HC Deb 12 May 1971 vol 817 cc519-49

10.23 p.m.

The Under-Secretary of State for the Environment (Mr. Eldon Griffiths)

I beg to move, That the Drivers' Hours (Passenger and Goods Vehicles) (Modifications) Order, 1971, a draft of which was laid before this House on 8th April, be approved. This Order is made by my right hon. Friend in exercise of his powers under Sections 96(12), 101 and 157 of the Transport Act, 1968. It is, I freely admit, a complicated Order, largely because the parent Act is complex; but essentially it has two main purposes.

First, for the drivers of passenger vehicles the Order revokes the Drivers' Hours (Passenger Vehicles) (Modifications) Order, 1970, and modifies substantially the requirements of Section 96 of the Act; and, secondly, for drivers of goods vehicles it extends certain exemptions, already available under the Act and under the Drivers' Hours (Goods Vehicles) (Modifications) Order, 1970, to drivers of goods vehicles used for additional types of work.

The House may remember that the 1968 Act imposed a number of extra restrictions on drivers' hours. These hours were already controlled under the Road Traffic Act, 1930, as consolidated in 1960; but, for reasons best known to right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite, elaborate formulae were laid down by statute defining in minute detail what was and was not permissible. It was widely predicted at the time that these formulae would be unworkable.

At the time, the right hon. Member for Blackburn (Mrs. Castle) brushed aside these warnings; but when the time came to put these restrictions into effect her successor was more cautious. As a result, the new drivers' hours, which were complicated already, finally came into force enmeshed in a further thicket of exemptions and modifications. For goods vehicle drivers there were exemptions for particular trades and businesses—for example for the carriage in the week before a bank holiday of fish, bread and milk, but not, unaccountably, for food and drink generally. It proved necessary to add to the exemptions for freight drivers by the Drivers' Hours (Goods Vehicles) (Exemptions) (Amendment) (No. 3)Regulations 1970, and again by Part III of the present Order.

Passenger transport fared even worse. Bus drivers were now to be subject not only to a daily limit of 10 hours driving with which we agree, but to a compulsory daily rest of 11 hours, reducible to 9½,— hours once a week or, in the case of stage bus drivers, to 8½ hours three times a week, if succeeded by a rest of 12 hours; in addition, there were further restrictions on daily and weekly hours on duty; and a rest period of 24 hours once a fortnight which had to be taken from midnight to midnight.

I do not doubt for one moment the good intentions of all this. But the bus industry, as its customers and its drivers have learned to their cost, simply cannot work with formulae of this nicety. For one thing it cannot afford to. This is an industry where wages account for some 70 per cent. of total costs, and cost inflation has hit it hard. Last year the effect on the biggest single operator, the National Bus Company, of two large wage settlements, widespread industrial action, falling traffic and these restrictions on drivers' hours was an operating deficit of £4 million. The Government have had to make available £6 million of tax payers' money to keep it going.

Then again there are the practicalities of day-to-day bus operations. Traffic must be carried as and when it arises, and if from Monday to Friday the public needs its buses chiefly in the morning and evening rush hours, then staff need to be available at those hours. Similarly, if, at weekends, large numbers of people like to make an excursion by coach, for instance to football matches, or, in the case of many of the over-60's in my constituency, to the seaside, it may often need to be the stage bus driver of Monday to Friday who will drive their coach.

But in both these cases—the peak hours and the coaches—the drivers' hours rules made things difficult. Indeed, by the setting up of different rules for buses and coaches the operators' and the drivers' lives were, in some cases, made unbearably complicated.

In the circumstances of the bus industry, inflexible new regulations could have only one outcome, and that is a reduction in service to the public. I can best illustrate this with some figures from an analysis of the effects of the new provisions on a sample of 51 separate bus undertakings in all parts of the country.

Being forced to budget for a greater shortage of drivers as a result of the drivers' hours restrictions, these 51 bus companies had to make a planned reduction in their stage services of 540,000 miles per working week. Inevitably, the public suffered, but so did many drivers. By July of last year these same bus companies, many of them operating in the constituencies of hon. Gentlemen opposite, were losing a further 460,000 miles per week unplanned, simply because the regulations left insufficient drivers available. They were also losing 420,000 miles per week on excursions, tours, school contracts and private party work. The drivers' hours were largely to blame for this.

All told, these losses—resulting directly from the drivers' hours—represented a 6 per cent. drop from these 51 companies' corresponding mileage in the previous year. This was a good deal more than the annual reduction in bus operations attributable to the motor car. In one week last July, 47 per cent. of the scheduled mileage lost on this account was lost in the peak travelling periods. Many companies estimated that their loss of excursion traffic on this account was more than 50 per cent.

The bus industry cannot afford such deliberately imposed losses which, for some services, were the last straw on the camel's back. The companies were hard hit, but worse hit still were the ordinary people—our constituents.

My Department's files, like the post bags of hon. Members, bear eloquent testimony to what the lost mileage means in terms of the bus that never came, the loss of time at work, the children late home from school and, perhaps above all, the elderly folk bereft of their only means of transport. These were, and still are, the direct effect of the drivers' hours.

Mr. Leslie Huckfield (Nuneaton)


Mr. Griffiths

It is not only the public and the bus companies who have suffered. The drivers have also suffered. A driver who volunteers to do an extra turn may run foul of the law. Many drivers have found the loss of voluntary overtime an undue burden on their pockets, and some have resigned because of this.

Drivers have also suffered because many operators, from a sense of public duty, have concentrated on keeping stage services running at the expense of private party and excursion work, which has always appealed to the bus driver as a pleasant variation from his daily routine work.

Such stringent, if well-intentioned, provisions could be justified only if the dictates of safety or industrial welfare made them absolutely necessary. I accept that it was the safety argument which weighed heavily with the Labour Party, and my right hon. Friend and I are totally devoted to road safety. Indeed, I believe that to be true of every hon. Member.

But well-intentioned as I accept they were, at least on road safety grounds, there is not one jot of evidence to suggest that the drivers' hours regulations have had any material effect on accidents involving public service vehicles. Research into drivers' behaviour both here and abroad has failed to produce any evidence to establish that these restrictions bring about an improvement in road safety. The evidence is to the contrary.

Obviously, it is unsafe for a driver to stay at the wheel too long. All of us who drive know that. That is precisely why we are keeping in this Order the 10-hour maximum at the wheel. There is no question whatever of relaxing the law to a point where a bus driver's hours of work could of themselves be responsible for excessive fatigue.

As for industrial welfare, it simply is not the function of legislation about drivers' hours to supplant the normal collective bargaining about conditions of service. The Order in no way derogates from the right, or the ability, of workers in the bus industry to negotiate with their employers about their hours of work, as they have previously done. The Government are proposing simply to relax and to clarify the provisions affecting drivers' hours in the interests of the travelling public, of the bus industry itself, and, not least, of the bus drivers, too.

