HC Deb 15 November 1973 vol 864 cc809-37

10.13 p.m.

Mr. Roy Hattersley (Birmingham, Sparkbrook)

I beg to move, That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the Direct Grant Schools (Amendment) Regulations 1973 (S.I., 1973, No. 1535), dated 30th August 1973, a copy of which was laid before this House on 12th September, in the last Session of Parliament, be annulled. I move that motion basically for three reasons: first, to demonstrate the Government's own priorities in education spending; secondly, to establish the Opposition's priorities; and thirdly, to confirm once again—if further confirmation is necessary—the crucial differences in education philosophy which divide the Government and the Opposition.

If we examine the proposed increases, it becomes obvious at once that what is proposed is a substantial increase indeed. In terms of pounds per year, it is substantial even by the standards of the order against which we prayed last year, and it is even more substantial in terms of normal increases in Government education expenditure which we have seen over the last year and which we expect between now and the next General Election. It offers a retrospective increase to the direct grant schools of 4 per cent., and it offers them next year an increase of 11 per cent. When he replies, perhaps the Under-Secretary will tell us what other areas of current education expenditure, having enjoyed a retrospective increase of 4 per cent. during the year which has just ended, can look forward to an 11 per cent. increase during the forthcoming year.

But this is special to the hearts and minds of the Government. We ought to examine the special nature and special quality of the schools which are to receive this increase. First, we are talking about 103,000, or thereabouts, pupils. About 59,000 are recipients of the so-called free places—"so-called" because, while they are free to the pupils, they are certainly not free in the sense that they are provided free by the schools; they are paid for by local education authorities. They are described as "free" by the Public Schools Commission, always in inverted commas, to describe that strangely ambivalent status.

We are also talking about 49,000 pupils, or thereabouts, whose parents pay fees and who receive a subsidy for their fees which is paid through the taxes of taxpayers who may well be a great deal less well off than the recipients of the subsidies, and who may well send their children to schools which are a great deal inferior to those which they are subsidising for others.

I am sure that the Under-Secretary will say that the fees are scaled to the parental income. He ought to tell us also that the scales are such that even the man on the now, national average of £40 a week has some fee to pay. He ought—I am sure that he will—to tell us that despite the scaling and, indeed, despite the so-called free places that are provided through local authority payment, the social mix of the direct grant schools remains woefully inadequate. Indeed, the survey done for the Public Schools Commission shows that only one in 13 of direct grant school pupils comes from a household in which the head is an unskilled or a semi-skilled worker. The direct grant school population is wildly unrepresentative of the country as a whole. It is unrepresentative socially and by nature of the fact that it is part of the private education system which receives an obvious public subsidy.

That is why it is illogical that in fee-charging schools public funds should be applied towards reducing the costs of education for pupils whose parents can well afford the full cost. That is not my judgment. It is the judgment of the Fleming Committee, reporting nearly 30 years ago, producing a report which no one would regard as radical, let alone progressive, but nevertheless strong in its condemnation of the direct grant system. Indeed, its condemnation would be even more stringent if it were examining the direct grant system now and the increase that the Government propose tonight.

This increase is astonishing at a time when every part of the education system is gasping for funds. Hon. Members should look at the present situation about the London allowance and the announcement made this evening, at the teachers' superannuation fund, at the building cost situation, and at the argument now taking place about the rate support grant—with carefully orchestrated leaks telling the education journalists that the Secretary of State is fighting the Treasury for every extra penny that she can get for local rates. Despite all that, the Government come forward tonight offering an 11 per cent. increase to a very selective and very elitist part of the education system. It is no wonder that the normally moderate Teachers World, talking about the Under-Secretary's speech in Liverpool a fortnight ago, described it as a bad moment for the Tories to flaunt their support of the direct grant system. As we are talking about the flaunting habits of the Under-Secretary, I hope that he will make one point clear.

Sir George Sinclair (Dorking)

The hon. Gentleman talks about flaunting, but has he not flaunted a sharp axe recently in front of everyone to provoke them?

Mr. Hattersley

I have certainly never mixed a metaphor like that in my life. What I have done is to describe the established policy of my party. If that is flaunting it, I am proud to do so. I chose the word "flaunt" simply because that was the description of the Under-Secretary's speech by, as I say, the usually moderate and uncontentious Teachers World.

Mr. Patrick Cormack (Cannock)

Can we take it tonight, therefore, that everything that the hon. Gentleman says represents what his right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition says and stands for?

Mr. Hattersley

I think we should be debating kindergartens rather than direct grant schools this evening.

What I want to ask the Under-Secretary, as I am talking about his flaunting speech in Liverpool, is this. This is a matter of importance and substance. When we vote on the regulations this evening increasing the direct grant, we are entitled to know how many direct grant places and how many direct grant schools there will be at the end of the year, because for the first time since the war a Minister of the Crown, or at any rate an Under-Secretary, has announced the possibility of reopening the direct grant list.

Mr. Angus Maude (Stratford-on-Avon)

On a matter of fact, surely the hon. Gentleman knows that Lord Eccles reopened the direct grant list and added schools to it when he was Minister of Education.

Mr. Hattersley

That is why I was careful to say "announced". Lord Eccles made absolutely clear what he was going to do. The Under-Secretary made a political speech in Liverpool. I ask him to make absolutely clear tonight whether it is the Secretary of State's intention to reopen the direct grant list, because until we know this we shall not know the volume of money we are voting this evening. I make it absolutely clear to the Under-Secretary that if that was just one of his usual frolics we do not intend to make any fuss about it. If it is a serious point, we need to know about it because it is germane to the debate.

The Under-Secretary of State for Education and Science (Mr. Norman St. John-Stevas)

The hon. Gentleman, as usual, has not done his homework. I was repeating exactly the words used by the Secretary of State herself in the House just a year ago.

Mr. Hattersley

Then let me ask the Under-Secretary this: is it the Secretary of State's intention to reopen the direct grant list, or was that simply a point which was made to hearten Conservative audiences?

Mr. St. John-Stevas

I repeat what the Secretary of State has said, and the hon. Gentleman—[HON. MEMBERS: "Answer."]—wait a minute. The Secretary of State and myself have said exactly the same thing, namely, that she is considering the question and in due course will reach a decision.

