HC Deb 24 July 1972 vol 841 cc1390-407


'In the National Insurance Act 1965, in Schedule 4, there shall be substituted for that Section of the said Schedule 4, as amended by Schedule 3 of the National Insurance Act 1969, which refers to the payment of death grant, the following provision: — (2) Death grant, where the person in respect of whose death the grant is paid was at his death—

(a) under the age of 3 £50;
(b) between the ages of and 10 £60;
(c) over the age of 10 £70" '.
—[Mr. O'Malley.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

7.1 p.m.

Mr. Brian O'Malley (Rotherham)

I beg to move, That the Clause be read a Second time.

The purpose of the new Clause is to increase substantially the death grants payable under the National Insurance contributory system. If it were accepted, the grant to adults over the age of 18 would be raised to £70 from £30 in the case of younger recipients and £15 in the case of male contributors who were 55 years or over and females who were 50 years or over in July, 1948.

The Clause also seeks to make payable much larger death grants in respect of children and young persons. Whereas the family of a young person who dies at the age of 16 may be entitled, contribution conditions being satisfied, to £22.50, if the Clause were accepted the family would be entitled to a death grant of £50.

We discussed this subject, albeit briefly, in Committee, and the Under-secretary of State informed us that the total cost of accepting the proposals in the Clause would be about £25 million. The facts relating to these proposals are not in dispute. They reveal an aspect of our national insurance arrangements which should not be allowed to continue. The present level of death grants is indefensible and for that reason the Under-secretary of State felt obliged in Committee to reconsider the situation. He said that he would examine between the Committee and Report stages, although without commitment, the present level of death grant. I am rather disturbed that there is no Government Amendment on the Amendment Paper increasing people's entitlement to death grants.

The death grant introduced in 1949 was set at £20. It was not increased until nine years later, in 1958, when the level was set at £25. A further nine passed until, in 1967, the grant for adults was fixed at £30. There has been no increase in the grant since.

There have been several features of the system of national insurance death grants since 1949. First, there have been increases only every nine years. Secondly, under successive Governments of differing political persuasions, it has been the custom to raise the grant at the time of general upratings. Thirdly, the value of the grant payable has fallen substantially in real value, in spite of the fact that there have been two increases—in 1958 and 1967.

It is therefore important to see what was expected of the grant when it was introduced. It was first commented on in the Beveridge Report. A universal funeral grant was one of the recommendations of the Beveridge Report. Beveridge suggested £20 as a reasonable estimate of the necessary expenses of a decent funeral for an adult including a margin for cemetery fees. This was the figure adopted by the then Government and enacted in the National Insurance Act, 1946. It is clear therefore that at the time the death grant was intended to cover the full cost of what Beveridge described as "a decent funeral".

In 1949, under the agreement with the National Association of Funeral Directors, the maximum charge for a simple funeral, including a hearse, four bearers and one following car, was £20. The corresponding figure for 1972–73, which was given to the Standing Committee by the Under-secretary of State only a fortnight ago, on 13th July, is £69.75. Therefore, when the agreed figure for the minimum cost of what the Beveridge Report described as a decent funeral was £20 the death grant was £20. Now in 1972 the death grant stands at £30 and there is no Government Amendment or new Clause to increase it, although the minimum cost for a funeral, as stated by the Under-Secretary of State himself, is £69.75.

The Consumers Association booklet called "What to do when someone dies" says—and this is some little time ago— Generally, the total cost of a funeral, including burial or cremation fees, is unlikely to come to less than £75. That was when the minimum charge was £64, and £69.75 was mentioned by the Under-Secretary on 13th July in Committee.

So the facts speak for themselves, and it is not surprising, in these circumstances, that there have been parliamentary Questions in which complaints have been made obviously reflecting the disquiet and concern in the constituencies that the level of death grants is really inadequate for the present time.

A tragic situation exists. I should like to quote from a cutting from The Guardian dated 13th July this year. It is headed "Widow's shock at open grave" and says that a widow, aged 28, went to put flowers on her husband's grave two months after his death and found it had not been filled in but had planks over it. Mrs. Pleasance, of Berkeley Road, Broxtowe, Nottingham, who has five young children, has asked her M.P. to take up the case. An official at the Wilford Hill Cemetery, Nottingham, said the coffin had been put in a public grave because Mrs. Pleasance could not afford a private plot. 'The grave is being kept open to take other coffins. It could be two weeks before it is filled in.' So here we are 30 years after the introduction of the national insurance system set up by the Labour Government and people are still being buried, as they would say in my area and, I have no doubt, in other areas, as paupers, and that is because the national insurance system has been allowed to deteriorate and not even allowed to keep pace with costs in this area of its operations.

