HC Deb 24 June 1969 vol 785 cc1237-77

4.20 p.m.

The Minister of State, Board of Trade (Mr. William Rodgers)

I beg to move Amendment No. 2, in page 1, line 8, leave out 'Travel Association' and insert 'Tourist Authority'.

Mr. Speaker

Order. I have added to my selection a debate on Amendment No. 89, in page, 3, line 16, at end insert: (4) The British Travel Association shall, in consultation with the English Tourist Board, the Scottish Tourist Board and the Wales Tourist Board, establish machinery to co-ordinate the activities of all four Tourist Boards mentioned in this paragraph on matters affecting Great Britain as a whole, and Amendment No. 90, in page 3, line 16, at end insert: (4) The British Travel Association, the English Tourist Board, the Scottish Tourist Board and the Wales Tourist Board shall in the interests of economy and efficiency establish common services in appropriate cases and such common services shall be administered by the British Travel Association, which will be taken together.

May I remind the House that after this first debate on Amendment No. 2, we will have a Division, without debate, on Amendment No. 4, in page 1, line 12, leave out 'five' and insert 'sixteen'.

With Amendment No. 2 I suggest that we take Government Amendment No. 3 and Amendment No. 16, in page 2, line 10, leave our 'A Tourist Authority' and insert 'Travel Association', and Amendments Nos. 17, 25, 31 and 33, which are related Amendments; and Government Amendments Nos. 40, 41, 42, 44, 63, 64, 81 and 86, all of which are linked.

Sir Charles Taylor (Eastbourne)

On a point of order. Should not Amendment No. 1, in page 1, line 6, leave out 'Authority' and insert 'Association', be included, because it is associated with the the same debate?

Mr. Speaker

Amendment No. 1 is not selected.

Sir C. Taylor

I know that it is not selected. But it would make the Bill a nonsense if Amendment No. 1 was not taken with this group of Amendments, because, if we were successful in winning the Division, it would leave in the word "Authority" instead of "Association". I am not asking for a debate on it. I am asking whether it could be included in this group of Amendments, because I think that it would be helpful.

Mr. Speaker

I have a note that I made when selecting these Amendments yesterday that this is a printing matter. The hon. Gentleman is seeking to amend "Tourist Authority" to "Tourist Association", which is a heading printed over Part I. I do not think that this arises. It is a minor point.

Mr. Rodgers

This group of Amendments is concerned with what should be the name of the principal body concerned with tourism, the top of the pyramid; whether it should be called the British Travel Association, as some hon. Members would like, or whether it should be called the British Tourist Authority, as we prefer.

In the original Bill, as printed, the words "British Tourist Authority" appeared. Due to a combination of circumstances in Committee, and somewhat to the surprise of its sponsors, there was a change whereby "British Travel Association" was submitted for "British Tourist Authority". This change was due partly to the temporary absence of some Government Members and partly to the very effective appeal to sentiment of the hon. Member for Eastbourne (Sir C. Taylor).

The change was made partly as a measure of good will towards the British Travel Association, as it now is and has been for some time. It was a warm and well-intentioned gesture which we may all applaud without necessarily endorsing its outcome. Although for most people it was essentially a sentimental gesture, I think that there was behind it something slightly more as far as the hon. Member for Eastbourne (Sir C. Taylor) was concerned.

It was clear from what he said in our early discussions, though I hope he was persuaded by the course of them, that he wished, broadly speaking, to preserve the status quo, and that he was hoping that a British Tourist Authority, or a body of the kind for which the Bill provides, whatever it is called, would not be set up. In other words, he secretly hoped that the first part of the Bill would not take effect and things would be left substantially as they were. By refusing to change the name the hon. Gentleman hoped somehow that we would also refuse to change the nature of the animal.

This is the background to our discussions. I certainly have no complaint; it would not be proper for me to have any complaint, about what was decided in Committee. But I hope that the hon. Member for Eastbourne, approaching the matter somewhat later and on reflection, and given that he has made his gesture, will now recognise that we cannot change the substance by changing the shadow and that it is far better to revert to the name "British Tourist Authority", which was printed in the original Bill.

There are two important points which the House may wish to bear in mind. First, the new organisation will not only be concerned with travel, bringing people to Britain and moving them about; it will be concerned positively with all the facilities and the whole of the industry which goes to make up tourism. It will be available in conjunction with the three country boards to ensure that British tourism flourishes and more and more people come here to take advantage of it. To say "travel" would be to narrow the sphere with which the Bill very properly deals.

Secondly, whether we like the new organisation or not—and that it has gathered some friends as time has gone by—it is certainly not an association. An association is a joining together; an authority is something rather different.

We would not contemplate referring to the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Association, the White Fish Association, or the Port of London Association. "Association" would be the wrong name to apply to this sort of body. I think that it clearly follows that to call the new tourist body an association is to describe it wrongly. It is something rather different.

The House may argue whether we might have called it a commission or by some other name. I concede that different views might be taken. But there is no proposal to do anything other than rename the association an authority. That is the choice before the House.

Lord Geddes, as the House knows, has been the distinguished chairman of the B.T.A., for a long time. He says: By the very nature of the new Authority it would be inappropriate that it should be called an association. I think that he very fairly sums up the position.

4.30 p.m.

We should also bear in mind that the British Travel Association is not dead yet. There is bound to be a transition period as it hands over many of its responsibilities to the new authority and to the boards. To take away its name now, even before it is dissolved, would be most inappropriate, and, in a way, rather an insult to it, Which I know is not what the hon. Member for Eastbourne had in mind.

The B.T.A. has made it clear that it does not want its name carried on in this way, In Committee, the hon. Gentleman perhaps implied, and certainly some of us for a moment wondered, whether the B.T.A. would wish its name carried on. It has now made its position clear. It does not think that the new body should be called the British Travel Association.

The B.T.A. as we have known it has done a first rate job. Tributes have been paid to it during our discussions on the Bill, and no doubt they will be paid again. The right course is to leave it with its name to the end, to remember it for all it has done, and to reverse the decision which was made in Committee to substitute British Travel Association for the more appropriate British Tourist Authority.

Sir C. Taylor

There are no politics in this Amendment, or at least I do not think so. The Minister said that perhaps I was surprised that the Committee agreed to the change of name from British Tourist Authority to British Travel Association. I was not in the least surprised. I put it down to the cogent arguments that I put to the Committee, not to the absence of Government supporters on that day. I think that the Committee was convinced that my arguments for the continuation of the name British Travel Association were so strong that it decided the name should continue.

I realise that the animal, as the Minister said must undergo some changes, but I still do not believe that there is any reason to change the name. I said that there were no politics involved, but I feel that perhaps there may be some, in that in Government circles there are some doctrinaire feelings against any hint of private enterprise. The British Travel Association had a considerable amount of private enterprise attaching to it. It started as a private enterprise arrangement, and it was only later that the Government decided to support it, and to support it also with funds.

I understand that at the annual general meeting of the British Travel Association only one person voted for the new name British Tourist Authority, but my information may be wrong. I believe that with the exception of one person everyone expressed the hope that the name British Travel Association would continue.

I think that we have too many authorities. I suggest that the word "authority" stinks of Government control, Government interference, and bureaucracy. I believe that people abroad know what authority means, and that they will look upon the name British Tourist Authority as something to do with the Government. More and more conservative and liberal people throughout the world are taking the view that the word "authority" is a nasty word.

I do not believe that there is any need to change the name. It may not be an association any longer, but the British Travel Association has been the envy of many countries. Even countries which have Ministers of Tourism have admired the work of the British Travel Association. Many of them have said to me, "We only wish that we had an association of this kind, rather than an organisation which is run by the Government".

About £200,000 per annum was subscribed to the British Travel Association from private sources, which shows how much people thought of this body. I wonder whether those people will be so forthcoming in supporting the new British Tourist Authority if the House decides that that shall be the name.

We must consider the question of posters, brochures, writing paper, and all the pamphlets and leaflets which will probably have to be scrapped because they are printed in the name of the British Travel Association. I hope that to save money there will not be small stickers put on the pamphlets saying, "For British Travel Association, read British Tourist Authority".

I ask the House to realise that an enormous amount of money has been spent on publicising the name British Travel Association. I can imagine what hon. Members would think if the manufacturers of Player's cigarettes, having spent enormous sums of money on publicising the name Player's, suddenly called them "Professional's" or "Gentlemen's". I can imagine how much of the money spent on publicising Player's cigarettes would go down the drain before people started asking for 20 Professional's, or 20 Gentlemen's.

The whole idea of changing the name is absolute madness. We have spent millions of pounds on publicising the British Travel Association throughout the world, and it is known and respected as such. Nobody has yet heard of the British Tourist Authority.

The British Travel Association had a board of experts, and good luck to them. They received no pay, allowances, or expenses. They did their work as a labour of love to the industry, because it may be that in other ways they were connected with it. Somebody from Thomas Cook, somebody from Cunard, somebody from the British Hotels and Restaurants Association, somebody from the Caterers' Association, somebody from the local authorities, did the work as a labour of love. Under Lord Geddes this work cost very little, and private enterprise people who derived some advantage from the tourist trade were prepared to subscribe to this body.

I pay tribute to the work done by Lord Geddes and his predecessors and their staff. I hope that the staff will be kept on, but I suggest that "authority" is a horrid word. It is a dictatorial word. It is a word which we in England do not like very much. There are too many authorities. There is the Airports Authority, the Port of London Authority, and so on. They all stink of Government interference. I want to see more private enterprise. That is my only political point.

