HC Deb 28 May 1968 vol 765 cc1629-35


Mr. Michael Heseltine

I beg to move Amendment No. 164, in page 61, line 7, to leave out paragraph (a).

Mr. Deputy Speaker

It is suggested that at the same time we should consider the following Amendments: No. 165, in page 61, line 7, leave out from 'manufacturing' to 'anything' in line 10.

No. 166, in line 11, leave out from 'authority' to end of line 17 and insert: 'can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Minister that they can manufacture cheaper, quicker or to a higher standard than outside suppliers and the authority may repair anything used by it in the course of its business provided that in deciding to so manufacture or repair the authority shall not indulge in such activity unless it shall have materials or facilities for or skill in the manufacture or repair of that thing in connection with some principal activity of that authority or that subsidiary'. No. 176, in line 28, leave out' existing' and insert' principal'.

No. 177, in line 28 leave out from 'means ' to end of line 32 and insert: 'an activity which is reasonably regarded as activity that is necessary for the authority to carry on to ensure the provision of the transport services for which that authority was established and in this connection ancillary or incidental activities of the authority shall not be so regarded'. and No. 186, in line 28, leave out subsection (10).

Mr. Heseltine

We now come to the most significant single Clause in the whole of this Transport Bill and it is one of the most grotesque aspects of this whole performance that we should reach it with five minutes to go, having spent one hour and seven minutes discussing a Clause introduced on Report stage by this Government to raise £30 million for London Transport which their own Ministers know they have no right to treat in this particular way. Having wasted 25 per cent. of the time we are now expected to discuss Clause 45 in four minutes.

If The Times was right this morning in saying that the Bill was not a bad monument to the right hon. Lady the Member for Blackburn (Mrs. Barbara Castle), then this Clause is the headstone of that monument; because this Clause extends the powers of nationalised transport boards and undertakings into manufacturing any product that those undertakings believe they are capable of manufacturing and for which they have facilities. The fact of the matter is that this is a major doctrinal difference between the two sides of this House, and if one accepts the sincere wish of hon. Members opposite to extend the powers of nationalised undertakings in this way, they will expect us to protest in the name of the overwhelming majority of the people of this country who have made it abundantly clear that they want no such extension of powers of this kind.

When we read the language in which this new Clause is couched our fears could not be greater, because we find these organisations, which have been nationalised purely for the purpose of creating transport undertakings which are considered to be provided only in the way of State enterprises, are now to be permitted to indulge, virtually without control, in any other kind of activity that, at their whim, they feel they should be able to do. One realises that this is the last time a Clause of nationalisation will ever need to come before this House; because at any time in the future that a Labour Government wants to buy into the private sector they will have no need to introduce a Bill into this House. All they have to do is to go to one of the nationalised transport undertakings and get that undertaking to buy it for them.

Mr. Marsh

I would make the point that they will be able to do that only within the context of the very strict financial disciplines laid upon them; and why should not the taxpayers be allowed to use their assets in that way?

Mr. Heseltine

I am grateful for the right hon. Gentleman's reference to strict financial disciplines. Those are there because we on this side put them in. They are there as a result of concessions made by the Government during the Committee stage. The right hon. Gentleman was not the Minister at the time but he will know that we put down an Amendment during the Committee stage to make these undertakings behave as commercial undertakings and that concession was made.

Mr. Leadbitter rose

Mr. Heseltine

We have listened to the hon. Member enough today. We are not listening to him any more. The concession we obtained from the right hon. Gentleman's predecessor is severely curtailed by the definition given to it by the Minister of State. The Minister of State, in quotations already put before the House this afternoon, made it quite clear that all he thinks commercial undertakings have to do is to break even and earn interest—that is what he said. The right hon. Gentleman may object to what he said, but we are moving this Amendment because we are appalled at the prospect that the principal factor to be complied with in the limitless range of activities by State organisations is that they have to earn a modicum of rate of interest on their assets. This definition was introduced by the Minister of State and therefore in order that the House may express its opinion, I beg to move the Amendment.

Question put, That the Amendment be made: —

The House divided: Ayes 232, Noes 277.

