HC Deb 24 February 1975 vol 887 cc179-91

Lords Amendment: No. 1, in page 2, line 3, leave out from "circumstances" to end of line 5.

10.28 p.m.

The Minister for Housing and Construction (Mr. Reginald Freeson)

I beg to move, That this House doth disagree with the Lords in the said Amendment.

This is one of a small number of amendments which raise a point of principle. As the Bill left this House it included at the end of Clause 1(3) the words: but save as aforesaid they shall not make provision for a surplus in that account. Those words related to the rule which was being laid down in the Bill regarding the making of reasonable rents by local authorities: the new proposals provided for the return of freedom for local authorities in the fixing of rents compared with the rules laid down in the Housing Finance Act 1972. The words, which were deleted in another place, carried into effect what may be described as the no-profit rule. Their effect was that local authorities were forbidden to budget for a profit out of their housing. The qualification in the words "as aforesaid" simply allowed local authorities, if they wished, to budget for a reasonable working balance.

10.30 p.m.

Such a working balance is regarded by many authorities, although not all, as a useful management tool. The Government do not wish to impede local authorities in their choice whether to have one or not. If an authority provides for a working balance, it may in inflationary times wish to increase it. Provided the increased balance would still be reason- able, the words deleted, which we wish to restore, allow them to do so. This would not, of course, be making a profit and we do not wish to stop it.

Once the authority begins to budget for a surplus larger than a reasonable working balance, it has begun to make such a profit. The Labour Party manifesto, published twice last year, pledged that local authorities were to be given the right to fix rents which do not make a profit out of their tenants. This is, of course, a right for tenants, and can be made effective only by a provision which effectively stops local authorities from "making provision"—that is, budgeting to make such a profit.

It may be argued that as the law stands in relation to housing accounts a surplus cannot be disposed of out of the account, and that there is no harm done if an authority builds up a surplus out of its present rents and rates to finance future housing activity. This seems a harmless argument, but it is one that cannot be accepted in the context of the Bill.

I should make it clear that the no-profit principle does not prevent an authority from building up a reasonable balance to contribute to future maintenance, repairs, and so on. That is one of the proper uses of a working balance, which is allowed. Nor does the "No-profit" rule place a local authority in an impossible straitjacket for budgeting purposes. We appreciate that in framing a local authority budget, the income and expenditure for the year can rarely be estimated precisely in advance. Houses may be completed sooner or later than expected and the rate of interest may also vary. In present circumstances, what is most likely to happen is an adjustment in the size or timing of the next rent review. An increase may be postponed if the HRA can do without it, just as it would take place if the extra income became necessary.

It could be argued pointedly that the possibility of profit at the present time is so unreal for local authorities that it is superfluous to forbid it. But the Bill sets up a system which will last for several years, during which there could well be authorities whose finances would allow them to move towards profit. An authority which reduces its rate of building for a few years will find its loan charges shrinking in real terms. If its rents continued to rise it could in a few years see a profit on the horizon, if not nearer.

Such an authority would, we hope, reassess its housing position, and in order to more effectively cope with problems previously not fully tackled it might look to the quality of its environment and management to see how they could be improved; it could look to the older areas of its district to undertake more housing improvement; it could look more rigorously to special needs—the disabled, the one-parent families, the single person and the handicapped, the frustrated poorer would-be owner-occupier; or it might consult with less fortunate neighbouring local councils and see if it could help them by building with them. These and other possibilities would be open to it, rather than pile up an unnecessary surplus or profit.

For those reasons, I consider the Lords amendment undesirable.

Mr. Timothy Raison (Aylesbury)

The Opposition strongly oppose the Government's attempt to defeat the amendment from the House of Lords. The amendment was passed by 116 votes to 59, and it is interesting to note that there was Liberal support and some sympathy from the Labour Party for their lordships' action.

We are arguing for the right of councils to make a surplus on their housing revenue account if they believe that to make sense. The amendment provides the right, not the duty, to make a surplus.