"Association" is a much nicer word than "authority". The British Travel Association is respected and known throughout the world, and I hope that we shall keep the name.

Mr. John Peyton (Yeovil)

I am very glad to support every word said by my hon. Friend the Member for Eastbourne (Sir C. Taylor). The Government's attitude is that one can call it by any name, so long as it is one of their choosing. They revert by natural affection to a title including the word "authority" even when tourism, surely the most voluntary of all human activities, is concerned. They show their well-known contempt for any decision of a Standing Committee if it goes against their wishes.

With the thronged audience behind them—those great, aching, empty benches, which look so much better than when they are full—the Government are waiting until we have expressed our views and will then blow the trumpets, and in will come those well-disciplined, docile cohorts, who will vote the Amendment through.

But the Minister of State should be forced to accept at least his measure of humiliation before "authority" has its way. This is what he stands for—the authority of the Government over tourism. We know what this means. We have only to go to London Airport, an organisation for which his Department is answerable, to see how beastly authority can be, how clumsy and incompetent—I ought to wait in respectful deference for the Minister of State to finish his long conversation with his hon. Friend on the Front Bench—I am sure that we are all very much obliged to him. If he can give some indication of his willingness at least to listen to the arguments, they might be a little shorter.

It is an act of singular discourtesy and disregard for Parliamentary opinion that the Government, despite their reverse in Standing Committee, should so lightly revert to their own wording. I realise that one would be hoping—[Interruption.] I hope that, if the hon. Gentleman wishes to carry out that conversation, he will either keep so quiet that I cannot hear any of it or rise and speak loudly enough for us all to share it.

Mr. William Rodgers

I was saying to my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Scotland how much I regretted that the hon. Gentleman was making a speech so out of keeping with the spirit of the Committee debates, where we regarded these matters as serious ones and not as party issues to be used unscrupulously, when there is so much at stake. That is what I was saying.

4.45 p.m.

Mr. Peyton

I am obliged to the Minister. Had he told me that before, I might have credited him with a breadth of mind which I had not been disposed to give him before.

Why cannot the Government accept the spirit which informed the Committee? He is now saying that the Committee rose above party politics, so why can we not accept its decision? Why must he come, with his Department's instructions and his party's dogmatic mandate, to insist that we should call this body an authority?

To what extent will the authority, as opposed to the Association, be dependent on voluntary finance and effort? I hope that a body born in such a clearly dictatorial spirit as that which now informs the hon. Gentleman will not receive the wide voluntary financial support which he may expect. I do not want to prolong this rather silly argument.

This is another typical example of a dogmatic, dictatorial, Socialist Administration refusing to accept even a very small Amendment made in Committee. They must have every word of what they think is right, which is centred upon and rooted out of this odious word "authority", which is so dear to their hearts.

Mr. Raymond Gower (Barry)

I was surprised that the Minister of State should say that the name of this body must exactly reflect its function and convey that it is connected with the whole extent of tourism and is something more than an association. He did not give that same impression in Committee, when we felt that any such argument was far outweighed by the undoubted good will enjoyed by the perhaps less accurate terminology of the old name. He underestimates the good will attaching to the old name, which is known not only here but in many parts of the world. Surely it is folly to abandon such a name just for the sake of precision.

When the right hon. Gentleman said that the new name would more exactly represent the function of this body, I was alarmed. If "tourism" is more accurate, surely "authority" has ominous connotations. Does it imply that the industry will in future be run on a more authoritative basis? I hope not, because it is a most unsuitable industry to be run in that way. There is more than good will, there is affection and high regard attaching to the old name. Today, we are surrounded by boards, authorities and commissions, which are not particularly beloved of anyone. They are suffered—perhaps, in some cases, hated and resented—rather than regarded with affection. The Government should be glad to have at least one body which enjoys a measure of affection and regard, not only in Britain but in many parts of the world.

The old name, British Travel Association, had attached to it something of the voluntary—my hon. Friend the Member for the Isle of Thanet (Mr. Rees-Davies) called it "amateur"—spirit. People from many walks of life have been willing to give their time and services to the Association.

My hon. Friends and I are not happy about the form of the new organisation; at the fact that it will not have a larger membership which will permit a larger contribution to be made by those in trades analogous to tourism. We fear that the new name will reflect this change in the composition of the organisation, which will be entirely Government appointed, directly or indirectly. We hope that our misgivings will prove exaggerated. I hope that my fears will be shown to be groundless and that the new body will work with as much good will as the old one.

The Government are unnecessarily abandoning a useful name which enjoyed valuable co-operation and good will. For a specious attachment to exactitude, they are adopting terminology which cannot be of help to the industry. I therefore hope that the Government will have second thoughts about their proposal.

Mr. John Pardoe (Cornwall, North)

I hope that the Minister will not be as sensitive to my remarks as he was to those of the hon. Member for Yeovil (Mr. Peyton), although I appreciate that he may feel sensitive when he hears talk of bureaucracy. Indeed, in Committee, the hon. Gentleman said that it was nonsense to talk of this as an extension of bureaucracy.

It is worth recalling that in Committee the hon. Gentleman warned against rising costs and said that "limited extra overheads" would be involved, with "some additional demand" on money and manpower. How limited will the additional overheads be and how much demand for additional money and manpower will be made?

If we were discussing only the question of changing the organisation's name I would not be worried. However, I am certain that the administrative costs of the new authority will rise drastically, whatever else will happen, so that in five to 10 years' time its cost will be running at a level which hon. Members have not even remotely contemplated.

I have close knowledge of the British Egg Marketing Board which, when set up 10 years ago, was estimated to cost the produced 7½ per cent. of its administrative costs. That figure has turned out to be 25 per cent. While that board is not completely parallel with the one we are discussing, it shows what can happen to bureaucratic juggernauts of this kind.

While I am not too worried about the change of name, and appreciate that the B.T.A. has no objection to its name being changed, I take strong objection to the proposed change of substance. Will the new organisation be able to carry out the same functions if it is known as an association compared with it's being known as an authority? In other words, are we on a legal point in that if it is not known as an authority it will not be able to operate effectively? I ask this question in view of the Minister's statement in Committee: … what we are proposing is no longer an association. It is a statutory organisation, board, authority—call it what you will. It is no longer an association. For that reason alone we have to adopt a title that clearly makes it appear to be a statutory organisation. Must we and, if we do not, will it be able to function in the way laid down in the Bill?

The hon. Gentleman later said: Surely, we all recognise that tourism is now not a matter simply for voluntary bodies alone. It is a major industry."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, Standing Committee E, 18th March, 1969; c. 62–3.] Are we to take it that everything that becomes a major industry must automatically be brought within the control of a statutory board? The Minister adduced an unhappy argument on that occasion and had I been in the Committee at the time I would have corrected him. I trust that he will put the matter right today.

Mr. Gower

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that, in law, one may have an association which is purely an association and an association which is a limited company; in other words, that one can have a variety of associations?

Mr. Pardoe

I am grateful for that legal explanation, which I hope the Minister will bear in mind.

The Minister also said in Committee that we could not continue with the B.T.A.'s present name and organisation because "an association" meant "a bringing together" of various elements. He cited the Port of London Authority as an instance of where the word "authority" had to be used. I cannot agree that a parallel exists because there are not as many different organisations coming within the Port of London as there are under the co-operative roof of the travel trades.

I am an unashamed co-operator in this matter. The very business of bringing people together in a co-operative endeavour improves the totality of that endeavour. Thus, whether or not there is anything in the change of name, there is a great deal in the change of substance.

Sir Keith Joseph (Leeds, North-East)

I hope that the Government will not insist on making the Amendment, particularly since I do not believe that there is anything in the legal point which the Minister made. After all, statutorily, Governments are in the position of Humpty-Dumpty. What they say, about names or anything else, shall be. If they choose to give an association legal powers, it will have legal powers. The Government need not comply with the Companies Act if they are not creating a company in terms of company law.

The substance of the argument is whether the good will of the British Travel Association—that it has enormous good will is not at issue—will be sufficiently retained if we keep its initials and not its full name. The Minister has not deployed that argument, but I do not believe that the initials will be as good as the old name.

In view of the lucid arguments which my hon. Friends have put forward in favour of retaining the name of the British Travel Association, I trust, if the Government will not give way, that they will seek to repeat their success in Committee and defeat the Government proposal.

5.0 p.m.

Mr. William Rodgers

I make clear that there was no semantic legal argument in what I said. We are simply looking for the best name for the sort of animal which is being created. Despite the ingenious arguments of the hon. Member for Cornwall, North (Mr. Par-doe), we cannot alter the substance of the animal or the Bill by substituting "association" for "authority". The hon. Member did not speak on Second Reading, but he did not vote against the Bill. I hoped that he would consider that the new organisation was a desirable one.

I was sorry that the hon. Member for Yeovil (Mr. Peyton) made a speech which fell far short of the level of other contributions we have had on this subject. We have devised the Bill in the best interests of the industry and of the consumer. The hon. Member has the right to express his views. But I hope that he will not damage good will and spoil the prospect of the Bill making an effective contribution to tourism and the growth of balance of payments by suggesting that because he does not like the name somehow it hides something of an ugly totalitarian nature.