Division No. 187.] AYES [7.59 p.m.
Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash) Chichester-Clark, R. Goodhart, Philip
Allason, James (Hemel Hempstcad) Clark, Henry Goodhew, Victor
Astor, John Clegg, Walter Cower, Raymond
Atkins, Humphrey (M't'n & M'd'n) Cooke, Robert Cram, Anthony
Awdry, Daniel Corfleld, F. V. Grant-Ferris, R.
Baker, Kenneth (Acton) Costain, A. P. Gresham Cooke, R.
Baker, W. H. K. (Banff) Craddock, Sir Beresford (Speithome) Grieve, Percy
Batoiel, Lord Crosthwaite-Eyre, Sir Oliver Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds)
Barber, Rt. Hn. Anthony Crouch, David Grimood, Rt. Hn. J.
Batsford, Brian Crowder, F. P. Gurden, Harold
Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton Cunningham, Sir Knox Hall, John (Wycombe)
Bell, Ronald Currie, G. B. H. HaH-Davis, A. G. F.
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gos. & Fhm) Daikeith, Earl of Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury)
Berry, Hn. Anthony Dance, James Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.W.)
Besselt, Peter Davidson,James(Aberdeenshire,W.) Harrison, Brian (Matdon)
Biffen, John Dean, Paul (Somerset, N.) Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye)
Biggs-Davison, John Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F. (Ashford) Harvey, Sir Arthur Vere
Black, Sir Cyril Digby, Simon Wingfieid Harvie Anderson, Miss
Blaker, Peter Dodds-Parker, Douglas Hastings, Stephen
Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S.W.) Doughty, Charles Hawkins, Paul
Body, Richard Douglas-Home, Rt. Hn. Sir Alec Hay, John
Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hn. John Drayson, G. B. Heaid, Rt. Hn. Sir Lionel
Boyle, Rt. Hn. Sir Edward du Cann, Rt. Hn. Edward Heath, Rt. Hn. Edward
Braine, Bernard Eden, Sir John Heseltine, Michael
Brewis, John Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton) Higgins, Terence L.
Br'mton, Sir Tatton EIHiott,R.W.(N'c'tle-upon-Tyne,N.) Hiley, Joseph
Bromley-Davenport,Lt.-Col.SirWalter Emery, Peter Hill, J. E. B.
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Errington, Sir Eric Hogg, Rt. Hn. Quintin
Bruce, Gardyrte, J. Eyre, Reginald Holland, Philip
Bryan, Paul Farr, John Hooson, Emlyn
Buchanan-Smith,Alick(Angus,N & M) Fisher, Nigel Homby, Richard
Buck, Antony (Colchester) Ftetcher-Cooke, Charles Howell, David (Guildford)
Bullus, Sir Eric Forteecue, Tim Hunt, John
Burden, F. A. Foster, Sir John Hutchison, Michael Clark
Campbell, Gordon Gibson-Watt, David Iremonger, T. L.
Carlisle, Mark Giles, Rear-Adm. Morgan Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)
Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, C.) Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford)
Cary, Sir Robert Glyn, Sir Richard Jennings, J. C. (Burton)
Channon, H. P. G. Godber, Rt. Hn. J. B. Johnston, Russell (Inverness)
Jones, Arthur (Northants, S.) Neave, Airey Smith, John (London & W'minster)
Kaberry, Sir Donald Nicholls, Sir Harmar Speed, Keith
Kerby, Capt. Henry Noble, Rt. Hon. Michael Stainton, Keith
Kershaw, Anthony Nott, John Steel, David (Roxburgh)
Kimball, Marcus Onslow, Cranley Stodart, Anthony
King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.) Orr, Capt. L. P. s. Stoddart-Scotl, Col. Sir M. (Ripon)
Kirk, Peter Orr-Ewing, Sir Ian Tapsell, Peter
Lambton, Viscount Osborne, Sir Cyril (Louth) Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)
Lancaster, Col. C. G. Page, Graham (Crosby) Taylor, Edward M. (G'gow,Cathcart)
Lane, David Page, John (Harrow, W.) Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)
Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry Pardoe, John Teeling, Sir William
Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland) Pearson, Sir Frank (Clitheroe) Temple, John M.
Lloyd,Rt.Hn.Geoflrey(Sut'nC'dfield) Peel, John Thatcher, Mrs. Margaret
Lloyd, Ian (P'tsm'th, Langstone) Percival, Ian Thorpe, Rt. Hn. Jeremy
Lubbock, Eric Peyton, John Turton, Rt. Hn. R. H.
McAdden, Sir Stephen Pink, R. Bonner Vaughan-Morgan, Rt. Hn. Sir John
MacArthur, Ian Pounder, Rafton Vickers, Dame Joan
Mackenzie, Alasdair(Ross & Crom'ty) Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch Wainwright, Richard (Colne Valley)