Mr. Hattersley

I must say, if it is any consolation to the hon. Gentleman, that I do not think that anyone who has seen him in the House believes for one moment that he and the Secretary of State ever said different things. I suppose I should have known that we would get less than an adequate answer on that, because we have always had less than adequate answers about the Government's general policies for secondary education.

We make our attitude to the increased grant and the existence of the direct grant at all clear. After a suitable period of notice, the direct grant will be withdrawn. This is because our priorities are different from those of the Government. We are not saying for one moment that the direct grant schools are not by some standards good schools. Of course, academically, most of them are. [HON. MEMBERS: "Patronising."] I am patronising for the reason that with their benefits, class sizes and intakes they jolly well ought to be good schools. I hope that even the most enthusiastic of supporters of private education will concede that there are very many good schools in the maintained sector and that there are equally good schools working in conditions which the direct grant schools have never contemplated and would not in their present form survive.

We want the interest, the enthusiasm and the resources of the nation to be switched towards the generality of schools. That is why we intend to vote against the increase this evening. We intend to do so because we believe, as the Public Schools Commission believed, that the argument for fee paying within the selective system does not stand analysis and we believe, as the commission believed, that the introduction of the comprehensive system makes the fee-paying system out of all possibility.

Why, as we hold these views and as they are increasingly held in the country, will the Under-Secretary tonight defend the increase in the grant? I suppose, if his previous statements and behaviour are anything to go on, he will do so for two or three reasons. The first will concern the point he made in Liverpool, when he said that the direct grant schools built a bridge between the maintained and the independent sector. I do not believe that that concept stands up to a moment of analysis. I hope that when he replies, he will state exactly what that bridge is, what that bridge does, how that bridge is formed and exactly what its virtues are. It is very easy to create phrases of that sort, but, on analysis, it is clear that it adds up to nothing at all.

Mr. Cormack

The hon. Gentleman will, of course, bear in mind that a lot of his hon. Friends have been happy to cross the bridge, at least with their children.

Mr. Hattersley

I have never quite understood what that point is supposed to mean. If the hon. Gentleman is saying that there are some of my hon. Friends who hold principles so well that they are prepared to vote against policies which might be in their direct personal interest, I have no doubt that that is true. Of course we are a party of principle, and we will vote for that principle.

Let me examine the other reason which the hon. Gentleman will put forward for the maintenance and, through an extension of the grant, increase of the direct grant system. He will tell us. I am sure, as the Secretary of State has told us, that there is an increase in the demand for such schools. I am sure that is true. I am told that in my constituency there is an increasing demand for schools with new buildings, an increasing demand for schools with adequate-sized classes, an increasing demand for schools with adequate facilities, an increasing demand for playing fields near the schools to which my constituents go. If we are to have increasing demand as the only criterion, then my hon. Friends and I will want to offer the case that the £1 million or more which has been spent on this very small area of education could be better devoted to those increasing demands which meet the needs of ordinary people—the needs and the demands which are so cruelly neglected. That, we believe, ought to be the Government's overriding priority. That, we believe, ought to be why they are saving money by reducing the direct grants in these circumstances, rather than increasing them.

Finally, it may be said by the Under-Secretary that the system which he advocates and defends this evening actually saves the public's money. I think that not even his remarkable arithmetic can produce a figure of £1,000 million in relation to the direct grant system, though I believe he has produced exactly that figure for every other proposal which the Labour Party has put forward. But I have no doubt at all that we will want to argue that, in a sense money is saved by the extension and continuation of the direct grant system. That is obviously untrue. It is certainly untrue if the direct grant system does what its supporters insist it does, which is to produce a new social mix in which pupils from all classes and sections of the community come together, and it is certainly untrue that the direct grant schools save money if, as the Under-Secretary has argued in the past and may well argue again this evening, the demand for such schools is so considerable that parents will continue to take up the places, come what may.

If the £8 which we are asked to approve this evening is paid, then for the so-called free places paid for by local authorities there will be £8 to be found out of local authority funds. So far as public expenditure is concerned, local and national, the position remains in balance. But if the £8 is not approved this evening, the £8 which would go to subsidise the non-free places, the payment of subsidies to the parents who are buying their way into the direct grant system, would obviously be saved to the Exchequer. I believe that it should be saved to the Exchequer and spent on schools and on children whose needs are much greater. In fact the more unrepresentative of society the direct grant system is, the more saving one could bring about by abolishing the direct grant altogether, or, indeed, by voting against the increase this evening.

Mr. Martin McLaren (Bristol, North-West)

I have always been puzzled about one point. What was it that the Leader of the Opposition had in mind when he said that the direct grant schools would be abolished only over his dead body?

Mr. Hattersley

It seems absolutely clear that hon. Gentlemen will be making this point well into the next century, and I suppose that I ought to get the quotation right for them. What it was alleged that my right hon. Friend said was that grammar schools would be closed over his dead body. What he meant, and what I hope he will go on saying and meaning, is that many of the traditions of the grammar schools ought to be saved and preserved, and that they are so worth saving and preserving that they should be available to a much larger section of the population than they are at present.

I always find a certain degree of irony in the fact that so many of the supporters and defenders of the grammar schools on the Government benches are those who would not dream of sending their children to maintained grammar schools. What is more, many of them would not dream of sending their children to direct grant schools.

I believe that the more money that is saved, the more it can be demonstrated that the direct grant system is unrepresentative of society and caters for a group of the population who, were the direct grant to be removed, would choose the advantages as they see it, and the disadvantages as we see it, of independent education. I have no doubt that the demand for direct grant places amongst that group of the population—the 40 or 50 per cent. of parents who send their children there—is sufficiently elastic for them to continue to buy the direct grant place in an ex-direct grant school if the status is changed.

The very clear policy of the Labour Party is the withdrawal of the direct grant and the decision, in time, of the direct grant governors about whether they want to become part of the increasingly popular and increasingly understood maintained comprehensive system or whether they want to go independent and bear the penalties and disadvantages that independent status involves.

It is wrong by any standards—those of the Fleming Committee, those of the Public Schools Commission and those of every serious commentator who has judged the existence and advantages of the direct grant schools—that they should exist in this ambivalent condition, choosing small, élite section of the population either by money or by academic ability. Subsidising that small, élite section, whether they have gone to those schools by scholarship or by the length of their parents' purses, is by any social standards inadequate and indefensible. For that reason, the Opposition intend to vote against the regulations.

10.32 p.m.