Mr. Peyton

No matter how genteel the discussion in Committee, and no matter how he may be satisfied with his motives and satisfied that he is right in setting up yet another authority, the hon. Gentleman must accept that there are others such as myself who, no matter how low the level of discussion, feel equally strongly that he and all he stands for is wrong.

Mr. Rodgers

The hon. Gentleman is entitled to express that view. I am not quarrelling with his motives. I am asking him not to quarrel with mine. Let him express his view and say that he does not like the word "authority", but he should not suggest that it hides an ulterior motive and thereby unwittingly damage the very cause he has at heart—the future of the tourist industry.

I respect the views of the hon. Member for Eastbourne (Sir C. Taylor). He has fought a very gallant rearguard action, if not against all, against many new things in tourism. In all the circumstances it is better to leave the name

"British Travel Association" with the organisation to which we all pay respect, that to attach it to the new organisation which is being set up.

The hon. Member for Barry (Mr. Gower) said that he hoped the misgivings he held would be shown to be without real foundation. I share that view and I think the circumstances will show that they are, in fact, without foundation.

Question put, That that Amendment be made:—

The House divided: Ayes 228, Noes 163.

Division No. 285.] AYES [5.4 p.m.
Albu, Austen Eadie, Alex Judd, Frank
Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.) Edwards, Robert (Bilston) Kelley, Richard
Alldritt, Walter Edwards, William (Merioneth) Kenyon, Clifford
Anderson, Donald Ellis, John Kerr, Mrs. Anne (R'ter & Chatham)
Archer, Peter English, Michael Kerr, Russell (Feltham)
Armstrong, Ernest Ensor, David Lawson, George
Atkins, Ronald (Preston, N.) Evans, Fred (Caerphilly) Leadbitter, Ted
Atkinson, Norman (Tottenham) Evans, Ioan L. (Birm'h'm, Yardley) Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick (Newton)
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Faulds, Andrew Lee, John (Reading)
Barnes, Michael Fernyhough, E. Lestor, Miss Joan
Barnett, Joel Finch, Harold Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)
Beaney, Alan Fitch, Alan (Wigan) Lipton, Marcus
Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood Fletcher, Rt. Hn. Sir Eric (Islington, E.) Lomas, Kenneth
Bidwell, Sydney Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston) Loughlin, Charles
Binns, John Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) Luard, Evan
Bishop, E. S. Foot, Michael (Ebbw Vale) Lyon, Alexander W. (York)
Blackburn, F. Ford, Ben Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.)
Blenkinsop, Arthur Forrester, John Macdonald, A. H.
Boardman, H. (Leigh) Fowler, Gerry Mackenzie, Gregor (Rutherglen)
Booth, Albert Freeson, Reginald Maclennan, Robert
Boston, Terence Galpern, Sir Myer McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.)
Boyden, James Ginsburg, David McNamara, J. Kevin
Bradley, Tom Gordon Walker, Rt. Hn. P. C. MacPherson, Malcolm
Bray, Dr. Jeremy Gray, Dr. Hugh (Yarmouth) Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.)
Brooks, Edwin Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Anthony Manuel, Archie
Brown, Rt. Hn. George (Belper) Gregory, Arnold Marks, Kenneth
Brown, Bob (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, W.) Grey, Charles (Durham) Marquand, David
Brown, R. W. (Shoreditch & F'bury) Griffiths, David (Rother Valley) Mason, Rt. Hn. Roy
Buchan, Norman Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside) Mayhew, Christopher
Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn) Griffiths, Will (Exchange) Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert
Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.) Gunter, Rt. Hn. R. J. Mendelson, John
Callaghan, Rt. Hn. James Hamilton, James (Bothwell) Mikardo, Ian
Carter-Jones, Lewis Hamilton, William (Fife, W.) Millan, Bruce
Hamling, William Miller, Dr. M. S.
Coe, Denis Hannan, William Milne, Edward (Blyth)
Coleman, Donald Harper, Joseph Mitchell, R. C. (S'th'pton, Test)
Concannon, J. D. Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) Molloy, William
Conlan, Bernard Hazell, Bert Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire)
Corbet, Mrs. Freda Heffer, Eric S. Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)
Crosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony Henig, Stanley Morris, John (Aberavon)
Crossman, Rt. Hn. Richard Herbison, Rt. Hn. Margaret Murray, Albert
Dalyell, Tam Hooley, Frank Neal, Harold
Davies, Ednyfed Hudson (Conway) Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas Newens, Stan
Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.) Howarth, Harry (Wellingborough) Noel-Baker, Rt. Hn. Philip
Davies, Dr. Ernest (Stretford) Howarth, Robert (Bolton, E.) Ogden, Eric
Davies, Ifor (Gower) Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) O'Malley, Brian
Delargy, Hugh Hunter, Adam Oram, Albert E.
Dempsey, James Hynd, John Orbach, Maurice
Dewar, Donald Jackson, Peter M. (High Peak) Orme, Stanley
Diamond, Rt. Hn. John Janner, Sir Barnett Oswald, Thomas
Dickens, James Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, S'tn)
Dobson, Ray Jenkins, Hugh (Putney) Owen, Will (Morpeth)
Doig, Peter Jenkins, Rt. Hn. Roy (Stechford) Padley, Walter
Driberg, Tom Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.) Page, Derek (King's Lynn)
Dunn, James A. Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.) Paget, R. T.
Dunnett, Jack Jones, Dan (Burnley) Palmer, Arthur
Dunwoody, Mrs. Gwyneth (Exeter) Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham) Pannell, Rt. Hn. Charles
Dunwoody, Dr. John (F'th & C'b'e) Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, West) Park, Trevor
Parker, John (Dagenham) Rowlands, E. Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Parkyn, Brian (Bedford) Shaw, Arnold (Ilford, S.) Wallace, George
Pavitt, Laurence Sheldon, Robert Watkins, David (Consett)
Pearson, Arthur (Pontypridd) Shinwell, Rt. Hn. E. Weitzman, David
Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred Short, Mrs. René(W'hampton, N. E.) Wellbeloved, James
Pentland, Norman Slater, Joseph Whitaker, Ben
Perry, Ernest G. (Battersea, S.) Small, William White, Mrs. Eirene
Perry, George H. (Nottingham. S.) Snow, Julian Wilkins, W. A.
Prentice, Rt. Hn. R. E. Spriggs, Leslie Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick
Price, Thomas (Westhoughton) Steele, Thomas (Dunbartonshire, W.) Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)
Probert, Arthur Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R. Williams, Clifford (Abertillery)
Rankin, John Taverne, Dick Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchin)
Rees, Merlyn Thomas, Rt. Hn. George Willis, Rt. Hn. George
Richard, Ivor Thomson, Rt. Hn. George Wilson, Rt. Hn. Harold (Huyton)
Roberts, Albert (Normanton) Thornton, Ernest Winnick, David
Roberts, Rt. Hn. Goronwy Tomney, Frank Woof, Robert
Robertson, John (Paisley) Tuck, Raphael
Rodgers, William (Stockton) Urwin, T. W. TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Rogers, George (Kensington, N.) Varley, Eric G. Mr. John McCann and
Ross, Rt. Hn. William Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne Valley) Mr. Neil McBride.
Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash) Grant-Ferris, Sir Robert Nott, John
Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead) Gresham Cooke, R. Onslow, Cranley
Atkins, Humphrey (M't'n & M'd'n) Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds) Orr-Ewing, Sir Ian
Awdry, Daniel Grimond, Rt. Hn. J. Osborn, John (Hallam)
Baker, Kenneth (Acton) Gurden, Harold Osborne, Sir Cyril (Louth)
Baker, W. H. K. (Banff) Hall, John (Wycombe) Page, John (Harrow, W.)
Balniel, Lord Hall-Davis, A. G. F. Pardoe, John
Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton Hamilton, Lord (Fermanagh) Pearson, Sir Frank (Clitheroe)
Bell, Ronald Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) Peel, John
Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay) Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N. W.) Percival, Ian
Berry, Hn. Anthony Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye) Peyton, John
Biffen, John Harvie Anderson, Miss Pink, R. Bonner
Biggs-Davison, John Hastings, Stephen Pounder, Rafton
Black, Sir Cyril Heald, Rt. Hn. Sir Lionel Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch
Blaker, Peter Higgins, Terence L. Pym, Francis
Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S. W.) Hooson, Emlyn Ramsden, Rt. Hn. James
Boyle, Rt. Hn. Sir Edward Hordern, Peter Rees-Davies, W. R.
Braine, Bernard Howell, David (Guildford) Ridley, Hn. Nicholas
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Hunt, John Ridsdale, Julian
Rippon, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey
Buchanan-Smith, Alick (Angus, N & M) Hutchison, Michael Clark Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks)
Bullus, Sir Eric Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye) Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)
Burden, F. A. Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford) Royle, Anthony
Campbell, B. (Oldham, W.) Jennings, J. C. (Burton) Russell, Sir Ronald
Campbell, Gordon (Moray & Nairn) Johnson Smith, G. (E. Grinstead) Scott, Nicholas
Chataway, Christopher Jopling, Michael Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)
Chichester-Clark, R. Joseph, Rt. Hn. Sir Keith Silvester, Frederick
Cooper-Key, Sir Neill Kershaw, Anthony Sinclair, Sir George
Costain, A. P. King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.) Stodart, Anthony
Craddock, Sir Beresford (Spelthorne) Lancaster, Col. C. G. Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M.
Crouch, David Lane, David Summers, Sir Spencer
Currie, G. B. H. Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland) Tapsell, Peter
Dalkeith, Earl of Lloyd, Rt. Hn. Selwyn (Wirral) Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)
Dance, James Longden, Gilbert Taylor, Edward M. (G'gow, Cathcart)
Davidson, James (Aberdeenshire, W.) Lubbock, Eric Temple, John M.
d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry McAdden, Sir Stephen Thatcher, Mrs. Margaret
Dean, Paul Mackenzie, Alasdair (Ross & Crom'ty) Tilney, John
Dodds-Parker, Douglas Maclean, Sir Fitzroy Turton, Rt. Hn. R. H.
Drayson, G. B. McMaster, Stanley van Straubenzee, W. R.
McNair-Wilson, Michael Vickers, Dame Joan
Eden, Sir John Maginnis, John E. Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek
Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton) Marples, Rt. Hn. Ernest Walters, Dennis
Emery, Peter Marten, Neil Wells, John (Maidstone)
Errington, Sir Eric Maude, Angus Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William
Eyre, Reginald Mawby, Ray Wiggin, A. W.
Farr, John Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J. Williams, Donald (Dudley)
Fisher, Nigel Mills, Peter (Torrington) Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Fletcher-Cooke, Charles Mills, Stratton (Belfast, N.) Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick
Gibson-Watt, David Monro, Hector Woodnutt, Mark
Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, C.) More, Jasper Worsley, Marcus
Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.) Morgan, Geraint (Denbigh) Wright, Esmond
Glover, Sir Douglas Morrison, Charles (Devizes) Younger, Hn. George
Godber, Rt. Hn. J. B. Mott-Radclyffe, Sir Charles
Goodhart, Philip Munro-Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Goodhew, Victor Nabarro, Sir Gerald Mr. R. W. Elliott and
Gower, Raymond Nicholls, Sir Harmar Mr. Bernard Weatherill.
Grant, Anthony Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael

