HC Deb 03 July 1975 vol 894 cc1811-43

Question again proposed.

9.42 p.m.

Mr. Giles Radice (Chester-le-Street): The Bill is mainly important because it sets up the National Enterprise Board. A lot of nonsense has been talked about the NEB, and particularly by the Conservative Party. It has repeated its mistakes yet again tonight. It is implied that somehow the setting up of the board will bring industry to its knees. That is nonsense. As my hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool, Walton (Mr. Heffer) has said, some of my hon. Friends have sometimes implied that the setting up of the NEB will in some way bring about the Socialist millenium. Well, it will not do that either. However, it will provide the British Government with potentially a highly effective instrument of intervention that will be the equivalent to and in many ways the superior of those instruments that exist in the Continent of Europe and in other industrial countries.

As my hon. Friend the Member for Bristol, North-East (Mr. Palmer) has said, in most other industrial countries the introduction of a body such as the NEB would have been warmly welcomed. There would have been none of the absurd hysteria that we have had from the Conservative benches or from the CBI. I have spoken to managers in my constituency about the Bill and it is my experience that they do not echo the criticisms that are being made from the Conservative benches. On the contrary, like the majority of trade unionists, including members of my own union, the Union of General and Municipal Workers, they think that it will be extremely valuable and helpful to industry.

None of those who took part in the proceedings in Committee would claim that the National Enterprise Board, as it has emerged on Third Reading, is perfect. The board should be able to buy shares in the open market. It should be able to operate more freely in other areas of the economy apart from the manufacturing sector. It should have far more resources.

But what is more important is how the NEB operates in practice. That will depend partly on those who operate it and work it. The appointment of Lord Ryder was criticised in some quarters. I think that it was criticised unfairly and I wish him well. I was pleased to see that he did not envisage the NEB as a hospital for sick industry.

The success of the NEB depends on whether it operates within a clearly defined strategy. It has only limited resources and it cannot dissipate them purely on lame ducks. If we are to improve our industrial situation we must concentrate our resources on export industries and on import-saving industries. The basic job of the NEB must be to back winners, not merely to prop up losers. I would not argue that the NEB does not also have a social role to play. I am hopeful that in regional policy the NEB will play a constructive role, but it will have to concentrate on job creation, not just on being a hospital and on propping up jobs that are in difficulties.

What I have said about the NEB in relation to its having a clearly defined strategy is relevant to the Department of Industry. That Department must play a positive role in industrial planning in concert with the NEB, which is doing a useful job. The planning agreements will be useful in the future, but they will take some time. We need a clearly defined plan now for national survival.

I turn to the provisions of the Bill dealing with industrial democracy. It is often said by Conservatives that they are in favour of more information, but when it comes to voting for more information for trade unions they seem to be reluctant to give it. It is not just related to information for trade unions but also to information for companies. That is why on an earlier occasion I supported the amendment moved by my hon. Friend the Member for Motherwell and Wishaw (Dr. Bray) which would have provided more information.

It is becoming clear that we also need an institutional framework for industrial democracy. Some of us have been busy in the Standing Committee on the Industrial Democracy Bill in seeking to provide at least one institutional option. I hope that the Government will make a start in the near future on implementing their intentions for industrial democracy. That will bring the information requirements in the Bill into proper perspective.

I was honoured to be a Member of the Standing Committee on the Industry Bill and I have the honour to support the Bill on Third Reading. I do so in the belief that it represents a milestone in the Government's relations with industry and will provide the Government for the first time with an effective instrument of intervention.

9.48 p.m.

Mr. Tim Renton

The hon. Member for Chester-le-Street (Mr. Radice) said that Conservatives regarded the National Enterprise Board as a body likely to bring British industry to its knees. What a distortion that is of everything we have said throughout the many long sessions in Committee.

We feel that the NEB is a frivolous and expensive exercise which the nation at present can ill afford. We believe that it is unnecessary and misconceived. It is unnecessary because there are existing institutions available which can funnel help into manufacturing industry. It is misconceived because it is a fundamental mistake for the State to move, by acquisition, into the control of profitable sectors of industry. Furthermore, it is a mistake for its enterpreneurial and acquisitive role to be fused in one organisation with the rôle of conducting the rescue operation or acting as a banker for failed enterprises.

As my hon. Friend the Member for Henley (Mr. Heseltine) said, the existing legislative framework under the Industry Act 1972 provides all the necessary help for industry which finds itself in temporary trouble and all the help needed for assisted areas. This has very great potential and is an important vehicle at the present time. In regard to institutions whose purpose is to funnel help, there are sponsoring Ministers and there is also a new and strengthened system in Finance for Industry. We are pleased to know how many applications for loans have been received. Obviously Finance for Industry can be strengthened and its capital base can be enlarged so that it can provide more funds.

In our approach to these matters we should study the examples set by the French. Their revenue is provided by the State for the implementation of five-year plans. It is provided by the means of Credit National rediscounting the banks' medium-term loans to industry and thus effectively assuring industry of subsidised loans. There is no reason, in my judgment, if there is a need to improve the mechanism for channelling the money into industry, for a similar rediscount facility to be examined for the clearing banks at the Bank of England, and there is certainly no shortage of funds from the clearing banks at present.

