HC Deb 17 July 1972 vol 841 cc204-29


Mr. Pardoe

I beg to move, Amendment No. 270, in page 51, line 39, leave out paragraph (a).

Mr. Speaker

With this Amendment we can also discuss Amendments No. 236, in page 51, line 39, leave out from 'holds' to 'or' in page 52, line 6, and insert 'office as one of the chief officers of the authority'.

No. 237, in page 52, line 5, leave out 'or by any person holding any such office or employment'.

No. 238, in page 52, leave out lines 21 to 35.

No. 271, in page 52, line 21, leave out subsections (2) to (4).

No. 239, in page 52, line 36, leave out subsection (4).

No. 240, in page 53, line 24 [Clause 82], leave out from beginning to end of line 3 on page 54.

No. 423, in page 54, line 3, at end insert— (c) employees of local authorities in grades or occupations whose pay and conditions were primarily determined by the National Joint Council for Local Authorities' Services (Manual Workers), the National Joint Council for Workshops for the Blind, the National Joint Council for Local Authorities' Services (Building and Civil Engineering), or the National Joint Council for Local Authorities.' Services (Engineering Craftsmen) at 1st January 1972.

No. 424, in page 61, line 26 [Clause 94], leave out subsections (2) and (3) and insert—

(2) If a member of a local authority has any direct interest in any matter concerning the terms and conditions of employment of employees of the local authority, and he is present at a meeting of the local authority, or one of its committees or sub-committees at which the matter is raised, or at which any appointment to a body negotiating the terms and conditions of employment is the subject of consideration, he shall at the meeting and as soon as practicable after its commencement, disclose the fact, and shall not take part in the consideration or discussion of the matter or appointment or vote on a question with respect to it.

(3) 'Employee of a local authority' in sub section (2) of section 94 shall be deemed to include any paid office or job (other than the offices, of Chairman, Vice-Chairman or Deputy Chairman) to which appointment is made by or confirmed by the local authority, or some joint board or committee on which the authority is represented.

Mr. Pardoe

This Amendment is in the name of my right hon. and hon. Friends, and so also is one of the associated Amendments.

I want immediately to declare an interest, since one category of local government employees I shall be talking about is that of teachers and I act as consultant to the National Association of Schoolmasters.

Since my remarks may be thought by some hon. Gentlemen to reflect back to some earlier remarks about one particular county council and I gather that some hon. Gentlemen thought my criticism of Durham referred to something other than it did, I would say that I made no allegations at all about Durham County Council in that sense, but merely referred to the fact that some two years ago some teachers struck against that council and the council dismissed them, and that I thought that a rather odd thing for a Labour-controlled council to do. I unreservedly withdraw any suggestions which, other than that, it may be thought I made.

Clause 81 is the disqualification Clause. It disqualifies a great many people from standing for election to local authorities. I do not believe it is right in a democracy to disqualify whole categories of people from standing for local councils. Basically, the Clause disqualifies local government employees from being members of their employing authorities. I recognise that that is the present position, and the Government may therefore say, as they said in Committee, that they are only doing what has always been done before. But I maintain that it is wrong under the present system, and it will be even more wrong under the Bill, because the Bill extends the disqualification to a great many more people. The larger local authorities, coupled with the disappearance of the county boroughs, will reduce the number of local government employees who are able to be councillors in neighbouring council areas.

I have never been able to understand the raison ďêtre of disqualification from standing for local government election Presumably it is largely because of a supposed clash of interest, and indeed there are certain areas of local government in which there is a clash of interest. If teachers were to sit on an education committee there would be a direct clash of interest. If rodent operators or dustmen were to sit on the committees which control their areas of work, again there might be a clash of interest. But there is a lot more to local government than just these areas, and a lot more in the case of teachers than the education committee.

A teacher, for instance, might serve on the highways committee; there could not possibly be said to be a clash of interest there. It might be difficult for a clerk of a council to sit on his own authority, although there might not be a clash of interest, but teachers and other local government employees are much further removed from local authority operations than is the clerk. If the Government feel that they cannot accept that a clerk can sit on his own authority, perhaps they will introduce a disqualification clause for clerks or those who are directly involved in the day-to-day running of a local authority.

Disqualification is an unnecessary restraint on the democratic rights of the great majority of local government employees. To use the clash of interests argument is pretty mad when one considers other clashes of interest that inevitably exist. Why, for instance, should we think it right for a local authority to be weighted heavily with builders and estate agents? Why do we think it right even in the House for a Minister of Agriculture to be a farmer? I am happy with the thought that the Minister of Agriculture has expertise in farming, but he stands at the Dispatch Box and produces out of his hat largesse of Government money some of which inevitably will end up in his own farm. We do not disqualify a fanner from being Minister of Agriculture, nor I suppose would we disqualify a doctor from being Secretary of State for the Social Services.

There are other clashes of interest throughout the public service, and we accept this. Having accepted those clashes, it is ridiculous for us to baulk at the idea that teachers can serve on a county authority. I see no reason at all why local government employees should not serve on the council which employs them.

The Bill will, unfortunately, limit the categories of people coming forward for local government. For instance, one of the big problems in the larger rural county councils and the big districts will be how to ensure a sufficient representation of working age councillors. We shall end up in places like Cornwall and Devon with a heavy preponderance on the new district councils of the retired and self-employed. Working people will be very under-represented. This is a worrying factor in local government. It is anti-democracy. We ought not, by Clause 81, to be limiting any more than is necessary the categories of people who can serve on local authorities.

11.30 p.m.

The Clause is quite unnecessarily wide. If the Government wished to disqualify anyone, they might disqualify clerks and direct local government officers and have done with it. I would not go as far as that. But the Government could do that. But in subsection (4) we are disqualifying A person who is for the time being a member, officer or servant of…the Passenger Transport Executive. That is fairly distant from the direct local authority under which he lives. I see no reason for that kind of disqualification.

I recognise that the Government have already turned this down. They may well be intending to turn it down again tonight, but I hope not. I hope that the Government will give at least some indication that they want as many people as possible to be eligible for local government. I hope that the Government will even be prepared to make some concession on particular categories of local government employees which they have disqualified by the Clause.