The Labour Party manifesto was quoted frequently during the previous proceedings, and by the Minister this evening, in justification of the Government's view. However, the Labour Party manifesto said that Labour would restore to local authorities the right to fix rents which do not make profits from tenants. The manifesto used the word "right" rather than "duty", and the Lords amendment would allow councils the right not to make a surplus if they did not wish to do so. Nothing in the Lords amendment makes it mandatory for councils to make a surplus. Therefore, the Lords amendment does not contradict the Labour Party manifesto.

Mr. Frank Allaun (Salford, East)

I am not speaking of party affiliations. However, if a reactionary council wished to disadvantage its council tenants, perhaps to help the ratepayers, the amendment proposed by the hon. Gentleman would fall into its lap.

Mr. Raison

I intend to come to that point.

Throughout the long and occasionally wearisome proceedings on the Housing Finance Bill in Committee, the Labour Opposition wished to increase the freedom of local authorities to make their own decisions. If we give people freedom, that must entail a degree of freedom for them to make decisions which we may or may not like.

Mr. Allaun

Does that include the freedom to make a profit out of council tenants?

Mr. Raison

I shall come to that point.

The Lords amendment gives the council the right to produce a surplus if it judges that to be right. A council does not have to exercise that right if it does not wish to do so. The point made in another place, when the amendment was moved, was that it may well be for the proper judgment of a council to exercise that right. The amendment seeks to enlarge the freedom of action of local authorities. Therefore, the Government's action in seeking to defeat the Lords amendment exposes the cant in the protestations of the Labour Party about freedom for local authorities. I have referred to the wearisome hypocrisy of Labour Members during the proceedings on the Housing Finance Act. This amendment affords the chance to achieve a little of that much-vaunted freedom about which the Labour Party like to talk.

However, that is far from being the whole story. There are sensible reasons why a local authority might wish to exercise this freedom. At a time of high inflation, and of great uncertainty over local government finance, and all finance, a surplus on the housing revenue account could be of real potential value. The reasonable working balance envisaged by the Government does not necessarily cover that point. That is different from the notion of a reserve, which is embodied in the idea of a surplus. A working balance might well prove inadequate to meet the ups and downs of public expenditure. It will be possible to use the surplus, of which the Lords amendment speaks, if there is a sudden crisis or escalation of costs, which, Heaven knows, is perfectly on the cards.

What does Government legislation really mean? What is "a reasonable working balance"? As Lord Foot asked in the other place, when does it become a surplus? The Under-Secretary of State said in Standing Committee: In the Bill we seek to restore freedom to local authorities. In doing so, we are not saying to local authorities … that they shall not accumulate a surplus in their housing revenue account".—[Official Report, Startling Committee A; 28th November 1974, c. 65.] But that is exactly what they seem to be saying. The amendment would allow such a surplus. Can we have a definitive and preferably not lengthy statement of what the Government mean? Is their attempt to defeat the amendment simply a sop to the hon. Member for Salford, East (Mr. Frank Allaun) and his hon. Friends?

It is implied that the amendment is designed to penalise council tenants. It emphatically is not. It means only that in those areas where the housing stock is not new, and is therefore less expensive, although perfectly good, it would not be wrong to bring rents up to a reasonable level as defined by the local authorities and to use any surplus for the good of the community. This is only a variant of the approach favoured by Labour Members, a pooling of costs rather than an assessment of each house on its individual historic costs. Under that system, the lucky people in rent terms pay a little towards the costs of those whose housing would otherwise cost more.

So there is nothing novel in the idea of redistribution of the housing revenue account. The amendment is a recognition of that principle and of the fact that whether one has a low cost council house or flat is decided not by one's income but by fate. Many people in the community may be much worse off than some local council tenants, so it is not wrong that a surplus should exist to help them. But the amendment does not require local authorities to take this course: it merely gives them the freedom to have a surplus if they believe it right.

The amendment would explicitly allow councils to make a surplus in their housing revenue account, which is something in which the Under-Secretary believes. It is also a chance to clarify an obscure piece of drafting. Third, it gives local authorities some freedom, which the Government apparently do not want to give. Fourth and perhaps strongest, it allows for some common sense. That may be anathema to some Socialists, but the House should support its application. As Lord Foot said in another place: I think there is a great deal in what is suggested by the amendment, because things would be made much clearer if these words were simpy omitted."—[Official Report, House of Lords; 11th February 1975, c. 1249.] I hope that we shall have a victory for common sense tonight.

