HC Deb 23 February 1970 vol 796 cc895-924

Order for Second Reading read.

Motion made, and Question proposed, That the Bill be now read a Second time.

Mr. Speaker

Order. It will help the Chair to secure a balanced debate if hon. Members who wish to speak will let me know whether they wish to speak for or against the Bill. At the moment, I know that there are four hon. Members who wish to speak—two for and two against.

7.12 p.m.

Mr. Bernard Conlon (Gateshead, East)

I commend the Second Reading of the Bill to the House. The responsibility for providing the ferry between North Shields and South Shields is a statutory responsibility falling upon the Port of Tyne Authority arising from a local Act of 1861. I do not think it unreasonable for the authority to expect that in the changed conditions of 1970, as compared with 1861, there should be a reappraisal of the circumstances in which it is obliged to run this ferry. Prior to the opening of the Tyne Tunnel between Jarrow and Howdon, passenger traffic had declined steadily from more than 8¼ million in 1919 to just over 2 million in 1966. As compared with this, the vehicular traffic was increasing and in 1966 had reached the level of 404,000, which included 380,000 motor vehicles.

The Tyne Tunnel was opened in October, 1967. It caused an immediate and dramatic reduction in the traffic using the ferry and there was a consequential diminution of income. In 1966 there was a small surplus on the operation of the ferry but the accumulated deficit on the ferry account, which by statute is kept separate from the port authority's general account, was about £172,500 at the end of 1966. The authority's predecessors, the Tyne Improvement Commissioners, had already taken action to curtail expenditure subsequent to the Tyne Tunnel being opened, first by ceasing to provide a Sunday service, second by reducing the duration and frequency of the weekly service and third by disposing of two ferry boats.

It also sought sanction of the Ministry of Transport to increase the passenger toll from 6d. to 1s. By virtue of the Tyne Tunnel Act the authority is entitled to claim compensation from the county councils of Northumberland and County Durham in respect of any reduction in revenue from the ferry as a result of the opening of the tunnel. Notwithstanding the payment of this compensation the accumulated deficit had risen to a little more than £184,000 at the end of 1968. The increase in passenger toll for which the authority applied in February, 1968, was opposed by both the Tynemouth and the South Shields Corporations and they required that a public inquiry be held, but subsequently the application was approved by the Minister of Transport and it was brought into operation on 11th August, 1969.

Despite the increased toll it is expected that there will be a deficit on the operation for 1969 of about £40,000 which will only partially be met by any compensation which might be obtained from the county councils. Therefore, there will be an increase in the accumulated deficit. The authority is not eligible for any grants towards the cost of providing improved ferry facilities or towards its annual running costs. Any deficit must therefore be met out of the general revenue from the trade of the port.

The present level of trade on the Tyne and the forecast of future prospects are causing some concern. The authority feels it is wrong that the trade of the port should have to bear the heavy burden of operating a ferry which is mainly a service to the local populations of Tynemouth and South Shields. On several occasions the two harbour authorities have been offered the undertaking free, and without transfer of the accumulated deficit, but they have declined to accept it. Furthermore, the two authorities have been invited on a number of occasions to make contributions towards the cost of running the ferry and on each occasion they declined to make such a contribution. In fairness to them I ought to say that there is some doubt whether the authorities would have the power to make such a contribution.

In appraising the undertaking, which was transferred to it in August, 1968, the Port of Tyne Authority decided that it could no longer subsidise the ferry service out of the general revenues of the port. It considered that a bus service or bus services through the Tyne Tunnel would provide an alternative which would be more flexible in meeting the requirements of the cross-river traffic particularly at peak hours of the day. It also considered that with the establishment of the Tyneside Passenger Transport Executive, whose duty it is under the Transport Act, 1968, to provide a properly integrated and efficient system of passenger transport in the area, the executive is the body which should consider whether the ferry service is necessary between North Shields and South Shields and, if it is, it is for the Executive to provide it.

The power which the authority seeks to abandon by the Bill in abandoning the ferry may be exercised only if it has offered the ferry to the passenger transport executive and if that body declines the offer. Having regard to the duties imposed upon the executive by Parliament, it seems to me that it can decline the ferry only if it decides that it is unnecessary or is totally uneconomic. In either case, it seems unfair to expect the port authority to continue running the ferry.

For several reasons, the executive should be better able to run the ferry than the port authority. It may receive grants under the Transport Act, 1968. Also, it may continue to run unremunerative passenger services if it considers that there is a need, and it may precept on local authorities within its area to meet deficits. The port authority can do none of those things. In addition, the executive, which has a duty placed upon it by Parliament to integrate passenger transport services in the Tyneside area, is best able to judge whether a ferry service is needed.

The authority's case is based on its own experience of the numbers travelling and the cost. As a further step towards ascertaining whether a service is necessary, the passenger transport authority, at the suggestion of the port authority, has recently taken an origin and destination survey of passengers on the ferry, and a study of the most suitable type of boat is being sponsored. The authority is bearing one half of the cost of the survey and study, the other half being shared by the executive and the two harbour boroughs. The result of the survey and study should help the passenger transport executive to decide whether the ferry is a service which ought to be continued. The Bill does nothing to impede this consideration. Indeed, it assists by providing the means by which the transfer to the passenger transport executive can be effected, and it allows the executive plenty of time to reach a decision.

I recognise that representations will be made on behalf of the two harbour boroughs. It must be recognised also that the ferry is being run almost exclusively for the benefit of these boroughs. I am given to understand that the Port of Tyne Authority will be prepared, when the Bill is before the Select Committee, to meet as far as it reasonably can legitimate objections to the Bill.

For all those reasons, I ask the House to give the Bill a Second Reading.

7.24 p.m.

Dame Irene Ward (Tynemouth)

I listened with interest to the account given by the hon. Member for Gateshead, East (Mr. Conlan), but I oppose the Bill on Second Reading for several reasons. A complicated Bill of this kind, which can have enormous repercussions on the life of the river, should be presented to Parliament before it goes to a Select Committee, so that the speeches made both for and against are recorded in HANSARD for all to see. Therefore, I blocked the Bill, and we are having the Second Reading debate today.

My object, and, I imagine, the object of the hon. Member for South Shields (Mr. Blenkinsop), is to have on the River Tyne a properly planned transport service which will cover all sections of the community. I listened earlier to what was said in the debate on unemployment in the North-East, as I listened with interest to the hon. Gentleman the Member for Gateshead, East a few minutes ago, but I did not hear any reference to the fact that, since its establishment under statutory authority, the ferry—or the ferries, as they used to be—has to a large extent carried, and still carries, shipyard workers from the north bank of the Tyne to the south bank and from the south bank to the north. This has always been a tradition.