Further Amendment made: No. 3, in page 1, line 11, leave out 'Travel Association' and insert 'Tourist Authority'.—[Mr. William Rodgers.]

Amendment No. 4 proposed: In page 1, line 12, leave out 'five' and insert 'sixteen'.—[Sir K. Joseph.]

Question put, That the Amendment be made:—

The House divided: Ayes 168, Noes 230.

Division No. 286.] AYES [5.16 p.m.
Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash) Grant-Ferris, Sir Robert Orr-Ewing, Sir Ian
Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead) Gresham Cooke, R. Osborn, John (Hallam)
Awdry, Daniel Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds) Osborne, Sir Cyril (Louth)
Baker, Kenneth (Acton) Grimond, Rt. Hn. J. Page, John (Harrow, W.)
Baker, W. H. K. (Banff) Gurden, Harold Pardoe, John
Balniel, Lord Hall, John (Wycombe) Pearson, Sir Frank (Clitheroe)
Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton Hall-Davis, A. G. F. Peel, John
Bell, Ronald Hamilton, Lord (Fermanagh) Percival, Ian
Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay) Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) Peyton, John
Berry, Hn. Anthony Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N. W.) Pink, R. Bonner
Biffen, John Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye) Pounder, Rafton
Birch, Rt. Hn. Nigel Harvie Anderson, Miss Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch
Black, Sir Cyril Hastings, Stephen Prior, J. M. L.
Blaker, Peter Heald, Rt. Hn. Sir Lionel Pym, Francis
Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S. W.) Higgins, Terence L. Ramsden, Rt. Hn. James
Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hn. John Hooson, Emlyn Rees-Davies, W. R.
Boyle, Rt. Hn. Sir Edward Hordern, Peter Ridley, Hn. Nicholas
Braine, Bernard Howell, David (Guildford) Ridsdale, Julian
Brinton, Sir Tatton Hunt, John Rippon, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Hutchison, Michael Clark Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)
Buchanan-Smith, Alick (Angus, N & M) Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye) Royle, Anthony
Bullus, Sir Eric Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford) Russell, Sir Ronald
Burden, F. A. Jennings, J. C. (Burton) Scott, Nicholas
Campbell, B. (Oldham, W.) Johnson Smith, G. (E. Grinstead) Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)
Campbell, Gordon (Moray & Nairn) Jopling, Michael Silvester, Frederick
Chataway, Christopher Joseph, Rt. Hn. Sir Keith Sinclair, Sir George
Chichester-Clark, R. Kaberry, Sir Donald Steel, David (Roxburgh)
Clark, Henry Kershaw, Antnony Stodart, Anthony
Cooper-Key, Sir Neill King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.) Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M.
Costain, A. P. Lancaster, Col. C. G. Summers, Sir Spencer
Craddock, Sir Beresford (Spelthorne) Lane, David Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)
Crouch, David Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland) Taylor, Edward (M. (G'gow, Cathcart)
Currie, G. B. H. Lloyd, Rt. Hn. Selwyn (Wirral) Temple, John M.
Dalkeith, Earl of Longden, Gilbert Thatcher, Mrs. Margaret
Dance, James Lubbock, Eric Tilney, John
Davidson, James (Aberdeenshire, W.) McAdden, Sir Stephen Turton, Rt. Hn. R. H.
d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry Mackenzie, Alasdair (Ross & Cromt'y) van Straubenzee, W. R.
Dean, Paul Maclean, Sir Fitzroy Vickers, Dame Joan
Dodds-Parker, Douglas McMaster, Stanley Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek
Drayson, G. B. McNair-Wilson, Michael (W'stow, E.) Walters, Dennis
Eden, Sir John Maginnis, John E. Weatherill, Bernard
Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton) Marples, Rt. Hn. Ernest Wells, John (Maidstone)
Elliott, R. W. (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, N.) Marten, Neil Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William
Emery, Peter Maude, Angus Wiggin, A. W.
Errington, Sir Eric Mawby, Ray Williams, Donald (Dudley)
Eyre, Reginald Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J. Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Farr, John Mills, Peter (Torrington) Winstanley, Dr. M. P.
Fisher, Nigel Mills, Stratton (Belfast, N.) Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick
Fletcher-Cooke, Charles More, Jasper Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard
Gibson-Watt, David Morgan, Geraint (Denbigh) Woodnutt, Mark
Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, C.) Morrison, Charles (Devizes) Worsley, Marcus
Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.) Mott-Radclyffe, Sir Charles Wright, Esmond
Glover, Sir Douglas Munro-Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Younger, Hn. George
Godber, Rt. Hn. J. B. Nabarro, Sir Gerald
Goodhart, Philip Nicholls, Sir Harmar TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Goodhew, Victor Nott, John Mr. Hector Monro and
Gower, Raymond Onslow, Cranley Mr. Humphrey Atkins.
Grant, Anthony
Albu, Austen Beaney, Alan Brooks, Edwin
Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.) Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood Brown, Rt. Hn. George (Belper)
Alldritt, Walter Bidwell, Sydney Brown, Bob (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, W.)
Anderson, Donald Binns, John Brown, R. W. (Shoreditch & F'bury)
Archer, Peter Bishop, E. S. Buchan, Norman
Armstrong, Ernest Blackburn, F. Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn)
Ashley, Jack Blenkinsop, Arthur Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.)
Atkins, Ronald (Preston, N.) Boardman, H. (Leigh) Callaghan, Rt. Hn. James
Atkinson, Norman (Tottenham) Booth, Albert Carter-Jones, Lewis
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Boston, Terence Coe, Denis
Barnes, Michael Boyden, James Coleman, Donald
Barnett, Joel Bradley, Tom Concannon, J. D.
Baxter, William Bray, Dr. Jeremy Conlan, Bernard
Corbet, Mrs. Freda Hunter, Adam Padley, Walter
Crosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony Hynd, John Page, Derek (King's Lynn)
Crossman, Rt. Hn. Richard Jackson, Colin (B'h'se & Spenb'gh) Paget, R. T.
Dalyell, Tam Jackson, Peter M. (High Peak) Palmer, Arthur
Davies, Ednyfed Hudson (Conway) Janner, Sir Barnett Pannell, Rt. Hn. Charles
Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.) Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas Park, Trevor
Davies, Dr. Ernest (Stretford) Jenkins, Hugh (Putney) Parker, John (Dagenham)
Davies, Ifor (Gower) Jenkins, Rt. Hn. Roy (Stechford) Parkyn, Brian (Bedford)
Delargy, Hugh Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.) Pavitt, Laurence
Dempsey, James Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.) Pearson, Arthur (Pontypridd)
Dewar, Donald Jones, Dan (Burnley) Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred
Diamond, Rt. Hn. John Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham) Pentland, Norman
Dickens, James Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, West) Perry, Ernest G. (Battersea, S.)
Dobson, Ray Judd, Frank Perry, George H. (Nottingham, S.)
Doig, Peter Kelley, Richard Prentice, Rt. Hn. R. E.
Driberg, Tom Kenyon, Clifford Price, Thomas (Westhoughton)
Dunn, James A. Kerr, Mrs. Anne (R'ter & Chatham) Probert, Arthur
Dunnett, Jack Kerr, Russell (Feltham) Rankin, John
Dunwoody, Mrs. Gwyneth (Exeter) Lawson, George Rees, Merlyn
Dunwoody, Dr. John (F'th & C'b'e) Leadbitter, Ted Richard, Ivor
Eadie, Alex Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick (Newton) Roberts, Albert (Normanton)
Edwards, Robert (Bilston) Lee, John (Reading) Roberts, Rt. Hn. Goronwy
Edwards, William (Merioneth) Lester, Miss Joan Robertson, John (Paisley)
Ellis, John Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Rodgers, William (Stockton)
English, Michael Lipton, Marcus Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)
Ensor, David Lomas, Kenneth Ross, Rt. Hn. William
Evans, Fred (Caerphilly) Loughlin, Charles Rowlands, E.
Evans, Gwynfor (C'marthen) Luard, Evan Shaw, Arnold (Ilford, S.)
Evans, Ioan L. (Birm'h'm, Yardley) Lyon, Alexander W. (York) Sheldon, Robert
Faulds, Andrew Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.) Shinwell, Rt. Hn. E.
Fernyhough, E. McCann, John Short, Mrs. Renée (W'hampton, N. E.)
Finch, Harold Macdonald, A. H. Slater, Joseph
Fletcher, Rt. Hn. Sir Eric (Islington, E.) Mackenzie, Gregor (Rutherglen) Small, William
Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) Maclennan, Robert Snow, Julian
Foot, Michael (Ebbw Vale) McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.) Spriggs, Leslie
Ford, Ben McNamara, J. Kevin Steele, Thomas (Dunbartonshire, W.)
Forrester, John MacPherson, Malcolm Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R.
Fowler, Gerry Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.) Taverne, Dick
Freeson, Reginald Manuel, Archie Thomas, Rt. Hn. George
Galpern, Sir Myer Marks, Kenneth Thomson, Rt. Hn. George
Ginsburg, David Marquand, David Thornton, Ernest
Gordon Walker, Rt. Hn. P. C. Mason, Rt. Hn. Roy Tomney, Frank
Gray, Dr. Hugh (Yarmouth) Mayhew, Christopher Tuck, Raphael
Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Anthony Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert Urwin, T. W.
Gregory, Arnold Mendelson, John Varley, Eric G.
Grey, Charles (Durham) Mikardo, Ian Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne Valley)
Griffiths, David (Rother Valley) Millan, Bruce Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside) Miller, Dr. M. S. Wallace, George
Griffiths, Will (Exchange) Milne, Edward (Blyth) Watkins, David (Consett)
Gunter, Rt. Hn. R. J. Mitchell, R. C. (S'th'pton, Test) Weitzman, David
Hamilton, James (Bothwell) Molloy, William Wellbeloved, James
Hamilton, William (Fife, W.) Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire) Whitaker, Ben
Hamling, William Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw) White, Mrs. Eirene
Hannan, William Morris, John (Aberavon) Wilkins, W. A.
Harper, Joseph Murray, Albert Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick
Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) Neal, Harold Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)
Hazell, Bert Newens, Stan Williams, Clifford (Abertillery)
Heffer, Eric S. Noel-Baker, Rt. Hn. Philip Willis, Rt. Hn. George
Herbison, Rt. Hn. Margaret Ogden, Eric Wilson, Rt. Hn. Harold (Huyton)
Hooley, Frank O'Malley, Brian Winnick, David
Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas Oram, Albert E. Woof, Robert
Howarth, Harry (Wellingborough) Orbach, Maurice
Howarth, Robert (Bolton, E.) Orme, Stanley TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Oswald, Thomas Mr. Alan Fitch and
Hughes, Roy (Newport) Owen, Will (Morpeth) Mr. Neil McBride.
Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Sydney Irving)

