HC Deb 06 June 1972 vol 838 cc313-41

(1) Subject to the provisions of this section the standard rent of any dwelling-house erected with financial assistance granted by a local

housing authority and subject to a condition as to rent imposed under the Housing (Finance Provisions) Act 1924, shall not be subject to increase by virtue of an application made in terms of section 40 of the Rent Act 1971, and shall be such amount, equal to the rent of a dwelling-house of comparable size, age, condition of repair and situation erected and owned by a local authority as may be determined by the local authority, or on appeal by the Secretary of State as provided for in subsection (2) below:

Provided always that—

  1. (a) no increase in standard rent of such a dwelling-house shall exceed £39 per annum; and
  2. (b) no increase in standard rent shall be made at less than twelve-monthly intervals.

(2) A local authority, on application by a landlord of such a dwelling-house as is referred to in subsection (1) hereof, shall within a period of 28 days from the date of application, issue a certificate of determination of comparable rent by reference to a specified house or houses erected and owned by the local authority and such certificate shall become effective on the expiry of a period of 28 days from the date thereof unless an appeal against the terms thereof or against the failure of a local authority to issue such a certificate within the period prescribed is lodged, in writing, with the Secretary of State before the expiry of the appropriate period by the landlord, the tenant or any other party having an interest therein whereupon the Secretary of State shall, after consideration of all relevant circumstances, issue a determination of comparable rent, subject to such conditions as regards date of operation and any other matter as he thinks fit, which decision shall be final and binding in respect of the period of increase to which it is related.—[Mr, Gregor Mackenzie.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

Mr. Gregor Mackenzie (Rutherglen)

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

In deference to my hon. Friends who wish to speak on later Amendments I shall keep my remarks as brief as possible. The purpose of the new Clause is to protect the interests of the thousands who live in houses which were built with the assistance of subsidies provided under the Housing (Financial Provisions) Act, 1924.

In my constituency and in other constituencies throughout the Glasgow area there are almost 17,000 or 18,000 of these houses which were built in the 1920s and 1930s with public money provided under that Act. When they were built they cost £200 or £300 and four in a block could be bought for about £1,000. But they were given Government and local authority subsidy on the basis that the then owners and the builders would charge reasonable rents during the 40 years' run of the subsidy. The provision assisted the housing of people in Glasgow and district by providing much needed houses at rents that people could afford.

In 1957 the position was slightly altered by decontrol, and the then owners of the properties overstepped the mark because they decided to try to sell them. The company which owned them, the Western Heritable Investment Company, decided to sell for between £900 and £1,000 the houses which had been built with public money. Most people felt affronted by the fact that the company, which had received substantial amounts from the Government and local authorities over a long period, should then sell the houses to make considerable profits. Its decision was challenged by the local authorities which were involved and the case was taken as far as the House of Lords in order to prove that the conditions implicit in the Act of 1924—that the houses should be let at rents which normal people could afford to pay and should not be sold—still applied.

In 1968 a considerable number of houses owned by the Western Heritable Investment Company ceased to receive the subsidy. Shortly afterwards, under the 1969 Act which changed the law on rents, the company decided to increase the rents by about 800 per cent. from £32 a year to £260 a year. Quite naturally this caused great concern in my constituency and, I am sure, in many other parts of Glasgow. The rents that were proposed were nearly as great as the original cost of building the houses. I am glad to see the hon. Member for Glasgow, Cathcart (Mr. Edward Taylor) present because I know he has been expressing concern about the matter. He has perhaps a different point of view from mine because he blames the situation on the 1969 Act. Perhaps he will comment on this later. There are those of us who doubt, as do some of the people in the local authorities, whether the company is using the 1969 Act properly.

I know that Glasgow and Lanarkshire local authorities have examined the position with the greatest possible care. I know too that my hon. Friend the Member for Greenock (Dr. Dickson Mabon), when he discussed the matter with some of my constituents in Bankhead, indicated to them that he believed that the position of houses built with substantial sums of public money should be put to the Francis Committee for consideration. Even accepting what has been said by some members of the Conservative Party in Glasgow, the phasing provision in the 1969 Act would have been less harsh than the provisions contained in the Bill. The rent increase would have been phased over five years, and an increase of 800 per cent. should be phased over a similar period.

For this reason we have provided in the new Clause the type of rent increase which can be made and the period over which such increase should be spread. I hope that the Secretary of State will bear the point in mind. As I understand the Bill, a substantial increase like £230 per annum would have to be spread over two years and divided into three separate instalments, and this would mean that each instalment would be about £70. Irrespective of how wealthy a tenant might be, this represents a great deal of money and people are entitled to a measure of protection. If the Government are genuinely concerned about tenants they will accept the new Clause.

There is much concern among these tenants not only about their present position but about what the future holds for them. As I understand the Bill and the statements by the Secretary of State about how he sees the position after 1975, the rent officers will be obliged to consider the rents that can be charged taking account of the price that a house such as I have been discussing would fetch on the open market. Strange as it may seem, these houses which were built for £200 or £300 can now command a price of between £4,000 and £5,000. If that figure were taken seriously into account by rent officers, rents could be even higher than the figure of £260 per annum which I have mentioned.

7.0 p.m.

Many of these houses, apart from those in the constituencies of Craigton and Rutherglen, are in the constituencies of the hon. Members for Glasgow, Hill-head (Mr. Galbraith) and for Cathcart. With all respect to him, I do not feel that I can look to the hon. Member for Hillhead for a great deal of support in rent matters. I have heard his speeches on this subject over a fair number of years and we think of him as the patron saint of the Glasgow factors, so we do not look to him for help in these matters. On the other hand, I look seriously to the hon. Member for Cathcart for some help on this question. He has been expressing concern, as I have, and I hope that he will feel able to support our new Clause.

A great many of the tenants living in these houses have been there for a great many years, and a large proportion of them are old-age pensioners. They, like others, are frightened by the statements which they have heard made by the owners of their houses. It is significant also that in Rutherglen, Bankhead, Kings Park, Craigton and Kelvindale there is a curious reluctance on the part of these older people to apply for rate rebates. There is, perhaps, a spirit of independence among them which one can regard as commendable but which will certainly not make their lives any easier in present circumstances.

The tenants are concerned, first, about the increases in rents which they fear and, second, about what will happen to their rates. In an article last year, the Glasgow Herald referred to this matter and pointed out that if the rents rose from £32 to £260, a substantial increase, the city assessor would be obliged to consider that in making his new valuations.