I should like to quote secondly a letter which my right hon. Friend the Member for Blackburn (Mrs. Castle) has received, one of many from all over the country. An elderly man in receipt of supplementary benefit who has also been disabled as a result of war service for this nation writes: My late wife who passed away last June paid her full national insurance contributions all her working life. She was insured fully in her own right. All I got for death grant was £15. The funeral costs were £92.05. I would not like her to be buried by the council in a pauper's grave. The death grant should be 20 weeks' flat rate pension for the very poor on supplementary pension. That reminds us that a number of old people in this community who have paid into the National Insurance Scheme for up to 10 years do not even receive the £30 death grant, which for them is reduced to one of £15. In the National Superannuation Bill which the Labour Government tried to put through before the last General Election intervened the conditions were to be relaxed for the payment of death grant and one would have been able to receive such a grant if the income received in any one year was £325. Compare that with the situation, operated under successive Governments—I am not making a party point—where a man or woman could contribute for 10 years to the National Insurance Scheme and not even then get an adequate death grant, not £30 but £15 instead.

In our nation 2 million retirement pensioners are receiving supplementary benefit and almost another 1 million are having to depend on supplementary benefits to be able to live at all in accordance with the minimum standards laid down by the State. In those circumstances, the House has a responsibility this evening to look at the implications of the present system of national insurance death grants and at the proposals in the Bill.

While we have these very large numbers of poor people, and among the poorest are the old, and particularly elderly widows, the Supplementary Benefiets Commission will not normally make a grant for a funeral at all unless the bill has actually been paid and a commitment undertaken, on the ground that it is the responsibility of the local authority to bury a person whose family cannot themselves afford the burial.

7.15 p.m.

We in this House should be deeply aware that numbers of our constituents throughout the country deeply resent what many of them regard as the stigma of means testing even under the supplementary benefits administration as it exists today. If they dislike that, how much more strongly do they feel at the idea of a local authority burial in what they would describe as a pauper's grave, as the letter which my right hon. Friend received and I have quoted described it?

Of course, it is the case that many people, both the elderly and otherwise, although I am thinking particularly of the elderly, have the penny policies which they have paid over the years, Some of them have bigger policies, but many people have no policies at all. It is interesting to notice that even in 1970, 843,000 policies of this kind, death insurance policies, lapsed. I would guess that the amount of insurance cover is inadequate amongst people who are now in their 60's or their 70's, perhaps even in their 80's. In areas of high unemployment in the 'thirties and in the 'twenties very substantial numbers of such penny policies, often paid during the closing decades of the nineteenth century, were allowed to lapse. Many old people, and, of course, young ones, too, do not now have adequate insurance cover. That may be because they have families, children, who will help with the cost of burial, but because of the break up of the larger family units—and that has been an aspect of society in this country, particularly in the post-war period—there will be large numbers of people who have no immediate family, no children, to help.

There is a case for the House to agree to the restoration of the situation which existed at the inception of the National Insurance Scheme at the end of the Second World War, namely, that the death grant paid through the national insurance contributory system should provide enough for a person to be buried decently, as Beveridge said; and even a little more, for people like to bury their own decently. I know it is not as fashionable as it was, but they still like to buy some black and mourning clothes, and to give the relatives and others who come to the funeral some sustenance afterwards.

In the circumstances, I hope the Government will have considered the need for the death grant to be of those proportions which Beveridge and the then Government, and, indeed, both parties in this House, thought it should be. It is a bad reflection on successive Governments that this grant has been allowed to decline in real value as it has during the years. There are strong grounds why we should seek to re-establish the death grant as our predecessors in this House established it in 1946. Both reason and humanity are on the side of this Clause and I hope, therefore, that the Government will be able to accede to our proposal.

