HC Deb 02 May 1973 vol 855 cc1397-423

10.18 p.m.

Mr. Norman Buchan (Renfrew, West)

I beg to move. That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the Counter-Inflation (Modification of Agricultural Waees Acts) Order 1973 (S.I., 1973, No. 646), dated 29th March 1973, a copy of which was laid before this House on 30th March, be annulled. The order to which the Prayer relates is extremely important. This will be the second last opportunity for the House to discuss, in formal debate, an entire section of the Price and Pay Code and practice. The order will remove one of the two remaining elements of the arrangement by which an opportunity is given to the House to discuss the pay of groups of workers at a time when their pay is being rigidly controlled by Government legislation.

If anything shows the injustice and unfairness of the Government's prices and incomes policy it is the treatment of farm workers. We oppose the order because it further extends the injustice that has taken place and because it brings their wages and conditions further under the same policy which has failed signally to protect them as low-wage earners for the past six months, despite the stated policy of the Government about the protection of low-wage earners. It is a policy which has extended discrimination against a group of workers believed by most people in this country to have been discriminated against for long enough.

We must remember the background against which the order is made and the consequences of the Government's policy which it embodies. The policy was said to protect the low-wage earner. Last year, up to the ending of the freeze, the wages of general farm workers in England and Wales were £16.20. In Scotland they were £16.40. Proposals were made last year by both wages boards to bring them up to £19.50 for men, and women's were to be put up from less than £13 a week to £15.60. It was the agreed policy that the increase should take place last year. The workers wanted more. But this was the figure agreed by the farmers and the independent members of the boards.

In Scotland the agreement was made as long ago as May of last year. In other words, we are dealing with an increase which was agreed by the farmers and the independent members of the Scottish board and accepted by the workers as far back as a year ago. It was delayed not because of any statute or any Government control but because it was out of line with general Government policy that two awards should not be made within a period of 12 months.

In October a request was made by the Scottish workers union for an additional 50p, which would have brought them up to the £19.50 level as well. That was turned down by the board on the ground that the general policy of the Government at that time—not a statutory policy —was one of restraint. It was the time of the Downing Street talks. But it was promised that the increase would be implemented in December for Scotland and in January for England and Wales. It was first delayed, then reduced, and then frozen. That is the monstrous history to the background circumstances of one of the lowest-paid groups of workers in the country under this Govenment's policy.

I come now to the background of the industry against which this behaviour was taking place. I am sorry that the Minister himself is not here tonight. With respect to the Under-Secretary of State, on this occasion when we are dealing with the wages and conditions of the people who have made our farming industry prosperous the Minister himself should have been here to defend this policy.

The Minister takes plenty of credit for the prosperity of the industry. Farmers have never had it so good. Certainly that is true of some farmers. At the same time the reason for the right hon. Gentleman's boasts about the industry is the sharp increase that we have seen in farm incomes. According to the annual price review figures of 1971, the estimated increase in farm profits for the year 1970/71 was £80 million, or 14 per cent. That, taken with the estimate in this year's price review for the past year of 12 per cent., makes a total of 26 per cent.

That is not the whole story. The increase of 14 per cent. in the previous year was against the background of an estimate of 8 per cent. to 9 per cent. In other words, the turn-out of the farmers' income was almost double the estimate. Therefore, the 26 per cent. is an underestimate.

Some academic investigations and inquiries, particularly at Exeter and Nottingham, suggest that in some areas the income is much greater. For example, in East Anglia 1971–72, compared with 1970–71, showed an increase, in an analysis of 200 farms, of 103 per cent. in profit. Certainly the 26 per cent. and all the recent studies suggest it is more.

I do not complain. However, I would rather see this increase in prosperity more evenly distributed among farmers and farm workers. What I and farm workers resent bitterly is that their low wages, which helped to create that background of prosperity, and were frozen up to last month, are now to be brought under the Government's new and unjust pay policy.

Farm workers, like other people, have to live. They have to meet the escalating prices which have been taking place. Food and other prices affect farm workers just as much as people in the cities and towns.

I was interested to see in the Sun today the headline, Food Prices 'Steady for a Year'. The Minister made that promise. We will remind him of that promise and headline during the remaining months of this year. Farm workers will not be taken in by that headline. They know the industry and what is happening about prices.

Incidentally, although I was unable to be here yesterday, I read a most astonishing report of the apparent joy shown by back-bench Members of the Conservative Party at the statement made by the Minister on his return from Brussels. It was as though the captain had driven his ship firmly up on the rocks and, after two days of diligent effort, had managed to salvage the dinghy, and all the cabin boys were ecstatic at this marvellous piece of agricultural seamanship.

It is unjust that the farm workers, of all people, should have to suffer what is, in effect, a cut in living standards when the products of their labour have been selling at higher and higher prices. The headline to which I referred is astonishing when we consider that since June 1970 prices have risen by more than 30 per cent. In other words, there has been an increase of one-third in three years. I do not know of any period in history when food prices have risen at this rate. If the Minister knows of such an event I should be glad to hear it.

Even more serious and bitter for farm workers is that since their increase, small as it was and insufficient according to their demands—most of us would agree that it was insufficient—was frozen, food prices have been rising even more sharply. For every pound spent on food in November one now has to spend £1.12. That is an increase of 12 per cent.

The rate of increase is now running at 10 times the rate of a year ago. The Minister's figures go back only to March. They are always two months out of date, which is very convenient for him. This is not only serious, but alarming. It is against this background that the farm workers face this control and freeze on their wages. Wages are frozen, but the food prices have exploded. So much for the Government's nonsense about wage-push inflation. Land speculation, housebuilding prices, property investment, and so on, are the real causes of inflation.

The prosperity of the industry demands a new deal for the farm worker. His productivity has earned it. The Government's price review shows an annual productivity increase of 6 per cent. for each of the last 10 years. What other industry can equal that increase in efficiency and productivity? Yet, despite all that, in 1972 farm workers' wages were only 70.4 per cent.—or nearly two-thirds—of the average earnings in manufacturing industry. Because of that the House must understand the bitterness that exists among farm workers about the policy which has been operating and which is to be continued by this order.