I have put forward the new Clause as briefly as possible. I hope that the Secretary of State will accept it. The only people who will benefit from the Government's scheme as it stands will be the owners of the houses, who have been receiving substantial subsidy over a long period of years, while the tenants will receive no benefit whatever.

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. E. L. Mallalieu)

The Question is—

Mr. Ross

I was hoping that we should have some sort of reply from the Secretary of State.

Mr. Gordon Campbell

I am very ready to speak at this stage. I thought that the hon. Member for Glasgow, Craigton (Mr. Millan) wished to speak; I thought he was hesitating and was about to rise. However, I am glad to respond at this moment if that is what the House wishes.

The apparent object of the new Clause is to exclude those houses which were provided by private enterprise with the assistance of grants from a local authority under Section 2 of the Housing (Financial Provisions) Act, 1924, from the fair rents system and to empower local authorities, and on appeal the Secretary of State, to fix rents for such houses, subject to the same limitations regarding maximum increases and frequency of increase as will apply in the public sector under the Bill.

The subsidy which was payable under the 1924 Act on completion of a house lasted for 40 years. After the payments cease, at the end of the 40 years, the houses join the ordinary stock of housing in Scotland. The subsidy under the 1924 Act was a measure designed to encourage the building of houses for letting at that time. The subsidy conditions restricted the rents, but after payment of the subsidy ends it is appropriate that the houses should be subject to the same laws as apply to all other privately rented houses.

No principle has ever been established that Exchequer assistance should be a ground for excluding a house from the fair rent provisions of the Rent Act. Indeed, the 1969 Act introduced by the Labour Government specifically enabled the rent of a house improved with the aid of grant to reflect fully the improved value of the house.

The new Clause would have the effect of creating a privileged category of tenant who, by chance, occupies a house built with the aid of subsidy over 40 years ago and who would for this reason, and this reason alone, pay a rent lower than a fair rent.

What justification is there for treating these tenants differently from tenants of other controlled houses? The rents have remained virtually unchanged since the houses were built. The increases allowed under the 1957 Act did no more than make up the reduction resulting from the abolition of owners' rates in 1956.

The tenants of these houses, whether the tenancies are converted under the 1969 Act procedure or under the proposals in Clause 34 of the Bill, will be treated exactly the same as all other tenants in similar circumstances. They will have the same opportunity to state their case to the rent officer and to the rent assessment committee. The fair rent will be determined under the same statutory provisions, namely, Section 42 of the consolidation Act, the Rent (Scotland) Act, 1971; the same factors will be taken into account and discounted, and, in particular the age, character and locality of the house and its state of repair will be considered, while the scarcity element and any improvements or replacement of fixtures or fittings carried out by the tenant will be disregarded.

Where a tenancy is converted from being a controlled tenancy into a regulated tenancy, either following upon the issue of a qualification certificate under the 1969 Act procedure or by virtue of Clause 34 of the Bill, any increase in rent up to the amount registered will be phased under Schedule 13 to the 1971 Act or Schedule 6 to the Bill, respectively.

As I have said, subsidy under the 1924 Act is payable for 40 years from completion of the house. Subsidy is no longer being paid in respect of some of the houses and it is, therefore, already possible, if they are let under regulated tenancies and are no longer controlled, for fair rents to be fixed under existing legislation. Some such fair rents have, in fact, been fixed. The Opposition, when they were in power, did not see anything strange in that. They saw nothing wrong in it, and neither do I. Their legislation—I speak in particular of the 1969 Act—made no provision to create a special category for these houses, which are now gradually coming out of the 40-year period during which subsidy was payable. The houses built after the 1924 Act, in the later 1920s and early 1930s, have been coming and will continue to come out of that 40-year subsidy period.

The Labour Government made no provision in their scheme to exclude such houses from the fair rents system when subsidy was no longer paid and they joined the stock of Scottish housing.

Mr. Bruce Millan (Glasgow, Craighton)


Mr. Campbell

The hon. Gentleman had his chance to speak a few moments ago. No doubt he will seek an opportunity in due course. I listened carefully to what was said by the hon. Member for Rutherglen (Mr. Gregor Mackenzie) and I understand the point he makes, which, to put it briefly, is that tenants who thought that they were in a protected category may suddenly find themselves no longer in that category.

If the new Clause were to be adopted those tenants would then be in a new, special category different from other tenants in similar houses. It would be wrong to create a special category of this kind if they go into the fair rent system. When the period of subsidy ends they will have all the opportunities and protection which the system introduced by the last Government gives them, in the same way as other tenants occupying similar accommodation.

Dr. Dickson Mabon

Does not the Secretary of State mean that the landlords would be placed in a special position? Unlike the other landlords they received a public subsidy, yet they are being treated as if they were landlords who had built entirely from their own private resources. Is not the Secretary of State aware of the Departmental files of evidence produced by the Western Heritable Investment Company tenants to Ministers when they were advised to present their evidence to the Francis Committee? Is he not aware of what the deliberations were, the evidence and the correspondence, and whether there was a case for them to be allowed special provisions?

Mr. Campbell

I have been talking about that case. The hon. Gentleman's first point concerns landlords. During the 40 years that the houses received subsidy the rent has virtually stood still. Rents have been at late 1920s or early 1930s rates and extremely low. The houses have presumably been kept in basic repair because the landlords have received some subsidy. They have not been entirely dependent upon the small rent to keep the houses in repair. The last Government brought in a fair rent system so that there should be more money for repairs to keep the houses from falling into complete decay and dilapidation. For those reasons these houses, when they came into this same category, were not excluded by the last Government in their legislation.

There was a reference to the Francis Committee. That Committee has now reported but we have reached the conclusion that there is no case for creating a new, special category. The landlords are not in a new special category. They will be in the same position as other landlords under the fair rent system. They have had special protection, if that is the right word, while receiving the subsidy because they were able to keep the houses in repair under that subsidy. There is no question of their being in a special category as opposed to other owners of houses of this kind.

Mr. T. G. D. Galbraith (Glasgow, Hillhead)

Can my right hon. Friend tell the House whether other houses were buit during this period for private letting? think the answer is "No". There wen no houses being let privately and it was only because of this subsidy that the houses could be built for letting.