Therefore, there can be no question of the National Enterprise Board being required to fulfil the functions that it is given under Clause 3 of the Bill. Nor is there any possible need for the NEB to come into being in order to handle planning agreements.

As we have heard, many companies already enter into voluntary discussions about their future planning with the Secretary of State. If this is to be developed, why not let it be developed through a committee of the National Economic Development Office? That would represent the Government, industry and employees, and one of its functions could be the handling of planning agreements. With these aspects removed we come down to the basic function of the NEB being simply the overt acquisition of profitable companies, extending public ownership into profitable areas of manufacturing industry I have no doubt that those are the most significant words in the Bill. It is in this respect that the Bill is utterly disastrous.

I am opposed to nationalisation in any case. I believe that what belongs to everyone belongs, in fact, to no one, and, because it belongs to no one, no one is concerned about its success. Employees in nationalised industries feel far less involved in the viability of their concern than employees in a private company, who are really concerned and mixed up in the success of the enterprise.

I object to other aspects of nationalised industries—for example, privileged access to State capital. I do not want to go into this tonight because other hon. Members wish to speak. However, the fundamental point underlying my opposition to nationalised industries is that throughout the mixed economies of the Western world they have been a failure. As hon. Members have said tonight, if it is in this way that the Government seek to regenerate British industry, they are condemning us to many more years of failure.

Labour Members have frequently especially in Committee, quoted Italy as being a good example of a country where State involvement in industry has succeeded. I should like to remind hon. Gentlemen of what has happened in Italy. First, the Institute for Industrial Reconstruction is losing money—it is losing more money this year than last year. Moreover, it draws only one-tenth of its capital requirements from the State. The balance comes from the capital market through its subsidiary companies and through joint participation with private companies. Those arrangements oblige the IRI to earn a return on capital employed which is in line with normal commercial returns.

It is on that point that we have never managed to obtain guidance from the Secretary of State for Industry. He did not give us any guidance when I intervened during his opening remarks tonight about what sort of adequate return the NEB will be seeking. The Government have constantly huffed, puffed and fudged on this issue. They have come up with no figures, because they cannot produce any which they will be able to live up to, on how the NEB will justify itself.

The State oil industry in Italy is in tremendous trouble due, according to its deputy-chairman, to the intermarriage between business and politics. The same deputy-chairman of the State-owned oil company has recently said that the atmosphere in that industry was comparable to the continual palace revolutions of the late Roman Empire.

There is another State-owned industry in Italy at which hon. Members who are so enthusiastic about nationalisation should look. That is the very recently formed State-owned mineral agency, EFAB. It started only four years ago. It was acclaimed with great trumpeting at the time, in the same way as with the NEB tonight. In four years it has taken over 43 public companies. It has quadrupled its turnover to more than £450 million and at the last count it had made a loss of £100 million. It is now in great disarray because of the recent take-over of shipping, insurance and newspaper businesses.

Mr. Brian Sedgemore (Luton, West)

Tell us about private industry.

Mr. Renton

Those are examples of State ownership at which the Labour Government should look. There is no record anywhere in the Western world of a nationalised industry competing successfully in fair trading competitions with private industry.

I am forced to the conclusion that the main reason for the creation of the NEB is to satisfy the Peter Pans in the Labour Party's Left wing. To justify its creation there have been a series of platitudes to tonight from the Secretary of State. He has spoken of creative participation but has not given us one hard fact. What will the NEB do? It will serve the industrial ambitions of the Secretary of State and it will be an expensive pleasure ground for tuft-hunting, retired industrialists and trade union leaders. To spend £700 million to achieve these mediocre purposes is a luxury that the country cannot now afford.

9.58 p.m.

Miss Joan Maynard (Sheffield, Brightside)

My theme is the urgent need to extend public ownership. I very much regret the fundamental alterations to this Bill which have taken place in the past three days. I say to the hon. Member for Mid-Sussex (Mr. Renton) that if the private industry about which he has been talking had anything like as good an investment record as our publicly-owned sector we would not be in the mess we are in today.

I represent part of the city of Sheffield, a city whose prosperity is based on steel, part of which industry is in public ownership. It is interesting to note that the lucrative part, Special Steels, is in private ownership. It should be a first priority of the Naional Enterprise Board to reorganise the Sheffield-based Special Steels so that it can be returned to public ownership. This would mean a reversal of the policies of the last Conservative Government which transferred licences and assets back to private industry.

Mr. Michael Marshall rose

Miss Maynard

Special Steels should be looked at in total.

Mr. Marshall rose

Miss Maynard

It does not compete with the British Steel Corporation because the Corporation produces a different type of steel.

Mr. Marshall rose

Hon. Members

Sit down!

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Oscar Murton)

Order. If the hon. Lady does not wish to give way, the hon. Member must resume his seat.