Maclean, Sir Fitzroy Price, David (Eastleigh) Walker, Peter (Worcester)
Macleod, Rt. Hn. lain Prior, J. M. L. Wall, Patrick
McMaster, Stanley Pym, Francis Walters, Dennis
MacmMian, Maurice (Famhant) Quennell, Miss J. M. Weatherill, Bernard
Maddan, Martin Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter Webster, David
Maginnis, John E. Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David Wells, John (Maidstone)
Marples, Rt. Hn. Ernest Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William
Marten, Neil Ridley, Hn. Nicholas Williams, Donald (Dudley)
Maude, Angus Ridsdale, Julian Wills, Sir Gerald (Bridgwater)
Mawby, Ray Rippon, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Maydon, Lt.-Cmdr. S. L. C. Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks) Winstanley, Dr. M. P.
Mills, Peter (Torrington) Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey) Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick
Mills, Stratton (Belfast, N.) Royle, Anthony Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard
Miscampbell, Norman Russell, Sir Ronald Woodnutt, Mark
Mitchell, David (Basingstoke) St. John-Stevas, Norman Worsley, Marcus
Montgomery, Fergus Scott, Nicholas Wylie, N. R.
More, Jaspe Scott-Hopkins, James Younger, Hn. George
Morgan, Ceraint (Denbigh) Sharpies, Richard
Morrison, Charles (Devizes) Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby) TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Mott-Radclyffe, Sir Charles Silvester, Frederick Mr. Hector Monro and
Munro-Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Sinclair, Sir George Mr. Timothy Kitson.
Murton, Oscar Smith, Dudley (W'wick& L'mlngton)
Abse, Leo Carter-Jones, Lewis Evans, loan L. (Birm'h'm, Yardley)
Albu, Austin Castle, Rt. Hn. Barbara Faulds, Andrew
Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.) Chapman, Donald Femyhough, E.
Alldritt, Walter Coe, Denis Fletcher, Raymond (Iikeston)
Allen, Schole field Coleman, Donald Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)
Anderson, Donald Concannon, J. D. Foley, Maurice
Armstrong, Ernest Conlan, Bernard Foot, Michael (Ebbw Vale)
Atkins, Ronald (Preston, N.) Corbet, Mrs. Freda Ford, Ben
Atkinson, Norman (Tottenham) Craddock, George (Bradford, S.) Forrester, John
Bacon, Rt. Hn. Alice Crawshaw, Richard Fowler, Gerry
Barnes, Michael Crosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony Fraser, John (Norwood)
Barnett, Joel Cullen, Mrs. Alice Freeson, Reginald
Baxter, William Dalyell, Tarn Galpem, Sir Myer
Beaney, Alan Davidson, Arthur (Accrington) Gardner, Tony
Bence, Cyril Davies, Ednyfed Hudson (Conway) Cinsburg, David
Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.) Gray, Dr. Hugh (Yarmouth)
Bennett, James (G'gow, Bridgeton) Daviea, Dr. Ernest (Stretford) Gregory, Arnold
Bidwell, Sydney Davies, Harold (Leek) Grey, Charles (Durham)
Bishop, E. S. Davies, Ifor (Gower) Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)
Blackburn, F. Davies, S. O. (Merthyr) Griffiths, Rt. Hn. James (Llanelly)
Blenkinsop, Arthur de Freitas, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey Griffiths, Witt (Exchange)
Boardman, H. (Leigh) Delargy, Hugh Gunter, Rt. Hn. R. J.
Booth, Albert Dell, Edmund Hamilton, William (Fife, W.)
Bottomley, Rt. Hn. Arthur Dempsey, James Hamling, WHIiam
Boyden, James Dewar, Donald Hannan, William
Braddock, Mrs. E. M. Diamond, Rt. Hn. John Harper, Joseph
Bradley, Tom Dickens, James Harrison, Waller (Wakefield)
Bray, Dr. Jeremy Dobson, Ray Haseldine, Norman
Brooks, Edwin Doig, Peter Hatterdey, Roy
Brown, Rt. Hn. George (Belper) Dunn, James A. Hazell, Bert
Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan) Dunnett, Jack Heffer, Eric S.
Brown,Bob(M'c'tle-upon-Tyne,W.) Dunwoody, Mrs. Gwyneth (Exeter) Henig, Stanley
Brown, R. W. (Shoreditch & f'bury) Dunwoody, Dr. John (F'th & C'b'e) Hilton, W. S.
Buchan, Norman Eadie, Alex Hobden, Dennis (Brighton, K'town)
Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn) Edwards, Robert (Bilston) Hooley, Frank
Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.) Edwards, William (Merioneth) Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas
Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green) Ellis, John Howarth, Harry (Wellingborough)