Mr. Angus Maude (Stratford-on-Avon)

Until the hon. Member for Birmingham, Sparkbrook (Mr. Hattersley) neared the end of his speech, I was not quite sure whether I should declare an interest in this debate. It is clear from what the hon. Gentleman said that I should.

Having been to an independent school myself, I sent both my sons to a direct grant grammar school. My daughter went to another. The hon. Gentleman wondered how many Government supporters were prepared to send their children to direct grant grammar schools. I am at least one. For that reason, I think that I can claim to know a little about them.

What fascinated me about the hon. Gentleman's speech was his references to the Public Schools Commission, of which there were several. He cannot have understood what it was that the two commissions said about the direct grant and the independent schools. It is one of the funniest stories in the history of education.

The Newsom Commission debated for a long time and, with a number of minority and dissenting reports, said that the best thing to do with the independent schools was to turn them into direct grant schools. Then the commission, slightly reconstituted as the Donnison Commission, turned to deal with direct grant schools and said that they ought to be made non-selective. The Newsom Commission, having previously said that the best thing to do with the independent schools was to turn them into direct grant schools, said that some of them were so small that it was no good making them non-selective and that some would have to stay selective. But the Donnison Commission then said that what we must do with the direct grant schools is make them non-selective, and then went on to say "We realise perfectly well that the result will be that quite a number of them will turn themselves into independent schools".

The wheel, therefore, had turned full circle. I think that four members managed to sign both reports, an event which, knowing some of the members, I should not have been surprised at, but I was. To cite Newsom or Donnison, therefore, as justifying an argument either way in respect of direct grant or independent schools is futile. The only use they had was to indicate the merits of the academic education which is provided in the schools.

We know that the hon. Gentleman and some, though not all, members of his party have a passionate ideological antipathy to the direct grant schools partly because they are highly selective, partly because they are untidy, being neither quite independent nor quite maintained. They are—we on this side regard this as one of their greatest merits—a bridge between the independent and the maintained sector. [HON. MEMBERS: "Rubbish".1 Clearly, they are, because they have a far wider social mix than the independent schools and they enable a large number of very bright working-class children to have an absolutely first-class academic education.

It is no trouble to us on this side if the hon. Gentleman and his Friends continue to make speeches of the sort we heard from him tonight. It gains no votes for them and loses no votes for us. In every village, town and city in the land there are working-class families who have sent to these schools children who, without the direct grant schools, would never have got to university or into a profession but who have gone to the top of their trees precisely because of the direct grant system. Let the hon. Gentleman make his speeches saying that he intends to abolish them. This will do us and the direct grant schools nothing but good.

Mr. Neville Sandelson (Hayes and Harlington)


Mr. Maude

No, there hon. Members who wish to I had better not give way.

Two facts ought to be recognised. First, even if hon. Members opposite do not know it, a lot of people know very well that the reaction to the wholly comprehensive non-selective school which is already felt among parents and teachers is considerable and is growing. It is essential that when that reaction reaches its peak there should be some good selective schools left, and the best of them are likely to be in the direct grant sector.

I believe that a considerable number of independent and aided schools would like, other things being equal, to be direct grant schools, and if my right hon. Friend did reopen the direct grant list there would, again other things being equal, be quite a number of applications to join. But other things are not equal, for the simple reason that the Labour Party has announced openly several times—the present Deputy Leader of the Opposition has announced it, as has the hon. Member for Sparkbrook—that it is the party's intention, if and when it is ever returned to power, to abolish the direct grant system.

It is, therefore, fairly obvious that no board of governors with any sense, whether independent or aided, will go out on a limb now and ask for direct grant status if it believes that that status will be abolished in four years, two years, or whatever it might be.

My own belief is that, if and when a Labour Government are returned, which certainly will not be for five or six years now, we shall have been able before then, with the risk of a Labour Government having been removed from the horizon, to reopen the direct grant list. I hope that my right hon. Friend will take care to try to reassure the schools that would like to enter it that they are safe for at least a whole Conservative period of power—six to 10 years, or whatever it may be. That would be enough to make not only some independent schools but quite a lot of aided schools seek direct grant status.

I am convinced—this is not wishful thinking, but the result of talking to many parents who have had experience of neighbourhood comprehensive schools in our cities and certain comprehensive schools in rural areas—that the reaction against the totally non-selective school by parents of brighter children is growing every year. The reaction in favour of the direct grant schools is also growing, and it will grow as the years go by. The demand for more direct grant schools will grow greater.

The hon. Gentleman can go on making his speeches at party conferences or weekend jamborees at miners' galas as much as he likes. That suits us very well. It will do his party nothing but harm and our party nothing but good. What is more important is that it will rally, among the working classes as much as among the middle and professional classes, those parents and teachers who value good education to support the places where the education is best.

10.42 p.m.

Mr. R. C. Mitchell (Southampton, Itchen)

It is no accident that the Conservative benches are more crowded tonight than I have seen them at this hour for many years. There are more Conservative Members present for the debate than for nearly the whole of the debate that preceded it on the state of emergency. There is nothing more likely to bring the Conservative Members out from his hole in the House than the question of privilege in education.

We have before us a true Tory measure.

Sir Gilbert Longden (Hertfordshire, South-West)


Mr. Mitchell

I will not give way.

The regulations constitute one of the few Tory measures the Government have introduced during the past two or three years. I can understand why there are so many satisfied smiles on the faces of Conservative Members. It follows the true Tory principle that to those who already have shall be given more. It is nonsense—[HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] I am pleased to have the support of hon. Members opposite. It is nonsense in the educational world of today to talk about giving such sums to the direct grant system when there are so many other aspects of education on which the money could be far more profitably spent, to the benefit of the ordinary children.

How can I vote for such money being given to the direct grant schools when the Secretary of State sends a circular to my local authority saying that it must postpone for several months the replacement of a very old State primary school, and when it also has to postpone urgently needed improvements to a down-town secondary school in an area of social deprivation? We have been told that the country cannot afford expenditure on urgent educational projects of that kind, yet there is money to give to those who already have.

I agree entirely with my hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Sparkbrook (Mr. Hattersley). I want to see the day when the direct grant system as such—I choose my words carefully—is done away with. It grew up largely by accident, as will be known by anyone who has studied the history of the system. I want to see it done away with as a system, because it plays no real part in education. But the basic argument against this tonight is that the Government have their priorities wrong once again. How can we support giving this sort of money in a time of shortage of educational expenditure when we are told that money is short and is not available for other projects? How can we vote for giving more money to direct grant schools that are already wealthy?

