HC Deb 06 June 1972 vol 838 cc247-72

(1) Subject to subsection (2) below, section 34 of this Act shall not apply to a dwelling-house let on or subject to a controlled tenancy if, on the date applicable to the dwelling-house under that section—

  1. (a) a closing order under section 15 or 18 of the Act of 1966, or a demolition order under the said section 15, has been made and served in accordance with that section (and not determined) with respect to the dwelling-house, or
  2. (b) an order under paragraph 1(2) of Schedule 2 to the Land Compensation (Scotland) Act 1963 declaring that the dwelling-house does not meet the tolerable standard has been made and a notice stating the effect of the order has been served in accordance with paragraph 1(3) of that Schedule.

(2) The said section 34 shall apply to a dwelling-house excluded by subsection (1) above if—

  1. (a) in the case of a dwelling-house excluded by virtue of paragraph (a) of that subsection, the closing order or the demolition order is quashed by the sheriff on appeal or determined by the local authority, or
  2. (b) in the case of a dwelling-house excluded by virtue of paragraph (b) of that subsection, the order in question is not confirmed or is reduced by a court,
and the date applicable to the dwelling-house for the purposes of the said section 34 shall be the date of occurrence of the event upon which that section applied to the dwelling-house by virtue of this subsection.—[Mr. Gordon Campbell.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

3.45 p.m.

The Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. Gordon Campbell)

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

Mr. Speaker

It will be convenient to discuss at the same time new Clause 4 entitled "Houses excluded from general decontrol": Section 34 of this Act shall not apply to a dwelling-house let on or subject to a con- trolled tenancy if, on the date applicable to the dwelling-house under that section, there is not in force in relation to that dwelling-house a qualification certificate within the meaning of section 44 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1969.

Mr. Campbell

That is convenient to this side of the House, Mr. Speaker.

The purpose of the Clause is to exempt from the provisions of Clause 34—which provides for the conversion of controlled tenancies into regulated tenancies—any controlled tenancy of a dwellinghouse in respect of which the local authority has made certain orders, under existing statutory provisions, the effect of which is to declare that the dwellinghouse does not meet the tolerable standard.

The Bill in no way alters the 1969 Act procedure whereby a controlled tenancy can become a regulated tenancy upon the issue of a qualification certificate—whereby a local authority certifies that the dwellinghouse meets certain conditions, including the tolerable standard. But, after considering all the arguments advanced in Committee, the Government adhere to the view that this qualification certificate procedure should not in future be the only main method of bringing controlled tenancies within rent regulation. Such a certificate is not, in our view, essential.

The conversion programme under Clause 34 ought not to be delayed by requirements that the house is up to the tolerable standard and that a certificate has been issued—this would be to confuse slum clearance/unfit houses procedure with the procedures which are necessary for protecting tenants in relation to rent. Such protection already exists in the fair rent system. The only desirable qualification that should be made to this assertion that the fair rent system is in itself sufficient protection is that, for practical administrative reasons—not because the fair rent system is inadequate—it is sensible to exclude from the conversion provisions under the Bill any dwellinghouse in respect of which the local authority had made an order under the existing statutory provisions declaring that it did not meet the tolerable standard. Since the new Clause now covers all cases where statutory action can be taken against houses as houses which fail to meet the tolerable standard, and where the individual house is thereby identified and the exemption can be related to it, there do not seem to be any other cases which can be included.

It should also be borne in mind that, even if none of the courses covered in the new Clause has been taken against the house, it is, first, not decontrolled until the relevant date laid down in Clause 34—and for the lowest value houses this is 1st January, 1975, by which time most houses in this category should have been dealt with—and, secondly, the fair rent will reflect the overall condition of the house including the fact, if applicable, that it is a house which may not meet the tolerable standard. It does not follow that rents in such cases will be increased: There are numerous examples of rents being reduced under the fair rent system.

I know that this Clause was dropped from the Bill in Committee, and I understand that right hon. and hon. Members opposite will suggest that new Clause 4 should be inserted instead. However, I think that they will agree that something of this kind is needed. We believe that new Clause 1 is the new Clause which should be added to the Bill.

Dr. J. Dickson Mabon (Greenock)

Will the right hon. Gentleman answer the argument about new Clause 4? The deficiency of new Clause 1 is that it is not extensive enough. It is simply a replacement of the Clause which was defeated in Committee in protest at the fact that it was inadequate. Surely the right hon. Gentleman should defend new Clause 1 in that context and say that on consideration he does not think that it should be strengthened. I do not believe that, but at least he should argue that and he should justify why he is against, as I assume he is, new Clause 4.

Mr. Campbell

The hon. Member has raised two points which I will deal with briefly. The first is a procedural one. I felt that it was correct for new Clause 4 to be moved, if it is to be moved, and I will reply later, as is the custom on Report, to the arguments on it. On the second point, I have explained, pointed out and defended new Clause 1.

Mr. Frank McElhone (Glasgow, Gorbals)

In supporting new Clause 4 I shall begin by explaining that the 35 sittings we had in Standing Committee were characterised by a lack of information and a great deal of ignorance by the Government about Scottish housing. I am sorry to say that the Secretary of State, who should have been present at those sittings, has compounded the error. He stated that the Clause was dropped. In fact, it was defeated. We attempted to be reasonable in dealing with houses which were to be excluded from general decontrol. The reason we voted against the Question "That Clause 35 stand part of the Bill" was that we had tabled at least three reasonable Amendments to it. One was to leave out houses of £25 rateable value and under from the provisions providing for decontrol in 1975. When that was defeated we thought it reasonable to leave out houses without a bath or an inside toilet. We believed that in 1972 it was absolutely shocking to decontrol houses which lacked these amenities. Our third Amendment suggested that houses which came under the 12-month period of medical office of health should not be decontrolled.

These were reasonable Amendments and they were tabled on the advice of officials in Glasgow and other local authorities. Nevertheless, albeit they were only defeated by the casting vote of the Chairman on two occasions, they were defeated and therefore we took exception to Clause 35.