In my constituency, there is one of the greatest and most reputable ship repairing yards in the world, Smith's Docks. I mention that fact to emphasise that this is not an ordinary passenger ferry for Members of Parliament and others to use—although, of course, lots of people use the ferry who are not concerned in the ship-repairing yard—but it was established, in the main, to ensure that shipyard workers were able to cross from the north bank to the south and from the south bank to the north. This remains an extremely important function of the ferry.

We have just had a debate on unemployment in the North-East. The House may be interested to know that the major amount of unemployment in the shipbuilding area of the Tyne is in ship repairing. I feel, therefore, that we have a perfect right to argue for the maintenance of all that is necessary for our ship-repairing establishments and the employment which they give.

Although he put the matter very well, the hon. Gentleman the Member for Gateshead, East failed to point out that in the area from Newcastle up to the tunnel there are adequate facilities for crossing the river. Newcastle and Gateshead have been extremely lucky lately in having a beautiful new bridge built at Scotswood. We have the great Tyne Tunnel, too. My constituents, and, I imagine, people in the County Borough of South Shields as well, wanted the entrances and exists of the tunnel placed a little nearer the mouth of the river to ensure that our shipyard workers could readily carry on their traditional work in the shipyards.

Mr. Speaker

Order. We cannot replace or reposition the tunnel by this Bill.

Dame Irene Ward

I realise that we cannot reposition the tunnel, Mr. Speaker, but, apart from the shipyard workers and the ordinary people who go shopping from one side of the river to the other who will be incommoded by closure of the ferry, everyone else has a convenient vehicular crossing through the tunnel. It is only our part of the Tyne which is left in isolation. This is the problem.

We all recognise that the Tyne is in decline. I listened with interest and appreciation to the Adjournment debate initiated by the hon. Members for South Shields and for Jarrow (Mr. Fernyhough) on the difficulties of the Tyne. They are very real difficulties, and I do not want them to be increased.

We know that we do not need a ferry boat for the purpose of carrying vehicles; these use the tunnel. I also agree that reasonable costs should be charged to people using the ferry. But the way in which the Port of Tyne has decided, without adequate safeguards, to take from this important part of the River Tyne its method of transport is most unfortunate. So upset were the directors of the Port of Tyne that they rushed up to Clydeside to try to get some Clydeside Members to deal with me! That is the first time in recent history that the Geordies have appealed to the Scots to rescue them, and I found it very amusing.

But what must be established, if the Bill is passed, is that those for whom the hon. Member and I have responsibility will be adequately protected so that they may carry on their legitimate work. The Bill does nothing to give us confidence that that protection will be provided.

I must, I am afraid, read from the Petition. Hon. Members may find it a little boring, but it is inevitable. In paragraph 9 and subsequently, the Petitioners—the County Borough of Tynemouth and the County Borough of South Shields—state: Your Petitioners accept that it might be reasonable for the authority to be empowered to transfer the ferry undertaking to the Executive, but wish to emphasise that it would only be reasonable if the continuance of the ferry could be assured. Your Petitioners believe that the continuance of the ferry service is essential for the economic and social wellbeing of their two communities, and that it can be made financially self-supporting if properly managed. I emphasise the words "properly managed". The Petition continues: Their views have been supported by a petition deposited with the Prime Minister in December, 1969, containing approximately 10,000 signatures. When I had lunch the other day with the Chairman of the Port of Tyne Authority, I asked him whether he had received any representations at Ministerial level, because when the hon. Member and I presented the Petition to Downing Street the Prime Minister arranged for it to be considered by the Minister responsible for local government and regional development. I think that is the title, although I find it very difficult to remember who are all the Ministers and what are their jobs. But I asked the chairman whether any representations had been made by the Minister, who had handed on the Petition and had reported all we had said to the Minister of Transport, and I was horrified to be told by the chairman that he had received no representations. It may be that in this era of secret documents he felt that he could not disclose the fact that he had had conversations with a Minister, but in fact he told me that he had had no such conversations.

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport (Mr. Albert Murray)

I understand that my right hon. Friend the Minister had discussions with the various people concerned when he visited Tyneside on 8th and 9th January.

Dame Irene Ward

That is exactly what I thought, but when I lunched with the chairman on 30th January and asked him whether he had received any representations from the hon. Member's Department, he said, "No". I do not know why he said that.

The Petition continues: Your Petitioners have considered the material available on which to form a judgment on this matter. They gave particular consideration to the fact that the ferry service is at present carried on by a single coal-fired vessel suitable for the carriage of vehicles as well as passengers. There appears to be a need to replace this vessel by a more modern vessel suitable for the carriage of passengers alone. It further appears that it should be possible to obtain a grant from the Minister of Transport towards the capital cost of the new vessel. What made me very angry was that the Port of Tyne Authority, knowing the interest which we all take in the future development of Tyneside and in maintaining a high level of employment, particularly in view of the present difficulties, did not introduce the Bill at some conference or another. I find it extraordinary that though they sent me a copy of the Bill, they did not provide a proper presentation of the whole situation at a conference. It is parliament which takes the decision in the end not the Port of Tyne Authority or other local authori- ties. The statutory obligation is governed by a decision of Parliament, and it was extremely unwise of the Chairman of the Port of Tyne Authority not to get in touch with Members of Parliament, who have a close interest in the matter, particularly in view of the fact that unemployment in the ship-repairing yards is very acute and that a well-designed and busy ship-repairing yard can make a contribution to the economic stability of the country.