The chief instruments of control should be the limits on driving time, and the compulsion to provide adequate rest. We consider that hours of permissible duty as opposed to hours actually at the wheel are, in the main, better left to industrial agreements freely arrived at between men and managements.

We should have preferred, as a Government, to revise the whole concept of the statutory working day to which the Transport Act gave birth. But this would require primary legislation. We may yet come to that, but the bus industry and the travelling public cannot wait that long. For the moment, we have to act quickly, and we must, therefore, act within the powers under the 1968 Act. This circumscribes what we can do, and how we can do it. Also, it imposes a form of words in the Order which, perhaps, is less pellucid than one might wish. But there is an explanatory leaflet in draft which puts the matter in simpler language and which it is intended to circulate widely among operators and drivers. Copies of the leaflet are available in the Vote Office.

I come now to the Order itself. I emphasise that nothing in it alters the daily limit of driving time. The Labour Government decided that 10 hours per day at the wheel was the appropriate limit. We agree, and we are keeping it.

Part I is formal. Part II deals with drivers of passenger vehicles. Article 3 revokes the Drivers' Hours (Passenger Vehicles) Order 1970. Article 4(1) defines the drivers to whom this Part of the Order applies. These are the drivers who spend all, or the greater part, of their relevant driving time driving passenger vehicles, and no distinction is made between drivers of stage buses and others, which, I believe, is an important simplification.

Article 4(2) prescribes the maximum period of driving, that is, 5½ hours, which is permissible without a rest break of at least half an hour. It provides also that a driver may work a "straight-through shift" of 8½ hours provided that he has rest breaks during that time amounting to at least 45 minutes. Under the Order, a driver will be able to undertake an- other spell of driving within his daily limit of 10 hours after he has completed his straight-through shift and after he has taken a rest break of at least a further 30 minutes, which must follow it.

The importance of this relaxation to the bus industry and to the public is considerable. It will help the industry to cope much better, in particular, with the unexpected and emergency situation in which, at the moment, the absence or lack of a driver for reasons of the hours restriction can lead to buses simply not being forthcoming. It will very much help with peak hours. It will facilitate late evening working, ensuring that buses are available for the public, and ensuring, too, a spot of overtime for the bus men, which at present they are precluded from earning by the drivers' hours.

Mr. Leslie Huckfield

How can the hon. Gentleman stop it?

Mr. Griffiths

The hon. Gentleman asks how it is to be stopped. There is a statutory limit of 10 hours driving time, as there is at present.

Mr. Huckfield

How does one enforce it?

Mr. Griffiths

The hon. Gentleman is a better expert at breaking the law than I am.

This does not mean, and it cannot mean, that drivers will be allowed to drive for 16 hours. It means only that the period within which they may do their driving is spread over a longer period. This spread-over limit has been set wide in order to allow flexibility for manning the early morning peaks and the late evening services.

A 16-hour spread-over is not new. It was allowed to certain coach drivers a number of times each week by the right hon. Gentleman under his March, 1970, Order. He brought it in, quite rightly, to facilitate the operation of extended tours and long-day excursions. We accept his reasons for doing so but it is now necessary to apply it across a wider range. The Order extends his logic to the rest of the bus industry.

But I must make it clear that the 16-hour spread-over will have to contain or allow at least six hours of non-driving time. During this time, the driver will normally have his rest and refreshment or be off duty altogether. Nor is it possible for a 16-hour day to be repeated day after day. This is not practicable because the nightly rest requirement, normally of 10 and occasionally of 8½ hours, would oblige the driver to start later each day.

To sum up paragraph (3), which I accept is complicated, the 16-hour maximum spread-over defines the scope within which daily working schedules can be arranged between employers and employees.

I turn to paragraph (4). This prescribes a daily rest between working days of at least 10 hours, which may be reduced to 8½ hours but not more than three times per week. Again, the 8½-hour rest period is no novelty. It was brought in by the last Government in their March, 1970, Order, though in this case it had to be followed, on each occasion, by a 12-hour rest. But it is the fact and the record that the rigid alternation of 8½ hours rest and the 12-hour rest, imposed by that Order, brought disruption into the schedules of the industry and it was the cause of many a bus in the early morning peak hours failing to set off for lack of a driver. We are, therefore, substituting a more flexible provision which will remove one of 'the main causes of irregular running, and ease, in particular, the irregularity of buses during the morning peaks and the non-appearance of buses during the evening peaks.

Paragraph (5) removes the limit on duty hours for the week—a difficult thing which gave the industry a great deal of trouble in keeping tally. Paragraph (6) provides that a driver must have at least one continuous period of 24 hours off duty in every two successive weeks, which in practice means every alternate week.

Hon. Gentlemen opposite will no doubt take notice that this is in substance what the 1968 Act originally provided. It came into force under the March, 1970, Order which provided that the 24-hour period should comprise a full day. Again the result was to aggravate the scheduling difficulties of the operators. There is abundant evidence to show that the running of services, especially on Sundays, was badly affected by these rigid rest-day provisions.

Paragraph (7) provides certain exemptions for part-time drivers. The complexity of this paragraph is, I am afraid, due to the structure of the original Act. Essentially it means that people whose driving time exceeds four hours a day on not more than two days a week are required to comply with requirements affecting drivers' hours only in respect of those particular days. This concession will facilitate the use, by agreement between men and management, of part-time drivers from among other employees of the same bus operator.

For instance, if an operator wants a driver for a weekend coach, instead of having to recruit him from outside the firm in the case where all of his regular drivers have used up their permissible hours, he will now be able to recruit that extra driver from among volunteers in his own garage or maintenance staff. The result should be some useful increases in productivity and of convenience to the public. The employees will gain, too. In particular this arrangement will help in getting increasing agreement to the five-day week.

I come now to Part III of this Order. This provides for minor concessions for goods vehicle drivers engaged in cinematography, radio or television broadcasting and quarrying work. The background to this, as is the case with the buses, is that the original drivers' hours legislation was, for most practical purposes, unworkable. It imposed on the road haulage industry a straitjacket out of which both hauliers and drivers have ever since been trying to struggle. A general exemption from all but the daily 10-hour driving limits was provided by the Drivers' Hours (Goods Vehicles) (Modifications) Order, 1970 for persons driving light goods vehicles for certain specialised purposes.

Article 5(a) of Part III of this Order extends the 1970 Order to cover film operators and broadcasting staff. In practice it makes it possible for the B.B.C. or I.T.V., if they have taken film in one part of the country, to be able to get it to their studios without the difficulties imposed by the drivers' hours. The 1970 Order also extended to drivers engaged in building, construction and civil engineering work, the exemption already provided by Section 9(9) of the Act, whereby time spent driving off the public road in the course of agricultural and forestry operations is not counted as "driving" for the purposes of the Act.