It might be worth repeating what the Under-Secretary of State for Development said at the time. He made the same point as the Secretary of State has made today, saying that the qualification certificate procedure under the 1969 Act was not disappearing altogether. Either the Secretary of State does not know the 1969 Act or he is at odds with the Under-Secretary. Although the Under-secretary made the point the Secretary of State put forward this afternoon, he concluded by saying: but it will not always have to be used as has been the case up to now."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, First Scottish Standing Committee. 25th April, 1972; c. 1883.] We put down the Amendments on the advice of specialists in housing matters. We are fortunate to have people working in local authorities who have dedicated their lives to housing, both as councillors and officials. They advised us that there was a great deal of concern over the matter. It came to light when my hon. Friend the Member for Greenock (Dr. Dickson Mabon) made the point in Committee. I shall quote from the Glasgow document which was compiled by the officials and which my hon. Friend read out. It would also appear that the classification certificate under the 1969 Act whereby a landlord could only increase his rent to a fair rent if the local authority had certified that the house was of a tolerable standard or would be of a tolerable standard if proposed repairs were carried out no longer applies."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, First Scottish Standing Committee, 25th April, 1972; c. 1915.] It is shocking that we should allow the situation where rent for houses of £25 rateable value and under can be substantially increased without a qualification certificate and without a guarantee that the property owner will spend the money on the house.

We heard a cry from the Government side about the "poor landlords". I can only speak from experience in my constituency where the problem exists in tenement blocks. Almost without exception at least 50 per cent. of the flats in the tenements in my area have been sold at the inflated values that must be paid for property today and where often one flat will sell for more than the whole block originally cost. But at no time has the property owner ever used that money or part of it to renovate the property. There is no guarantee if the increase is permitted that the property owner will spend the money on the property. The problem can be gauged by figures illustrating the situation in Glasgow. The report of the medical officer of health in 1970 stated that there were 31,000 houses with outside toilets and 76,211 houses without a bath. In spite of the slum clearance subsidy which will operate under the Bill, and in spite of the actions of the local authority in Glasgow, which is now Labour-controlled, we would be displaying optimism to an unwarranted degree to expect all slum houses of this type to be cleared by 1975. It is not possible because of the shortage of land within the Glasgow boundaries and because we are dependent on the overspill programme which will be destroyed by the Bill. The overspill programme is particularly important for families from this type of property, especially within the Gorbals area.

The people who live in this type of property, the lowest class of property, are generally elderly or unemployed. The landlord will be given a handout or subsidy from public funds and if nothing else the Bill is a landlords' charter. To allow landlords to press for an increase without any guarantee of the money being spent on the property is wrong.

In our proceedings we are working to a strict timetable and in the interests of other hon. Members, particularly on the Opposition side, who were not on the Committee but who wish to participate, I intend to be brief.

We have been told by the Government that we should have faith in the rent officers because they will not permit rent increases on property of this type. There is a great deal of faith in rent officers and they are doing an extremely difficult job. I pay tribute to those I have dealt with, but while the rent officer may fix a reasonable rent, the rent assessment panel is a different kettle of fish. It consists of three people. Two of them are professional people—a lawyer and a surveyor—and the third is a trade unionist who is always out-voted. There is no appeal against a decision by the rent assessment panel.

A rent officer might refuse to increase the rent above a level which would be reasonable for this type of property. But the property owner would know that he could go higher than the rent officer by taking the matter to the rent assessment panel which would award a substantial increase. It would be shocking if our proposal was not agreed to. It would be reasonable to safeguard people living in this type of slum property which comes into the lowest classification, but we do not have here the safeguards provided in the excellent 1969 Act.

When my right hon. Friend the Member for Kilmarnock (Mr. Ross) and his colleagues in the Government at that time introduced the 1969 Act, they proceeded from a clear knowledge of Scottish housing problems. Section 44(1) makes certain provisions which are relevant here—I shall not detail them now—and Section 45(2) lays down the terms for an application for a qualification certificate.

In Committee, the Under-Secretary of State spoke of the delay which would occur with an avalanche of claims to rent officers requiring to be settled. There are two points to be made about that. First, under the Bill a property owner may make his application six months before the relevant date in 1975. Thus, there is time for him to lodge his application. Also under Section 47 of the 1969 Act, it is possible for a provisional certificate to be issued. As I say, the 1969 Act was an excellent Act. In this respect, it provides that, if a landlord wishes to press for an increase in the rent of a property which does not conform to the standards laid down, he may be issued with a provisional certificate, and he then has to guarantee that, if an increase in rent is given, he will bring his property up to the required standard.

Many of the excellent provisions in the 1969 Act are not embodied in the present Bill. It is a bad Bill, a Bill for the benefit of private landlords. It will wreak great hardship on tenants in my area and in other city areas. Even at this late stage, I hope that the Government, with some compassion and, perhaps, a late understanding of the problem, will recognise the need for new Clause 4 and accept it.

4 p.m.

Mr. Gavin Strang (Edinburgh, East)

I did not have the honour and pleasure of taking part in the Committee's deliberations, and I welcome an opportunity now to say a few works on this issue. In a sense, the division between the Opposition and the Government typifies the difference between our approach to housing and theirs. Our approach is to use this opportunity to move at an early stage to the provision of standard housing amenities which would not otherwise be provided.

Many of the houses covered by new Clause 4 are not covered by new Clause 1, for good reason. It is typical that on this issue the Government are giving way to the wishes of the landlords. That is what it amounts to. They are not interested in the provision of these amenities. Neither they nor landlords welcome the idea of it being obligatory to provide standardamenities when tenancies are transferred from control to regulation.

I urge the Government to take this opportunity to think again and consider the whole question most seriously. We are discussing one of the very few changes which the Committee made in all its sittings. The Secretary of State should defer to the democratic wish of the Committee and allow new Clause 4 to take the place of his new Clause 1.

Dr. Dickson Mabon

This is an important matter, and I can only say that the Secretary of State's attitude surprises me. As my hon. Friend the Member for Edinburgh, East (Mr. Strang) reminded us, the deletion of Clause 35 was one of the few occasions when we obliged the Government to think again. Procedurally, I agree, we knocked out of the Bill a Clause which was essential to it, and we shall, obviously, have to vote for new Clause 1 if no alternative is open to us. In effect, the Government have had to retable the Clause which was knocked out of the Bill in Committee.

