HC Deb 28 May 1968 vol 765 cc1465-83


Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Sydney Irving)

The next Amendment is Amendment 50, with which we may discuss the following Amendments: No. 61, in page 14, line 38, at end insert: 'but in no case shall vicinity be regarded as extending for more than ten miles outside that area'. Government Amendment No. 52, Amendment No. 53, in page 15, line 17, at end insert: 'as defined in paragraph (ii) of this subsection'. Government Amendment No. 101, and Amendment No. 102, in page 33, line 28, leave out 'outside but in the vicinity' and insert 'within ten miles'.

Dr. Dickson Mabon

I beg to move Amendment No. 50, in page 14, line 35, leave out paragraph (ii) and insert— (ii) to carry passengers by any other form of land transport or by any form of water transport (including in either case hover vehicles) between places in that area or between such places and any place outside that area but within the permitted distance, that is to say, the following distance from the nearest point on the boundary of that area, namely—

  1. (a) in the case of land transport, such distance not exceeding thirty miles as may be specified in the order with respect to that area under section 9(1) of this Act or, if no distance is so specified, the distance of thirty miles;
  2. (b) in the case of water transport, such distance as may be specified as aforesaid;
The hon. Member for Tavistock (Mr. Michael Heseltine) raised in Committee the question of the definition of the words "the vicinity". He said that he was not thirled—to use a good Scots word—to the idea of 20 miles, but felt that there should be something more specific than the wording in the Bill. Since then we have considered this, as the Minister of State promised.

It will be noticed from the Amendment that we make a distinction between a land transport limit of 30 miles, which we think would meet all foreseeable cases, certainly in the first four P.T.A.s—greater Manchester, West Midlands, Merseyside and Tyneside—and water transport, where we have chosen a different criterion for obvious reasons. I would strongly suggest that the Amendment should be incorporated.

The House will note that Amendment No. 101 has the effect of requiring the executive to review all the railway passenger services serving the area up to the prescribed distance. In what detail they review a service will be a matter for local decision by the executive.

Not only on this Amendment, but on the preceding Amendment, the hon. Member for Worcester (Mr. Peter Walker) keeps obscuring the issue. There are many local decisions to be taken here. This is another example of the kind of thing which we expect P.T.A.s

and executives to observe. It is necessary to have it in the Statute, otherwise they cannot exercise discretion. They might want to go into a good deal of detail about a doubtful service. On the other hand, they might be able to decide by a glance that a local service on the periphery of the 30-mile radius which came nowhere near the Area itself would be of no interest to them.

I will not deploy any arguments on the other Amendments being taken as hon. Gentlemen may wish to support them.

Mr. Michael Heseltine

This matter was discussed in Committee, and it is obvious to me, having listened to what the Minister of State has said, that the gulf between us is extremely wide. We are rapidly drawing to a conclusion of the discussion on the Clause, and, if we discuss a matter on which there is such a wide gap, there will be no prospect of getting agreement later where there is a narrower gap which we may be able to close.

To define a 30-mile limit outside the passenger transport area is preposterous, and I shall advise my hon. Friends to vote against the Amendment.

Question put, That the Amendment be made:—

The House divided: Ayes 265, Noes, 228.

