HC Deb 23 June 1971 vol 819 cc1501-19

After disposal of property under this Act, it shall be the duty of the Minister to transfer those members of the maintenance staff such as decorators, plumbers, carpenters, and other ancillary workers, desirous of continuing in Government employment, to other Government departments, in view of the fact there are a number of buildings in the area at present owned by Government departments, which could be maintained more cheaply than at present by private enterprise.

Mr. Ross

The new Clause has been prompted by meetings which I have had in Carlisle with tenants and managers. I was much struck by the quality of the personnel who were managing the Stale premises in Carlisle. They were a credit to the Home Department, which must have selected them. Many of them had spent many years in the State management agency going from one hotel to another and from one public house to another.

It often happens that decisions which are taken in the House affect people's livelihood. Here the Government have introduced a Bill to dispose of property, and this in turn will mean the disposal of jobs. It is not enough to say to the holders of those jobs that they will receive Civil Service compensation, and I remind the hon. and learned Gentleman that there is nothing about that in the Bill.

I thought the best way to go about this was to try to get the Government to respond in the way in which we responded as a Government when we passed the original Act of 1916 which was continued in the Act of 1921, when the matter was reconsidered after the First World War. New Clause 2 is not a pale copy, but an almost precise copy of Section 106 of the Licensing Act, 1964, and of Section 84 of the Licensing (Scotland) Act, 1959. Section 106 reads: The Secretary of State shall so far as is practicable secure that a resident tenant or manager of licensed premises acquired by the Secretary of State under Section 104 of this Act shall have the opportunity, if the business previously carried on in the premises is continued by the Secretary of State, of being employed in carrying it on on terms not less favourable than those appropriate to a manager employed in a business such as was carried on in the premises before their acquisition. The Under-Secretary of State will probably say that the position is entirely different because the premises were acquired by the Secretary of State; it was the Secretary of State who carried on the business and who had the power of employment, the power to appoint managers and to grant tenancies. But, remember, the words are as strong as they could be: as far as is practicable secure". It is right that when bargains are struck in relation to the sale and disposal of these licensed premises the Secretary of State should again, as far as is practicable, at least make the effort to see that the persons who are employed and the managers are given the opportunity by the incoming purchaser to continue in business. Many of these people since the publication of the Bill on 3rd February have not known what to do. They have not known whether they would lose their right to compensation if they accepted another job before the Bill became law. The least we can do is to make this effort to ensure that their case for continuation of employment is made when the bargain is struck.

New Clause 5 covers almost the same point, although it is phrased in different language. It says: It shall be the duty of the Secretary of State … to ensure … that such person will give the opportunity of employment in that trade to any worker employed by the State management.

New Clause 7 deals with the special problem of people who are employed in the brewery. There are many skilled maintenance staff not only in the brewery but dealing with many other properties. We met representatives of these people who felt that they should receive consideration. In these days of high and rising unemployment it is not enough for compensation to be given, no matter how generous that compensation may be in comparison with what would be received in private business. The assurance of a job in which these people can continue their trade is of great importance.

I do not know the extent to which the hon. Member for Stockport, North (Mr. Idris Owen) saw the staff associations and the trade unions of the managers of hotels in addition to those of the managers of licensed premises. I do not think hon. Gentlemen opposite appreciate exactly what this means to ordinary people. These are men and women who have worked hard and given satisfaction, and about whom ex-Ministers in this House have expressed satisfaction, and they have a claim on us for special compensation.

7.30 p.m.

Mr. Ron Lewis

I wish to draw particular attention to new Clauses 5 and 7. It is well known that a number of hon. Members visited my constituency during the Whitsun Recess, and we took the opportunity to meet as many members of the State staff as possible, members of the office staff as well as ordinary workers. All had a genuine grievance and felt they could not put much faith or trust in the Government. They asked for words on the lines of these Clauses to be written into the Bill so that these workers would be adequately covered in respect of redundancy pay, compensation and prospects of future employment.

I wholeheartedly support the claims of my constituents in this matter. If the Government are genuine in their desire to do everything possible to help the people affected, then they should be able to agree to these Clauses. In March of this year, a Mr. Ross from the Home Office—he has no connection with my right hon. Friend the Member for Kilmarnock (Mr. William Ross)—visited Carlisle. He met the unions and those employed in the State scheme and promised to report back to them regularly every month. Since that time those workers have not heard a word from that gentleman, and they have been genuinely worried about the situation. They have asked me to draw the Government's attention to the fact that the undertaking given to them by Mr. Ross about reporting back has been ignored. These people feel they have been let down.