Mr. George Thomas

The House will be aware that this is a major subject. Over 2 million of our fellow citizens are in the employment of local authorities and are disbarred from giving service to the public.

The hon. Member for Cornwall, North (Mr. Pardoe) has moved an Amendment which was moved by the Opposition in Committee. Learning from our experience in Committee, we have suggested to the House that it is right to help the Government by eliminating from eligibility for service in local government those who are known as chief officers. They are the policy makers. They have as much influence, as councillors themselves, and sometimes more. Permanent officials who are in charge of departments are obviously in a special category. To have a town clerk being able to serve as a member of the local authority is an absurdity. We see the strength of the arguments advanced by the Minister in Committee. But this does not apply to the millions of ordinary people who serve the local authority, some by digging roads, some by working on the buses, some by serving in the fire service. They are gifted, intelligent people who are the cornerstone of our democracy.

We all know that both sides find it difficult from time to time to have candidates of the right calibre coming forward to serve in local government. We hope that the larger authorities and the greater power they will have will attract ambitious, able and gifted people from all sectors of our community. But the law restricts them. The right hon. Gentleman the Minister said in Committee: The intention behind these Clauses, and our repeat of them in a consolidated form, is to ensure the probity and integrity of local government both in fact and in appearance."—[Official Report, Standing Committee D, 10th February, 1972S; c. 1488.] We must trust the electorate more. No electorate would fill its council with bus drivers, teachers, firemen or any other special category. It is an insult to these people to suggest that somehow they would give an appearance of lacking the integrity in local government of estate agents, for example, to whom reference has been made, and other professional people who gain by being on the council, even though they might never speak on a subject in which they have a direct interest but the knowledge they acquire is of advantage to them.

The hon. Member for Cornwall, North (Mr. Pardoe), who declared his interest because he is a consultant to the National Association of Schoolmasters, will know, as the House will know, that I have an interest to declare as a spokesman for the National Union of Teachers, which represents a quarter of a million teachers. I am not basing the strength of my argument on arithmetic; I try to deal in higher realms. The hon. Member tonight revealed his ignorance and his brief was appalling. He said that if teachers served on education committees there would be a clash of interest. But the education committee is the one committee on which teachers are entitled to serve. The hon. Member should go back to the NAS to be taken back to school and taught.

The absurdity of the present position is that a teacher can serve on the education committee, in which he has a direct interest. He can share in the appointment of head teachers, he can enjoy all the privileges of a full member of the council concerning education, but he is not allowed to say a word on anything else. It is an absurdity which I am sure hon. Members on both sides of the House have appreciated in their constituencies.

I remind the House that there are whole sectors of our community of gifted, trained people for whom the only employment open to them is local government service. I think overwhelmingly of social workers in the public service, and teachers certainly. Firemen can serve only the fire authority and, under the powers of the Clause, because they have taken up that calling, they cannot ever expect to have the same right as the rest of us to serve on local government and to be trusted by the community. Our Amendment seeks to draw attention to the fact that we are denying ourselves as a country the ability of people who have a contribution to make and, what is more, people whom both sides of the House badly need in the service of the public in local government.

As the Minister will no doubt confirm, the Government have gone much further by the Bill because they now extend the disqualification to people who work for public boards like joint water boards. A man might only be digging holes for a joint water board, on which half a dozen authorities are represented—even his own authority does not have a majority voice—but because he works for that water board he shall not stand for the council. It cannot make sense. Both sides of the House will wish to put the matter right. The Amendment would secure that, with the exception of chief officers, employees of local authorities should be free to stand as candidates. The public exercises its discipline. The electorate will soon reject people if it thinks that there is a lack of balance.

In Committee, the Minister, who is a reasonable man and sets a good example for the Welsh Office, made sympathetic noises and felt the strength of our argument. I hope that the Welsh Office has learned, since the Committee stage. The Minister sent us away from the Committee happy; he said in substance, "We all want to do the right thing. I undertake to give this question careful consideration", because both sides of the Committee realised that it is offence to our democracy that 2½ million people should be denied the right to serve in local government. Our system of democracy would be strengthened if the Minister were to say that he is prepared to introduce a form of words, either tonight or in another place, designed to meet the wishes of the overwhelming body of the people, namely, that with the exception of chief officers, local authority employees should be able to stand as local government candidates.

Mr. Graham Page

It may be for the convenience of the House if I intervene at this stage. The general rule which we are debating is one which has been accepted as fundamental to local government. It is that a local government employee should not be entitled to sit as a member of his employing authority. I am glad that we are probing this rule and not taking it for granted. It is a rule of long standing, rather like the rule we have in the House that a Member shall not hold office of profit under the Crown. This sort of thing touches the probity and integrity of public authorities.

I am not convinced that this rule can be elevated to a principle fundamental to local government, that it shows some separation between the elected member who is responsible for the main decisions and the employees who must carry them out. It is purely and simply based on the question: to what extent will the member's employment by his own authority influence his decisions or enable him to influence his colleagues on the council? If it is something to do with private gain, he may well be influenced by it or he may well be able to influence his colleagues because of his knowledge of the subject.

Mr. Lomas

I speak as a sponsored candidate for the National Union of Public Employees. Is the right hon. Gentleman saying that a dustman or an office clerk will exert a tremendous influence on the affairs of a local authority? I implore the right hon. Gentleman to grow up.

Mr. Page

That was exactly the argument I was about to advance, if only the hon. Gentleman had waited. In most cases of employment by a council, we ought to hold to the rule which has been recognised. Can it be believed that the man who empties the dustbins would be influenced by his job in the decisions he reaches as a member? Is there some line which we can draw between those who may be influenced and those who are so remote from the decisions of the council that they are unlikely to be influenced? I said that I thought we ought to retain the general rule and if we are going to do anything, seek exceptions to it. Therefore, I would not accept the Amendment which would destroy the rule altogether.

11.45 p.m.

The other Amendments reflect the view with which I myself expressed sympathy in Committee, that a result of relaxation could be very beneficial, as the right hon. Gentleman said, in opening up the field of recruitment to the local authorities, although I must say that that will already result to some extent from this reorganisation of local authorities because in future the local authority employee will be able if he is employed by the district, to serve as a county councillor or, if he is employed by the county, serve as a district councillor. Those who reside at present in the county boroughs do not have that opportunity. I think we shall be throwing membership open to a substantially larger field than at present. But that hardly deals with the point about disqualification.