Division No. 179.] AYES [11.22 a.m.
Albu, Austen Brown, Rt. Hn. George (Belper) Dobson, Ray
Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.) Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan) Doig, Peter
Alldritt, Walter Brown, R. W. (Shoreditch & F'bury) Dunn, James A.
Allen, Scholefield Buchan, Norman Dunwoody, Dr. John (F'th & C'b'e)
Anderson, Donald Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn) Eadie, Alex
Archer, Peter Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green) Edwards, Robert (Bilston)
Armstrong, Ernest Cant, R. B. Edwards, William (Merioneth)
Atkins, Ronald (Preston, N.) Carmichael, Neil Ellis, John
Atkinson, Norman (Tottenham) Castle, Rt. Hn. Barbara English, Michael
Bacon, Rt. Hn. Alice Chapman, Donald Ennals, David
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Coe, Denis Ensor, David
Barnes, Michael Coleman, Donald Evans, loan L. (Birm'h'm, Yardley)
Barnett, Joel Conlan, Bernard Fernyhough, E.
Baxter, William Corbet, Mrs. Freda Fitch, Alan (Wigan)
Bence, Cyril Craddock, George (Bradford, S.) Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)
Bennett, James (G'gow, Bridgeton) Crawshaw, Richard Foley, Maurice
Bidwell, Sydney Crosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony Foot, Rt. Hn. Sir Dingle (Ipswich)
Binns, John Culler, Mrs. Alice Foot, Michael (Ebbw Vale)
Bishop, E. S. Dalyell, Tam Ford, Ben
Blackburn, F. Darling, Rt. Hn. George Forrester, John
Blenkinsop, Arthur Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.) Fowler, Gerry
Boardman, H. (Leigh) Davies, Dr. Ernest (Stretford) Fraser, John (Norwood)
Booth, Albert Davies, Ifor (Gower) Freeson, Reginald
Bottomley, Rt. Hn. Arthur de Freitas, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey Galpern, Sir Myer
Boyden, James Delargy, Hugh Gardner, Tony
Braddock, Mrs. E. M. Dell, Edmund Garrett, W. E.
Bradley, Tom Dempsey, James Ginsburg, David
Bray, Dr. Jeremy Dewar, Donald Gourlay, Harry
Brooks, Edwin Diamond, Rt. Hn. John Gray, Dr. Hugh (Yarmouth)
Broughton, Dr. A. D. D. Dickens, James Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Anthony
Gregory, Arnold MacColl, James Rees, Merlyn
Grey, Charles (Durham) MacDermot, Niall Reynolds, G. W.
Griffiths, David (Rother Valley) Macdonald, A. H. Rhodes, Geoffrey
Griffiths, Rt. Hn. James (Lianelly) McKay, Mrs. Margaret Richard, Ivor
Griffiths, Will (Exchange) Mackenzie, Gregor (Rutherglen) Roberts, Albert (Normanton)
Cunter, Rt. Hn. R. J. Mackie, John Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon)
Hamilton, James (Bothwell) Maclennan, Robert Roberts, Gwilym (Bedfordshire, S.)
Hamilton, William (Fife, W.) MacMillan, Malcolm (Western Isles) Robertson, John (Paisley)
Hamling, William McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.) Robinson, Rt.Hn.Kenneth(St.P'c'as)
Hannan, William McNamara, J. Kevin Robinson, W. O. J. (Walth'stow, E.)
Harper, Joseph MacPherson, Malcolm Rodgers, William (Stockton)
Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) Mahon, Peter (Preston, S.) Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)
Hart, Rt. Hn. Judith Mahon, Simon (Bootle) Rose, Paul
Haseldine, Norman Mallalieu,J.P.W.(Huddersfield,E.) Ross, Rt. Hn. William
Hattersley, Roy Manuel, Archie Ryan, John
Hazell, Bert Mapp, Charles Shaw, Arnold (llford, S.)
Heffer, Eric S. Marks, Kenneth Sheldon Robert
Henig, Stanley Marquand, David Short, Rt.Hn.Edward(N'c'tle-u-Tyne)
Hobden, Dennis (Brighton, K'town) Mason, Rt. Hn, Roy Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)
Hooley, Frank Mayhew, Christopher Skeffington, Arthur
Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas Mendelson, J. J. Slater, Joseph
Howarth, Harry (Wellingborough) Mikardo, Ian Small, William
Howarth, Robert (Bolton, E.) Millan, Bruce Snow, Julian
Howell, Denis (Small Heath) Miller, Dr. M. S. Spriggs, Leslie
Howie, W. Milne, Edward (Blyth) Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R.
Huckfield, Leslie Mitchell, R. C. (S'th'pton, Test) Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley
Hughes, Emrys (Ayrshire, S.) Molloy, William Swain, Thomas
Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Moonman, Eric Swingler, Stephen
Hughes, Roy (Newport) Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire) Symonds, J. B.
Hunter, Adam Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe) Taverne, Dick
Hynd, John Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw) Thomson, Rt. Hn. George
Irvine, Sir Arthur (Edge Hill) Moyle, Roland Thornton, Ernest
Jackson, Colin (B'h'se & Spenb'gh) Murray, Albert Tinn, James
Jackson, Peter M. (High Peak) Neal, Harold Urwin, T. W.
Janner, Sir Barnett Newens, Stan Varley, Eric G.
Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas Norwood, Christopher Wainwright, Edw'n (Dearne Valley)
Jeger, George (Goole) Oakes, Gordon Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Jeger,Mrs.Lena(H'b'n&St.P'cras,S.) Ogden, Eric Wallace, George
Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.) O'Malley, Brian Watkins, David (Consett)
Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.) Oram, Albert E. Watkins, Tudor (Brecon & Radnor)
Jones, Dan (Burnley) Orme, Stanley Weitzman, David
Jones, Rt.Hn.SirElwyn(W.Ham,S.) Oswald, Thomas Wellbeloved, James
Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham) Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, S'tn) whitaker, Ben
Judd, Frank Owen, Will (Morpeth) White, Mrs. Eirene
Kelley, Richard Paget, R. T. Whitlock, William
Kenyon, Clifford Pannell, Rt. Hn. Charles Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)
Lawson, George Park, Trevor Williams, Alan Lee (Hornchurch)
Leadbitter, Ted Parker, John (Dagenham) Williams, Clifford (Abertillery)
Ledger, Ron Parkyn, Brian (Bedford) Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchin)
Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick (Newton) Pavitt, Laurence Willis, Rt. Hn. George
Lee, John (Reading) Pearson, Arthur (Pontypridd) Winnick, David
Lestor, Miss Joan Pentland, Norman Woodburn, Rt. Hn. A.
Lever, Harold (cheetham) Perry, Ernest G. (Battersea, S.) woof, Robert
Lewis, Arthur (W. Ham, N.) Perry, George H. (Nottingham, S.) Wyatt, Woodrow