Miss Maynard

Special Steels should be served by a separate management structure. Many of the prime customers of Special Steels are funded by public firms. This is another reason why it would he particularly appropriate for the attentions of the NEB. Some of the customers for special steels are in aerospace, nuclear power, North Sea oil, North Sea gas and coal mining. This is a sector of the industry which has a high potential market but under its present private ownership it is not equipped to exploit this potenial to the full and is in no way realising this potential. Much of the work on oil rigs and gas rigs goes to firms outside Britain. The National Enterprise Board would do well to start setting up a special steels section under public ownership. It could start with such companies as John Firth Brown, Osborne Steel and Daniel Doncaster.

I want to come back to the remunerative special steels industry's market. At the moment, Doncaster of Sheffield have their shares listed at only 45p per share but there has been a bid for this company by the International Mineral Corporation, a Canadian multinational, no doubt using American capital, of 101p per share. This indicates how remunerative is this market.

Mr. Michael Marshall rose

Mr. Deputy Speaker

If the hon. Lady does not wish to give way she need not do so.

Miss Maynard

I end by stressing that this very remunerative market should be taken into public ownership and I would reiterate a point made by my hon. Friends and others outside this House that we do not want to take over only "lame ducks". We want to take over some of the profitable sector—and the National Enterprise Board would do well to start with Special Steels, which are a remunerative operation.

10.2 p.m.

Mr. Michael Marshall

I am glad to have the opportunity of following the hon. Lady the Member for Sheffield, Brightside (Miss Maynard), because while I would not wish in any way to embarrass her I felt that she had intervened in this debate tonight to make what was largely in one sense a constituency speech, and in another respect a special plea to the House on a specific proposal for the future activities of the National Enterprise Board. I did not know that the hon. Lady was to put forward these views tonight, and being conscious of the limited time available under the guillotine I shall be brief in putting forward my argument.

The hon. Lady has brought immediately to the attention of the House many of our worst fears over this legislation. She has suggested that there is here a profitable sector of British industry which, if one compares it with the British Steel Corporation, shows precisely what has happened and the difference between success and lack of success.

If one looks at the companies that the hon. Lady has mentioned, over the whole independent steel sector in the period since nationalisation the return on capital for the British Steel Corporation has been zero, apart from two years when it had figures of 2 per cent. and 6 per cent. Over the whole of that same period the special steels sector has had returns of between 10 and 15 per cent. every year. That illustrates the profitability aspect.

As regards employment over the same period, much as one regrets the problems of hon. Members on all sides, the British Steel Corporation has made 40,000 workers redundant while independent steel producers have increased employment opportunities. Over the same period the independent steel industry has been operating profitably and employing more people. It has been producing goods that people wanted, meeting consumer demand. The British Steel Corporation has not been meeting consumer demand. It has been unable to meet its export commitments, and it has seen imports of undersea steel pipe building up, whereas the independent sector has been exporting successfully at great profit to this country. That example highlights the dangers of the doctrinaire way in which the Labour Party will operate the Bill. It is well that within the House we have opportunities to see reality more closely.

Like other hon. Members, I have sat through the hundred hours of Committee and through the whole of the Report proceedings, and now this debate. I share with Labour Members a sense of disappointment that the Bill, which had the opportunity to be constructive, has in many ways been used simply as a hobby horse for the doctrinaire arguments that we have just heard.

I do not want to end my speech without a word of compliment to the Labour benches. The hon. Member for Liverpool, Walton (Mr. Heffer) played a significant part in the Committee proceedings. Because he made a certain political gesture, we lost him as Minister of State. I would not want the occasion to pass without saying that we regard his work in Committee as valuable. He was plain and honest, and he told us what the Bill was all about. Since then, there has been a steady decline, with obscurantist uncertainty creeping in. We felt more and more that the Committee was being used as an experimental test tube, while the decisions on the Bill were being worked out at No. 10, Downing Street, with Ministers being used as the final sounding board before No. 10 spoke. It is hard for us to accept that the Bill now before us is meaningful. I think that it is open-ended, with dangers of the kind that I described earlier.

One thing that was brought out very clearly on Report was the Government's total inability to meet constructive criticism, from whatever quarter. We say a total unwillingness to meet the regional views. The hon. Member for Caernarvon (Mr. Wigley) presented balanced arguments for the use of the Welsh Development Agency, and other hon. Members argued for the use of the Scottish Development Agency. That argument was ignored. Similarly, the whole argument that members of the NEB should have qualifications which would give us some assurance that they knew what they were talking about was brushed aside by the Government. There was also a refusal to have a more realistic definition of the NEB's functions.

All the way through there has been a total failure by the Government to accept constructive views, from whatever quarter. We had a refusal to make information available to all employees. There was also a refusal, until it was voted down last night, to make more information available from the Government. Finally, we had the rejection by the Government of amendments which would have given a mechanism for appeals, or at least a more honest and open approach, by taking the court of last resort away from the Secretary of State. As we heard earlier, the Bill has been reduced to a Gilbertian state.