The Petition continues: Your Petitioners understand that the Executive are unable to reach any decision on whether they should, in the event of a transfer of the undertaking, be prepared to provide such a new vessel. There is no satisfactory information available on which to make such a decision. Your Petitioners have agreed with the Authority and the Executive that an origin and destination survey should be made in order to ascertain how many people would be affected by the termination of the ferry service, and to what extent those people would be affected in terms of additional cost and additional time and inconvenience of travel. Even so, there is no reference to the ship-reair workers. The Petition adds: It has also been agreed to obtain a report on the most suitable type of ferry-boat to meet the need that is established. The cost of these investigations is to be shared. Your Petitioners —I absolutely agree— submit that these matters should have been investigated before the Bill was promoted. Until all the relevant factors have been taken into account in assessing and forecasting the needs of users of the ferry and of the inhabitants on each side of the River, it is impossible to make any decision upon whether the Authority should be relieved of the obligation to maintain the ferry which they undertook in 1861. It is also impossible to make any estimate of the cost of providing an effective and economical means of crossing the River at any point between its mouth and the Tyne Tunnel. It follows that there is no material upon which to make a judgment as to whether the Authority or the Executive or your Petitioners or any other person should bear or share in the cost of continuing or replacing the ferry service. The Bill is defective in that it enables the Authority and the Executive to discontinue the ferry without providing any safeguard to ensure that these matters have been properly considered and decided in a manner that is just and can be shown to be just. That is the case which I am making. In order to establish the fact that the Bill provides no safeguard to the ferry, I am asking that the ferry should not be handed over. We probably should agree that it would be a good idea to hand it over to the passenger transport authority, provided the authority had a statutory obligation to carry on the ferry.

Clause 10 of the Port of Tyne Bill states: If the Authority have submitted to the Executive proposals (and have not withdrawn them) offering to transfer the undertaking in accordance with section 4 (Power to transfer ferry undertaking to the Executive) of this Act, and agreement between the Authority and the Executive has not been reached, whether in the terms of such proposals or otherwise, the Authority may at any time after the expiry of twelve months from the date of such submisison, or, in the event of the Executive serving upon the Authority written notice that they decline to entertain any such proposals, at any time after such service, by resolution abandon and discontinue the ferry service. There are occasions when, if a ship comes in for a quick repair, the ferry is called out and the men involved on the job are ferried to the yard. I do not think it is right or in the interests of the Tyne authority, or of our county boroughs, or of the workers, that there should be a Bill which does not give adequate and proper safeguards.

I should not have felt so steamed up about this if the Port of Tyne Authority had discussed the matter. After all, this is a matter for discussion. I do not accept that I should be rolled over by the Port of Tyne Authority. Neither should my constituents or the shipyard workers, or the passengers. South Shields, North Shields and Tynemouth have always had a very close association, and merely to produce this Bill without any proper discussion, without giving us the background of everything that is involved, is intolerable.

I went to lunch with the Chairman of the Port of Tyne Authority and it suddenly occurred to me that he imagined that he would be able to win me over. But I am not one of those who are won over if I really decide to take a matter in hand. I asked the chairman if he would set out for me exactly what the situation was, and this is what he wrote in reply: The position still remains that if the Authority were assured that there would be no loss on providing and operating a ferry service with a new passenger only ferry boat at any time over its life they would provide one. This is not to be taken as meaning that the Authority consider a ferry service is neces- sary. In their opinion a properly planned bus service would provide a more flexible and better transport service. I understand that there is a very real threat to our coastal railways. I do not know how we shall be able to move thousands of workers in our industrial establishments on Tyneside, not to mention our shipyard workers, by means of a bus service through a tunnel with only two lanes. I believe I am right in saying that the hon. Member for South Shields is no more satisfied than I am about the possible provision of a bus service.

During our discussions Mr. Burrell, the Chairman of the Port of Tyne Authority, said that the old Tyne improvement undertaking had once provided Tynemouth—I do not know whether it was provided for South Shields as well—with a free ferry on which nobody had to pay a fare. That really horrified me, because I believe that everybody should pay his way. In fact, Mr. Burrell did not prove to be entirely accurate. I do not accept everything that people say to me, without an investigation, and I found that that statement was not quite true. But that is what he said. I presume that he said it in order to give the impression that our fuss about the ferry was ridiculous.

Mr. Burrell also said in his letter: I must also emphasise that it is doubtful whether the two Harbour boroughs have power to contribute to the cost of the service and in the past they have declined to do so. One really would have thought that the old Tyne improvement commission and the present Port of Tyne Authority would have taken legal advice. To say in February, 1970, that they do not know whether it is statutorily possible for the local authorities to make a contribution seems to me to indicate that the Tyne improvement commission and the Port of Tyne Authority must be extraordinarily badly run. One would have thought that if it were proposed to discuss whether it would be possible to pay a contribution, the port authority would have ascertained the actual liabilities of the two local authorities.

I feel absolutely shaken by this whole procedure, and I thought it only right and this should be put on the record and not left to a Select Committee where everything is shrouded in mystery, where the Press is not present and where nobody, except those concerned, is interested in what goes on. This is a matter for Parliament, and in due course we shall have to give our sanction to whatever final arrangements are made.

I have one more thing to say to those hon. Members who live on Tyneside and who may feel inclined to vote for this Bill. After all, their constituents are not worried about getting to work. But to have omitted to get this matter basically and legally thought out so that a proper scheme could be presented is the most extraordinary thing in the world. Today I asked the Prime Minister—I have not yet had an answer—if he would give a direction to the British Steel Corporation to allow us to continue to ship ore from the Tyne. If we do not have that work, we shall be in an even worse position than we are today.

I make no apology for stating in this House the case for proper consideration. If we have that proper consideration I think that my two local authorities, assuming that they were presented with all the facts, would be prepared to discuss what should be done. But if we are to lose the ore shipments as well, I shudder to think what will happen to our great river. I am absolutely scandalised that while all this is going on, the Port of Tyne Authority has merely presented a half-baked and improperly thought out Bill, with nobody knowing where he is.

Of course, I should like this Bill to be thrown out tonight, but it may not be. I never place any reliance on anything that may happen in Parliament. One never knows whether one will win or lose a battle. But I hope that my speech tonight will be studied by learned counsel. Indeed, I hope that I shall be called as a witness so that my views on this situation will be placed on record in the Select Committee.

I have the greatest pleasure in opposing the Bill.

7.50 p.m.

Mr. David Watkins (Consett)

I have listened with great interest to the arguments adduced by the hon. Member for Tynemouth (Dame Irene Ward). Fascinated as I am by the prospect of her being, to use her own words, "rolled over" by the Port of Tyne Authority, I support the Bill. I have not been invited to lunch by anyone—

Mr. Geoffrey Rhodes (Newcastle-upon-Tyne, East)

Or rolled over.

Mr. Watkins

—to obtain my support for the Bill. I am sorry if the hon. Lady is disappointed by my support for the Bill. I shall try to bear her disappointment with fortitude.