I hope that the Under-Secretary of State will give serious consideration to the situation of these constituents who want to be treated as normal human beings and who do not wish to be thrown on the scrap heap. This is what could happen to many of them, especially those who are aged between 50 and 55. Carlisle already has a high incidence of unemployment, and the situation is much more serious than it was a year ago. Therefore, these workers are rightly worried and wish to see their pension rights safeguarded. Furthermore, those who wish to carry on in Government employment wish to be given the opportunity to do so.

There are other Government establishments in the area, and the plumbers, painters and ancillary workers, as well as other staff, feel that the Government at least could examine the possibility of transferring those who wish to be transferred to undertake work in those other Government establishments. There are one or two workers who do not wish to transfer. Some possibly will receive compensation or redundancy payments amounting to three and, in some cases, four figures. I can appreciate their point of view, and I would not deny them the opportunity to act as they think fit.

Many of the ancillary workers at the brewery have done a wonderful job, and their services should not be lost. They are seeking to include these provisions in the Bill so that their rights may be safeguarded. This surely is a reasonable request when one bears in mind the rising unemployment figures in my constituency. I know what unemployment is all about; I know what it is to sign on the dole and to tramp the streets looking for work. There is nothing more demoralising, and this could happen to these workers in Carlisle. If the Government ignore our pleas and these people are made redundant, then some of them may never again be employed.

I make a personal plea on behalf of these people. Indeed, I have a moral obligation to do so. I would not be carrying out my duties to my constituents if I allowed this opportunity to go by without speaking on their behalf.

If the Government are genuine in their desire to look after the interests of these workers as far as is humanly possible, I would ask the Under-Secretary, even though he is in the "second team", as it were, in his Department, at least to put out "feelers" to the Leader of the House, some of whose constituents could be involved in this matter. The right hon. Gentleman must bear some responsibility for the situation in which many of these people in Carlisle will find themselves towards the end of this year and the beginning of next. I beg the Minister to look sympathetically at this matter.

Other workers with a grievance are the head office staff in the brewery, who are professional people who know their jobs. One of these staff transferred only recently from London to Carlisle and he is extremely worried about his future since he has taken on a mortgage in the area. I hope that the Government will not hide behind the usual Front Bench sort of reply, but will try to agree to some words such as these being written into the Bill to help my constituents in their genuine problems

Mr. Michael Cocks

I shall not pursue the points raised by my hon. Friend the Member for Carlisle (Mr. Ron Lewis), and certainly I do not agree with his description of the Under-Secretary of State as being a member of the "second team". The hon. and learned Gentleman has shown courage and resilience in our debates on this Bill, and many of us believe that the Home Secretary should be piloting it through Parliament himself. Clearly, the right hon. Gentleman grasped at the Immigration Bill like a drowning man clutching a straw as it provided an excuse for getting out of this unpleasant task.

I commend these Clauses as being unexceptional and putting into formal language what we understand to be the Government's intention. This is a human problem, and one of the saddest features of our visit to Carlisle was in talking to people working in the scheme, many of whom have put many years of honest endeavour into building it to what it is today. It was especially distressing to talk to tenants and managers who have living accommodation over the premises which they run. Most of it is beautifully kept, and it was sad to hear them speaking of the dreadful uncertainty hanging over them.

I am sure that the hon. and learned Gentleman will say that the spirit of these Clauses is the Government's intention. I am equally sure that he will ask us not to formalise it. However, I suggest that acceptance of the Clauses will lift the uncertainty, and, although negotiations and evaluation may drag on over a period of months, this simple crystallisation of the Government's intention into formal wording will remove a cloud from these people. Nothing destroys happiness and morale more than uncertainty about one's job or one's home. If there is uncertainty about both, a position is created which produces stresses which are extremely hard to bear.

I ask the hon. and learned Gentleman to make a concession because he agrees with our intentions and that, for the sake of the peace of mind of the people involved, he will put them formally into the Bill in these Clauses.

Mr. Garrett

This is a humanitarian problem and, like both my hon. Friends, I feel that one of the advantages that we gained from our visit to Carlisle was a deeper understanding of some of the problems facing those employed in the State scheme, both those in senior management and those who are paid hourly.