In many ways, the Bill is now out of touch with reality. It does not have the approval of the majority on both sides of the House. It ignores the representations made from outside.

There have been many views from all parts of industry and informed quarters which the Government have ignored. Right at the outset, the Institute of Directors put forward some constructive views to get better parliamentary accountability for this legislation. I declare a passing interest as a Fellow of the Institute, but hon. Members opposite have put forward the views of trade unions and it is right that they should be reminded of other views.

The Institute asked that details should be brought before Parliament whenever action was taken by the NEB. They wanted Parliament informed of the aims of any action, why the Minister thought these aims would be achieved, who would be responsible in the board or Department for carrying out this action and any views the Industrial Development Advisory Board had on the matter. Such views are precisely the kind of views the Government have ignored.

Those of us who served on the Standing Committee feel that we were only experimental, murmuring noises in the background while higher powers bargained outside. It is because of our resentment of that attitude and the fact that we regard this Bill as a blank cheque which, if cashed, will implement the sort of doctrinaire views we have heard from the hon. Lady the Member for Brightside, that we shall oppose the Bill so strongly.

10.12 p.m.

Mr. Dafydd Wigley (Caernarvon)

On Second Reading my party supported the Bill because we believe that considerable changes are needed in the structure of industry in Wales. We have suffered from the failures of both private and public industry. We looked to the Bill as a base on which to build, although there were many points on which we had fears, including the centralisation it involved.

We tabled 350 Amendments in the Standing Committee. Some were consequential, but they covered 30 major issues. Unfortunately only two have had any success.

I believe that the contribution of my party and the amendments tabled by us and the Scottish National Party contributed constructively to the Committee debates, and this is borne out by the fact that hon. Members of all parties supported various of our amendments.

We have much sympathy with many of the Bill's objectives, particularly those relating to genuine disclosure. We have some doubts about other aspects of the measure, but we do not accept much of the Tory criticism. The failures which we see in this Bill are not the matters on which the Conservative spokesmen have concentrated.

In our amendments there were five main points. Firstly, we were concerned with the dangers of centralisation. We are opposed to State capitalism because it has the same dangers we have seen in private capitalism and does not solve the problems of people at their work place or get employment to areas such as many of those in Wales.

Then there is a need to clarify the relationship between the National Enterprise Board and the Scottish and Welsh Development Agencies. We have put this point to Government Ministers many times, but it has still not been answered.

There is a need to transfer to employees much more control from centralised organisations, whether they are companies or a State. We do not want centralised corporations, whether in the public or private sectors and this Bill has gone a very little way towards meeting this requirement. We believe that there should be disclosure even more than is already in the Bill—but that it should be made to all employees, not just to those who represent trade unions. We believe there is a real danger of building a structure that embodies second-class citizens within the legislative function of this Chamber. Finally, I believe that disclosure should be plant oriented. As much authority and responsibility as possible should be passed down to plant level so that the employees there can be involved to the maximum possible extent.

In all these ways we had hoped that our amendments might have built this Bill into something useful, yet in that objective we have failed. Our failure on the questions of the relationship between the NEB in Wales and the Welsh Development Agency, and the question of greater control for employees at plant level, are to us critical. Neither of these has been met and there is now a danger that the control of companies in Wales will be moved to London as a result of the operations of the NEB in Wales.

We could create a new form of democracy in industry and my party believes that to be highly necessary. However, with this Bill, we shall only further nationalisation of the old type, the type which has failed in Wales in coalmining, the railways and steel, and we fear that that will be the pattern for the future. We believe that that is a centralising mechanism moving towards a corporate State. We do not need that power in Wales because we shall have the Welsh Development Agency, which we support, which already has the powers necessary to do the job in Wales.

The NEB in Wales will at best confuse the situation because there is no clear delineation, and at worst it will further centralise control of our industry. We need industrial change in Wales, but this Bill does not give us the industrial change that we seek, and we fear that it will give us only more of the failed and outdated forms of centralised and State capitalism. The hon. Member for Bethnal Green and Bow (Mr. Mikardo) said that the Bill is better than nothing In Wales we have more than nothing we have the proposals for the Welsh Development Agency. We therefore do not need this Bill and we shall oppose it.

10.17 p.m.

Mrs. Audrey Wise (Coventry, South-West)

I have been astonished at the differing descriptions that Conservative Members have presented of the Bill. It has been astonishing, too, to hear their descriptions of the British economy and British industry. The pictures that have been painted have depicted our economy as being virtually wholly publicly owned with all the faults in it being laid at the door of the nationalised industries. A very small proportion of it is publicly owned—about 10 per cent., or less, as we were constantly told during the referendum campaign, than in the other EEC countries.

The industries which are publicly owned were by and large grossly unprofitable and in a very inefficient and rundown state when they were taken into public ownership. They were nationalised in order to keep basic services running for the benefit of the economy as a whole, an economy which, as I have pointed out, is mostly privately owned.