Lew's, Ron (Carlisle) Prentice, Rt. Hn. R. E. Yates, Victor
Lipton, Marcus Price, Thomas (Westhoughton)
Loughlin, Charles Price, William (Rugby) TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Lyon, Alexander W. (York) Probert, Arthur Mr. John McCann and Mr. J. D. Concannon.
Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson Pursey, Cmdr. Harry
McBride, Neil Rankin, John
Alison, Michael (Bariston Ash) Body, Richard Clark, Henry
Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead) Bossom, Sir Clive Clegg, Walter
Astor, John Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hn. John Cooke, Robert
Atkins, Humphrey (M't'n & M'd'n) Boyle, Rt. Hn. Sir Edward Corfield, F. V.
Awdry, Daniel Braine, Bernard Costain, A. P.
Baker, Kenneth (Acton) Brewis, John Craddock, Sir Beresford (Spelthorne)
Baker, W. H. K. (Banff) Brinton, Sir Tatton Crouch, David
Barber, Rt. Hn. Anthony Bromley-Davenport,Lt.-Col.SirWalter Crowder, F. P.
Batsford, Brian Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Cunningham, Sir Knox
Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton Bruce-Gardyne, J. Currie, C. B. H.
Bell, Ronald Bryan, Paul Dalkeith, Earl of
Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay) Buchanan-Smith,Alick(Angus,N&M) Dance, James
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gos. & Fhm) Buck, Antony (Colchester) Davidson, James(Abertleenshire,W.)
Berry, Hn. Antnony Bullus, Sir Eric d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry
Bessell, Peter Burden, F. A. Dean, Paul (Somerset, N.)
Biffen, John Campbell, Gordon Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F. (Ashford)
Biggs-Davison, John Carlisle, Mark Digby, Simon Wingfield
Birch, Rt. Hn. Nigel Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert Dodds-Parker, Douglas
Black, Sir Cyril Cary, Sir Robert Doughty, Charles
Blaker, Peter Channon, H. P. G. Douglas-Home, Rt. Hn. Sir Alec
Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S.W.) Chichester-Clark, R. Drayson, G. B.
du Cann, Rt. Hn. Edward Lambton, Viscount Ridley, Hn. Nicholas
Eden, Sir John Lancaster, Col. C. G. Ridsdale, Julian
Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton) Lane, David Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks)
Elliott,R.W.(N'c'tle-upon-Tyne,N.) Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)
Emery, Peter Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland) Royle, Anthony
Farr, John Lloyd, Rt. Hn. Ceoffrey(Sut'nC'dfield) Russell, Sir Ronald
Fisher, Nigel Lloyd, Ian (P'tsm'th, Langstone) St. John-Stevas, Norman
Fletcher-Cooke, Charles Longden, Gilbert Sandys, Rt. Hn. D.
Fortescue, Tim Lubbock, Eric Scott, Nicholas
Foster, Sir John McAdden, Sir Stephen Scott-Hopkins, James
Fraser,Rt.Hn.Hugh (St'fford & Stone) MacArthur, Ian Sharpies, Richard
Galbraith, Hn. T. G. Mackenzie, Alasdair(Ross& Crom'ty) Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)
Gibson-Watt, David Maclean, Sir Fitzroy Silvester, Frederick
Giles, Rear-Adm. Morgan Macleod, Rt. Hn. lain Sinclair, Sir George
Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, C.) McMaster, Stanley Smith, Dudley (W'wick & L'mington)
Glyn, Sir Richard Macmillan, Maurice (Farnham) Smith, John (London & W'minster)
Goodhart, Philip Maddan, Martin Speed, Keith
Gower, Raymond Maginnis, John E. Stainton, Keith
Grant, Anthony Marples, Rt. Hn. Ernest Steel, David (Roxburgh)
Grant-Ferris, R. Marten, Neil Stodart, Anthony
Gresham Cooke, R. Maude, Angus Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M. (Ripon)
Grieve, Percy Mawby, Ray Tapsell, Peter
Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds) Maydon, Lt.-Cmdr. S. L. C. Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)
Grimond, Rt. Hn. J. Mills, Stratton (Belfast, N.) Taylor, Edward M.(G'gow, Cathcart)
Gurden, Harold Miscampbell, Norman Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)
Hall, John (Wycombe) Mitchell, David (Basingstoke) Teeling, Sir William
Hall-Davis, A. G. F. Monro, Hector Temple, John M.
Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) Montgomery, Fergus Thatcher, Mrs. Margaret
Harris, Frederic (Croycton, N.W.) More, Jasper Thorpe, Rt. Hn. Jeremy
Harrison, Brian (Maldon) Morgan, Geraint (Denbigh) Tilney, John
Harvey, Sir Arthur Vere Morrison, Charles (Devizes) Turton, Rt. Hn. R. H.
Harvie Anderson, Miss Mott-Radclyffe, Sir Charles Van straubenzee, W. R.
Hawkins, Paul Munro-Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh vaughan-Morgan, Rt. Hn. Sir John
Heseltine, Michael Murton, Oscar Vickers, Dame Joan
Higgins, Terence L, Neave, Airey Wainwright, Richard (Colne Valley)
Hill, J. E. B. Nlcholls, Sir Harmar. Walker, Peter (Worcester)
Hogg, Rt. Hn. Quintin Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sr Derek
Holland, Philip Nott, John Wall, Patrick
Hordern, Peter Onslow, Cranley Walters, Dennis
Hornby, Richard Orr, Capt. L, P. S. Webster, David
Howell, David (Guildford) Orr-Ewing, Sir Ian Wells, John (Maidstone)
Hunt, John Page, Graham (Crosby) Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William
Hutchison, Michael Clark Page, John (Harrow, W.) Williams, Donald (Dudley)
Iremonger, T. L. Pardoe, John Wills, Sir Gerald (Bridgwater)
Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye) Pearson, Sir Frank (Clitheroe) Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford) Peel, John Winstanley, Dr. M. p.
Jennings, J. C. (Burton) Peyton, John Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick
Johnson Smith, G. (E. Grinstead) Pike, Miss Mervyn Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard
Jones, Arthur (Northants, S.) Pink, R. Bonner Woodnutt, Mark
Kaberry, Sir Donald Pounder, Rafton Worsiey, Marcus
Kerby, Capt. Henry Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch Wright, Esmond
Kershaw, Anthony Price, David (Eastleigh) Wylie, N. R.
Kimball, Marcus Pym, Francis Younger, Hn. George
King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.) Quennell, Miss J. M.
Kirk, Peter Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Kitson, Timothy Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon Mr. Reginald Eyre and Mr. Bernard Weatherill.