Mr. Bottini, the General Secretary of the union, writes to say: The resentment that our members feel about such legalised banditry"— he is talking about the freezing of their justly awarded wage increase— will not be dissolved by the fact that the £3.30 increase, intended by the Agricultural Wages Board to operate from January 22nd, can be paid from April 1st. Our members were disappointed by the inadequacy of the award and the total rejection of our claim for a 40-hour week. Add to this the unprecedented prosperity being enjoyed by the farmers during a period when Government policy has obliged the workers to tighten their belts, and you have all the ingredients of a thoroughly discontented labour force. That is important for the nation as well as for farm workers, because throughout the 'sixties the industry was losing workers at the rate of about 5 per cent. a year. The industry has made up for the loss of workers by increasing its efficiency, but we are now reaching the state that it is no longer the case that workers leave because of increased efficiency on the farms. They are voting with their feet and moving on to other jobs. For how much longer can the prosperity of the industry continue when its lifeblood is being drained because its workers are being forced to leave to take up other occupations? The Government and the nation must pay attention to those who have contributed so much to the prosperity of the industry over the last few years.

The Agricultural Wages Board is a combination of farm workers, farmers and independent members. Instead of decisions on pay being taken by that board, they are in future to be taken by the Pay Board, which is not even answerable to this House. It is not even fully answerable to a Minister. All the decisions of the Agricultural Wages Board were subject to the affirmative resolution procedure. The Minister had to defend the board's decisions, and the House could take decisions on them. All that is to be swept away under this new procedure. That is why I regard it as serious that the Minister is absent from the debate. This is the last chance that the House is to have to discuss in any meaningful way the wages and conditions of farm workers.

The Under-Secretary of State for Employment (Mr. Dudley Smith)

On how many occasions did a senior Minister in the Labour Government reply to Prayers and motions on prices and incomes policy?

Mr. Buchan

Can the hon. Gentleman tell me the last occasion on which we took action to remove the right of the House to discuss matters such as this? Whenever a decision on pay was made by the Labour Government, a Minister came to the Dispatch Box to defend it. Poor soul, he was often kicked from one end of the Chamber to the other, but we felt that his presence was a necessary part of the democratic process, and on no occasion did we dispense with the decision of the Agricultural Wages Board.

The hon. Gentleman might like to recall that in 1969 when the Prices and Incomes Board said that the 7 per cent. award granted by the Agricultural Wages Board was double that which was permitted under the regulations the Government decided nevertheless to pay the full amount. Any decision in future will be made by the Pay Board, which is answerable to no one, and an apology from the hon. Gentleman would be useful.

This is the penultimate opportunity for Parliament to discuss wages. The order dealing with teachers' salaries is to be discussed next week. That, then, is the background to the debate.

The General Secretary went on to say in his letter: A final point of concern to the Union is the further delay that the Pay Board procedure is likely to incur before future farm wages proposals can be implemented. Farm workers have always been sore about the length of time that elapses between the submission of a claim and its operative date. The offending Order "— I like the word— now being debated will at best lengthen this period. So, as the letter says, at best it will delay decisions and at worst it will seek to reduce the value of future proposals made by the Agricultural Wages Board.

The Government's past performance has given us and the farm workers very little confidence. We believe that the Government will take the opportunity to cut down. We shall vote against the order.

10.36 p.m.

Mr. John Farr (Harborough)

The hon. Member for Renfrew, West (Mr. Buchan) has made a weak speech. He has based it on two particular facets. He attacked the absence of my right hon. Friend the Minister. Apparently he was not aware that my right hon. Friend has been on the Continent for several days. [Interruption.] Hon. Members may laugh but the nation now recognises the considerable achievements which my right hon. Friend brought back with him from the Continent yesterday. I am sure that my hon. Friend who is to reply to the debate will be more than capable of dealing with the weak and futile arguments deployed so far by the hon. Member.

The hon. Member tried to draw a comparison with the wages policy of the Labour Government. Even his hon. Friends recognised that the Labour Government's wages policy was an utter flop, and the least he says about it the better.

Mr. Bucban

I want to take up the point about the Minister's absence. I was making no imputation about his lack of work. A great deal of effort had to be put in to try to salvage what could be salvaged from the mess the Government have got us into. The important point, however, is whether the hon. Member for Harborough (Mr. Farr) and the Minister who is to reply agree with the headline and the quotation from the Minister's speech yesterday. Do they believe that prices will rise by only 2.5 per cent. as a result of yesterday's decisions? Does the hon. Member think that food prices will remain steady? Let me warn the hon. Member that we shall be keeping a note of his answer.

Mr. Farr

Nothing the hon. Member has said bears any relevance to the order which we are discussing and on which I have questions for my hon. Friend the Minister.

A number of my hon. Friends and I were particularly concerned last autumn, when the freeze was announced, at the position of agricultural employees. They have an unparalleled record of service to the nation. They have been remarkably unmilitant and remarkably efficient. Their record of efficiency is unparalleled by any other section of industry. Therefore, may we be reassured on certain points? May we be told when phase 2 is to end? I am sure my hon. Friend the Minister will say she cannot tell us. The order is dependent for its life, once it comes into force, on the length of phase 2. The order says that it will be effective as long as phase 2 is in operation. We think that it will end in the autumn, but it will be of great help to many people to have a fairly exact idea about when my hon. Friend expects the move out of phase 2 and into phase 3.

Many of the statutory instruments which have been published in recent weeks, including the one to which I referred, No. 661, refer to the modification of the Wages Councils Act, 1959. As many hon. Members will know, the lowest-paid group of workers in Britain are those who are governed by the wages councils. Together they make up a sizable body of employees. It happens that we have not had a debate on wages councils workers. It may be that the Opposition will table a motion later to enable a debate to take place.

I hope that when my hon. Friend replies she will give me some idea of how the mechanism will work. Will the order affect the date of an award? I understand from the instrument that an award can be held up by eight weeks, If at the end of that time there has been no reply from the Pay Board, the wages award will come into effect automatically. Would that mean a further eight weeks' delay in implementing a wages award made by the Agricultural Wages Board? There is nothing in the instrument to say what will be the procedure if the Pay Board, for some reason best known to its experts, finds the recommendation made to it by the Agricultural Wages Board unsatisfactory. It might think it too low or too high.

What is the procedure in that event? Does the board just reject the award or does it make a recommendation about what the level should be? I hope that my hon. Friend will give me some idea of what the result will be if the Pay Board refuses to accept an award.