Mr. Campbell

I am sure that my hon Friend's knowledge of the housing posi tion in the late 1920s and 1930s is greate than mine. If he says that was the case I am sure it is right. It is clear that this subsidy was introduced by the 1924 Act nearly 50 years ago, to encourage the building of houses for private letting, anc the subsidy arrangements were made accordingly. When those subsidy arrangements ran out after a house had been completed and in existence for 40 years there was no special arrangement govern ing the period following.

There should be no argument between the two Front Benches on this matter The hon. Member for Greenock (Dr Dickson Mabon), who was a Minister ir the Scottish Office dealing with this subject at the time of his own 1965 and 1969 legislation, made no special arrangements to exclude these categories. The hon Gentleman made reference to the Francis Committee but that was all that the last Government did.

For the reasons I have stated, we feel that the tenants will get the protection which they should have from the fair rents system like other tenants in similar circumstances.

Mr. Gregor Mackenzie

Can the Secretary of State specify how much has been paid to the Western Heritable Investment Company over the years for the thousands of houses that it built?

Mr. Campbell

Without notice I cannot. I am not sure that such a figure will be available. I will see during the course of this debate whether we can answer that question. However, it is irrelevant to this part of the Clause because the houses were built in the late 1920s and early 1930s after the Act was passed, so tney are gradually coming one by one to the end of their 40 years. What we are dealing with now is whether they should come into the fair rent system introduced by the last Government which we have been improving upon. That is the question before us and I cannot commend the new Clause to the House.

7.15 p.m.

Mr. Millan

That is a thoroughly unsatisfactory answer. The reason why there was a slight hesitation on my part in getting up when my hon. Friend the Member for Rutherglen (Mr. Gregor MacKenzie) sat down was that I fully expected either the hon. Member for Glasgow, Hillhead (Mr. Galbraith), who we all know is a considerable friend of the Glasgow landlords, or the hon. Member for Glasgow, Cathcart (Mr. Edward Taylor) who has been willing to make speeches about this particular problem of his tenants, particularly when there was a Labour Government, at the drop of a hat to the King's Park Tenants' Association and anybody else that cared to invite him, would rise. I thought one of them might have got up and said something about this new Clause. I am astounded that they have not done so.

Mr. Edward Taylor


Mr. Millan

The hon. Member for Cathcart is now getting into one of his states of excitement, but perhaps he will allow me to make my speech. He can then let us have the benefit of his wisdom on this matter.

The argument we have just had from the Secretary of State is a completely invalid one. These houses axe not ordinary privately built houses for letting. They are in an entirely different category and they should be treated entirely differently. My hon. Friend the Member for Rutherglen has explained the background to the building of these houses adequately and I need not go over the matters that he dealt with. It is true that under the existing legislation, before this Bill came forward, some of these houses have been eligible to be treated under the fair rent procedure. First, the number is extremely limited, and, secondly, the Bill will convert all these houses from the present situation to the fair rent procedure. The effect of the 1965 Act was to place a limit on rent increases which would otherwise have been completely unlimited under the rent decontrol provision of the 1957 Act of the previous Conservative Government.

I make that point particularly as the hon. Member for Cathcart has been assiduous over a long period in misleading tenants' associations into thinking that the only reason they have ever had to bear increases in rent has been the provisions of the 1965 Act. The position is entirely different. Without the 1965 Act the limited number of houses that were involved would have had the possibility of unlimited increases imposed upon them. The 1965 Act limited these provisions by the fair rents provision.

A more important matter which the Secretary of State does not seem to understand, and which was to be the point of my intervention, is that the kind of massive increases that we are now talking about have happened only within the last year or so. They did not happen under the Labour Government prior to June, 1970. Not one of the houses in my constituency has been subjected to any massive rent increases prior to June, 1970. We are now dealing with an entirely new situation and an entirely new problem.

Mr. Gordon Campbell


Mr. Millan

The right hon. Gentleman was very reluctant to give way to me; otherwise I should be glad to give way to him now. If he is saying that there are houses in my constituency for which there were massive increases in rent prior to June, 1970, I shall be glad to hear him say so.

Mr. Campbell

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for giving way to me. Any increases that are taking place now are entirely the results of legislation passed by the Labour Government, of which the hon. Gentleman was a member. There is nothing in the Bill and nothing that we have passed since being in office, since June, 1970, which has altered those rents.

Mr. Millan

The right hon. Gentleman is simply confirming my point. He is not denying that the increases which we are discussing are not increases that occurred under the Labour Government.

Mr. Campbell

Yes, they are.

Mr. Millan

They did not happen prior to June, 1970. When my hon. Friends met the tenants' associations in June, 1970, they gave them every indication that, as well as the matter being referred to the Francis Committee, the Labour Government at the time recognised that as these houses fell out of subsidy—and they have done that post-1970—there would have to be special legislation for them.

It is misleading for the right hon. Gentleman—and, to be fair to him, I think that he is simply ignorant of the facts—to pretend that this is something always intended by the Labour Government's legislation. It is not a problem that arose prior to June, 1970, and I defy him to bring me one example from my constituency, or anywhere else, of a massive rent increase before June, 1970. It is a problem which is arising now and it is a problem which demands attention now and it would have had attention from a Labour Government.

The right hon. Gentleman says that these houses will be subject to the fair rent procedures that will apply to any other kind of private tenancies, that they will be subject to phasing and rebates and so on. I object to the extension of the fair rent procedure in the Bill, but the right hon. Gentleman completely misses the basis of the fair rent system. It was to provide a fair rent not only for the tenant but for the landlord. A fair rent to the landlord meant taking account of the fact that, because of rent control over a long period of years, many landlords have had inadequate returns from rented properties. It was recognised that this was a genuine problem.

Mr. Galbraith

The hon. Gentleman is making an interesting observation. Is he saying that the rises in rent had a retrospective effect? If that is what he is saying, his argument is without foundation.

Mr. Millan

I have not made that argument and that intervention was a complete waste of time. The fair rent provisions were designed to give a fair rent to the landlord as well as to the tenant and to recognise that many landlords had had a bad deal financially over the period of rent control.

But that does not apply to these houses. The landlords of these houses have not had a bad deal by any kind of argument. Indeed, they have been cossetted from the start. There was no risk in building these houses, for they were built with Government and local authority subsidy. The landlords have made a killing out of these houses, and the tenants in Rutherglen and in Cathcart and in my constituency know it. There is no question of retrospectively recompensing landlords who have invested money in property and then suffered because of rent control over the years. The landlords of these houses have never been at risk, have never lost any money. The money going to them under the Bill, unless we accept the new Clause, will merely add to their profits, not recompense them for losses which they have made on these houses in the past, for they have not made losses on these houses in the past.