The next Amendment selected is No. 7, with which we may take Amendments No. 8, in page 1, line 16, at end insert: 'and (c) the Chairman for the time being of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board who shall not take part in any decision of the Authority unless it relates to the carrying on of activities outside the United Kingdom for the purpose of encouraging people to visit the United Kingdom or any part of it'. No. 19, in page 2, line 23, leave out from beginning to 'to' in line 26 and insert:

  1. (a) to encourage people to visit the United Kingdom;
  2. (b) to encourage people living in Great Britain to take their holidays there; and
  3. (c).
No. 43, in page 5, line 16, leave out 'Northern Ireland'.

No. 45, in page 5, line 19, leave out 'Northern Ireland or'.

No. 75, in page 17, line 19, leave out 'section' and insert 'sections 1(2)(c)'.

No. 76, in page 17, line 19, after '1(4)', insert '2(1)(a)'.

No. 82, in page 20, line 13, at end insert 'nor to the Chairman of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board'.

No. 87, in Title, line 4, after first 'to', insert 'the United Kingdom'.

No. 96, in page 5, line 20, at end insert: (4) The British Tourist Authority shall ensure that on any committees which it may establish for the better performance of its functions due representation is given to any corresponding body referred to in subsection (3) of this section at whose request it carries on activities of the kind referred to in that subsection.

Mr. Peter Blaker (Blackpool, South)

I beg to move Amendment No. 7, in page 1, line 13, leave out 'and'.

The Amendment relates to Northern Ireland. The object of the group of Amendments we are discussing is to bring the Northern Ireland Tourist Board more closely into the new system of boards established by the Bill than the Bill proposes.

The first of the related Amendments provides that the Chairman of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board shall be a member of the Board of the B.T.A., but that he shall not take part in any decision on that body unless it relates to the carrying on of its overseas promotional activity. The point of that limitation is that for some time Northern Ireland has had its own system of grading and registration and of grants. Therefore, the grant and registration parts of the Bill are already dealt with by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board. The limitation to overseas promotion is entirely proper, and it corresponds to the situation in the existing British Travel Association.

The other Amendments provide that the Chairman of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board will not be paid by the B.T.A. He can be paid by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, though he is not at present, but that is not a matter for this House.

We feel that the promotion of travel to Northern Ireland inside Great Britain can also be left to the Northern Ireland Tourist Board.

Amendment No. 96, in the name of my hon. Friend the Member for Belfast, South (Mr. Pounder), provides that the Northern Ireland Tourist Board will be represented on any committees set up by the British Travel Association for the purposes of overseas promotion. This Amendment will no doubt be explained in due course.

The last Amendment in the names of my hon. Friends and myself to which I need refer are those which delete the references to Northern Ireland in Clause 5. Subsection (3) provides for co-operation between the Channel Islands Tourist Board, the Isle of Man Tourist Board, the Northern Ireland Tourist Board and the new B.T.A. If the proposal I am advancing in my main Admendment is accepted, that the Chairman of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board should be a member of the B.T.A., it is not necessary to retain those provisions in Clause 5 relating to Northern Ireland.

I said that the situation provided for in my Amendment reflects very much the present position in the B.T.A. The present B.T.A. has, in its articles of association, a clause giving it responsibility for the promotion of travel to the United Kingdom by overseas visitors and our amendments would continue that situation.

5.30 p.m.

The significance of the membership of the present B.T.A. Board by the Chairman of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board is that his board is represented in the committee system of the B.T.A. wherever appropriate. Consequently, it is intimately involved in the decisions of the Overseas Committee, for example. Not only does it receive all the literature and become aware of all the proposals relating to overseas promotion for the United Kingdom as a whole, but it is a member of the relevant committees.

We debated this matter in Committee—whether or not genteely is not for me to say, and my hon. Friend the Member for Yeovil (Mr. Peyton) is no longer with us, so that we cannot get his comments on it. The result of our discussion then was that the Minister of State undertook to consult again with the Northern Ireland Government. He told us: I should be happy to give the undertaking to the Committee that between now and Report, I shall ensure that the proposals in the Bill meet the wishes of the Northern Ireland Government."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, Standing Committee E, 18th March, 1969; c. 78.] We hope to hear the results of those consultations but it will be useful if I briefly make the points which are relevant in favour of the Amendments so that the House may judge whether the hon. Gentleman's response is satisfactory.

One relevant point is the situation under the Government of Ireland Act, 1920, and related Acts. The 1920 Act gives certain responsibilities to Westminster and the residual powers are left with the Government of Northern Ireland. There is no mention of tourism amongst the responsibilities given to Westminster so, prima facie, tourism is a responsibility of the Government of Northern Ireland. If tourism had been as important in 1920 as it now is, and if overseas promotion of tourism had been as important as it now is, it is possible that the Act might not have been drafted in that way.

I do not suggest that there should be any infraction of the responsibilities of the Government of Northern Ireland for domestic tourist matters, nor that any derogation should be made from their responsibility for tourism in general. But it is not inconsistent with the Act that we should adopt some such arrangement as we propose, which would limit the membership of the B.T.A. by the Chairman of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board to overseas promotional matters.

If we consider the other overseas activities of the United Kingdom, we find, for example, that consuls and ambassadors abroad look after Northern Ireland interests as they do the interests of England, Scotland and Wales. Northern Ireland pays the same taxes as any other part of the United Kingdom. That is in contrast with the position of the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands, and there is, therefore, no inconsistency in removing Northern Ireland from Clause 5 and putting it in a different position from those groups of islands.

For most of the matters relevant to tourism, Northern Ireland operates as part of the United Kingdom. The signposting system, including the signposting of historic monuments, which it adopts is the same as the one we have in England, Scotland and Wales. It is going over to the decimal system because we are. Northern Ireland's balance of payments problem is ours. Therefore, the success or otherwise of Northern Ireland is an integral part of the success or otherwise of the United Kingdom as a whole.