10.45 p.m.

Sir George Sinclair (Dorking)

The hon. Member for Birmingham, Sparkbrook (Mr. Hattersley) argued part of the time about things which had nothing to do with the regulations. He plainly wants merely to abolish the direct grant school.

If parents are to have some freedom of choice in education, as I believe they should—and I shall show what I mean by that—there should be more direct grant schools. At present there are not nearly enough of them to meet the demand. There should be at least one in every local education authority area. There is a strong case on educational grounds—and many hon. Members still judge educational issues on educational grounds—for reopening and enlarging the direct grant list.

As to freedom of parental choice in education, I am glad in this to be supported by the principle enshrined in the universal Declaration of Human Rights in which it is regarded as a fundamental human liberty.

Mr. Hattersley

Will the hon. Member for Dorking (Sir G. Sinclair) tell me how much freedom he thinks is enjoyed, universal Declaration of Human Rights or not, by, let us say, the children and their parents in South Birmingham who, since there is no comprehensive reorganisation, have the simple freedom to go to the nearest secondary modern school, good or bad, old or new? What does the Declaration of Human Rights have to do for them?

Sir G. Sinclair

If freedom to move from one area to another is wiped out I regard that as a retrograde step. It is not wiped out in the direct grant schools, and one of the objections to a number of rigid neighbourhood schools is, just as the hon. Member for Birmingham, Sparkbrook said, that they cannot move from one area to another.

The justification for the existence and continued operation of the direct grant schools should be academic excellence. If some schools on the list do not have specially valuable contributions to make—and this does not always depend on size—they should make room for others.

It is not easy to measure the academic output of a school, but, so far as it can be measured by generally accepted standards, direct grant schools have done better in terms of A level passes and university entrance than other schools, whether independent or State grammar schools. Half of those leaving direct grant schools have three or more A levels, and 63 per cent. have two or more. That is 50 per cent. better than the maintained grammar schools.

There is a growing realisation in countries like the United States, Germany and even Russia that the comprehensive system does not meet all their education requirements at the secondary level. Their educationists think we are crazy to contemplate wiping out our selective direct grant schools or our independent schools. I agree with them. My judgment is based on my experience as chairman of the governors of a direct grant school. I see that school as serving the neighbouring countryside, which it has done for at least the last 400 years, as a centre of academic excellence. It serves families of the widest possible range of incomes and backgrounds from not only the locality but throughout the country, including that mobile section of the community—namely, the armed services. Far from being socially divisive, I know, from the letters from parents which I have seen that the school—and I am sure that there are others like it—has a well-earned reputation for dissolving social barriers and making young people there feel that they are individuals in their own right.

Mr. Kenneth Marks (Manchester, Gorton)

The argument has largely been one of selection. This measure refers to grammar schools. I should like to know the definition of "grammar schools". Will the hon. Member for Dorking (Sir G. Sinclair) tell us how many children of Service men in the school of which he is governor are children from the other ranks and how many are the children of officers?

Sir G. Sinclair

I should be glad to get the figures for the hon. Member. There are children of both ranks of parents. A letter, of which I learned this evening, from "other rank" parents says that they consider that the school is not socially divisive.

Mr. Sandelson

The hon. Gentleman is talking about the achievement of a social mixture at direct grant schools. Has he examined the facts about the intake into such schools?

Mr. Cormack

The hon. Member went to Westminster.

Mr. Sandelson

Yes, I went to Westminster. I am happy to say that my children are being educated in the maintained system.

Has the hon. Gentleman studied the facts about the intake of the direct grant schools? Is he not aware—headmasters and teachers in the direct grant schools never talk about these facts, and they are studiously ignored by all Conservative hon. Members—that the overwhelming majority of pupils in direct grant schools come from the professional and managerial classes? Is he aware that there are virtually no pupils in direct grant schools from working-class homes?

Sir G. Sinclair

I am delighted to answer the speech of the hon. Member for Hayes and Harlington (Mr. Sandelson). Exactly 50 per cent. of the places in the school of which I speak are provided by the local authority. That should not disappoint anybody. By contrast, the comprehensive school nearby, because of its merits, has led local house agents to advertise new properties as most desirable—and, therefore, more expensive—because they lie in the catchment area of the comprehensive school. That will lead to a movement of better-off families into the area, the raising of house prices and the exclusion of others who are less well off from the area from that school. This is just one example of how economically divisive comprehensive schools can be in their neighbourhood areas.

I have said that direct grant schools are not socially divisive. No one is debarred from going to the school with which I am concerned by his parentage, by his background or by the neighbourhood in which he lives. The pupils are admitted by selection on academic performance and potential.

But the hon. Member for Sparkbrook is not trying to condemn direct grant schools on educational grounds. No one in his senses would want to do away with any good schools when the need for good schools is so great. There seems to me no ground for abolishing direct grant schools because they are socially divisive. They are not. On the contrary, they can contribute far more to an open society than the rigid neighbourhood schools can do.

Surely, the only ground for the Labour Party's threat to abolish direct grant schools is that they are selective, and selection has now become anathema to its dogma. I am sure that the Labour Party will not have the country behind it if it attempts to wipe out these centres of academic excellence. I am equally sure that many of the existing direct grant schools will, in one form or another, go on serving families of all income groups in the wide areas around them, and that they will go on providing an education which will serve the nation well in an age when Britain will need the full development of her brain power.

10.58 p.m.

Mr. Richard Crossman (Coventry, East)

I have not often ventured to intervene in an education debate, but I think it might be useful to take some concrete examples and see how they work. I have been the Member for Coventry, East, for a good many years. The Labour Party captured the local authority in 1937 and sought to introduce comprehensive education.

We have in Coventry four direct grant schools—two for boys and two for girls. The Coventry Corporation built 12 comprehensive schools, leaving the direct grant schools, on the view put forward by the hon. Member for Stratford-on-Avon (Mr. Maude) that they were bridges. But what happened in practice?

The direct grant schools skimmed off the top 8 per cent. of all the boys and girls because, of course, if one goes to parents and says, "We shall give your child a free place in a top privileged school", there is a temptation to them to agree. I am not denying that the four direct grant schools are good schools. So are the independent schools—I was at one myself. But we must not have nonsense talked about their being bridges.