Article 5(b) of Part III now extends this exemption to drivers engaged in quarrying operations. In practical terms it means that a driver to whom this concession applies will not be subject to drivers' hours restrictions on the site of his quarrying operations unless on any one day he also spends more than four hours at the wheel of a vehicle on the road.

I have said that this is a complicated Order and its complexity arises from the complexity of the parent legislation. We would have preferred to start again from scratch but, unfortunately, we must make progress quickly and therefore we are bound by the complexities of the Orders with which we must deal. I do not pretend for one moment that the effect of this Order is to reduce the law on drivers' hours to simplicity itself. What we are trying to do is to take the spoke out of the wheel of the bus industry. Drivers' hours put a spoke in the industry's wheel and we think that the time has come to give help where it is needed —to help the operator, the drivers and, above all, to help the travelling public, our constituents.

10.50 p.m.

Mr. Tom Bradley (Leicester, North-East)

The last time an Order relating to these matters was debated in the House, in February, 1970, many hon. Members, on both sides of the House, referred to their difficulty in understanding what it was about. Indeed, the hon. Member for Crosby (Mr. Graham Page) referred to it as a complex and unintelligible matter, and if he thought that, there is not much hope for the rest of us.

I cannot say that the issue before us this evening is any less complicated. I am grateful to the Under-Secretary for his patient if sometimes belligerent explanation of what we are now discussing, but he has not allayed all my anxieties. Indeed, he was so belligerent at times about the effect of the Order introduced by my right hon. Friend more than a year ago that I am a little puzzled about why he and his hon. Friends did not divide the House against it at that time.

However, we note what he had to say tonight about the shortcomings of the bus industry. He contrived to place the blame for its shortcoming on the Order now in force. But there are many instances where the shortcomings could be attributed to the antiquated licensing laws rather than to the current Order.

In Leicester, for example, there are areas where the city boundary ended before the war and where the city bus undertaking is now unable to provide a service because the Midland Red Bus Company has the operating rights. Although the city bus transport undertaking is much better able to provide an adequate and more reliable service, it is prevented from doing so not by the existence of the Order which the Under-Secretary condemns, but by the antiquated licensing system.

Many of the difficulties in the level of bus service operations in the country could be overcome by more intelligent transport planning and manning operations. I refer the hon. Member to London Transport. There is no shortage of staff, and successful single manning on certain buses has been introduced. There is an excellent training scheme by which conductors over a period are prepared to take on the responsibilities of a driver, should the situation demand it. London Transport has produced a record surplus on its balance sheet. Before the hon. Member makes these sweeping accusations against the Order which he seeks to replace, he should consider some of these ancillary matters which refer to the standards of management and administration of various bus companies, including private companies.

We are talking about an industry with comparatively low wages paid for very long hours on duty. This is a matter in which a proper balance should be struck between the operators, drivers and the interests of the public. The Under-Secretary mentioned the explanatory leaflet which is available in the Vote Office. I have noticed its preamble with interest. It says: These rules lay down the number of hours which drivers of passenger vehicles may drive, and the rest periods which they must take; and are meant to protect drivers and public alike from the risks of fatigue … When I read that, I thought that the word "protect" should be replaced by the phrase "put at risk", meaning that safety considerations were put at risk.

The proposals which the Under-Secretary has outlined almost without exception will have the effect of putting the clock back 34 to 40 years.

I will quote a number of examples in respect of which I believe retrograde features are being introduced. Take the question of the breaks for rest and refreshment. It is proposed that we revert to a break period after 5½ hours driving rather than 5½ hours on duty. Modern driving is not altogether an enjoyable experience. It is rather a hazardous, nerve-racking business. Surely, given the stresses associated with today's driving conditions, this provision constitutes a danger to the health of drivers and increases their level of tiredness at the wheel.

Then there is the question of rest between working days. At present, as the Minister explained, it is 11 hours, except that stage carriage drivers can make do with 8½ hours, but they must have 12 hours in their next following rest period. Now the requirement is to be only 10 hours. This may be reduced to 8½ hours on three occasions during the working week without the pattern of an alternating 12-hour rest. It is bad enough to reduce it from 11 to 10 hours, but to take out the alternating provision shows a complete disregard of the drivers and of the interests of the public.

Next there is the question of the working day spread-over arrangements. I concede at once that this is a most complicated matter. At present this is 14 hours a day, providing the driver is off duty for periods adding up to the time by which the working day exceeds 11 hours. It is proposed that we should have a 16-hour day with no limitations. Why has the Minister considered it desirable to drop the requirement of specific rest periods? This is a most dangerous and unjustifiable provision. It worsens the situation which existed in 1930.

Coach drivers must have adequate rest periods at given intervals which are legally enforceable if they are to combat fatigue and maintain the driving standards which the public is entitled to expect.

Sir Harmar Nicholls (Peterborough)


Mr. Bradley

Many hon. Members wish to speak. I regret that, in view of the limited time available, I cannot give way.

Limits should be laid down as to the amount of driving permitted and the maximum working day to cover morning and evening peak periods. Previously the compulsory rest day helped to limit the effect of the spread-overs, but this feature is to be abolished. Now, with the increase to 16 hours, drivers can be scheduled to work seven days a week by the use of what are called "swing shifts", made possible by the 8½ hour rest period to which I have referred.

I turn to one of the most incredible propositions before us, namely, that straight-through shifts, at present confined to 8½ hours, can be considered to be no longer the only work shift of the day. In other words, a further period of driving after that can be undertaken. Again, we are going back 34 years, for this proposal, as the Minister must know, goes beyond the amendment made in 1937 to the 1930 Act. I remind him that the trade unions interested and involved in this matter at that time agreed to the 81 hour straight-through arrangement only on the understanding that it would be applied to stage carriage scheduled work designed to achieve the greatest possible efficiency.

I come to the arrangements for time on duty in any working week. At present 72 hours a week are permissible, but no more than 132 hours in any consecutive weeks. In future there is to be no limit at all. 'This is a drastic and dangerous proposal when seen against what is being done in almost every other country in the world.

Why are we trailing behind Europe in this matter? I confess to having a personal interest since I am a passionate advocate of the cause of this country to enter Europe and all the commitments that stern from it. I should like to remind the House that after 1st October this year, under new E.E.C. regulations, the driving limit in the Community will be 48 hours. Our limit at the moment is 72 hours, and will be unlimited in future.