I cannot speak for Ross and Cromarty because, as I said in Committee, I am not sure where it is. I have still not had an opportunity to consult a map. However, in Carlisle it is sad to see the disarray that is becoming more and more apparent, especially among managers who have given so much of their time to building up healthy and thriving enterprises. I recall meeting one man who has spent 14 years building up a very successful adjunct to the tourist trade. One hotel that we visited had four luncheon bookings by coach parties from the South of England who were en route to Scotland and the Lake District.

Mr. Ross

And Ross and Cromarty.

Mr. Garrett

I have no doubt that they were going there as well. Those employed in the State management scheme are participating actively in promoting tourism, which both sides of the House are desperately trying to encourage, and we have to instil in the heavy hearts of those engaged in the scheme some degree of courage in the shape of a positive statement from the Minister.

Then we have to consider the tenants and managers lower down the rungs. I mean the people who run the not so "posh" hotels and cater for the hourly-rated people at night and in the busy lunchtime trade. They, too, want some assurance about their future conditions of employment. I know that the last Government introduced the redundancy payments scheme and that there are wage-related payments associated with it. But these people want to know where they stand in the new set-up.

Then I should like the hon. and learned Gentleman to say a few words about the change-over period. In saying that, I appreciate that I am asking a great deal. But we have to keep the quality of people who are employed in the scheme and assure them that, whoever takes over, they will be given at least equivalent terms of employment. I have in mind the fact that someone who is a tenant at the moment may find himself working for someone else.

We have also to consider the ordinary people, those who clean the pubs prior to their opening at 11 in the morning, the people on the sales side, the travellers, and those responsible for the quality of the beer. People in a variety of trades are engaged in the industry. They are all in catering, but they are involved in their own little kingdoms trying to maintain efficiency.

I have never apologised for drinking State beer or going into State pubs. Certainly some of those in Newcastle are superior to many private pubs. I hope that we shall have an assurance from the hon. and learned Gentleman that during the transitional period those engaged in the State scheme will have their minds put at rest about their basic continuity of employment. I hope that it will be possible also to assure them that if by chance they are demoted, whoever succeeds them as their managers or employers will guarantee them the same standard of earnings. If we can provide assurances on those lines, we shall succeed in lowering the temperature in the Carlisle, the Gretna and, possibly, the Ross and Cromarty areas.

7.45 p.m.

Mr. William Hamilton

We have all made our party political points, and I am sure that many more will be made in the remaining debates on this Bill. However, I hope that we all agree that these Clauses draw attention to what is probably the most humanitarian aspect of the problem. Certainly those of us who went to Carlisle were all greatly impressed by the quality of the staff running the State pubs and hotels, and we were deeply moved by their genuine anxiety about their future. I do not know whether the hon. Member for Stockport, North (Mr. Idris Owen) will confirm that, but certainly that was my experience in both the brewery and the hotels and pubs.

One incident which is prominent in my mind occurred at the last pub that we visited. It was "The Black Lion" at Durdah, in the constituency of the Leader of the House. We met the young couple who run the place. They have a young child. We saw their beautiful flat immediately above the premises. Theirs is a highly respectable pub to which anyone could lake his family. Those two young people are desperately anxious to know what safeguards they have under the new dispensation.

I recall that the Under-Secretary of State made certain noises in Committee and gave certain explanations about the Government's intentions towards the civil servants involved in the State scheme. I hope that he will go further tonight and give the workers in Carlisle some of the assurances for which we ask. In that way he will allay their anxieties between now and the sale of these properties to private enterprise.

Mr. Idris Owen

I have been impressed by the sympathy and understanding of hon. Gentlemen opposite for the staff in Carlisle. I visited various of the establishments there and went through the brewery. I was most impressed by the premises which I saw and by the courtesy and enthusiasm of the staff at the brewery. I, too, should be extremely distressed if they were made redundant as a result of the transfer of the brewery and the licensed premises

I discussed this matter with the Board of Trade manager in Castle Street. He assured me that the staff were first-class. I was reassured by that, because the staff will be retained on their merit. It will not be necessary to write into a contract that they must be employed There is no doubt that all the conditions which hon. Gentlemen opposite wish to write into a contract would only serve to inhibit the negotiators in getting the best possible price.