If one wants to build a comprehensive system, one cannot simultaneously have in the same area a highly selective system, because the two cancel each other out. What one will get is the direct grant schools creaming off the people who go to university, and the sixth forms of the comprehensive schools not being much better than those in the secondary modern schools. I am not saying that they are not good schools. I am simply saying that that is what happens.

We are being asked why we propose to abolish direct grant schools—but we are not seeking to abolish them. In Coventry we propose to integrate our four direct grant schools, as we did the other grammar schools, into our comprehensive system. They will provide the nucleus which will be very useful to the town, and within seven or eight years they will have become part of the comprehensive system. Our proposals will shortly be presented to the Secretary of State.

I tell Conservative Members who speak about bridges and non-divisiveness that if they had seen, over the past 30 years, the divisive effect, in a city, of trying to combine comprehensive education with four very good direct grant schools they would not be able to talk that kind of nonsense. We have to face it—we cannot have the best of all worlds. It would be nice to feel that we could have all these different kinds of schools put together in one place and get the best. They just cancel each other out.

Mr. Ernle Money (Ipswich)

In deploying this argument, will the right hon. Gentleman explain why the Socialist-controlled Inner London Education Authority maintains one of the most expensive boarding schools in the country, at Wolverston Hall, in Suffolk?

Mr. Crossman

I wish to heavens more education authorities maintained them. We, in Coventry, are proud to have the Coventry City Boarding School, because there are any number of special cases who benefit from a boarding school education. What I am talking about is the problem of there co-existing in the same place four intensively selective schools.

Perhaps the distinguishing feature of the direct grant schools was pointed out by the hon. Member for Stratford-on-Avon, who praised them for the high number of A levels they secure. A lot of them are intellectual cramming institutions, whereas the independent schools have a more liberal tradition and do not cram as much because they do not have to collect their people by saying, "We shall give you results." Many direct grant schools are the most intensive examples of cramming in the country.

The other objection is that we want freedom of choice. In Coventry we do not have freedom of choice, because we do not have a genuine comprehensive school to choose. It is not possible to have a system in which people are able to choose between direct grant and comprehensive, because these two animals do not co-exist. Hon. Gentlemen opposite do not want comprehensive education; they want a tri-partite system of education in which children are segregated.

Sir G. Sinclair

The right hon. Gentleman is entering a cloud-cuckoo-land of the future.

Mr. Crossman

I am describing the past 30 years.

Sir G. Sinclair

The right hon. Gentleman said that comprehensive schools could not co-exist with direct grant schools. The two schools of which I spoke are divided by a road. Both are very good indeed.

Mr. Crossman

I am not saying that it is impossible to have a single example. I am saying that in a city the size of Coventry we have tried it and found it impossible, because of the skimming process.

People cannot live in a world where they choose between the education of the previous 400 years and the modern, comprehensive kind of education. They must move one way or the other. It would be sensible for the Tories to talk with some practical experience of the way in which direct grant schools or comprehensive schools work. In our area of North Oxfordshire—a reactionary Conservative area, which has excellent comprehensive education—the direct grant school, the Banbury Grammar School, had to be taken over to form the nucleus of the comprehensive school. Thank Heaven we did that. Everyone has forgotten about the direct grant school.

Mr. Maude

The right hon. Gentleman must know that is not true. Banbury Grammar School was not a direct grant grammar school; it was a maintained grammar school.

Mr. Crossman

I was trying to improve the argument.

Sir G. Sinclair

A shamefully unacademic distortion.

Mr. Crossman

If I have been guilty of shameful and unacademic distortion I must add that I am a product of an independent school. I have made it clear that it is impossible for them to co-exist. We are bound to hope for their integration.

11.5 p.m.

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

The right hon. Member for Coventry, East (Mr. Crossman) admittedly has a difficulty in his constituency. I accept that if there are four very good direct grant schools fairly close together it will be hard straight away to mount an effective comprehensive system. I concede that at once, but that is not happening everywhere in the country. An area either has the luck or the misfortune to be somewhat exceptional. It may be that Bristol is in much the same position.

I disagree with the right hon. Gentleman in putting the theory to the doctrinal extreme. He said that we would need a 100 per cent. intake in the comprehensive system to have a genuine comprehensive school. In logic that is correct, but, in my view, it is neither necessary nor desirable. Some of the best examples of the comprehensive system working are in the United States of America. In New York 7 per cent. of the children attend schools other than comprehensives, and the comprehensives do not suffer.

In the longer term the theory of the pool of ability comes into the matter. If the comprehensive system is all that it is said to be, it will in time generate its own sixth form, because that is part of the doctrine and theory of discovering and developing ability.

What always surprises me when these orders come before the House is the almost pathological hatred by hon. Gentlemen opposite of any idea of selection and fee paying. I rest the argument for some retention of this system on the simple doctrine of freedom and the desire and necessity of having as varied an educational system as possible. I believe that it is possible for a comprehensive system to work with a limited number of selective schools, many of which will be direct grant schools.

If the Opposition were right in their criticisms, I should expect local education authorities to be as hostile to direct grant schools as they themselves. But, far from taking up only the first 25 per cent. of places in direct grant schools, local education authorities have exercised their options to take up the second 25 per cent. as well. Indeed, they have gone beyond that. My hon. Friend the Under-Secretary, speaking at Liverpool, pointed out that local education authorities are taking up 58 per cent. of the places in direct grant schools.

The Opposition also dislike any element of fee paying. I find this curious in Britain. Earlier today, at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, I was listening to a debate about European schools with a very mixed intake—some of it highly selective and the rest nonselective. There was plenty to talk about. However, the fact is that modest fees are charged to the parents of some pupils there, and, as far as I am aware, no one objects.

Now, coming back to the House of Commons, I find this extraordinary animosity against that system. I can only suppose that it arises from the feeling that it is wrong for a parent to spend any money to try to advance his child's prospects. This is probably what the hon. Member for Southampton, Itchen (Mr. R. C. Mitchell) had in mind when he talked of educational privilege. But if parents are educationally sympathetic they will seek to give their children such opportunities as they can. Indeed, they will move to try to get within the catchment area of a good comprehensive school. This is a fact of life and of human nature, and it seems idle to try to deny it. The schools are popular because they give some freedom of choice. I see them as a bridge between having to pay full fees in an independent school, which are high, and having completely free provision in the maintained sector.