11.30 a.m.

Mr. Swingler

I beg to move Amendment No. 54, in page 15, line 27, leave out paragraph (ix) and insert: (ix) where an undertaking has been—

  1. (a)transferred to the Executive under subsection (1) of section 17 of this Act; or
  2. (b)wholly or partly resumed by the Executive under subsection (2)(a) of the said section 17; or
  3. (c)acquired by the Executive otherwise than under the said section 17,
    • to carry on (but, in a case falling within sub-paragraph (c) of this paragraph, only with the approval of the Authority) any activities which the Executive would not otherwise have power to carry on but which were carried on by that undertaking immediately before the date of that transfer, the date of the disposal which gave rise to that resumption, or the date of that acquisition, as the case may be;

Mr. Deputy Speaker

With this Amendment, we are discussing Amendment No. 55, in page 15, line 27, after ' transferred', insert ' from a local authority'.

Mr. Swingler

Members of the Standing Committee will recall the rather long argument that we had about whether the Executive should be allowed to carry on certain activities which were not relevant to its main activities and purposes, but were part of an undertaking transferred to the Executive under the provisions of the Bill. A great deal of the argument centred on the meaning of the word "transferred" and on which undertakings were covered by the Clause. The Amendment is intended to remove any doubt about the meaning of the Clause. It makes clear the distinction between transferred undertakings and acquired undertakings. It was argued in Committee that acquired undertakings could be included in the word "transferred".

The aim of hon. Gentlemen opposite, in Committee, was to secure that, where a Passenger Transport Executive acquired an undertaking, it should not have power to carry on the activity in which the undertaking was engaged if it was not one which the Executive was empowered to carry on, except for the purpose of selling or winding up that part of the undertaking carrying on the supplementary activity.

Where a municipally-owned undertaking is transferred to a P.T.E., it may include certain activities not considered essential to the provision of transport and matters of that kind. Nevertheless, these activities would be carried on by the P.T.E. Making the distinction between transferred and acquired undertakings, the Amendment provides that a Passenger Transport Executive must obtain the approval of the Authority for continuing to carry on any supplementary activity already carried on by an undertaking which it has acquired, either voluntarily or in any other way.

I have no doubt that this will incur a certain amount of criticism from hon. Gentlemen opposite, but what we are doing here is putting the P.T.E.s on all fours with other transport undertakings, such as the National Bus Company, the National Freight Corporation and the Scottish Transport Group, except that they have to have the approval of the Minister of Transport, whereas it is obviously better that a Passenger Transport Executive should have the approval of the Authority, mainly composed of local government representatives, for carrying on these supplementary activities.

The second point is that in Clause 16 there are safeguards against unfair competition. Thirdly, an undertaking taken over must comprise assets required for the Executive's main business, so it must be mainly a transport business. In other words, the other activity, whatever it may be, must be a minor part of the undertaking. The fourth point is that the Executive is empowered only to carry on the activity. It is not empowered to extend it. In other words, it acquires an undertaking mainly composed for transport purposes. If that undertaking happens to have developed some other supplementary activities, the Executive may carry on those supplementary activities with the approval of the P.T.A. That does not mean that it is entitled to try to build up trading empires.

The safeguard is quite clear. It is provided in the Statute that the approval of the Authority is necessary in all cases of acquired undertakings. Notwithstanding the criticism expressed in Committee, I hope that the House will approve of this sensible, clarifying provision.

Mr. Michael Heseltine

Now I have heard everything. That is the most remarkable volte face that any Minister has ever been expected to address to this House. The hon. Gentleman's argument on the last point is, "Do not worry. A few examples of private enterprise fall into the hands of the municipal authorities by mistake. This is an incidental to the major acquisition, because those small acquisitions will not be permitted to be extended, year in year out." He is saying that these small trading activities will be maintained at precisely the same level of commercial size as when they were taken over.

Of all the commercial nonsense I have ever heard from a Minister, this is the worst. The idea that we can employ men and assets in a static position for ever is preposterous, and it is ludicrous for the Minister to try to sell us that idea. It is even more preposterous that he should try to sell us this Amendment.

This Amendment came into being as a result of an accidental revelation, brought to the attention of the Committee by me, because the purpose of the original drafting was to give municipal authorities, through the aegis of the passenger transport authorities, the power, if they took over an incidental operation by transfer from the local authorities, to conduct that operation. I pointed out that under another provision of the Bill, passenger transport authorities could acquire outside companies and that the assets of those companies would be transferred.