Mr. R. A. McCrindle (Billericay)

The hon. Member for Rotherham (Mr. O'Malley) invariably puts a persuasive case when he addresses the House, and he has found in me a more ready response this evening that on some other occasions when he and I have taken part in debates on national insurance. I give qualified support to new Clause 1. It is high time the death grant was increased. I have as authority for that my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State. During the earlier part of this Session the hon. Member for Coat bridge and Airdrie (Mr. Dempsey) and I directed questions to him on the subject of the death grant, and it would not be an unfair paraphrase of his reaction to say that, subject always to the sense of priorities which the Government must bring to social matters, the increase of the death grant must be close to the top of the list.

In Committee my hon. Friend argued that the average period which has elapsed between increases in the death grant has been approximately eight years, thereby giving the impression that we should have to wait eight years from 1967 before consideration could be given to an increase. I hope my hon. Friend will not put that argument tonight. I am sure he will recognise that there has been a more sustained period of inflation under both Governments since 1967 than applied hitherto. For that reason alone, there is an argument for increasing the death grant.

The blunt fact is that one simply cannot bury a person for £30 in 1972. The last occasion on which I was closely involved with a funeral was on the death of my father in 1967. The minimum burial cost at that time was more than £30. How much will it be in 1972? As the hon. Member for Rotherham said, there are still a great many paupers' burials. I always remember someone saying to me that it was bad enough to live as a pauper, but worse to die as a pauper. These are all arguments in favour of moving towards an increase in the death grant.

I am, however, not too happy about the Clause as it is presented. The hon. Member for Rotherham did not deal in sufficient detail with the substantial percentage increase which his figures produce. I think I am correct in saying that he is asking for an immediate increase of 133 per cent. in the adult grant. Percentages can mislead and bewilder. I know that he will say that £70 is the average cost of burial, but with priorities having to be taken into account it is perhaps asking the Government to move rather fast to increase the burial grant by 133 per cent. at one step.

Mr. O'Malley

I understand the hon. Gentleman's point of view as a Government back bencher. If the Under-secretary of State will say that he accepts the principle of a move towards the Beveridge concept but cannot go the whole way, I should welcome such a statement just as much as the hon. Gentleman would.

Mr. McCrindle

I welcome that statement from the hon. Gentleman. It would be unrealistic to expect a movement of 133 per cent. at one go.

May I put into the mind of my hon. Friend another thought to which the hon. Gentleman did not refer? There are already three different grades of death grant, and the Clause would take note of and perpetuate those three gradings. Is it impossible to accept that the people who are in greatest need of an increased death grant are those who are on supplementary benefit? Would it not be administratively easier to accept a figure as high as £70 to apply only to people who are in receipt of supplementary benefit? I would hesitate to say this if I were introducing an entirely new principle, but this principle has been enshrined in the payment of death grants since the scheme's inception.

I hope my hon. Friend will take account of the points I have made. I accept that priorities must be kept in mind by any Government, but I respectfully suggest to my hon. Friend that one priority for the future is an increase in the death grant.

Mr. Alec Jones (Rhondda, West)

I rise briefly to support the new Clause. Over the years the House has naturally concentrated on the old age pension and unemployment and sickness benefit, but I agree with the hon. Member for Billericay (Mr. McCrindle) that the time has come to deal with the other benefits which are part of the National Insurance Scheme. The death benefit has tended to be forgotten. We should either accept a fairly substantial uprating of the death benefit or say that we no longer see the need for it. To allow the death grant to remain at a level which is insufficient to meet the need for which it is intended is a serious disservice.

In Committee we had arguments about different percentage figures showing the rise in the cost of living and argued whether the rise in the cost of living was the fault of one Government or the other. Whatever the argument might be for the increase in the cost of living, the cost of dying has risen proportionately and the cost of dying is a heavy burden on ordinary working-class families. In the part of the world from which I come it is the ambition of all the older people to have a decent burial, and it is a matter of great worry and concern to them in their later years that they shall be buried properly and with dignity. The least we can do for people who have given years of service to the community is to ensure that they are buried with dignity.

The National Insurance Scheme based on the Beveridge Report was intended to meet human need whenever it arose. The average family is under a severe financial strain at the time of death and that strain is greatest amongst the elderly and the lower paid.

For those reasons I support my hon. Friend and look forward to the Under-secretary of State's reply. I had hoped that he might have leapt up immediately and shown a more friendly response.