Does the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, who is now in Brussels, know what his hon. Friend the Under-Secretary is advocating in introducing this Order? We have one Minister in Brussels trying—very properly in my view —to get us into Europe and at the same time we have another Minister in this House tonight trying to take us as far away from the arrangements in force in Europe as we can possibly go. It is incredible that the Chancellor of the Duchy should be taking part in an all-night meeting in Brussels tonight when his hon. Friend is advocating in this House an arrangement that may mean all-night driving for the drivers in this country when this Order comes into force —not one night but every night of the week, since the provision is unlimited in content and character.

I hope that if the Minister is given leave to reply to this debate, he will deal with the point in the European context. I would hate this country to move away from European standards.

Sir Harmar Nicholls


Mr. Bradley

We know that the hon. Member for Peterborough (Sir H. Nicholls) is a passionate anti-European and I do not propose, in the privileged position in which I find myself tonight, to give way to him to enable him to make an anti-European point.

To sum up on the Order, these proposals are not intelligent or in keeping with civilised standards. They are short sighted, dangerous and verge on the irresponsible and they are certainly contemptuous of safety considerations. They show little appreciation of the difficulties involved in manning and maintaining public services.

The plain fact is that in future drivers will he on duty for longer hours than at any time during the last 34 years. Yet during that time traffic congestion has increased, speed limits are being raised, bigger and more powerful vehicles are coming on to our roads. And this is the moment the Minister has chosen to put into force this retrograde Order. Fatigue at the wheel constitutes a bigger danger than ever before. If the Minister doubts this, let him ask the motor organisations and the Road Research Laboratory.

There is in the Order no protection for the public against the part-time worker in the number of hours he can work or provision for records to be kept. In my view this Order is a naked concession by the Conservative Party to pressure from the passenger road transport industry. It is an affront to commensense and I must ask my hon. Friends to divide against it.

11.4 p.m.

Mr. Marcus Fox (Shipley)

The hon. Member for Leicester, North-East (Mr. Bradley) surprised me in his condemnation of my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State, because I thought that, if anything, he was not belligerent enough. I wondered on behalf of whom the hon. Member was in fact speaking. He certainly was not speaking for the drivers whom I meet.

Mr. Joseph Ashton (Bassetlaw)

I do not wish to be rude to the hon. Gentleman, but I would ask him to declare an interest in this industry, if in fact he has one to declare.

Mr. Fox

I had the feeling that that was the question. I am delighted to assure the House that I have no financial interest in the matter.

I have spent more time in this industry than has the hon. Member for Nuneaton (Mr. Leslie Huckfield)—and that would not be difficult.

Mr. Leslie Huckfield

The hon. Gentleman knows nothing about it.

Mr. Fox

In support of the modifications put to the House, I say that one year is long enough to have suffered the implications of the 1968 Act perpetrated upon the industry on 15th March, 1970. I notice that the hon. Member for Manchester, Blackley (Mr. Rose) and the hon. Member for Nuneaton have put Questions about the failure of the bus industry in their constituencies. I should have thought that they would listen with great interest to the debate.

Mr. Leslie Huckfield

That is why we are here.

Mr. Fox

The hon. Member for Nuneaton mentioned enforcement. What a cheek he has. The Act introduced by the right hon. Lady the Member for Blackburn (Mrs. Castle) has been unenforceable, as everyone will confirm. I am delighted to support a first move to bring sense into this industry.

The hon. Member for Leicester, North-East mentioned antiquated licensing laws. I hope that my hon. Friend has taken note of that, because I look forward to taking part in that debate. I am delighted that the hon. Gentleman mentioned low wages. Many drivers have asked me to bring this matter forward so that they can earn more money.

Mr. Leslie Huckfield


Mr. Fox

The hon. Gentleman will have plenty of time if he is lucky, and he must learn to listen.

The hon. Member for Leicester, North-East also mentioned breaks for refreshment as if we were doing something disgraceful. I suggest that he looks at the pamphlet giving exemptions to the 1968 Act. He would see that we are doing no worse than was allowed under those exemptions.

On the spread-over provision, the hon. Gentleman is obviously unaware of the modifications made already. In support of this, I quote from the White Paper "Public Transport and Traffic", a fascinating document. The right hon. Lady is aware that we are only carrying out what was suggested after one year of operation.

At Page 24 the White Paper states: The Government naturally has no desire to introduce changes which will result in serious inconvenience if not actual hardship to the travelling public. On the other hand the existing hours of work are unreasonably long in relation to vehicles carrying large numbers of members of the public. The Government considers that it is necessary to achieve in the bus industry conformity with the new rules at the earliest possible date. However, in determining when it is possible for the new rules to be introduced the Government will have to have full regard to the ability of the bus industry to provide adequate services for the travelling public. We need no further justification than what is contained in that White Paper. What we are proposing will bring back viability to many bus companies which are at present in dire straits.

My hon. Friend mentioned the National Bus Company. I am more concerned with many dozens of smaller bus companies. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] I welcome the support of hon. Members opposite. I look forward to their support on the Order.

The only reasonable objections are on the ground of safety. I am told—and the figures prove this—that the Act does not improve matters because this industry has a very good record for road safety. To obtain a P.S.V. licence one has to be a very good driver. A licence is not obtained easily. Likewise, any operator who drives his men and machinery to the sort of limits suggested by the hon. Member for Leicester, North-East is a fool, and it is impossible to legislate for such people. If they are prepared to break the law, they will break it. What we must do is see to it that we have sensible laws which can be enforced.

I welcome the simplification behind these modifications. They bring sense—[Interruption]. The hon. Member for Nuneaton laughs. Let us look at one or two examples. Let us consider the maximum hours of duty before a half-hour break must be taken. Under the existing law, a driver on express, contract or excursion can do 5½ hours. But the driver of a stage carriage vehicle may go straight through an eight-hour day, with a maximum of 7 hours 20 minutes of driving. Despite what the hon. Gentleman says, it is more arduous driving a stage carriage vehicle in one of our cities than driving on an express journey. Motorways present no great problems to drivers of this calibre.

Mr. Leslie Huckfield


Mr. Fox

Obviously I have a higher opinion of drivers who hold P.S.V. licences than has the hon. Member for Nuneaton.

There is one distinction, and it concerns the maximum length of the working day. It is 12½ hours under the old law. That may be extended to 14 hours. The minimum rest between working days is different for the three types of drivers. Only a Labour Government could have produced legislation like it. If rest is necessary, it is necessary.

Mr. Ernie Money (Ipswich)

Does my hon. Friend agree that nothing is more likely to bring the law into disrepute than the complexity of the law on this subject, which results in numbers of respectable people being hauled before magistrates' courts?

