HC Deb 27 February 1973 vol 851 cc1383-432
Mr. Prentice

I beg to move Amendment No. 1, in page 1, line 8, after 'Pay' insert 'Advisory'.

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Sir Robert Grant-Ferris)

With this Amendment it will be convenient to discuss the following Amendment No. 2, in Clause 2, page 2, line 29, leave out 'pay' and insert 'tendering advice on levels of all types of remuneration'.

Amendment No. 6, in page 5, line 26, leave out Clause 7.

Amendment No. 7, in Clause 7, page 5, line 32, at end insert 'unless the remuneration in question has been identified as a case for special treatment by an independent Court of Enquiry appointed by the Minister'.

Mr. Prentice

All the amendments in various ways seek to modify the Government's pay policy. By way of introduction I put it to the House that the Government's attitude on the new clauses proves once more how weak their attitude is towards the whole question of price control. Meanwhile, events outside the House today have proved the widespread bitterness and discontent that exists in the country at the moment about the application of the Government's pay policy. The publication yesterday of the code confirms the basic criticism that has been made from the Opposition benches on so many occasions that we are dealing with a policy which is fundamentally unbalanced and unfair, which is seen to be unfair, and, therefore, which is unworkable in the long run or in the medium run.

In moving the amendment I do not seek to open up afresh a debate on the whole policy, but I think that the amendments give the House an opportunity to put to the Government the simple point that they must be more flexible. Even by their own criteria they need to be more flexible in the way that they operate their pay policy in the coming months. If we consider the matter from the point of view of a Government trying to do this exercise in a freeze period, it can be said to be necessary to be adamant and to make no exceptions. In a freeze period it may be necessary to say, "We cannot allow exceptions. We know that the policy is unfair, but it has to be unfair. It is only on a rigid basis that a freeze can be maintained." However, once the country moves beyond the end of a freeze period, I put it to the House—and I hope that I carry the whole House with me—that a new situation arises in which there has to be an element of discrimination and an element of choice between the merits of different claims.

There are problems which will not go away. They will not be solved by sending letters of admonishment in pay packets to civil servants, or by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland making lurid speeches during the weekend, or whatever other secret weapons Ministers may have up their sleeves. Indeed, to a limited extent the Government have acknowledged in the code that there must be a greater degree of discrimination in phase 2 than in phase 1. Paragragh 122 of the code contains the statement, which I welcome, that on the due date, there will be full implementation of settlements reached before 6th November 1972.

That point was urged upon the Government by the Opposition in Committee. I am glad that the Government have conceded the logic of what was said to them. But what does it mean? It means that where there was a written agreement—as, for example, in the building industry—for two stages of a pay settlement, the second stage can take effect.

Many other cases about which the country is arguing today are almost the same as that, in principle. For example, there is the argument about the London teachers' allowance. It concerns the payment of an allowance which was regarded in April 1972 as part of the teachers' award. Its implementation was postponed for a few months. It would have been agreed by November if Ministers had not deliberately held up negotiations about detail. The London teachers can say that in principle they are in the same position as those who are covered by paragraph 122.

The hospital workers' case cannot be formalised in quite the same way, but it is similar in principle. Hospital workers have traditionally been linked with local government workers. Both are low-paid workers, and they are linked to each other. Both perform essential community services which in the past we have never rewarded properly. Hospital workers have been forced to accept this situation, together with local government workers. They have a grievance which goes very deep. That fact should be recognised by hon. Members on both sides of the House.

The civil servants have a similar case, the principle of which is set out in the Priestley Report. It has been accepted by successive Governments that Civil Service pay should be decided on the principle of comparability with people doing similar work outside. Because of the way in which that formula has worked, civil servants can never be the pace-makers, in terms of inflation. If this Government, or any Government, succeed in slowing down the rate at which people's incomes are growing, there will be a consequent slowing down within the Civil Service. It is very unfair to interpose the policy at the point when the Civil Service is due to catch up with rises that other people have already had.

I underline the point that has been made in previous debates, that if the Government persist in their attitude they are in danger of doing permanent damage to the system of mutual trust, co-operation and joint consultation within the Civil Service which has existed under the Whitley system for 50 years. Over the years many people of good will on both the official and the staff side have contributed to that system. It is an area in which greater flexibility is needed from the Government.

I now refer to another set of cases in which there has been an exceptional improvement in productivity. I shall argue the point entirely in counter-inflationary terms. Surely the message that has been accepted by all of us over the years is that productivity agreements in a factory or a plant—sometimes in a formal sense and sometimes by the co-operation of both sides—provide the way by which people can achieve higher real earnings without passing them on in the form of higher prices.

Is not that a doctrine which we have alt accepted? Have not we all stood on productivity platforms, speaking of productivity weeks and productivity years, and so on, advocating the simple point that this is a way in which people can achieve higher real earnings without passive them on in the form of higher prices? Better still, there might be an increase in productivity, part of which could be nassed on in the form of lower prices. But part of such an agreement was always understood to he that the workers should agree to the extra productivity methods and, perhaps, to some upheaval in their working conditions—perhaps they had to agree to redundancies among their workmates—hut that they would share to some recognisable extent in the results of the productivity gains.

The effect of the freeze period plus the effect of the phase 2 period—there is a total period, perhaps, of a year in which there are to he no gains for productivity—may do permanent damage to productivity bargaining and to the willingness of people to accept a degree of inconvenience and sacrifice in order to achieve greater productivity.

8.30 p.m.

This makes it very difficult for the present Government or any other Government to fight inflation, because part of an intelligent counter-inflation policy in an industrial society such as ours must be the encouragement of greater productivity by one means or another. Therefore, to stop productivity deals from having any effect, or to stop any gains flowing from new productivity arrangements, may just be acceptable in terms of a freeze situation, but it is not acceptable in terms of the period which follows a freeze.

This analysis applies to the current miners' claim, and I believe that it applies to the current claim of the Ford workers. Above all, it applies to the current dispute in the gas industry.

In passing, I make one further appeal to the Secretary of State for Employment to use his good offices in some way to try to bring to a close this unhappy dispute in the gas industry. What we have witnessed so far in the industry has been an amazing demonstration of moderation. People and newspapers have talked about a gas strike. In fact, there has not been a gas strike. There has been a strike by a minority of the workers in the industry and an overtime ban by the others, but gas supplies have been maintained to most consumers. But as one week succeeds another the action will be stepped up. I am not now pronouncing on whether or not it ought to be stepped up, I am simply saying that that is what is happening and what will happen.

What is so terrible in this situation is that in so far as the Secretary of State for Employment is allowed by his colleagues to exercise his rôle as Secretary of State, he is allowed to act too little and too late. Last Friday week the right hon. Gentleman said that it would be possible for the board, or for a nucleus of the board, to consider this case at an early date. If he had made that statement before the industrial action began we might not have had the industrial action. But he made it when it was already too late to be acceptable.

I urge the right hon. Gentleman once more to consider a court of inquiry along the lines suggested by Sir Henry Jones, a Royal Commission formula as suggested by my right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition or a similar formula which would enable the workers to recognise that they have a real chance to state their case before a tribunal which would consider its merits.

Finally, there has been much talk in recent weeks about the possibility of a major industrial confrontation arising from this policy. I have never believed that it would happen, and current evidence is that it will not. But I fear that from this policy will flow something more damaging to this country than a series of major strikes. I fear that we shall see the collapse of co-operative arrangements that have been arrived at patiently over the years and have been of great benefit to all members of the community. I fear that we shall see damage done to the Whitley system for civil servants, an unwillingness to enter into productivity agreements and greater sourness in industrial relations. This will be bad for industrial relations and, among other things, fatal to any policy for countering inflation.

Mr. Orme

As we proceed in these debates the daily events thrown up by various industrial actions become the meat and drink of work on this legislation. What is happening is that because of the nature of the Government's policy every industrial action becomes a political matter. This has come about because the Government have prevented the carrying out of free collective bargaining as it has come to be operated in our society.

It was said several times in Committee by Government spokesmen that the Government took pride in the fact that their present policy was based on President Nixon's United States policy. We were told on a number of occasions how successful the United States had been in this sphere, that they had moved from phase 1 to phase 2 and had now arrived at phase 3. We were told that this had been accepted by American workers and by the United States trade union movement. The American trade union movement is powerful in certain sectors of the American economy, but it is recognised that it has not the overall economic power of the British trade union movement.

But now, alas, we see that the American experience is running into heavy water. I quote from this week's Sunday Telegraph under the heading "Nixon's phase 3 in trouble". The following item was part of a report by Richard Walker in Washington: Phase 3 of President Nixon's economic plan to prod America toward 'the most bountiful prosperity ever'"— quoting the words of President Nixon— is in direct danger of collapsing before it has begun. The report goes on: The aim is that the tight wage and price control of Phase Two should be eased back into a system of mainly voluntary restraint. This, it is hoped, will lead to full employment and eventually to the disappearance of budget deficits. Six weeks after Phase Three's unveiling all indications are that it is not working out that way. Prices are rocketing in the United States, despite monitoring and all the rest.

I now wish to refer to a report in the United States United Electrical Union Journal of 8th January 1973, from Chicago, under the headline: Predict New Big Rise in Basic Food Items. The report quotes the Wall Street Journal and says: United States consumers could be socked with spiraling prices of meats, milk and, later on, eggs. The report goes on to state that increases could be in the region of as much as six cents a pound for chicken, and gives other examples of price increases in the United States.

Since the Secretary of State for Employment and his right hon. Friend the Prime Minister draw such succour from the American experience, should they not now tell the House what has gone wrong with President Nixon's policy and explain whether the Government are still intent on slavishly following that policy?

Let us consider the current industrial disputes. Today deputations from the Civil Service came to the House because they are aggrieved that the Priestley recommendations have not been carried out. It will be recalled that in 1966 when in Opposition the present Prime Minister stated that there should be no interference in agreements which had already been reached. The non-implementation of the Priestley recommendations will prevent civil servants getting what they consider to be a justifiable reassessment.

Many other workers are involved in the present situation. There are the gas workers, the Ford workers, and the many others who cannot be said to be just beginning wage negotiations but who are at the end of the process. We have seen for the first time in history major industrial action by civil servants in this country. It is rather amusing to get letters such as all hon. Members are receiving from civil servants, who are highly articulate people. The post flows in, so you send a letter to the Secretary of State. A civil servant drafts the answer and sends it back to the hon. Member, who sends it on to the civil servant. It is a process of paper circulating around—a sort of end process.