Will the Pay Board and its experts, when considering the wages of agricultural workers, have special criteria to apply not only to agricultural workers but to workers in other industries such as those covered by wages councils' awards? Many hon. Members think that if the Government's policy of a pay, dividend and price freeze is to receive some general recognition of approval it must not hold back workers at the bottom of the scale; or, if it is to hold them at the bottom of the scale, it should at least allow them to catch up a little with other groups of workers who often work shorter hours for considerably more pay and work in more attractive conditions. The criteria which will be applied by the Pay Board to an application from some of the big groups of motor company employees for wage increase—for example, from £40 to £45 a week—should not be used when considering an application from agricultural workers and other low-paid workers.

It is ironic, as the hon. Member for Renfrew, West, said, now that the agricultural industry, thanks to expansion and Government policy over the years, is in a position where it is able to afford to pay considerably better wages to agricultural workers, that we should be approving an order which will prevent that payment taking place if it exceeds the criteria within which the Pay Board will work.

The hon. Gentleman referred to the record of service to the nation by the agricultural workers, and I endorse what he said. They have a record of discipline, of public service and of productivity which has seen output per man more than double since the war. It is an unparalleled record. It seems ironical that these very skilled craftsmen are still at the bottom of the wages table, and here we are gathered today to approve an order which will ensure that they remain at the bottom willy-nilly.

I do not believe that the agricultural workers are bitter. The hon. Gentleman is good at stirring things up, but it is not my experience that they are bitter. They are not the type. If they were bitter, they would have gone on strike and taken industrial action, which they could have done with crippling effect, years ago. They are not bitter. They are relying on the Government, as they have relied in the past on Governments of both parties, to protect their interests. I hope we shall see to it that we do not forfeit the trust they are placing in the Government now.

A notable step was taken in April when the wages of agricultural workers were increased by £3.20 a week. I want to see further steps at least as big in percentage terms taken in future. I do not want the order to prevent that happening. The agricultural industry as a whole has moved into a more prosperous era, and that prosperity must be shared by agricultural workers as well as by those who employ them.

10.47 p.m.

Mr. Emlyn Hooson (Montgomery)

The most unfortunate consequence of the freeze was the freeze of the Agricultural Wages Board's award to the farm workers. When I entered this House, they were at the bottom of the male earnings league. I remind the hon Member for Renfrew, West (Mr. Buchan) that, despite what he said, when the Labour Government entered office the agricultural workers were the lowest paid and they were still the lowest paid when the Government left office. Neither side of the House can take credit for the situation of the farm workers. They remain at the bottom of the male workers' league today.

The agricultural worker is a very skilled man. He can turn his hand to a vast number of jobs and deal with sophisticated machinery, and he has a job which probably gives more job satisfaction than most jobs do in modern life. But, that apart, he has always been uncomplaining, and his record of increasing productivity rivals that of any other group of workers. It was a matter of regret on both sides of the House that one of the consequences of the freeze was to freeze the award to farm workers. The award had long been overdue and was in any case, in my view, too low. Nevertheless, it would have brought them nearer to a reasonable level.

The greater prosperity of the farmer has occurred for a variety of reasons, but is due largely to the increase in world primary commodity prices over the past year or two. It is greater now than ever it has been since the war. I represent an agricultural constituency, and I know that this is so. I think that most good farmers pay their workers above the minimum; many of them pay considerably above it. There was a general feeling of regret throughout the industry that the farm workers were deprived of the increase in prosperity that occurred at the same time to their employers, and the matter should be put right by this House.

The Liberal Party has always believed in a statutory prices and incomes policy. We supported the Labour Government throughout on their prices and incomes policy. For example, we gave greater support to them on their prices and incomes policy than the hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Michael Foot) did. He is much more concerned with faithfulness to the Labour Party in Opposition than ever he was when it was in power. I leave it at that.

I believe that in the modern sophisticated society the only way to try to adjust differentials and get a fairer and more just award is to have a prices and incomes policy.

Mr. Arthur Lewis (West Ham, North)

For lawyers.

Mr. Hooson

Yes, and business men and the rest of us. I think the only fair way is to have a prices and incomes policy, but if it is to have any meaning it must mean that advantage can be taken of it to adjust differentials and bring up the earnings of the lower-paid. What concerns hon. Members on both sides of the House is: is the Pay Board to be mandated to give a really substantial increase to the lower-paid? The prime group here in the eyes of the public is the farm workers. The industry can afford, and should pay, higher wages. The board should be virtually mandated by this House to do that. There should be an expression of view from both sides of the House that farm workers' wages should be equivalent to what can be earned in manufacturing industry because their record of productivity—6 per cent. per annum over a decade—rivals that of any other group.

I shall vote for this order because I believe in being consistent. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh!"] I am at least as consistent as the hon. Member for Ebbw Vale with his "Little Sir Echo" cry of "Hear, hear". I believe that no prices and incomes policy can work if one tries to make an exception for a particular group. The wages board will truly have the right, I understand, to adjust wages; that is, keep top wages down.

Mr. Lewis

Except their own.

Mr. Hooson

—and bring bottom wages up. Hon. Members on both sides know that that is true. No Labour Government could govern the country in the present state of inflation without a prices and incomes policy. This is the right policy for any Government to follow. It took the present Government two years of wasted time and effort to realise that they were up against the inevitability of a prices and incomes policy. It is right that the wages board should appreciate that it is the feeling of hon. Members in all parts of the House that the wages of agricultural workers should go up considerably in phase 2.

10.53 p.m.

Mr. James Scott-Hopkins (Derbyshire, West)

At least I welcome one thing that the hon. and learned Member for Montgomery (Mr. Hooson) said—that he will support this order in the Division Lobby. I compliment him on the consistency which he and his hon. Friends have shown in pursuing their line of policy.

It appears that this debate is liable to become a little confused because we are not debating whether farm workers should have a rise in wages whether we agree on that or not, but whether the awards made by the wages board in future shall or shall not be monitored by the Pay Board. We are all agreed— there is no division on either side of the House—that the agricultural worker has done an extremely good job over the past year and deserves the best treatment he can possibly have.