The Bill seeks to remedy the situation whereby the Port of Tyne Authority is saddled with the legal responsibility to operate the Market Place ferry, whether or not it is a viable, economic proposition. My hon. Friend the Member for Gateshead, East (Mr. Conlan), in opening the debate, drew attention to the growing financial burden the Port of Tyne Authority has to bear in operating the ferry, especially since the opening of the Tyne Tunnel in October, 1967. By 31st December, 1968, there was already an accumulated deficit of over £184,000 on the operation of the ferry, and the 1969 deficit is estimated to be likely to be about £40,000. This is the measure of the financial burden the authority has to bear. It is to seek to relieve itself of that burden that it is promoting the Bill.

The deficit on the operation of the ferry must be met, as the law stands, from the revenue of the port. The hon. Lady touched on a very important aspect of the whole issue of the port revenue. We are not considering this call on the revenue in a static or expanding situation but in a declining situation. The revenue of the Port of Tyne has been declining for a number of years, and it will decline further.

One of the major items handled by the port is the iron ore which comes in through Tyne Dock and is conveyed to the steel works in my constituency at Consett. Within the past few weeks the British Steel Corporation has started to build a new iron ore port at Teesside, and it is the intention that when it comes into operation in 1972 Consett's iron ore will cease to come from the Tyne and will be imported via the Tees.

This is extremely important, because, whilst it means that the British Steel Corporation at Consett will—I am reliably informed—save £1 million a year in iron ore transportation costs, the Port of Tyne will lose £650,000 a year in its revenues. In 1969 the total gross income of the Port of Tyne Authority was a little over £2,808,000, of which a little over £647,000 was revenue from the handling of iron ore. The point is that this source of income will cease some time after 1972 with the coming into operation of the Teesside iron ore port.

It does not seem to me to be right that the Port of Tyne Authority should be saddled with this statutory responsibility and loss. In any case, it should not be saddled with it in view of the developments in its own revenue which will take place consequent upon the development in the iron ore trade. For this reason alone, the Bill deserves a Second Reading tonight.

I want to turn to another aspect of the matter to indicate why I support the Second Reading, and especially why the Bill should be enabled to go to Select Committee for the arguments for and against to be examined in great detail. The House is indebted to the hon. Lady for having allowed a debate to take place tonight, because there are clearly deeply divided opinions on the Bill in the House. There is an unanswerable case for the Bill to receive a Second Reading and to go to Select Committee so that the kind of points she mentioned, and which I shall now talk about, can be examined in detail.

The Tyne Tunnel has been the subject of a vast amount of legislation. There is a whole series of Acts of Parliament concerning its building and operation. Under Section 54 of the Tyne Tunnel Act, 1960 the Durham and Northumberland County Councils are required to pay compensation to the Port of Tyne authority for loss of revenue on the operation of the ferry arising from the existence of the tunnel. One of the criteria in calculating the amount which must be paid is that the Port of Tyne Authority shall operate an efficient ferry service. There is likely to be a difference of opinion on how the word "efficient" would be defined.

By 31st March, 1969, the last date for which figures are available, the two county councils had paid £27,000 in subsidy towards the ferry's operation. The amount which must be paid is calculated by a complicated formula, and it is difficult to forecast what amounts might have to be paid in the future. It is indefensible that the ratepayers of the counties of Durham and Northumberland, the two authorities responsible for the building of the Tyne Tunnel, should be saddled with the burden in perpetuity.

If the ferry is transferred to the Tyneside Passenger Transport Executive, as proposed in Clause 4, the right to compensation is also transferred, so it would still have to be paid. It seems to me quite wrong that the transport executive, which has powers to precept upon all local authorities in the area which its operations cover, and has other powerful means of raising revenue, should continue in perpetuity to receive this subsidy from the two counties.

Both Durham and Northumberland County Councils have petitioned the House against that aspect of the Bill. I feel very strongly that their case needs detailed examination, which is a further reason why the Bill should be given a Second Reading so that it can go to Select Committee and all the arguments adduced by the two county councils, as well as all the other numerous points to be argued on the Bill and in relation to the operation of the ferry, can be examined in detail.

Dame Irene Ward

Will the hon. Gentleman add to the information which he has given about the Northumberland and Durham County Councils? Were all the local authorities made aware of the plans for the building of the tunnel, or just the county councils?

Mr. Watkins

I take the hon. Lady's point. Without being able to give a precise answer on whether every local authority on and around Tyneside was made aware, certainly these two local authorities were. This is a further good reason why the House should give the Bill a Second Reading. It would allow a detailed examination of their arguments about the Bill in Select Committee and give an opportunity for any other local authority to bring forward points of argument.

As I was saying, there are two major reasons why the House should give the Bill a Second Reading. Because of the loss being sustained on the operation of the ferry, the port authority should have a right to offer the ferry to the Tyneside Passenger Transport Executive, as proposed in Clause 4, and, if the transport executive does not want it, the port authority should have the right to close the ferry, as proposed in Clause 10.

I mention briefly the position of the staff employed on the ferry. Clauses 5 and 11 set out specific proposals for the protection of the staff, whichever way it goes. If the ferry is handed over to the transport executive, Clause 5 protects the position of the staff. If the transport authority does not take the ferry and the Port of Tyne Authority subsequently decides to close it, Clause 11 protects the position of the staff.

My second major reason for giving the Bill a Second Reading is the position of the two county councils, and possibly other local authorities, which have to pay compensation. This arrangement needs revision, and a detailed examination of the case for a revision should be undertaken in the Select Committee.

To sum up, there is no case for the House to reject the Bill at this stage. Public use of the ferry has declined rapidly, particularly since the opening of the Tyne tunnel. I know that pedestrian passengers use the ferry, but use of the ferry has declined rapidly, and there is a strong case for the Bill. The two county councils to which I have referred also have strong cases for examination. For all these reasons I support the Second Reading, and I hope the House will do likewise.

8.3 p.m.

Mr. Arthur Blenkinsop (South Shields)

I am a little surprised at the conclusion to which my hon. Friend the Member for Consett (Mr. David Watkins) has come after his extremely good exposition of some of the problems affecting the proposal. I thought his speech reinforced the views of the hon. Member for Tyne-mouth (Dame Irene Ward) and myself, that the proper course would be for the Bill to be withdrawn to allow several matters to be cleared up, so that we could then go forward with an agreed Measure, which is a much more sensible and reasonable proposition.

I have no complaint about the way in which my hon. Friend the Member for Gateshead, East (Mr. Conlan) introduced the Bill; he did so in a reasonable spirit. He gave a slightly mistaken idea, although I do not think this was his fault, when he suggested that an undertaking that had been reached as far back as 1861 obviously needed revision by 1970—

Mr. Conlan

My only point was that the circumstances in recent years have changed so much that there is need for a review. For instance, there is the Tyne Tunnel and the passenger transport executive.