The Amendments deal with various ways of relaxing the rule, but I find that all the Amendments seem to create greater anomalies than they remove. Amendment No. 236 would disqualify an officer only if he were one of the chief officers of the authority. One needs to go a little deeper into it than that. I expressed it in Committee in a rough way as being those who were employed in the town hall as opposed to those who were employed elsewhere, though that is not at all a statutory form of division.

I will not go through all the Amendments, but I think the House will find that there are anomalies in each of those—for instance we would be led to admit certain teachers and not others. If we admit the bus drivers employed by the PTE, why should not we admit the man who mends the roads on which the buses run? These Amendments only tinker with the subject, and I gave the undertaking in Standing Committee that I should like to be further advised on this and think about it further to see to what extent I could carry with me any of the local authority associations.

I have to tell the House that the main associations and the GLC, on being further consulted, are all dead against any relaxation, and I must admit that I failed to carry them with me.

Mr. George Thomas

The right hon. Gentleman will probably remember that I asked him in Committee whether he had consulted the trade unions such as NALGO, the NUT, NAS and all those trade unions concerned with local authorities. Would he tell the House their opinion?

Mr. Page

I do not think I needed to consult them. I knew their opinions. They have the same views on this subject as we are expressing on both sides of the Dispatch Box.

Mr. Armstrong

The Minister has shown how impossible it is to draw a line, has he not? The real issue is whether the House should decide that certain people shall be prevented from serving in local government, or whether we should leave it to the good sense of the local electorate. Can the right hon. Gentleman envisage circumstances in which, for instance, the town clerk or the deputy town clerk would even dream of standing for election, or, if he did, that local opinion would not express itself?

Mr. Page

The hon. Gentleman takes extreme examples. I should have to draw the line much further away from those very senior chief officers. Obviously, such men probably would not stand, and we need not worry about excluding them. But there are many officers whom one would not wish to see stand as members in respect of whom the rule about declaring an interest is not sufficient.

What I am looking for is somewhere to draw a line, at which point it would be sufficient to say, "Yes, this person may stand and serve as a member of the authority by which he is employed, but when any matters arise on the terms and conditions of his employment he should disclose his interest, not speak, and not vote". If we can find the right division there, we may have achieved something. But I tell the House frankly that at present I have not carried the local authorities with me, and I have not, therefore, endeavoured at this stage to draft provisions to bring that into effect.

I am advised that it would take about 20 Clauses to deal with this matter properly. I am not prepared at this stage of this Bill to take on board another 20 Clauses. I ask the House to appreciate that there are problems here, that we wish to retain the general rule, that we wish to find some reasonable line of demarcation, and we wish to take the local authority associations with us in thinking out the right provisions.

My own feeling about it is that we are being extremely hypocritical if we exclude all employees of the local authority and do not exclude others who have, perhaps a greater interest—I make no reference to topical cases, but they immediately come to mind—in the affairs of the council and may well be influenced more greatly than employees of the authority would be.

I ask the House to leave it to us for a further period and not to delay the Bill by asking for a further 20 Clauses in it.

Mr. Leadbitter

The Minister has helped the House somewhat. In my view, he has been more than fair on this subject both in Committee and in the House tonight in the sense that he recognises the problem and acknowledges that we are all involved in a hypocritical approach to it. He said that he was not prepared to take 20 Clauses on board. We could help him by suggesting 20 Clauses which he could take out, and perhaps he will consider that as a vague possibility.

There is not much dividing us on this issue, and I think it right to remind the House of what the right hon. Gentleman said in Committee, since our common purpose must be to arrive at the solution to a problem which we all recognise. On 10th February, the Minister said: I do not believe that, at a certain level of employment or in a certain area of employment by a local authority, if an employee stands as a member there is any serious chance of failure of integrity or lack of probity. As has been pointed out, there are many occasions when a person employed in private undertakings becomes a member and he may be just as suspect. There is a wide area where the employee of the local authority cannot possibly be said to be suspect if he becomes a member."—[Official Report, Standing Committee D, 10th February, 1972; c. 1492.] I have only one observation to make on that, arising out of the persistence of the hon. Member for Cornwall, North (Mr. Pardoe). We want to get away from emphasising the word "suspect" and talk more about the first part of what the Minister said in Standing Committee. Experience tells us that in the wide sphere of local Government there is no loss of integrity or probity among the people who serve there. We are much more likely to lose the useful contribution these people can make by talking about the possibility of them being suspect. The Minister must therefore approach the matter positively. He should address himself to the views of the local government associations. He has been fair and explained the result of his discussion with those associations. In his letter dated 23rd May to certain hon. Members, including those on the Standing Committee, he said: Having regard to the present views of those associations I do not propose to initiate any change in the law on the subject in the Bill and I should have to resist Amendments seeking to make such a change." He should now tell the local authority associations that it is time they were injected with the wind of change. They of all people should have more sense. They should realise that in the county council elections and the borough council elections apathy exists because of the disenfranchisement of the vast ranges of ability of people who are employed by local authorities. The loss to local government from these people being unable to stand for election is such that it is the Minister's bounden duty to explain that local government employees are no less and no different from many people in the private sector who have financial and business interests, and no less and no different from hon. Members who have private and other interests and who declare those interests quite freely. It is wrong to impute that disqualification shall rest not on the corruption of people but on the suspicion that they are less capable of declaring an interest than people in other occupations and professions. The integrity and probity of these people are not and cannot be in question.

I am sponsored as an hon. Member by the National Union of Public Employees. I have discussed with various of my hon. Friends, including my hon. Friend the Member for Huddersfield, West (Mr. Lomas), how best to deal with the problem. In Amendment No. 423 we have considered how to allow those people who are not involved in the decision-making process of local Government to stand for election in local government—those people who are not in the advisory position in local authorities, namely, those who are employed in grades and occupations where the pay and conditions as settled by 1st January, 1972, come under the National Joint Council for Local Authorities' Services (Manual Workers), the National Joint Council for Workshops for the Blind, the National Joint Council for Local Authorities' Services (Building and Civil Engineering) and the National Joint Council for Local Authorities' Services (Engineering Craftsmen).