The hon. Member for Fife, West (Mr. William Hamilton) moved an Amendment in Committee seeking to ensure that no such property shall be disposed of to any company which has in the years 1967 to 1970, inclusive, subscribed to any political party in any way whatsoever. That is a pretty onerous condition. The new Clauses and Amendments listed today are also full of onerous conditions and considerations. The more onerous we make conditions the more we tie the hands of our negotiators, who must be free to strike a good bargain.

I know that my hon. and learned Friend will be as sympathetic and understanding as any hon. Gentlemen opposite in ensuring that the staff are dealt with fairly. I did not get the impression of any degree of despondency from the staff I interviewed. They were quite happy about transference and not unduly disturbed. The only despondency seemed to be that they were of the opinion that the holiday concessions in the State system were more generous than in the private system. However, they conceded that the standard of pay in the private system was higher. Some said, "We shall probably get more money in the private system but we may not get holidays as good as in the State system."

Considerable incentives will be offered to the staff if and when they transfer to private management. There will be incentives to sell. The hon. Member for Fife, West mentioned the problem of the young couple with the baby. They will have nothing to fear. I am sure that my hon. and learned Friend will make clear beyond any doubt that it will be a matter for consideration by the negotiators.

We would be unwise to write too many conditions into a contract because we might frighten away people who were prepared to pay a generous price. I do not want the State staff in Carlisle to be treated ungenerously. They deserve to be treated generously. I have every faith that they will be treated generously and that my hon. and learned Friend will make it clear to anybody negotiating that that is expected.

Trained and experienced staff are not readily available. Brewery companies have great difficulty in getting trained, experienced, capable, reliable and honest staff for their licensed premises. This problem has bedevilled brewers for many years. They just cannot get trustworthy, reliable and keen people. Therefore, no brewery company will dismiss these trained staff. I am happy to leave it to my hon. and learned Friend to ensure that the acquiring organisations are made well aware of our desires in that respect.

I urge right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite not to press too many conditions to be imposed into the contract. By so doing, they will force down the price. I am sure that they do not want that.

Mr. Ross

Before the hon. Gentleman sits down, will he tell me what he thinks of the wording in the new Clause, shall so far as is practicable"? That wording was very carefully chosen. Does he suggest that that is too much of a prohibition to place on anyone seeking to sell property?

Mr. Owen

I do not agree that it should be written into a contract.

Mr. Cant

I had not intended to intervene, because, on balance I feel extremely pessimistic about this matter. I did not go to the brewery or to Carlisle because I had a hangover—not as a result of drinking but from the effects of 'flu.

The Government have never been guilty of making a generous response to any human situation, and I do not expect them to do so now. I thought we would get a non-committal statement from the Minister, which would be slightly platitudinous and full of regrets, and I was prepared to accept it. However, we heard from the hon. Member for Stockport, North (Mr. Idris Owen) the authentic voice of Conservatism: "Do not interfere with those who are to make a valuation and determine the price; do not impose any conditions on what should happen to the staff."

The Minister is not the architect of the Bill; he is just the executioner. He need not say anything, because we heard what was said by the hon. Member for Stockport, North. I regret this, but it is not a matter which fills me with massive surprise.

Mr. Carlisle

I am grateful to the hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent, Central (Mr. Cant) for his advice, but I propose to ignore it. I shall attempt to answer the debate in my own way.

The hon. Member for Carlisle (Mr. Ron Lewis) in his semi-jocular, semi-serious remarks about me seemed to indicate that I was in the "second eleven" or something of that nature. That is not the situation. I am in a position to bind the Government by what I say and by what Amendments I might choose to accept. It is important to say that at the outset, because I should not like it to be thought that anything said by me at this stage rather than by the Home Secretary was debased or devalued in the eyes of the people to whom it was addressed.

Mr. Ron Lewis

I was trying to be helpful by boosting the hon. Gentleman so that he might eventually get a transfer to the first team.

Mr. Carlisle

I got the impression that the hon. Gentleman was suggesting that I was not in a position to give any undertaking or to accept any Amendment.

I accept that we are dealing with a human problem. I should like, first, to clear up what can only be a misunderstanding. I accept the genuineness of the hon. Member for Carlisle about the visit of the representative of the Establishments Department of the Home Office to meet the staff association and the trade unions in Carlisle, but I am advised that there was no intention or understanding that there was to be a regular monthly visit. When the representative of the Establishments Department visited Carlisle, earlier this year and spoke to the staff side and to the trade unions he was asked by one of the representatives of the trade unions or of the staff association whether he would come once a month. I am told that his answer was that he would come up as often as necessary, and that may have led to misunderstanding. It may have been assumed that he meant that there would be a monthly meeting.