But the serious aspect is that the civil servants are firmly agreed and have been forced to take industrial action. This is not industrial action dictated by some outside body, it is not industrial action called for by the General Council of the TUC, or anything like that. It is action which they feel it necessary to take themselves.

Tomorrow we are to have no trains. The railways will be still and there will be a major rail strike. Why is there a major rail strike tomorrow? Many hon. Members will have received particulars of the train drivers' case as issued by the Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen—the statement of their General Secretary, Mr. Ray Buckton. What he is saying in this plaintive statement is that they were promised negotiation after last year's dispute, the terms of reference of which were: To review the Wages Structure for Footplate Grades, including mileage and bonus payments, in relation to outstanding and foreseen Railway requirements, and to make recommendations to the Railway Staff National Council. That policy includes negotiation on the 100-mile-an-hour-plus trains. It was accepted that these negotiations were to be separate from the general wage negotiations of the railways.

So they entered into these negotiations and, as we all know in industrial relations, there was for a considerable time to-ing and fro-ing, a certain amount of pressure, meetings, and so on. They finally got down to discussing it, and then the Railway Board said they would discuss it in accordance with the terms I have read out. But, the report goes on, the Railway Board said that it would be necessary for any recommendations stemming from the proposals to be interfaced both with the Government's programme for controlling inflation and the general pay claim which had been presented by the National Union of Railwaymen and the Transport Salaried Staffs' Association. So they say to the railwaymen, who have a claim for skilled industrial workers, who have a special claim in regard to their ability and the work they will have to do, after 12 months of negotiation—and these terms were arrived at peacefully last June and we had that industrial dispute 12 months ago—that it must come within the terms of £1 and 4 per cent. That is what the railway strike tomorrow is about. It is not about the normal wage application. It is about the procrastination which has been brought about by the Government's policy.

8.45 p.m.

I say to the House that in my opinion these industrial disputes which we now face are of such a nature that they could have been completely avoided. I made the case in the Committee in some detail, and I do not want to repeat it here, because it is on record and has been reported elsewhere, concerning the Ford workers' claim, and I and my colleagues have made out the case very clearly and succinctly in favour of the gas workers at this time.

It is not the job of Members of Parliament to negotiate for trade unionists. That is what the trade union movement and free collective bargaining are about. It is for trade unionists to negotiate. Sometimes they are successful, and sometimes they are not. We live in an imperfect society, but with correct industrial relations, and workers who pay attention to increased productivity and production and so on, it is possible to reach amicable arrangements in more cases than it is not.

But now every wage claim becomes a matter for Members of Parliament. Trapped by the Bill, trade unions have nowhere to turn. Industrial action will be illegal, if the Government make an order about the claim in question. There is nothing to stop British Rail settling with the railway drivers now. There is nothing to stop the Ford Motor Company settling with its workers. That would not be illegal. If the hon. Member for Oswestry (Mr. Biffen) has done nothing else, he has exposed the fact that without an order against a specific claim or pay increase it is legal at present for trade unions to negotiate wage increases above the recommended norm or for price increases to be imposed. There is no legal restriction under phase 2 other than an order in council made by the Secretary of State.

Mr. Atkinson

People are beginning to write to Members about the legal position. We want to make it absolutely clear that, while it is not illegal for, say, the Ford workers to conclude an agreement with their employers, with the increase to be paid during the present period, the Secretary of State would issue an order forthwith preventing the workers from receiving the money. We should make it absolutely clear, therefore, that there is no legal loophole through which any group of workers can force their way.

Mr. Orme

My hon. Friend has overlooked one point. The Government cannot make any orders under the Bill yet, because it is not an Act. They are asking people to enforce a measure which is not yet an Act. If the Government cannot act retrospectively, I do not think that even when the Bill has become an Act they will be able to overturn a settlement reached now. They can roll back a price increase or wage settlement once the Bill is on the statute book, but in my opinion they do not have the power legally to do so now, unless they take retrospective powers, which as far as I can see the Bill does not contain.

We are in the twilight period between the freeze and the coming into force of the Bill. The nonsense of the current situation has been exposed. We have made these points time and again in Committee.

The Government's policy is worsening industrial relations, increasing strikes and preventing free collective bargaining. It is the Secretary of State's duty to tell the Prime Minister to end the present policy and to return to a sane policy of free collective bargaining.

Mr. Cecil Parkinson (Enfield, West)

One of the first speeches I heard in this House when I was elected in a by-election in November 1970 was made by the hon. Member for Salford, West (Mr. Orme) on the Industrial Relations Bill. I have heard him make many sincere and strong speeches about a cause in which he obviously very passionately believes. But I thought that tonight he was straining the credulity of the House by suggesting that the railwaymen had chosen tomorrow as the day to strike because this was the week of all weeks when their patience had finally run out. It seemed a very convenient week for their patience finally to run out, a week in which they could join with other members of the trade union movement in making a demonstration of strength against the Government. Many people who will be prevented from going to work tomorrow and many who will have their business life disrupted will regard it as a demonstration of strength and aggressiveness by the railway unions and not as a desperate gesture of a group of people whose patience has finally run out.

Mr. Orme

The hon. Member must recognise that the railway unions were negotiating during the weekend with the Railways Board and up to last night to reach a settlement. They did not want a strike but they and Mr. Buckton wanted a form of agreement to prevent the strike. Therefore it was not premeditated. Matters do not work out like that in this country. The negotiations broke down and so we are to have the strike tomorrow.

Mr. Parkinson

The hon. Member is entitled to his view, as I am entitled to mine, but, without being in any way presumptuous, I believe that the vast majority of the public will read the situation my way and not his.

I listened to the hon. Member again tonight saying, "Let us get back to free collective bargaining." I share his ambition that we should do so, but until we tackle what I consider one of our big national problems free collective bargaining will remain something of a joke, and a rather sad joke. We have in this country nationalised monopolies, nationalised in the public interest, manned almost inevitably by a trade union monopoly operating within those nationalised monopolies, which has decided over the course of the last few years to start using that monopoly power in an anti-social way which would not be allowed to any private cartel.

We would not even have allowed such private cartels to exist. We would have wheeled in the Monopolies Commission and the monopoly would have been investigated. But we have created these immensely powerful State monopolies which cannot go bankrupt, which are not subject to normal commercial disciplines and within which the unions have started to abuse their powers. When I listened to gas workers boasting that the Gas Council has already lost the £15 million surplus it made last year, my reaction was to hope that the Gas Council in that situation will withdraw its offer and make an offer that it can afford because until we get to a stage where one may lose by going on strike as well as gain, the idea of free collective bargaining is not to be taken seriously.

Mr. Bruce-Gardyne

My hon. Friend has referred to the Gas Council making "an offer which it could afford". Will he elaborate what he means by "afford"?

Mr. Parkinson

My hon. Friend knows as well as I do that the Gas Council probably could not afford to make the offer it then made, but it can now afford it £15 million less by the reckoning of the trade union movement. Every time anyone tries to react and urges the Government to use the power of the law, we are told that it would be interfering with free collective bargaining. I do not know what is free in the bargaining between the National Coal Board and the National Union of Mineworkers.

Last year, the public were dragooned into believing that the miners were a group of very deserving men who had been left behind. The same group of men, who received very substantial increases as a result of last year's strike, are out to capture public attention again, and I intend to do all in my power, limited though it may be, to ensure that they do not succeed in gaining public sympathy this time for a case which was not a particularly good one last year and has little merit, if at all, this year.

The right hon. Member for East Ham, North (Mr. Prentice) said there were unfairnesses in the policy. I agree that there are bound to be anomalies if one calls a halt at any given moment, if one does not let the wheel turn full circle. But there is not a moment in the year when the wheel has turned full circle. There is always someone who was due to enter negotiations, or had been on the point of completing them. There is not a moment when one can say that everyone has had a chance and that this is where we must stop. So I accept that there is unfairness, but I am sure that there would be greater unfairness if we did not tackle the problem.

The right hon. Gentleman dragged out the old hoary tale about productivity deals. How do we measure productivity deals? We are constantly told about output per man shift and the increase in output, but there is no mention of the huge investment in capital machinery that may have taken place. That is totally discounted. The right hon. Gentleman knows as well as I do that often productivity deals are an excuse for breaching an agreement, that the productivity rarely matches up to expectations. It is often just a convenient peg on which to hand a capitulation for which one had to have an excuse. If we can find a proper way of measuring productivity, I shall become more enthusiastic about productivity deals, but at the moment our methods of measuring them leave a lot to be desired. A genuine productivity gain is not an easy thing to measure.

The right hon. Gentleman talked of the degree of sacrifice involved in the Government's policy. We are constantly hearing about the degree of sacrifice in relation to the low-paid worker. The amount able to be paid under the Government's policy is an average of 8 per cent., but, in the event of agreement between the union and the employer, it is possible for an increase to represent 25 per cent. or even 33 per cent. We are constantly told about the £15-a-week man in this industry or the £20-a-week man in that industry. We on this side have the right to ask why, after six years of Labour Government, there were so many low-paid workers. Why, if wages have gone up so much in the last two years, did these workers start at so low a base when the economy had been in the hands of the Labour Government for six years, that they are still earning under £20 a week.

A policy which gives the opportunity for 25 or even 33 per cent. increases to the lower paid can hardly be described as an affront, and surely a national average of 8 per cent., while it may involve sacrifice in certain cases, should not be under-estimated. The policy offers, as the right hon. Gentleman, who is a fair-minded man, will admit, opportunities for the lower paid, provided the unions and the managements agree, to be better off to the extent of 25 or 33 per cent.—the latter being the possible figure for the very low paid. These are very considerable figures.

This country is sick to death of the hypocrisy involved in the low-paid worker being used as a means of boosting the wages of the high-paid. The trade union movement, with its love of differentials, is further bringing the collective bargaining system into disrepute by using the low-paid as an excuse for getting a really good deal for the high-paid. It needs the low-paid person because most of its manoeuvreings are based on the fact that he exists. Without him most of its arguments would be a sham.

The views of hon. Members opposite are no doubt sincerely held but the country as a whole has had enough of this play on words, this talk of collective bargaining which is not free and which has been abused—this misuse of the plight of the low-paid. I do not believe that this Bill is any sort of threat and I do not believe that it is unjust to an extent which is not tolerable in the national interest.