12 midnight.

Can anyone argue that any of those employees would misuse his employee status as a member of his council? The teachers provide an example of employees being allowed to serve on local authorities. They can be co-opted on to education authorities as part of the education committee, and are nominated by their unions. They have a long record of valuable service, and of not voting on matters in which they are personally involved. They do not have to be requested not to vote. They are the first to state their position, because it is a characteristic of the British people to make their positions known to their colleagues, in accordance with our traditions of government, including local government.

It is not enough for the Minister to say, "We have helped by producing a two-tier system of local government." The teachers working in county boroughs will now be able to serve in the county authority, whether a metropolitan county or a non-metropolitan county. There is a built-in trap which is of interest when we talk about people being placed in a position where they might be suspected of using their influence wrongly. We see in Clause 101 that the county has powers to give agency services to local authorities. A teacher or manual worker in a local authority who was inclined to use his influence wrongly would be able to do so as a result of that Clause, because he would be working in the area where the agency part of the county's work was being carried out. But if a person is inclined to do that he will be found out anyway, and will be tested by his peers. One does not have to be an employee of a local authority to be found wanting in certain practices, but when those practices are found out the nature of a person's position on a local authority is the one which matters and which will be questioned.

Therefore, the Government are unwise to appear to have accepted that the local authorities are not willing to be helpful, that they oppose the suggestion hook, line and sinker. I will not go so far as to say to the Minister that it was light relief for him to have this kind of opposition, but I will say that he accepted that this was an opportunity to develop an argument to get him out of a difficult situation. I believe that the situation is not difficult. In our Amendments to Clause 94 we have provided a declaration of interest to make it quite clear that the categories we are talking about can be included. Teachers could provide a good deal of service on local authorities, whether county or district.

The Minister has shown a good deal of understanding of the problem. On 10th February in Committee he appeared to leave the door open a little. He would be wise to take note of the views not only of the local authority associations but of the unions and of hon. Members and accept that Parliament must at some point be allowed to decide something in this Bill for itself.

Mr. Graham Page

The hon. Gentleman is being less than fair. He knows how many concessions I have made, including concessions in response to his arguments. To suggest that Parliament is not deciding what is in the Bill is unworthy of him.

Mr George Thomas

Keep that for the Welsh part.

Mr. Leadbitter

The Minister has every justification for making that point. When an hon. Member infers that all that has happened is not right, he is bound to have made unwittingly a slip of the tongue. Of course I accept that the right hon. Gentleman has made many concessions, and I have paid tribute to him, but will he now note that he cannot be right all the time on this subject? More people than the local authority associations are involved in local government and I ask him to take note of the feelings of the unions, such as NALGO and National Union of the Municipal and General Workers. We are talking about people.

Mr. W. R. Rees-Davies (Isle of Thanet)

I think the hon. Gentleman will recognise that he has made his point very effectively—indeed, he has made it more than once. My right hon. Friend has given way on a great many important matters and we have many other matters of importance to discuss. We want to try to do it when we are alive and well and on top of our form. I ask the hon. Gentleman to try and confine himself to the subject under discussion as an act of courtesy to the House. I say that with no discourtesy to him.

I have been here six hours—three and a half hours before the hon. Gentleman came in. We have many matters to discuss. If we can keep the tempo quick with that Welsh alacrity that we have heard from the Opposition Front Bench, we shall get on much better, and I ask the hon. Gentleman to set the tone. I hope he will not take what I am saying amiss, but he has been going on for some time. We realise that when he speaks he speaks for the unions. We should be grateful if he would get on.

Mr. Leadbitter

I understand the hon. Gentleman's wish to keep the business going but I am not responsible for the Government's handling of the business. There is no lack of courtesy from this side of the House. I have been present in the Chamber since three o'clock and the hon. Gentleman has not been here so long.

Mr. Rees-Davies

I was here three hours earlier than the hon. Gentleman.

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Sir Robert Grant-Ferris)

Order. Argument about the time hon. Members have been here will not help us get on.

Mr. Leadbitter

I suggest that the hon. Gentleman's request, while acceptable, should have come from someone else.

Because of the importance of this matter to so many people, and because of the need to inject new blood into local government, I have asked the right hon. Gentleman to reconsider. The Bill has yet to go to the other place, so there is plenty of time for him to do so. If he will give an undertaking to give more thought to this aspect we will be quite happy.

Mr. R. C. Mitchell

I was encouraged by the tone of the Minister's reply, though perhaps not so happy about its content. It is obvious that the right hon. Gentleman realises the absurdity of the present situation, in which a council can be cluttered with property speculators, local builders, estate agents, and the like, all of whom are getting council contracts even though they may declare an interest in individual cases while the poor old bus driver or teacher cannot serve.

The Minister has divided the line about right. I do not agree with some of my hon. Friends who say that the only people who should be debarred are chief officers. The Minister said that it is those who work in the town hall who should be debarred, not those working in the schools, on the roads, and so on. That is about right. People in administrative posts in the town hall, even though they may not be chief officers, should not be allowed to serve on the council.

I was not so happy to hear the Minister say that he was not willing to amend the Bill in this respect. I can quite understand that time will be needed, and that it is better to get the Bill right than to rush it, but a certain element of importance and urgency is involved. Very soon we shall have elections for the new county councils, after which there will be no more elections for four years. I therefore urge the Minister to be sure, whether or not by legislation, to act quickly enough for these people to be able to benefit before nomination day for the county council elections. Unless he acts quickly, there will be a four-year gap. It will not be enough for the right hon. Gentleman to say that we will leave it for further legislation if that legislation comes along too late for these people to stand for election to the new county authority.

I declare an interest. I am a member of the National Union of Teachers, though I am not sponsored by it. I was for 12 years a member of the Southampton City Council, although I was a teacher, because I worked for the Hampshire County Council. Under the Bill the whole of Southampton and Portsmouth will go into the one local authority and, along with many of my colleagues and friends, I shall be debarred from sitting on the new county council. The Minister may say that we can sit on a district council, but the powers of a district council being what they are I do not know who will want to serve on those councils. For me to do so, and for many others, would be a complete waste of time. The Bill will debar all teachers as well as other people in non-metropolitan authorities from serving on the county authority. There is urgency here. We should get this matter settled before the elections.