What is disappointing, however, is that the Government have not put into the Bill any provisions extending beyond new Clause 1. This is why we have put down our new Clause 4. If the right hon. Gentleman were to say, as I hoped he would, that he accepted new Clause 4 or, as I agree he might, that it was not well drafted—that there were technical objections to it, that there ought to be references to other legislation and so on—but that he accepted the spirit of it, I should be content, and I am sure that the debate would come to a quick end. But he has said nothing of the kind. In effect, he asks us to make a new case.

We made a good case in Committee. Indeed, I thought that one objection to our argument was that we made a rather extensive case and we caught the Government with their trousers down, being able to defeat them and knock their Clause out of the Bill. True, there were no abstentions on the Government side—we cannot say that hon. Members opposite were converted by our eloquence—but we certainly made some impact on matters at that time. I find it most disappointing, therefore, that the Secretary of State should stand pat on what his Under-Secretary of State said in Committee.

What is the point of debate in Committee if, at the end of the day, on Report and, no doubt, in the other place, the Government stand pat on their original decision? I appeal to the right hon. Gentleman to look at the matter again. His new Clause 1 is no more than a rehearsal of what we had before.

I listened carefully to what the right hon. Gentleman said this afternoon, and I took him to imply—I may have misunderstood—that improvement grants would ensure that many of the deficiencies in these houses would be overcome by the time the properties were decontrolled. I should like him or the Under-Secretary to expand on that. I admit that the properties which we are considering here, with one or two exceptions, are those in the lower range, the sort of properties which lack the tolerable standard amenities described in Section 39 of the 1968 Act. But the right hon. Gentleman implies that, by the time they are decontrolled in the calendar year 1974, so that they come under regulated rents in the year beginning 1975, the deficiencies will have been remedied and the properties improved. I am not sure whether that is his argument, but I take it that that is his concession.

Mr. Robert Hughes (Aberdeen, North)

I did not put that construction on what the Secretary of State said. I thought his point was that, by the time 1975 comes, these bad houses will have been demolished.

Dr. Mabon

I accept my hon. Friend's correction; that may well be the implication. However, I must now repeat the request which I made in an intervention at the end of the right hon. Gentleman's speech, that he give some justification for his new Clause 1. He ought to develop the case a little more.

It will be physically impossible in so short a time to improve or to demolish all these properties and in that way take them out of this area of contest. It is just not on. In Scotland last year, about 20,000 slum dwellings were demolished—admittedly, almost all in this category, though not entirely. That compares with a figure of 19,000 in 1970, and with a target figure of 30,000 which the Labour Government laid down as being the number which, if we could achieve it, would mean that all properties in this category would without doubt be removed in ten years.

I take it that the right hon. Gentleman argues that, somehow or other, these properties will all bedemolished in three years. That is not physically possible, and I doubt that it is even administratively possible. I cannot therefore, accept that as a reason for saying that new Clause 1 should remain unbuttressed by any further provisions such as we proposed in Committee or such as are enshrined in new Clause 4.

I invite the Secretary of State to look at the matter again. He has the chance to make amends in the other place. It is not good enough to leave matters in their present state. It is not good enough merely to add new Clause 1 and defeat new Clause 4 or any variant of it.

n 1975, under the regulated rents system, there will be houses the tenants of which will not have a fixed bath or shower, will not have a wash-hand basin or hot and cold water supply, who will not have a water closet in the house, and who, indeed, will be bereft of many of the ordinary housing conveniences.

I cannot believe that any Government, even a Conservative Government, are willing to put up with that in 1975. It is beyond my belief that they are so bereft of an understanding of Scotland's housing problem that they are willing to authorise the change now proposed without any further rectification.

I strongly appeal to Ministers to think again. They will have their new Clause 1, but they must not imagine that that is the end of the story. There must be some addition to their new Clause to strengthen it and to make Section 39 of the 1968 Act a reality. Without that, all they will do will be to condemn people to live in unwholesome dwellings and be charged quite unacceptable rents.

Mr. Alex Eadie (Midlothian)

I intervene with a request for some clarification on this point, because if we are to vote on this matter surely we must know what we are voting about.

Could we be told what these provisions mean in terms of a closing order under Section 17 of the Act? The right hon. Gentleman must be aware that local authorities dispense a certain amount of compassion when handling closing orders, especially when aged individuals are involved.

Those of us who have had experience of local authorities will recollect what happens when these matters are dealt with. When a committee hears a closing order on a house which contains an aged couple who have lived in the area all their lives, the procedure which is sometimes adopted by a local authority is that the old people are given a life undertaking in that house. This procedure could be criticised, but if we pause for a moment to consider the situation it surely must cause social hardship to remove from a house people who have lived there for 60 years and could be equivalent to a death sentence for that couple.

If these provisions are agreed, will this mean that local authorities will not be allowed to dispense this sort of compassionate understanding, which is usually reached in consultation with medical officers of health? These cases, though perhaps few, are of course extremely important for the aged people involved. I am asking whether the provision, if passed, will take from a local authority the power to give a life undertaking to an aged couple in respect of their property.

4.15 p.m.

Mr. Gordon Campbell

It appears that the purpose of new Clause 4 is to exclude from the provisions of Clause 34 any controlled tenancy of a dwelling house in respect of which, at the date applicable to the house under Clause 34, a certificate has not been obtained by the landlord from the local authority that the house is provided with all the standard amenities, that it is in good repair, having regard to its age, character and locality and disregarding internal decorative repair, and that it meets the tolerable standard.

In general controlled rents are the same as they were 15 years ago and in comparison with the rapid movement of all other costs and prices are now at a completely unreasonable level. The extremely low level of rents payable—the average rent of controlled tenancies is about 30p a week—coupled with rapidly rising costs have meant that many owners have been unable to maintain their houses adequately, let alone to provide for any return on capital outlay. Con- trolled houses are for the most part being poorly maintained or not maintained at all. That is the background against which we are considering these Clauses.

If these houses are to be saved from complete dilapidation, with the attendant misery that would fall on their occupiers, more money must be made available. There is no prospect of high rents being registered for houses in poor repair. The fair rent formula in the 1965 Act, now consolidated in the—

Mr. William Ross (Kilmarnock)

How can the right hon. Gentleman guarantee that that will be so? There is no guarantee to that effect at all.