I said that this meant that the P.T.A.s would be able to conduct a limitless range of activities, quite dissociated from their main business as transport operators. This point took us hours to get across. It took hours for the Minister even to understand the words we were using. So that hon. Members should not think I am exaggerating, I will quote from the Standing Committee Report when I revealed this possibility and the Minister's reply. He said: I am sure that the hon. Member for Tavistock (Mr. Michael Heseltine) is magnificent in making the flesh creep in Tavistock, but in this Committee we have to pay some attention to accuracy and in particular to what is in the Bill. Later, he repeated and clarified the point. He said: It is to do … with things which were in municipal enterprises and which have been started by December of last year. It is limited to that extent. That is the explanation which I give to the Standing Committee on this part of the Clause. It does not raise any question of the Executive being given sweeping powers to go widely into all sorts of activities."— [OFFICIAL REPORT, Standing Committee F, 14th February, 1968; c. 667–70.] That was what the Minister said, and was Government policy when we discussed this in Committee. Now this Amendment is the precise reverse of what the Minister was saying Government policy was. It spells out that not only are there to be transfers of assets from local authorities, but that, where assets are transferred, as a result of acquisition, the local authorities are permitted to go on conducting those operations regardless. There is no assurance of a transport necessity. The Minister of State said that there were safeguards, and that there would be nothing to worry about because the authorities would not be able to acquire those assets in the first place unless they were assets wholly for the purpose of their business.

11.45 a.m.

The wording of the legislation is not quite as was presented. It says that passenger transport authorities can acquire "by agreement" any undertaking, or part of an undertaking if the assets comprised in the undertaking or part are "wholly or mainly" assets which the executive requires for the purposes of their business. First, it is the executive which decides if the assets are required, and, second, there is cause for concern about the use of the words "wholly or mainly". What will happen is that one will buy bus companies, a majority of whose assets are totally concerned with transport undertakings, but a small part of their assets will, in some way, be de- volved in businesses in no way associated with transport. The Minister of State said clearly in Committee that they would not be empowered to do that, but this Amendment gives them this power. He can dress it up in any way he chooses, but it is a major departure from the policy of the Government as stated in Committee.

This change confirms the worst suspicions of the motives behind this legislation. I can understand hon. Members opposite saying that they want this power to be given to the P.T.A.s—this is a doctrinal difference between the two sides. I accept their sincere right to have those views. What I do question is the situation where legislation is so drafted that those who are responsible for steering it through the House do not understand what it is about, are prepared, throughout the night in Committee to state clearly that it means one thing, using up valuable time, as a result of which 50 Clauses were never discussed, and then come to the House and change their mind and try to tell us that it is a matter of no consequence.

It is a monstrous decision by the Government and I am delighted by one thing only—that it is the Minister who has to come to the House and make quite clear that this change has taken place. I daresay that the Government will use their majority to steamroller this through, but I hope that it lies heavy on their consciences for having treated the House in this monstrous way.

Mr. Leslie Huckfield

In all the sittings of the Committee, and of the House as a whole on the Bill, I have heard only one speech containing more preposterous nonsense than that which we have just heard, and that was the speech made by the hon. Member for Tavistock (Mr. Michael Heseltine) in Committee. This was the kind of Clause under which, we were told, P.T.A.s would operate oil refineries market gardens—

Mr. Michael Heseltine rose

Mr. Huckfield

I prefer to make my own speech.

Mr. Heseltine

On a point of order. I have no wish to prevent the hon. Member from attacking me, but when he is deliberately misquoting me I would ask him to be good enough to quote the passages where I am supposed to have said these things.

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Sydney Irving)

That is not a point of order. It is up to the hon. Gentleman to decide whether to give way.

Mr. Huckfield

I will just imagine, for the sake of argument, that the hon. Gentleman's argument point had some substance, and I would tell him that he can look anywhere in the proceedings of Standing Committee F and he will find these repeated references.

Mr. Michael Heseltine


Mr. Huckfield

The hon. Gentleman spoke about setting up oil refineries and I was glad of this, since he said that I would get one in my constituency. I am surprised to find that when hon. Gentlemen in Committee have been arguing in favour of more safeguards, they should argue against this Amendment, which provides just that. A more continuous state of inconsistency I have yet to see.

We can see why the hon. Gentlemen opposite cannot support that Amendment. They are arguing along the same old lines, about putting something restrictive on the authorities. They want to be quite sure that, in the wide range of operations included under the heading of public passenger transport, private enterprise still has the cream. As long as that is the case they can turn round and say, "We told you so, passenger transport authorities will make a loss."

I support this Amendment, and would sincerely urge the hon. Member for Tavistock to read what he has said in Committee and ask him not to talk such preposterous nonsense.

Mr. Eldon Griffiths (Bury St. Edmunds)

I shall be very brief, first, because I know that my right hon. and hon. Friends wish to make progress, and second, because, as a member of the Standing Committee considering the Race Relations Bill, I am supposed to be upstairs. I rise because I have a matter that concerns my constituency and because I am provoked by the Minister's reply to my hon. Friend.

In the event of one of the executives taking over an existing transport business that happens on the side to be running an amusement park with dodgems, does the Minister's statement that they may not extend their activities mean that if dodgems go out of fashion, they may not go in for motor boats? That is the kind of question he must answer if he says that authorities, once taken over, will not be able to extend their activities—[An HON. MEMBER: "Read the Bill."] The hon. Gentleman says, "Read the Bill". I have read it. I am also engaged in the Standing Committee which is considering the Race Relations Bill, and one of the difficulties for which the Government are responsible is that hon. Members are required to come here without having been able to do all the work they would wish to do on behalf of their constituents.

It is the Minister's duty to answer the question, and mine to ask it. When he says that executives will not be allowed to extend their activities, will they be asked to make the decision not to seek a profit, not to run those activities in a commercial fashion, because of the undertaking he has given the House? My view is clear. They should hive off all these incidental activities at once, and should not take them over. I do not wish to see public money squandered in the way the Minister described this morning.