12.15 a.m.

Mr. Raymond Gower (Barry)

I should like to emphasise that those of us who were not on the Committee but who read its proceedings agree that the rule is a little inflexible as it stands, and my right hon. Friend's opening remarks made it apparent that he takes the same view.

On the other hand, I hope that Opposition Members will agree that it is desirable to carry the local authority associations with us, and I am sure that it will be agreed that the Association of Municipal Corporations and the County Councils Association and similar bodies have the best interests of local government at heart, although I am surprised that they have taken such an inflexible attitude. I understand their not wanting the rule to be entirely removed, but I hope that my right hon. Friend will be able to persuade them that it should be amended and relaxed, and I hope that that will be possible fairly soon.

Mr. Lomas

I have often heard the right hon. Member for Crosby (Mr. Graham Page) speak with conviction, but tonight his was a pathetic performance, and that was because his heart was not in what he was saying. He did not mean what he said.

In a democratic society, those who work for a local authority have the right to represent the people in their community on that authority. There is a case for vertical unionism and the sooner the National Association of Schoolmasters and the NUT get together, the better. No substantial arguments have been advanced against the Amendments by Government supporters. They have simply said that because it has been, so it must be. That does not make sense.

As my hon. Friend the Member for The Hartlepools (Mr. Leadbitter) rightly said, this is a matter in which commonsense must prevail. One would not expect the town clerk or the borough treasurer to be a member of his local authority, but that is no reason for denying the right to the dustman or the clerk, and he or she should have the right to make his or her views known to the community and to represent people in his or her ward.

The kernel of the matter is contained in Amendment No. 423 in the names of the National Union of General and Municipal Workers and the National Union of Public Employees. It says: employees of local authorities in grades or occupations whose pay and conditions were primarily determined by the National Joint Council for Local Authorities' Services (Manual Workers), the National Joint Council for Workshops for the Blind, the National Joint Council for Local Authorities' Services (Building and Civil Engineering), or the National Joint Council for Local Authorities' Services (Engineering Craftsmen) at 1st January, 1972. Why should so many people be denied the right to represent others on a local authority? I ask the Government to recognise the force of our arguments and agree that we should not deny individual employees of an authority the right to represent others in his community and to express a view.

Of course commonsense would prevail, because the executive and other top grades would not want to be members of the council while still being town clerk, or treasurer, or whatever it might be. In Huddersfield, for instance, the then borough treasurer became a Conservative candidate the moment he retired and he has been a thorn in the flesh of the borough treasurer ever since, and I do not blame him for that; but he did not want to be on the council until he had retired, and he was entitled to do so.

All I ask the Government to do is to accept the legitimate right of an individual to stand for election. Knowing the commonsense of the British people and knowing that no one in authority would want to usurp a position to which he was not entitled. I urge the right hon. Member to give way.

Mr. Terry Davis (Bromsgrove)

I urge the Government to think again about this. Since so many hon. Gentlemen have declared their interests, perhaps I should say that I have never been employed in local government, I am not sponsored by any trade union and I do not act as a consultant for any organisation concerned with one. I should like the right hon. Gentleman to reconsider one of his arguments on the general principle. He said that the reorganisation of local government would be opening up the prospect of service in local government for employees of county boroughs as a result of the two-tier system. He should think again about that argument because it is open to question.

I know some employees of county boroughs who serve in local government because they stand for election and are elected in the county boroughs where they live. It is certainly happening in the West Midlands where there is at least one employee of the Warley County Borough who serves on the City of Birmingham Council. He would not be able to stand for the new metropolitan county of the West Midlands. Similarly, I know another case of a councillor who is employed as a lecturer by the Worcestershire County Council. He teaches in my constituency. He lives in Worcester and serves on the Worcestershire City Council with great distinction.

It would be a pity if these people are denied the opportunity to continue to serve at the level of local government where they have some experience. I ask the Minister to think about another point. It is not just the employees of county boroughs who would be affected, it is also the employees of district councils. It is clear from the draft proposals of the Boundary Commission designate that we are to have much larger district councils. I am talking about non-metropolitan counties. As things stand, employees of district councils may be living in another district council and are able to stand for election there, and I can think of one or two examples. They will not be able to serve in future, as a result of the reorganisation, as they will probably be living in the area of the larger district council. The Minister may have exaggerated the freedom that he is giving and in practice it may be in the other direction.

Mr. Oakes

May I express the complete dissatisfaction of this side of the House with the Ministers reply to this series of Amendments? In Committee the right hon. Gentleman expressed sympathy for these Amendments, He did more, he spelled out, in one of his famous jokes, the number of people likely to be affected and disqualified from serving on local authorities, which astounded the Committee. We confidently expected, from what the right hon. Gentleman said, that the Government would bring to this House a series of Amendments which, while excluding the town clerk and chief officers and people who would have a crucial influence on policy decisions, would deal with these 2 million people who serve local authorities and are at present disqualified from sitting on those authorities as councillors. The right hon. Gentleman said that these Amendments created anomalies greater than the difficulties they removed. As my hon. Friend the Member for Huddersfield, West (Mr. Lomas) said, no Amendment could spell out the situation clearer than Amendment 423, which goes down to actual organisations in an attempt to help the Government.

It is not the job of an Opposition or of Members of the back benches to spell out Amendments in this way. If the Government believe, as the right hon. Gentleman firmly believes, that these people should not be disqualified from sitting as councillors, it is the Government's job to table Amendments. The right hon. Gentleman made great play over the fact that the main local government associations were against any further representations about their employees.

This is the weakness of the Government's arguments. Since when have the Government listened to local government associations? Have they listened to those associations on the reorganisation of water supplies on which every local authority association is united against them?

The Minister said that if the Government could find the right divisions at a subsequent time, they would endeavour to do so, but not in this Bill. Even the Minister should have regarded the situation as anomalous. He said that the House would not expect him to find answers to this matter by tabling the many provisions which would be needed to meet the situation. But the Government have not hesitated to include in the Amendment Paper no fewer than 33 Amendments on the subject of district auditors, taking away their powers and passing them over to private enterprise. The Government do not appear to mind overloading the Amendment Paper when it comes to party political matters, but they will not do it in answer to reasonable requests on other matters.