Mr. Nick Budgen (Wolverhampton, South West)

Column 65 of the Committee proceedings shows why the Government are so opposed to the use of the word "surplus". It is plain from the passage further on from that quoted by my hon. Friend the Member for Aylesbury (Mr. Raison) that it is equated with the word "profit". It is the concept of profit in housing which sticks in the craws of Labour Members. If we had been braver in our support of profit in every sphere, particularly in housing, half the problems that beset the housing market would not exist.

I hope that we of the Opposition will proudly proclaim our belief in profit in housing by supporting the amendment of the other place. In doing so, we shall also be proudly supporting the principle of local democracy.

10.45 p.m.

Mr. Freeson

I want to make one or two general remarks. First, on the question of principle, I for one would certainly favour the idea of local authorities providing services other than housing which one could loosely call "commercial type" services—services which if provided by private enterprise, would be so described. However, I shall not go too far down that road, because that is not before us in detail now. I should favour the idea of local authorities being able to make what I believe Marx described many years ago as municipal profits on behalf of the community.

When it comes to housing, however, I do not believe that it is right for public authorities to run such a service for commercial purposes. I hope that we shall take hon. Members of the Opposition with us when in due time, perhaps—during the many years of Labour Government ahead—we proceed to experiment with social enterprise in this matter as well as others, in competition with the private sector generally, with a view to accruing some benefit to ratepayers and taxpayers and the community at large. But that matter must rest for another occasion.

I hope, too, that we shall have the support of Conservative Members in giving greater freedom to local authorities to act generally in these matters, when we look more deeply at such matters as direct labour organisation in the future and similar services, and at questions which will revolve around the individual freedoms and rights of local authorities to provide these services for the community.

So much for the generality of the principle of local authorities being able to have freedom and being able to go in for the creation of what has been described very usefully as municipal profits for the community.

I come to the particular matter of housing. During the long and wearisome passage of the Housing Finance Act 1972, time and again in argument then, we stated as a matter of policy and principle that as a party we were opposed to the idea of profit being made out of a public service, which until the passage of that Act had always been treated as a nonprofit making service. Events overtook that Act so that its objectives in this respect were never in practice achieved. But this does not alter the fact that we disagreed with the original objectives of the Act. Those objectives were, indeed, to require more and more local authorities to make a profit on this hitherto non-profit-making public service. What is more, they required that when such profit was made it was to be taken by the Treasury and some part handed back subsequently to the local authority, to the detriment of the rate support grant that would be negotiated subsequently with the Treasury.

These matters are on record. They were argued in great detail at the time. Therefore, we have not only made clear our position on the question of returning freedom of action on fixing rents—contrary to what the present Opposition had fought for, successfully, in their Act, although now they are pretending or tending to forget it—but we have raised and argued our objections against their policy and in favour of this flexibility and freedom of action for the fixing of reasonable rents. We equally argued against making housing in this field a profit-making, commercial type service. That is the background.

Coming to the specific situation before us, the position is this. If we do not make it abundantly clear in what sometimes are described as manifesto-type texts in the Bill—it is not the first time that such principles have been stated in texts in Bills, under successive Governments—that any action taken by a local authority to establish what it considered to be a reasonable working balance—not surplus—from one year to another, should not mean that it could go into vast surplus, it would be open to local authorities to so go into vast surplus which, correctly described by the hon. Member for Wolverhampton, South-West (Mr. Budgen) in other terms, could be described as going into profit. It is a simple proposition of principle. There may be working balances, but there may not be vast surpluses or profits.

Mr. Raison

Will the Minister explain to us exactly what the Under-Secretary meant when he said: In doing so, we are not saying to local authorities … that they shall not accumulate a surplus in their housing revenue account."—[Official Report, Standing Committee A; 28th November 1974, c. 65.]