Mr. Fox

As usual, my hon. Friend is quite right. However, I wish to hear the arguments of hon. Members opposite, so I shall conclude my remarks by saying that I support contention that the Government have no intention of extending the 10 hours' maximum driving period. No one would propose changing that. But when it comes to deciding who is to drive beyond the permitted number of working hours in a week, whose is the choice? Are we to believe that the unions are so helpless that they cannot control agreements? I thought that there were such things as schedules. I thought that 42 hours was the normal working week, and that schedules were drawn up between the unions and the managements of bus companies. Overtime, then, is optional. We want to bring back to the industry the right of companies to operate efficiently and to use their labour to the maximum.

I have news for hon. Gentlemen opposite. They are flogging a dead horse. The travelling public is behind the Government on these proposals. Everyone who works in the industry will support them as well.

11.14 p.m.

Mr. Ron Lewis (Carlisle)

Unlike the hon. Member for Shipley (Mr. Fox), I do not intend to lecture the House at this late hour. Again unlike the hon. Gentleman, I wish to declare my interest, since I wish to put before the House the interests of those who are engaged in the industry.

I am a member of the National Union of Railwaymen, which has a large number of busmen in its branches up and down the country. The executive committee of the union is composed of railway men and ordinary busmen. That committee has reached a decision on this matter, and I am sure that it has been taken carefully.

I wish to state quite simply the views of my union on this issue. We think that the proposals are short-sighted, irresponsible and dangerous. The new regulations, if proceeded with, will permit drivers to be on duty for longer periods than during the last 35 years. The volume of traffic on the roads and the driving conditions today have changed beyond recognition. The number of fatal accidents in this country is already much too high. The proposals will, in our view, as a responsible union, be bound to increase the number of fatal accidents.

Speed limits are being raised, traffic congestion everywhere is increasing, vehicles are bigger and more powerful, and one important aspect, to which my hon. Friend the Member for Leicester, North-East (Mr. Bradley) referred, is fatigue. We hold the view that fatigue is a bigger danger than ever before.

The motoring and road safety organisations will certainly confirm this view. An enormous amount of time and money is spent every year by these organisations in an endeavour to make roads safer. The Minister's contribution will make it legal for drivers to be scheduled to work longer hours than ever before. If so, it is inevitable that accidents due to fatigue will increase. If only one death can be attributed to these proposals, which extend driving hours and reduce rest periods, then it is not the Minister alone, but the whole Government which should be indicted.

My union—a responsible union—is conscious of its duty to the general public as well as to its driver members—

Colonel Sir Tufton Beamish (Lewes)

Read it carefully.

Mr. Lewis

—and we have no wish to see either of them placed at risk. Despite the hon. and gallant Gentleman's interjection, we look upon this as a serious aspect and beg the Government not to proceed along this line, because they will increase death on the roads.

11.19 p.m.

Mr. Peter Mills (Torrington)

I am amazed by what has just been said by the hon. Member for Carlisle (Mr. Ron Lewis). My information, from speaking to drivers, I admit in rural areas, is that they do not follow the line which he has just taken. In fact, both bus and lorry drivers in rural areas, who cart much of our food to London and other markets from the South-West, tell an entirely different tale from what the hon. Gentleman has told us. This leads me to think that the union which he represents is not in touch with the men driving at the wheel.

Mr. Ron Lewis

I assure the hon. Gentleman that we have on our executive committee a busman member from Plymouth, the area represented by the hon. Gentleman.

Mr. Mills

I represent not Plymouth but Torrington, one of the most famous constituencies in the country, which is several miles away. Lorry and bus drivers would not say these things to me unless they meant them: the hon. Gentleman is out of touch with what they want.

Most of us who represent rural constituencies particularly in the South-West, know the chronic position of most small bus operators. Anything we can do to help will benefit them and those who live in the remote areas. I do not think that the Labour Party realise the problems. This relaxation will certainly help. Bus companies have suffered considerably over the last five or six years from the Transport Act and fuel taxation and a host of other impositions of the Labour Party, and this has been one more burden.

Although safety is a tremendously important factor—

Mr. Leslie Huckfield

The most important.

Mr. Mills

If the hon. Member wishes to intervene, I will give way, but he sits there, bearded and with a large tie, which does not help—

Mr. Huckfield

indicated dissent.

Mr. Mills

No, all he can do is mutter and moan from a sitting position.

These small bus companies have suffered for a long time. It is only when they are viable and making a profit that they can carry out the safety regulations which are necessary. Unless rural companies are profitable they will go on with their old worn-out buses. Not just taxation but the drivers' hours rules have hindered their profitability.

Sir T. Beamish

My hon. Friend has spoken about the disadvantage of these unnecessary restrictions on drivers' hours to small bus companies. But we are talking about bus companies across the country, including the nationalised bus companies which serve large rural areas and which have suffered gravely under these restrictions.

Mr. Mills

I agree, but I was confining my remarks to the small rural bus companies. Other hon. Members can mention the national bus companies. In my part of the world, the small operators have suffered considerably under the Administration of the Labour Party. The Labour Party forget the hard core of people in the remoter areas who find it difficult to get into the towns. Bus ser- vices have deteriorated very considerably over the last five or six years. One of the reasons is drivers' hours, in addition to the other problems which arose because of a Socialist Government. These are the facts. One has only to ask the people in the countryside. Most of them know the reasons.

I am always amazed at the mania of hon. Members opposite to impose more and more regulations, to tie it all up, to impose the sort of idea that "Whitehall knows best" and that can dictate these things. It is time that we on this side looked at all the regulations and Acts—in transport or anything else—to see what we can prune and cut out. My hon. Friend the Minister has tonight taken a very worthwhile step in bringing forward the Order.

Safety is important, but we must be practical.

Mr. James Hamilton (Bothwell)

The hon. Member said that profits come before safety.

Mr. bills

Yes, and I say that we must be practical as well.

Mr. Hamilton

Is the hon. Member putting forward the view of the Government that profits come before the safety of the drivers and the industry?

Mr. Mills

The hon. Member will not put words into my mouth. He will certainly not get me to say things which will be put into HANSARD in the way he has put them. I am saying that safety is absolutely vital, but both can go together. We must be practical about these matters.

I should like to give a practical illustration of what happens in the South-West and how difficult it has been for small rural bus operators to operate. Take a market bus, setting off in the morning from a town. Off we go towards market. There is considerable delay when we arrive at the market, because a lot of people want to return by bus. They have been busy about their various jobs, doing a deal here and a deal there. It is a fine thing if the bus driver suddenly says, "I cannot go on. My time is up. I cannot drive you back."

There should be flexibility in these things. This comes back to the question of practicality. I do not think that the Labour Party, with their mania for rigid regulations, know anything about it. Tonight, we have another step forward in looking at these things and seeing what is practical. I welcome what my hon. Friend the Minister said. Heaven help the small bus companies, the rural bus operators, if the Labour Party had been in power for another five years. We in the South-West would not have had any more buses. The future would be very dim for the people if we had the sort of rigid, doctrinaire policy that lion. Members opposite always seek to promote.