Mr. Heseltine rose

Mrs. Wise

I shall not give way to the hon. Member. He took a considerable amount of time in opening and I understand that we shall be having a closure soon. Our economy is neither healthy not internationally competitive and it does not safeguard employment. The Bill is aimed at correcting those three defects. Our industry is uncompetitive internationally, and unemployment is growing. It is privately owned for the purpose of making private profit. It is not run for the benefit of the workers, the consumers or the nation as a whole. If the interests of any of those groups coincide with the interests of private profit, it is purely coincidental.

Therefore when faced with an economy which is not in harmony with the nation's needs and objectives, we placed in our election manifesto a promise to deal with the situation. For example, we said that a new and urgent Industry Act will provide for a system of planning agreements between the Government and key companies to ensure that the plans of those companies are in harmony with national needs and objectives". I emphasise the word "ensure", because the planning agreements clause in the Bill cannot ensure anything at all since there is no sanction. It is purely voluntary. There is no reserve power.

If the planning agreement system works, it will do so because private industry is running down so fast that even it recognises that it has no alternative but to go to the Government.

I suggest that the Bill, useful though it will be, is much weaker than was foreshadowed in our manifesto and too weak to do the job that it should do.

Opposition Members have painted a terrifying picture of the disclosure of information or, as they call it, secrets. They say that companies will have to disclose automatically their secrets, but they completely overlook the fact that discretion is written into the Bill at every stage and that the disclosure provisions are hedged around with appeal procedures. It is very doubtful how much information will be disclosed to anyone, even to the Government.

What are the secrets which may have to be disclosed to the Government and the workers? They are matters like the sales of an undertaking's products, the export of those products, the number of persons engaged in the undertaking, the capital expenditure and the productive capacity of the undertaking. It is reasonable for the Government and the workers to take the view that they have a right to the disclosure of this type of information. The idea that this is some sort of private monopoly of management is ludicrous and is one reason why the Government could be prevented from ensuring that the correct decisions are taken in our economy.

Therefore, we are faced with an economy which is totally unbalanced. Imports of manufactured goods rose by 65 per cent. in the four years from 1970 to 1974, whereas exports rose by 35 per cent. We cannot check the figures because we do not know the distortions between imports and exports which are made through the manipulation of the multinationals.

My hon. Friends and I wanted the information provisions of the Bill greatly extended so that they would cover not only the sales of products but production volume and product development. How can we judge sales without this information? How can we judge export progress without knowing what is happening about imports? How can we judge whether a company is meeting national objectives if we do not know, for example, how many components are being brought in from abroad unnecessarily and if we have no means of developing a policy on import substitution?

Far from expecting the disclosure of any real secrets, the Bill is modest. It is also modest in the rights which it gives to trade unions. My hon. Friends and I have been disappointed by the weakening of the Bill in that respect. I believe that a great discipline would have been improsed upon the Government had the trade unions retained their statutory right to information and had it still been the Minister's duty to ensure that information was disclosed to trade unions with all the commercial safeguards written in. Had that situation still obtained, the trade unions would have had a great interest in seeing the Bill activated.

The obstacle race is such that many workers and trade unionists will have lost some confidence in the Bill's effectiveness. Nevertheless, I hope that they will press for its full implementation.

I want to add my voice to the tributes which have been paid to the Ministers who originally piloted the Bill through Committee. I hope that their removal is not an expression of the fact that not only is the Bill toothless but that it may finish up with lockjaw. I am not suggesting that the present Ministers will lack enthusiasm, but I regard with suspicion the fact that the original Ministers, doing a perfectly good job, were removed.

A toothless Bill with lockjaw will not meet the requirements of our manifesto. Therefore, I hope that workers and trade unionists will press for the activation of the Bill and that the Government will seek to use it to the full.

10.27 p.m.

Mr. Michael Grylls (Surrey, North-West)

I do not think that at this extremely late hour it would be wise for me to follow the hon. Member for Coventry, South-West (Mrs. Wise) down the path that she pursued.

It is perhaps right, in the closing minutes of the debate, to point out that in normal times a Bill proposed by a Labour Government to extend nationalisation would, by most people's judgment, be immensely damaging. At this time of grave economic crisis it could be described as national sabotage for a Labour Government, or any Government, to propose taking over more of British industry. What is needed more than ever today is for British industry to throw off the leeches of the Socialist dogma and to get on with the job of making profits and creating new jobs for people in industry. It must not be hamstrung by the hon. Member for Coventry, South-West and her fellow traveller, the hon. Member for Sheffield, Brightside (Miss Maynard). It must get on with making profits and creating new jobs and it must not be hamstrung by such activities as those that have been going on during the passage of the Bill.

At worst, the dread hand of State intervention would be damaging to industry. At the present moment, it would be very much worse than that. I hope that the changes that have been made in the Bill, both in Committee and on Report, will blunt the worst effects that the Bill, as originally introduced, could have had and that at least the new Secretary of State, in the way that he handled this legislation when it becomes law, will not make it as damaging as we thought it would be at the beginning. It is dangerous, but we hope that he will use it in a responsible way and allow industry to get on with the job of making profits and creating more jobs.