Mr. Blenkinsop

I am not in any way disagreeing with my hon. Friend. I am only making the point that the undertaking that was reached in 1861 has of course been changed on several occasions. There were originally three ferries, not one. It gives a slightly wrong impression about the two authorities at the mouth of the river, Tynemouth and South Shields, if it is suggested that they opposed every change in the provisions of the original Measure which saddled the old Tyne Improvement Commission with responsibility for three ferries.

In recent years there have been two major Private Bills, one of which got rid of the Tyne Improvement Commission's responsibility for what was the Whitehill Point ferry, which was temporarily restored after the war and then went out of use again, and Tynemouth and South Shields made no objection to this. Not long after that, in 1954, the second ferry, known as the direct ferry, was also discontinued. A special Bill was brought in by the Tyne Improvement Commissioners and, although the two local authorities were doubtful and worried about the discontinuance of the second ferry, they nevertheless, after much discussion with the Tyne Improvement Commissioners, agreed, on condition that the Tyne Improvement Commissioners would give a more satisfactory assurance about the maintenance of the landing stages for emergency purposes.

The 1954 Private Bill was passed, so we lost the second ferry, and before long, after further discussions, those emergency landing stages were disposed of, on the understanding that the sole remaining ferry would be equipped with radar to enable it to operate in bad conditions.

I recite this history to make it quite clear that the Tynemouth and South Shields local authorities have not stood against eveery change in the provisions made at the mouth of the river. Far from it; they have been co-operative in the reduction of the responsibilities borne by the Tyne Improvement Commissioners.

Naturally enough, the last ferry is a very different matter. Clear undertakings were given that this connection would be maintained. It would be completely unsatisfactory for the people on either side of the mouth of the river—and not only those people—if this ferry were to be discontinued. The provision is now far less adequate than it was; the service has been run down, it is less frequent, the charge has been increased and the Sunday service has been discontinued. Although there is now to be an inquiry into where people using the ferry go, it will not be as useful as would have been such an inquiry some time ago. The Tyne Improvement Commissioners are open to blame for not having undertaken an inquiry a considerable time ago when the whole situation even then was clear.

I emphasise that this is a service which is regarded on both sides of the river as important to our communities of North Shields and South Shields. I have been in touch with the firms immediately concerned. We know that there are at least 400 men working regularly at Smiths Docks in the constituency of the hon. Lady the Member for Tynemouth and living on the south side of the river in or about South Shields. There are men working in other firms near the landing stage and there are others who work in the repair and building yards on the south side and live on the north side.

The use of the ferry made by workers in these yards is considerable, and they express their views bluntly, directly and unanimously. The South Shields Labour and Trades Council has made clear its unanimous demand for the maintenance of the service, and so have the individual unions, particularly the boilermakers and associated unions, who represent a large proportion of those working in the building yards along the river. The closing of the ferry service is not a small matter for the people living and working in the area.

Not only those who work in premises close to the landing stage are affected. There are many others who find it convenient to use the ferry. A number of nurses live on the north side and yet work in hospitals in South Shields and find the ferry the quickest method of getting to and from their homes. There are teachers and many others who make full use of the ferry.

Although there has been a sharp diminution in the number using the ferry since the opening of the tunnel, there is still considerable use of the ferry, as is proved by the figures provided by the new Tyne Port Authority. Thousands of people a year still use the ferry. Although it is less reliable than it was, on average 1,500 or more people use the ferry every working day.

I entirely agree with the hon. Lady the Member for Tynemouth that we do not want to perpetuate the use of the existing boat, which is thoroughly out of date. There is no reason why vehicular traffic now using the ferry should not use the tunnel. The opening of the tunnel has brought about the major drop in ferry traffic. What we want and what we are united about is a replacement which will do the job more efficiently than the present vessel. There is only one vessel at the moment and if it needs repair, for instance, the whole operation is closed down in the meantime. That naturally pushes more people away from using the ferry. We want an up-to-date vessel which can do the job efficiently for foot passengers and which can be made to pay.

I agree that there is a strong case for the new passenger transport executive and authority taking over responsibility, but I insist that it must take over responsibility for the original undertaking. We must ensure that before we reach any further agreement. I commit no one else when I say that I think it perfectly reasonable that if the passenger transport executive takes over general responsibility, Tynemouth and South Shields should agree to consider in what way they could contribute towards the running costs, if that proves to be legally practicable. We ought to find out whether they would be allowed to make such a contribution. Morally and in other ways, it is right for them to discuss what joint contribution they should make, but it is not a matter solely for those authorities, and to some extent responsibility rests on the other authorities concerned with the Tyne area.

Many families, particularly in the summer, use the ferry to cross from Tynemouth to South Shields. We like them to come and to use the market in the town. The hon. Lady will probably agree with me that there is no better sight than coming across the river and seeing the ships in the dock and in the river. It is exciting both by day and by night. It is a sight of which most people living on Tyneside are proud and which they like to take their families and visitors to see. It would be a sad thing if their opportunity to do so were lost.

We are grateful to my right hon. Friend the Minister of Transport for his efforts to help. He has tried to get the authorities together to discuss the matter. In a letter to me, he made it clear that the Government might contribute 50 per cent. of the cost of a new vessel, on the understanding that a new agreement can be reached. That is very reasonable, and I hope that it is an offer which can be accepted. We can then get on with the job. But as part of the process of getting on with the job the Bill should be withdrawn so that we may have the necessary discussions and reach an agreement on the kind of lines I have suggested. That seems to be sensible.

Mr. Rhodes

I am closely following the line of argument advanced by my hon. Friend the Member for South Shields (Mr. Blenkinsop) and the hon. Lady the Member for Tynemouth (Dame Irene Ward). This is one of those rare occasions when one comes to the House with a completely open, but not, I hope, blank mind. I hope that this is not a digression or irrelevant. I understand the hon. Members to be arguing for integrated responsibility for the ferry by all the Tyneside authorities on the ground that the movement of population across the river remains an important aspect of the life of Tyneside. I wonder how my hon. Friend reconciles that approach to transport with the basically parochial approach of his local authority and the hon. Lady's local authority when integrated local government on Tyneside was mooted two or three years ago.

