedfordshire, S.)
de Freitas, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey Lawson, George Robertston, John (Paisley)
Delargy, Hugh Leadbitter, Ted Robnison, Rt. Hn. Kennet (St.P'c'as)
Dell, Edmund Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick (Newton) Robinson, W. O. J. (Walthamstow.E.)
Dempsey, James Lee, John (Reading) Rodgers, William (Stockton)
Dewar, Donald Lestor, Miss Joan Roebuck, Roy
Diamond, Rt. Hn. John Lever, Harold (Cheetham) Rose, Paul
Dickens, James Lever, L. M. (Ardwick) Ross, Rt. Hn. William
Dobson, Ray Lewis, Arthur (W. Ham, N.) Rowlands, E. (Cardiff, N.)
Doig, Peter Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Shaw, Arnold (llford, S.)
Driberg, Tom Lipton, Marcus Sheldon, Robert
Dunn, James A. Lomas, Kenneth Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney)
Dunnett, Jack Loughlin, Charles Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)
Dunwoody, Mrs. Gwyneth (Exeter) Luard, Evan Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich)
Dunwoody, Dr. John (F'th & C'b'e) Lyon, Alexander W. (York) Silverman, Julius (Aston)
Eadie, Alex Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson Slater, Joseph
Edwards, Robert (Bilston) McBride, Neil Small, William
Edwards, William (Merioneth) McCann, John Spriggs, Leslie
Ellis, John MacColl, James Stewart, Rt. Hn. Michael
English, Michael MacDermot, Niall Stonehouse, John
Ennals, David Macdonald, A. H. Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R.
Ensor, David McKay, Mrs. Margaret Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley
Evans, Albert (Islington, S.W.) Mackenzie, Gregor (Rutherglen) Swain, Thomas
Evans, loan L. (Birm'h'm, Yardley) Mackintosh, John p. Swingler, Stephen
Faulds, Andrew Maclennan, Robert Taverne, Dick
Femyhough, E. MacMillan, Malcolm (Western Isles) Thomas, Rt. Hn. George
Fitch, Alan (Wigan) McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.) Thomson, Rt. Hn. George
Fletcher, Raymond (likeston) McNamara, J. Kevin Thornton, Ernest
Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) MacPherson, Malcolm Tinn, James
Foley, Maurice Mahon, Peter (Preston, S.) Tomney, Frank
Foot, Rt. Hn. Sir Dingle (Ipswich) Mahon, Simon (Bootle) Urwin, T. W.
Foot, Michael (Ebbw Vale) Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg) Varley, Eric G.
Ford, Ben Mallalieu, J. P. W.(Huddersfield,E.) Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne Valley)
Forrester, John Manuel, Archie Walden, Brian (All Saints)
Fowler, Gerry Mapp, Charles Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Fraser, John (Norwood) Marks, Kenneth Wallace, George
Freeson, Reginald Marquand, David Watkins, David (Consett)
Galpern, Sir Myer Marsh, Rt. Hn. Richard Watkins, Tudor (Brecon & Radnor)
Gardner, Tony Maxwell, Robert Weitzman, David
Ginsburg, David Mayhew, Christopher Wellbeloved, James
Gourlay, Harry Mendelson, J. J. Whitaker, Ben
Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Anthony Millan, Bruce White, Mrs. Eirene
Gregory, Arnold Miller, Dr. M. S. Whitlock, William
Griffiths, David (Rother Valley) Milne, Edward (Blyth) Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)
Griffiths, Will (Exchange) Mitchell, R. C. (S'th'pton, Test) Williams, Alan Lee (Homchurch)
Gunter, Rt. Hn. R. J. Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire) Williams, Clifford (Abertillery)
Hamilton, James (Bothwell) Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe) Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchin)
Hamling, William Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw) Willis, Rt. Hn. George
Hannan, William Morris, John (Aberavon) Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)
Harper, Joseph Moyle, Roland Winnick, David
Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) Murray, Albert Woodburn, Rt. Hn. A.
Hart, Rt. Hn. Judith Neal, Harold Woof, Robert
Haseldine, Norman Newens, Stan Wyatt, Woodrow
Hattersley, Roy Noel-Baker,Rt.Hn.Philip(Derby, s.) Yates, Victor
Hazell, Bert Norwood, Christopher
Healey, Rt. Hn. Denis Oakes, Gordon TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Heffer, Eric S. Ogden, Eric Mr. Charles Grey and
Hooley, Frank O'Malley, Brian Mr. Ernest G. Perry.
Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas Oram, Albert E.
Mr. Marsh

Mr. Deputy Speaker, I beg to move, That the proceedings of this day's sitting be suspended.

Division No. 177.] AYES [12.25 a.m.