That puts these houses in a category entirely different from that of the normally privately rented houses, and it means that the fair rent provisions are completely inappropriate to them. These houses were built for about £300 apiece, and they now attract rents of £260 after 40 years of Government and local authority subsidy. Many of these houses have been sold, and their current price is now about £4,500.

It is an absolute scandal that we should be allowing this state of affairs to continue. Basically, these houses are analogous to local authority houses, and it is monstrous that there should not be special provision for them in the Bill. As the right hon. Gentleman must realise, I am not enamoured of the Bill's proposals for local authority houses and I should have preferred the new Clause to go a good deal further, but at least these houses should be on the same basis as local authority houses.

That would considerably reduce the increases which the tenants of these houses would have to pay. Many of them are elderly. This is not just another sob story. We have heard much about elderly tenants and we know their problems, but there is a preponderance of elderly tenants in these houses because the houses were built 40 years ago and were let largely to young newly married couples many of whom are now pensioners. Many of them are extremely alarmed about the increases now being notified to them, admittedly under existing legislation, without any kind of protection introduced since 1970 and with no protection provided by the Bill.

The Clause would put these tenants on all fours with local authority tenants and would modify the increases. Many of the tenants admit that the present rents are too low—as I do—for they are not unreasonable people. Incidentally, most of them vote for hon. Gentlemen opposite rather than for my party, but they are reasonable people despite that. They admit that rents are too low and they would be happy to accept comparability with local authority tenants. What they are not willing to accept are the monstrous increases with which they will be faced unless some provision like the new Clause is introduced.

The new Clause would be over-generous to landlords, but in the interests of moderation and compromise it is the least we should have. I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will reconsider his position and not treat the matter as complacently as he did when replying to my hon. Friend the Member for Rutherglen. There is considerable dismay, apprehension and anger among these tenants about what they rightly regard as the Government's complete unawareness of their problems and the Government's inability if not unwillingness to produce some kind of reasonable solution for them.

Mr. Edward Taylor

The hon. Member for Glasgow, Craigton (Mr. Millan) has made a savage attack on the Government for failing to do something about the problems of tenants of Western Heritable Investments. He has been assiduous and conscientious in looking after the interests of his tenants, but I think that if he reads his speech tomorrow he will realise that he has been blatantly unfair to the Government and has totally misled the House, although not deliberately, about the activities of the Labour Government, particularly the activities of his hon. Friend the Member for Greenock (Dr. Dickson Mabon) who so happily introduced the 1969 Act by which the rents of these houses are now being increased.

It should be said at once that, as the hon. Member for Craigton is well aware, the rents of these houses are being increased now. Rent determinations are being made now and applications are being made now. The Bill is not yet law and will not be law for some time. The hon. Gentleman and his colleagues should make it absolutely clear to the tenants of Western Heritable houses that the increases now being introduced and about which they are greatly concerned and about which they are holding meetings, which the hon. Member and I have attended, result from the 1969 Act by which houses which were controlled are being brought into decontrol.

7.30 p.m.

The hon. Member made a fair point. He said "It is all very well but the fact is that until we had a Tory Government nothing was happening to the rents there; they were still relatively low and were not increasing". He said that the tenants are very concerned at the fact that since the Tory Government came into office something has happened. The hon. Member will find the reason for this in a letter that I received from the hon. Member for Greenock, at that time Minister of State for Scotland. I wrote to him in April, 1970, because the tenants of King's Park and Croftfoot had been concerned whether the new Bill which the hon. Member had introduced would affect their rents. I was interested in the matter and I wrote to the hon. Member for Greenock asking whether that was the case, and whether the rents would be increased. He explained quite fairly that the houses which the Western Heritable Investment Company owned had been built between 1928 and 1932, under the 1924 Act, which provided for an annual subsidy from local authorities, to which the Exchequer made a contribution, payable over 40 years, on condition that the rents were fixed by the local authorities.

The houses were also covered by the Rent Acts up to 1967. All tenancies were therefore controlled, and until the 40 years run out the rents cannot be increased without the specific approval of the local authorities, according to the splendid advice that the hon. Member for Greenock so kindly gave me in his prompt reply to my letter. The fact that the rents have not been increased is not due to any splendid or altruistic concern of the Labour Government but simply because, under the legislation of 1924, the rents could not be adjusted without the specific approval of the local authorities.

I asked the hon. Member for Greenock whether the rents of these houses would come up to the fair rents level as proposed under the 1969 Measure. I had a meeting with the tenants on 5th June, 1970, and at that point we specifically asked whether there was a possibility of phasing being introduced at a more reasonable level—in other words, whether there could be the same kind of restriction as that imposed by the prices and incomes legislation, and which was available for corporation tenants. The hon. Gentleman explained that that was not possible.

He admitted that the whole question of the operation of the Rent Acts was being considered by the Francis Committee, but he gave us no hope that something would be done to place the rents of these houses on the same basis as the rents of corporation houses.

If the hon. Member for Craigton has any information in writing—and I had a long correspondence with the hon. Member for Greenock about this—to the effect that the previous Government said that they would make special provision for the WHI I should be glad to have it, because I have a letter from his hon. Friend dated 22nd April, 1970—only two or three months before he went out of office at the General Election—giving a clear indication that the1969 Act would apply to tenants of the WHI company houses. That is clearly spelled out. The letter is here, and is on the record for everyone to see.

In order to try to put the record straight we should appreciate precisely what the new Bill will mean to WHI tenants. Their rents are being increased and can be increased to the fair rent level under the existing 1969 legislation. There is not one WHI house in Scotland which cannot have its rent increased to a fair rent level under the Labour Government's legislation so long as a qualification certificate is obtained.

Although applications in respect of individual houses have been turned down by local authorities because of defects, generally speaking the tolerable standards of these houses ensure that the majority automatically qualify. The basic difference between the situation now and that which will exist when the new Bill becomes law is that the qualification certificate goes.

Mr. Gregor Mackenzie

If the Labour Government's legislation was as bad as the hon. Member suggests, what is wrong with improving it by accepting my new Clause?