The representative said that he would go up as often as necessary, but it has not been felt, while the Bill has been going through the House, that anything further has occurred since then to justify another visit. I am told that a visit has been planned for next month, when this gentleman will return to Carlisle to discuss matters with those concerned. If there has been a misunderstanding, and if it is in any way the fault of the Home Office, I apologise to the hon. Gentleman. Although we do not think it right to tie ourselves down to meetings at fixed intervals, we have agreed that there should be meetings with the staff side as and when necessary.

8.0 p.m.

Perhaps I may deal in reverse order with the matters that have been raised. I start by dealing with new Clause 7, which deals specifically with maintenance staff. I am told that there are about 60 tradesmen on the maintenance staff in the works department. They are all civil servants. I do not think that I can give an undertaking in the terms asked for, but I can say that there are other Government Departments in the area which have maintenance staffs, and that the Home Secretary will use his best offices to see that these people have the opportunity, if opportunity it be, to transfer to other Government Departments in the area.

The staff are civil servants, and if they are not offered alternative employment within the Civil Service—I repeat "within the Civil Service", because they may take alternative employment outside the Civil Service—and become redundant as a result of the Bill, they will be entitled to compensation under Civil Service regulations, but the Home Secretary will use his best offices to see that where possible they are transferred to other Government Departments.

Mr. Ron Lewis

I am following the Minister's argument, and I am grateful to him for giving way. After the Bill becomes an Act and the Government start to hive off these pubs, what will happen to the people employed there, bearing in mind that they are civil servants? Let us suppose that one of the staff—it does not matter whether he is a member of the head office staff, one of the managers, one of the ancillary workers, or a joiner—is offered other employment and decides to accept it because he is unsure about his future. Will he be granted a golden handshake under the redundancy payments scheme?

Mr. Carlisle

The people employed there will be treated in accordance with the regulations relating to civil servants, but I can go further and say that if someone has an opportunity of taking other employment within the Civil Service before he becomes redundant—because there are regulations about the rights of civil servants to transfer from one job to another—his position will be sympathetically considered. If he becomes redundant from the Civil Service he will be entitled to compensation under the Civil Service regulations, despite the fact that he takes employment which ceases to make him a civil servant; in other words, with a private employer.

I assume that different considerations will arise if a man, having the opportunity to take an attractive job outside the Civil Service, decides to take it while his present job still exists, because there will then be no question of redundancy. He will move of his own free will. If he makes that decision voluntarily, I do not think he will be entitled to any redundancy payments under the regulations.

Now I come to new Clause 2. I realise that I must bear in mind the stresses to which reference has been made, and that people want to know where they stand in the new set-up. I appreciate that, but I must, nevertheless, advise the House against accepting the Clause. If it is to mean anything, it must be enforceable, and the fact is that it is not. It is limited by the words which the right hon. Member for Kilmarnock (Mr. Ross) emphasised, so far as is practicable". It is, in many ways, merely legislating for an intention, rather than any effect.

The right hon. Gentleman said that there was nothing in the Bill about pensions or compensation. That is true, but there does not have to be. Those who are employed in the State scheme are civil servants, and as such they are covered by other Acts which deal with their pension and compensation rights. It is not necessary in this Measure to detail their rights. They are civil servants, and they qualify for pensions and compensation under other Acts.

The real answer to new Clause 2 is what the right hon. Gentleman suspected, that whereas this provision has been lifted—and I do not mean that in a derogatory sense—from Section 106 of the 1964 Act, the position here is reversed. Section 106 of that Act says that where, under Section 104, the State chooses to acquire licensed premises, either compulsorily or voluntarily, it binds itself to continue generally the employment of those who are working there at that time. As a buyer, one can choose to bind oneself. What is unenforceable is a seller attempting to bind the buyer.

The Home Office hopes that on the transfer of ownership of the premises many of the existing staff will continue in their employment, but one cannot bind oneself by Statute to that. As my hon. Friend said, if one binds oneself to that, one can do so only in such a way as seriously to depress the price of any premises. A person who was hoping to buy, would, on facing such a condition, say that the price he was prepared to offer was depressed.

I hope that most of those employed will continue to be employed, but I cannot bind the Home Secretary, because any such undertaking would be unenforceable.