Mr. Swingler

If they take over a transport undertaking that is carrying on such an activity with the approval of the passenger transport executive, composed as it is mainly of local authority representatives, they may continue to carry on the supplementary activity. Under other parts of the Bill the executives have powers of acquisition and disposal of property in particular respects, but they are not entitled to go into a business extraneous to the main purposes of their business as a transport undertaking.

Mr. Eric Lubbock (Orpington)

The Minister says that they cannot go into a business which is extraneous, but who is to make this judgment? Under paragraph (x) the executive has power to provide for the persons using the services and facilities provided by it … such other amenities or facilities as it may appear to the Executive requisite or expedient to provide; To take the example of the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds (Mr. Eldon Griffiths), it might seem that dodgems are a very good attraction for people using its transport services because its, buses are always late. It might say, "It is expedient for us to have dodgems to amuse passengers while they are waiting for the buses to arrive." Such an argument can justify the provision of almost anything in relation to the main services—[AN HON. MEMBER: "Oh."] The hon. Gentleman says, "Oh". What is the matter with this argument? If he will read—

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. I am required to put the outstanding Govern-

ment Amendments by the time-table Motion.

The Proceedings on consideration of the Bill having continued for four and a half hours after Ten o'clock on Monday evening, Mr. DEPUTY SPEAKER proceeded pursuant to Order, to put forthwith the Question already proposed from the Chair.

Question put, That the Amendment be made: —

The House divided: Ayes 278, Noes 229.