I was also delighted to hear the hon Member for Renfrew, West (Mr. Buchan) speaking about the level of income which has increased over the last two years through Conservative policy for the farmers of the country. The fact is that farmers are today in a better position to pay improved wages to their workers than they were when the Labour Government were in control of our affairs. I come from a farming constituency, and I do not know of any farmers who pay the minimum wage to their workers. I could not name one tonight. I cannot believe that if the wage paid by farmers was at the minimum level and there were no fringe benefits attractive to those who work on the land such workers would not turn to industry, certainly in Derbyshire near which there are such industrial areas as Manchester, Sheffield, Birmingham and Derby. On the majority of farms it is not the minimum wage which is paid but a reasonable and proper living wage. I particularly welcome the development in recent years whereby extra payments have been introduced for certain skills on the farm, such as tractor driving, caring for livestock and so on.

The House is considering whether the Pay Board should have the right in the present circumstances of the Counter-Inflation Act and phases 2 and 3 to monitor whatever awards are made to farm workers. It is eminently right that that it should do so. It does not presuppose that the Pay Board will immediately stop awards. My hon. Friend the Member for Harborough (Mr. Farr) talked as if he assumed that the Pay Board would automatically stop any increases announced by the Agricultural Wages Board. I do not believe this is so.

I hope that the Minister will underline this point. I do not believe that the Minister of Agriculture will not have to come here in future and justify awards made by the Agricultural Wages Board. Perhaps my hon. Friend will confirm this. There is nothing in the order which says that this will not be so. The award will have to meet the criteria of the Pay Board, and my right hon. Friend will then lay an order and will have to justify it here. In the atmosphere of tonight's debate he will not have to justify any award to farm workers.

Mr. William Baxter (West Stirlingshire)

Will the hon. Gentleman give us his interpretation of the order with regard to a recommendation from the Agricultural Wages Board to the Pay Board? Can the Pay Board increase the award or must it simply accept the award or decrease it?

Mr. Scott-Hopkins

As I understand it, the board will be able to make recommendations to the Agricultural Wages Board. If the award is contrary to the Government's policy and that which the Pay Board is pursuing within the terms of the Counter-Inflation Act, the Pay Board will say so. As I understand it, the Pay Board is perfectly entitled to make recommendations to the Agricultural Wages Board in whatever way it wishes. That board will bear such recommendations in mind should it wish to make further recommendations. The Minister can confirm or reject those. But he will have to come to this House and hon. Members will have the opportunity to debate the order. Therefore, I see no reason for Labour Members to get so excited and to stop this.

First, the real level of income or wages that the agricultural workers throughout the country are receiving is considerably above the minimum level. There are only exceptional cases in which the minimum applies, and many of them are fringe workers, not real agricultural workers. Secondly, we have enormously increased the level of pay for skilled agricultural workers—tractor drivers, those dealing with livestock and so on. Thirdly the hon. Gentleman should not worry, because he will have the opportunity to debate these matters, and the Pay Board is merely monitoring whatever recommendations are made within the terms of the Counter-Inflation Act. That seems to me entirely reasonable, and I sincerely hope that, as the hon. and learned Member for Montgomery said, the House will support the order when we divide.

11.1 p.m.

Mr. Gavin Strang (Edinburgh, East)

The hon. Member for Derbyshire, West (Mr. Scott-Hopkins) is under a misapprehension. As I understand it, the Pay Board will simply have power to vet recommendations or decisions made by the Agricultural Wages Board. In other words, all that the Pay Board can do is reject an increase or suggest that it be smaller. It will not intervene and say, "Farm workers are extremely low paid. The Wages Board has again brought forward a derisory increase, and it should increase farm workers' wages by about £10 a week". If it is possible or likely that the Pay Board will do that, I hope that the Minister will make it clear, but I cannot see it ever happening.

Agriculture, more than any other industry, illustrates the basic unfairness of the Government's policies. The farm workers, more than any other group, illustrate the extent to which the fundamental consequence of the Government's economic policies has been to redistribute purchasing power from the workers to owners of property and wealth. Farm workers are the lowest-paid workers in the country—the group which has suffered most under the Government's counter-inflation policy.

The hon. Member for Derbyshire, West tells us that the farm workers do not all receive the minimum rate. They would not have to. The fair comparison is their average earnings, which in England and Wales, for the year ending December 1972, were £23.37 for a 47.8-hour week. The figure for October 1972 in respect of manual workers covered by the Department of Employment survey was £35.82 for 45 hours, and the figure for workers in manufacturing industry was £36.20 for a 44.1-houi week.

Mr. Scott-Hopkins

In those figures no account is taken of the environment in which the worker is working and the fringe benefits for working in the country and on a farm.

Mr. Strang

I am glad the hon. Gentleman has given me the opportunity to knock on the head the nonsense that farm workers have a wide range of fringe benefits. The fringe benefit referred to most is the house, but a tied cottage is not a fringe benefit for the farm worker. It is a major handicap. It is one of the reasons why farm workers have not been militant.

The free milk and other benefits were totted up by the Prices and Incomes Board under the Labour Government, and the board made it absolutely clear that those benefits were trivial in terms of any comparison between workers in industry and in agriculture, respectively. We must take into consideration the superannuation schemes and other benefits that industrial workers have but farm workers do not.

On average, manufacturing workers earn about 82p an hour, whereas farm workers earned about 49p an hour before the increase. That means that manufacturing workers' rates are 67 per cent. higher. Although the £3.30 is a big increase compared with the paltry increases that wages boards have given farm workers in the past, it is small in the context of the increases in prices and the increases in wages that other workers were obtaining. The gap between the wages of workers in industry and those of agricultural workers has widened over the last year, particularly because of the Government's counter-inflation policy, which, we are laughingly told, is supposed to be designed to help the lower-paid. What is particularly galling for farm workers is that they have seen massive increases in farm gate prices and they know that farmers are doing much better.

Can any hon. Member opposite honestly claim that farm workers are not bitter when they read that the miners and the car workers, for instance, are earning wages in excess of £30 a week, and when they experience the massive increases in the price of beef, especially after the ridiculous inquiry into the increase in beef prices that the Government commissioned at the end of last year? I have yet to meet a farm worker who is not bitter about the position.

The Agricultural Wages Board is considering an application for a reduction from 42 to 40 hours in the farm workers' working week. As I understand it, the employers oppose the application. I assume that there is no question of the wages boards agreeing to the application.