9.0 p.m.

Mr. F. P. Crowder (Ruislip-Northwood)

I shall detain the House for only a few moments but I believe that everyone would agree—

Mr. Arthur Lewis

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I have been in this House long enough to know that one never criticises the Chair and I do not do so now. I raise this as a matter of general principle. It is, I believe, the usual custom and practice for the Chair as far as possible to proceed alternately in its selection of speakers and I am wondering whether your last selection was intentional or an accident on your part.

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Sir Robert Grant-Ferris)

I quite understand the hon. Gentleman's point. I realise that he knows what the rules are. I had thought that this might happen. I am glad to be able to explain to the House that, inadvertently, when the right hon. Member for East Ham, North (Mr. Prentice) sat down, I called the hon. Member for Salford, West (Mr. Orme) without seeing that the lion Member for Enfield, West (Mr. Parkinson) had risen. So now I call the hon, and learned Member for Ruislip-Northwood (Mr. Crowder).

Mr. Crowder

I am sure that hon. and right hon. Gentleman opposite would agree that although we have in the past been faced with the sort of problem we are debating tonight—whichever Government has been in power—we have not succeeded in finding a solution. I do not believe that we shall ever get very far in these matters without setting an example. If a person sets an example in life, others will follow him and accept him by their own standards. That brings me to something which I put forward with great diffidence. Would it not be a sensible thing in the circumstances to reduce, even by a token percentage, our own salaries as Members of Parliament?

Mr. Carter

Come off it!

Mr. Crowder

It is not something I would seek to impose on any colleague in the House because I am the last person to do so. I earn my living at the Bar, and everyone knows it. I make no nonsense about that. Even a token and tiny percentage would have an effect in the country, albeit for only six months or a year. It would indicate that we really do care—as the Labour Party has so often said at times of a General Election.

I wonder whether, through the usual channels, we could not arrive at some solution on that basis. However token it might be, it might have the effect of convincing the people that we really do care about these matters. I do not know what hon. Members opposite think. Those who earn anything outside of this House certainly should go into this 100 per cent. Those who do not should be exempted. I would not wish to see any unfairness in it at all. As Members of Parliament we have a duty to set an example to the people—

Mrs. Elaine Kellett-Bowman (Lancaster) rose

Mr. Ted Fletcher (Darlington) rose

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. To which hon. Member is the hon. and learned Gentleman giving way?

Mr. Crowder

Obviously to the hon. Lady.

Mrs. Kellett-Bowman

Would my hon. and learned Friend for Ruislip-Northwood (Mr. Crowder) consider it intolerable if, instead of Members of Parliament taking a token reduction, their pay for the next six months were to be tied in inverse ratio to the cost of living, thus giving us a vested interest in seeing that prices do not rise?

Mr. Crowder

I think that is a very nice idea.

Mr. Fletcher

Would the hon. and learned Gentleman advocate that, in order to set an example to Members of Parliament, the Bar Council might suggest reducing barristers' fees?

Mr. Crowder

I would be only too delighted—

The Speaker

Order. I hope the House will not tempt the hon. and learned Gentleman too far along these lines.

Mr. Crowder

I would be only too delighted to reduce fees by all means because fees do not matter. They all go in tax in any event at the end of the day. There is no problem there.

Hon. Gentlemen opposite have always been very kind to me when I have put forward somewhat unusual proposals. They know that I put them forward only because I really believe in them. Hon. Gentlemen opposite, I think, would be the first to believe with me that we shall never achieve anything politically in this House or, indeed, in private unless we do it by example. If the House of Commons were to have a token reduction over a very short period in the amount of money paid to Members of Parliament—which is not very much in any event, having regard to modern circumstances; I accept that at once—that leadership and example might have an effect throughout the whole country. All of us will be faced with this problem in future whether we are in office or out of office.

I believe there might be something in this idea. If I could get an agreement from hon. Gentlemen opposite on that sort of basis, however token or small the reduction was, then that might halt this ghastly process of inflation which is burdening the country to such a degree that almost no Government can face it except on the basis of the strikes now taking place. I put this forward as a proposition. I invite hon. Members opposite to give their views.

Mr. Arthur Lewis

May I first thank you for your kindness, Mr. Speaker, in explaining what happened a moment ago. I am sure the House appreciated that.

Before dealing with the points raised by the hon. Member for Enfield, West (Mr. Parkinson), I must deal with the hon. and learned Member for Ruislip-Northwood (Mr. Crowder). I have never heard such drivel in all my life. Here he is, an hon. and learned Gentleman who comes along to the House much more frequently than some of his hon. and learned Friends but, with great respect to him, not so frequently as some of my hon. and learned Friends now sitting behind me, making the suggestion that Members of Parliament should have their salaries cut for a little while. One of my hon. Friends interjected, I think rightly, "Why not cut out outside income?". The hon. and learned Member replied—and this is rather significant—that if the Bar Council were to cut the fees of barristers he would be in favour of it because all he gets in outside income goes in tax.

The answer to all our problems is this then: give the railwaymen, civil servants, hospital workers and gas workers the same fees as the lawyers receive and let it all go in tax. I give the hon. and learned Gentleman the assurance that there would be no strikes tomorrow if all the railway workers were to get the same fees and the same refreshers as the hon. and learned Member receives when he goes to court.

Mr. Crowder

Are they worth it?

Mr. Lewis

I think they are more than worth it, with respect to my hon. and learned Friends. A chap who is driving a train and delivering freight and workers to and from their factories is much more important than a lawyer getting a £25 per day refresher fee or perhaps a 100 guinea a day refresher fee to decide whether some crooked speculator should or should not go to gaol. The railway worker is much more entitled to it.

Mr. Crowder

If the railway workers want the fees that we get at the Bar why do not they go to the Bar?

Mr. Lewis

The hon. and learned Member says that it is good enough for some people to be able to get what they like. They will still be able to do so. They will still be able to fiddle, because no one will know what is happening. The lawyers have the greatest united trade union in the House. No lawyer in the House can tell me that lawyers' fees will be controlled. The hon. and learned Member negotiates his fee through his solicitor or managing clerk. That is fair, free negotiation. There is free negotiation for the lawyer, but not for the engineer, the bricklayer, the carpenter and all the other workers. The hon. Member for Enfield, West agrees that that is not fair. He could not have been here at Question time today, when the Prime Minister repeated that the policy is fair and that the people support it because it is fair. I do not know where the Prime Minister has been in these last few days. The civil servants, the teachers and the engineers do not think that it is fair. They are strongly opposed to the policy because they know that it is not fair.

Today I went to see the civil servants who are on strike. For the first time since the Civil Service was established 500 years ago civil servants have been on strike, with posters and picketing. Today I asked the Minister responsible for the Civil Service to state the rate of pay of the lowest-paid civil servant in June 1970, his pension entitlement after 40 years' service, and how those figures compared with the salary and pension of the Head of the Civil Service—the man who sent out a letter during this week telling the wicked civil servants not to strike. The reply I received contained illuminating figures that show up the fairness of the policy. On 30th June 1970 a female cleaner outside London had a salary of £12 18s. a week and a pension entitlement of £5 7s. 10d. At that time the Head of the Civil Service had a salary of £10,400 a year and a pension entitlement of £4,800 a year. On 31st December of last year the cleaner received £16.30 a week—a 30 per cent. increase—and a pension of £8.15 a week—an increase of about 50 per cent. What about the Head of the Civil Service? How has he done? At the same date he received £16,750 a year. What about the pension? It is £8,375—a 100 per cent. increase. Well might he support the policy. Well might he say to his cleaner, "You wicked girl, to go out on strike." That is the crookedness and dishonesty of the Government. They know that the policy is crooked, dishonest and unfair.

9.15 p.m.

Mr. Crowder

Does not the hon. Gentleman agree that at this moment it would be right for Members of Parliament to accept a token reduction?

Mr. Lewis

No, because the whole thing is crooked, as I shall explain. The Government could take action, but they refuse. They take action, when it suits them, only against the lower-paid workers. The gas workers have been quoted. I saw in the Daily Telegraph only this week a letter from David Bassnet, the secretary of my union—I declare an interest; I am a member of the union—who mentioned that the gas workers came here lobbying. My hon. Friends and I took the trouble to go to meet them and discuss the question with them. There were 20, 30 or 40 other hon. Members who never took the trouble to go out and see them. There happened to be a Three-Line Whip here. I went through the list of those who did not go out and found that almost every one had outside interests, and made more, in salary, from their outside interests than they received as Members of Parliament.

What a crooked thing it is to suggest that the salary of a Member of Parliament should be cut, when one knows that the person making the suggestion is getting three or four times that amount on a part-time basis outside. But let us not bring in Members of Parliament. When I raised a Question in the House the Government refused to take action. This is nothing personal; it is an illustration of a particular case to give point to the general. A one-time great footballer is a commentator on ITV—a chap called Jimmy Hill. He is a part-time commentator, receiving £10,000 a year. He has decided, by arrangement, to go to the BBC and do a part-time commentating job for the corporation at £22,500. The Government have been asked to take action on this case and they have refused. What do the Government feel will be the reaction of workers in the BBC who have given their life to serving the BBC and who have been told that they cannot have any increase, and who then find that a chap can come in overnight and get £22,500? Is it not obvious that Mr. David Coleman, Mr. Peter Dimmock and all the others already in the BBC will say, "If we are working here for £10,000 or so and we find a chap coming in and making £22,500 overnight, is not this inflationary?" Yet when I asked the Government to take action they refused.

We had the same thing with regard to the chairmen of boards, in terms of the number of instances of which one can read in company directors' statements and company reports of company directors' fees rising by 100 per cent. or 200 per cent. We are told that the teachers should be looked after. In my constituency we have a great shortage of teachers, for various reasons. One is because the salary is not worth having; another is because there is a grave housing shortage, and a third because the London teachers' allowance is not sufficient to compensate for the housing difficulty. So we are now finding that teachers are leaving the area because they cannot afford houses. What happens? The Government do not attempt to help. Even though both employers and teachers have agreed to the payment of an extra sum, the Government come forward and in that instance they stop it. They cannot stop the others to whom I have referred.