Mr. Cant

I was not being excessively critical but simply stating a fact. No doubt anyone in this situation would have done the same. But is there not a serious philosophical implication in what the Under-Secretary said—that the State as a buyer is willing to impose higher costs on itself by making these arrangements than it is prepared to impose as a seller?

Mr. Carlisle

To the degree that it [...] buying by compulsory purchase, there is nothing morally unreasonable in that proposition. It is a question of enforceability more than anything else. As a buyer, one can bind oneself, but one cannot as a seller in a free market transaction bind the buyer.

The answer to the question of the hon. Member for Fife, West (Mr. William Hamilton) is that one would have to know more about the present position of tenants or managers. If such a man were a tenant of one of the 40 smaller public houses, he would be given the first opportunity to purchase.

Mr. William Hamilton

They have no money.

Mr. Carlisle

That is a major consideration, but there are mortgages, and insurance companies will arrange money, particularly for a young couple who are running the place well. If it is a managed house, the man is a civil servant, and if he did not remain the manager on change of ownership, he would be a redundant civil servant and likely to be entitled to compensation.

I very much agree with my hon. Friend the Member for Stockport, North (Mr. Idris Owen). I do not believe that there is such a superfluity of trained and experienced staff in the licensed trade that people buying these public houses will not wish to retain the services of many of those who are running them.

8.15 p.m.

Mr. Ross

The Under-Secretary is being a little too cautious. He could have accepted new Clause 2 without giving much away, particularly in view of his last suggestion, that if the quality of the staff is that good they are all right. If their quality is as good as we say, and in the light of the service which they have given to the State Management Scheme, the Under-Secretary has an obligation to accept an Amendment which would not bind the Secretary of State—there is no suggestion of that in the new Clause—but lay an obligation on him "so far as is practicable." In other words, he would use his good offices to see that they continued in their jobs, and for most of these people it is not just their jobs but their houses as well that are at stake.

I have examined the proposed arrangements for compensation for premature retirement from the Civil Service industrial staff; they are new arrangements because of this problem. Many people who work in the breweries live in the properties of which a list was forwarded to my hon. Friend the Member for Battersea, South (Mr. Ernest G. Perry). The same is true of the managers of the public houses. They and their wives do a team job, and they merit a certain consideration.

An incoming brewer, small company or individual, may think it commendable of the Secretary of State to have insured this willingness on the part of the staff to help in the transitional period—if they are so willing. The team of manager and his wife is what counts for anyone taking over a public house. I know enough about the business to know the importance of this. So we are not placing such a terrible obligation on the Secretary of State.

Mr. Idris Owen

I am in a dilemma. I have a great deal of sympathy with these representations, but I see practical difficulties. Can we take a classical case, of a large brewery company employing thousands of operatives who are tenants or managers of licensed premises? Let us suppose that it took over the Carlisle State Management Scheme under terms not less favourable for the staff than they already enjoy.

I ascertained in Carlisle that the one distinct advantage which the State operatives enjoy is a fairly long holiday. Can the right hon. Gentleman imagine the dilemma of a large brewery company in assessing this problem if it knew that it would have in Carlisle staff enjoying four weeks' annual leave and throughout the whole length of Great Britain an entitlement to only two weeks? The tail would be wagging the dog and it would create an awful problem for the negotiators on behalf of the brewery company. It may encourage them to take the view that they must offer a less attractive price for the premises because of these onerous conditions. This is a pertinent point.

Mr. Ross

Assuming that the 170 licensed premises had been bought, it was a very interesting presumption of the hon. Member—

Mr. William Hamilton

Yes, just one brewer.

Mr. Idris Owen

Or two or three.

Mr. Ross

—that this Carlisle tail would wag the dog, bearing in mind that these brewers, according to what we have been told by the Monopolies Commission Report, "Brewery ownership in England and Wales", own 86 per cent. of the public houses.

The new Clause meets the practical difficulty that the hon. Member fears. The words are "so far as is practicable". If these people are as good as he now says they are, despite the reflections that he passed on the purposes of the new Clause, I am sure that he will agree that when balancing the two things the brewery companies would have no difficulty in deciding.

I am concerned that somebody should speak for people, many of whom have given 15, 20 or even 30 years of their lives to State management. I am shocked and disappointed that we should have had such a poor response from the Minister with all this business about "binding". We did not make it a condition of sale. That would have been binding; that would have affected the buyers. We did not do that. We tried to place upon the Minister the same obligation to the people as was accepted by the State when it took over.