Mr. Freeson

If the hon. Gentleman will read on in the text he will find that during subsequent exchanges it was established that there had been a switch of labels at that point and what my hon. Friend had said and made clear subsequently was that he was referring to working balances—that there was nothing to stop a local authority from providing a working balance from one year to the next, but that there was no question of profitability.

Mr. Raison

Will the Minister acknowledge that in the House of Lords debate a great deal of attention was devoted to the question of what a working balance meant? There is no satisfactory definition of it. It is clear to us that the inclusion of the word "surplus" gives a sense which does not exist at present or at the least serves to clarify it.

Mr. Freeson

I do not want to keep repeating myself, but, having had some experience in local government, as I know the hon. Gentleman has, I am well aware of what it means to try to get a reasonable working balance, not only on the housing revenue account, but also in other aspects of local government finance from one year to another. If a local authority, in looking at its programmes for the coming year, establishes that costs have risen or are likely to rise during the currency of the prospective budget, it will make allowance for that so that it does not find the housing revenue account out of balance at the end of the next financial year. It will provide for a working balance to cover sharp and unexpected rises which can occur during the course of the year. Those rises can occur through

changes in interest rates or through a speeding up in the building programme. A change in income level can occur due to a slowing down in the completion rate of houses so that there is a slowing down in the rate at which houses come into rent.

It is factors such as these that a local authority, in close and detailed consultation with its housing manager and borough treasurer or director of finance, will establish at the beginning of a financial year. It will also see how its programme of repairs is being carried out and carry out an assessment of maintenance costs. It will then provide for a return of rental income which will meet such outgoings. There is nothing mysterious about this. We do not have to spell these points out in legislation. They are part of the management of housing estates which local authorities have been concerned with for over half a century.

Question put, That this House doth disagree with the Lords in the said amendment:—

The House divided: Ayes 282, Noes 237.