I believe that we see too much evidence of there being one law for the rich and another for the poor. Those who have, can have and still have. One cannot get facts and figures about what is happening. I noticed in the Estimates that the salary of a clerk in the Department of the Clerk of the House had been increased. When I tried to discover how and why I was told that I could not ask Questions on the matter and that no information was available.

The hon. and learned Member for Ruislip-Northwood suggested that hon. Members should take a cut in salary. I have a better proposition. Every member of the House of Lords gets £8.50 a day tax-free just for poking his nose into the House of Lords. He does not have to do any work. It may be that he has a job as chairman of a State board at a salary of £20,000 or £30,000. He may have a part-time job on some advisory committee, for which he gets £1,000 or £1,500. So it goes on. I suggest that we might save some money and set an example by proposing that people of that sort have their salaries cut.

In an earlier debate we talked about the Bank Rate and the way that the banks have made 50 per cent. for profit. The funny thing is that almost all these bankers are Tories, or Tory supporters. Of course, they are quite happy. The Bank Rate has gone up. They are making fabulous profits.

This is so unfair. What is more, it is obviously unfair. It is known to be unfair. The poorest of the poor, those on the lowest incomes, are the very people against whom the Government's present policy is religiously and vigorously enforced. Those in the higher incomes groups find that the higher they get the better off they are and the less the action taken against them.

Then there are the Government themselves, who pretend by shedding crocodile tears over the poor old-age pensioners, the sick and the disabled. What do they do? In April of this year they will give hundreds of thousands of pounds in surtax relief to the very wealthiest of the population. The hon. and learned Member for Ruislip-Northwood said that they were taking cuts. It would have been better if the hon. and learned Gentleman had voted with the Opposition when he had the opportunity, in an attempt to stop these large surtax repayments. Even better, the Government could set an example and say that they will not allow these large surtax repayments and intend to take action in the forthcoming Budget to prevent them.

Mr. Crowder

Does not the hon. Gentleman agree that it is for Members of Parliament to set an example, and that even a very small token cut might steady the inflationary situation?

Mr. Lewis

I agree that a token might be a good idea. But where does it start? In any event my suggestion would be to take token action against property speculators and to make sure that surtax payers who will be getting these large handouts do not get them. The hon. and learned Gentleman had a chance to vote with the Opposition on this matter. He failed to take it. That chance came with the last Budget. We may have another chance on the next one. I hope that the hon. and learned Gentleman will support the Opposition then.

We find the Government claiming that everyone is out of step except "our Ted". I do not agree. I believe that "our Ted" might be the one who is out of step. It is just possible. One of my hon. Friends drew attention to the fact that last November or December, when the freeze was on and there was an attempt to cut back, we heard references to "setting an example". At about that time I happened to hear the radio programme "Any Questions" one Friday. One of the panel on that occasion was the right hon. Member for Taunton (Mr. due Cann). In the course of his reply to one question he said that we ought to have a vigorous attack on inflation and try to set an example. The newspapers which reported that he had just bought a £60,000 yacht also carried reports that the Prime Minister had bought a £40,000 yacht.

A gas worker can work for 40 years and still not earn the amount that one man can spend on a yacht. Yet that man tells him: "Do not be greedy. Do not ask for too much. Do not hold the country to ransom." The ex-Chairman of the Tory Party can spend £60,000 on a yacht, but it would take the average working man or woman more than a lifetime to earn that amount. Is this fair? Of course not. The people of this country know it is not fair. That is why this policy must ultimately fail.

Dr. David Owen (Plymouth, Sutton)

At this moment in my constituency and many others thousands of people are taking industrial action for the first time in their lives. Many of them are taking this action reluctantly. They never expected to find themselves in this situation. The House should ask itself why this situation has occurred. I ask the Secretary of State for Employment, when replying to the debate, to consider the psychological background against which we are debating this serious problem. I suggest that the Government have totally failed to understand the deep feeling of bitterness and resentment at this policy which is being foisted on the country.

I speak as a firm and resolute supporter of a prices and incomes policy. I have always supported such a policy, although at times it was applied by the Labour Government in a way that I did not fully support.

It is well known that on both sides of the House there are hon. Members who were root and branch against and consistently against a prices and incomes policy, as an unwarranted interference in either a market system or a collective bargaining system. I respect their consistency of view. The trouble is that as one prices and incomes policy follows another those people gain more supporters because of the lamentable failure of such policies judged overall since the war.

The major problem is that immediately we accept a prices and incomes policy we put ourselves in a straitjacket. With each prices and incomes policy successive Governments have tried to make the straitjacket even tighter, even more rigid and inflexible.

We reach for a prices and incomes policy only when the economic situation is desperate, and we ask of that policy what it cannot possibly deliver. In consequence, we are upset and disillusioned when it fails. A prices and incomes policy can operate only in the long term. It is not a major short-term manipulator of the economy. It has to operate, to be successful, in a climate of consent. It must have a major element of voluntary support.

I am not against, and have never opposed, the concept that a prices and incomes policy, fairly applied, must have some form of statutory backing. Of course, it must apply to both prices and incomes. The current policy is statutory on incomes but it has had no impact upon prices. However, that is not the problem. This policy will fail because it was born out of failure.

It does not lie in the mouths of right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite to lecture the Opposition about a prices and incomes policy, about the need for restraint, and all the humbug that has been pouring out of some Government spokesmen over the last few months.

I will support a prices and incomes policy that is fair. I will support any policy which is designed to try to curb effectively inflation. The present policy is not. It fails to meet almost any of the criteria for success. It comes from a Government who do not believe in a prices and incomes policy—who do not see it against the background against which it must be introduced in this country, as a long-term way of changing the basic inequalities in British society.

It must be done slowly, because it has to be done voluntarily. It must be done by consent, but it must be done with conviction. A Government who, when in opposition, opposed in a most hysterical way any form of prices and incomes policy, are not capable now of asking of the country the moral restraint that is necessary for such a policy. The Government do not have the necessary fund of good will or consent. That is why this policy will fail. As it gets more Draconian and detailed, so the failure will become more and more obvious.

9.30 p.m.

My plea to the Secretary of State is that the hope of this policy lies in his lowering his sights, claiming success for it only over a much longer period, taking on immediately a far more flexible approach and looking at the present wage claims with far less rigidity. Instead of relying on formulae the right hon. Gentleman should be taking each case on its merits. Of course, it will occasionally have unfairness in its application, but the right hon. Gentleman has already admitted that it has unfairness in its current application.

This Government, like the Labour Government, have got away with a six months' freeze. The country, broadly speaking, was prepared to accept that, but I believe that it will not accept, without a deep-seated resentment building up, the current policy for phase 2. The sooner the Government introduce greater flexibility into it, the sooner they are prepared to recognise the causes why civil servants are currently taking industrial action, the better.

The same applies to gas workers and hospital workers. I know from my own experience that hospital workers have worked on low pay for years and years, and—to their own detriment—have never sought to organise themselves. Their wages have been allowed to lag woefully behind, and they have worked long hours. All these people are fed up and frustrated, and the sooner the Govern- ment realise it the sooner they will get the country to accept that a prices and incomes policy has a sensible place in the way we run the economy. But we should not make for such a policy over-vaunted and, in my view, absurdly optimistic claims. What statutory backing there has to be is largely to cope with the rogue elephants. It is not detailed statutory backing that is needed. The more detailed the policy becomes, the more in many respects, it is doomed to failure.

I ask the Government to realise that if they are now going to try to get the country to accept this type of policy—if we are to have any success in the fight against inflation, they will have to look into the hearts and minds of people. Their past dogma and doctrine will have to be thrown out through the window. They will have to have a more flexible, reasonable and sensible approach to this and many other problems. They cannot dissociate whatever policy they bring before the House on prices and incomes from their other policies, on taxation and housing, for example, or their overall attitude to inequalities in this country.

Unless and until they see this policy in the round, for the long term, they will fail. Their failure will be the country's failure. All that will happen is that inflation will go on, bitterness will increase and disillusionment with any form of political solution to many of these problems will increase with it.

Many hon. Members on this side are prepared to support a policy which will do something to redress inequalities in this society, but they are not prepared to see a policy foisted on many people who will have to make real sacrifices. The inflation in prices is not fully understood by hon. Members opposite, particularly the way it hits a man who may be taking home what sounds a reasonable wage—say £30 a week—who has two or three children and who is facing an ever-increasing spiral in the price of those things which constantly have to be bought, week in and week out, in rents, rates and other things. Inevitably, he eventually claims for improved wages. Unless the Government can recognise that now and recognise it very quickly and come off the rigid incomes and wages aspect of their policy it will fail. Therefore, I hope that the Secretary of State, before it is too late, will introduce a policy which does not have this minute attention to detail, this attempt to do the impossible but will go back to reason and to flexibility. If he does that maybe the policy will succeed. Maybe then we shall see an easing of the general frustration and ill-feeling that exists. The current policy and the current framework which the Government have introduced is doomed to fail and I believe also that the Government are doomed to fail. The sooner they recognise that a substantial re-think of their basic economic policies has to come the better for the people of this country and for the House.

Mr. Hugh Dykes (Harrow, East) rose

Mr. John Mendelson (Penistone)

I want to concentrate on one point only—

Mr. Dykes

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, I apologise for intervening at this juncture but you have now selected three hon. Members on the Opposition side in turn.

Mr. Mendelson

No one one stood up.

Mr. Dykes

I stood up.

Mr. Speaker

Order. This is a matter for me. Mr. Mendelson.

Mr. Mendelson

I wish to concentrate on only one point which I wish to put to the Secretary of State as strongly as I can. The other day at Question Time I referred to those hon. Members of the Cabinet and the Government who are specially charged with the policies of industrial conciliation. I did so in the absence of the Secretary of State for Employment who was otherwise engaged, as we in the House all knew. I want to repeat the point for the right hon. Gentleman now, as he was the responsible officer I had in mind, as well as his colleagues in his Department.

We have built up over many years a carefully designed system of indusstrial conciliation that many people in industry have relied upon and regarded as an essential part of the civilised way of doing our daily work. The great danger in this legislation as I see it—and as the House will know I saw this danger in similar legislation brought forward by my right hon. Friends when they formed the Cabinet—is that it introduces a rigidity which excludes the ordinary processes of conciliation. I regard this as the most dangerous aspect of the Government's attitude and consider that it is largely responsible for a great many of the serious industrial developments which we have been seeing in recent weeks, and particularly this week.