Mr. Blenkinsop

Irrelevant or not, that is not particularly helpful in this discussion. It does not affect the issue. If proposals for local government re- organisation go through, there will he one unitary authority for Tyneside. Presumably, it will take over the responsibility of the passenger transport executive. That may make matters somewhat easier; I do not know.

All I am saying is that in view of all these uncertainties, some of which it should be possible to clear up within a relatively short time—a statistical inquiry into the number of passengers using the ferry was held only last week but I have not been able to get the figures as they are not available—we should hold the Bill back. We should wait until we have that information so that we know what we are talking about. Equally, with the co-operation of all the parties concerned, an inquiry is being undertaken into what is the best new vessel which might be acquired for the purpose of running the new ferry if it is to operate. Surely we should wait until we know that. This seems to me to be the more sensible way of working. Let us get the facts straight, and then we can consider the Bill in a proper way. It may be that by then we can get agreement amongst the parties concerned, as I hope it should prove possible to do.

People in my constituency—this is not a party political matter; they are united about this—are naturally disturbed about the Bill. These are people who live by the sea, and on the sea. A high proportion of my constituents are seamen, seagoing engineers, and others. A large proportion work in the shipyards and in the repair yards. To them the river and the water ought to be, not a barrier, but a natural link, and so it has always been. To offer the threat, or even to make the suggestion, that the river should become a barrier for the first time is something which is emotionally as well as rationally not at all acceptable to the people on the other side of the river.

I hope very much that my hon. Friend the Member for Gateshead, East, who put these proposals forward in a pleasant, amiable, and not at all argumentative way, will agree that on balance it would be better if the Bill were withdrawn, in the hope and expectation that we can consider the objections raised by the Counties of Northumberland and Durham, and also the serious points which I have made tonight about the need for further information.

8.23 p.m.

Mr. Graham Page (Crosby)

This is an unusually difficult Bill, and I am sure that no one will complain that my hon. Friend the Member for Tynemouth (Dame Irene Ward) has caused the Bill to be debated in the House. I am sure that the House will appreciate guidance upon this Measure from the Minister.

As the hon. Member for South Shields (Mr. Blenkinsop) said, it is more than a century since the Tyne Improvement Commissioners started to run three ferries across the River Tyne. They closed two of them in the early 'fifties, but continued to run the Market Place ferry, and that is the ferry about which we are talking tonight.

In 1967 the Tyne Tunnel was opened. This drew custom away from the ferry, and in that year the ferry was transferred from the commissioners to the Port of Tyne Authority. The Bill seeks to transfer the ferry once again, this time to the passenger transport executive, the argument for the transfer being that the passenger transport executives were set up to do this sort of job, and that this passenger transport executive can obtain grants, if necessary, in aid of the efficient running of this ferry.

But the passenger transport executive is not prepared, as I understand it, from from what we have been told about the agreement between the Port of Tyne Authority and the executive, to take over the deficit of £184,000 plus, we have heard tonight, another £40,000 for the 1969 accumulated deficit, and that will remain to be paid by the authority. I understand that the authority cannot expect to recoup any of the £184,000 from the Durham and Northumberland County Councils because they have already paid their share of compensation under their undertaking.

The hon. Member for Gateshead, East (Mr. Conlan) mentioned this undertaking given by the county councils to compensate the commissioners, as it was then, now the authority, for loss sustained as a result of the opening of the tunnel. For the life of me I do not know how anyone calculates loss sustained by the opening of the tunnel, compared with any other loss, but apparently figures have been agreed between the authorities, and compensation has been paid for the past losses. At any rate, it is the ratepayers who have had to foot the bill for that loss to no small extent.

That undertaking applies to the future as well. If the ferry is transferred to the executive, I understand that the present intention is that the executive shall be entitled to call on the county councils to pay compensation for loss due to the activities of the tunnel. So the executive will have two claims against the ratepayer. First, it will claim for a contribution towards future losses under the undertaking given as long ago as 1861. Second, it will be able to precept on the rates for the cost of running the ferry, and its other undertakings.

But it will have a third benefit as well. It will be able to obtain grants which are not available to the Port of Tyne Authority. The authority has been able to obtain no grant in aid of running the ferry, except the contribution from the county councils, and so the executive is in a particularly favourable position, being able to call on the undertaking, being able to precept for rates, and being able to get a grant. This may be a good argument for the transfer to the executive. Indeed in saying that a grant would be available for the replacement of the ferry, the hon. Member for South Shields pointed to some considerable advantages to the neighbourhood, the two boroughs, and the counties, in the executive taking over and having a call on that grant. But if it is to get that grant, I hope that as the Bill proceeds consideration will be given to relieving the county councils of the undertakings which they have given. It seems to me unnecessary to hold them to those undertakings now. It can all be done in the proper way by a precept on the rates, if necessary, and capital can be obtained by the proper grant.

I should not argue that the ferry should continue to run if it is not a viable commercial undertaking. It has lost money in the past. Was that due to bady management? The House cannot tell. We do not have the information to enable us to say "Yea" or "Nay" this evening. What will be the demand in future? Again, the House does not know. Is this a local government service which should be subsidised by the rates? If so, to what figure should it be subsidised? Should the ferry be treated, financially, as one with the tunnel and perhaps be subsidised out of tunnel tolls? These are all questions which come to mind in debating the Bill.

My hon. Friend the Member for Tynemouth says that the answers should have been discovered before the Bill was presented. The hon. Member for South Shields said that the Bill should be withdrawn because we had not got this information. I express only a personal opinion, but, now that the Bill is with us, I think that it would be a pity to put the whole scheme back to square one. This information can and should be discovered in the course of the Bill's Committee stage. If the Bill goes to Committee, one can see what information is produced. When it comes back to this House on Report, we can consider what information has been produced in Committee, and if the House sees fit, it can throw out the Bill at that stage because there is insufficient information. But it would be a pity to put it back to square one at the moment.

However, there is one point of principle which emerges from the Bill. It is whether a passenger transport executive should use its considerable bargaining powers to take over an undertaking and refuse to take over its liabilities. That seems to be unfair, and it should be considered. The hon. Member for Consett (Mr. David Watkins) said that the port income is declining and that we are not even discussing a static, far less an expanding, income in the port. Therefore, £184,000 plus another £40,000 will be a considerable blow to the finances of the port. That £184,000 will have to come out of the general revenue—the port dues. In short, it will be paid by the shippers, the shipping companies, the ship repairers, and so on. My hon. Friend the Member for Tynemouth said that the ferry was used for transporting shipyard workers. It may be to that extent that the port should accept the past deficit or the deficit which has been built up and meet it out of general revenues. I am in doubt about that, because I think that it would be fairer for the passenger transport executive to take over the liabilities as well as the assets.