The problem of low wages for farm workers has not arisen overnight; it is of long standing. There are several ways in which the situation might be changed. The first is by industrial action. At the annual conference of the National Union of Agricultural and Allied Workers there were resolutions calling for a strike. This was unprecedented. However, hon. Members opposite know that farm workers are difficult to organise, because they are in small groups. A farmer with two or three workers has a close relationship with his workers. It is not the same on a farm as in a firm with 200 or 300 workers, where, perhaps, the employer is remote. It is difficult to conceive of there being concerted industrial action in agriculture, so it is unlikely that there will be industrial action to increase agricultural wages, unless we get the support of other unions, with the drivers who take the milk and other commodities from farms supporting the poor farm workers.

The second way of gaining an increase in wages would be by Government intervention. This is the way in which it should be done. However, I cannot see this Government doing it, for they have been concerned with keeping down farm workers' wages.

The third way is for the Agricultural Wages Board to start to do something about closing the gap between the wages of workers in industry and those of agricultural workers. As a group, the independent members of the Agricultural Wages Board have, more than anybody else, been responsible for holding down agricultural wages over the past years. There is no hope of ending the degradingly low agricultural wages unless the board can be shamed into treating the employers' arguments with the disdain that they deserve and granting an increase to agricultural workers of, say, £10 a week to make their wages more commensurate with those earned by industrial workers.

There is no question of the Pay Board doing anything favourable. All it can do is to tell the Agricultural Wages Board, "We are sorry, but the increase you recommend does not conform to Government policy. It cannot be justified on grounds of productivity." The Pay Board should tell the Agricultural Wages Board that a much higher increase can be granted.

11.10 p.m.

Mr. John E. B. Hill (Norfolk, South)

I would have more respect for the last speaker and for the hon. Member for Renfrew, West (Mr. Buchan) in their desire to close the gap between agricultural and industrial wages if they did not spend so much time in bemoaning the fact that if they closed the gap they would have to pay the fair cost of production for home-produced foods as they do for motor cars, clothing, television sets and most other things which they buy.

Members of the Labour Party spend nine times more time complaining about any rise in food prices, however justifiable by increased costs, than in drawing attention to the backward nature of agricultural workers' wage awards. That has gone on for many years. I regretted very much that the proposed award was caught by the last freeze. What puzzled me subsequently was that, although the effect of the freeze was undoubtedly to delay the proposed award, increasing minimum wages, it did not seem to become illegal for farmers voluntarily to pay increased wages. I regret that that was left in doubt, because some farmers felt free to increase their wages while others felt that they must abide by the apparent prohibition arising from the delay in the increase in the minimum.

Most farm workers' wages exceed the minimum, but they are often increased by the amount of the increase awarded on the minimum, when an award is made.

In considering the proposed system of vetting proposals I hope it will be made clear that the wages board can review the pay of all agricultural workers and take extra productivity into account.

The Member for Renfrew, West mentioned the great rise in farmers' incomes between one recent year and the next. Of course, a good year following a bad will always result in a large proportionate increase. At a time of good harvests it is usual to pay a bonus. Bonuses go back far beyond pay boards and prices and incomes policies. They are part of the pattern of agriculture and I hope they are outside the prices and incomes policy. In a good year it is the custom of farmers to make some reward to their men who helped to gain the harvest, and it is the proper course for a farmer to take.

11.15 p.m.

Mr. William Baxter (West Stirlingshire)

Although I understand the logic of the order I take exception to its loose phraseology. Paragraph 3, which deals with the approval of agricultural wages orders, seems to contain a prohibition. The Agricultural Wages Board has been the most reactionary board one can envisage, and for that reason I do not understand why my hon. Friend the Member for Renfrew, West (Mr. Buchan) seeks to preserve the status quo. I should prefer the order to nullify the Agricultural Wages Board and provide for the pay of agricultural workers to be decided by the Pay Board. My belief is that agricultural workers should have better wages. The Pay Board is prohibited from making any decision other than to accept or reduce the recommendation of the board. That prohibition should be removed.

The hon. Member for Norfolk, South (Mr. John E. B. Hill) raised a valid point, which I wish to emphasise. Because of the healthy nature of the industry, many farmers are able and willing to pay higher wages. Are they prohibited by the order from paying higher wages than they are paying at the moment? Perhaps the Parliamentary Secretary will give her interpretation of the order.

The Minister reported to the House yesterday on his great achievement in Brussels for the agriculture industries in the Common Market countries. Did the Minister have regard to the full implications of that decision, and were the wages of the French and British agricultural workers taken into account by him in reaching that conclusion? The Minister said yesterday that he was prepared to allow the price of milk to be increased by 5½ per cent. We do not know what will be the beef subsidy, but, whatever it is, it presupposes a heavier burden on either the taxpayer or the consumer. It will be to the considerable advantage of the farmer and will build up problems in the immediate and foreseeable future. Before approving the order, we are entitled to understand the Minister's thinking and to know whether he has had regard to all the circumstances which brought about the conclusions which he was so proud to present to the House yesterday, and for which he was pleased to receive the approval of his colleagues.

I believe that the Minister does not fully understand the implications of the decision. I challenge the Parliamentary Secretary to tell us the wage structure of British and French agricultural workers which led to the justification of a 5½ per cent. increase in milk prices. The order has not been properly thought out, and many questions will remain unanswered because of lack of knowledge and understanding of the problem.

11.18 p.m.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Mrs. Peggy Fenner)

This has been a very full debate, and I shall not be able to do justice to all the points which have been raised. My hon. Friend the Member for Derbyshire, West (Mr. Scott-Hopkins) put his ringer on the truth when he said that the hon. Member for Renfrew, West (Mr. Buchan) had gone wide of the order and completely off the subject that we should be discussing.

I will not make any general comments on the remarks of the hon. Member for Renfrew, West, but I must refer to one point he made. I refer to the headline in the Sun. I cannot take any responsibility for headlines in any newspaper, but the hon. Gentleman well knows that the percentage referred to by my right hon. Friend yesterday relates specifically to any increase in food prices directly attributable to our joining the Common Market. Neither my right hon. Friend nor I can take responsibility for the way in which that newspaper interprets the matter.