Mr. Robert Boscawen (Wells)

I, too, look forward to a welcome from my hon. Friend for an increase in the death benefit. The new Clause providing for an increase is on the right lines. I think that an increased death grant is more of a priority today than was the maternity grant 25 years ago.

I support the Clause and I hope that even if it is necessary to be selective and exclude people who are paying large amounts of estate duty, those who are on a lower level of income will receive an increase in the death grant. I hope that my hon. Friend will agree to the new Clause.

7.30 p.m.

Dr. Tom Stuttaford (Norwich, South)

The hon. Member for Rotherham (Mr. O'Malley) is a good psychologist; he realises the fear among elderly people of dying poor. If they are ill they wonder whether they will have a council funeral, a pauper's grave, and this weighs heavily on their minds in the last few weeks of their life. It also weighs on their families. Perhaps it is the final mark of failure in anybody's life to think that he will go to a pauper's grave. If one visits any rural churchyard one can easily spot the pauper's grave, lying unmarked.

The grant which was laid down by Beveridge to cover complete funeral expenses now hardly meets the cost of the cars to the graveyard. Nobody has yet mentioned the problems involved in the death of a young child. Once again, the family will have to bear the expenses of the funeral. These expenses are readily borne because the family will want to render a last service to that child. But they will find themselves facing a bill of £40 or £50 and will receive only £9 or £10 in grant.

Many hon. Members will expect, if not an increase in the death grant this year, certainly an increase in the very near future. I hope that a clear assurance will be given so that this matter can be chased up within the next year or so. We hope that we shall not have a woolly, vague ministerial assurance, but an assurance that means what it says. If we do not get an increase in death grant this year, we shall want one next year. If we do not have any action on this matter, I have a nasty feeling that there will be many abstentions on this side of the House if the question goes to a Division.

The Under-Secretary of State for Health and Social Security (Mr. Paul Dean)

This short debate has understandably brought from both sides of the House concern that, when death comes, the family involved should be able to ensure that the last rites are given in a decent and proper manner. I am sure nobody would disagree with that, and it is important that we should all have that consideration in mind. I must equally ask the House to consider this matter along with a whole series of other priorities, many of which are met in this uprating Bill and others which we shall consider on future occasions.

As my hon. Friend the Member for Billericay (Mr. McCrindle) said, the effect of the new Clause would be to make a very substantial increase indeed. The effect would be to increase the standard rate of death grant by 133 per cent. from £30 to £70, and the reduced rates of death grant payable in respect of children and juveniles by percentages ranging from 455 per cent. for those under three years of age to 211 per cent. for those between 10 and 17 years of age. A full-rate death grant would also become payable to persons who were within ten years of pensionable age in 1948 and who, at present, qualify for only half-rate grant. The total cost of implementing the new Clause would be about £25 million per year. Therefore, it would mean a substantial increase in the amount of expenditure.

The rate of grant when introduced in 1949 was £20. It was increased in 1958 to £25, and in 1967 to £30. In other words, the general pattern up to now has been an increase about every nine years, this being the gap between the last two increases. I assure the House that this does not necessarily mean that the Government's mind is closed until another nine-year period is up—which would take us to 1976. I gladly give that assurance, although that has been the interval which has occurred under Governments of all political complexions since the grant was first introduced in the Beveridge scheme after the war.

It is true, as was said by the hon. Member for Rotherham (Mr. O'Malley), that the existing grant does not cover the cost of the funeral. Indeed, the intention of the grant all along has been to make a contribution towards the cost of a funeral rather than necessarily to cover the full cost. I fully accept that the full cost is not covered now and was not covered under the previous Administration. It is also true that in the early years the grant met a bigger proportion of the cost than it has tended to meet in recent years. I fully accept that that is the case.

Mr. O'Malley

I am afraid the hon. Gentleman has been wrongly briefed. It is not the case that in the early years the death grant almost by accident just about covered the cost of the funeral. It was a matter of policy which both the coalition and then the Labour Government accepted that the death grant was intended to cover the full cost of "a decent burial". That was a matter of policy which the Labour and Conservative Parties accepted. In the years which have followed both political parties have tended to drift away from that concept. I think it is time this tendency stopped.