Mr. Taylor

I wish that the hon. Member for Rutherglen (Mr. Gregor Mackenzie) and his hon. Friend the Member for Craigton had made that point when the 1969 Measure was going through the House. The hon. Member for Rutherglen is conscientious, but it is blatant hypocrisy for the hon. Member for Craigton to have allowed the 1969 Measure to go through, to see his tenants have their rents increased as a direct result, and then give the impression that the increase is the result of Tory Government legislation.

I also make the point that the main change that is taking place in respect of elderly people is that instead of their having their rents increased to a fair rent level over a period of five years the Bill increases the rents over a period of three years, which will mean that the rents will rise faster and by greater amounts over three annual instalments instead of five.

On the other hand, it should be appreciated that at the same time the Government are introducing what we pleaded with hon. Members opposite to introduce when they were in power and what they refused to introduce. At the time of the 1969 proceedings my hon. Friend pleaded for the introduction of a rent rebate scheme under which those with limited incomes would not have to bear a substantial increase in rents. The hon. Member for Rutherglen has said that fair rents are being determined at a level which may reach £6 per week. He will be aware that under the rebate scheme introduced by this Government only newly married couples with incomes of over £30 a week will pay the full increase.

If the hon. Member considers what might be the average rent of a married couple with an income of £16 a week—£9.70 pension and £6.30 other income—he will see that under our arrangements, with the rent allowance scheme, only in a few cases will the increase exceed the amount proposed under the previous phasing arrangements, and that at the end of the day the tenants will be paying less. It is only fair that these things should be said when a clear attempt has been made to give the impression to these tenants that their rents are being increased because of a Tory Bill. Their rents are being increased rather more speedily under this Conservative Government, but only to the same figure as was fixed before, and, in addition, we are bringing in for the first time a rebate scheme to protect tenants who need protection under this legislation.

It is only right to tell my right hon. Friend that, considering the wording of the Amendment, there is real merit in providing that the annual increase for tenants should be fixed at a maximum figure. The Amendment's figure of £39 a year seems not unreasonable.

Mr. Millan

The hon. Member, as usual, is on everybody's side at the same time.

Mr. Taylor

The hon. Member is being quite unfair, especially considering the speech that he has just made, which was both misleading and hypocritical. My right hon. Friend is aware from the approaches that I have made to him and from private representations that it is very difficult to justify, in logic, an increase in the rents of corporation houses limited to an average of 50p per week when, at the same time, no upper limit is being imposed in respect of the tenants of private houses. It would seem only fair that if we provide, on the one hand, that the tenants of corporation houses shall have their rents increased by only 50p per week, on average—or a maximum of 75p per week—we should introduce similar arrangements in respect of tenants of private houses.

From what I have said to my right hon. Friend today and what I have said in Committee it will be clear that I feel strongly about this question. There is a case for saying that people living in private houses at rents which are accepted to be very low should have, apart from the benefits available under the rebate scheme, a maximum figure per annual increase fixed for them. It is true that those who are on very low incomes will get the advantage of the rebate scheme but those on high incomes will find that because of the extent of the increase permitted over the three-year period under the new legislation they will have to make a rather rapid adjustment to their standard of living.

There is some merit in saying that for WHI houses, and, indeed, for all private houses, a maximum annual figure should be fixed. That is why, unless we can have a very good Government answer, despite what I have said about the case made by the hon. Member for Glasgow, Craigton, which rather disgusted me, my inclination will be to vote for the new Clause.

Dr. Dickson Mabon

In any competition for hypocrisy the hon. Member for Glasgow, Cathcart (Mr. Edward Taylor) would come first. There is no doubt about that. We have had a number of smokescreens put up in his argument. I must be quick, because of the guillotine, in trying to get these points over, since the hon. Member referred to me and various correspondence we have had about the Western Heritable Investment Company.

The hon. Gentleman's final plea was strictly speaking not really connected with the Clause, although it is related to it. It could be applied to the whole Bill. If he sustained it with any conviction he would have tabled a series of Amendments in Committee to justify the application of that principle and he would have found a ready response from this side of the Committee. That principle of limiting increases was applied by us when in government in the Acts to which the hon. Gentleman referred. He has a very bad memory if he does not remember. Does he not remember the prices and incomes legislation in the last Parliament which restricted increases in rent all round? There was no attempt in Committee or on Report by the hon. Gentleman or his hon. Friends to propound this principle with sincerity. That is humbug number one.

I admit that these houses, coming up in the sequence of time that they did, could not have been embraced in the 1969 Act. If we had had wise people in the Department telling us that we would have had the same problems with houses going out of decontrol—literally decontrol, not 1957 Act decontrol, but 1924 Act decontrol—perhaps we would have included them in that Act. Everyone cannot be wise all the time and keep up to date on all matters. If hon. Gentlemen opposite had been so keenly aware of this problem which was to emerge in 1969–70 why did they not make some representations to the Department then? [Interruption.] They did not. The hon. Gentleman started his correspondence and I would like him to publish not just that one letter but all of it, not just the April letter but the June letter which said to the tenants, as I said to them orally, that they should go and present evidence to the Francis Committee. When we passed the 1969 Act one of our pledges was that there would be a commitee of investigation and as a consequence there would be new legislation.

In the 1969 Act we made it a principle that tenants' money would not be used against the tenant to pay the landlords' rent. That was in the Statute and it was a big principle, changing from the 1965 Act to the 1969 Act. The Western Heritable Investment Company is a highly exceptional circumstance in Scotland; I do not know whether there is another example in the United Kingdom. It posed to the Francis Committee and to the next Government, the present Government, this simple question: "If you put in Exchequer money, taxpayers' money, should the landlord get the benefit of it?" It seems illogical, having passed a Statute which said that the landlord should not get the benefit of that money, not to say that public investment would not be allowed to count for the assessment of the rent. That can be written into the Statute.

That is exactly where we are at the moment. If a Labour Government had been elected we would have had the Francis Committee as it stands. We would have taken an entirely different attitude from the Secretary of State. He dismissed it; he never even referred to the evidence, he never sought to argue or justify it or to rebut the principle I have tried to enunciate. There was no attempt by the right hon. Gentleman—and, even worse, no attempt by the hon. Gentleman—to champion this principle which seems to me an eminently sensible thing to do. There is surely no doctrinaire battle about this. This is taxpayers' money. Surely the hon. Gentleman, in defence of the public purse, never mind his tenants, would not allow this principle to stand. No, he makes the usual smokescreens and confuses us about who did what, when, where and why.

7.45 p.m.