Division No. 103.] AYES [10.55 p.m.
Abse, Leo Cartwright, John Ellis, Tom (Wrexham)
Allaun, Frank Castle, Rt Hon Barbara English, Michael
Anderson, Donald Clemitson, Ivor Evans, Ioan (Aberdare)
Archer, Peter Cocks, Michael (Bristol S) Evans, John (Newton)
Armstrong, Ernest Cohen, Stanley Ewing, Harry (Stirling)
Ashley, Jack Coleman, Donald Faulds, Andrew
Ashton, Joe Colquhoun, Mrs Maureen Fernyhough, Rt Hon E.
Atkins, Ronald (Preston N) Conlan, Bernard Fitt, Gerard (Belfast W)
Atkinson, Norman Cook, Robin F. (Edin C) Flannery, Martin
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Corbett, Robin Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston)
Barnett, Guy (Greenwich) Cox, Thomas (Tooting) Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)
Barnett, Rt Hon Joel Craigen, J. M. (Maryhill) Foot, Rt Hon Michael
Bates, Alf Cronin, John Ford, Ben
Bean, R. E. Crosland, Rt Hon Anthony Forrester, John
Benn, Rt Hon Anthony Wedgwood Cryer, Bob Fowler, Gerald (The Wrekin)
Bennett, Andrew (Stockport N) Cunningham, G. (Islington S) Fraser, John (Lambeth, N'w'd)
Bidwell, Sydney Cunningham, Dr J. (Whiteh) Freeson, Reginald
Bishop, E. S. Dalyell, Tam Garrett, John (Norwich S)
Blenkinsop, Arthur Davidson, Arthur Garrett, W. E. (Wallsend)
Boardman, H. Davies, Bryan (Enfield N) George, Bruce
Booth, Albert Davies, Denzil (Llanelli) Gilbert, Dr John
Boothroyd, Miss Betty Davies, Ifor (Gower) Ginsburg, David
Bottomley, Rt Hon Arthur Davis, Clinton (Hackney C) Golding, John
Boyden, James (Bish Auck) Deakins, Eric Gould, Bryan
Bradley, Tom Dean, Joseph (Leeds West) Gourlay, Harry
Bray, Dr Jeremy de Freitas, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Graham, Ted
Brown, Hugh D. (Provan) Delargy, Hugh Grant, George (Morpeth)
Brown, Robert C. (Newcastle W) Dell, Rt Hon Edmund Grocott, Bruce
Brown, Ronald (Hackney S) Dempsey, James Hamilton, James (Bothwell)
Buchan, Norman Doig, Peter Hamilton, W. W. (Central Fife)
Buchanan, Richard Dormand, J. D. Hamling, William
Butler, Mrs Joyce (Wood Green) Douglas-Mann, Bruce Hardy, Peter
Callaghan, Jim (Middleton & P) Dunn, James A. Harper, Joseph
Campbell, Ian Dunnett, Jack Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)
Canavan, Dennis Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth Hart, Rt Hon Judith
Cant, R. B. Eadie, Alex Hattersley, Rt Hon Roy
Carmichael, Neil Edelman, Maurice Hatton, Frank
Carter, Ray Edge, Geoff Hayman, Mrs Helene
Carter-Jones, Lewis Edwards, Robert (Wolv SE) Healey, Rt Hon Denis
Heffer, Eric S. Marquand, David Shaw, Arnold (Ilford South)
Hooley, Frank Marshall, Dr Edmund (Goole) Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-u-Lyne)
Horam, John Marshall, Jim (Leicester S) Short, Rt Hon E. (Newcastle C)
Howell, Denis (B'ham, Sm H) Meacher, Michael Short, Mrs Renée (Wolv NE)
Hoyle, Doug (Nelson) Mellish, Rt Hon Robert Silkin, Rt Hon John (Deptford)
Huckfield, Les Mendelson, John Silverman, Julius
Hughes, Rt Hon C. (Anglesey) Mikardo, Ian Skinner, Dennis
Hughes, Mark (Durham) Millan, Bruce Small, William
Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen, N) Miller, Dr M. S. (E Kilbride) Smith, John (N Lanarkshire)
Hughes, Roy (Newport) Miller, Mrs Millie (Ilford N) Snape, Peter
Hunter, Adam Mitchell, R. C. (Soton, Itchen) Spearing, Nigel
Irving, Rt Hon S. (Dartford) Molloy, William Spriggs, Leslie
Jackson, Colin (Brighouse) Moonman, Eric Stallard, A. W.
Jackson, Miss Margaret (Lincoln) Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw) Stewart, Rt Hon M. (Fulham)
Janner, Greville Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon) Stott, Roger
Jay, Rt Hon Douglas Moyle, Roland Strang, Gavin
Jeger, Mrs Lena Mulley, Rt Hon Frederick Strauss, Rt Hon G. R.
Jenkins, Hugh (Putney) Murray, Rt Hon Ronald King Summerskill, Hon Dr Shirley