Mr. Campbell

If the right hon. Gentleman will listen to the rest of the sentence, which I was about to complete, he will realise that I was saying that the fair rent formula in his own 1965 Act, which we assisted at the time, now consolidated as Section 42 of the 1971 Act, specifically requires the state of repair to be taken into account. The essential protection to the tenant—which, unlike the present legislation, is not at the expense of the owner—is provided by the fair rent system, phasing of rent increases and, most important, rent allowances for those in need.

The Francis Committee's report unanimously recommended that all controlled tenancies should become regulated as soon as practicable. In reaching this conclusion it commented on the evidence it had received as to the injustice of perpetuating the present system of controlled rents. The Committee pointed out that controlled tenants and regulated tenants occupying similar accommodation in the same locality, and often in the same building, pay very different rents. It instanced a tenement house in Glasgow where the controlled tenant paid a rent of some £28 a year while the regulated tenant occupying similar accommodation in the same block paid a registered rent of about £115 a year.

Is it fair to regulated tenants—who were brought into the fair rents system by the previous Government in 1965, without the benefit of rent allowances—that their neighbours who, through chance, hold controlled tenancies should continue to pay a rent out of all proportion to the cost of maintaining the house?

Dr. Dickson Mabon

This is not a fair point to make in this debate since a house such as that to which the right hon. Gentleman refers is a house which is out with the tolerable standard. We are now debating a matter related to tolerable standards and houses which should be within the system. Such a house is affected by all the qualifications laid down in Section 39 of the 1968 Act and consolidated in previous legislation. Therefore, the Secretary of State is not being fair in his argument since we are now talking about houses which are, and will remain, below the tolerable standard for the next five, or even 10 years.

Mr. Campbell

I am coming to that aspect, but I am at the moment giving the background to these Clauses and dealing with the Francis recommendations. This situation bears even more heavily on the regulated tenant if he shares the same landlord as the controlled tenant as part of his rent may well have to be used to help to maintain his controlled neighbour's house.

The Francis Committee also commented on the inadequacy of the 1969 Housing Act and again referred to Glasgow as an illustration of that inadequacy so far as it relates to the conversion into regulated tenancies. The Committee saw controlled houses in tenements in good repair but lacking one or more standard amenities; for example, a bathroom. It seemed to the Francis Committee that these tenancies could never be converted under the 1969 Act because it would be impracticable to install bathrooms in these smaller houses without depriving the tenants of essential living accommodation, and also to carry out the work of installing a bathroom, even if there was spare living accommodation, except at enormous cost.

Hon. Gentlemen opposite may say that the owners should take advantage of the very generous grants made available by this Government for such improvement work. But how would the owners find the balance of the cost if the rents remain, as the new Clause would require them to remain, at the existing derisory level?

The Francis Committee considered the precise point behind the new Clause—namely whether conversion from control to regulation should be conditional on the landlords obtaining a certificate of good repair—but the Francis Committee decided against this.

One reason advanced by the Francis Committee for not making the conversion conditional on the obtaining of a certificate of good repair was that officers of public health departments were already heavily engaged in other housing work and long delays in dealing with applications could result. But what would be the effect of the new Clause which would require a house to have a qualification certificate by "the applicable date" if it were to be converted in terms of Clause 34? It would mean that Scottish public health departments could receive, between the coming into force of Part V of the Bill and 1st January, 1973, up to 30,000 applications for certificates—that is, from owners of houses with a rateable value of £50 or more—as all these landlords would be anxious to obtain a certificate before the "applicable date", which in their case would be 1st January, 1973.

Then there are the 30,000 or so houses with a rateable value of less than £50 but not less than £25 whose applicable date is 1st January, 1974. Obviously a flood of applications of this magnitude could cause immense delays in issuing certificates and, as it would be almost impossible to deal first with all those houses in excellent repair and provided with all the standard amenities, it would run the severe risk of reducing the present opportunities provided in the 1969 Act to convert controlled tenancies to rent regulation. This would be quite unacceptable.

Mr. McElhone

I understand the dilemma of the Secretary of State when he envisages his Department having to deal with an avalanche of requests, but he will see that there is in Section 47 of the 1969 Act provision for provisional qualification certificates. If there is a rush of applications, it will not prevent the authorisation of provisional certificates which at some later date would have to be guaranteed if the rent was increased.

Mr. Campbell

There is provision in the Act, but it was not meant to deal with an avalanche of applications of this kind. The hon. Gentleman is recommending that the applicant should be given provisional certificates immediately without the cases being looked into. That was not the intention of the 1969 Act.

The Bill provides safeguards against the rent of a dwelling house in poor repair and with inadequate facilities being raised dramatically as a result of its conversion from a controlled to a regulated tenancy. The only way in which the rent of a dwelling house could be increased from the controlled rent following conversion involves the intervention of the rent officer. It cushions private tenants on low incomes against any increases in rent which may be made. Under Clause 16 local authorities must bring into operation not later than 1st January, 1973, an allowance scheme for private tenants in their areas, and such a scheme will ensure that tenants who need help with their rent payments will receive assistance.

The hon. Member for Greenock (Dr. Dickson Mabon) mentioned houses below £25 valuation which were to be closed or demolished by 1st January, 1975. We estimate that there are about 30,000 houses in Scotland below the £25 valuation. Since Glasgow Corporation closed or demolished 10,000 houses in 1971, it is not unreasonable to assume that, making allowance for some of those being of a greater valuation than £25, Glasgow will be able to deal with its share of these houses by 1st January, 1975.

The hon. Member for Greenock told us that new Clause 1 was necessary, and I think that both sides of the House agree about that. He and other hon. Members suggest that the House should go further and should add new Clause 4 as well. I have indicated that this would not be appropriate. I do not advise the House to adopt new Clause 4.

Dr. Dickson Mabon

The right hon. Gentleman referred to 30,000 houses being below the £25 valuation. But how many houses are below the tolerable standard among the 100,000 houses which are still in control?

Mr. Campbell

I am afraid that I have not that figure to hand. I shall attempt to get it for the hon. Gentleman during the course of the debate.