I turn to Amendment No. 239 which seeks to widen the disqualification. It will mean not only that a bus driver or bus conductor cannot serve on the passenger transport authority, but that he will be denied the right to be able to serve on the county council. Far from seeking to bring in more people to local government, this will have the effect of excluding more people. I know per- sonally two people in my authority who subsequently became bus inpectors, but who I knew originally as bus drivers. One is now a senior magistrate and the other serves on the road safety committee in his authority. They are both natural chairmen of committees, but the Government are now to deny them the opportunity of service.

The hon. Member for Cornwall, North (Mr. Pardoe) is a little worried about the width of the Liberal Amendment, Amendment No. 270, but as between that Amendment and what the Government's attitude will mean for some 2½ million people, we would err—if we have to err at all—on the side of the hon. Member for Cornwall, North.

We shall face the situation in which the property speculator, estate agent, building contractor or public relations consultant can sit on a local authority, but in which the bus driver or conductor or office cleaner will be barred from so doing.

The real reason has nothing to do with the Minister on this Bill. It has to do with the Secretary of State, and possibly with the Cabinet, since they realise that it is the property speculator, the building contractor, the estate agent and the public relations consultant who will be a member of the Conservative Party, whereas the bus driver and the office cleaner will be a member of the Labour Party. I have no alternative but to ask my right hon. and hon. Friends to support the Liberal Amendment.

12.30 a.m.

Mr. Pardoe

Very briefly in reply to the debate I would say that this has been an interesting but most unsatisfactory debate because its end product is that the Government agreed with almost everything that has been said from this side, but will take no action on it. I find that a most unsatisfactory situation.

I must say I was delighted to have the support of the Labour Front Bench at the end. It came from the hon. Member for Widnes (Mr. Oakes). The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Cardiff, West (Mr. George Thomas) seems determined to pick a quarrel with me. I have no intention of picking a quarrel with him, but I would just correct him on one point. He accused me of being ignorant of the statutory education committee. I know, as have other hon. Gentlemen known, that teachers serve on the statutory education committee. The brief the right hon. Gentleman referred to as a NAS brief was a brief of all three unions on the TUC, including his own NUT. So if that union got it wrong—of course, it did not—it was that body's fault as much as that of the NAS.

The Minister's attitude was most extraordinary. He started by trying to define what it was which stopped local government employees from being members of councils and said that their employment might influence the way they would behave as councillors or might lead them to influence their fellow councillors, but then the Minister admitted that what was at the bottom of his argument was a general principle but nevertheless we might have exceptions. I do not think it is possible to draw the line in that way. I accept the point about chief officers, but I would rather amend the Bill in the very simple way the two Amendments would.

The Minister went on to say it could not be done in this Bill, and that it would take 20 Clauses to do it. Of course it would not. I am not attempting to draft 20 Clauses for this Bill, still less to introduce another Bill. I am trying to deal with the Minister's mammoth Bill and it is only a matter of deleting a paragraph—(a) in subsection (1)—and subsections (2) to (4) of Clause 81, so that it will be a somewhat shorter Bill, and that, I would have thought, would have delighted the Minister. It is no good his saying that this is not the Bill to do it. This is a Bill to reform local government. It leaves out the most vital aspect of local government reform, namely, the reform of local finance. It is also leaving out some 2 million people who might sit on local councils.

How the Minister thinks there will be time for another Bill from the Government I cannot imagine. The Government cannot manage their present parliamentary timetable, and I cannot see when they can introduce a new Bill. I must entirely reject that point the Minister made.

I like the way he agreed with us, but I would better like some action.

Question put, That the Amendment be made:—

The House divided

The Tellers came to the Table and announced: Ayes 79, Noes 20.