I know that the right hon. Gentleman is in difficulty here. I have no intention of making any cheap political tactical point. The matter is far too serious for that. But I realise the particular difficulty in which he finds himself being at one and the same time a member of the body which collectively decides policy—the Cabinet—and head of the Department which contains the permanent officers, the chief conciliation officer and all his staff.

This morning I received a letter from a gas worker, a gentleman who has never written to me before. He says, As an employee of the British Gas Corporation residing in the Oughtibridge ward of Penistone, I would like to take this opportunity of writing to you to request that you raise the question of the gas employees' case in Parliament, and to explain to you the gas employees' case more precisely than has been published in the local and national press. A few years ago gasmen, as we are termed, considered themselves to have a well-paid and secure job, but today circumstances have made this position entirely the opposite. In 1967 with the introduction of natural gas the then Gas Council claimed that the new found fuel would bring more prosperity to the country, the Gas Board, its employees and to the consumer. The gas employees entered into the conversion programme with complete enthusiasm and carried out conversion of industrial and domestic premises with speed and efficiency, especially in the Sheffield area. A job scheduled to take 10 years was completed in four years. The prosperity natural gas brought to the Gas Board was increased productivity, a profit of some £15 million and reductions were also made to all consumers. He continues: The promised prosperity it brought to the gasmen were in redundancies of 22,000 and for those still employed £22.84 a week, less in some cases, which after stoppages result in a take-home pay of £18.50. What a glowing tribute—and I quote—to 'the prosperity of natural gas'. That is the letter of a reasonable man who over the years has done his work. He now makes his appeal, which is typical of many of the people who work in an industry which has not seen a strike for over 50 years.

My constituent in his letter asks me to ask the Government to set up a court of inquiry into the position of the gas workers. The Government have many times rejected the setting up of a court of inquiry. They argue that if we are to stick to the provisions outlined in the Bill there can be no room for a court of inquiry. If they say that, they are at the same time suspending all the long-built-up conciliation machinery at a moment when there is no other such machinery in existence. We are in a hiatus. The danger of the last few weeks is that the Government have stubbornly refused to use the conciliation machinery which we have built up over 60 years, and there is no other machinery available. All the talk about setting up the Pay Board in advance of the board starting its work, and all the difficulties that the Secretary of State for Employment has faced in his sincere efforts to find an approach that would get the Government and the country over a number of dangerous difficulties, failed completely because the right hon. Gentleman was not in a position to authorise or to offer the use of established conciliation machinery.

That is a policy of madness. There is no justification for putting prestige and an attitude of firmness against the realities of the immediate situation. The right hon. Gentleman should assert himself. The present situation demands the use of his chief conciliation officer, his assistant conciliation officers and himself as leader of them all.

It is necessary to accept the proposals of the gasmen and other moderate people in the trade union movement who have shown their interest in the industry in which they work over many years, and to accept the proposals to use as of tomorrow the existing conciliation machinery.

It would be unreasonable to ask the right hon. Gentleman to do anything or to say anything that would weaken the Government's attitude to their legislation. We have all been here long enough to understand that no Government can do that. That is not the proposal that I am making. I am asking the right hon. Gentleman to say that this is an extraordinary situation which represents a grave danger to industry and to this country, which fully justifies reconsideration by the right hon. Gentleman's Cabinet colleagues and a declaration that we shall use all the machinery, including a court of inquiry, to get over these difficult weeks.

The Minister has tried, but the proposal merely to set up the members of the board earlier than the legislation is enacted does not get him over the difficulty that any decisions, after consideration which the Pay Board might give, cannot come into effect until the autumn. That is too long to have to wait. The Government would lose no prestige—except with the leader writer in the Sunday Express, which they could well afford—if they made a declaration tomorrow that they realised the special difficulties of this situation and have reconsidered the usage of existing conciliation machinery until other machinery comes into effect.

9.45 p.m.

It will remain our case that the legislation is misconceived, but I am not dealing with that now. That is common ground on the Opposition side of the House. I have yet to meet many employers in my area who do not share the Opposition's view on this legislation. We believe it to be misconceived. But there are situations when other factors even more important than the immediate view of a pending Act of Parliament intervene. I say with profound conviction that we are in such a situation and that it is up to the right hon. Gentleman to see that immediate action is taken to use the channels of conciliation that exist today.

Mr. Hugh Dykes (Harrow, East)

I want to intervene only briefly. I hope that the hon. Member for Penistone (Mr. John Mendelson) will forgive me if I do not refer in great detail to what he said.

I am more concerned—as many other hon. Members would have said had they been called—with the unusually muddled approach of the hon. Member for Plymouth, Sutton (Dr. David Owen). He was clearly, in a paradoxical way, not making himself clear about precisely what he felt on a prices and incomes policy, the Government's policy and what would be the Opposition's alternative suggestions. All of us respect the hon. Member normally for the clarity of his views. But on this side of the House, at least, there is a feeling of considerable disappointment, because what the hon. Member said was misleading as well as muddled. It was misleading because he failed to make clear what he was getting at on the subject of a prices and incomes policy, what the Labour Party would have done in a similar situation, and why he was objecting to both the broad brush of the present Government's policy and to what he referred to as some of the minute details.

This is the biggest danger for those on the Opposition benches, who attempt to construct a policy that they may regard as viable Opposition in some way and yet have nothing constructive to say in the context of what the Government are trying to do.

We are all speaking frankly in this frank debate That does not mean, however, that there are not some of my hon. Friends who have considerable misgivings about some of the details of this policy. None the less, it is above all manifestly clear, beyond any doubts that are more than merely marginal or relative, that the overwhelming mass of the British public are now looking to the Government, even if they are not normally Conservative supporters and even if they feel disgruntled about what the Government have done up to the stage of phases 1 and 2, at long last to do something about the problem of inflation.

This central problem assumes a national character which transcends party feelings. There are of course party and philosophical differences, but if the Opposition seek excessively to undermine the potential success of this policy of restraint up to the beginning of phase 3 they will bear a heavy responsibility.

No doubt many hon. Members, if they speak honestly and frankly, will feel uncomfortable about the minutiae of the policy. There are some employers—employers who might be said by the Opposition to be traditional Conservative supporters—who may now say that enormous anomalies will be created because of the base reference date of 1st April in terms of the five-year test of profit margins. They may well feel that that is arbitrary and unfair. Furthermore, on the other side of the coin, the gas workers have a considerable case to argue over their own remuneration when they refer to their record and their responsible attitude. I am sure that all fair-minded Members will acknowledge that to be true. However, in implementing a policy of this nature, unfairness manifests itself in a crude way.

The central problem which we face in these debates is much more weighty in the overall success of the policy given the number of months which will be needed to take us from phase 2 into phase 3 in the longer term. I believe that the Government are right to seek power to deal with the situation in the longer term. The situation admits of some unfairness and crudity, and in certain sectors the policy will be grotesquely unfair. This will affect unions as well as employers and will involve the distributive services as well as the service industries. It is a policy which is bound to be arbitrary and unfair in giving the country a breathing space.

As a London Member I have the greatest sympathy with the London teachers' case. They wish to have a device under which the pay board can be set up as a provisional nucleus before it comes into statutory effect so that the board may examine the various arguments. Furthermore, the railwaymen for their part adopt arguments which relate to the overhang from a period which ended on 5th November 1972. I wish to emphasise that we now face a new era, and in that sense I hope that the House will seek to espouse new arguments.

Mr. Neil Kinnock (Bedwellty)

The hon. Member for Harrow, East (Mr. Dykes) and I came into the House on the same day, and I believe we made our maiden speeches on the same day. In that sense, in parliamentary terms we can be said to have that much in common. But the hon. Gentleman has arrived at conclusions about the nature of political divisions which differ from my conclusions.

The hon. Gentleman's analysis appeared to be based on the fact that the crisis of inflation is so monumental that it should lead Members of all parties to treat the matter as one which transcends party differences. I strongly differ from that opinion, although it might be said that one or two of my right hon. and hon. Friends would not agree with me. This is a matter of almost elementary difference in terms of interpretation of the way in which the economy should be run and from where the crisis springs.

We have rehearsed the diagnosis of inflation frequently in past debates, and I should be out of order in further pursuing it, and shall not do so. I am sure we shall have further opportunities to undertake debates on that subject in the future. But I want to take up what my hon. Friend the Member for Plymouth, Sutton (Dr. David Owen) said. He said that the Government had to discover that they could not hope to undertake and run an efficacious, satisfactory prices and incomes policy without consent, without flexibility. I think the Government have already rumbled that fact and that there is no administration in history which has been more acutely aware of the need for consent and consultation in its application of policy.

The difficulty of this Government is that, while they are aware of the need for this, they seem to be almost biologically incapable of carrying out their good intentions. They have almost grotesquely misapplied the whole concept of fairness repeatedly in many of their policies over the past two and a half years. The chief instances of these distortions have been the Housing Finance Act and the legislation we are discussing tonight.

It is not a question of semantics, of what we mean by being fair. It is a case—and that is why I say it is a matter of very deep political division between the two parties—of deciding as Members of Parliament whose interests and which interests we represent. I say to my hon. Friend the Member for Plymouth, Sutton that if, as he said, we tried to be reasonable, if we tried to adopt consensus attitudes, if the Labour movement outside this House were to adopt such attitudes, I am sure that the apparatus which the Conservative Government are now constructing as part of their counter-inflation policy would roll right over all the democratic elements of free collective bargaining and parliamentary accountability.

So we cannot afford on this side of the House to be sweetly reasonable. We must undertake to represent a partisan interest. The division between us is this: I believe, and I think that most of my hon. Friends believe, that we are here to represent, to defend and to extend the interests of working people. Our major criticism of this counter-inflation policy—and this is why these amendments are down on Report—is that the Government have decided deliberately and consciously to restrict the incomes of one sector of the population while doing nothing effective or significant as far as other sectors of the population are concerned. When the population of this country has been so consciously divided into interest groups by the very legislation we are discussing, we cannot be expected to be non-partisan and to adopt consensus postures when debating issues such as this.