4.30 p.m.

Mr. Robert Hughes

The Secretary of State has made a characteristically vague attempt to justify the rejection of new Clause 4. He answered none of the questions put to him. A number of my hon. Friends raised some pertinent points. We received no answers.

The right hon. Gentleman did not make clear what he thought should be done with houses which are below the tolerable standard. He said that they would be "dealt with by 1975". That may mean anything. It may mean, as my hon. Friend the Member for Greenock (Dr. Dickson Mabon) suggested, that they will be brought up to the tolerable standard by 1975. Alternatively it may mean that they will be demolished or closed by 1975. Another possibility is a combination of the two. Judging from my own experience, many of those houses which are not of the tolerable standard have rateable values greater than £25 per annum, and I believe that the figure for houses below the tolerable standard is likely to be of the order of 50,000. We were told in Committee that there were 100,000 to 120,000 houses still to be brought under rent regulation and that probably half were below the tolerable standard. That means that probably 50,000 houses are involved.

I do not see how anyone can justify raising rents by one penny on houses which are below the tolerable standard. The Secretary of State said there were provisions in the Bill to make certain that rents would not be raised to an unreasonable level and he spoke of his trust in rent officers and rent assessment committees. I do not see the same degree of compassion and justice in rent officers and rent assessment committees that the right hon. Gentleman does. But even granting his trust in them, there should be no possibility of even a penny rent increase on houses with no baths and no internal WCs and where perhaps tenants have to go downstairs and along to the ends of gardens to WCs. The Secretary of State should be ashamed of attempting to justify such a provision.

If the Secretary of State means what he says when he speaks of his compassion and feeling for those who live in houses of an intolerable standard, he ought to bear in mind that many properties of this type will be open and lived in for longer than we should wish—

Mr. Gordon Campbell

There have been and can be rent reductions. As I said, it is a matter of taking into account the state of the house.

Perhaps I might take this opportunity to answer the question raised by the hon. Member for Greenock (Dr. Dickson Mabon). We do not know exactly the number of houses. There are 215,000 houses under the tolerable standard, but it is not known what proportion of them are under controlled tenancies. It could be a large number.

Mr. Hughes

Before returning to my theme, may I say that I hope the right hon. Gentleman will look carefully at the figure of 215,000 houses which he says are below the tolerable standard? Some of them must be owner-occupied. My understanding is that the total number in the private sector in Scotland is around the 200,000 mark. I do not see how there can be more houses below the tolerable standard than there are to be rented.

Dr. Dickson Mabon

I hope that my hon. Friend will appeal to the Secretary of State to explain his reply, because he has not answered my question. How many of the 100,000 houses which the right hon. Gentleman is decontrolling and taking into registration are below the tolerable standard? Never mind the 215,000 anywhere else. Will he concentrate on the 100,000 that we are discussing in this debate?

Mr. Hughes

I shall try to get that answer from the Secretary of State. Judging from the expressions on the faces of right hon. and hon. Members on the Government side, my estimate of 50,000 is not far off the mark. However, before the right hon. Gentleman intervened to give the information which I did not understand, I was saying that if he really believes what he says and if we are to accept what he says about having compassion for people living in dreadful accommodation, he ought to accept new Clause 4 which guarantees that there will be no rent increases. The right hon. Gentleman has referred to the possibility of rent reductions. However, it is possible to count the number of reductions on the fingers of one hand and still have spare fingers afterwards.

Mr. John Robertson (Paisley)

Whatever one may say about rent controlled houses, one matter which is certain is that the fair rent machinery does not produce fair rents. How can it? Rent assessment committees are peopled by those with a vested interest in the business. Two out of every three have a vested interest in seeing that house rents are increased.

I have some experience of the operation of the fair rent machinery in Paisley, where some astonishing increases have taken place. The advice of the rent officer has been thrown aside. He has been told by the chairman of the local factors' association that unless the rent that the association wants is agreed to he is wasting his time, since the matter will be referred immediately to the rent assessment committee. Strangely enough these committees never seem to disagree with the factors' association, which is always represented by one of its officers. One does not find a private landlord appealing to a rent assessment committee. The appeal is organised by the factors' association which represents all house owners and the association demands what it thinks should be a fair rent.

We have had increases in respect of houses which are below what one would call the tolerable standard, many of them in the region of £2.50, and often almost twice what the assessor judges to be the value. Judging from the way these committees are working, an unfair rent machinery is in operation. There is no way in which they can make a judgment.

I remember drawing a comparison between rents fixed by rent assessment committees and rent officers in London and in Paisley. I took a house in London built in 1935 consisting of five apartments. A lower rental was fixed for it than for a tenement house in Paisley consisting of two rooms and a kitchen which had no inside toilet, no bathroom and which was built in 1898. The house in London was not in a slum area. In fact it was in Harrow, a residential area. The astonishing result is that an old tenement house in Paisley is assessed at a higher rental than a semi-detached house in London with all facilities and amenities—inside toilets, a bathroom and everything else.

How the level of rents is arrived at in Scotland I do not know. I have tried to discover. I wrote to the Secretary of State asking for a sample of the findings of rent assessment committees in Scotland. Apparently they are not available. The findings of rent assessment committees in London are available. In fact they are in the Library. However the details for Scotland are not available from the Secretary of State and one cannot make a comparison between one area and another. We are not allowed to know.

What we do know is that the fair rent system is not doing the job that it was intended to do. It cannot do that job so long as we have committees peopled with professional persons who have a vested interest in putting up rents and who very often, if they are not the owners of the properties concerned, are people who deal with houses, who factor houses and who make their living from this business.

The whole system is utterly wrong and can only give rise to gross injustice. Although new Clause 4 is essential if there is to be any justice, in my view it does not go far enough. I hope that the Secretary of State will look again at the so-called fair rent machinery, because it is anything but the one which is being operated today.

Mr. Ronald King Murray (Edinburgh, Leith)

My hon. Friend the Member for Edinburgh, East (Mr. Strang) pointed out that the different attitudes of the two sides in discussing this Bill have been clarified. In this debate on new Clause 1 and new Clause 4 that point is well vouched. It is fair to say that on this side of the House the concern is not with procedure and not with mere administrative matters. We are much more concerned about improving Scotland's housing stock. Therefore we take the attitude that there should be no decontrol in terms of Part V of the Bill without positive improvement. That is a reasonable view to take.