Division No. 296.] AYES [11.03 p.m.
Albu, Austen Dalyell, Tam Hardy, Peter
Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.) Davidson, Arthur Harper, Joseph
Archer, Peter (Rowley Regis) Davies, Terry (Bromsgrove) Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)
Ashton, Joe Deakins, Eric Hart, Rt. Hn. Judith
Atkinson, Norman de Freitas, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey Hattersley, Roy
Barnett, Joel (Heywood and Royton) Dell, Rt. Hn. Edmund Heffer, Eric S.
Blenkinsop, Arthur Dempsey, James Horam, John
Boardman, H. (Leigh) Doig, Peter Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas
Booth, Albert Dormand, J. D. Howell, Denis (Small Heath)
Bottomley, Rt. Hn. Arthur Douglas-Mann, Bruce Hughes, Mark (Durham)
Broughton, Sir Alfred Edelman, Maurice Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen, N.)
Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan) Evans, Fred Jeger, Mrs. Lena
Brown, Ronald (Shoreditch & F'bury) Faulds, Andrew John, Brynmor
Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn) Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.)
Campbell, I (Dunbartonshire, W.) Freeson, Reginald Jones, Barry (Flint, E.)
Carter-Jones, Lewis (Eccles) Galpern, Sir Myer Jones,Rt.Hn.Sir Elwyn(W.Ham,S.)
Chapman, Sydney Garrett, W. E. Judd, Frank
Clark, David (Colne Valley) Ginsburg, David (Dewsbury) Kaufman, Gerald
Concannon, J. D. Gordon Walker, Rt. Hn. P. C. Kerr, Russell
Conlan, Bernard Hamilton, James (Bothwell) Kinnock, Neil
Cox, Thomas (Wandsworth, C.) Hamling, William Lamborn, Harry
Cronin, Johnx Hannan, William (G'gow, Maryhill) Lamond, James
Latham, Arthur Mitchell, R. C. (S'hampton, Itchen) Silverman, Julius
Leadbitter, Ted Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw) Skinner, Dennis
Leonard, Dick Morris, Rt. Hn. John (Aberavon) Spearing, Nigel
Lestor, Miss Joan Oakes, Gordon Strang, Gavin
Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) O'Halloran, Michael Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley
Lipton, Marcus O'Malley, Brian Swain, Thomas
Lomas, Kenneth Oswald, Thomas Thomas,Rt.Hn.George (Cardiff,W.)
Loughlin, Charles Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, Sutton) Tinn, James
Lyon, Alexander W. (York) Pardoe, John Torney, Tom
McCartney, Hugh Parry, Robert (Liverpool, Exchange) Tuck, Raphael
McElhone, Frank Pavitt, Laurie Urwin, T. W.
McGuire, Michael Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred Varley, Eric G.
Mackie, John Prentice, Rt. Hn. Reg. Wainwright, Edwin
McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.) Price, J. T. (Westhoughton) Wallace, George
Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.) Rhodes, Geoffrey Watkins, David
Marks, Kenneth Roberts, Rt.Hn.Goronwy (Caernarvon) Wellbeloved, James
Marsden, F. Rodgers, William (Stockton-on-Tees) Woof, Robert
Marshall, Dr. Edmund Roper, John
Meacher, Michael Ross, Rt. Hn. William (Kilmarnock) TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert Sandelson, Neville Mr. Ernest Armstrong and
Mikardo, Ian Short,Rt.Hn. Edward (N'c'tle-u-Tyne) Mr John Golding.
Millan, Bruce Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)
Adley, Robert Hicks, Robert Pym, Rt. Hn. Francis
Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash) Hiley, Joseph Raison, Timothy
Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead) Hill, John E. B. (Norfolk, S.) Ramsden, Rt. Hn. James
Astor, John Hill, James (Southampton, Test) Redmond, Robert
Atkins, Humphrey Hordern, Peter Reed, Laurance (Bolton, E.)
Baker, Kenneth (St. Marylebone) Hornsby-Smith,Rt.Hn.Dame Patricia Rees-Davies, W. R.
Berry, Hn. Anthony Howell, Ralph (Norfolk, N.) Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon
Biffen, John Hunt, John Roberts, Wyn (Conway)
Biggs-Davison, John Hutchison, Michael Clark Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)
Boscawen, Robert Iremonger, T. L. Scott, Nicholas
Bossom, Sir Clive Jennings, J. C. (Burton) Scott-Hopkins, James
Bowden, Andrew Jessel, Toby Sharples, Richard
Bray, Ronald Jones, Arthur (Northants, S.) Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)
Brinton, Sir Tatton Kaberry, Sir Donald Shelton, William (Clapham)
Brocklebank-Fowler, Christopher Kershaw, Anthony Skeet, T. H. H.
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.) Smith, Dudley (W'wick & L'mington)
Bryan, Paul Kinsey, J. R. Soref, Harold
Carlisle, Mark Kitson, Timothy Speed, Keith
Clegg, Walter Knox, David Spence, John
Cockeram, Eric Lamont, Norman Sproat, Iain
Cooke, Robert Lane, David Stainton, Keith
Cormack, Patrick Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry Stanbrook, Ivor
Costain, A. P. Le Marchant, Spencer Stewart-Smith, Geoffrey (Belper)
Crouch, David Longden, Gilbert Stodart, Anthony (Edinburgh, W.)
d'Avigdor-Goldsmid,Maj.-Gen.James Loveridge, John Stuttaford, Dr. Tom
Dixon, Piers Luce, R. N. Taylor,Edward M.(G'gow,Cathcart)
du Cann, Rt. Hn. Edward McCrindle, R. A. Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)
Eden, Sir John Maddan, Martin Taylor, Robert (Croydon, N.W.)
Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton) Marten, Neil Tebbit, Norman
Fell, Anthony Mather, Carol Temple, John M.
Fenner, Mrs. Peggy Maude, Angus Trew, Peter
Fidler, Michael Meyer, Sir Anthony Tugendhat, Christopher
Fortescue, Tim Moate, Roger Vickers, Dame Joan
Fowler, Norman Monks, Mrs. Connie Waddington, David
Fox, Marcus Monro, Hector Walder, David (Clitheroe)
Gibson-Watt, David Montgomery, Fergus Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek
Gower, Raymond Morrison, Charles Ward, Dame Irene
Grant, Anthony (Harrow, C.) Murton, Oscar Wells, John (Maidstone)
Gray, Hamish Neave, Airey Wiggin, Jerry
Green, Alan Normanton, Tom Wilkinson, John
Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds) Onslow, Cranley Winterton, Nicholas
Grylls, Michael Oppenheim, Mrs. Sally Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard
Gummer, Selwyn Page, Graham (Crosby) Woodnutt, Mark
Gurden, Harold Page, John (Harrow, W.) Younger, Hn. George
Hall, Miss Joan (Keighley) Parkinson, Cecil
Hall-Davis, A. G. F. Peel, John TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye) Percival, Ian Mr. Bernard Weatherill and
Havers, Michael Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch Mr. Victor Goodhew
Mr. Deputy Speaker (Sir Robert Grant-Ferris)

The Ayes have it.

Mr. Graham Page

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I am not sure whether the figures were announced the right way round.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Division off. Fresh Division.

Mr. Denis Howell

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. With great respect, it is within the recollection of the House that already in this Session when an hon. Member has queried whether a decision you have given could be subjected to a further ruling by yourself you said, Mr. Deputy Speaker, that this was not possible. You will recall that you apologised to the House for not calling an hon. Member, but you said that as you had in fact taken a decision it was impossible to go back on it. Does not the same argument now apply?

Mr. Deputy Speaker

It seems to me that there has been a mistake, either by the Tellers or by the Table, or by someone, and that the correct result has not been achieved. I think that the right way to decide this finally is to have the Division again, and then we shall get the right result.

Mr. George Thomas

With every respect to the point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, and whilst I was perfectly content with the figures you gave to the House and the victory to the Opposition side of the House, it is quite simply that the figures go the other way about; that is all.

Mr. Walter Harrison (Wakefield)

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. If the result of the Division has been declared in a certain manner, surely we must take it, by the Tellers, that that Division is carried. As the decision was declared by you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, we must contest what you are now suggesting. I should like to hear your attitude on this decision, Mr. Deputy Speaker.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

This ought to be a matter of common sense for the House. It is obvious—I think that the House would agree—that a mistake has been made. I think that the Opposition should bear that in mind and not try to seek, through a mistake, a result which they and the House know is not the result which the House intended.