The effect of this order is simply to bring the fixing of agricultural wages, like that of wages in other industries, within the purview of the Pay Board; and the case which I wish to present to the House in its support is correspondingly simple.

Although we are debating this order in isolation, the House will be aware that it bears a close relation to a number of other orders which have been made under the Counter-Inflation Act. I refer not only to those orders which we have been discussing this evening, but to two orders in particular which the Opposition have not seen fit to challenge. They are first the Notification of Increases in Remuneration Order, which brings pay proposals over a wide field into the purview of the Pay Board; and, secondly, the Modification of Wages Councils Act Order, which does the same for pay proposals in the industries covered by wages councils.

The Opposition have not challenged those two orders, but they have challenged this one. What inference can be drawn from this? It is that the Opposition regard agricultural wages as being in some way a special case, in that they relate to the lower paid. One takes special note of the concern that is felt in the House on this matter, but nothing that has been said tonight convinces me that special treatment of this kind is justified. Indeed the argument that agricultural wages were a special case and should be specially exempted from the ambit of the counter-inflation programme was raised in the House when the stage 1 legislation was being discussed and was decisively rejected by the House.

Although the award made by the Agricultural Wages Board fell within the period of standstill and had to be deferred because agricultural workers had received an award within 12 months, they were—exceptionally—the one group of workers who received that pay award in full. This gives some indication that the Government were conscious of the fact that those workers fell within the ambit of the lower paid. The general position of the lower paid is being actively studied by the Government. It is not possible at this time to make any announcement on this matter.

My hon. Friend the Member for Harborough (Mr. Farr) asked whether there would be delay in implementing the Agricultural Wages Board's proposals while the Pay Board considers the matter. The Pay Board will have up to eight weeks to consider the Agricultural Wages Boards' proposals. But this does not necessarily mean an extra eight weeks before a wages board's award takes effect. There is customarily an interval between the Board formulating proposals and giving effect to them; the Pay Board process will be fitted into that interval. We could have invoked the procedure under Section 8(1)(b) of the Counter-Inflation Act if the award appeared to be out of line with the pay code, but we considered that the present procedure would be less delaying.

My hon. Friend the Member for Harborough also asked what would happen if the Pay Board refused approval. The Agricultural Wages Board will have to reconsider its proposals in the light of the Pay Board's advice and frame new ones which are consistent with the pay and prices code.

My hon. Friend also asked whether the Pay Board had special criteria for agricultural workers. The only criteria laid down are those in the pay code for stage 2. Within those limits the Pay Board will be free to work out its own approach to the problem of doing justice as between different groups of workers.

The hon. and learned Member for Montgomery (Mr. Hooson) made the point, with which I concur, that the wages of agricultural workers are low and that they are most certainly a group in which the Pay Board, looking over relativities between workers, will have a special interest.

The hon. Member for Edinburgh, East (Mr. Strang) asked whether the Pay Board could study and report on agri- cultural wages for phase 3. The Government can ask the Pay Board to consider and report on the pay of particular classes of workers and how they should be treated in phase 3. It is open to the National Union of Agricultural Workers to request that this be done.

Mr. Strang

Will the hon. Lady answer one straightforward question? Can she conceive of a situation where the Pay Board refuses to authorise an increase decided by the Agricultural Wages Board on the ground that it is too low to close the gap between agricultural workers and those in other industries?

Mrs. Fenner

I think it unlikely that the Agricultural Wages Board would put forward a claim which was too low and did not meet the criteria contained in stage 2.

Mr. David Clark (Colne Valley)

Will the hon. Lady answer a simple question? If the Pay Board feels that the Agricultural Wages Council's offer is too low, can it increase the offer? Yes or no?

Mr. Strang

The answer is "No".

Mrs. Fenner

I think that the Pay Board's function is to ensure that the code is observed—

Mr. Arthur Lewis

Does not the hon. Lady know?

Mrs. Fenner

It sets limits on awards. If an award was within the limits, the board should approve it. But it could make comments. I cannot say any more than that.

The order is one which stands on the simple footing of equality of treatment. There is no question of discrimination against agricultural workers. On the contrary, if the order had not been made and agricultural wages had alone been exempt from consideration by the Pay Board, this would clearly have involved discrimination against other classes of workers. The making of the order was therefore entirely in line with the Government's approach to the counter-inflation programme, which we have always insisted must apply right across the board and without exceptions.

I have made the point that the general position of the lower paid is being actively studied by the Government, and also that the Pay Board is in a position —certainly on request, and the NUAAW is at liberty to make a request—to consider the relative positions of the lower-paid.

Mr. Robert Hughes (Aberdeen, North)

Before the hon. Lady sits down—

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Miss Harvie Anderson)

I think that the hon. Lady had sat down.

Mr. Hughes


Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. The hon. Lady had sat down.

Question put:

The House divided: Ayes 234, Noes 271.