Mr. Dean

Although it is true that in the very early days the grant was just about the cost of a funeral at the minimum standard, nevertheless a great many people understandably wished to have a funeral at higher than the minimum standard. The amount has never covered the cost of a funeral at other than the minimum standard. It is equally true that the part of the cost which the grant has covered in recent years under all Governments has tended to go down.

The hon. Gentleman mentioned the half rate for people within ten years of pensionable age in 1948. This could be said to be favourable terms for a grant which in the 1946 Act was regarded as a grant based on contributions. It was a new benefit under that legislation and there was no corresponding benefit in the preceding schemes.

This matter has been examined on a number of occasions by Governments of all political persuasions and has been looked at by the National Insurance Advisory Committee, but it has always been concluded that the present arrangements should stand. The expense of the funeral does not fall entirely on the surviving spouse or children. The first charge is on the estate; in the majority of cases resources are available from the estate from insurance, from trade union funds, from savings of various kinds and from national insurance death grant as well. The hon. Gentleman quoted the example of funerals of elderly people who perhaps had not had much opportunity to save when working during the 1930s, but I am sure he will also recognise that in the large majority of cases the children help, and indeed are glad to help, with the cost involved in the funeral expenses. We have to consider the matter in that context.

The hon. Member for Rotherham mentioned the situation under supplementary benefit. My hon. Friend the Member for Billericay and my hon. Friend the Member for Norwich, South (Dr. Stuttaford) mentioned the possibility of having a higher level of grant for those who might be in need—in other words, those who are drawing supplementary benefit. I assure my hon. Friends that the Government will carefully consider this possibility when we review the death grant arrangements.

I remind the House of the arrangements which exist at present. The Supplementary Benefit Commission has no power at the moment to provide for funerals as such. Where no arrangements have been made, local authorities have a statutory duty to ensure burial or cremation. Where they do so, they can recover the costs from any national insurance death grant, the estate, or the persons legally responsible for the maintenance of the deceased before his death. Similarly, the hospitals in England and Wales may arrange for the burial or cremation of deceased patients.

Should the Commission be approached for help before a funeral is arranged, the person concerned will be told of the responsibility placed on local authorities and hospital management committees, so that he may consider approaching the appropriate authority. Local authorities and hospitals are unable to accept any responsibility after a private funeral has been arranged. In these circumstances the Supplementary Benefit Commission as an exceptional measure will consider the possibility of allowing an exceptional needs payment, but only in relation to the circumstances of the person who incurs the funeral debt. The Commission's responsibility to a supplementary benefit claimant ceases on his death. That is the position at the moment.

I come back to the point that I made at the beginning, that this debate very understandably has brought out the desire in all parts of the House for an improvement in the death grant arrangements. Inevitably the Government have to consider this case, for which certainly we have sympathy, along with all the other priorities that there are. I cannot think of one feature of our Welfare State arrangements and our social security system where it would not be possible to make out a strong case for substantially increased expenditure. But inevitably Governments have the difficult task of allocating priorities where they should lie.

In this Bill there is a substantial increase in a wide range of benefits for those who are still alive. Together with the supplementary benefit and other arrangements, the total increase amounts to no less than £500 million, and this comes very quickly on the last uprating which took place last year. This is the first of the annal reviews. If one considers this suggested cost of £25 million and balances it against some of the other improvements in the Bill, I hope that the House will feel that at any rate on this occasion we have our priorities right.

Dr. Stuttaford

My hon. Friend is missing the point slightly. The death grant is important mainly to the spouse who is left behind and who is still alive. It is important to the man who is dying but who is alive at the time. This is not a grant to a man after he is dead. It is the thought that the grant will be there which is helpful to a man in his dying weeks. Above all it is helpful to his surviving spouse when he has died. Furthermore, there is no distinction between the estate of a poor man and that of his widow. His savings will almost always revert to his widow, so that the money comes from his widow whether or not it has to come out of the estate.

Mr. Dean

I quite agree. I do not seek to argue against that thesis. How ever the Government have to consider this proposed expenditure of £25 million along with the other expenditure proposed in the Bill. For example, the cost of the pension to the over-80s this year when the uprating comes into operation is £24 million. The cost of the attendance allowance is £25 million. The cost of the invalidity allowance package is £27 million.