Division No. 180.] AYES [11.54 a.m.
Albu, Austen Dolg, Peter Hunter, Adam
Alldritt, Walter Dunn, James A. Hynd, John
Allen, Scholefield Dunwoody, Mrs. Gwyneth (Exeter) Irvine, Sir Arthur (Edge Hill)
Anderson, Donald Dunwoody, Dr. John (F'th & C'b'e) Jackson, Colin (B'h'se & Spenb'gh)
Archer, Peter Eadle, Alex Jackson, Peter M. (High Peak)
Armstrong, Ernest Edwards, Robert (Bilston) Janner, Sir Barnett
Atkins, Ronald (Preston, N.) Edwards, William (Merioneth) Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas
Atkinson, Norman (Tottenham) Ellis, John Jeger, George (Coole)
Bacon, Rt. Hn. Alice English, Michael Jeger,Mrs. Lena (H'b'n & St.P'cras,S.)
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Ennals, David Jenkins, Rt. Hn. Roy (Stechford)
Barnes, Michael Ensor, David Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.)
Barnett, Joel Evans, loan L. (Birm'h'm, Vardley) Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull W.)
Baxter, William Fernyhough, E. Jones, Dan (Burnley)
Bence, Cyril Fitch, Alan (Wigan) Jones, Rt. Hn. Sir Elwyn(W.Ham,S.)
Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston) Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham)
Bennett, James (G'gow, Bridgeton) Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) Judd, Frank
Bidweli, Sydney Foley, Maurice Kelley, Richard
Binns, John Foot, Rt. Hn. Sir Dingle (Ipswich) Kenyon, Clifford
Bishop, E. S. Foot, Michael (Ebbw Vale) Lawson, George
Blackburn, F. Ford, Ben Leadbitter, Ted
Blenkinsop, Arthur Forrester, John Ledger Ron
Boardman, H. (Leigh) Fowler, Gerry Lee, Rt. Hn. Fredrick (Newton)
Booth, Albert Fraser, John (Norwood) Lee, John (Reading)
Bottomley, Rt. Hn. Arthur Freeson, Reginald Lestor, Miss Joan
Boyden, James Galpern, Sir Myer Lever, Harlod (Cheetham)
Barddock, Mrs. E. M. Gardner, Tony Lewis, Arthur (W. Ham, N.)
Bradely, Tom Garrett, W. E. Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)
Bray, Dr. Jermey Ginsburg, David Lipton, Marcus
Brooks, Edwin Gourlay, Harry Lipton, Marcus
Broughton, Dr. A. D. D. Gray, Dr. Hugh (Yarmouth) Lomas, Kemmeth
Brown, Rt. Hn. George (Belper) Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Anthony Loughlin, charles
Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan) Gregory, Arnold Laurd. Evan
Brown, R. W. (Shoreditch & F'bury) Grey, Charles (Durham) Lyon, Alexander W.(York)
Buchan, Norman Griffiths, David (Rother Valley) Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson
Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn) Griffiths, Rt. Hn. James (Lanelly) McBridge, Neil
Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green) Griffiths, Will (Exchange) McCann, John
Cant, R. B. Gunter, Rt. Hn. R. J. MacColl, James
Carmichael, Neil Hamilton, James (Bothwell) MacDermot, Niall
Castle, Rt. Hn. Barbara Hamilton, William (Fife, W.) Macdonald, A. H.
Chapman, Donald Hamling, William McKay, Mrs. Margaret
Coe, Denis Hannan, William Mackenzie, Gregor (Rutherglen)
Coleman, Donald Harper, Joseph Mackie, John
Conlan, Bernard Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) Mackintosh, John P.
Corbet Mrs Freda Hart, Rt. Hn. Judith Macleman, Robert
Craddock, George (Bradford S.) Haseldine, Norman MacMillan, Malcolm (Western Isles)
Crawshaw, Richard Hattersley, Roy McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.)
Crosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony Hazell, Bert McNamara, J. Kevin
Crossman, Rt. Hn. Richard Healey, Rt. Hn. Denis MacPherson, Malcolm
Cullen, Mrs. Alice Heffer, Eric S. Mahon, Peter (Preston, S.)
Dalyell Tarn Henig, Stanley Mahon, Simon (Bootle)
Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.) Hobden, Dennis (Brighton, K'town) Mallalieu, J.P.W.(Huddersfield,E.)
Davies, Dr. Ernest (Stretford) Hooley, Frank Manuel, Archie
Davies, Harold (Leek) Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas Marks, Kenneth
Davies, Ifor (Gower) Howarth, Harry (Wellingborough) Marquand, David
de Freitas, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey Howarth, Robert (Bolton, E.) Marsh, Rt. Hn. Richard
Delargy Hugh Howell, Denis (Small Heath) Mason, Rt. Hn. Roy
Dell, Edmund Howie, W. Mendelson, J. J.
Dempsey, James Huckfield, Leslie Mikardo, Ian
Dewar, Donald Hughes, Rt. Hn. Cledwyn (Anglesey) Millan, Bruce
Diamond, Rt. Hn. John Hughes, Emrys (Ayrshire, S.) Miller, Dr. M. S.
Dickens, James Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Mime, Edward (Blyth)
Dobson, Ray Hughes, Roy (Newport) Mitchell, R. C. (S'th'pton, Test)
Molloy, William Rees, Merlyn Taverne, Dick
Moonman, Eric Reynolds, G. W. Thomas, Rt. Hn. George
Moyle, Roland Rhodes, Geoffrey Thomson, Rt. Hn. George
Murray, Alhert Richard, Ivor Thornton, Ernest
Neal, Harold Roberts, Albert (Normanton) Tinn, James
Newerts, Stan Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon) Urwin, T. W.
Norwood, Christopher Roberts, Gwilym (Bedfordshire, S.) Varley, Eric G.
Oakes, Gordon Robertson, John (Paisley) Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne Valley)
Ogden, Eric Robinson, Rt. Hn.Kenneth(St.P'c'as) Walden, Brian (All Saints)
O'Malley, Brian Robinson, W. O. J. (Walth'stow, E.) Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Oram, Albert E. Rodgers, William (Stockton) Wallace, George
Orme, Stanley Rogers, George (Kensington, N.) Watkins, David (Consett)
Oswald, Thomas Rose, Paul Watkins, Tudor (Brecon & Radnor)
Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, S'tn) Ross, Rt. Hn. William Weitzman, David
Owen, Will (Morpeth) Ryan, John Wellbeloved, James
Paget, R. T Shaw, Arnold (llford, S.) Whitaker, Ben
Pannell, Rt. Hn. Charles Sheldon, Robert White, Mrs. Eirene
Park, Trevor Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney) Whitlock, William
Parker, John (Dagenham) Short, Rt. Hn. Edward(N'c'tle-u-Tyne) Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)
Parkyn, Brian (Bedford) Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford) Williams, Alan Lee (Hornchurch)
Pavitt, Laurence Skeffington, Arthur Williams, Clifford (Abertillery)
Pearson, Arlhur (Pontypridd) Slater, Joseph Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchin)
Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred Small, William Willis, Rt. Hn. George
Pentland, Norman Snow, Julian Wilson, Rt. Hn. Harold (Huyton)
Perry, Ernest G. (Battersea, S.) Spriggs, Leslie Winnick, David
Perry, George H. (Nottingham, S.) Stewart, Rt. Hn. Michael Woodburn, Rt. Hn. A.
Prentice, Rt. Hn. R. E. Stonehouse, John Woof, Robert
Price, Thomas (Westhoughton) Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R. Wyatt, Woodrow
Price, William (Rugby) Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley Yates, Victor
Probert, Arthur Swain, Thomas