It is the usual nonsense that we get from the hon. Gentleman when he is trying to evade a simple matter of principle. It was a straight matter of principle. This Bill or some other Bill in this Parliament ought to face up to the question of whether landlords should be allowed to charge rents based on a considerable investment of thousands of pounds of tenants' money. Even apart from the money, the principle demands a fair answer. If this new Clause is not the answer there must be something else.

We are being offered absolutely nothing by the Government who have turned down the new Clause and will recognise no substitute. They will do all the terrible things that the hon. Member for Cathcart has been complaining about, both under the Labour Government and now. He has no alibis left. The "Little Emperor" is naked before all the people of Cathcart and unless the Government adopt this new Clause or some other method he stands there, scandalously bare. I would suggest, for the sake of decency if not of obscenity, that something should be done quickly about this. The new Clause represents an issue of principle and is not a party matter. The hon. Member for Glasgow, Hillhead (Mr. Galbraith) will seek to reply to what I have said and no doubt will have to recognise that this is a point which merits a reply.

Mr. Galbraith

Every speaker opposite has referred to me, and, although I do not intend to speak for long because of the guillotine, I would like to tell the hon. Member for Rutherglen (Mr. Gregor Mackenzie) that I am not the patron saint of the Glasgow factors or the patron saint of anyone. It would be a foolish person who chose anyone with the name of "Thomas" for his patron saint, because he was a doubter, and I certainly doubted a lot of what the hon. Member for Rutherglen said, and particularly the novel theory of the hon. Member for Glasgow, Craigton (Mr. Millan), who seemed to be suggesting that there should be some retrospective element and that because landlords had had low rents they were now to get especially high rents. If that was not what he was suggesting there is no reason, now that the subsidy period of 40 years is over, why these houses should not be treated in the same way as other houses and be subjected to the fair rent legislation.

I hope that the party opposite, now it is in opposition, will not retreat from the very courageous stand it took. I notice that the right hon. Member for Kil-marnock (Mr. Ross) has been keeping unusually quiet. I hope this means that he dissociates himself from his hon. Friends the Members for Craigton and Greenock (Dr. Dickson Mabon). If, as the hon. Member for Greenock suggested, my hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow, Cathcart (Mr. Edward Taylor), was dancing on a tight rope, he too was dancing on an equally tight rope. The Labour Party introduced the fair rent legislation and all that my right hon. Friend is saying is that this should apply to those houses now that the 40-year period is over. That is right and just, and I accept it.

Mr. Ross

I have been keeping unusually quiet because the time is now eleven minutes to eight o'clock, and at eight o'clock the guillotine falls. Between now and eight o'clock we are supposed to cover 70 Amendments. The longest speeches today have come from hon. Members opposite.

Mr. Galbraith

I took two minutes.

Mr. Ross

I do not consider the hon. Gentleman's effort a speech at all.

The hon. Member for Glasgow, Cathcart (Mr. Edward Taylor) dealt with the past, forgetting that here is a new Clause which would give considerable justice and relief to those people whose case he has been putting. He never put that case during the proceedings on the 1969 Act.

Mr. Edward Taylor

That is untrue. I certainly did.

Mr. Ross

If the hon. Gentleman really means what he has been saying all these months, he should join us in the Lobby in voting for new Clause 6.

It is not my intention to delay the proceedings very much further. Hon. Members should appreciate that no one can claim any piece of legislation to be perfect. This Bill did not go into Committee perfect. The Government themselves had to put down 100 Amendments and about three new Clauses to it in Committee.

There is no doubt that, following the Francis Committee's Report, we would have taken action in relation to the position of these houses. We would also have taken action on other aspects of the report, not least on the question of furnished flats. All these things should have been taken in by the present Government but they have decided not to do so. The hon. Member for Cathcart will no longer be able to complain about what happened under the Labour legislation of 1969. There is no doubt about what we intended in respect of this sort of thing.

The hon. Member forgot to mention that the 1924 Act was also a Labour Government Act—the celebrated Wheatley Act, which gave the real impetus towards the provision of houses for the working class in Scotland, together with the provisions for finance which are equally being wiped out with other, later financial provisions. The hon. Gentleman should study that Act, how rents were controlled and how the local authorities had to have regard to fair rents in fixing rents. If he does so, he will appreciate the fairness of what we are suggesting. I hope the House will support new Clause 6.

Mr. Gordon Campbell

I will briefly reply to several points made by the hon. Members for Glasgow, Craigton (Mr. Millan) and Greenock (Dr. Dickson Mabon).The first concerns the problem arising in the late 1960s and the 1970s. This is the period when the first houses completed started to reach the 40-year period. Naturally the process has been increasing. The hon. Member for Craigton chose the date of June,1970, for his argument presumably because there was then the change of Government. He argued that the rents of these houses had been going up since then. I pointed out that this was being done under legislation passed by the Labour Government and it had nothing to do with us. On the hon. Gentleman's own admission, no provision was made in the Labour Government's 1969 Act to exclude this category of houses from the fair rents system. On his own admission also—and I found it difficult to follow this part of his argument—that legislation was passed by the Labour Government in a way which meant that it had no effect on the raising of rents until after they had left office. There can hardly be anything more cynical or diabolically calculated than that.

All this was done by the Labour Government without any provision for rent allowances for tenants. Whether there was anything intentional in it I do not know. I do not myself believe that the last Government did it intentionally so as to leave the situation as a kind of depth charge for us. One thing is certain: some of the Opposition's supporters are not above giving the impression that rent rises since June, 1970, are in some way the result of non-existent legislation by the present Government, and my hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow, Cathcart (Mr. Edward Taylor) pointed out that this was deceiving the public.

The houses we are considering under new Clause 6 are increasingly coming out of the 40-year period of subsidy and they fall, under previous legislation, to be dealt with under the fair rent system like other houses of the same kind. The present Government believe, as the last Government did, that this is something which should happen.

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

The House divided: Ayes 229, Noes 254.