The first stage of the Government's persuasive technique was to use the idea of presenting a paranoiac obsession with inflation. Certainly inflation is an important problem, but we now have an exclusive obsession with the problem, so that all our attitudes, policies and thinking seem to be devoted to one thing. I suggest that this serves a very useful propaganda purpose, although it is a remarkable deceit and conceit which permits the Government—who in many respects have been more responsible than most elements in the economy for creating and generating this inflation—to be at the same time the wolf and the boy who cries "Wolf". There is an obsession with inflation. The Government employ the technique of talking about fairness and consultation, neither of which, when put to the test, have any meaning. Therefore, the Prime Minister—

It being Ten o'clock, the debate stood adjourned.


That the Counter-Inflation Bill may be proceeded with at this day's Sitting, though opposed, until any hour.—[Mr. Jopling.]

Question again proposed, That the amendment be made.

Mr. Kinnock

The Prime Minister a fortnight ago and the Home Secretary last night found it necessary to rattle their sabres. The Prime Minister said that compromise was an option that the country could no longer afford. Last night the Home Secretary became an economic jingoist. He said that he did not want confrontation, and nor did the Government, but if it became necessary, if they had to stand firm, that was what they would do. There was a popular song before the First World War: We don't want to fight, but, by jingo if we do We've got the ships, we've got the men, we've got the money too. To tell a 10-million strong Labour movement, "We don't want a confrontation, but we are prepared to take you on", seems unusually heroic for the Home Secretary, with the kind of personality that he tries to present, but it betrays a certain attitude by the Government.

After hearing the hon. Member for Enfield, West (Mr. Parkinson), I began to understand how much insistence there is from the Conservative back benches that the Government shall adopt a strongman posture. Even if the Government are fulfilling the expectations of their back benchers, they are not fulfilling the expectations of the nation at large. The hon. Member for Harrow, East said that the nation was looking to the Government to give a lead. If it is looking to the Government for anything, it is for them to get out so that alternative policies may be tried—[An HON. MEMBER: "Rubbish!"] I doubt whether the hon. Gentleman would find even solid Conservatives who would not confess that the Government's position in the country, their credibility, is in the shakiest possible state. Among the labour movement, in the battle that the Government have chosen, they would find no support. Over 2½ years, with greater frequency and drama more recently, the Government have managed to offend large sections of the labour force.

Someone has said that the Opposition have wept crocodile tears over lowerpaid workers. Everybody is subjective about his or her income. The term "lower-paid" is subjective and relative. The workers who are making the present pay claims strongly believe themselves to be among the lower-paid sectors of society. They have been listed tonight—the gas workers, the teachers and the engine drivers. Either in relation to other working groups or the kind of responsibility or work they undertake, they believe that they are not sufficiently well paid.

It could be a matter of scientific fact or merely that they believe themselves to be special cases needing special treatment. The important fact is that they are in a position to act on the basis of that belief, and the Government have nothing with which to answer them. The Government cannot inspire trust or confidence and do not even have the guts to make a stand-up fight, because they know that they would lose.

Rumours have been spread and statements have been made that it might not be a bad idea for the Government to call a General Election on the basis of a confrontation with the unions on the issue of who runs Britain. As has frequently been said by Opposition Members in recent debates, if the Government are confident that that is how the election will be fought, let them call that election. The Government having failed both by letting rip and by their attempts to introduce a corporate State, with impositions on free collective bargaining as a means to try to control inflation, the only resolution to the continuing problem of inflation is for one party or the other to have a true mandate by fighting an election on the basis of the counter-inflation policy that it presents. Anything short of that cannot possibly have the kind of trust or confidence or consent that my hon. Friend the Member for Plymouth, Sutton talked about because the Government have now destroyed the mandate they sought in 1970—and there is an alternative to be presented. My hon. Friends and I will cheerfully and confidently present that alternative.

The Secretary of State for Employment (Mr. Maurice Macmillan)

The confidence of the Opposition in the by-election results may have been reflected in the majorities achieved during the course of this debate.

The first two of these amendments which we are collectively debating would make the Pay Board an advisory body only, while leaving the Prices Commission statutory. The third goes further to this same end by leaving out all the powers of the Pay Board, and the fourth retreats somewhat and seeks, following the argument of the hon. Member for Penistone (Mr. John Mendelson), to exclude from the Pay Board's counsels any remuneration that has been adjudged by an independent court of inquiry appointed by the Minister. We must ask the House to resist these amendments, for reasons which I think have emerged during the debate.

The argument has centred on two main points. The first is that no statutory policy can work, or should work, or ever has worked. That argument was put forward by the hon. Member for West Ham, North (Mr. Arthur Lewis) as well as by the hon. Member for Salford, West (Mr. Orme)—that there should be a statutory policy for control of prices and no policy whatever other than free collective bargaining in regard to wages. The general attitude throughout our debates upstairs and in the discussion in the country, by both the Opposition and the trade union movement generally, has been that we should have statutory control of prices but no limitation at all on free collective bargaining in wages. This, as was pointed out by my hon. Friend the Member for Enfield, West (Mr. Parkinson) is complicated by the problem of nationalised industries financing.

The fact is that no real viable alternative has been put forward by any hon. Member opposite, or by the unions, to policies which the Government are seeking to pursue in this Bill.

Mr. Atkinson

The Prime Minister and a number of his right hon. colleagues consistently argue that this is not a viable alternative. Will the right hon. Gentleman tell us in a few words why it is not a viable alternative argument that there should be free collective wage bargaining against price ceilings?

Mr. Macmillan

Because by various means it has been tried from time to time—in declarations of intent, and so on—and has been proved to be totally incompetent in controlling information. When such success as there had been was abandoned, this was one of the difficulties that led to the high rate of inflation obtaining in June 1970.

The second group of arguments suggested that we should bring into phase 2 the flexibility and the manner of dealing with anomalies which we are suggesting for phase 3 in the autumn. The hon. Member for Penistone appealed to me, as being responsible for conciliation, to use my position to out-argue my colleagues in the Cabinet in order to make possible a more conciliatory approach to the gas workers. The difficulty is that this is not a split in intent between myself and other members of the Government. If there is any schizophrenia it is within my Department, because we are not only a Department for conciliation, we are charged with carrying out the pay side of the policy. That has been the case under successive Governments, and there is nothing new in it.

The hon. Gentleman put the case of the gas workers with considerable skill and moderation, and rightly expressed the moderation in which the letter which he quoted was written. That, indeed, was the tone of the discussions of the problems which I had at great length with the unions concerned. But there are other special cases as well, as the right hon. Member for East Ham, North (Mr. Prentice) and other hon. Members recognised.

The difficulty is that any sort of inquiry which the hon. Gentleman seeks to establish now would judge not only the particular case of the gas workers. I have sought to explain the situation elsewhere. The hon. Member suggested that it was a little late, but it was the same explanation that we have given all along. We have explained that such a proposal does not deal with the question of the relationships of each of these special cases one with the other. But I do not want to repeat the argument at length, because we discussed it fully in Committee.

It has been recognised by my right hon. and hon. Friends far more than by right hon. and hon. Members opposite that the most unfair system of all is represented by the sort of wage-cost inflation which we have been suffering for the past year. The hon. Member for Bedwellty (Mr. Kinnock) called it "almost an obsession", and spoke as if it were a problem peculiar to this country when, on the contrary, it has been the experience throughout almost the whole industrialised world.

The hon. Member for Salford, West suggested—and I refute it now as I did in Committee—that my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister, as Minister for the Civil Service, was in some way guilty of breaching an undertaking he had given. But it was clear in that agreement that his undertaking was subject to the overriding application of policies of a national nature applying across the board. I do not think that there has ever been doubt about that.

The hon. Gentleman also referred to ASLEF, and the promised restructuring. I am not totally familiar with all the details, but I suggest that it was a longer-term programme of restructuring and that it should have come as part of a general wage claim. In some ways it is a pity that ASLEF was unable to finish its own discussions in time to join the other two unions in the railway negotiations in their meeting with the British Rail management, which was due to have taken place today but could not, because of the absence of one of the unions.

10.15 p.m.

Mr. Orme

May I take up the point about ASLEF? The unfortunate thing is that it was not allowed to continue the negotiations. The terms of reference of the National Joint Negotiating Committee applied specifically to footplatemen. It is the freeze and phase 2 which is preventing a settlement. That is the point that the Minister must answer.

Mr. Macmillan

Phase 2 is preventing the footplatemen only from pre-empting some part of the total payment available for the industry. The hon. Gentleman raised the question of the legality or otherwise of this. I should make it clear that the payment, as at this moment in time, of any claim would be contrary to the provisions of the 1972 Act. If the payment were continued and were above the pay limit in stage 2 after the 1972 Act is brought to an end, following the Royal Assent to this measure and the implementation of the code, the pay claim could be prevented under Schedule 3(8) of this measure.

What is completely legal is to reach an agreement now to pay at the end of the standstill. The hon. Gentleman is correct in saying that this could be rolled back—that the extra payment could be stopped, not retrospectively, but from the date of the order being made. I hope that has made the position clear.

The hon. Member for West Ham, North was attacking the entire system and not simply the Government's present policies to counter inflation. He was saying that, basically, the whole capitalist concept is totally unfair. He quoted the case of a commentator who received a large increase in part-time payment as being an example of the reason why chairmen of boards and other part-time workers earning large amounts would not be affected by phase 2. I refer him to paragraphs 104 and 105 of the Consultative Document, which says quite clearly: In cases of individual promotion for regrading, an increase commensurate with greater responsibility or greater effort may be given outside the pay limit. Where this test is not satisfied any increase in pay counts against the pay limit. The cost of any general regrading scheme will count against the pay limit. Artificial regrading and changes of job specification should not be used as a means of avoiding the provisions of the Code. There is the question of new employees and recruits. Paragraph 105 says: New recruits to existing jobs should not be paid more than those they replace or more than the rate paid currently by the employer concerned for the same job. Paragraph 106 says: The rate for new work should not be more than the current rate paid in the locality for the same or most nearly similar work by the same or other employers. In practice this cannot be applied to those whose talents are such as leads the BBC to offer twice as much as ITV for their services. This may be a commentary on the policy of the BBC, and I would not seek to defend its action in this way. It is not an indication that company directors and others will escape the consequences of the pay policy, because they are clearly limited by the £250 limit. If they are doing various part-time jobs, that amount has to be split between those jobs.