Albu, Austen Ennals, David Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)
Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.) Ensor, David Lipton, Marcus
Alldritt, Walter Evans, Albert (Islington, S.W.) Lomas, Kenneth
Allen, Scholefield Fauids, Andrew Loughlin, Charles
Anderson, Donald Fernyhough, E. Luard, Evan
Archer, Peter Fitch, Alan (Wigan) Lyon, Alexander W. (York)
Armstrong, Ernest Fletcher, Raymond (likeston) Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson
Atkins, Ronald (Preston, N.) Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) McBride, Neil
Atkinson, Norman (Tottenham) Foley, Maurice McCann, John
Bagler, Gordon A. T. Foot, Rt. Hn. Sir Dingle (Ipswich) MacColl, James
Barnes, Michael Foot, Michael (Ebbw Va1e) MacDermot, Niall
Barnett, Joel Ford, Ben Macdonald, A. H.
Baxter, William Forrester, John McKay, Mrs. Margaret
Bence, Cyril Fowler, Gerry Mackenzie, Gregor (Rutherglen)
Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood Fraser, John (Norwood) Mackintosh, John P.
Bennett, James (G'gow, Bridgeton) Freeson, Reginald Maclennan, Robert
Bidwell, Sydney Galpern, Sir Myer MacMillan, Malcolm (Western Isles)
Binns, John Gardner, Tony McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.)
Blackburn, F. Ginsburg, David McNamara, J. Kevin
Blenkinsop, Arthur Gourlay, Harry MacPherson, Malcolm
Boardman, H. (Leigh) Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Anthony Mahon, Peter (Preston, S.)
Booth, Albert Gregory, Arnold Mahon, Simon (Bootle)
Bottomley, Rt. Hn. Arthur Griffiths, David (Rother Valley) Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)
Boyden, James Griffiths, Will (Exchange) Mallalieu, J.P.W.(Huddersfield,E.)
Braddock, Mrs. E. M. Gunter, Rt. Hn. R. J. Manuel, Archie
Bradley, Tom Hamilton, James (Bothwell) Mapp, Charles
Bray, Dr. Jeremy Hamling, William Marks, Kenneth
Brooks, Edwin Hannan, William Marquand, David
Broughton, Dr. A. D. D. Harper, Joseph Marsh, Rt. Hn. Richard
Brown, Rt. Hn. George (Belper) Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) Maxwell, Robert
Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan) Hart, Rt. Hn. Judith Mayhew, Christopher
Brown,Bob(N'c'tle-upon-Tyne,W.) Haseidine, Norman Mendelson, J. J.
Brown, R. W. (Shoreditch & P'bury) Hattersley, Roy Mikardo, Ian
Buchan, Norman Hazell, Bert Millan, Bruce
Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn) Healey, Rt. Hn. Denis Miller, Dr. M. S.
Carmichael, Neil Heffer, Eric S. Milne, Edward (Blyth)
Castle, Rt. Hn. Barbara Hooley, Frank Mitchell, R. c. (S'th'pton, Test)
Coe, Denis Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire)
Coleman, Donald Howarth, Harry (Wellingborough) Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)
Concannon, J. D. Howarth, Robert (Bolton, E.) Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)
Conlan, Bernard Howie, W. Morris, John (Aberavon)
Corbet, Mrs. Freda Hoy, James Moyle, Roland
Craddock, Ceorge (Bradford, S.) Huckfield, Leslie Murray, Albert
Crawshaw, Richard Hughes, Rt. Hn. Cledwyn (Anglesey) Neal, Harold
Cronin, John Hughes, Emrys (Ayrshire, S.) Newens, Stan
Crosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony Hughes,Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Noel-Baker,Rt.Hn.Philip(Derby,S.)
Crossman, Rt. Hn. Richard Hughes, Roy (Newport) Norwood, Christopher
Cullen, Mrs. Alice Hunter, Adam Oakes, Gordon
Dalyell, Tam Hynd, John Ogden, Eric
Davidson, Arthur (Accrington) Irvine, Sir Arthur (Edge Hill) O'Malley, Brian
Davies, Dr. Ernest (Stretford) Jackson, Colin (B'h'se & Spenb'gh) Oram, Albert E.
Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.) Jackson, Peter M. (High Peak) Orme, Stanley
Davies, Harold (Leek) Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas Oswald, Thomas
Davies, Ifor (Gower) Jeger,Mrs.Lena(H'b'n&St.P'cras,S.) Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, S'tn)
de Freitas, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey Jenkins, Hugh (Putney) Owen, Will (Morpeth)
Delargy, Hugh Jenkins, Rt. Hn. Roy (Stechford) Page, Derek (King's Lynn)
Dell, Edmund Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.) Paget, R. T.