By her revision of last year the scale of income for parental contribution to fees my right hon. Friend brought the contribution down to nil where assessable income is below, £1,000 a year, and full fees are not paid until the assessable income is £4,000. That bracket includes a wide range of people, bearing in mind that average earnings are now £2,300 a year.

There are many more not very rich parents who, if they wished, could seek places in direct grant schools. It is a fact that managerial classes perhaps tend to seek it first. They have the tradition, and they make the effort, but many other parents could do so if they wished, and, in my judgment, more and more are likely to do so in future. That is why there is a growing demand.

Miss Joan Lestor (Eton and Slough)

The hon. Gentleman is basing his defence of the system on the need to give freedom of choice to a minority of parents to buy a better education, as he calls it, for their children. Can he explain why working-class taxpayers should subsidise that freedom of choice?

Mr. Hill

I do not think that working-class taxpayers are subsidising this freedom. The freedom is to have different systems working and not suppressed. The freedom is to have an alternative which is available provided a certain sacrifice and effort are made. It may be that some parents would rather send their children to one of these schools than have a car.

It seems to me that, with the revision of the scale of parental contribution, it is worth reconsidering whether the quartile of free places is relevant to modern conditions, and whether it might be better to make all the places subject to parental contributions.

There is no remission of fees for boarders. The hon. Member for Birmingham, Sparkbrook (Mr. Hattersley) mentioned the importance of boarding school education. I hope, therefore, that the question of including boarding places within the ambit of the fees remission scheme will be considered.

11.14 p.m.

The Under-Secretary of State for Education and Science (Mr. Norman St. John-Stevas)

I think the House is delighted to have the opportunity to debate private education, albeit on the rather narrow grounds of the regulations governing direct grant schools.

Some may think it odd that the Opposition spokesman the hon. Member for Birmingham, Sparkbrook (Mr. Hattersley), who with a few characteristic glosses from his Leader has determined to abolish the private sector, has not given the House an opportunity to debate that policy. We should welcome it if the Opposition chose to give time for it. It is the hon. Gentleman's policy, not ours. It is odder still that that has not been done in view of the hon. Gentleman's non-stop appearances on television—[Interruption]—I must follow my Shadow—including his Sunday cliffhanger on the private schools.

The oddest contribution of all came when the hon. Member reproached me for saying the same thing as my Secretary of State. No one ever made that reproach of him during his tenure of office as Under-Secretary to the right hon. Member for Blackburn (Mrs. Castle). She was always wondering what he would say next.

We are grateful indeed, however, that the Leader of the Opposition, nailing the hon. Member for Sparkbrook firmly to the mast, has allowed us to have this debate tonight. We on the Government side of the House are delighted that the Secretary of State is asking the House to raise the grant to these excellent schools. This contrasts very sharply with the shabby behaviour of the Opposition. When they broke faith with the direct grant schools they were afraid to do away with them, but in 1968 they cut their grant by nearly 50 per cent. It was one of the first acts of the present Government to restore that grant, and the raising of the grant tonight is the logical continuation of that policy.

I am glad that the hon. Member for Sparkbrook has made it clear—he has put the case very honestly, as honestly as he is capable of putting it—that there is no argument tonight on the practicalities of this issue, that this is an argument on principle, and that the Opposition are voting against the whole principle of the direct grant school system when voting on these regulations.

It is important to examine the arguments, such as they have been, which have been raised against the direct grant school system this evening. A principal argument that we have heard from the hon. Member for Sparkbrook, which was echoed by the hon. Member for Southampton, Itchen (Mr. R. C. Mitchell), is that this system subsidises those who can afford to pay. This was a point made by the hon. Member for Eton and Slough (Miss Lestor) in a characteristic intervention from the Dispatch Box. If one takes the capitation grant alone and lays all stress on that, of course one gets a distorted picture of the direct grant school system because that is looking at it only from the point of view of the schools and the benefit that they get. But if one is looking at the bargain that has been struck, one must look at the other side of the bargain, which is the benefit that accrues to local authorities.

In return for this capitation grant, local authorities get 25 per cent. of the places free for maintained primary pupils, and a further 25 per cent. are reserved for their pupils. Nearly 60 per cent. of pupils at direct grant schools, as my hon. Friend the Member for Norfolk, South (Mr. John E. B. Hill) pointed out, are pupils from local authorities.

A further point which is relevant to the capitation fee is that if the local authorities do not take up those places the schools have to take them up and they have to pay the fees of those pupils. So that again makes a counterbalancing consideration to the question of the capitation fee.

A second major matter is involved here if one is to get a fair view of the situation. These schools charge modest fees to those of moderate means. The average fee of these schools is, on the whole, under £200. But in addition there is a sliding scale, which means that those of smaller incomes pay much less than those of larger incomes. If one has an income of under £1,000, one pays nothing. On an income of under £2,000 a year one pays only £66. There are larger reductions if a person has more than one child at a direct grant school. Here again, help is given to those who need it.

The third point made by the hon. Member for Sparkbrook was that the social mix was woefully inadequate in these schools. I would not pitch the reply to this argument at too high a level. The hon. Gentleman pitched it too low. I make, however, this claim for the direct grant schools, that they have a wider social mix than most independent schools and neighbourhood comprehensive schools. That gives them a unique character which is worth preserving.

If the hon. Gentleman is dissatisfied with the social mix in these schools, he might reflect that we are not being helped in getting a wider social mix by those Labour-controlled councils which for doctrinaire reasons refuse to take up their places in the schools. The Inner London Education Authority has seven direct grant schools in its area but has hardly taken up one place in those schools. So much for the first argument advanced by the hon. Gentleman.

Mr. Timothy Raison (Aylesbury)

In addition to not taking up places in these schools, the ILEA is sending its children home from school because it cannot provide enough education for them. Is not that a valid argument for the continuation of these schools?

Mr. Marks

Does that mean that there are empty places in direct grant schools in the ILEA area?

Mr. St. John-Stevas

If I may intervene for a moment, that is another debate and I will not be drawn into it in the very few moments remaining to me.

The second argument, if it can be called an argument, advanced by the hon. Member for Sparkbrook was his distortion of the conclusions of the Donnison Report and the Fleming Report. The hon. Gentleman's distortions of the Fleming Report were exposed by Sir Robert Birley in The Times, and my hon. Friend the Member for Stratford-on-Avon (Mr. Maude) pointed out that the hon. Gentleman had grotesquely distorted the conclusion of the Donnison Report.