10.30 p.m.

Mr. Tom King

At this late hour we come to the closing stage of what, for many hon. Members who served in Committee, has been a long journey. It started on 17th February with the Second Reading. It has been a long and remarkable journey. It started in a strange way. There was a two-day Second Reading debate. There were two opening speeches by Government spokesmen. The first version was that of the then Secretary of State for Industry. At the next stage the Prime Minister quickly inserted the Paymaster-General to put in an alternative Government version on the second day. That was a remarkable start for the Bill, which proceeded in a similar way.

There were revolts in Committee. Government supporters abstained and refused to provide a quorum. There are two new faces on the Government Front Bench who were not there when the Bill started. One Minister was sacked. He is now on the back benches. I refer to the hon. Member for Liverpool, Walton (Mr. Heffer). I mean no disrepect to the hon. Gentleman for the way in which he conducted his part of the Ministerial responsibility during the first stage of the Bill. We saw that the present Secretary of State for Energy was rapidly transferred in the closing stages, as was the Under-Secretary.

We are faced with a new team at this stage. That is a procedure without precedent. It is not the only precedent. The hon. Member for Bethnal Green and Bow (Mr. Mikardo) said that he thought the way the Committee was treated was an insult to Parliament. All members of the Opposition parties thoroughly agree with the hon. Gentleman.

At times the proceedings in Committee were reduced to an utter charade. The reputation of Parliament has not been enhanced by the way in which the Government handled these proceedings. It will come as no surprise that as a result of the way in which the matter was handled, and the way in which constructive Opposition amendments were treated in Committee, the Government, in what is a fairly multifarious Parliament, succeeded in uniting every Opposition party against the Bill, as it approaches its Third Reading. That was made clear by the hon. Member for Colne Valley (Mr. Wainwright), on behalf of the Liberal Party, the hon. Member for Perth and East Perthshire (Mr. Crawford), on behalf of the Scottish National Party, the hon. Member for Caernarvon (Mr. Wigley), on behalf of the Welsh nationalists, and the hon. Member for Belfast, South (Mr. Bradford). My hon. Friend the Member for Henley (Mr. Heseltine) made clear the total Conservative opposition to this Bill. I congratulate the Government on what is a rare achievement. Not only have they produced total opposition from all the Opposition parties but they have received the faintest possible support from a large section of the Labour Party. That is no mean achievement for a Government with a Bill of this magnitude.

We all know that the British economy and industry are facing problems at present. The country knows that Parliament is debating the closing stages of the Industry Bill tonight. People listening to the debate might be entitled to think that the Bill must therefore be a supremely relevant measure with which to tackle all the problems now faced by British industry and that it will make a valuable contribution to the nation's problems. Those of us who studied the Bill in Committee know that that is not the case.

The Bill proposes, first, a vehicle for more nationalisation. My hon. Friend the Member for Henley made clear its main purpose. The Conservative Government's Industry Act 1972 was intended to help the regions and to give power to the Government to help industries in difficulties. The main distinction between those powers and the powers to be given to the NEB is that the purpose of the NEB is to extend public ownership into profitable manufacturing industry.

I do not wish to be ungallant, but I find it difficult to decide whether to award the palm for the least-informed speech tonight to the hon. Member for Sheffield, Brightside (Miss Maynard) or the hon. Member for Coventry, South-West (Mrs. Wise). The comments of the hon. Member for Brightside on the situation in the steel industry were totally demolished by my hon. Friend the Member for Arundel (Mr. Marshall) who has the advantage of 12 years' experience of working in the industry. The suggestion that the British Steel Corporation has been more successful than was the private sector steel industry is totally untrue.

If the hon. Member for Coventry, South-West is under the impression that there is no evidence that on nationalisation industries become less profitable, perhaps she could spare a moment to study the results produced by the National Bus Company and the British Steel Corporation and compare them with those of their private predecessors. She may acquire some illuminating information from those studies.

The first damage contained in the Bill is the Socialist obsession with nationalisation for the sake of nationalisation. How right was my hon. Friend the Member for Mid-Sussex (Mr. Renton) in saying that something that everybody owns, nobody owns and nobody cares for.

Apart from nationalisation—which is the purpose of the NEB—the other part of the Bill which has been the main subject of discussion is the power of disclosure. The Times second leading article, published on the day that the Government's amendments to the disclosure provisions were announced, summed up the situation very well. Significantly, it was headed: You can't run away from both sides The leader contained the following passage. There is widespread support across the whole spectrum of industry for the idea that the quality of information and consultation with employees within a company should he unproved … If such reform is to develop, it must be based on existing best practice in industry. The worst possible climate for such development would be one in which the provision of internal information was agreed to under the threat that, if it was not voluntarily forthcoming, it would be extracted by the Minister and given to the trade unions. That is exactly the point we have made.