I welcome the Order. I hope that it is only the first stage but that we shall have other stages in what I call bringing some practical knowledge into these matters.

Several Hon. Members


Mr. Speaker

Order. This debate must end at about 10 minutes to twelve. I think that the Minister would like to reply, and he does not need to ask leave, at about 20 minutes to twelve. I hope, therefore, that those who catch my eye will bear that time limit in mind.

11.29 p.m.

Mr. Leslie Huckfield (Nuneaton)

I am grateful for this opportunity to speak. I certainly would not wish to pursue the hon. Member for Torrington (Mr. Peter Mills) into the high jinks, milk floats and tied cottages of the South-West. I would like to talk about the serious problems which have been presented to the bus industry and the road haulage industry, which will certainly not be eased by Orders of this sort.

I could not help thinking that the lion. Member for Torrington was moving towards the famous Belgian road haulage drivers' regulations which existed at one time whereby a Belgian lorry driver was allowed to drive provided that he did not do more than 1,200 hours in six months. If this is the kind of regulation—or lack of regulation—which the hon. Gentleman proposes I can only say that it is in keeping with the sort of pleadings we have had in the past from hon. Gentlemen opposite who come from the South-West. It was Tory Members of the House who, when they were in Opposition, claimed that Cornish lorry drivers must drive 12 hours non-stop or else the whole of the Cornish fishing industry would grind to a halt. That is the kind of argument we have heard before, the kind of argument for sending children under 14 down the pits. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh!"] Exactly the same kind of degenerate argument. I am glad that I have provoked hon. Gentlemen opposite. Why should we not go further? If they want to get rid of some of these rules and regulations, why not get rid of the Factories Acts as well? Let them go all the way.

We are talking of a situation where flexibility too often means drivers are dragged out of bed. I am sick and tired of seeing a situation in which flexibility in this industry comes at the expense of the drivers. The hon. Gentleman gave the game away. He said, "O.K., we have to worry a bit about safety, but it is profits which come first."

Mr. Peter Mills

I did not.

Mr. Huckfield

That is the purpose of the Order.

Mr. Mills


Mr. Huckfield

The hon. Member does not like what I am saying.

The Under-Secretary has been talking about various regulations and rules when he knows quite well he cannot enforce even the present rules and regulations. It is no good coming to this House and saying these drivers can have a spread-over of 16 hours a day when he knows quite well that he can do nothing at all to stop them from driving 16 hours a day. He is in an impossible situation in coming here with proposals for so-called regulation of drivers' hours when he does not talk about enforcement machinery or provisions such as, for example, overnight accommodation. These considerations cannot be taken separately, although the Under-Secretary tries to do so. There may be a case for more flexibility, but it is no good putting forward proposals of this kind unless we have machinery for enforcement. He must know well that these proposals cannot be enforced, and he is in an impossible situation because of his ignorance of the situation which exists at the moment.

When the Industrial Relations Bill is going through another place he has the temerity to say that it is far better to have collective bargaining. He actually thinks we shall have an increase in trade union activity under the Industrial Relations Bill. I am sorry to disappoint him, but we are talking about an industry which is not intensively unionised, and which is without sufficient statutory protection for the drivers. We shall find more pirates on the roads, we shall find more "sharp" operators, and for drivers and others there will be more hazards on the roads—far less safety. That will be the effect of a statutory Order like this.

The hon. Gentleman says we have to have more flexibility for the construction and quarrying industry. He should know that tippers—and those are the people we are talking about when we talk about this Part of the Order—are some of the biggest pirates on the roads. Yet the hon. Gentleman proposes to give them even more flexibility.

I wish the Minister had come forward with some proposals which were relevant to the needs of the industry, and certainly to the needs of the drivers. When the rules were last tightened up to keep drivers' hours down, some bus companies in my constituency started charging the same prices; they built a price ring. We had a situation in which what was not even legal under the old regulations suddenly became very illegal under the new ones. For this reason bus operators in many parts of the country put up their charges, and then blamed the Labour Government and the drivers' hours regulations. But, in fact, they had not even been sticking to the old drivers' hours regulations. I hope the Minister will do some more serious research.

This industry still depends on an 11-hour standard working day. Most of my constituents who work in Coventry factories would not even consider working hours of that kind, but bus and lorry drivers are expected to work them.

For this and many other reasons, I urge the Minister to look into the real needs of the industry. Certainly he must protect the public, but, above all, he must protect the driver who, under this legislation, will find himself in the sort of conditions that existed in the 'thirties. This is perhaps where the Conservative Party belongs.

Several Hon. Members


Mr. Speaker

I said earlier that this debate had to conclude at 11.50 p.m. In fact, it must finish at 11.53, and since the Minister would, I know, like to begin his reply at 11.43, there are now five or six minutes left for debate. Mr. Blaker.

11.37 p.m.

Mr. Peter Blaker (Blackpool, South)

I, too, congratulate the Minister on having brought forward this Instrument and for making it effective from the 29th of this month, which is just before the Spring bank holiday.

The effect of last years' Socialist legislation on holiday business has been extremely serious. [Interruption.] It is obvious from the remarks of hon. Gentlemen opposite that, despite the evidence to show the marked effect it has had on holiday business, if they were still in office they would have done nothing about the matter.

The effect of this on the holiday business in my constituency has been dramatic. People have not been coming to my area in the numbers they used to come by coach for day trips, and this must be true for most areas as it is for Blackpool. Apart from coach trips costing more, the Socialist legislation was so badly drafted that coaches must return many hours earlier than used to be the case.

Mr. Leslie Huckfield

Oh, dear!

Mr. Paul B. Rose (Manchester, Blackley)


Mr. Blaker

I will not give way. I want the hon. Gentleman and his colleagues to realise just what their legislation has been doing. They are obviously totally ignorant of the bad effect it has been having.

Some statistics from my constituency illustrate the situation. One theatre which in 1969 had 102 coach parties during the summer season had, in 1970, as a result of that Labour legislation, 43 such parties.

Mr. Rose

What utter rubbish.

Mr. Blaker

I have a letter from a gift shop saying that there was a 25 per cent. drop in business last year because of this legislation—[Interruption.]—and a catering establishment reported a 50 per cent. drop in business during evenings in the summer season.

To what avail have people suffered in this way? There has been no improvement in road safety. The Minister made that clear. Drivers do not like the regulations, and what has been the reaction of people who like to take day trips by coach to Blackpool from, say Manchester? How would hon. Gentlemen opposite feel if they were told by their coach driver, "I am very sorry, but you must go home at five o'clock instead of nine o'clock, as in the past?" If hon. Members opposite think that they understand the common man, they should have another think.