Mr. Arthur Lewis

If, as the Minister admits, the BBC can get away with this and is doing so, what is to stop the XYZ firm asking the worker who is working at, say Fords, to come in and do exactly the same job that he is doing at Fords at the XYZ company for double the salary? Nothing at all, because the same thing can happen, yet the Minister quotes the BBC as an example.

Mr. Macmillan

The simple point is that in the case the hon. Gentleman has quoted paragraphs 104, 105 and 106 of the code would prevent it, because the work there is comparable.

Mr. Lewis

It is exactly the same.

Mr. Macmillan

Where it is not possible to prevent this is in the case of highly-paid entertainers who have a value put on them by different organisations to which they may seek to apply.

Mr. Bruce-Gardyne

I have been thinking about what my right hon. Friend said regarding the legal position on pay settlements overlapping phase 1 and going into phase 2. Can he spell this out clearly? Am I right in understanding that if Fords now negotiated a £10-a-week increase with its employees it would be illegal for the company to pay that increase during the period of phase 1, but that it could pay the increase as soon as phase 2 began, although subsequently the Government might pass an order preventing Fords from continuing to pay it? Nevertheless, between phase 1 and the passage of the order to prevent the company from continuing to pay it, Fords would be entitled to pay it. Is that the position?

Mr. Macmillan

To be strictly accurate, if Fords were to pay such an increase now, it would not itself be illegal, but it would be illegal to go on paying the increase after an order or notice had been received telling the company not to do so. That restraint can be continued to cover the gap mentioned by my hon. Friend under the powers contained in paragraph 8 of Schedule 3. The standstill powers under the 1972 Act remain in force until the capacity to give an order or notice under this Bill comes into being.

I hope that has made the position clear to my hon. Friend.

The right hon. Member for East Ham, North almost made the point for me. He was asking both me and the Government to be more flexible in the pay policy during the months immediately ahead, and he talked about trying to get a new system.

We are now in the new system, and no longer in a standstill, and that implies choice—choosing between merits and requiring changes and suchlike in differentials. He welcomed that part of the pay code contained in paragraph 120 which gives a degree of flexibility in the conclusion of long-term settlements.

In paragraph 123, to avoid any misunderstanding, the cost of such increases will count against the pay limit. Where the cost equals or exceeds the pay limit, there is no further increase of a kind which in itself could count against the pay limit that may be paid to the group during the following 12 months. In other word, it exhausts the capacity within the limit during the 12 months' period on which the code is based.

The right hon. Member pointed out the London teachers, the hospital workers, the civil servants and a number of other cases which have been quoted. He also referred to productivity and the need to maintain the system of improving productivity. Again, this point was covered in Committee. I entirely agree with it. But the code does not prevent the conclusion of productivity agreements which have started, and are being applied under a system which obtained before the standstill, and where those are brought in at different periods and to different parts of the same firm. The position is set out clearly in the appropriate passage of the code.

What are prevented during stage 2 are new productivity agreements. The matters which have been raised are matters intended for stage 3. That is precisely why stage 2 has been made relatively short. When the Pay Board is set up it will be able to deal with the anomalies and difficulties—especially those arising out of the standstill and stage 2.

The hon. Member for Salford, West suggested that we followed the American pattern too closely. We have learnt a great deal from the American commissions, and from other countries. I hope that we have also learnt from the mistakes of past Governments. The hon. Member for Bedwellty, when he derided the need which the Government have stressed to stand firm at this stage of our counter-inflationary policies, was perhaps forgetting the result of the Labour Government's not standing firm.

My hon. Friend the Member for Harrow, East (Mr. Dykes) is right in saying that the country generally welcomes these policies to counter inflation. Sympathetic as I always am to the arguments put forward by the hon. Member for Plymouth, Sutton (Dr. David Owen), I thought that this time he slightly confused the issue by constantly referring to the past or the future. He suggested that we should have sought a measure of agreement, that we should have consulted the unions and work people generally on the management of the economy and on the social policies we should follow. He said that we would have done better with a voluntary policy operated entirely by agreement with the unions and the employers. That is precisely what we sought for so long with the tripartite talks.

The hon, Member for Bedwellty referred to the Housing Finance Act and other legislation. During the tripartite talks the Prime Minister made it clear that the effect of this type of legislation could be taken account of and that what we were unwilling to do was to repeal that legislation.

The hon. Member for Plymouth, Sutton also forgot the offer which was made by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister to the unions and the employers of consultation on those aspects of the management of the economy that particularly affect them. We tried to do what the hon. Gentleman suggested, and it was the failure to achieve that voluntary agreement that led to the need for the standstill. During the standstill we are seeking to maintain a rigid control of prices, and there have been complaints from my hon. Friends that there are those who find this price control almost too rigid while at the same time we are allowing an increase in wages amounting to just over 7 per cent. across the board.

We are moving from stage 2 to stage 3 in the autumn. The Pay Board will start operating as soon as the Bill is passed. Officials are now busy on the preliminary work of studying the sort of cases which have been referred to. The Government will be seeking advice from the board on the anomalies and also on how best to establish the criteria for the stage 3 code, which will be debated in draft by the House and on which we hope to consult all those concerned, including the unions.

For all these reasons I ask the House to reject the amendment.

10.30 p.m.

Mr. Robert Edwards (Bilston)

This is a stage in the debate where one or two points of fundamental importance might be discussed.

There has been no meaningful consultation between the Government and the trade unions. For 13 years Governments have consulted unions and industries on every piece of social and economic legislation that has come before this House, until this present Government were elected. They have refused persistently to discuss principles. All that they have been ready to discuss with the trade union movement has been the details after they have decided the principles. It is this that has led to the conflict between the trade unions and the Government, and this fundamentally is the position dividing the two sides of the House.

Both the Secretary of State and the hon. Member for Harrow, East (Mr. Dykes) made great play of the fact that it is impossible to have a policy controlling prices without controlling wages and salaries. But there is a great difference here. There is a sanction against wages and salaries because they have to be negotiated with employers. That is the basic sanction. There cannot be statutory control over such a sensitive area of collective bargaining involving hundreds of collective agreements and industries which are developing on the basis of technological changes, quite apart from considerations of productivity bargaining and piece work rates.

I have been involved for 30 years in industrial negotiations, and I know that the whole movement of collective bargaining has been away from national negotiations to negotiations at factory level. It has been recognised that there are great differences between one factory and another, with constantly changing methods of production. It is impossible to devise a blanket agreement based on law with a complicated system of collective bargaining covering thousands of negotiations factory by factory. The Government have persistently refused to understand the traditional development of collective bargaining, and this is why they see their policy breaking down before their eyes.

The hon. Member for Harrow, East made a general observation about the problems of inflation. We have not yet started to consider them. Last Thursday we debated the effects of the multi-national companies on world-wide inflation. I heard a much-respected Member of this House who is supposed to be very knowledgeable about these matters, the hon. Member for Walsall, South (Sir H. d'Avigdor-Goldsmid) say that the multinational companies had no liquid assets. I know for a fact that the liquid assets of 2,000 multi-national companies are greater than the total budget of the United States of America and greater than the total reserves of all public banks and institutions of the world. These are self-balancing and, in my opinion, the real causes of inflation in the western world. Unless we control the anti-social effects of the multi-national companies, we shall never solve the problem of inflation.

We shall create industrial upheaval, which is quite unnecessary, and disrupt the whole economy.

Question put, That the amendment be made:—

The House divided: Ayes 210, Noes 288.