Dempsey, James Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.) Palmer, Arthur
Dewar, Donald Jones,Rt.Hn.Sir Elwyn(W.Ham,S.) Pannell, Rt. Hn. Charles
Diamond, Rt. Hn. John Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham) Park, Trevor
Dickens, James Judd, Frank Parker, John (Dagenham)
Dobson, Ray Kelley, Richard Parkyn, Brian (Bedford)
Doig, Peter Kenyon, Clifford Pavitt, Laurence
Driberg, Tom Kerr, Dr. David (W'worth, Central) Pearson, Arthur (Pontypridd)
Dunn, James A. Kerr, Russell (Feltham) Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred
Dunnett, Jack Lawson, George Pentland, Norman
Dunwoody, Mrs. Gwyneth (Exeter) Leadbitter, Ted Perry, Ernest G. (Battersea, S.)
Dunwoody, Dr. John (F'th & C'b'e) Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick (Newton) Perry, George H. (Nottingham, S.)
Eadie, Alex Lee, John (Reading) Prentice, Rt. Hn. R. E.
Edwards, Robert (Bilston) Lestor, Miss Joan Price, Thomas (Westhoughton)
Edwards, William (Merioneth) Lever, Harold (Cheetham) Price, William (Rugby)
Ellis, John Lever, L. M. (Ardwick) Probert, Arthur
English, Michael Lewis, Arthur (W. Ham, N.) Rankin, John

Question put forthwith, pursuant to Order [12th December] (Sittings of the House):—

The House divided: Ayes 278, Noes 225.

Rees, Merlyn Small, William Watkins, Tudor (Brecon & Radnor)
Reynolds, G. W. Spriggs, Leslie Weitzman, David
Rhodes, Geoffrey Stewart, Rt. Hn. Michael Wellbeloved, James
Richard, Ivor Storehouse, John Whitaker, Ben
Roberts, Albert (Normanton) Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R. White, Mrs. Eirene
Roberts, Gwilym (Bedforshire, S.) Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shiriey Whitlock, William
Robertston, John (Paisley) Swain, Thomas Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)
Robinson,Rt.Hn.Kenneth (St.P'c'as) Swingler, Stephen Williams, Alan Lee (Hornchurch)
Robinson, W. O. J. (Walthamstow, E.) Taverne, Dick Williams, Clifford (Abertillery)
Rodgers, William (Stockton) Thomas, Rt. Hn. George Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchin)
Roebuck, Roy Thomson, Rt. Hn. George Willis, Rt. Hn. George
Rose, Paul Thornton, Ernest Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)
Ross, Rt. Hn. William Tinn, James Winnick, David
Rowlands, E. (Cardiff, N.) Tomney, Frank Woodburn, Rt. Hn. A.
Shaw, Arnold (Ilford, S.) Urwin, T. W. Woof, Robert
Sheldon, Robert Varley, Eric G. Wyatt, Woodrow
Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney) Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne Valley) Yates, Victor
Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford) Walden, Brian (All Saints)
Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich) Walker, Harold (Doncaster) TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Silverman, Julius (Aston) Wallace, George Mr. Charles Grey and
Slater, Joseph Watkins, David (Consett) Mr. loan L. Evans.
Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash) Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton) Lancaster, Col. C. G.
Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead) Elllott,n.W.(N'c'tle-upon-Tyne,N.) Lane, David
Astor, John Emery, Peter Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry
Atkins, Humphrey (M't'n & M'd'n) Errington, Sir Eric Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)
Awdry, Daniel Eyre, Reginald Lloyd,Rt.Hn.Geoffrey(Sut'nC'dfield)
Baker, Kenneth (Acton) Farr, John Lloyd, Ian (P'tsm'th, Langstone)
Barber, Rt. Hn. Anthony Fisher, Nigel Longden, Gilbert
Batsford, Brian Fletcher-Cooke, Charles Lubbock, Eric
Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton Fortescue, Tim MacArthur, Ian
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gos. & Fhm) Foster, Sir John Mackenzie,Alasdair(Ross&Crom'ty)
Berry, Hn. Anthony Fraser,Rt.Hn.Hugh(St'fford&Stone) Maclean, Sir Fitzroy
Bessell, Peter Galbraith, Hn. T. G. Macleod, Rt. Hn. lain
Biffen, John Gibson-Watt, David McMaster, Stanley
Biggs-Davison, John Giles, Rear-Adm. Morgan Macmillan, Maurice (Farnham)
Birch, Rt. Hn. Nigel Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, c.) Maddan, Martin
Black, Sir Cyril Glyn, Sir Richard Maginnis, John E.