11.40 p.m.

Mr. Peter Doig (Dundee, West)

Every provision in the Order increases the number of hours that drivers are permitted to work, reduces their rest periods, or abolishes the total maximum number of hours which they can work. Each one of those changes will inevitably lead to increased fatigue on the part of drivers.

Every day in this country there are 1,000 people killed or seriously injured on our roads—it remains one of our most urgent problems—yet here we have an Order which makes the position worse. The strain on drivers is increasing all the time. On the one-man bus, for example, the driver not only has to watch the traffic but he has to watch the money. He never has a minute of relaxation all day because he is either driving or watching the passengers to see that they pay their fares as they board the bus.

If drivers work 16 hours in a 24-hour period—in London it takes roughly an hour to go to work and an hour to go home again—how much sleep will these men have, and how safe will they be the following day if they are on another 16-hour spread-over period? Obviously, the Order will increase accidents.

After the measures taken under the Labour Government's Transport Act, the number of accidents fell for the first time. Hon. Members do not mention that. The results prove that we were successful for the first time in many years in reducing accidents.

Sir Harmar Nicholls

What evidence?

Mr. Doig

Yes, there is evidence. Under the relaxations since, however, accidents are starting to increase again, and they will continue to increase under the Order. This is a serious business. I am sorry that there is not more time to debate it. Hon. Members opposite always think about drivers working on a nice sunny day. It is not always like that. What about the winter when there is ice on the road and there are other additional strains? The drastic increase in accident hazard which is bound to come ought to make the Government think again, but, apparently, they just ignore the seriousness of the problem.

11.42 p.m.

Mr. Eldon Griffiths

The Opposition's attitude to the Order is astounding. They pushed the bus industry into a crisis. They now go stumping round the country trying to make political capital out of the sufferings of ordinary people which arose from their own incompetence. When the Government try to undo the damage which they did and put matters to rights, they have the temerity, the sheer bare-faced audacity, to complain.

Mr. Frederick Mulley (Sheffield, Park)

If the hon. Gentleman's proposition is that the industry cannot run unless drivers work for more than 72 hours in a week or 132 hours in a fortnight, will he tell us whether exemption from the E.E.C. regulation of 48 hours is a condition precedent to our accepting admission to the Community?

Mr. Griffiths

I shall deal with the point regarding Europe. The hon. Member for Leicester, North-East (Mr. Bradley) talked about the licensing laws, about London Transport, about administration and about wages, but the one thing he never said a word about was the convenience of the British public.

As regards Europe, the answer is that throughout Western Europe there is no Community regulation whatever on drivers' hours' in respect of regular bus journeys under 50 kilometres.

I resent the irresponsible suggestion from hon. Members opposite that this or any other British Government will put safety on the roads at risk. I have looked into this matter very carefully. The Road Research Laboratory has carried out on our behalf a close scrutiny of all the evidence available on bus and coach accidents, and there is no positive information that the Laboratory can obtain that links the accident rate with the hours that the man spends at the wheel. I will tell the hon. Member for Dundee, West (Mr. Doig) the record. From March to August, 1969, before the introduction of the drivers' hours restrictions, 821 public service vehicles were involved in injury accidents for every 100 million vehicle miles. For the same period of 1970, immediately after the new restrictions were introduced, that figure was higher. It went up to 835 per 100 million vehicle miles. To put it another way round, in 1969, from March to August, the industry ran nearly 122,000 vehicle miles per injury accident and in 1970 this figure was under 120,000 That disposes of the safety argument.

What does the industry say? It has a good record on safety. All four associations, representing almost all the buses on the road, have given the Government the undertaking that they have no intention of trying to use these revised regulations to impose unacceptable or unduly onerous duties on their employees or jeopardise the safety record of the industry.

Mr. Leslie Huckfield

Does the hon. Gentleman believe them?

Mr. Griffiths

I do, because I believe that the associations are responsible people, which is more than I can say of hon. Members opposite. I want to give two examples of this in practice. Suppose a driver falls sick and his colleague is willing to take his place. Under the present regulations he is prevented from doing so by the hours and rest limitations. Provided that the 10-hour rule is not exceeded, are we justified in preventing a man who is willing to work from working, preventing that bus from going out and leaving the passengers, our constituents, waiting in the cold? We are not justified in doing that any longer.

There are a myriad examples of what this provision has meant but I make clear to the Opposition, particularly the hon. Member for Nuneaton (Mr. Leslie Huckfield), that, just before the right hon. Gentleman introduced his Order bringing these complexities into our law, an lion. Member from a Midlands constituency warned him of the connection between … an imminent crisis in public transport, and the difficulties which will be brought about by the introduction of the Order. That hon. Member went on: I am glad that he has been able to grant up to a 16-hour spreadover on certain days "—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 25th February, 1970: Vol. 796, c. 1351]. That hon. Member was the Member for Nuneaton.

Mr. Leslie Huckfield


Mr. Griffiths

It does not lie well in the mouths of Labour Members to complain about the Order. When we took office, we found that they had left the bus industry staggering under the burden of higher fuel charges, eventually, but not immediately, rebated; staggering under sky-high interest rates, which we are now reducing; staggering under S.E.T., which we have cut in half; staggering under corporation tax, which we are reducing; staggering under inflationary wage increases, which we are bringing down.

On top of all this, there were strikes and a basic unsoundness in the way in which the right hon. Lady the Member for Blackburn (Mrs. Castle) chose to set up the National Bus Company without one penny working capital and with an obligation to take over an obsolescent fleet of London country buses without the money with which to do so. Coming on top of these impositions which the Labour Government laid upon this necessary industry, the previous drivers' hours regulations did no good whatsoever and a great deal of harm, and I hope that tonight the House will join the Government in removing them.

11.51 p.m.

Sir Harmar Nicholls (Peterborough)

What has made the debate unreal is the fact that if the Labour Party had won the last election, in the light of the experience of the last 12 months, about now right hon. Gentlemen opposite would have; been bringing in regulations almost identical to these. It is a living certainty that the pressure from the industry, the drivers and the general public would have been such that that course would have been compelled. The regulations were not working, were seen not to be working, and the Labour Government knew that they were not working.

The Labour Government made a genuine mistake, and right hon. Gentlemen opposite should have faced their responsibility. The only argument which might have held water was completely disposed of by the figures given by my hon. Friend—that the accident rate after the introduction of the regulations went up and not down. The argument that my hon. Friend's proposals will interfere with the safety of the industry therefore has no foundation.

The Opposition would have done themselves a good turn if they had recognised that they made a mistake instead of voting against these regulations, and they would have been upholding the best traditions of Parliament by doing so.