Callaghan. Rt. Hn. James English, Michael Howarth, Robert (Bolton, E.)
Cant, R. B. Ensor, David Howell, Denis (Small Heath)
Carmichael, Neil Evans, Albert (Islington, s.w.) Howie, W.
Hoy, James Mapp, Charles Robinson, W.O.J. (Walth'stow, E.)
Huckfield, Leslie Marks, Kenneth Rodgers, William (Stockton)
Hughes, Rt. Hn. Cledwyn (Anglesey) Marquand, David Roebuck, Roy
Hughes, Emrys (Ayrshire, S.) Marsh, Rt. Hn. Richard Rose, Paul
Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Mason, Rt. Hn. Roy Ross, Rt. Hn. William
Hughes, Roy (Newport) Mayhew, Christopher Rowlands, E. (Cardiff, N.)
Hunter, Adam Mendelson, J. J. Ryan, John
Hynd, John Mikardo, lan Shaw, Arnold (llford, S.)
Jackson, Colin (B'h'se & Spenb'gh) Millan, Bruce Sheldon, Robert
Jackson, Peter M. (High Peak) Miller, Dr. M. S. Shinwell, Rt. Hn. E.
Jeger,Mrs.Lena(H'b'n & St.P'cras, S.) Milne, Edward (Blyth) Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney)
Jenkins, Hugh (Putney) Mitchell, R. C. (S'th'pton, Test) Short, Rt. Hn. Eclward (N'c' tle-u-Tyne)
Jenkins, Rt. Hn. Roy (Stechford) Molloy, William Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)
Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.) Moonman, Eric Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich)
Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.) Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire) Silverman, Julius (Aston)
Jones, Dan (Burnley) Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe) Slater, Joseph
Jones, Rt. Hn. Sir Elwyn (W.Ham,S.) Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw) Small, William
Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham) Morris, John (Aberavon) Snow, Julian
Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, West) Murray, Albert Spriggs, Leslie
Judd, Frank Neal, Harold Stonehouse, John
Kelley, Richard Newens, Stan Strauss, Rt. Hn. C. R.
Kenyon, Clifford Norwood, Christopher Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley
Kerr, Mrs. Anne (R'ter & Chatham) Oakes, Cordon Swain, Thomas
Lawson, George Ogden, Eric Swingler, Stephen
Leadbitter, Ted O'Malley, Brian Symonds, J. B.
Ledger, Ron Oram, Albert E. Taverne, Dick
Lee, Rt. Hn. Jennie (Cannock) Ormc, Stanley Thornton, Ernest
Lee, John (Reading) Oswald, Thomas Tinn, James
Lestor, Miss Joan Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, S'tn) Torrey, Frank
Lewis, Arthur (W. Ham, N.) Owen, Will (Morpeth) Urwin, T. W.
Lipton, Marcus Page, Derek (King's Lynn) Varley, Eric C.
Lomas, Kenneth Paget, R. T. Walden, Brian (All Saints)
Loughlin, Charles Palmer, Arthur Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Luard, Evan Pannell, Rt. Hn. Charles Wallace, George
Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson Park, Trevor Watkins, David (Consett)
McBride, Neil Parker, John (Dagenham) Watkins, Tudor (Brecon & Radnor)
McCann, John Parkyn, Brian (Bedford) Weitzman, David
MacColl, James Pavitt, Laurence Wellbeloved, James
MacDermot, Niall Pearson, Arthur (Pontypridd) Whitaker, Ben
Macdonald, A. H. Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred Whitlock, William
McGuire, Michael Pentland, Norman Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)
McKay, Mrs. Margaret Prentice, Rt. Hn. R. E. Williams, Alan Lee (Hornchurch)
Mackenzie, Gregor (Rutherglen) Price, Thomas (Westhoughton) Williams, Clifford (Abertillery)
Mackie, John Price, William (Rugby) Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchin)
Mackintosh, John P. Probert, Arthur Willis, Rt. Hn. George
Maclennan, Robert Randall, Harry Winnick, David
Macmillan, Malcolm (Western Isles) Rankin, John Woodburn, Rt. Hn. A.
McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.) Rees, Merlyn Woof, Robert
McNamara, J. Kevin Reynolds, G. W. Yates, Victor
MacPherson, Malcolm Rhodes, Geoffrey
Mahon, Peter (Preston, S.) Richard, Ivor TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Mahon, Simon (Bootle) Roberts, Albert (Normanton) Mr. Alan Fitch and Mr. Ernest G. Perry.
Mallalieu, J.P.W.(Hudersfield,E.) Robertson, John (Paisley)
Manuel, Archie Robinson, Rt. Hn. Kenneth (St.P'c'as)

It being after Eight o'clock, 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 Eight o'clock.

Forward to