It is odd that we have found difficulty in persuading hon. Members that there could be any reason for a dislike of statutory powers and the use of compulsion, and that in a situation in which the voluntary principle should be encouraged the use of compulsory powers is often counter-productive. I leave aside the pledges given by the Prime Minister to the House which have not been honoured, the intention that planning agreements should be voluntary and the way in which the Labour Party misled the country in the White Paper, the provisions of which were not reflected in the Bill.

We believe that the powers of disclosure should be based on a voluntary principle. It is extremely significant that throughout the Committee debates and again yesterday on Report, when the Government were challenged to name one company that had refused voluntarily to provide them with information, the Minister was not able to give one example.

Mr. Brian Sedgemore (Luton, West)


Mr. King

The hon. Member for Luton, West (Mr. Sedgemore) says "Chrysler", and he said it in Committee. It came as a nasty shock to him to find that the Prime Minister had been in discussion with the President of Chrysler at the time when he was under the impression that the Government had no conversations with the firm. He must have his argument about that not with me but with the Prime Minister.

The other charge that has been made frequently by hon. Members in this debate is that somehow British industry has failed the country. They claim that as though it is a self-evident truth, but one might consider that question in another way. Might it not be suggested that perhaps British Governments have failed British industry on occasion?

There is a very easy crack to make: "Why does British industry do so badly?" Might it not be a more valuable question—particularly for those of us in this House who might share some responsibility across the benches on this matter—to ask: "Why is it that British industry has done so well against a constant pattern of Government changes in economic policy, against a rapidly rising rate of inflation, and against consistent stop-go policies?"

If we study the question realistically, we ought to consider the latest NEDO study of the investment problems in industry. The first point made in it is that the central problem is low productivity. The Secretary of State for Industry, when asked about low investment, used to change the subject. He never ceased to be amazed that people came to him and said that they could get 10, 20, 30 or 40 per cent. more out of their existing equipment. How in that situation are people to be encouraged to get more out of it, and how was it that the NEDO study brought out for the time time the fact that the Chancellor of the Exchequer himself was not aware—nor was the Treasury, as far as is known—that the effective tax rate on industry cash flow this year was 127 per cent.? If that is the figure, compared with about 43 per cent. five or six years ago, that is the effect of cumulative inflation.

Let no one say that British industry is failing the nation or the taxpayer. The basic fact is that British industry is making a simply colossal contribution, out of its earnings, to the British tax revenue, and clearly in that situation we shall never get real investment. At last the Chancellor of the Exchequer seems to have recognised the central problem.

Let us imagine a situation in which a British company and a German company are both embarking on a similar investment. The British company does market research in export markets and decides that it can sell competitively with its German competitor. But what on earth does the British company do now, in the knowledge that its own domestic inflation rate on its costs is running at 27 per cent.? How can it make that investment in the knowledge that it will be competing over a five, 10 or 15-year period against a German company with a domestic inflation of 6 per cent.?

Those are the real issues, the real liabilities, facing British industry at this time, and to pretend that it has a lack of will or that these are greedy people who are not prepared to invest money, and who are failing to identify the real problems, is completely to ignore the facts. The challenge facing the House and the Government is to start looking at the real problems and the real difficulties. This Bill is a smokescreen, and a dangerous smokescreen, enabling the Government to pretend one thing to the British people while at the same time seeking to achieve their Socialist ambitions of further nationalisation. It is because of this that the Conservative Opposition will vote against the Bill.

10.44 p.m.

Mr. Kaufman

The House has now come to the end of the 146 hours which it has devoted to the consideration of this Industry Bill. The Bill has occasioned fierce exchanges across the Floor of the House, but what has been particularly notable has been the passionate anxiety of Government back benchers to get this Bill enacted.

I have been involved in legislation fulfilling such major Labour Party commitments as security of tenure for furnished tenants and repeal of the Housing Finance Act. These were certainly greeted with great satisfaction, but not with the urgent zeal which has characterised the support of Government back benchers for this Bill. My hon. Friend the Member for Coventry, South-West (Mrs. Wise)—not the most easily sidetracked or deluded of hon. Members—made this clear when, during some confusion on the last day of the Bill's Committee stage, she insisted: We believe that the Industry Bill is worth saving."—[Official Report, Standing Committee E, 12th June, 1975, c. 2290.] My hon. Friends are not so ardent about this Bill because it is some wild revolutionary Socialist measure, at it has been blown up to be by the hysterical hyperbole which is the habitual substitute for reasoned argument of the hon. Member for Henley (Mr. Heseltine). Indeed, as they have made clear throughout these proceedings, their only misgivings are that the Bill might not be going far enough.

Mr. Mikardo

Is not the problem with this Bill that the Opposition reckon it is a piece of "Bennery" whereas it is worse—it is a piece of "Leverage"?

Mr. Kaufman

I had the good fortune to succeed Sir Leslie Lever as Member for the Ardwick constituency. Therefore, I ought not to be side-tracked even by my affection for my hon. Friend the Member for Bethnal Green and Bow (Mr. Mikardo).