Division No. 201.] AYES [7.55 p.m
Abse, Leo English, Michael Lyon. Alexander W. (York)
Albu, Austen Evans, Fred Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.)
Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.) Ewing, Henry Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson
Archer, Peter (Rowley Regis) Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston) McBride, Neil
Armstrong, Ernest Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) McCartney, Hugh
Ashley, Jack Foot, Michael McElhone, Frank
Ashton, Joe Ford, Ben McGuire, Michael
Atkinson, Norman Forrester, John Mackenzie, Gregor
Barnes, Michael Fraser, John (Norwood) Mackintosh, John P
Barnett, Guy (Greenwich) Freeson, Reginald Maclennan, Robert
Baxter, William Galpern, Sir Myer McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.)
Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood Garrett, W. E. Mahon, Simon (Bootle)
Bennett, James (Glasgow, Bridgeton) Gilbert, Dr. John Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield E)
Bidwell, Sydney Ginsburg, David (Dewsbury) Marks, Kenneth
Bishop, E. S. Gourlay, Harry Marsden, F.
Blenkinsop, Arthur Grant, John D. (Islington, E.) Marshall, Dr. Edmund
Boardman, H. (Leigh) Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside) Mason, Rt. Kn. Roy
Booth, Albert Griffiths, Will (Exchange) Mayhew, Christopher
Bottomley, Rt. Hn. Arthur Hamilton, William (Fife, W.) Meacher, Michael
Bradley, Tom Hamling, William Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert
Broughton, Sir Alfred Hannan, William (G'gow, Maryhill) Mendelson, John
Brown, Bob (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne,W.) Hardy, Peter Mikardo, Ian
Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan) Harper, Joseph Millan, Bruce
Brown, Ronald (Shoreditch & F'bury) Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) Miller, Dr. M. S.
Buchan, Norman Hattersley, Roy Milne, Edward
Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn) Healey, Rt. Hn. Denis Mitchell, R. C. (S'hampton, Itchen)
Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green) Hilton, W. S. Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)
Callaghan, Rt. Hn. James Horam, John Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)
Campbell, I (Dunbartonshire, W.) Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas Morris, Rt. Hn. John (Aberavon)
Cant, R. B. Howell, Denis (Small Heath) Moyle, Roland
Carmichael, Neil Huckfield, Leslie Murray, Ronald King
Carter, Ray (Birmingh'm, Northfield) Hughes, Rt. Hn. Cledwyn (Anglesey) Oakes, Gordon
Carter-Jones, Lewis (Eccles) Hughes, Mark (Durham) O'Halloran, Michael
Clark, David (Colne Valley) Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen, N.) O'Malley, Brian
Cocks, Michael (Bristol, S.) Hughes, Roy (Newport) Oram, Bert
Cohen, Stanley Hunter, Adam Orbach, Maurice
Concannon, J. D. Irvine, Rt. Hn. Sir Arthur (Edge Hill) Oswald, Thomas
Corbet. Mrs. Freda Janner, Greville Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, Sutton)
Cox, Thomas (Wandsworth, C.) Jeger, Mrs. Lena Padley, Waiter
Crawshaw, Richard Jenkins, Hugh (Putney) Paget, R. T.
Cronin, John John, Brynmor Palmer, Arthur
Crosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.) Pannell, Rt. Hn. Charles
Crossman, Rt. Hn. Richard Johnson, Walter (Derby, S.) Parker, John (Dagenham)
Cunningham, G. (Islington, S.W.) Jones, Dan (Burnley) Parry, Robert (Liverpool, Exchange)
Cunningham, Dr. J. A. (Whitehaven) Jones,Rt.Hn.Sir Elwyn(W.Ham,S.) Pavitt, Laurie
Dalyell, Tam Jones, Gwynoro (Carmarthen) Pentland, Norman
Davies, Denzil (Llanelly) Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, W.) Perry, Ernest G.
Davies, Ifor (Gower) Kaufman, Gerald Prentice, Rt. Hn. Reg.
Davis, Terry (Bromsgrove) Kelley, Richard Prescott, John
Deakins, Eric Lambie, David Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)
de Freitas, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey Lamborn, Harry Price, William (Rugby)
Dell, Rt. Hn. Edmund Lamond, James Probert, Arthur
Dempsey, James Lawson, George Rankin, John
Doig, Peter Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick Reed, D. (Sedgefleld)
Dormand, J. D. Leonard, Dick Rees, Merlyn (Leeds, S.)
Douglas-Mann, Bruce Lestor, Miss Joan Rhodes, Geoffrey
Driberg, Tom Lever, Rt. Hn. Harold Roberts, Albert (Normanton)
Dunn, James A. Lewis, Arthur (W. Ham, N.) Roberts, Rt.Hn.Goronwy(Caernarvon)
Eadie, Alex Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Robertson, John (Paisley)
Edwards, Robert (Bilston) Lipton, Marcus Roderick, Caerwyn E.(Br'c'n&R'dnor)
Edwards, William (Merioneth) Lomas, Kenneth Roper, John
Ellis, Tom
Rose, Paul B. Stonehouse, Rt. Hn. John Wallace, George
Ross, Rt. Hn. William (Kilmarnock) Strang, Gavin Watkins, David
Rowlands, Ted Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley Weitzman, David
Sandelson, Neville Swain, Thomas Wellbeloved, James
Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-under-Lyne) Taverne, Dick Wells, William (Walsall, N.)
Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney) Taylor,Edward M.(G'gow,Cathcart) White, James (Glasgow, Pollok)
Short,Rt.Hn.Edward(N'c'tle-u-Tyne) Thomas,Rt.Hn.George (Cardiff,W.) Whitehead, Phillip
Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford) Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery) Whitlock, William
Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich) Thomson, Rt. Hn. G. (Dundee. E.) Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchin)
Sillars, James Tinn, James Williams, W. T. (Warrington)
Silverman, Julius Torney, Tom Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)
Skinner, Dennis Urwin, T. W. Woof, Robert
Smith, John (Lanarkshire. N.) Varley, Eric G.
Spriggs, Leslie Wainwright, Edwin TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Steel, David Walden, Brian (B'm'ham, All Saints Mr. James Hamilton and
Stoddart, David (Swindon) Walker, Harold (Doncaster) Mr. Tom Pendry.
Adley, Robert Fell, Anthony Kitson, Timothy
Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash) Fenner, Mrs. Peggy Knight, Mrs. Jill
Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead) Fidler, Michael Knox, David