I suggest to the hon. Member for Rotherham that he ought to address himself to this important point: If he wants the Government to spend more this year on this grant, he should say which of the allowances that I have read out, all of which have much the same expenditure, he would suggest sacrificing this year in order to put his proposed increase in its place.

I assure the House that the Government are very sympathetic to what has been said and that this plea for an improvement in the death grant will be considered very carefully by next year's uprating along with all the other priorities which inevitably must be considered at the same time. In the light of what I hope has been a sympathetic and realistic response, it may be that the hon. Gentleman will feel able to not to press his new Clause.

7.45 p.m.

Mr. O'Malley

The Under-Secretary's response was neither sympathetic nor realistic, as he knows very well. This new Clause and the principles underlying it have been supported in general terms by hon. Members on both sides of the House. It is clear that there is a terrible human problem here, and it arises from an aspect of our national insurance system which has been neglected for many years under successive Governments. I welcome the general support that this proposal has received.

The Under-Secretary began by pointing out that the Clause involved a very substantial increase on the existing rates for the payment of death grant. It does, and I said so in my opening sentences. I should have understood if the hon. Gentleman had said that he could not accept the Amendment but that, because of the strength of the case and because of the principle involved, he would attempt to go a little way towards meeting it.

It was here that the hon. Gentleman was badly briefed. At the end of the Second World War the principle underlying the death grant accepted by both political parties was, in the words of the Beveridge Report, that the level of grant should meet the full costs of "a decent burial". Hon. Members on both sides of the House are seeking a statement from the Government that they wish to move again towards the implementation of that principle. However the hon. Gentleman has given no indication that they are prepared to accept that. On the contrary, he has argued that the death grant has never provided, except almost by accident in some of the earlier years, the full cost of a burial of minimum standard.

All that the Under-Secretary was able to say was that the Government's mind was not closed. Anyone who has been in this House for any length of time knows what that means when a junior Government spokesman is put up to answer a debate under pressure. The same phrase was used two years ago about the proposal of the late Iain Macleod to increase family allowances, and presumably the Government's mind is not closed to that one, either.

Surprisingly, the Under-Secretary went on to suggest that old people today who were 55 in the case of men and 50 in the case of women and who were making contributions in 1948 were being treated generously under the system if they received a £15 death grant for up to 10 years' contributions.

The hon. Gentleman said that successive Governments had examined this system and had concluded that it should stand. However that is not true, as I pointed out in my opening speech. Clearly the Under-Secretary was not listening to me. In the Crossman superannuation proposals the situation had changed very much in terms of superannuation conditions. It is not good enough to say that the Government will look at whether the supplementary benefit system can be improved the next time that we have an uprating.

The Under-Secretary has not satisfied right hon. and hon. Members on this side of the House. Whatever right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite do in voting on this new Clause, I cannot believe that the hon. Gentleman could have satisfied any impartial person, not even any back bencher wanting to be as helpful and kind as possible towards his own Front Bench and Government, a feeling which I fully understand.

In those circumstances, I have no hesitation in saying that the hon. Gentleman's reply was disgracefully inadequate. I therefore suggest that we should vote for the new Clause and hope we may have some support from hon. Members opposite. The Under Secretary has not come up with any suggestions to end, even eventually, the tragic and terrible human problems which are uncovered when one examines in detail, as we have in the debate tonight and earlier in Committee, the facts surrounding the payment of the national insurance death grant.

Sir Brandon Rhys Williams (Kensington, South)

I intervene only briefly as I did not hear the earlier stages of this interesting debate. The hon. Member for Rotherham (Mr. O'Malley) made a good case for an increase in benefit. I listened attentively to his remarks, but I feel I must put this question to him: who will pay more into the system if, as he proposes, more should be paid out?

This is a two-sided equation. It is easy for right hon. and hon. Members opposite to put forward convincing arguments for bigger benefits for this, that, or the other category; but if they are to be honest and to put a case before the British public which will be seen to be realistic, they must at the same

time say where the money is to come from.

Mr. O'Malley

The hon. Gentleman must not waste the time of the House like this. He ought to know, because he is alleged to follow these debates and this subject, that we have made suggestions about the level of the Exchequer contribution. The hon. Gentleman knows what has been said not only by backbenchers in this House, but by trade union leaders, about the level of contributions, and so on. It really is unfair, unreasonable, and rather foolish of him to start raising this kind of red herring at this stage of a debate on this subject.