Division No. 119.] AYES [11.30 p.m.
Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.) Fisher, Mrs. Doris (B'ham, Ladywood) Mackie, John
Archer, Peter (Rowley Regis) Fitch, Alan (Wigan) Mackintosh, John P.
Ashley, Jack Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston) Maclennan, Robert
Ashton, Joe Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.)
Atkinson, Norman Foot, Michael McNamara, J. Kevin
Barnes, Michael Ford, Ben Mahon, Simon (Bootle)
Barnett, Guy (Greenwich) Forrester, John Marks, Kenneth
Barnett, Joel (Heywood and Royton) Freeson, Reginald Marquand, David
Baxter, William Garrett, W. E. Marsden, F.
Beaney, Alan Gilbert, Dr. John Marshall, Dr. Edmund
Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood Ginsburg, David (Dewsbury) Mason, Rt. Hn. Roy
Bennett, James (Glasgow, Bridgeton) Golding, John Mayhew, Christopher
Bidwell, Sydney Gourlay, Harry Meacher, Michael
Bishop, E. S. Grant, George (Morpeth) Mendelson, John
Blenkinsop, Arthur Grant, John D. (Islington, E.) Mikardo, Ian
Boardman, H. (Leigh) Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside) Miller, Dr. M. S.
Booth, Albert Hamilton, James (Bothwell) Milne, Edward
Bottomley, Rt. Hn. Arthur Hamilton, William (Fife, W.) Mitchell, R.C. (s'hampton, Itchen)
Boyden, James (Bishop Auckland) Hamling William Molloy, William
Bradley, Tom Hardy Peter Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire)
Broughton, Sir Alfred Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)
Brown, Robert c. (N'c'tle-u-Tyne,W.) Hart, Rt. Hn. Judith Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)
Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan) Healey, Rt. Hn. Denis Morris, Rt, Hn. John (Aberavon)
Brown, Ronald (Shoreditch & F'bury) Heffer, Eric S. Moyle, Roland
Buchan, Norman Horam John Murray, Ronald King
Horam, John Murray, Ronald King
Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn) Huckfield, Leslie Oakes, Gordon
Campbell, I. (Dunbartonshire, W.) Hughes, Rt. Hn. Cledwyn (Anglesey) Odgen, Eric
Cant, R.B. Hughes, Mark (Durham) O'Halloran, Michael
Carmichael, Neil Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen, N.) O'Malley, Brian
Carter, Ray (Birmingham, Northfield) Hughes, Roy (Newport) Oram, Bert
Carter-Jones, Lewis (Eccles) Hunter, Adam Orbach Maurice
Clark, David (Colne Valley) Janner, Greville Orme, Stanley
Cocks, Michael (Bristol, S.) Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas Oswald, Thomas
Cohen, Stanley Jenkins, Hugh (Putney) Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, Sutton)
Coleman, Donald John, Brynmor Palmer, Arthur
Concannon, J.D. Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.) Parker, John (Dagenham)
Conlan, Bernard Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.) Parry, Robert (Liverpool, Exchange)
Corbet, Mrs. Freda Johnson, Walter (Derby, S.) Pavitt, Laurie
Cox, Thomas (Wandsworth, C.) Jones, Barry (Flint, E.) Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred
Crawshaw, Richard Jones, Dan (Burnley) Pendry, Tom
Perry, Ernest G.
Cunningham, G. (Islington, S.W.) Prentice, Rt. Hn. Reg.
Cunningham Dr. J. A. (Whitehaven) Jones, Rt. Hn. Sir Elwayn (W.Ham, S.) Prentice, Rt. Hn. Reg.
Dalyell, Tam Jones, Gwynoro (Carmarthen) Prescott, John
Davidson, Arthur Jones, T.Alec (Rhondda, W.) Price, William (Rugby)
Davies, Denzil (Llanelly) Judd, Frank Probert, Arthur
Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.) Kaufman, Gernald Radice, Giles
Davies Ifor (Gower) Kelley, Richard Reed, D. (Sedgefield)
Davies, Clinton (Hackney, C.) Kerr, Russell Rees, Merlyn (Leeds, S.)
Kinnock Neil
Davis, Terry (Bromsgrove) Lambie, David Rhodes, Geoffrey
Deakins, Eric Lamborn, Harry Richard Ivor
de Freitas, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey Roberts, Albert (Normanton)
Dell, Rt. Hn. Edmund Lamond, James Roberts, Rt. Hn. Goronwy (Caernarvon)
Dempsey, James Latham, Arthur Robertson, John (Paisley)
Doig, Peter Lawson, George Roderick, Caerwvn E. (Brc'n & R'dnor)
Dormand, J.D. Leadbitter, Ted Rodgers, William (Stockton-on-Tees)
Leonard Dick Rose, John
Douglas, Dick (Stirlingshire, E.) Lestor, Miss Joan Rose, Paul B.
Douglas-Mann, Bruce Lewis, Ron (W. Ham, N.) Rose, Rt. Hn. William (Kilmarnock)
Duffy, A. E. P. Lewis Ron (Carlisle) Ross, Rt. Hn William (Kilmarnock)
Dunn, James A Lomas, Kenneth Rowlands, Ted
Dunnett, Jack Loughlin Charles Sandelson, Neville
Eadie, Alex Lyon, Alexander W. (York) Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-under-Lyne)
Edelman, Maurice Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.) Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney)
Edwards, William (Merioneth) Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson Short, Rt. Hn. Edward (N'c'tle-u-Tyne)
Ellis, Tom McBride, Neil Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)
Ewing, Harry McGuire, Michael Sillars, James
Faulds, Andrew Machin, George Silverman, Julius
Fernyhough, Rt. Hn. E. Mackenzie, Gregor Skinner, Dennis
Small, William Torney, Tom Whitlock, William
Spearing, Nigel Tuck, Raphael Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick
Spriggs, Leslie Urwin, T. W. Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)
Stallard, A. W. Varley, Eric G. Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)
Stoddart, David (Swindon) Wainwright, Edwin Wilson, Rt. Hn. Harold (Huyton)
Stonehouse, Rt. Hn. John Walden, Brian (B'ham, All Saints) Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)
Strang, Gavin Walker, Harold (Doncaster) Woof, Robert
Summerskill, Hn. Or. Shirley Wallace, George
Swain, Thomas Watkins, David TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Thomas, Rt.Hn.George (Cardiff.W.) Weitzman, David Mr. Joseph Harper and
Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery) Wells, William (Walsall, N.) Mr. Ernest Armstrong.
Tinn, James White, James (Glasgow, Pollok)
Tomney, Frank Whitehead, Phillip
Adley, Robert Fookes, Miss Janet Knox, David
Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash) Fortescue, Tim Lambton, Lord
Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead) Foster, Sir John Lamont, Norman
Archer, Jeffrey (Louth) Fowler, Norman Lane, David
Atkins, Humphrey Fox, Marcus Le Marchant, Spencer