Whatever may be thought about passenger transport executives in general, I think that no one would seriously argue, there being a passenger transport executive here, that it is the wrong body to take over the ferry. I think that it is the right body. I only hope that leaving the deficit in the hands of the port is not regarded as a precedent. Perhaps I should have started by declaring a constituency interest here. Anyone who listens to the "top ten" or even to ordinary pop music will know that there is a Mersey ferry. I am concerned that this Bill may be a precedent for the passenger transport executive taking over the Mersey ferry and leaving the port with a deficit.

If the Bill goes to Committee, I hope that consideration will be given, first, to relieving the county councils of their undertaking for the future to contribute towards losses and, secondly, to the question of the accumulated deficit remaining to be paid by the Port of Tyne Authority.

8.34 p.m.

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport (Mr. Albert Murray)

We have almost been able to feel the Tyne breezes this evening, with hon. Members declaring their interests in this subject.

The House will have heard with interest the promoters' reasons for presenting the Bill. In brief they amount to this, that the ferry service is really no part of the promoters' port undertaking proper; that it is losing money and likely to continue doing so; that the promoters have enough financial difficulties with their port undertaking; and that, in all these circumstances, they feel that they ought to be relieved of their present obligations to go on running the ferry and meeting its losses indefinitely. They hope to be able, if given the powers that they are now seeking, to hand over the ferry by agreement to the Tyneside Passenger Transport Executive; but they also ask for a reserve power to abandon the ferry should it prove impossible to reach agreement with the executive.

It is entirely a matter for the Executive to decide whether or not to take over the ferry if the Bill is accepted. This is quite right; it is the duty of the P.T.E. to decide what kind and level of public transport services are needed locally. In fact, as I understand it, it is prepared to consider taking it on provided that some financial help is forthcoming and provided that it does not have to assume a permanent obligation to go on running the service.

Financial help may be needed, as I see it, under two heads. First, there is capital expenditure. All concerned seem to agree that, now that the Tyne Tunnel is taking the vehicular traffic, the existing ferry boat, which is old in any case, is no longer suitable and that what is needed is a new smaller boat for pedestrians only. As my hon. Friend the Member for South Shields (Mr. Blenkinsop) said, it is possible that my right hon. Friend could give a grant towards the capital cost of a new boat under Section 56 of the Transport Act, 1968.

Secondly, there is the question of help with the running costs. Here, I am afraid that my right hon. Friend cannot assist, because his power to give grants to ferries for this purpose is limited under Section 34 of the Transport Act to ferries serving rural areas. In the present case, there is no doubt that the great majority of the ferry's regular users are people living in the county boroughs of Tynemouth and South Shields, which the ferry joins.

Mr. Blenkinsop

In some other correspondence, my right hon. Friend made it clear that the Ministry might also be able to assist to some degree with certain special costs in landing stages as well.

Mr. Murray

My hon. Friend has had a great deal of correspondence on this. If he says that this point has been made by my right hon. Friend, I have no doubt that that is so.

The councils of both boroughs have petitioned against the Bill, and I am told that up till now neither of them has been prepared to provide money for the ferry. I must say that it seems to me that, where a service which has little hope of ever paying its way is continued because of its social importance to people living in a limited and clearly defined area, the prime responsibility for giving the necessary financial support ought to rest with the local authorities whose duty it is to look after the interests of the people concerned.

I do not wish to raise any objection to the Bill, and, as we have said before in correspondence, we shall, of course, be happy to help in any way that we can to resolve the differences of opinion between the various interested parties; but I should like in closing to emphasise once more that this is essentially a local matter that can best be dealt with by the people on the spot.

8.39 p.m.

Mr. Harry Randall (Gateshead, West)

This has been a very agreeable debate. There has been little hostility. It seems to me that there has been a desire for understanding. We all recognise the pressures on those who have a particular constituency interest. One expects them to raise their voice in the House so that their constituents may recognise that the view which they hold is presented to Parliament. When it is put to us that there are workers who are involved, this naturally strikes sympathy with all hon. Members.

The facts are, however, that the passenger traffic has decreased considerably. It has done so in a matter of a few years from something like 2½ million passengers down to about 900,000 per annum. This could be said also of road traffic—

Mr. Blenkinsop

My hon. Friend will appreciate that the 900,000, which is a considerable number, is on the very much reduced service which is now available as against the service which was available in the past.

Mr. Randall

I have not argued that it is an inconsiderable number. I could argue that it is sufficient for the ferry to be viable. That is our problem. If only there were sufficient passengers to maintain the ferry economically, that would be quite different, but there has been a serious decline in the number of passengers.

The Port of Tyne Authority rightly comes to the House, as did the previous organisation when there was consideration about whether the three ferries should be reduced. It was Parliament ultimately which gave the authority for two ferries to be withdrawn. Quite rightly, once more it is Parliament which has been asked to give consideration.

If we consider the position in the light of the facts which have been given to us this evening, there is a strong case for the Bill to go to the Select Committee. We have to underline tonight the wisdom of this debate on Second Reading. I value very much the point of view which has been expressed by those who are opposed to the Bill. It helps me to understand it. I think that it will help the Select Committee. Already, I think, there has been an undertaking that when the matter is before the Select Committee due consideration will be given by the Port of Tyne Authority to the views which have been expressed in the debate.

The hon. Lady the Member for Tyne-mouth (Dame Irene Ward) referred to the power to abandon in Clause 10. The service is to be offered to the passenger transport executive. If for reasons of economy or viability the passenger transport executive refused to accept, surely it would be a strong reason for not expecting the Port of Tyne Authority to carry on if not even the passenger transport executive is prepared to do so. That situation, therefore, is covered. In any event, this is another matter for the Select Committee to look at.

My hon. Friend the Member for South Shields (Mr. Blenkinsop) has talked about the changes which have taken place. I have referred to the three ferries. My hon. Friend says that people do not want the old boat. There are not many of us who use it who do want it. It would have been much better to have given the real picture of this jolly old boat, of a midnight almost, and the conditions. However, we do not want the old boat.

Mr. Blenkinsop

We made clear that we want to get a new vessel. One of our complaints against the Tyne Commissioners is that they have been so damned slow with getting on with this and looking to the future.

Mr. Randall

Had my hon. Friend kept quiet a little while, I was going on to say that he wanted a new boat. But who will pay for the new boat?