Jenkins, Rt Hon Roy (Stechford) Newens, Stanley Swain, Thomas
John, Brynmor Noble, Mike Taylor, Mrs Ann (Bolton W)
Johnson, James (Hull West) Ogden, Eric Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)
Johnson, Walter (Derby S) O'Halloran, Michael Thomas, Mike (Newcastle E)
Jones, Alec (Rhondda) O'Malley, Rt Hon Brian Thomas, Ron (Bristol NW)
Jones, Barry (East Flint) Orbach, Maurice Thorne, Stan (Preston South)
Jones, Dan (Burnley) Ovenden, John Tierney, Sydney
Judd, Frank Owen, Dr David Tinn, James
Kaufman, Gerald Padley, Walter Tomlinson, John
Kelley, Richard Palmer, Arthur Torney, Tom
Kilroy-Silk, Robert Park, George Varley, Rt Hon Eric G.
Kinnock, Neil Parker, John Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne V)
Lambie, David Parry, Robert Walden, Brian (B'ham, L'dyw'd)
Lamborn, Harry Pavitt, Laurie Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Lamortd, James Peart, Rt Hon Fred Walker, Terry (Kingswood)
Latham, Arthur (Paddington) Pendry, Tom Ward, Michael
Leadbitter, Ted Perry, Ernest Watkinson, John
Lee, John Phipps, Dr Colin Weetch, Ken
Lestor, Miss Joan (Eton & Slough) Prentice, Rt Hon Reg Weitzman, David
Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Prescott, John Wellbeloved, James
Lipton, Marcus Price C. (Lewisham W) White, Frank R. (Bury)
Lomas, Kenneth Price, William (Rugby) White, James (Pollok)
Luard, Evan Radice, Giles Whitehead, Phillip
Lyon, Alexander (York) Richardson, Miss Jo Whitlock, William
Lyons, Edward (Bradford W) Roberts, Albert (Normanton) Willey, Rt Hon Frederick
Mabon, Dr J. Dickson Roberts, Gwilym (Cannock) Williams, Alan (Swansea W)
McCartney, Hugh Robertson, John (Paisley) Williams, Rt Hon Shirley (Hertford)
McElhone, Frank Rodgers, George (Chorley) Williams, W. T. (Warrington)
MacFarquhar, Roderick Rodgers, William (Stockton) Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)
McGuire, Michael (Ince) Rooker, J. W. Wilson, William (Coventry SE)
Mackenzie, Gregor Roper, John Wise, Mrs Audrey
Mackintosh, John P. Rose, Paul B. Woodall, Alec
Maclennan, Robert Ross, Rt Hon W. (Kilm'nock) Woof, Robert
McMillan, Tom (Glasgow C) Rowlands, Ted Wrigglesworth, Ian
Madden, Max Ryman, John Young, David (Bolton E)
Magee, Bryan Sandelson, Neville TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Mahon, Simon Sedgemore, Brian Mr. David Stoddart and
Marks, Kenneth Selby, Harry Mr. John Ellis.
Adley, Robert Budgen, Nick Drayson, Burnaby
Aitken, Jonathan Bulmer, Esmond du Cann, Rt Hon Edward
Alison, Michael Burden, F. A. Durant, Tony
Amery, Rt Hon Julian Butler, Adam (Bosworth) Dykes, Hugh
Atkins, Rt Hon H. (Spelthorne) Carlisle, Mark Eden, Rt Hon Sir John
Baker, Kenneth Chalker, Mrs Lynda Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke)
Banks, Robert Channon, Paul Elliott, Sir William
Bell, Ronald Churchill, W. S. Emery, Peter
Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torbay) Clark, Alan (Plymouth, Sutton) Eyre, Reginald
Bennett, Dr Reginald (Fareham) Clark, William (Croydon S) Fairbairn, Nicholas
Berry, Hon Anthony Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe) Fairgrieve, Russell
Biffen, John Clegg, Walter Farr, John
Biggs-Davison, John Cockcroft, John Fell, Anthony
Blaker, Peter Cooke, Robert (Bristol W) Finsberg, Geoffrey
Body, Richard Cope, John Fisher, Sir Nigel
Boscawen, Hon Robert Cormack, Patrick Fletcher Alex (Edinburgh N)
Bowden, A. (Brighton, Kemptown) Corrie, John Fletcher-Cooke, Charles
Boyson, Dr Rhodes (Brent) Costain, A. P. Fookes, Miss Janet
Brittan, Leon Critchley, Julian Fowler, Norman (Sutton C'f'd)
Brotherton, Michael Crouch, David Fox, Marcus
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Crowder, F. P. Freud, Clement
Bryan, Sir Paul Dean, Paul (N Somerset) Fry, Peter
Buchanan-Smith, Alick Dodsworth, Geoffrey Gardiner, George (Reigate)