The real reason why these schools are being destroyed by the Opposition is not that they are bad, but that they are good. As my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State said on 12th October, if she doubled the number of direct grant schools tomorrow she still could not meet the demand for this type of education.

Perhaps the oddest argument of all we have heard tonight was when the hon. Member for Sparkbrook said that he found it strange that supporters of grammar schools on this side should not send their own children to grammar schools. I have no means of knowing how many of my hon. Friends send their children to grammar schools. If there is one thing odder than that fact—if it be a fact—it is that so many prominent members of the Labour Party should use direct grant schools for their children when they are advocating their destruction.

Mr. Hattersley


Mr. St. John-Stevas

The Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, for example, the right hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East (Mr. Callaghan) for another, while the Leader of the Labour Party sent his children to an independent school. [Interruption.] It is no good the hon. Gentleman groaning. It was the hon. Gentleman who raised this point. I am giving him his answer in kind.

The arguments for continuing and raising the grants for these schools are substantial. First, they provide a choice within the education system. That is worth preserving. Nothing was more significant than the sneers and jeers that greeted my hon. Friend the Member for Dorking (Sir G. Sinclair) when he referred to parental rights. Hon. Members opposite care nothing for parental rights. My hon. Friend and other hon. Members are right when they say that the direct grant schools provide a bridge between the maintained and private schools because of their composition, and, furthermore, they provide the talented school child who may be trapped in a bad neighbourhood school with a means of escape. They help us also to meet the special needs in boarding education.

I was glad that the hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton (Mr. Marks) mentioned the position of the armed forces. It was the hon. Member for Sparkbrook who misled people the other day when he said that the boarding allowances given in the forces were such that other ranks were unable to take them up and give boarding education to their children. He has not answered the two letters that he has had on the subject from the Ministry of Defence. Will he now withdraw that inaccuracy?

Mr. Hattersley

If I said what the hon. Gentleman says I said, then I can be the first to withdraw it. Since I was the Minister who was responsible for the military salaries, I was one of the people who put up the boarding allowance. That is not what I said. The hon. Gentleman is quite right in saying that I have had two letters from the Minister of State and I have already had two conversations with his hon. Friend. If he wants to proceed in this way, I think he has an obligation in honour to get his facts right.

Mr. St. John-Stevas

I will, and, anticipating that challenge, I have the transcript of what the hon. Gentleman said. This is what he said: When I was a Minister in the Ministry of Defence, we enabled officers in Her Majesty's Forces to send their children to independent schools but, alas, we did not make that possible for other ranks. At the time when the hon. Gentleman was at the Ministry of Defence there were 2,000 other ranks taking up boarding allowances and having boarding education for their children. I leave that point. It has been established. I would not have raised it if it had not been for the intervention of the hon. Member for Gorton.

The third point which is in favour of the continuation of grants to these schools is that they are centres of excellence and some of them have national reputations—such as Manchester Grammar School and the Merchant Taylors School in Liverpool. The best reason of all for increasing these grants is that they are under attack from the Opposition, and these schools need to be shown that they are supported by the Government. A comparatively small sum is involved—only £800,000. In an educational budget which is moving towards £,000 million, this is not a great deal of money, but there is an important principle at stake here; namely, the whole future and nature of our educational system.

The hon. Gentleman put his attitude to direct grant schools in its right context of the Opposition's education policy as a whole. First, the direct grant schools are to be snuffed out—we know that now; then, as he has also said, within a few days of the return of a Labour Government any local authority which declines to be totally "comprehensivised" will be deprived of its secondary building programme; and, thirdly, the private schools are to be done away with.

We know that there are some local authorities which will be only too willing to co-operate with a Government of that complexion and of that view. We have not forgotten on this side of the House how the ILEA dismissed this autumn every Conservative councillor from the governing bodies of 27 voluntary-aided grammar schools for one reason only, that they were members of the Conservative Party. There is an indication of what lies in store and what this policy is designed to do; it is not designed to get rid of any silly snobbery; it is designed to move towards a totally State-centred and controlled system of education.

The issue tonight, therefore, is small in cash—it would amount to £30 for every

maintained school in the country—but it is great in principle. What is at issue here is the freedom of the parent to choose the education for his child, the freedom of the teacher to follow his profession and to practise it as he likes, and the freedom of the school to achieve and maintain standards of excellence. By supporting these regulations tonight the House of Commons, whose prerogative it is, will strike a blow in what will be a long, mighty and continuing battle.

Mr. Marks

I asked the Under-Secretary of State to define the grammar schools. He has not done so. Will he do so before the debate ends?

Question put:

The House divided: Ayes 143, Noes, 161.