Mr. Blenkinsop

There will be discussions.

Mr. Randall

Exactly. But somebody wants to know who is to be responsible for the 20 years' life of the boat, who will maintain it, who will adjudicate upon the fare and whether the fare is satisfactory. These are all urgent matters to be considered, especially if responsibility is to be transferred. The Bill gives the opportunity for the passenger transport executive itself to give consideration to these matters.

I know that this involves the question of the transport of workers; I know that in the summer months sightseers use it, and that they like to visit the market; I know, of course, that it is a very agreeable and pleasant way of crossing the Tyne. I find, listening to the debate this evening, that most hon. Members agree that the opening of the Jarrow Tunnel has much reduced the traffic on the ferry. I know that this evening it has been said that the boat is out of date and that it needs to be replaced by a passenger ferry. There is agreement, too, I find in the debate, that the passenger transport executive for Tyneside should have the responsibility. Having myself seen the figures of passenger traffic and the declining numbers, I must say that it is very doubtful indeed whether a new boat could be self-supporting without a continuing rise in the tolls to a quite unacceptable level. That the passenger transport executive could take over is in line with the Bill; this is what is set out in the Bill; but without powers to transfer, the executive just cannot take over, if the ferry is to be continued only as a passenger ferry.

I think it would be unwise to reject the Bill. The power which the authority seeks to abandon the ferry can only be exercised by the authority if it offers the ferry to the passenger transport executive, and it is declined by that body. The authority told me that the passenger transport executive, under duties imposed under the Transport Act, 1968, can only decline to take it over if the executive decides that the ferry is unnecessary or is totally uneconomic. If this is so it seems to me that the Bill is placing the responsibility where it belongs, and it would be unfair, in my view, to expect the port authority to go on running it.

I want to advance several reasons why I think the passenger transport executive seems to be the better able to run the ferry. It receives grants under the Transport Act 1968; it can continue to run uneconomical services if, in its view, there is a need so to do; it can, as has been said in the debate, precept on local authorities within its area to meet a deficit. The authority, as my hon. Friend the Member for Gateshead, East (Mr. Conlan) said, cannot do any of these things. There are also the duties of the passenger transport executive. It is its task to integrate the passenger transport services for the Tyneside area. Therefore, in my view, it is best for judging the need and the necessity for the ferry services; it will have the necessary knowledge of the facts, and it will know the numbers of those who travel, and the costs.

There is a suggestion that this has been rushed. It has been suggested, I understand from correspondence, that there should be a public inquiry. But, on the suggestion of the port authority, the passenger transport executive recently initiated a survey on the origin and destination of passengers and it has sponsored a study of a suitable boat, if required, The authority has met half the cost of

Bill accordingly read a Second time and committed.

this, the other half being shared by the executive and the two harbour boards.

These measures should surely assist the executive to decide whether the ferry should continue. The Bill does nothing to impede the consideration of those things. Indeed, it assists some of the objects of those who are opposed to it. It provides the means by which a transfer can be made and allows the executive plenty of time to reach a decision. It would be quite inaccurate to suggest that there has been any rush in this matter because the authority only wants to get the power to abandon it. I hope that the House will give the Bill a Second Reading, and that it will be able to go to the Select Committee.

Question put, That the Bill be now read a Second time:—

The House divided: Ayes 81, Noes 38.

Division No. 71.] AYES [8.51 p.m.
Abse, Leo Golding, John Mawby, Ray
Alldritt, Walter Grimond, Rt. Hn. J. Milne, Edward (Blyth)
Archer, Peter (R'wley Regis & Tipt'n) Hamilton, James (Bothwell) Molloy, William
Armstrong, Ernest Hamilton, William (Fife, W.) Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire)
Atkins, Ronald (Preston, N.) Hannan, William Murray, Albert
Atkinson, Norman (Tottenham) Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) Norwood, Christopher
Bagier, Gordon A. T, Hazell, Bert Oram, Bert
Bence, Cyril Hobden, Dennis Oswald, Thomas
Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay) Howell, Denis (Small Heath) Price, Thomas (Westhoughton)
Bishop, E. S. Hoy, Rt. Hn. James Randall, Harry
Boyden, James Hunter, Adam Rhodes, Geoffrey
Brooks, Edwin Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye) Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)
Brown, Bob(N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, W.) Jeger, Mrs. Lena (H'b'n & St.P'cras, S.) Ross, Rt. Hn. William
Buchan, Norman Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.) Spriggs, Leslie
Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn) Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham) Steel, David (Roxburgh)
Carter-Jones, Lewis Lawson, George Tinn, James
Coe, Denis Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick (Newton) Varley, Eric G.
Costain, A. P. Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne Valley)
Dalyell, Tam Lomas, Kenneth Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
de Freitas, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey Loughlin, Charles Wilkins, W. A.
Dobson, Ray Lubbock, Eric Williams, Clifford (Abertillery)
Doig, Peter McCann, John Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)
Eadie, Alex Mackenzie, Alasdair(Ross & Crom'ty) Woodburn, Rt. Hn. A.
Ellis, John Mackenzie, Gregor (Rutherglen) Woof, Robert
English, Michael McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.)
Eyre, Reginald McNamara, J. Kevin TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Faulds, Andrew Mahon, Peter (Preston, S.) Mr. Bernard Conlan and
Finch, Harold Marks, Kenneth Mr. David Watkins.
Foot, Rt. Hn. Sir Dingle (Ipswich)
Amery, Rt. Hn. Julian Harris, Reader (Heston) Perry, George H. (Nottingham, S.)
Archer, Jeffrey (Louth) Hawkins, Paul Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks)
Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton Hay, John Russell, Sir Ronald
Black, Sir Cyril Heald, Rt. Hn. Sir Lionel Tilney, John
Booth, Albert Kaberry, Sir Donald Vaughan-Morgan, Rt. Hn. Sir John
Braine, Bernard Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland) Wall, Patrick
Bullus, Sir Eric Longden, Gilbert Wiggin, A. W.
Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert McAdden, Sir Stephen Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Crowder, F. P. Mitchell, David (Basingstoke) Winstanley, Dr. M. P.
Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F. (Ashford) Morgan, Gcraint (Denbigh) Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard
Farr, John Nabarro, Sir Gerald
Fisher, Nigel Nicholls, Sir Harmar TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Foster, Sir John Orr-Ewing, Sir Ian Dame Irene Ward and
Grant, Anthony Page, John (Harrow, W.) Mr. Arthur Blenkinsop.