Amery, Rt. Hn. Julian Finsberg, Geoffrey (Hampstead) Lambton, Lord
Astor, John Fisher, Nigel (Surbiton) Lamont, Norman
Atkins, Humphrey Fletcher-Cooke, Charles Lane, David
Awdry, Daniel Fookes, Miss Janet Langford-Holt, Sir John
Balniel, Rt. Hn. Lord Fortesue, Tim Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry
Barber, Rt. Hn. Anthony Fowler, Norman Le Marchant, Spencer
Batstord, Brian Fox, Marcus Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)
Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton Fraser,Rt.Hn.Hugh(St'fford & Stone) Longden, Sir Gilbert
Bell, Ronald Galbraith, Hn. T. G. Loveridge, John
Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay) Gardner, Edward Luce, R. N.
Benyon, W. Gibson-Watt, David McAdden, Sir Stephen
Berry, Hn. Anthony Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, C.) MacArthur, Ian
Biffen, John Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.) McLaren, Martin
Biggs-Davison, John Godber, Rt. Hn. J. B. Maclean, Sir Fitzroy
Blaker, Peter Goodhart, Philip Macmillan,Rt.Hn.Maurice (Farnham)
Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S.W.) Goodhew, Victor McNair-Wilson, Michael
Body, Richard Gorst, John McNair-Wilson, Patrick (New Forest)
Boscawen, Hn. Robert Gower, Raymond Maddan, Martin
Bossom, Sir Clive Grant, Anthony (Harrow, C.) Madel, David
Bowden, Andrew Green, Alan Marten, Neil
Bray, Ronald Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds) Mather, Carol
Brewis, John Grylls, Michael Maude, Angus
Brinton, Sir Tatton Gummer, J. Selwyn Mawby, Ray
Brocklebank-Fowler, Christopher Gurden, Harold Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Hall, Miss Joan (Keighley) Meyer, Sir Anthony
Bruce-Gardyne, J. Hall, John (Wycombe) Mills, Peter (Torrington)
Bryan, Sir Paul Hall-Davis, A. G. F. Miscampbell, Norman
Buchanan-Smith, Alick(Angus,N&M) Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) Mitchell,Lt.-Col.C.(Aberdeenshire,W)
Buck, Antony Hannam, John (Exeter) Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)
Burden, F. A. Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye) Moate, Roger
Campbell, Rt.Hn.G.(Moray&Nairn) Haselhurst, Alan Molyneaux, James
Carlisle, Mark Havers, Michael Monks, Mrs. Connie
Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert Hawkins, Paul Monro, Hector
Chapman, Sydney Hayhoe, Barney Montgomery, Fergus
Chataway, Rt. Hn. Christopher Hicks, Robert More, Jasper
Chichester-Clark, R. Hiley, Joseph Morgan, Geraint (Denbigh)
Churchill, W. S. Hill, James (Southampton, Test) Morrison, Charles
Clark, William (Surrey, E.) Holland, Philip Murton, Oscar
Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe) Holt, Miss Mary Nabarro, Sir Gerald
Clegg, Walter Hordern, Peter Neave, Airey
Cockeram, Eric Hornby, Richard Nicholls, Sir Harmar
Cooke, Robert Hornsby-Smith,Rt.Hn.Dame Patricia Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael
Coombs, Derek Howe, Hn. Sir Geoffrey (Reigate) Normanton, Tom
Corfield, Rt. Hn. Sir Frederick Howell, Ralph (Norfolk, N.) Onslow, Cranley
Cormack, Patrick Hunt, John Owen, Idris (Stockport, N.)
Costain, A. P. Hutchison, Michael Clark Page, Rt. Hn. Graham (Crosby)
Crouch, David Iremonger, T. L. Page, John (Harrow, W.)
Crowder. F. P. Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye) Parkinson, Cecil
Davies, Rt. Hn. John (Knutsford) James, David Percival, Ian
d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford) Pike, Miss Mervyn
d'Avigdor-Goldsmid,Maj.-Gen.James Jessel, Toby Pink, R. Bonner
Dean, Paul Johnson Smith, G. (E. Grinstead) Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch
Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F. Joseph, Rt. Hn. Sir Keith Price, David (Eastleigh)
Dixon, Piers Kaberry, Sir Donald Prior, Rt. Hn. J. M. L.
Drayson, G. B. Kellett-Bowman, Mrs. Elaine Proudfoot, Wilfred
du Cann, Rt. Hn. Edward Kershaw, Anthony Pym, Rt. Hn. Francis
Dykes, Hugh Kilfedder, James Quennell, Miss J. M.
Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke) Kimball, Marcus Raison, Timothy
Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton) King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.) Ramsden, Rt. Hn. James
Emery, Peter King, Tom (Bridgwater) Redmond, Robert
Eyre, Reginald Kinsey, J. R. Reed, Laurance (Bolton, E.)
Farr, John Kirk, Peter
Rees, Peter (Dover) Stanbrook, Ivor Vaughan, Dr. Gerard
Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David Stewart-Smith, Geoffrey (Belper) Waddington, David
Ridley, Hn. Nicholas Stodart, Anthony (Edinburgh, W.) Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek
Ridsdale, Julian Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M. Ward, Dame Irene
Roberts, Michael (Cardiff, N.) Stokes, John Warren, Kenneth
Roberts, Wyn (Conway) Stuttaford, Dr. Tom Weatherill, Bernard
Rost, Peter Sutcliffe, John Wells, John (Maidstone)
Russell, Sir Ronald Tapsell, Peter White, Roger (Gravesend)
St. John-Stevas, Norman Taylor, Frank (Moss Side) Wiggin, Jerry
Scott, Nicholas Taylor, Robert (Croydon, N.W.) Wilkinson, John
Sharples, Richard Tebbit, Norman Winterton, Nicholas
Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby) Thatcher, Rt. Hn. Mrs. Margaret Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick
Shelton, William (Clapham) Thomas, John Stradling (Monmouth) Woodhouse, Hn. Christopher
Simeons, Charles Thomas, Rt. Hn. Peter (Hendon, S.) Woodnutt, Mark
Sinclair, Sir George Thompson, Sir Richard (Croydon, S.) Worsley, Marcus
Skeet, T. H. H. Tilney, John Wylie, Rt. Hn. N. R.
Smith, Dudley (W'wick & L'mington) Trafford, Dr. Anthony Younger, Hn. George
Soref, Harold Trew, Peter
Speed, Keith Tugendhat, Christopher TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Spence, John Turton, Rt. Hn. Sir Robin Mr. Hamish Gray and
Sproat, Iain van Straubenzee, W. R. Mr. Michael Jopling.
Stainton, Keith

Question accordingly negatived.

It being after Eight o'clock, Mr. DEPUTY SPEAKER proceeded, pursuant to Standing Order No. 43 (Business Committee) and the Orders [11th April and this day], to put forthwith the Questions on Amendments, moved by a member of the Government, of which notice had been given, to that part of the Bill to be concluded at Eight o'clock.

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