In contrast the Government are adopting the position that there should be blind decontrol in the faith that substandard houses will be demolished before too many years have passed. That will not do. That is why the Opposition must oppose new Clause 1.

The attitudes of the two sides of the House can be illustrated clearly by the different approaches of the Housing (Scotland) Act, 1969, and the Bill. The Section of the 1969 Act corresponding to Clause 34 is Section 44, a substantial part of which the Secretary of State has quoted. That provided that there should be no conversion of an existing controlled tenancy unless it met all the standard amenities: that is, in good repair, having regard to its age, character and locality and disregarding internal decorative repair, and that it meets the tolerable standard. Some of my hon. Friends have referred to the tolerable standard and how moderate it is. Despite that, the Government are seeking to maintain without adequate proof that they are justified, for what are clearly administrative reasons, in this blind decontrol of houses. We say again that that is not good enough. It was said in Committee and we say it clearly again today.

I am forced to the view that our criticism in Committee was correct. If the new Clause is added to the Bill it will substantially reinstate Clause 35 which was taken out of the Bill because it was nothing more or less than a slum landlord's charter. In fact, it still is. So far as I can see, only one change has been made between old Clause 35 and new Clause 1. Apparently some words have been added at the end of the first subsection. The old Clause stopped at the word "made". The new Clause adds and a notice stating the effect of the order has been served in accordance with paragraph 1(3) of that Schedule". It is fair to make two points. First, these additional words tighten the net. They do not relax the provisions in any way. Secondly, if there is any substance in the Secretary of State's claim that houses would be demolished before this Part of the Bill came into operation, the answer must be that these additional words are unnecessary because they obviously contemplate a gap between declaring that a house does not meet the tolerable standard and the service of a notice. Therefore, the Secretary of State can have satisfaction only if he imagines that houses will be demolished in the interval between the making of an order and when the service of a notice is achieved. It is unrealistic to suppose that that will happen.

Mr. Gordon Campbell

I thought I heard the hon. and learned Gentleman say that the Opposition must oppose new Clause 1. How does he reconcile that with the statement by his hon. Friend the Member for Greenock (Dr. Dickson Mabon) that new Clause 1 is essential and necessary to the Bill?

Mr. Murray

I did not understand my hon. Friend to be meaning otherwise. Unfortunately, he is not in the Chamber at the moment. I understood my hon. Friend was simply saying that there ought to be a new Clause between Clauses 34 and 35 as they appear in the Bill after its passage through the Committee. Obviously there is a gap which must be filled. That is what my hon. Friend obviously meant. [Interruption.] I will read in HANSARD what was said, but that was what I understood my hon. Friend to mean. Certainly it is sensible to say that there must be a new Clause to fill the gap. We are not doubting that. We accept that there must be something to fill the gap and we suggest that it should be filled by new Clause 4. I understand that for procedural reasons we shall not be able to vote on new Clause 4. Therefore, we can only show our dissatisfaction with the plug the Government are seeking to put in this gap by voting against new Clause 1.

I should like to reinforce what was said by my hon. Friend the Member for Greenock. At the end of his speech he implored the Government, before the Bill was finally enacted, to reconsider whether some improvement could be made to meet the argument which we are pressing.

I have pointed out the merits of new Clause 4 in contrast with new Clause 1.

I noted that the Secretary of State put forward as the merits of new Clause 1 that his version would not hold up the procedure of decontrol. His words were that the procedure of decontrol should not be held up. Therefore, when it comes to the crunch, it is administrative convenience which has motivated new Clause 1.

In contrast, the Opposition put forward the need for positive improvement in the housing stock of Scotland. That must come first. We say there should be no decontrol and that not one penny of decontrolled rent should be added to any houses if they do not meet the tolerable standard. It is intolerable that there should be non-tolerable houses still subject to this amount of freedom under the Bill.

The right hon. Gentleman said that it would be sensible to exclude certain houses. Again, we have the key to the Government's thinking on new Clause 1. The new Clause and its predecessor, old Clause 35, are motivated by administrative convenience. It is a nuisance to have houses which do not fit neatly into a new or an old statutory scheme so they are to be wiped out by this blind decontrol. I repeat, the right hon. Gentleman said that it is sensible to exclude certain houses. The Opposition think it is sensible, indeed essential, to insist that houses are to be tolerable if they are to be lived in. For these reasons, we shall vote against the new Clause.

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

The House divided: Ayes 266. Noes 248.