One can go further. One can say that the selling of the United Kingdom as a whole will be more effective if Northern Ireland is part of the selling machine. Yesterday, when we were debating the question of Scotland and Wales and their overseas promotion, the Minister of State said: It is right that the House should know that the Association's view"— he was referring to the present British Travel Association— after very mature consideration and long experience, is that it is in the best interests of Britain as a whole, of Scotland, England and Wales severally, and Northern Ireland"— these are the relevant words— that promotion should be of the whole."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 23rd June, 1969; Vol. 785, c. 1130.] If that is the attitude he takes, it should follow that he accepts our Amendments, or something close to them, because there is an important difference between providing for co-operation between the Northern Ireland Tourist Board and the B.T.A., which is what the Bill does as it stands, and doing what we propose—imposing a duty on the new B.T.A. to look after the interests of the United Kingdom as a whole as opposed simply to Great Britain in our overseas promotions. If we leave out Northern Ireland from the duties of the new B.T.A., we shall, as it were, be demoting Northern Ireland. Conversely, we can bring it in without any extra cost to the B.T.A.

I have sketched the background so as to allow the House to judge the report which I hope the hon. Gentleman is about to make. Something on the lines of our Amendments would be best and I assume that, if they were adopted, membership of the relevant committees of the new B.T.A. would follow for the Northern Ireland Tourist Board.

One cannot repeat too often the importance of membership of the relevant committees to the successful operation of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board in its overseas promotion and for its work with the B.T.A. If the hon. Gentleman considers the Amendments not acceptable, I hope that at least he will be able to make some advance on the position as it stands in the Bill, whether by way of saying that the chairman of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board will be co-opted on to the board of the new B.T.A. or that some other way will be found to make the practice as effective as our Amendments would make it.

Lord Hamilton (Fermanagh and South Tyrone)

These Amendments are of great importance to the future of the tourist industry in Northern Ireland. They will directly govern its future growth. As my hon. Friend the Member for Blackpool, South (Mr. Blaker) said, these Amendments represent the only part of the Bill which is applicable to Northern Ireland. Tourism in Northern Ireland is our most spectacular growth industry. In 1968 tourist revenue amounted to £28,500,000. Outside expert opinion has assessed that if the Government at Westminster and the Northern Ireland Government gave this industry sufficient incentive and encouragement we could be earning £50 million per annum in tourist revenue within the next five to seven years.

The rapid growth of tourism is governed and accompanied by changing trends in travel and ever-increasing competitiveness. It must be realised that tourism is as competitive as any other industry. While it must be the objective of the new organisation to create London and the existing tourist circuit as the historic and cultural magnet of the tourist world, it must at the same time provide every incentive to encourage tourists to percolate out and travel to various parts of the United Kingdom, thus creating demand for tourist destinations in those parts, through sophisticated and specialised overseas promotion. In Northern Ireland I am convinced that this can be achieved only through joint promotion, such as is carried out at present between the British Travel Association and the Northern Ireland Board. No other proposal is acceptable or feasible.

This policy is essential if we are to absorb the future influx of visitors, bearing in mind that mass travel is in its infancy and that we are about to enter the jumbo-jet age. Unless this policy is vigorously pursued, both by the Government and the new organisation, this country will lose a considerable share of the world's tourist market. In Northern Ireland we are creating the tourist demand through providing the necessary accommodation and selling points. In 1968 we welcomed 80,000 North American visitors and 20,000 from Europe and other places.

In spite of our recent internal turbulent difficulties, forward bookings from North America are up by 14 per cent. on 1968. There is a rapid improvement in our external communications. It will be impossible to maintain this annual increase in overseas visitors unless we continue to retain the same promotional facilities we have at present through our excellent business relationship with the British Travel Association.

Since Northern Ireland is a small country, it cannot be sold separately in the World tourist market, from Great Britain. The Northern Ireland Government and the Tourist Board are determined to develop tourist potential and to play a more active part in contributing towards our invisible earnings. With a strictly limited budget of approximately £80,000 a year, including a highly successful promotion in Great Britain, it would be impossible to provide a successful overseas service. Much would depend on efficient market research to find prospective travellers and their holiday preferences. We need research into which of the Northern Ireland holiday products are unique and competitive on a worldwide basis.

It would be impossible to provide and execute a marketing campaign combining all the news media—or through separate workshops—as joint commercial marketing campaigns are of great importance. Also, the constant feed-back of information being carried out so successfully by the overseas offices of the B.T.A. to the various regions of the United Kingdom is invaluable.

The Northern Ireland Tourist Board office acts in a dual capacity, encouraging Ulster people to visit Great Britain, thus assisting our balance of payments. An even more important aspect is that Northern Ireland attracts 750,000 visitors from Great Britain each year, many of whom could be described as novice tourists, who make "the big leap across the Irish Sea" as a prelude to tackling the Continent. The Northern Ireland Tourist Board has a most successful and proven business relationship with B.T.A. and it is essential that the current arrangements should be allowed to continue with the new organisation.

5.45 p.m.

Mr. Henry Clark (Antrim, North)

I welcome this Amendment. My hon. Friend the Member for Blackpool, South (Mr. Blaker) made the relevant point that in 1920 our view of the economy was such that there was no specification in the Government of Ireland Act relating to the promotion of tourism. Times change and there is no doubt that when the object of tourist promotion is analysed it is seen that this is a matter for which the Westminster Government have a degree of responsibility. The objective of boosting tourism is to create a viable and profitable industry, particularly in the remoter areas. Secondly, it is to help our balance of payments by attracting overseas visitors and persuading our own nationals to spend their holidays here, rather than abroad.

These are matters for which the Westminster Government have a responsibility which extends to Northern Ireland, as well as to the rest of the United Kingdom dom. These two elements show that the Government have a responsibility to assist tourist promotion in Northern Ireland. We are not asking for a change, but a continuation of a highly satisfactory arrangement, and the Government ought to accept our Amendment.

I must emphasise the heavy responsibility which the Government must bear for unemployment in the remoter areas of Northern Ireland. In almost every case the tourist industry thrives in areas where there is a relatively high unemployment rate. In my own constituency the rate is very high, particularly in the glens of Antrim, and in parts of the constituency of my noble Friend the Member for Fermanagh and South Tyrone (Lord Hamilton). It will be found that there are tourist facilities developing in areas which have a male unemployment rate of 15 per cent. With such a level Governments at both Stormont and Westminster have a responsibility.

In suggesting that the B.T.A. should carry some responsibility for international promotions for Northern Ireland, we are not asking for something and giving nothing. Northern Ireland represents perhaps one-fortieth, in population terms, of the United Kingdom. In terms of attractive country, tourist facilities, the kind of country which will draw people from the ends of the world through beauty or association, then Northern Ireland provides a good deal more of one-fortieth of the tourist attractions of the United Kingdom. I urge the Government to accept the Amendment.

Mr. Gower

My hon. Friends the Members for Fermanagh and South Tyrone (Lord Hamilton) and Antrim, North (Mr. Henry Clark) have explained that they support the Amendment because they believe that it is likely to be beneficial to Northern Ireland. I support it because I believe that it would be beneficial to the tourist industry of the United Kingdom as a whole. There are obvious advantages in overseas promotion. It would be unwise to attempt to present the attractions of the constituent parts of the United Kingdom separately. In the case of Northern Ireland, and doubtless of Scotland and Wales, it would be unduly expensive.

In some respects, the Northern Ireland tourist authorities have had greater experience than we have had. They have already embarked, perhaps in a more methodical—I will not say a more exhaustive—manner on the question of grading and grants. Their experience will obviously be of benefit to us, just as in other respects our experience is valuable to them.

We must consider the arrival from overseas of people to different parts of the United Kingdom. Scottish people who went to North America and Canada return to Scotland. Likewise, people of Northern Ireland who went to North America return home to see the towns from which their ancestors emigrated.

The United Kingdom Board should have the benefit, in its deliberations, of the experience of the Ulster tourist authority, and I favour the idea of its chairman being a member of our board. I am not sure whether it is necessary to limit his function merely to taking part in decisions on overseas promotion. His experience would probably be of great value in making other decisions. I support the Amendment, but I would go a bit further. It is obviously acceptable in Northern Ireland. It should be acceptable to the Government here, and I hope that they will accept it.

Mr. William Rodgers

As the hon. Member for Blackpool, South (Mr. Blaker) said, the purpose of the Amendment is to add the chairman of the Northern Ireland tourist board to the ex officio members of the British Tourist Authority, thus increasing the maximum number of members of the authority from nine to 10. The chairman of the Northern Ireland tourist board would only take part in decisions of the Authority relating to overseas promotional activities, although the hon. Member for Barry (Mr. Gower) would like to go further.

The main concern, which I understand completely, is with the desirability of the British Tourist Authority playing a full part in promoting Northern Ireland overseas similar to the part which the British Travel Association has played in the past. I have great sympathy with this, both from the point of view of the direct interest of Northern Ireland, which wants and is entitled to promote tourism and has a great deal to offer, and from the point of view of the United Kingdom as a whole. It is consistent with what we have said previously to point out that tourism in each part of Britain can prosper in proportion as Britain as a whole is promoted abroad. I said last night that it would be most unfortunate if we were so anxious to promote the separate parts of the country that the promotion of the whole country broke down.

I have sympathy with the purposes of the Amendment. I hope that the relations between the Northern Ireland Tourist Board and the new authority will be at least as close and fruitful as the relations which existed between the board and the British Travel Association.

Lord Hamiltonrose

Mr. Rodgers

I should like to say a little more first. If I do not deal with the point, perhaps I shall give way later.