Awdry, Daniel Fraser,Rt.Hn.Hugh(St'fford & Stone) Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)
Baker, Kenneth (St. Marylebone) Fry, Peter Lloyd, Ian (P'tsm'th, Langstone)
Baker, W. H. K. (Banff) Galbraith, Hn. T. G. D. Longden, Sir Gilbert
Balniel, Rt. Hn. Lord Gardner, Edward Loveridge, John
Batsford, Brian Gibson-Watt, David Luce, R. N.
Bell, Ronald Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, C.) McAdden, Sir Stephen
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport) Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.) MacArthur, Ian
Benyon, W. Glyn, Dr. Alan McCrindle, R. A.
Berry, Hn. Anthony Goodhart, Philip McLaren, Martin
Biffen, John Goodhew, Victor Maclean, Sir Fitzroy
Blaker, Peter Gorst John Macmillan,Rt.Hn.Maurice(Farnham)
Body, Richard Gower, Raymond McNair-Wilson, Michael
Boscawen, Hn. Robert Grant, Anthony (Harrow, C.) McNair-Wilson, Patrick (New Forest)
Bossom, Sir Clive Gray Hamish Maddan, Martin
Bowden, Andrew Green, Alan Madel, David
Bray, Ronald Grieve, Percy Maginnis, John E.
Brinton, Sir Tatton Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds) Marten, Neil
Brocklebank-Fowler, Christopher Grylls, Michael Mather, Carol
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Gummer, J. Selwyn Maude, Angus
Mawby, Ray
Bruce-Gardyne, J. Gurden, Harold Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.
Bryan, Sir Paul Hall, Miss Joan (Keighley) Meyer, Sir Anthony
Buchanan-Smith, Alick (Angus, N&M)
Buck, Antony Hall, John (Wycombe) Mills, Peter (Torrington)
Bullus, Sir Eric Hall-Davis, A.G.F. Mills, Stratton (Belfast, N.)
Burden, F. A. Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) Miscampbell, Norman
Butler, Adam (Bosworth) Hannam, John (Exeter) Mitchell, Lt.-Col.C.(Aberdeenshire, W)
Campbell, Rt. Hn. G. (Moray & Nairn Harrison, Brian (Maldon) Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)
Chapman, Sydney Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye) Moate, Roger
Chateway, Rt. Hn. Christopher Haselhurst, Alan Money, Ernie
Chichester-Clark, R. Havers, Sir Michael Monks, Mrs. Connie
Churchill, W. S. Hawkins, Paul Monro, Hector
Clark, William (Surrey, E.) Hayhoe, Barney Montgomery, Fergus
Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe) Hicks, Robert More, Jasper
Cockeram, Eric Higgins, Terence L. Morgan, Geraint (Denbigh)
Cooke, Robert Hiley, Joseph Morgan-Giles, Rear-Adm.
Coombs, Derek Hill, John E. B. (Norfolk, S.) Morrison, Charles
cooper, A. E. Holland, Philip Mudd, David
Holt, Miss Mary Murton, Oscar
Cordle, John Hooson, Emlyn Nabarro, Sir Gerald
Corfield, Rt. Hn.Sir Frederick Hordern, Peter Nicholls, Sir Harmar
Costain, A.P.
Critchley, Julian Hornby, Richard Nott, John
Crouch, David Hornsby-Smith.Rt.Hn.Dame Patricia Onslow, Cranley
Crowder, F P. Howell, David (Guildford) Openheim, Mrs. Sally
Orr, Capt. L/ P. S.
d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Maj.-Gen.Jack Howell, Ralph (Norfolk, N.) Osborn, John
Dean, Paul Hunt, John Owen, Idris (Stockport, N.)
Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F. Hutchison, Michael Clark Page, Rt. Hn. Graham (Crosby)
Digby, Simon Wingfield Iremonger, T. L. Page, John (Harrow, W.)
Dixon, Piers James, David Parkinson Cecil
Dodds-Parker, Douglas Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford) Peel, John
Douglas-Home. Rt. Hn. Sir Alec Jessel, Toby Percival, Ian
Drayson, G. B. Johnson Smith, G. (E. Grinstead) Peyton, Rt. Hn. John
Dykes, Hugh Jones, Arthur (Northants, S.) Pink, R. Bonner
Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke) Jopling, Michael Pounder, Rafton
Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton) Joseph, Rt. Hn. Sir Keith Price, David (Eastleigh)
Elliott, R. W. (N'c'lle-upon-Tyne,N.) Kaberry, Sir Donald Prior, Rt. Kn. J. M. L.
Emery, Peter Kellett-Bowman, Mrs. Elaine Proudfoot, Wilfred
Farr, John Kershaw, Anthony Pym, Rt. Hn. Francis
Fell, Anthony Kilfedder, James Raison, Timothy
Fenner, Mrs. Peggy Kimball, Marcus Ramsden, Rt. Hn. James
Fidler, Michael King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.) Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter
Finsberg, Geoffrey (Hampstead) King, Tom (Bridgwater) Redmond, Robert
Fisher, Nigel (Surbiton) Kinsey, J. R. Reed, Laurance (Bolton, E.)
Fletcher-Cooke, Charles Kitson, Timothy Rees. Peter (Dover)
Rees-Davies, W. R. Soret, Harold Vickers, Dame Joan
Renton, Rt. Kn. Sir David Speed, Keith Waddingion, David
Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon Spence, John Walder, David (Clitheroe)
Ridley, Hn. Nicholas Sproat, Iain Walker, Rt. Hn. Peter (Worcester)
Ridsdale, Julian Stanbrook, Ivor Wall, Patrick
Rippon, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey Steel, David Walters, Dennis
Roberts, Michael (Cardiff, N.) Stewart-Smith, Geoffrey (Belper) Warren, Kenneth
Roberts, Wyn (Conway) Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M. Wells, John (Maidstone)
Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks) Stokes, John White, Roger (Gravesend)
Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey) Stuttaford, Dr. Tom Wiggin, jerry
Rost, Peter Sutcliffe, John Wilkinson, John
Royle, Anthony Tapsell, Peter Winterton, Nicholas
Russell, Sir Ronald Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne) Wolrige-Gordon Patrick
St. John-Stevas, Norman Taylor, Edward M. (G'gow,Cathcart) Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard
Scott, Nicholas Taylor, Frank (Moss Side) Woodhouse, Hn. Christopher
Scott-Hopkins, James Tebbit, Norman Woodnutt, Mark
Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby) Temple, John M. Worsley, Marcus
Shelton, William (Clapham) Thomas, John Stradling (Monmouth) wylie, Rt. Hn. N. R.
Shersby, Michael Thomas, Rt. Hn. Peter (Hendon, S.) Younger, Hn. George
Simeons, Charles Trafford, Dr. Anthony
Sinclair, Sir George Trew, Peter TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Skeet, T. H. H. Tugendhat, Christopher Mr. Walter Clegg and
Smith, Cyril (Rochdale) Turton, Rt. Hn. Sir Robin Mr. Bernard weatherill
Smith, Dudley (W'wick & L'mington) Vaughan, Dr. Gerard

Question accordingly negatived.

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