We have had a miserable reply from the Minister. I am disappointed that the Under-Secretary of State for Scotland should sit in his customary silence, even on a point like this, which affects so many people. It is a great pity that the Minister never went to Carlisle to meet these people. If he had, the first thing that he would have appreciated would have been their quality and their loyalty to the service that has employed them. Many of them are third-generation employees.

The Tory Party will not get much loyalty from its hitherto supporters. I thought that loyalty was something that the Tory Party enjoyed in the industrial world, something that it liked to think was its—something that was appreciated and was duly recompensed, and not merely compensated. The Minister's answer was not good enough. That being so, I ask my hon. Friends to support us in the Lobby.

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

The House divided: Ayes 128, Noes 157.

Division No. 390.] AYES [8.22 p.m.
Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.) Davis, Clinton (Hackney, C.) Grant, George (Morpeth)
Archer, Peter (Rowley Regis) Davis, Terry (Bromsgrove) Hamilton, William (Fife, W.)
Armstrong, Ernest Dell, Rt. Hn. Edmund Hamling, William
Ashton, Joe Doig, Peter Hardy, Peter
Beaney, Alan Dormand, J. D. Harper, Joseph
Bennett, James (Glasgow, Bridgeton) Douglas-Mann, Bruce Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)
Bidwell, Sydney Driberg, Tom Heffer, Eric S.
Blenkinsop, Arthur Duffy, A. E. P. Horam, John
Boardman, H. (Leigh) Dunn, James A. Howell, Denis (Small Heath)
Booth, Albert Eadie, Alex Huckfield, Leslie
Boyden, James (Bishop Auckland) Edwards, Robert (Bilston) Hughes, Rt. Hn. Cledwyn (Anglesey)
Bradley, Tom Edwards, William (Merioneth) Hughes, Mark (Durham)
Buchan, Norman Ellis, Tom Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen, N.)
Callaghan, Rt. Hn. James Evans, Fred Hughes, Roy (Newport)
Carter-Jones, Lewis (Eccles) Fitch, Alan (Wigan) Hunter, Adam
Clark, David (Colne Valley) Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) Irvine, Rt. Hn. Sir Arthur (Edge Hill)
Cocks, Michael (Bristol, S.) Ford, Ben Janner, Greville
Concannon, J. D. Freeson, Reginald Jenkins, Hugh (Putney)
Corbet, Mrs. Freda Galpern, Sir Myer Jenkins, Rt. Hn. Roy (Stechford)
Davies. G, Elfed (Rhondda, E.) Ginsburg, David Jones, Barry (Flint, E.)
Davies, S. O. (Merthyr Tydvil) Gourlay, Harry Jones, Dan (Burnley)
Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, W.) Meacher, Michael Skinner, Dennis
Kaufman, Gerald Mendelson, John Spriggs, Leslie
Kelley, Richard Millan, Bruce Stallard, A. W.
Kinnock, Neil Miller, Dr. M. S. Stoddart, David (Swindon)
Lamond, James Ogden, Eric Taverne, Dick
Latham, Arthur O'Halloran, Michael Thomas, Rt. Hn. George (Cardiff, W.)
Lawson, George O'Malley, Brian Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)
Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick Orme, Stanley Tinn, James
Leonard, Dick Pannell, Rt. Hn. Charles Torney, Tom
Lewis, Arthur (W. Ham N.) Parry, Robert (Liverpool, Exchange) Varley, Eric G.
Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Pendry, Tom Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Lomas, Kenneth Perry, Ernest G. Weitzman, David
Loughlin, Charles Price, J. T. (Westhoughton) Wellbeloved, James
Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson Price, William (Rugby) Whitlock, William
McBride, Neil Rankin, John Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick
McCann, John Rees, Merlyn (Leeds, S.) Williams, W. T. (Warrington)
Mackenzie, Gregor Roberts, Rt. Hn. [...] (Caernarvon) Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)
Maclennan, Robert Robertson, John (Paisley) Woof, Robert
McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.) Ross, Rt. Hn. William (Kilmarnock)
McNamara, J. Kevin Sandelson, Neville TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Mahon, Simon (Bootle) Short, Rt. Hn. Edward (N'c'tle-u-Tyne) James Hamilton and
Marsden, F. Sillars, James Mr. John Golding.
Mason, Rt. Hn. Roy Silverman, Julius
Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash) Gibson-Watt, David Monks, Mrs. Connie
Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead) Glyn, Dr. Alan Montgomery, Fergus
Archer, Jeffrey (Louth) Gower, Raymond More, Jasper
Astor, John Grant, Anthony (Harrow, C.) Morgan, Geraint (Denbigh)
Atkins, Humphrey Gray, Hamish Morrison, Charles (Devizes)
Baker, Kenneth (St. Marylebone) Green, Alan Mudd, David
Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton Grieve, Percy Murton, Oscar
Bell, Ronald Grylls, Michael Nabarro, Sir Gerald
Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay) Gummer, Selwyn Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael
Benyon, W. Gurden, Harold Normanton, Tom
Berry, Hn. Anthony Hall, Miss Joan (Keighley) Nott, John
Biffen, John Hall-Davis, A. G. F. Onslow, Cranley
Biggs-Davison, John Hannam, John (Exeter) Oppenheim, Mrs. Sally
Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S. W.) Haselhurst, Alan Owen, Idris (Stockport, N.)
Body, Richard Hawkins, Paul Page, John (Harrow, W.)
Boscawen, Robert Hayhoe, Barney Parkinson, Cecil (Enfield, W.)
Bowden, Andrew Hill, John E. B. (Norfolk, S.) Peel, John
Bray, Ronald Hill, James (Southampton, Test) Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch
Brewis, John Holland, Philip Proudfoot, Wilfred
Brinton, Sir Tatton Holt, Miss Mary Pym, Rt. Hn. Francis
Brocklebank-Fowler, Christopher Hornby, Richard Quennell, Miss J. M.
Bryan, Paul Hornsby-Smith, Rt. Hn. Dame Patricia Raison, Timothy
Buchanan-Smith, Alick (Angus, N & M) Howell, Ralph (Norfolk, N.) Redmond, Robert
Buck, Antony Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye) Reed, Laurance (Bolton, E.)
Bullus. Sir Eric James, David Roberts, Wyn (Conway)
Campbell Rt. Hn. G. (Moray & Nairn) Kellett-Bowman, Mrs. Elaine Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)
Carlisle, Mark Kilfedder, James Rost, Peter
Chapman, Sydney
Clark, William (Surrey, E.) King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.) Russell, Sir Ronald
King, Tom (Bridgwater) Shelton, William (Clapham)
Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe) Kinsey, J. R. Simeons, Charles
Clegg, Walter Knight, Mrs. Jill Skeet, T. H. H.
Cooke, Robert Knox, David Speed, Keith
Cormack, Patrick Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry
Costain, A. P. Le Marchant, Spencer
Critchley, Julian Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland) Sproat, Iain
Crouch, David Loveridge, John Stainton, Keith
Stanbrook, Ivor
Taylor, Edward M. (G'gow, Cathcart)
Curran, Charles McCrindle, R. A. Taylor, Robert (Croydon, N. W.)
d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry McLaren, Martin Tebbit, Norman
d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Maj.-Gen. James Maclean, Sir Fitzroy Thatcher, Rt. Hn. Mrs. Margaret
Dean, Paul McMaster, Stanley Thomas, Rt. Hn. Peter (Hemlon, S.)
Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F. Macmillan, Maurice (Farnham) Trafford, Dr. Antnony
Dodds-Parker, Douglas McNair-Wilson, Michael Tugendhat, Christopher
Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke) McNair-Wilson, Patrick (New Forest) Turton, Rt. Hn. Sir Robin
Elliott, R. W. (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, N.) Mather, Carol Waddington, David
Emery, Peter Mawby, Ray Weatherill, Bernard
Wells John (Maidetone)
Eyre, Reginald Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.
Fell, Anthony Meyer, Sir Anthony White, Roger (Gravesend)
Fenner, Mrs. Peggy Mills, Peter (Torrington) Wilkinson, John
Finsberg, Geoffrey (Hampstead) Mills, Stratton (Belfast, N.) Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick
Fletcher-Cooke, Charles Mitchell, Lt. -Col. C. (Aberdeenshire, W) Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard
Fookes, Miss Janet Mitchell, David (Basingstoke) TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Fowler, Norman Fry, Peter Moate, Roger Mr. Hector Monro and Mr. Tim Fortescue.
Molyneaux, James
Gardner, Edward Money, Ernle
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