The statutory duty of the authority for overseas promotion of tourism under the Bill extends only to such promotion to all parts of Great Britain. But Clause 5(3) makes it possible for the British Tourist Authority to engage in overseas promotion to all parts of the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. The hon. Member for Blackpool, South (Mr. Blaker) argued today, as he did in Committee, about what might or might not have happened in the early 1920s had tourism been as important then as it is now. He said that ensuring that the Westminster Parliament had some responsibility for tourism was not inconsistent with the Government of Ireland Act. I do not think that we can make assumptions of that kind or that it would be profitable to pursue them today.

The Northern Ireland Government are competent, within existing legislation, to be responsible for tourism and financial assistance to tourism in Northern Ireland. It was not the wish of the Northern Ireland Government that the statutory duties of the British Tourist Authority in the Bill should extend to Northern Ireland. I make that clear again, because it is relevant. However, we discovered in framing the Bill that the Northern Ireland Government were in agreement with our making the kind of provision in Clause 5(3), which will enable the new authority to carry on overseas promotional work in co-operation with the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, just as the British Travel Association now does.

In Committee, I undertook to check that the provision made in the Bill was still acceptable to Northern Ireland. That I have done. The Minister of Commerce for Northern Ireland also asked me to say that it is the intention of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board to make a request to the British Tourist Authority under Clause 5(3). I have had the consultations which I promised. The outcome is that the arrangements in the Bill are acceptable to the Northern Ireland Government. However, as I said in Committee, while we pay great attention to the views of the Northern Ireland Government, at the end of the day their view cannot be final: our own Parliament must make up its mind.

Mr. R. Chichester-Clark (Londonderry)

The hon. Gentleman has said that he has carried out his obligation to consult the Northern Ireland Government. Did he say to them, "Are you content with the contents of the Bill?", or did he ask them whether they would prefer the object of the Amendment?

Mr. Rodgers

I am facing a slight difficulty, because it would be improper to divulge the details of correspondence between two Governments. I made clear that the matter had been raised in Committee and that we would prefer to leave the Bill as it stood. This was acceptable to the Northern Ireland Minister of Commerce. Had we asked which arrangement he would like best, I cannot say that the Minister of Commerce would not have reached a different conclusion. But my obligation was to make sure that what we were doing was not unacceptable or would not fall short of what Northern Ireland regarded as reasonable.

6.0 p.m.

Mr. Chichester-Clark

That being the case, will the Minister at this late stage go back to the Northern Ireland Government and ask which arrangement they would prefer? If he would do that, we would not quarrel with the result, and I think I speak for my hon. Friends here.

Mr. Rodgers

The discussions which we have lately had with the Northern Ireland Government were a renewal of discussions which took place from October onwards. We were in the closest touch with the Northern Ireland Government to discover what arrangements might best meet their need. Until the early part of this year there was no suggestion that the provision in the Bill was not adequate.

It is not for me to discuss the detailed reasons why, if we were starting from scratch, a different view might now be taken. The Northern Ireland Tourist Board has a perhaps more dynamic view of what the relationship should be than the Northern Ireland Ministry of Commerce.

I would prefer not to dwell upon that, I ask hon. Gentlemen not to press me. It would be wrong for me to encroach upon a matter which is not primarily for ourselves. I am not saying that the arrangement is necessarily the one which the Northern Ireland Government would choose. I am saying that the arrangement is acceptable to the Northern Ireland Government and, in our view, while fitting in well with the statutory position, allows the promotional work to be undertaken—and that is the core of what we are now discussing.

Mr. Blaker

May I quote what the Minister said in Committee, as there is a nuance here which is rather important. He has just said that the Government told the Government of Northern Ireland that they would prefer to leave it as it is and asked the Government of Northern Ireland whether it was acceptable to them, to which they replied that it was. That is totally different from asking the Government of Northern Ireland which they would prefer. The Minister said: I shall ensure that the proposals in the Bill meet the wishes of the Northern Ireland Government."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, Standing Committee E, 18th March 1969; c. 79.] Does not the Minister agree that the logical conclusion one would draw from that is that the Government would ask the Government of Northern Ireland, "What are your wishes?"—and not say to them, "We would prefer this; would you accept it?"

Mr. Rodgers

I do not think that the words, "We would prefer this; would you accept it?", occurred in any correspondence with the Northern Ireland Government. I tried faithfully to carry out the requirements of the Committee by drawing attention to the discussions in Committee, which were available to the Northern Ireland Government in the OFFICIAL REPORT. I made clear what I said then, and that I was happy to look again at Section 5(3) to see whether, in our best judgment, it represented the best that could be done to ensure that co-operation continues and grows. I gave and fulfilled the undertaking. As I have said to the House, if I had gone back to the Government of Northern Ireland and said that, although we take the view that this is the best arrangement, although it has been fully discussed with them in the past, and although it has now been discussed in Committee, nevertheless we will start from scratch and accept whatever the Northern Ireland Government propose, certainly the result might have been different. However, that is not the way in which we would expect to conduct relations between the two Governments. It was right that we should put the position to them and discover whether the arrangements in the Bill would be acceptable.

I emphasise that the statutory duty of the authority under the Bill for overseas promotion extends only to such promotion to all parts of Great Britain. I further emphasise that the Chairman of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board is not appointed by a United Kingdom Minister. He is not appointed by the President of the Board of Trade, the Secretary of State for Scotland or the Secretary of State for Wales. I seriously suggest that there are constitutional considerations to be borne in mind before we make the Chairman of a Board who is appointed by the Northern Ireland Government an ex-officio member of an Authority which is set up under United Kingdom legislation, and which is responsible ultimately to the House. This is a matter of some concern. It would be wrong for the House lightly to set aside the full implications.

I ask the House to consider carefully what is at stake here. It is not the constitutional relationship between ourselves and the Northern Ireland Government, although, if we have to dwell upon this, we must dwell upon the Act and not upon what the Act might have said had the circumstances at the time been different. It is not the constitutional relationship between the British Tourist Authority and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board. What we are concerned with is that the British Tourist Authority should play the same part—or a better part—in promoting Northern Ireland as the British Travel Association has played in the past.

I have said that this will necessarily call for close co-operation and liaison between the Northern Ireland Tourist Board and the Authority. Basically, we should leave it to the good sense of all those involved to establish close working arrangements, whether at Board or at working level. At the end of the day, even if the Chairman were ex-officio a member of the British Tourist Authority, and even if this were regarded as a proper arrangement, this would not in itself ensure the sort of promotion which hon. Gentlemen, including the hon. Member for Antrim, North (Mr. Henry Clark) wish to see. It is the day-to-day working arrangements and the sharing of responsibility at the practical level that is important and not any one decision which is made at the top.

Mr. Henry Clark

Is the Minister saying that there is constitutional difficulty in including the Chairman of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board as an ex-officio member, or is he saying that there might be difficulty but he is not quite sure? I do not think that the Minister has been absolutely candid on this.

Mr. Rodgers

I have been absolutely candid, although perhaps not absolutely clear. In that case, may I repeat myself? There is a real problem in making the Chairman of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, who is very properly appointed by the Northern Ireland Government—I think by the Minister of Commerce—an ex-officio member of the British Tourist Authority, which is set up by the Westminster Parliament under the Westminster legislation before us, and to which other members are appointed by United Kingdom Ministers—by the President of the Board of Trade, the Secretary of State for Scotland and the Secretary of State for Wales. I am aware of no precedent for such an arrangement.

Mr. William Baxter (West Stirlingshire)

I am interested in the argument about the constitutional issue. If, as my hon. Friend said in his opening remarks, he has sympathy with the Amendment, surely the easy way to get over the constitutional problem, if there is one, is for a United Kingdom Minister to appoint this individual who is Chairman of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board ex-officio a member of the British Tourist Authority?

Mr. Rodgers

This is an ingenious solution, but, with respect to my hon. Friend, I am not sure that it would be proper for the United Kingdom Government to appoint ex-officio someone who is appointed by another Government, unless my hon. Friend is suggesting that, presumably, the Home Secretary should himself appoint the Chairman of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board.

Mr. W. Baxter

There is no insurmountable difficulty in that. He is an individual citizen of the United Kingdom and is entitled to be appointed to the Board if the Home Secretary, or whoever is responsible, seeks to appoint him. If the principle is accepted by my hon. Friend, there is no problem in getting around any constitutional difficulty.

Mr. Rodgers

As I say, it is an ingenious solution. I should be interested to know whether it is acceptable. I should be surprised if the Northern Ireland Government found it acceptable that the Home Secretary should appoint the Chairman of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board. It may be that it will not be acceptable to hon. Gentlemen.

Mr. Henry Clark

I am surprised at the principle enunciated by the Minister. I cannot immediately find a precedent for it. Is he sure that every ex-officio member of, for example, the Agricultural Marketing Board is somebody whose appointment is within the control of the Government? I doubt whether the appointment of every ex-officio member of such a board is controlled by the Government, but this would appear to be the principle enunciated by the Minister.

Mr. Rodgers

I should be interested in any precedents the hon. Member would like to draw to my attention. I am not aware that there are any precedents. I am sorry that this has become a matter of controversy, but I feel that we should focus on the purpose of the Amendment. I respect the reason that it was first brought up in Committee, as indeed I respect the reason that it has been brought up today. The subject for concern is that matters of promotion should be carried on at the same time. I suggest that we should concentrate on that aspect rather than on niceties of relations between the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, which might lead us into deep waters.