Division No. 8. AYES [11.30 p.m.
Armstrong, Ernest Hamling, William Murray, Ronald King
Atkinson, Norman Hardy, Peter Oakes, Gordon
Bagler, Gordon A. T. Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) Ogden, Eric
Barnes, Michael Hattersley, Roy Pannell, Rt. Hn. Charles
Barnett, Guy (Greenwich) Hatton, F. Parker, John (Dagenham)
Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood Huckfield, Leslie Pavitt, Laurie
Bidwell, Sydney Hughes, Rt. Hn. Cledwyn (Anglesey) Pendry, Tom
Blenkinsop, Arthur Hughes, Mark (Durham) Perry, Ernest G.
Boardman, H. (Leigh) Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen, N.) Prentice, Rt. Hn. Reg.
Booth, Albert Irvine, Rt. Hn. Sir Arthur (Edge Hill) Prescott, John
Boothroyd, Miss Betty John, Brynmor Probert, Arthur
Bottomley, Rt. Hn. Arthur Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.) Reed, D. (Sedgefield)
Boyden, James (Bishop Auckland) Johnson, Walter (Derby, S.) Rees, Merlyn, (Leeds, S.)
Bradley, Tom Jones, Barry (Flint, E.) Rhodes, Geoffrey
Carter, Ray (Birmingh'm, Northfield) Jones, Gwynoro (Carmarthen) Roberts, Albert (Normanton)
Carter-Jones, Lewis (Eccles) Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, W.) Roderick, Caerwyn E. (Brc'n&R' dnor)
Clark, David (Colne Valley) Kaufman, Gerald Rodgers, William (Stockton-on-Tees)
Cocks, Michael (Bristol, S.) Kerr, Russell Roper, John
Cohen, Stanley Kinnock, Neil Rose, Paul B.
Coleman, Donald Lamborn, Harry Rowlands, Ted
Concannon, J. D. Lamond, James Sandelson, Neville
Cox, Thomas (Wandsworth, C.) Latham, Arthur Short, Rt. Hn. Edward (N'c'tle-u-Tyne)
Cronin, John Leadbitter, Ted Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)
Crossman, Rt. Hn. Richard Leonard, Dick Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich)
Dalyell, Tam Lestor, Miss Joan Silverman, Julius
Davis, Denzil (Llanelly) Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Skinner, Dennis
Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.) Stallard, A. W.
Davies, Ifor (Gower) Loughlin, Charles Stewart, Rt. Hn. Michael (Fulham)
Davis, Terry (Bromsgrove) Lyon, Alexander W. (York) Stoddart, David (Swindon)
Deakins, Eric Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.) Strang, Gavin
de Freitas, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey McBride, Neil Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley
Dell, Rt. Hn. Edmund Machine, George Swain, Thomas
Dormand, J. D. Mackintosh, John P. Thomas, Rt. Hn. George (Cardiff, W.)
Douglas-Mann, Bruce Maclennan, Robert Torney, Tom
Edelman, Maurice McNamara, J. Kevin Tuck, Raphael
Edwards, William (Merioneth) Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.) Urwin, T. W.
Ellis, Tom Marks, Kenneth Varley, Eric G.
English, Michael Marsden, F. Watkins, David
Evans, Fred Marshall, Dr. Edmund Wellbeloved, James
Fisher, Mrs. Doris (B'ham, Ladywood) Meacher, Michael Whitehead, Phillip
Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston) Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert Whitlock, William
Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) Mikardo, Ian Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)
Foot, Michael Millan, Bruce Williams, W. T. (Warrington)
Ford, Ben Milne, Edward Wilson, Rt. Hn. Harold (Huyton)
Garrett, W. E. Mitchell, R. C. (S'hampton, Itchen) Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)
Ginsburg, David (Dewsbury) Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire)
Grant, George (Morpeth) Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw) TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Grant, John D. (Islington, E.) Morris, Rt. Hn. John (Aberavon) Mr. Joseph Harper and
Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside) Moyle, Roland Mr. James A. Dunn.
Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash) Havers, Sir Michael Proudfoot, Wilfred
Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead) Hawkins, Paul Pym, Rt. Hn. Francis
Astor, John Hayhoe, Barney Raison, Timothy
Atkins, Humphrey Hicks, Robert Ramsden, Rt. Hn. James
Austick, David Hill, John E. B. (Norfolk, S.) Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter
Awdry, Daniel Holland, Philip Redmond, Robert
Beith, Alan Hordern, Peter Reed, Laurance (Bolton, E.)
Benyon, W. Hornby, Richard Rees, Peter (Dover)
Berry, Hn. Anthony Hornsby-Smith, Rt. Hn. Dame Patricia Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon
Biffen, John Howe, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey (Reigate) Ridley, Hn. Nicholas
Biggs-Davison, John Howell, David (Guildford) Roberts, Michael (Cardiff, N.)
Blaker, Peter Iremonger, T. L. Roberts, Wyn (Conway)
Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S. W.) James, David Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks)
Body, Richard Jessel, Toby Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)
Boscawen, Hn. Robert Jopling, Michael St. John-Stevas, Norman
Bowden, Andrew Kaberry, Sir Donald Sainsbury, Tim
Bray, Ronald King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.) Scott, Nicholas
Brocklebank-Flower, Christopher Kinsey, J. R. Scott-Hopkins, James
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Kitson, Timothy Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)
Buck, Antony Knox, David Shelton, William (Clapham)
Butler, Adam (Bosworth) Lamont, Norman Shersby, Michael
Campbell, Rt. Hn. G. (Moray & Nairn) Lane, David Sinclair, Sir George
Carlisle, Mark Le Marchant, Spencer Smith, Dudley (W'wick & L'mington)
Chapman, Sydney Lloyd, Ian (P'tsm'th, Langstone) Soref, Harold
Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe) Longden, Sir Gilbert Spence, John
Clegg, Walter Luce, R. N. Sproat, Iain
Cooke, Robert MacArthur, Ian Stainton, Keith
Cooper, A. E. McCrindle, R. A. Stanbrook, Ivor
Cormack, Patrick McLaren, Martin Steel, David
Crouch, David Macmillan, Rt. Hn. Maurice (Farnham) Stewart-Smith, Geoffrey (Belper)
Davies, Rt. Hn. John (Knutsford) McNair-Wilson, Michael Stokes, John
Dixon, Piers Madel, David Stuttaford, Dr. Tom
Drayson, G. B. Mather, Carol Sutcliffe, John
Eden, Rt. Hn. Sir John Maude, Angus Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)
Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke) Maudling, Rt. Hn. Reginald Tebbit, Norman
Eyre, Reginald Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J. Thatcher, Rt. Hn. Mrs. Margaret
Farr, John Meyer, Sir Anthony Thomas, Rt. Hn. Peter (Hendon, S.)
Fell, Anthony Miscampbell, Norman Thompson, Sir Richard (Croydon, S.)
Fenner, Mrs. Peggy Moate, Roger Tilney, Sir John
Fidler, Michael Molyneaux, James Tope, Graham
Fisher, Nigel (Surbiton) Money, Ernle Trafford, Dr. Anthony
Fortescue, Tim Monks, Mrs. Connie Trew, Peter
Fowler, Norman Montgomery, Fergus van Straubenzee, W. R.
Fry, Peter Morgan, Geraint (Denbigh) Walder, David (Clitheroe)
Gibson-Watt, David Neave, Airey Ward, Dame Irene
Godber, Rt. Hn. J. B. Nicholls, Sir Harmar Weatherill, Bernard
Goodhart, Philip Normanton, Tom Wells, John (Maidstone)
Gray, Hamish Nott, John Wilkinson, John
Green, Alan Onslow, Cranley Winterton, Nicholas
Gummer, J. Selwyn Oppenheim, Mrs. Sally Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard
Hall, Miss Joan (Keighley) Page, Rt. Hn. Graham (Crosby)
Hall-Davis, A. G. F. Pardoe, John
Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) Peel, Sir John TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye) Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch Mr. John Stradling Thomas and
Haselhurst, Alan Price, David (Eastleigh) Mr. Marcus Fox.

Question accordingly negatived.

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