Division No. 199.] AYES [4.50 p.m.
Adley, Robert Boscawen, Hn. Robert Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe)
Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash) Bossom, Sir Clive Clegg, Walter
Allason, James (Hemel Hempstesd) Bowden, Andrew Cockeram, Eric
Amery, Rt. Hn. Julian Braine, Sir Bernard Cooke, Robert
Astor, John Bray, Ronald Coombs, Dreek
Atkins, Humphrey Brewis, John Cordle, John
Awdry, Daniel Brinton, Sir Tatton Cormack, Patrick
Baker, Kenneth (St. Marylebone) Brocklebank-Fowler, Christopher Costain, A. P.
Balniel, Rt. Hn. Lord Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Crouch, David
Barber, Rt. Hn. Anthony Bruce-Gardyne, J. Crowder, F. P.
Batsford, Brian Bryan, Sir Paul Davies, Rt. Hn. John (Knutsford)
Beamish, Col, Sir Tufton Buchanan-Smith, Alick(Angus,N&M) d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry
Bell, Ronald Buck, Antony d'Avigdor-Goldsmid,Maj.-Gen.Jame
Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay) Burden, F. A. Dean, Paul
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport) Campbell, Rt.Hn.G.(Moray&Nairn) Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F
Benyon, W. Carlisle, Mark Dixon, Piers
Berry, Hn. Anthony Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert Drayson, G. B.
Biffen, John Chapman, Sydney du Cann, Rt. Hn. Edward
Biggs-Davison, John Chataway, Rt. Hn. Christopher Dykes, Hugh
Blaker, Peter Chichester-Clark, R. Eden, Sir John
Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S.W.) Churchill, W. S. Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke)
Body, Richard Clark, William (Surrey, E.) Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton)
Emery, Peter Lambton, Lord Redmond, Robert
Farr, John Lamont, Norman Reed, Laurance (Bolton, E.)
Fell, Anthony Lane, David Rees, Peter (Dover)
Fenner, Mrs. Peggy Langford-Holt, Sir John Ridley, Hn. Nicholas
Fidler, Michael Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry Ridsdale, Julian
Finsberg, Geoffrey (Hampstead) Le Marchant, Spencer Rippon, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey
Fisher, Nigel (Surbiton) Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland) Roberts, Michael (Cardiff, N.)
Fletcher-Cooke, Charles Longden, Sir Gilbert Roberts, Wyn (Conway)
Fookes, Miss Janet Loveridge, John Rost, Peter
Fowler, Norman Luce, R. N. Russell, Sir Ronald
Fox, Marcus McAdden, Sir Stephen St. John-Stevas, Norman
Fraser,Rt.Hn.Hugh(St'fford & Stone) McArthur, Ian Scott, Nicholas
Fry, Peter McCrindle, R. A. Sharples, Richard
Galbraith, Hn. T. G. McLaren, Martin Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)
Gardner, Edward Maclean, Sir Fitzroy Shelton, William (Clapham)
Gibson-Watt, David McMaster, Stanley Simeons, Charles
Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, C.) Macmillan,Rt.Hn.Maurice (Farnham) Sinclair, Sir George
Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.) McNair-Wilson, Michael Skeet, T. H. H.
Godber, Rt Hn. J. B. McNair-Wilson, Patrick (NewForest) Smith, Dudley (W'wick & L'mington)
Goodhart, Philip Maddan, Martin Soref, Harold
Gorst, John Madel, David Speed, Keith
Gower, Raymond Maginnis, Jonn E. Spence, John
Grant, Anthony (Harrow, C.) Marples, Rt. Hn. Ernest Sproat, Iain
Gray, Hamish Marten, Neil Stainton, Keith
Green, Alan Mather, Carol Stanbrook, Ivor
Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds) Maude, Angus Stewart-Smith, Geoffrey (Belper)
Grylls Michael Maudling, Rt Hn. Reginald Stodart, Anthony (Edinburgh, W.)
Gummer, J. Selwyn Mawby, Ray Stokes, John
Gurden, Harold Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J. Stuttaford, Dr. Tom
Hall, Miss Joan (Keighley) Meyer, Sir Anthony Sutcliffe, John
Hall, John (Wycombe) Mills, Peter (Torrington) Tapsell, Peter
Hall-Davis, A. G. F. Miscampbell, Norman Taylor,Edward M.(G'gow,Cathcart)
Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) Mitchell, David (Basingstoke) Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)
Hannam, John (Exeter) Moate, Roger Taylor, Robert (Croydon, N.W.)
Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye) Molyneaux, James Tebbit, Norman
Haselhurst, Alan Monks, Mrs. Connie Temple, John M.
Havers, Michael Monro, Hector Thatcher, Rt. Hn. Mrs. Margaret
Hawkins, Paul Montgomery, Fergus Thomas, John Stradling (Monmouth)
Hayhoe, Barney More, Jasper Thomas, Rt. Hn. Peter (Hendon, S.)
Heath, Rt. Hn. Edward Morgan-Giles, Rear-Adm. Thompson, Sir Richard (Croydon, S.)
Hicks, Robert Morrison, Charles Tilney, John
Hiley, Joseph Mudd, David Trafford, Dr. Anthony
Hill, James (Southampton, Test) Murton, Oscar Trew, Peter
Holland, Philip Nabarro, Sir Gerald Tugendhat, Christopher
Holt, Miss Mary Neave, Airey Turton, Rt. Hn. Sir Robin
Hornby, Richard Nicholls, Sir Harmar van Straubenzee, W. R.
Hornsby-Smith,Rt.Hn.Dame Patricia Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael Vaughan, Dr. Gerard
Howell, David (Guildford) Normanton, Tom Waddington, David
Howell, Ralph (Norfolk, N.) Nott, John Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek
Hunt, John Onslow, Cranley Ward, Dame Irene
Hutchison, Michael Clark Owen, Idris (Stockport, N.) Warren, Kenneth
Iremonger, T. L. Page, Rt. Hn. Graham (Crosby) Weatherill, Bernard
James, David Page, Graham (Crosby) White, Roger (Gravesend)
Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford) Page, John (Harrow, W.) Wiggin, Jerry
Jessel, Toby Parkinson, Cecil Wilkinson, John
Johnson, Smith, G. (E. Grinstead) Percival, Ian Winterton, Nicholas
Jopling, Michael Peyton, Rt. Hn. John Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick
Joseph, Rt. Hn. Sir Keith Pike, Miss Mervyn Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard
Kellett-Bowman, Mrs. Elaine Pink, R. Bonner Woodhouse, Hn. Christopher
Kershaw, Anthony Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch Woodnutt, Mark
Kilfedder, James Price, David (Eastleigh) Worsley, Marcus
Kimball, Marcus Prior, Rt. Hn. J. M. L. Wylie, Rt. Hn. N. R.
King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.) Proudfoot, Wilfred Younger, Hn. George
King, Tom (Bridgwater) Pym, Rt. Hn. Francis
Kinsey, J. R. Quennell, Miss J. M.
Kirk, Peter Raison, Timothy TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Kitson, Timothy Ramsden, Rt. Hn. James Mr. Tim Fortescue and Mr. Victor Goodhew.
Knight, Mrs. Jill Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter
Knox, David
Abse, Leo Barnett, Joel (Heywood and Royton) Bradley, Tom
Albu, Austen Baxter, William Broughton, Sir Alfred
Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.) Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood Brown, Bob (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne,W.)
Archer, Peter (Rowley Regis) Bennett, James (Glasgow, Bridgeton) Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan)
Ashley, Jack Bidwell, Sidney Brown, Ronald (Shoreditch & F'bury)
Ashton, Joe Bishop, E. S. Buchan, Norman
Atkinson, Norman Blenkinsop, Arthur Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn)
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Boardman, H. (Leigh) Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)
Barnes, Michael Booth, Albert Callaghan, Rt. Hn. James
Barnett, Guy (Greenwich) Bottomley, Rt. Hn. Arthur Campbell, I. (Dunbartonshire, W.)
Cant, R. B. Hughes, Roy (Newport) Pardoe, John
Carmichael, Neil Hunter, Adam Parker, John (Dagenham)
Carter-Jones, Lewis (Eccles) Irvine,Rt.Hn.SirArthur(Edge Hill) Parry, Robert (Liverpool, Exchange)
Castle, Rt. Hn. Barbara Janner, Greville Pavitt, Laurie
Clark, David (Colne Valley) Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas Pendry, Tom
Cocks, Michael (Bristol, S.) Jeger, Mrs. Lena Pentland, Norman
Cohen, Stanley Jenkins, Hugh (Putney) Perry, Ernest G.
Concannon, J. D. Jenkins, Rt. Hn. Roy (Stechford) Prentice, Rt. Hn. Reg.
Conlan, Bernard John, Brynmor Prescott, John
Corbet, Mrs. Freda Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.) Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)
Cox, Thomas (Wandsworth. C.) Johnson, Walter (Derby, S.) Price, William (Rugby)
Crawshaw, Richard Johnston, Russell (Inverness) Probert, Arthur
Cronin, John Jones, Dan (Burnley) Rankin, John
Crosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony Jones,Rt.Hn.Sir Elwyn(W.Ham,S.) Reed, D. (Sedgefield)
Crossman, Rt. Hn. Richard Jones, Gwynoro (Carmarthen) Rees, Merlyn (Leeds, S.)
Cunningham, G. (Islington, S.W.) Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, W.) Rhodes, Geoffrey
Cunningham, Dr. J. A. (Whitehaven) Kaufman, Gerald Richard, Ivor
Dalyell, Tam Kelley, Richard Roberts, Albert (Normanton)
Davies, Denzil (Llanelly) Kinnock, Neil Roberts,Rt.Hn.Goronwy(Caernarvon)
Davies, Ifor (Gower) Lambie, David Robertson, John (Paisley)
Davis, Clinton (Hackney, C.) Lamborn, Harry Roderick, Caerwyn E.(Br'c'n&R'dnor)
Davis, Terry (Bromsgrove) Lamond, James Roper, John
Deakins, Eric Latham, Arthur Rose, Paul B.
de Freitas, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey Lawson, George Ross, Rt. Hn. William (Kilmarnock)
Dell, Rt. Hn. Edmund Leadbitter, Ted Rowlands, Ted
Dempsey, James Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney)
Doig, Peter Leonard, Dick Short, Rt. Hn. Edward (N'c'tle-u-Tyne)
Dormand, J. D. Lestor, Miss Joan Short, Mrs. Renée (W'hampton, N.E.)
Douglas-Mann, Bruce Lever, Rt. Hn. Harold Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)
Driberg, Tom Lewis, Arthur (W. Ham, N.) Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich)
Dunn, James A. Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Sillars, James
Eadie, Alex Lipton, Marcus Silverman, Julius
Edwards, Robert (Bilston) Lomas, Kenneth Skinner, Dennis
Edwards, William (Merioneth) Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.) Smith, John (Lanarkshire, N.)
Ellis, Tom Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson Spearing, Nigel
English, Michael McBride, Neil Spriggs, Leslie
Evans, Fred McCartney, Hugh Steel, David
Ewing, Harry McElhone, Frank Stoddart, David (Swindon)
Faulds, Andrew McGuire, Michael Stonehouse, Rt. Hn. John
Fitch, Alan (Wigan) Mackenzie, Gregor Strang, Gavin
Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston) Mackie, John Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R.
Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) Mackintosh, John P. Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley
Foot Michael Maclennan, Robert Swain, Thomas
Ford, Ben McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.) Taverne, Dick
Forrester, John Mahon, Simon (Bootle) Thomas,Rt.Hn.George (Cardiff,W.)
Fraser, John (Norwood) Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.) Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)
Freeson, Reginald Marks, Kenneth Thomson, Rt. Hn. G. (Dundee, E.)
Galpern, Sir Myer Marsden, F. Thorpe, Rt. Hn. Jeremy
Marshall, Dr. Edmund
Garrett, W. E. Mason, Rt. Hn. Roy Tinn, James
Gilbert, Dr. John Mayhew, Christopher Torney, Tom
Ginsburg, David (Dewsbury) Meacher, Michael Urwin, T. W.
Gourlay, Harry Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert Varley, Eric G.
Grant, George (Morpeth) Mendelson, John Wainwright, Edwin
Grant, John D. (Islington, E.) Mikardo, Ian Walden, Brian (B'm'ham, All Saints)
Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside) Millan, Bruce Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Griffiths, Will (Exchange) Miller, Dr. M. S. Wallace, George
Hamilton, William (Fife, W.) Mitchell, R. C. (S'hampton, Itchen) Watkins, David
Hamling, William Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire) Weitzman, David
Wellbeloved, James
Hannan, William (G'gow, Maryhill) Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe) White, James (Glasgow, Pollok)
Hardy, Peter Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw) Whitehead, Phillip
Harper, Joseph Morris, Rt. Hn. John (Aberavon) Whitlock, William
Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) Moyle, Roland Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)
Hart, Rt. Hn. Judith Murray, Ronald King Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchin)
Hattersley, Roy Oakes, Gordon
Healey, Rt. Hn. Denis Ogden, Eric Williams, W. T. (Warrington)
Heffer, Eric S. O'Halloran, Michael Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)
Hilton, W. S. O'Malley, Brian Wilson, Rt. Hn. Harold (Huyton)
Horam, John Oram, Bert Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)
Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas Orbach, Maurice Woof, Robert
Howell, Denis (Small Heath) Oswald, Thomas
Huckfield, Leslie Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, Sutton) TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Hughes, Rt. Hn. Cledwyn (Anglesey) Padley, Walter Mr. James Hamilton and Mr. Ernest Armstrong.
Hughes, Mark (Durham) Palmer, Arthur
Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen, N.) Pannell, Rt. Hn. Charles

Question accordingly agreed to.

Clause read a Second time, and added to the Bill.

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