Mr. David Stoddart (Swindon)

I was interested in what the hon. Gentleman said about the accident rate. The logic of his argument was that the more hours drivers did—

It being one and a half hours after the commencement of Proceedings on the Motion, Mr. SPEAKER put the Question, pursuant to Standing Order No. 3 (Exempted Business).

The House divided: Ayes 144, Noes 95.

Division No. 363.] AYES [11.52 p.m.
Adley, Robert Hall, Miss Joan (Keighley) Normanton, Tom
Atkins, Humphrey Hall, John (Wycombe) Onslow, Cranley
Baker, Kenneth (St. Marylebone) Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) Osborn, John
Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton Hannam, John (Exeter) Owen, Idris (Stockport, N.)
Benyon, W. Harrison, Brian (Maldon) Page, Graham (Crosby)
Berry, Hn. Anthony Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye) Parkinson, Cecil (Enfield, W.)
Biffen, John Haselhurst, Alan Pounder, Rafton
Biggs-Davison, John Hawkins, Paul Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch
Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S.W.) Heseltine, Michael Price, David (Eastleigh)
Boscawen, Robert Hicks, Robert Proudfoot, Wilfred
Bray, Ronald Higgins, Terence L. Pym, Rt. Hn. Francis
Brocklebank-Fowler, Christopher Hill, James (Southampton, Test) Reed, Laurance (Bolton, E.)
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Holland, Philip Rees, Peter (Dover)
Buchanan-Smith, Alick (Angus, N&M) Hornsby-Smith, Rt. Hn. Dame Patricia Rees-Davies, W. R.
Buck, Antony Howell, David (Guildford) Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David
Carlisle, Mark Hunt, John Russell, Sir Ronald
Chapman, Sydney Hutchison, Michael Clark Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)
Churchill, W. S. Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye) Simeons, Charles
Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe) Jessel, Toby Skeet, T. H. H.
Cockeram, Eric Johnson Smith, G. (E. Grinstead) Soref, Harold
Cooke, Robert Kershaw, Anthony Speed, Keith
Cormack, Patrick Kilfedder, James Spence, John
Critchley, Julian King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.) Sproat, Iain
Crouch, David King, Tom (Bridgwater) Stanbrook, Ivor
Curran, Charles Kinsey, J. R. Stewart-Smith, D. G. (Belper)
Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F. Knight, Mrs. Jill Stodart, Anthony (Edinburgh, W.)
Dixon, Piers Knox, David Stuttaford, Dr. Tom
Drayson, G. B. Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)
Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke) Le Marchant, Spencer Tebbit, Norman
Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton) Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland) Thomas, John Stradling (Monmouth)
Elliott, R. W. (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne,N.) Luce, R. N. Thompson, Sir Richard (Croydon, S.)
Eyre, Reginald MacArthur, Ian Trafford, Dr. Anthony
Fenner, Mrs. Peggy Macmillan, Maurice (Farnham) Trew, Peter
Fidler, Michael McNair-Wilson, Michael Tugendhat, Christopher
Fisher, Nigel (Surbiton) McNair-Wilson, Patrick (NewForest) van Straubenzee, W. R.
Fletcher-Cooke, Charles Mather, Carol Waddington, David
Fookes, Miss Janet Maude, Angus Walder, David (Clitheroe)
Fortescue, Tim Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J. Ward, Dame Irene
Fox, Marcus Meyer, Sir Anthony Warren, Kenneth
Fry, Peter Mills, Peter (Torrington) Weatherill, Bernard
Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.) Moate, Roger White, Roger, (Gravesend)
Godber, Rt. Hn. J. B. Molyneaux, James Wiggin, Jerry
Goodhart, Philip Money, Ernie Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick
Gorst, John Monks, Mrs. Connie Woodnutt, Mark
Gower, Raymond Montgomery, Fergus Wylie, Rt. Hn. N. R.
Grant, Anthony (Harrow, C.) More, Jasper
Gray, Hamish Mudd, David TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Green, Alan Murton, Oscar Mr. Victor Goodhew and
Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds) Nicholls, Sir Harmar Mr. Hugh Rossi.
Gurden, Harold
Armstrong, Ernest Boardman, H. (Leigh) Cohen, Stanley
Ashton, Joe Booth, Albert Concannon, J. D.
Atkinson, Norman Bradley, Tom Conlan, Bernard
Barnes, Michael Buchanan, Richard(G'gow, Sp'burn) Dalyell, Tam
Bennett, James (Glasgow, Bridgeton) Carmichael, Neil Davidson, Arthur
Bidwell, Sydney Clark, David (Colne Valley) Davies, Denzil (Llanelly)
Blenkinsop, Arthur Cocks, Michael (Bristol, S.) Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.)
Davies, Ifor (Gower) Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.) Rodgers, William (Stockton-on-Tees)
Deakins, Eric Jones, Rt. Hn. Sir Elwyn (W. Ham, S.) Roper, John
Deil, Rt. Hn. Edmund Jones, Gwynoro (Carmarthen) Rose, Paul B.
Doig, Peter Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, W.) Ross, Rt. Hn. William (Kilmarnock)
Douglas-Mann, Bruce Kaufman, Gerald Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney)
Duffy, A. E. P. Kinnock, Neil Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)
Ellis, Tom Lamond, James Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich)
English, Michael Leadbitter, Ted Sillars, James
Fisher, Mrs. Doris (B'ham, Ladywood) Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Spearing, Nigel
Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston) McBride, Neil Stallard, A. W.
Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) McGuire, Michael Stewart, Donald (Western Isles)
Ford, Ben Mackie, John Stoddart, David (Swindon)
Garrett, W. E. Meacher, Michael Strang, Gavin
Gilbert, Dr. John Mendelson, John Taverne, Dick
Golding, John Milne, Edward (Blyth) Tinn, James
Grant, George (Morpeth) Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire) Torney, Tom
Hamilton, James (Bothwell) Mulley, Rt. Hn. Frederick Urwin, T. W.
Hardy, Peter O'Halloran, Michael Varley, Eric G.
Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) Oswald, Thomas Watkins, David
Hattersley, Roy Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, Sutton) Weitzman, David
Huckfield, Leslie Palmer, Arthur Wells, William (Walsall, N.)
Hughes, Mark (Durham) Pavitt, Laurie White, James (Glasgow, Pollok)
Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen, N.) Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred
Hughes, Roy (Newport) Pentland, Norman TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Hunter, Adam Reed, D. (Sedgefield) Mr William Hamling and
Janner, Greville Roberts, Albert (Normanton) Mr. Joseph Harper.

Resolved, That the Drivers' Hours (Passenger and Goods Vehicles) (Modifications) Order, 1971, a draft of which was laid before this House on 8th April, be approved.