Pursey, Cmdr. Harry Swingler, Stephen TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Rankin, John Symonds, J. B. Mr. Charles R. Morris and Mr. J. D. Concannon.
Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash) Crowder, F. P. Hawkins, Paul
Allaison, James (Hemet Hempstead) Cunningham, Sir Knox Hay, John
Astor, John Currle, G. B. H. Heald, Rt. Hn. Sir Lionel
Atkins, Humphrey (M't'n & M'd'n) Dalfceltti, Earl of Heseltine, Michael
Awdry, Daniel Dance, James Higgins, Terence L.
Baker, Kenneth (Acton) Davidson, James(Aberdeenshire, W.) Hill, J. E. B.
Baiter, W. H. K. (Banff) d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry Hogg, Rt. Hn. Quintin
Barber, Rt. Hn. Anthony Dean, Paul (Somerset, N.) Holland, Philip
Batsford, Brian Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F. (Ashford) Hooson, Emlyn
Beamish, Col. Sir Tutton Digby, Simon Wingfield Hordern, Peter
Bell, Ronald Dodds-Parker, Douglas Homby, Richard
Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay) Doughty, Charles Howell, David (Guildford)
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gos. & Fhm) Douglas-Home, Rt. Hn. Sir Aleo Hunt, John
Berry, Hn. Anthony Drayson, G. B. Hutchison, Michael Clark
Bessell, Peter du Cann, Rt. Hn. Edward Iremonger, T. L.
Biffen, John Eden, Sir John Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)
Biggs-Davtson, John Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton) Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford)
Birch, Rt. Hn. Nigel Elliott, R.W.(N'c'tle-upon-Tyne,N.) Jennings, J. C. (Burton)
Black, Sir Cyril Emery, Peter Johnson Smith, G. (E. Grinstead)
Blaker, Peter Errington, Sir Eric Jones, Arthur (Northants, S.)
Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S.W.) Eyre, Reginald Kaberry, Sir Donald
Body, Richard Farr, John Kerby, Capt. Henry
Bossom, Sir Clive Fisher, Nigel Kershaw, Anthony
Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hn. John Fletcher-Cooke, Charles Kimball, Marcus
Boyle, Rt. Hn. Sir Edward Fortescue, Tim King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.)
Braine, Bernard Foster, Sir John Kirk, Peter
Brewis, John Fraser,Rt.Hn.Hugh(St'ford & Stone) Lambton, Viscount
Brinton, Sir Tatton Galbraith, Hn. T. G. Lancaster, Col. C. G.
Bromley-Davenport,Lt.-Col.SirWalter Gibson-Watt, David Lane, David
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Giles, Rear-Adm. Morgan Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry
Bruce-Gardyne, J. Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, C.) Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)
Bryan, Paul Glyn, Sir Richard Lloyd, Ian (P'tsm'th, Langstone)
Buchanan-Smith, Alick(Angus,N & M) Goodhart, Philip Longden, Gilbert
Buck, Antony (Colchester) Gower, Raymond Lubbock, Eric
Bullus, Sir Eric Grant, Anthony McAdden, Sir Stephen
Burden, F. A. Grant-Ferris, R. MacArthur, Ian
Campbell, Gordon Gresham cooke, R. Mackenzie, Alasdair (Ross & Crom'ty)
Carlisle, Mark Grieve, Percy Maclean, Sir Fitzroy
Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunde) Madeod, Rt. Hn. lain
Channon, H. P. G. Grimond, Rt. Hn, J, McMaster, Stanley
Chichester-Clark, R. Gurden, Harold Macmillan, Maurice (Farnham)
Clark, Henry Hall, John (Wycombe) Maddan, Martin
Clegg, Walter Hall-Davis, A. G. F. Magiimis, John E.
Cooke, Robert Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) Marples, Rt. Hn. Ernest
Corfield, F. V. Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.W.) Marten, Neil
Costain, A. P. Harrison, Brian (Maldon) Maude, Angus
Craddock, sir Beresford (Spelthorne) Harvey, Sir Arthur Vere Mawby, Ray
Crouch, David Harvie Anderson, Miss Maydon, Lt.-Cmdr. S. L. C.
Mills, Stratton (Belfast, N.) Quennell, Miss J. M. Thorpe, Rt. Hn. Jeremy
Miscampbell, Norman Rencon, Rt. Hn. Sir David Tilney, John
Mitchell, David (Basingstoke) Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon Turton, Rt. Hn. R. H.
Monro, Hector Ridley, Hn. Nicholas van Straubenzee, W. B.
Montgomery, Fergus Ridsdale, Julian Vaughan-Morgan, Rt. Hn. Sir John
More, Jasper Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks) Vickers, Dame Joan
Morgan, Ceraint (Denbigh) Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey) Wainwright, Richard (Colne Valley)
Morrison, Charles (Devizes) Royle, Anthony Walker, Peter (Worcester)
Mott-Radclyffe, Sir Charles Russell, Sir Ronald Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek
Munro-Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh St. John-Stevas, Norman Wail, Patrick
Murton, Oscar Sandys, Rt. Hn. D. Walters, Dennis
Neave, Airey Scott, Nicholas Webster, David
Nicholls, Sir Harmar Scott-Hopkins, James Wells, John (Maidstone)
Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael Sharples, Richard Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William
Nott, John Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby) Williams, Donald (Dudley)
Onslow, Cranley Sinclair, Sir George Wills, Sir Gerald (Bridgwater)
Orr, Capt. L. P. S. Smith, Dudley (W'wick & L'mington) Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Orr-Ewing, Sir Ian Smith, John (London & W'minster) Winstanley, Dr. M. P.
Page, Graham (Crosby) Speed, Keith Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick
Page, John (Harrow, W.) Stainton, Keith Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard
Pardoe, John Steel, David (Roxburgh) Woodnutt, Mark
Pearson, Sir Frank (Clithero) Stodart, Anthony Worsley, Marcus
Peel, John Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M. (Ripon) Wright, Esmond
Peyton, John Tapsell, Peter Wylie, N. R.
Pike, Miss Mervyn Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne) Younger, Hn. George
Pink, R. Bonner Taylor, Edward M. (G'gow, Cathcart)
Pounder, Rafton Taylor, Frank (Moss Side) TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch Teeling, Sir William Mr. Timothy Kitson and Mr. Bernard Weatherill.
Price, David (Eastleigh) Temple, John M.
Pym, Francis Thatcher, Mrs. Margaret

Mr. DEPUTY SPEAKER then proceeded, pursuant to Order, to put forthwith the Questions on the Amendments, moved by a member of the Government, of which notice had been given, to that part of the Bill to be concluded at that time.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

If it suits the convenience of the House, I propose to put the outstanding Government Amendments up to but excluding No. 86 in one Question. I understand that it may be the wish of the House to divide on No. 86.

Amendment made: No. 62, in page 18, line 1, at beginning insert: ' subject, in the case of a disposal of land, to the approval of the Authority.'—[Mr. Swingler.]

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