I am not casting any aspersions on any hon. Member of the Opposition. Any hon. Member of the Opposition is entitled to say anything he likes about a result like this. But if hon. Members of the Opposition ask my advice about the right and fair thing, I think that it is to admit that there has been a mistake and to accept a reversal of the figures or, if they so wish, I am prepared to put the question for Division again.

Mr. Andrew Faulds (Smethwick)

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. Is this not one of the many mistakes which the country has had to live with under this Tory Government and, in that case, should we not have to accept it as we have had to accept the others?

12.45 a.m.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

I know what the hon. Member is driving at. Notwithstanding that, however, I hope that the House will do what seems to me to be the obvious thing to do.

Mr. Pardoe

Further to the point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. As the hon. Member who moved the Amendment, may I say that it is splendid to have a Liberal Amendment carried. It contained so much common sense that obviously the House was swayed by the arguments, and I am not surprised. With the fact recorded that we won the Amendment, I should have thought that the common sense thing would be to reverse the figures as you have suggested.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Before any other hon. Member says anything, may I say that I am in entire agreement with the mover of the Amendment.

Mr. Oakes

Further to the point of order. Has not a serious matter arisen, Mr. Deputy Speaker? It was not merely your mistake in the announcement you made of the decision. As I understand it, Tellers appointed by the House announced the figures from the end of the Table to the House and to you, and you repeated that decision. Then an hon. Gentleman, albeit a Minister, raised a point of order that the figures were incorrect. As a matter of precedent, if we appoint Tellers, when the Tellers come back can we have points of order as to whether the figures they give are correct? We have always to be aware of the sort of precedents we set in the House.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

I quite agree with that, but I think that the hon. Member for Cornwall, North (Mr. Pardoe) has the right answer. A simple human error has been made and I would expect the House, as the honourable House it is, to accept that and to reverse the figures.

Mr. R. C. Mitchell

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I have no interest in this, Mr. Deputy Speaker, because I did not vote in the Division—I deliberately abstained—but you will recall that earlier in today's proceedings I rose to a point of order immediately after your declaration of the result of an Amendment and stated that you had declared an Amendment carried when two hon. Members had been waiting to speak. You said at the time that you regretted this and that a mistake had been made but that because you had declared the result you could not go back on it. It seems illogical now, when another mistake has been made, that we can go back on it.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

I am not certain that I follow what the hon. Member means. Does he mean that by my saying that the Division was off I made a different ruling?

Mr. Mitchell

No, Mr. Deputy Speaker. You will recall that in your earlier ruling you stated that because you had declared the Amendment carried, we could not go back on it and allow an hon. Friend of mine and myself to speak. On this occasion you had declared the Amendment carried but you now wish to go back on it. This is an illogicality.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

On the earlier occasion, however, I behaved in the way the Chair normally behaves. I had not actually seen the hon. Member rise to speak and, therefore, I had declared the result. I am sorry I did not see him to call him and hoped that I had explained this to his satisfaction. Now, however, the position is rather different. It is not a question of a Member being able to make a contribution to the debate. It is rather a question of serious error being made through human frailty, as it were. I sincerely hope that the House will agree to reverse the figures.

Mr. John Silkin

Further to the point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. The House has had its fun, I think rightly, but "Erskine May" probably gives the answer at page 391: Where an error in the numbers has been discovered before the end of a sitting"— which is the case here— the tellers being agreed thereon have come to the table and stated the corrected numbers

Division No. 297.] AYES [12.33 a.m.
Blenkinsop, Arthur Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.) Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)
Concannon, J. D. Leadbitter, Ted Skinner, Dennis
Davis, Terry (Bromsgrove) Lomas, Kenneth Swain, Thomas
Deakins, Eric McElhone, Frank Thomas,Rt.Hn.George (Cardiff,W.)
Hamilton, James (Bothwell) Oakes, Gordon
Hannan, William (G'gow, Maryhill) Pardoe, John TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) Parry, Robert (Liverpool, Exchange) Mr. Ernest Armstrong
Howell, Denis (Small Heath) Roper, John and Mr. John Golding
Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead) Hill, John E. B. (Norfolk, S.) Roberts, Wyn (Conway)
Atkins, Humphrey Hornsby-Smith,Rt.Hn.Dame Patricia Scott, Nicholas
Berry, Hn. Anthony Howell, Ralph (Norfolk, N.) Scott-Hopkins, James
Biffen, John Hunt, John Sharples, Richard
Boscawen, Robert Jessel, Toby Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)
Bowden, Andrew Jones, Arthur (Northants, S.) Shelton, William (Clapham)
Bray, Ronald Kershaw, Anthony Skeet, T. H. H.
Brinton, Sir Tatton Kinsey, J. R. Soref, Harold
Brocklebank-Fowler, Christopher Kitson, Timothy Speed, Keith
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Knox, David Spence, John
Carlisle, Mark Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry Stanbrook, Ivor
Chapman, Sydney Le Marchant, Spencer Stuttaford, Dr. Tom
Clegg, Walter Longden, Gilbert Taylor,Edward M.(G'gow,Cathcart)
Cockeram, Eric Maddan, Martin Tebbit, Norman
Crouch, David Marten, Neil Trew, Peter
Fenner, Mrs. Peggy Mather, Carol Vickers, Dame Joan
Fidler, Michael Moate, Roger Waddington, David
Fortescue, Tim Morrison, Charles Walder, David (Clitheroe)
Fowler, Norman Murton, Oscar Walker, Rt. Hn. Peter (Worcester)
Gibson-Watt, David Normanton, Tom Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek
Goodhew, Victor Oppenheim, Mrs. Sally Weatherill, Bernard
Gower, Raymond Page, Rt. Hn. Graham (Crosby) Winterton, Nicholas
Gray, Hamish Pym, Rt. Hn. Francis Woodnutt, Mark
Green, Alan Raison, Timothy
Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds) Redmond, Robert
Gummer, Selwyn Reed, Laurance (Bolton, E.) TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Hall, Miss Joan (Keighley) Rees-Davies, W. R. Mr. Hugh Rossi and Mr. Marcus Fox
Hicks, Robert Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon

Question accordingly negatived.

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