Buck, Antony Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James Gardner, Edward (S Fylde)
Gilmour, Sir John (East Fife) Luce, Richard Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight)
Glyn, Dr Alan McAdden, Sir Stephen Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)
Goodhew, Victor McCrindle, Robert Rost, Peter (SE Derbyshire)
Goodlad, Alastair Macfarlane, Neil Royle, Sir Anthony
Gorst, John MacGregor, John Sainsbury, Tim
Gow, Ian (Eastbourne) McNair-Wilson, M. (Newbury) St. John-Stevas, Norman
Gower, Sir Raymond (Barry) McNair-Wilson, P. (New Forest) Scott, Nicholas
Grant, Anthony (Harrow C) Marshall, Michael (Arundel) Scott-Hopkins, James
Gray, Hamish Mates, Michael Shaw, Giles (Pudsey)
Grieve, Percy Mather, Carol Shelton, William (Streatham)
Griffiths, Eldon Maudling, Rt Hon Reginald Shepherd, Colin
Grist, Ian Mawby, Ray Shersby, Michael
Hall, Sir John Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin Silvester, Fred
Hall-Davis, A. G. F. Mayhew, Patrick Sims, Roger
Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) Meyer, Sir Anthony Sinclair, Sir George
Hampson, Dr Keith Miller, Hal (Bromsgrove) Skeet, T. H. H.
Hannam, John Mills, Peter Smith, Cyril (Rochdale)
Harrison, Col Sir Harwood (Eye) Mitchell, David (Basingstoke) Smith, Dudley (Warwick)
Hastings, Stephen Moate, Roger Speed, Keith
Havers, Sir Michael Monro, Hector Spence, John
Hayhoe, Barney Montgomery, Fergus Spicer, Michael (S Worcester)
Heseltine, Michael Moore, John (Croydon C) Sproat, Iain
Hicks, Robert More, Jasper (Ludlow) Stainton, Keith
Higgins, Terence L. Morgan, Geraint Stanbrook, Ivor
Holland, Philip Morgan-Giles, Rear-Admiral Stanley, John
Hordern, Peter Morris, Michael (Northampton S) Steel, David (Roxburgh)
Howe, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Morrison, Charles (Devizes) Steen, Anthony (Wavertree)
Howell, David (Guildford) Morrison, Hon Peter (Chester) Stewart, Ian (Hitchin)
Howell, Ralph (North Norfolk) Mudd, David Stokes, John
Hunt, John Neave, Airey Tapsell, Peter
Hurd, Douglas Nelson, Anthony Taylor, R. (Croydon NW)
Hutchison, Michael Clark Neubert, Michael Taylor, Teddy (Cathcart)
Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye) Newton, Tony Tebbit, Norman
James, David Nott, John Temple-Morris, Peter
Jenkin, Rt Hon P. (Wanst'd &W'df'd) Onslow, Cranley Thomas, Rt Hon P. (Hendon S)
Jessel, Toby Oppenheim, Mrs Sally Thorpe, Rt Hon Jeremy (N Devon)
Johnson Smith, G. (E Grinstead) Osborn, John Townsend, Cyril D.
Jones, Arthur (Daventry) Page, Rt Hon R. Graham (Crosby) Trotter, Neville
Jopling, Michael Pardoe, John Tugendhat, Christopher
Joseph, Rt Hon Sir Keith Pattie, Geoffrey van Straubenzee, W. R.
Kaberry Sir Donald Penhaligon, David Vaughan, Dr Gerard
Kellett-Bowman, Mrs Elaine Percival, Ian Viggers, Peter
Kimball, Marcus Peyton, Rt Hon John Wainwright, Richard (Colne V)
King, Evelyn (South Dorset) Pink, R. Bonner Wakeham, John
King, Tom (Bridgwater) Pym, Rt Hon Francis Walder, David (Clitheroe)
Kitson, Sir Timothy Raison, Timothy Wall, Patrick
Lamont, Norman Rathbone, Tim Warren, Kenneth
Lane, David Rees, Peter (Dover & Deal) Weatherill, Bernard
Langford-Holt, Sir John Renton, Rt Hon Sir D. (Hunts) Wells, John
Latham, Michael (Melton) Renton, Tim (Mid-Sussex) Whitelaw, Rt Hon William
Lawrence, Ivan Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon Winterton, Nicholas
Lawson, Nigel Ridsdale, Julian Young, Sir G. (Ealing, Acton)
Le Marchant, Spencer Rifkind, Malcolm Younger, Hon George
Lester, Jim (Beeston) Roberts, Michael (Cardiff NW) TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland) Roberts, Wyn (Conway) Mr. Jeffrey Thomas and
Lloyd, Ian Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks) Mr. W. Benyon.

Question accordingly agreed to.

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