Division No. 70.] AYES [10.35 p.m.
Abse, Leo Golding, John Mulley, Rt. Hn. Frederick
Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.) Grant, John D. (Islington, E.) Murray, Ronald King
Archer, Peter (Rowley Regis) Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside) Oakea, Gordon
Ashley, Jack Griffiths, Will (Exchange) O'Halloran, Michael
Atkinson, Norman Hamilton, James (Bothwell) O'Malley, Brian
Barnes, Michael Hamilton, William (Fife, W.) Oram, Bert
Barnett, Guy (Greenwich) Hannan, William (G'gow, Maryhill) Orbach, Maurice
Barnett, Joel (Heywood and Royton) Hardy, Peter Orme, Stanley
Baxter, William Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, Sutton)
Beaney, Alan Hart, Rt. Hn. Judith Palmer, Arthur
Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood Hattersley, Roy Parker, John (Dagenham)
Bidwell, Sydney Heffer, Eric S. Parry, Robert (Liverpool, Exchange)
Blenkinsop, Arthur Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas Pavitt, Laurie
Boardman, H. (Leigh) Howell, Denis (Small Heath) Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred
Booth, Albert Huckfield, Leslie Perry, Ernest G.
Bottomley, Rt. Hn. Arthur Hughes, Rt. Hn. Cledwyn (Anglesey) Prentice, Rt. Hn. Reg.
Boyden, James (Bishop Auckland) Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen, N.) Prescott, John
Bradley, Tom Hughes, Roy (Newport) Probert, Arthur
Broughton, Sir Alfred Hunter, Adam Rees, Merlyn (Leeds, S.)
Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan) Irvine, Rt. Hn. Sir Arthur (Edge Hill) Rhodes, Geoffrey
Buchan, Norman Janner, Greville Roberts, Albert (Normanton)
Butier, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green) Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas Roberts, Rt.Hn. Goronwy (Caernarvon)
Cant, R. B. Jeger, Mrs. Lena Robertson, John (Paisley)
Carmichael, Neil Jenkins, Hugh (Putney) Roderick, Caerwyn E. (Brc'n&R'dnor)
Carter, Ray (Birmlngh'm, Northfield) Jenkins, Rt. Hn. Roy (Stechford) Rodgers, William (Stockton-on-Tees)
Carter-Jones, Lewis (Eccles) John, Brynmor Roper, John
Castle, Rt. Hn. Barbara Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.) Rose, Paul B.
Clark, David (Colne Valley) Johnson, Walter (Derby, S.) Ross, Rt. Hn. William (Kilmarnock)
Cocks, Michael (Bristol, S.) Jones, Barry (Flint, E.) Rowlands, Ted
Cohen, Stanley Jones, Dan (Burnley) Sandelson, Neville
Coleman, Donald Jones, Rt. Hn. Sir Elwyn (W. Ham, S.) Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-under-Lyne)
Concannon, J. D. Jones, Gwynoro (Carmarthen) Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney)
Corbet, Mrs. Freda Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, W.) Short, Mrs. Renée (W'hampton, N.E.)
Cox, Thomas (Wandsworth, C.) Judd, Frank Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)
Crawshaw, Richard Kaufman, Gerald Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich)
Cronin, John Kelley, Richard Sillars, James
Crosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony Kinnock, Neil Skinner, Dennis
Grossman, Rt. Hn. Richard Lambie, David Small, William
Cunningham, G. (Islington, S.W.) Lamborn, Harry Smith, John (Lanarkshire, N.)
Davidson, Arthur Lawson, George Spearing, Nigel
Davies, Denzil (Llanelly) Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick Spriggs, Leslie
Davies, Ifor (Gower) Lestor, Miss Joan Stallard, A. W.
Davis, Clinton (Hackney, C.) Lewis, Arthur (W. Ham, N.) Stewart, Rt. Hn. Michael (Fulham)
Davis, Terry (Bromsgrove) Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Stoddart, David (Swindon)
Deakins, Eric Lipton, Marcus Stonehouse, Rt. Hn. John
de Freitas, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey Lomas, Kenneth Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R.
Delargy, Hugh Lyon, Alexander W. (York) Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley
Dell, Rt. Hn. Edmund Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.) Swain, Thomas
Dempsey, James Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson Thomas, Rt. Hn. George (Cardiff, W.)
Douglas, Dick (Stirlingshire, E.) McBride, Neil Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)
McCartney, Hugh Torney, Tom
Douglas-Mann, Bruce McGuire, Michael Tuck, Raphael
Duffy, A. E. P. Mackie, John Varley, Eric G
Eadie, Alex McNamara, J. Kevin Wainwright, Edwin
Edelman, Maurice Mahon, Simon (Bootle) Walden, Brian (B'm'ham, All Saints)
Edwards, Robert (Bilston) Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.) Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Edwards, William (Merioneth) Marks, Kenneth Wallace, George
Ellis, Tom Marquand, David Weitzman, David
English, Michael Marshall, Dr. Edmund Wellbeloved, James
Evans, Fred Mason, Rt. Hn. Roy Wells, William (Walsall, N.)
Faulds, Andrew Mayhew, Christopher Whitehead, Phillip
Fisher, Mrs. Doris (B'ham, Ladywood) Meacher, Michael Whitlock, William
Fitch, Alan (Wigan) Mendelson, John Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)
Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston) Mikardo, Ian Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchin)
Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) Millan, Bruce Williams, W. T. (Warrington)
Ford, Ben Miller, Dr. M. S. Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)
Forrester, John Mitchell, R. C. (S'hampton, Itchen) Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)
Fraser, John (Norwood) Molloy, William
Freeson, Reginald Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire) TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Galpern, Sir Myer Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe) Mr. James A. Dunn and
Gilbert, Dr. John Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw) Mr. Tom Pendry
Ginsburg, Dav'd (Dewsbury) Morris, Rt. Hn. John (Aberavon)
Adley, Robert Fraser, Rt. Hn. Hugh (St'fford & Stone) McNair-Wilson, Michael
Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash) Fry, Peter McNair-Wilson, Patrick (New Forest)
Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead) Galbraith, Hn. T. G. D. Maddan, Martin
Amery, Rt. Hn. Julian Gardner, Edward Madel, David
Archer, Jeffrey (Louth) Gibson-Watt, David Maginnis, John E.
Astor, John Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, C.) Marples, Rt. Hn. Ernest
Atkins, Humphrey Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.) Marten, Neil
Awdry, Daniel Glyn, Dr. Alan Mather, Carol
Baker, Kenneth (St. Marylebone) Godber, Rt. Hn. J. B. Maude, Angus
Baker, W. H. K. (Banff) Goodhart, Phillp Mawby, Ray
Balniel, Rt. Hn. Lord Goodhew, Victor Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.
Batsford, Brian Gower, Raymond Mills, Peter (Torrington)
Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton Grant, Anthony (Harrow, C.) Miscampbell, Norman
Bell, Ronald Gray, Hamish Mitchell, Lt.-Col. C. (Aberdeenshire, W)
Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay) Green, Alan Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport) Grieve, Percy Moate, Roger
Benyon, W. Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds) Molyneaux, James
Money Ernle
Berry, Hn. Anthony Grylls, Michael Monks, Mrs. Connie
Biffen, John Gummer, J. Selwyn Montgomery, Fergus
Biggs-Davison, John Gurden, Harold More, Jasper
Blaker, Peter Hall, Miss Joan (Kelghley) Morgan-Giles, Rear-Adm.
Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S.W.) Hall, John (Wycombe) Morrison, Charles
Boscawen, Hn. Robert Hall-Davis, A. G. F. Mudd, David
Bossom, Sir Clive Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) Murton, Oscar
Bowden, Andrew Hannam, John (Exeter) Nabarro, Sir Gerald
Braine, Sir Bernard Harrison, Brian (Maldon) Neave, Airey
Bray, Ronald Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye) Nicholls, Sir Harmar
Brewis, John Haselhurst, Alan Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael
Brinton, Sir Tatton Hastings, Stephen Normanton, Tom
Brocklebank-Fowler, Christopher Havers, Sir Michael Nott, John
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Hawkins, Paul Onslow, Cranley
Bruce-Gardyne, J. Hayhoe, Barney Oppenheim, Mrs. Sally
Bryan, Sir Paul Heath, Rt. Hn. Edward Orr, Capt. L. P. S.
Buchanan-Smith, Alick (Angus, N&M) Heseltine, Michael Osborn, John
Buck, Antony Hicks, Robert Owen, Idris (Stockport, N.)
Bullus, Sir Eric Higgins, Terence L. Page, Rt. Hn. Graham (Crosby)
Burden, F. A. Hiley, Joseph Pardoe, John
Campbell, Rt. Hn. G. (Moray & Nairn) Hill, John E. B. (Norfolk, S.) Parkinson, Cecil
Carlisle, Mark Hill, James (Southampton, Test) Peel, Sir John
Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert Holland, Phillp Percival, Ian
Channon, Paul Holt, Miss Mary Peyton, Rt. Hn. John
Chapman, Sydney Hordern, Peter Pink, R. Bonner
Chichester-Clark, R. Hornby, Richard Pounder, Rafton
Churchill, W. S. Hornsby-Smith, Rt. Hn. Dame Patricia Price, David (Eastleigh)
Clark, William (Surrey, E.) Howe, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey Prior, Rt. Hn. J. M. L.
Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe) Hunt, John Proudfoot, Wilfred
Cockeram, Eric Hutchison, Michael Clark Pym, Rt. Hn. Francis
Cooke, Robert Iremonger, T. L. Raison, Timothy
Coombs, Derek Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye) Ramsden, Rt. Hn. James
Corfield, Rt. Hn. Sir Frederick James, David Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter
Cormack, Patrick Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford) Redmond, Robert
Costain, A. P. Jessel, Toby Reed, Laurance (Bolton, E.)
Critchley, Julian Johnson Smith, G. (E. Grinstead) Rees, Peter (Dover)
Crouch, David Jones, Arthur (Northants, S.) Rees-Davies, W. R.
Crowder, F. P. Jopling, Michael Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David
Davies, Rt. Hn. John (Knutsford) Joseph, Rt. Hn. Sir Keith Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon
d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Maj.-Gen. Jack Kellett-Bowman, Mrs. Elaine Ridley, Hn. Nicholas
Dean, Paul Kilfedder, James Ridsdale, Julian
Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F. Kimball, Marcus Rippon, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey
Digby, Simon Wingfield King, Tom (Bridgwater) Roberts, Michael (Cardiff, N.)
Dixon, Piers Kinsey, J. R. Roberts, Wyn (Conway)
Dodds-Parker, Sir Douglas Klrk, Peter Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks)
Drayson, G. B. Kltson, Timothy Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)
du Cann, Rt. Hn. Edward Knight, Mrs. Jill Rost, Peter
Dykes, Hugh Knox, David Russell, Sir Ronald
Eden, Rt. Hn. Sir John Lambton, Lord St. John-Stevas, Norman
Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke) Lamont, Norman Scott, Nicholas
Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton) Lane, David Scott-Hopkins, James
Elliott, R. W. (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, N.) Langford-Holt, Sir John Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)
Emery, Peter Le Marchant, Spencer Shelton, William (Clapham)
Eyre, Reginald Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland) Simeons, Charles
Farr, John Lloyd, Ian (P'tsm'th, Langstone) Sinclair, Sir George
Fell, Anthony Longden, Sir Gllbert Skeet, T. H. H.
Fenner, Mrs. Peggy Loveridge, John Soref, Harold
Fldler, Michael Luce, R. N. Speed, Keith
Flnsberg, Geoffrey (Hampstead) McAdden, Sir Stephen Spence, John
Fisher, Nigel (Surbiton) MacArthur, Ian Sproat, Iain
Fletcher-Cooke, Charles McCrindle, R. A. Stainton, Keith
Fookes, Miss Janet McLaren, Martin Stanbrook, Ivor
Fortescue, Tim Maclean, Sir Fitzroy Steel, David
Foster, Sir John McMaster, Stanley Stewart-Smith, Geoffrey (Belper)
Fowler, Norman Macmillan, Rt. Hn. Maurice (Farnham) Stodart, Anthony (Edinburgh W.)
Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M Trew, Peter Wells, John (Maidstone)
Stokes, John Tugendhat, Christopher White, Roger (Gravesend)
Stuttatord, Dr. Tom Turton, Rt. Hn. Sir Robin Wiggin, Jerry
Sutcliffe, John van Straubenzee, W. R. Wilkinson, John
Tapsell, Peter Vaughan, Dr. Gerard Winterton, Nicholas
Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne) Vickers, Dame Joan Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick
Taylor, Frank (Moss Side) Waddington, David Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard
Taylor, Robert (Croydon, N.W.) Walder, David (Clitheroe) Woodnutt, Mark
Tebbit, Norman Walker, Rt. Hn. Peter (Worcester) Worsley, Marcus
Thatcher, Rt. Hn. Mrs. Margaret Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek Wylie, Rt. Hn. N. R.
Thomas, Rt. Hn. Peter (Hendon, S.) Wall, Patrick Younger, Hn. George
Thompson, Sir Richard (Croydon, S.) Walters, Dennis
Tilney, John Ward, Dame Irene TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Tope, Graham Warren, Kenneth Mr. Walter Clegg and
Trafford, Or. Anthony Weatherill, Bernard Mr. Marcus Fox.
Question accordingly negatived.
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