I have simply said that we do not think it right in all the circumstances to provide that the Chairman of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, who is appointed by the Northern Ireland Government under its own legislation, should be ex-officio a member of the British Tourist Authority whose statutory duties under legislation before the Westminster Parliament do not extend to Northern Ireland.

Mr. James Dempsey (Coatbridge and Airdrie)

There is a great deal to be said for co-operation in these matters. Anybody who knows Northern Ireland is aware of the unemployment situation in parts of that country. If tourism promotes employment there, it is a worthwhile venture. Is there any particular constitutional difficulty to prevent the British Tourist Authority from co-opting the Chairman of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board when the authority is dealing with matters relating to Northern Ireland?

Mr. Rodgers

My hon. Friend the Member for Coatbridge and Airdrie (Mr. Dempsey) has made a shrewd and constructive suggestion. We do not envisage a tightly-knit body of men who would never consult or invite into their meetings others with something to contribute.

It is not for me to commit the members of the authority or the members of the board, but speaking for myself I can see circumstances in which, if matters of particular interest to Northern Ireland are being considered by the authority, it might invite the chairman to attend meetings. This might be the case, but it would be wrong for me in dealing with the legislation to commit anybody on those lines. I feel that this is the way in which things will develop at all levels. On the level of the authority, on the level of senior staff, indeed at every level, there will be continuing and close contact. I am sure that the authority will find a way to satisfy the desire which is at the heart of all our contributions this afternoon.

Mr. Blaker

I welcome the last few words of the Minister of State since they put a different complexion on what I intended to say. I also welcome the two shrewd interventions of hon. Members opposite, which have helped the Minister to reach a conclusion that is more satisfactory to my hon. Friends and myself than at one time I feared likely.

I lay emphasis on the Minister's last few words, although he made particularly heavy weather of the matter of appointment by the Government of Northern Ireland of somebody who would be ex officio a member of a statutory body set up by this House. He seemed to be talking about the Government of Northern Ireland as if it were not part of the United Kingdom. He was referring to Great Britain when in fact he meant the United Kingdom. The Government and the House have a responsibility for Northern Ireland which is particularly marked and clear in relation to overseas affairs, which after all is what we are talking about.

My hon. Friends and my noble Friend were right when they made the point that we are considering the common interest of the whole of the United Kingdom, and this was reflected in the Minister's remarks. It is to our benefit if Northern Ireland is successful in its overseas promotion. My hon. Friend the Member for Fermanagh and South Tyrone (Lord Hamilton) referred to the tremendous leap in the earnings from tourists in Northern Ireland. Everybody who is attracted from America to Northern Ireland is a potential visitor also to England, Scotland and Wales, and other parts of the United Kingdom which will thereby receive earnings from those visitors.

6.15 p.m.

We are worried that Clause 5 on its own does not do enough. Co-operation is different from integration. Our Amendments were directed to integration, and it is our fear that, if we were simply to rely on co-operation on the lines laid down in Clause 5, over a period of 10 years there would be a gradual divergence of attitude and approach between the Northern Ireland Tourist Board and the British Travel Association. This probably would not be apparent from day to day, but over a period of some 10 years they may well take separate routes.

If in matters of tourism the closest integration can be achieved within the constitutional situation, then the argument for that integration is overwhelming. The Minister himself made the argument yesterday in the passage to which I have already referred. I hope that the Minister will use his great influence with the boards when they are set up. He has power under the Bill to issue directives. But even if he does not issue a directive, I hope that he will use his great powers of persuasion to make sure that the work of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board and that of the British Travel Association is closely integrated. In relying on the Minister's last words to that effect, and in the hope that he will have further discussions with the Government of Northern Ireland to see how those last words will be put into effect in a positive way, I should be happy, if my hon. Friends agree, to withdraw the Amendment.

Mr. Peyton

I rise to pay a brief tribute to the characteristic generosity of my hon. Friend the Member for Blackpool, South (Mr. Blaker), that led him to see something substantial in the last words of the Minister. Despite the prod at the Minister by his hon. Friend the Member for West Stirlingshire (Mr. W. Baxter), he did not go far enough. There was something extremely niggardly and ungenerous in his attitude.

The organisations that are to be set up are not of great hierarchical importance and as yet have not an integrity which we need to defend to the utmost. Yet the Minister finds it impossible to allow the point that the Chairman of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board should not be an ex-officio member of the British Travel Authority. That is very odd and niggardly. Although my hon. Friends are right to gloss over this difference, which is not of cardinal importance and should not lead us through the Division Lobby, it is, nevertheless, a small point which will, at least, I hope, put to some small embarrassment a Government who show themselves totally incapable of any breadth of view.

Mr. Blaker

I beg to ask leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Mr. William Rodgers

I beg to move Amendment No. 15, in page 2, line 5, leave out subsection (4) and insert: (4) In Part III of Schedule 1 to the House of Commons Disqualification Act 1957 (offices the holders of which are disqualified under that Act), in its application to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, there shall be inserted at the appropriate point in alphabetical order the words 'Any member in receipt of remuneration of the British Tourist Authority, the English Tourist Board, the Scottish Tourist Board and the Wales Tourist Board'.

Mr. Speaker

I understand that we are to discuss at the same time Government Amendment No. 77, and Amendment No. 120, in page 2, line 5, leaev out subsection (4).

Mr. Rodgers

I am sorry that, judging for Yeovil (Mr. Peyton) by my narrow-once again disappointed the hon. Member for Yeovil (Mr. Peyton) by my narrow mindedness and lack of generosity. Perhaps it is too much to hope that he will take a more generous view of me or of my Government. He may like to know, because he may not have followed the Committee's proceedings very closely, that this Amendment is designed to meet wishes expressed in Committee, largely by his side. It was said that it would be a pity if the Bill precluded the possibility of Members of Parliament being appointed to the tourist boards.

I must make it clear that I can hold out no promise to the hon. Member or to anyone else of an appointment to the boards when they are set up. However, on reflection, it seemed to us that, just as hon. Members have in the past made a valuable contribution to tourism—I pay my respects here to the hon. Member for Eastbourne (Sir C. Taylor)—it would be a pity if, in future, a Member who could serve helpfully was prevented from doing so because payment would be involved. The Amendment removes that disability, and I hope that, for that reason, it will be acceptable to the House.

Sir C. Taylor

I am grateful to the Minister for acceding to our request, which came from both sides of the Committee—that Members of Parliament, just because they are Members of Parliament, should not necessarily be excluded from being part-time or full-time members of the boards or of the British Tourist Authority.

I was a member of the British Travel Association when it was first started by Mr. Douglas Hacking, who subsequently became Sir Douglas Hacking and then Lord Hacking. No one could have done more for tourism than the late Lord Hacking. He started the association as a sort of private enterprise labour of love and he did a marvellous job. It was suggested, when the Government took an interest in the association and supported it with funds, that, technically, a member of a board might be considered to hold an office of profit under the Crown, which would have meant my disqualification. I should have lost my seat, so I decided to resign.

But I have always thought that M.P.s interested in tourism might have a part to play in the British Tourist Authority. It would be a pity to debar them just because they are M.P.s, because they could offer advantages to the board and to liaison between the boards and this House. I am not asking for any reinstatement. I did my stint and enjoyed it, but would not want to be a candidate for reinstatement. But we are not talking about personalities, otherwise I am certain that the Minister would not recommend quite a number of our colleagues in this House as members of the authority. But hon. Members could contribute as part-time unpaid workers.

The Clause is permissive. It does not say that the Minister must appoint an M.P., but if in future there was a Member who was very knowledgable about these subjects, the Minister might consider his appointment. I am very grateful to the Minister of State, and I am sure that my colleagues who spoke in Committee are also grateful, for the generous-hearted way in which he has considered this suggestion.

Mr. Peyton

I have my name to Amendment No. 120. Far from having a personal feud against the Minister of State, I am very grateful to him for the way in which he has proposed this Amendment. I accept the spirit of it, and I am grateful for it, because I particularly welcome any sign that Parliament is not being excluded from discussion. Individual M.P.s with far more experience than I in these matters should be able to participate and apply their wisdom. I assure the Minister that it is not my intention, either now or in future, to solicit such an appointment for myself. Nevertheless, I should like to congratulate him on the readiness with which he has met the views expressed on this side of the House and has allowed his own wisdom to triumph over the other prejudices with which he is surrounded.

Mr. John Biffen (Oswestry)

My name is also attached to Amendment No. 120, and I should like to congratulate the Government on accepting its spirit. This piece of legislation has ended up with more boards than it started with, and the House may congratulate itself on having secured some toehold in these proliferating institutions.

This is to be welcomed on two counts. First, it makes some further progress in the general proposition that the responsibilities which can best be discharged by Members of Parliament are not confined to whole-time activity within this House. I am therefore delighted that, in legislation, the possibility is foreseen of M.P.s having extra-Parliamentary activities.

Second, we have seen, in recent years, a great proliferation in the number of boards with some quasi-Governmental function, particularly in the distribution of funds. On many of the most important, Ministers are occasionally represented—this is true of the National Economic Development Council—but it is not true of many that the House has had any chance of independent representation. This is a permissive piece of legislation, as my hon. Friend the Member for Eastbourne (Sir C. Taylor) said, and no one would over-estimate the modest degree of the Amendment. But it is being made in the right direction, and in that spirit I welcome it.

Amendment agreed to.

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