Sir B. Rhys Williams

I apologised when I began my remarks for not being here during the whole of the debate. Naturally I give the hon. Gentleman the undertaking that I shall certainly read all that has been said and hope I shall find, in view of his intervention, that he has made specific recommendations on this point.

Question put, That the Clause be read a Second time.

The House divided: Ayes 145, Noes 162.

Division No. 311.] AYES [7.53 p.m.
Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.) Driberg, Tom Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick
Archer, Peter (Rowley Regis) Eadie, Alex Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)
Armstrong, Ernest Edelman, Maurice Lomas, Kenneth
Ashton, Joe Edwards, Robert (Bilston) Loughlin, Charles
Atkinson, Norman Evans, Fred Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson
Barnett, Guy (Greenwich) Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) McCartney, Hugh
Baxter, William Foot, Michael McElhone, Frank
Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood Ford, Ben Maclennan, Robert
Bidwell, Sydney Galpern, Sir Myer McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.)
Bishop, E. S. Gilbert. Dr. John McNamara, J. Kevin
Blenkinsop, Arthur Ginsburg, David (Dewsbury) Marks, Kenneth
Booth, Albert Golding, John Marsden, F.
Bradley, Tom Grant, George (Morpeth) Marshall, Dr. Edmund
Broughton, Sir Alfred Grant, John D. (Islington, E.) Mason, Rt. Hn. Roy
Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan) Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside) Meacher, Michael
Buchan, Norman Hamilton, James (Bothwell) Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert
Carmichael, Neil Hamling, William Mendelson, John
Carter-Jones, Lewis (Eccles) Hannan, William (G'gow, Maryhill) Millan, Bruce
Castle, Rt. Hn. Barbara Hardy, Peter Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire)
Clark, David (Colne Valley) Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)
Cocks, Michael (Bristol, S.) Hattersley, Roy Morris, Rt. Hn. John (Aberavon)
Coleman, Donald Houson, Emlyn Moyle, Roland
Concannon, J. D. Horam, John Mulley, Rt. Hn. Frederick
Conlan, Bernard Hughes, Mark (Durham) Ogden, Eric
Cox, Thomas (Wandsworth, C.) Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen, N.) O'Halloran, Michael
Crawshaw, Richard Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.) O'Malley, Brian
Cunningham, G. (Islington, S.W.) Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.) Orme, Stanley
Cunningham, Dr. J. A. (Whitehaven) Johnson, Walter (Derby, S.) Oswald, Thomas
Dalyell, Tam Jones, Barry (Flint, E.) Pannell, Rt. Hn. Charles
Davies, Ifor (Gower) Jones, Dan (Burnley) Pardoe, John
Davis, Terry (Bromsgrove) Jones, Gwynoro (Carmarthen) Parker, John (Dagenham)
Deakins, Eric Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, W.) Parry, Robert (Liverpool, Exchange)
Dempsey, James Judd, Frank Pavitt, Laurie
Devlin, Miss Bernadette Kaufman, Gerald Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred
Doig, Peter Latham, Arthur Pendry, Tom
Douglas, Dick (Stirlingshire, E.) Lawson, George Pentland, Norman
Perry, Ernest G. Spearing, Nigel Watkins, David
Prescott, John Spriggs, Leslie Weitzman, David
Price, J. T. (Westhoughton) Stallard, A. W. Wells, William (Walsall, N.)
Probert, Arthur Steel, David White, James (Glasgow, Pollok)
Reed, D. (Sedgefield) Stewart, Rt. Hn. Michael (Fulham) Whitehead, Phillip
Roberts, Albert (Normanton) Strang, Gavin Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick
Roper, John Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchin)
Rose, Paul B. Taverne, Dick Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)
Short,Rt.Hn.Edward(N'ctle-u-Tyne) Thomas,Rt.Hn.George (Cardiff,W.) Woof, Robert
Sillars, James Tinn, James
Silverman, Julius Torney, Tom TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Skinner, Dennis Wainwright, Edwin Mr. Joseph Harper and.
Small, William Walker, Harold (Doncaster) Mr. James A. Dunn
Smith, John (Lanarkshire, N.) Wallace, George
Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash) Haselhurst, Alan Page, Rt. Hn. Graham (Crosby)
Archer, Jeffrey (Louth) Havers, Michael Page, John (Harrow, W.)
Astor, John Hayhoe Barney Parkinson, Cecil
Atkins, Humphrey Heseltine, Michael Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch
Awdry, Daniel Hiley, Joseph Price, David (Eastleigh)
Beamish, Col. Sir. Tufton Hill, James (Southampton, Test) Prior, Rt. Hn. J. M. L.
Benyon, W. Hornsby-Smith,Rt.Hn.Dame Patricia Pym, Rt. Hn. Francis
Blaker, Peter Howell, Ralph (Norfolk, N.) Ramsden, Rt. Hn. James
Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S.W.) Hutchison, Michael Clark Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter
Body, Richard Iremonger, T. L. Redmond, Robert
Bossom, Sir Clive James, David Reed, Laurance (Bolton, E.)
Bowden, Andrew Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford) Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David
Braine, Sir Bernard Jennings, J. C. (Burton) Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon
Brocklebank-Fowler, Christopher Jopling, Michael Roberts, Michael (Cardiff, N.)
Bullus, Sir Eric Joseph, Rt. Hn. Sir Keith Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)
Butler, Adam (Bosworth) Kellett-Bowman, Mrs. Elaine Scott-Hopkins, James
Campbell, Rt.Hn.G.(Moray & Nairn) Kershaw, Anthony Sharples, Sir Richard
Carlisle, Mark Kilfedder, James Shelton, William (Clapham)
Chapman, Sydney King, Tom (Bridgwater) Smith, Dudley (W'wick & L'mington)
Chataway, Rt. Hn. Christopher Kinsey, J. R. Speed, Keith
Churchill, W. S. Kitson, Timothy Spence, John
Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe) Knight, Mrs. Jill Sproat, Iain
Clegg, Walter Knox, David Stainton, Keith
Cooke, Robert Lamont, Norman Stanbrook, Ivor
Cordle, John Lane, David Stewart-Smith, Geoffrey (Belper)
Cormack, Patrick Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M.
Crouch, David Le Marchant, Spencer Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)
Crowder, F. P. Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland) Taylor,Edward M. (G'gow,Cathcart)
Dean, Paul Lloyd, Ian (P'tsm'th, Langstone) Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)
Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F. Loveridge, John Temple, John M.
Dixon, Piers Luce, R. N. Thatcher, Rt. Hn. Mrs. Margaret
Drayson, G. B. MacArthur, Ian Thomas, John Stradling (Monmouth)
Dykes, Hugh McLaren, Martin Trew, Peter
Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke) Madel, David Tugendhat, Christopher
Elliott, R. W. (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne,N.) Marten, Neil Turton, Rt. Hn. Sir Robin
Emery, Peter Mather, Carol Vickers, Dame Joan
Eyre Reginald Mawby, Ray Waddington, David
Fell, Anthony Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J. Walder, David (Clitheroe)
Fenner, Mrs. Peggy Meyer, Sir Anthony Wall, Patrick
Fisher, Nigel (Surbiton) Mills, Peter (Torrington) Ward, Dame Irene
Fletcher Cooke, Charles Mitchell,Lt.-Col.C.(Aberdeenshire,W) Warren, Kenneth
Fowler, Norman Mitchell, David (Basingstoke) Weatherill, Bernard
Fox, Marcus Moate, Roger Wells, John (Maidstone)
Fry, Peter Money, Ernle White, Roger (Gravesend)
Gardner, Edward Monks, Mrs. Connie Wiggin, Jerry
Gibson Walt, David Montgomery, Fergus Winterton, Nicholas
Goodhew, Victor More, Jasper Woodhouse, Hn. Christopher
Gower, Raymond Morgan, Geraint (Denbigh) Woodnutt, Mark
Grant, Anthony (Harrow, C.) Morgan-Giles, Rear-Adm. Worsley, Marcus
Green, Alan Mudd, David Wylie, Rt. Hn. N. R.
Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds) Murton, Oscar Younger, Hn. George
Gummer, J. Selwyn Neave, Airey
Gurden Harold Nott, John TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Hall, Miss Joan (Keighley) Oppenheim, Mrs. Sally Mr. Tim Fortescue and
Hall-Davis, A. G. F. Owen, Idris (Stockport, N.) Mr. Hamish Gray.
Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury)

Question accordingly negatived.

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