Blaker, Peter Godber, Rt. Hn. J. B. Marples, Rt. Hn. Ernest
Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S.W.) Goodhart, Philip Marten, Neil
Body, Richard Goodhew, Victor Maude, Angus
Bossom, Sir Clive Gower, Raymond Maydon, Lt.-Cmdr. S. L; C.
Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hn. John Grant, Anthony Mills, Peter (Torrington)
Boyle, Rt. Hn. Sir Edward Gresham Cooke, R. Mills, Stratton (Belfast, N.)
Braine, Bernard Grieve, Percy Miscampbell, Norman
Brewis, John Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds) Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)
Brinton, Sir Tatton Gurden, Harold Montgomery, Fergus
Bromley-Davenport,Lt.-Col.SirWalter Hall, John (Wycombe) More, Jasper
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Hall-Davis, A. G. F. Morgan, Geraint (Denbigh)
Bruce-Gardyne, J. Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) Morrison, Charles (Devizes)
Bryan, Paul Harrison, Brian (Maldon) Mott-Radclyffe, Sir Charles
Buchanan-Smith,Alick(Angus,N&M) Harvey, Sir Arthur Vere Munro-Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh
Bullus, Sir Eric Harvie Anderson, Miss Murton, Oscar
Burden, F. A. Hawkins, Paul Neave, Airey
Campbell, Gordon Hay, John Nicholls, Sir Harmar
Carlisle, Mark Heald, Rt. Hn. Sir Lionel Nobel, Rt. Hn. Michael
Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert Heath, Rt. Hn. Edward Nott, John
Cary, Sir Robert Heseltine, Michael Onslow, Cranley
Channon, H. P. G. Higgins, Terence L. Orr, Capt. L. P. S.
Chichester-Clark, R. Hiley, Joseph Page, Graham (Crosby)
Clark, Henry Hill, J. E. B. Page, John (Harrow, W.)
Clegg, Walter Hogg, Rt. Hn. Quintin Pardoe, John
Cooke, Robert Holland, Philip Pearson, Sir Frank (Clitheroe)
Corfield, F. V. Hordern, Peter Peel, John
Costain, A. P. Hornby, Richard Percival, Ian
Craddock, Sir Beresford (Spelthorne) Howell, David (Guildford) Peyton, John
Crouch, David Hunt, John Pike, Miss Mervyn
Crowder, F. P. Hutchison, Michael Clark Pink, R. Bonner
Cunningham, Sir Knox Iremonger, T. L. Pounder, Rafton
Currie, G. B. H. Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye) Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch
Dalkeith, Earl of Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford) Price, David (Eastleigh)
Dance, James Jennings, J. C. (Burton) Prior, J. M. L.
Davidson,James (Aberdeenshire, W.) Johnson Smith, G. (E. Grinstead) Pym, Francis
d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry Jones, Arthur (Northants, S.) Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter
Dean, Paul (Somerset, N.) Kaberry, Sir Donald Rees-Davies, W. R.
Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F. (Ashford) Kerby, Capt. Henry Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David
Digby, Simon Wingfield Kershaw, Anthony Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon
Dodds-Parker, Douglas Kimball, Marcus Ridley, Hn. Nicholas
Doughty, Charles King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.) Rippon, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey
Drayson, G. B. Kirk, Peter Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks)
du Cann, Rt. Hn. Edward Kitson, Timothy Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)
Eden, Sir John Lambton, Viscount Royle, Anthony
Russell, Sir Ronald Tapsell, Peter Wells, John (Maidstone)
St. John-Stevas, Norman Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne) Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William
Sandys, Rt. Hn. D. Taylor, Edward M. (G'gow,Cathcart) Williams, Donald (Dudley)
Scott, Nicholas Taylor, Frank (Most Side) Wills, Sir Gerald (Bridgwater)
Scott-Hopkins, James Temple, John M. Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Sharples, Richard Thatcher, Mrs. Margaret Winstanley, Dr. M. P.
Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby) Thorpe, Rt. Hn. Jeremy Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick
Silvester, Frederick Tilney, John Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard
Sinclair, Sir George Turton, Rt. Hn. R. H. Woodnutt, Mark
Smith, Dudley (W'wick & L'mington) van Strauberueo, W. R. Worsley, Marcus
Smith, John (London & W'minster) Vaughan-Morgan, Rt. Hn. Sir John Wright, Esmond
Speed, Keith Vickers, Dame Joan Wylie, N. R.
Stainton, Keith Wainwright, Richard (Colne Valley) Younger, Hn. George
Steel, David (Roxburgh) Walker, Peter (Worcester)
Stodart, Anthony Walters, Dennis TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M. (Ripon) Webster, David Mr. Bernard Weatherill and
Mr. Hector Monro.
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