The view that this Bill does not go far enough is not simply the view of those of my hon. Friends who are members of the body called, I believe, the Tribune Group. It is held by others of my hon. Friends whose general attitudes might not even bring a blush of anxiety to the maidenly cheek of Mr. William Rees Mogg but who, in their desire to strengthen the Bill as they saw it, nevertheless united with various Opposition parties last night to help bring about a couple of slight defeats for the Government in the only coalition that this Parliament is likely to see.

This is a Bill supported with enthusiasm throughout the Labour movement because it offers a true hope of bringing about essential changes in the ownership, management and investment policies of British idustry, and of helping to provide an essential infusion of industrial democracy.

As my hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool, Walton (Mr. Heffer) pointed out, the plight of large sections of British industry today is the result of a daunting extent of lack of investment and outdated structure. The situation was devastatingly highlighted in the Ryder Report on British Leyland, which described how British Leyland's Profit before tax … has been inadequate … despite this low level of profits BL has over the period distributed nearly all of them as dividends … over the whole period the net profits after charges including extraordinary items amounted to £74 million of which £70 million has been paid out by way of dividend. There should however have been substantial retentions to finance the increased cost of replacing fixed assets and additional working capital". Ryder pointed out that In the automotive industry, most machinery is replaced after 8–12 years. … In BL more than half the machines and equipment are over 15 years old. …. This record of under-investment is the main reason for the low productivity of BL's work force compared with say Fiat or Volkswagen". It is that under-investment and that frittering away of profits, and not the work force, which is responsible for the record of British Leyland, which has led it to this pass, and which led you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, to announce that the Queen had given the Royal Assent to the British Leyland Act.

Yet this is the situation with which the Opposition are perfectly satisfied. They believe that their Industry Act 1972 is the last word on the subject. They have no other proposals for dealing with the chronic and underlying investment and structural problems of British industry. It is true that under the Tory Industry Act Government have poured out £393.5 million in cash hand outs and £79.5 million in loans, yet at the end of it all, as the hon. Member for Colne Valley (Mr. Wainwright) pointed out, too much of British industry remains ill-equipped to meet the technological challenges from the Continent and from Japan.

The Bill provides two major instruments for dealing with these crucial problems. The first instrument is the system of planning agreements. The second instrument, which is even more important to my mind, is the National Enterprise Board. We are already at work on guidelines which will ensure for the NEB maximum democratic accountability coupled with maximum freedom to go about the massive tasks which have been assigned to it.

In two amendments tabled by Conservative Members to Clause 5 dealing with the NEB a number of detailed proposals were made concerning fair competition by the NEB and the criteria for the appraisal of investment. It is the view of my right hon. and hon. Friends that it would be a serious mistake to write into the Bill a detailed charter for the operations of an enterprise such as the NEB which, as an instrument of Government policy and a major commercial enterprise, must have the flexibility to respond to changing circumstances and changing national needs. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has made it clear on several occasions that the detailed exercise of the powers of the NEB under the Industry Bill will be covered by guidelines which can be amended as circumstances required.

Mr. Tim Renton rose

Mr. Kaufman

No, not now. The hon. Gentleman has blathered on the whole time and it is now time for the Government to put their case.

Mr. Renton rose

Mr. Kaufman

Perhaps I should give way to the hon. Gentleman. He could declare a few more interests if I gave him a moment or two.

The guidelines have been the subject of some preliminary discussion with the TUC and the CBI, and there will be further consultation with interested parties, including the NEB organising committee, before they are settled.

I take this opportunity to inform the House of the issues under consideration although, of course, we shall be making the guidelines available at a later stage. The general approach of the guidelines will be to accord the NEB the fullest possible operating freedom by exercising Government surveillance so far as possible through long-term strategies and annual budget plans. The Government will settle with the board a broad framework of objectives and strategy, looking only at large individual cases.

The guidelines will cover acquisitions, loans, interest payments and the criteria for investment and pricing. The board and its companies will be subject to general prices policy and to a requirement to avoid showing undue preference in its trading relationships. The Bill itself has made clear that the board will be subject to the fair trading legislation.

The guidelines will cover financial and other objectives, the eligibility of NEB companies for the generally applicable forms of financial assistance, the discharge of duties imposed on the board under Clause 3, its employment responsibilities, its rôle in furthering industrial democracy and its relationships with consumers. In the course of the proceedings in Committee great emphasis was placed upon the threat of unfair competition from the NEB. We do not intend that the board's companies shall be given any unfair competitive advantage. The NEB will follow the City code on takeovers and mergers and the Stock Exchange listing requirements where these are relevant. The board's companies will, of course, be subject to the whole body of company law and fair trading legislation.

Particular concern has been expressed about the NEB acquiring shares without the consent of the board of the company concerned. The guidelines will require the NEB to inform the Government of any case in which it proposes to seek to acquire more than 10 per cent. of the shares of a company in opposition to the views of the company's board. The Government will then decide whether to intervene. But it would be inappropriate for the Government to come to a final conclusion about the text of the guidelines until our consultations have been completed and until, in particular, there has been consultation with the board itself.

The Opposition shrilly demand that we drop the NEB and indeed this Bill. They suggest that at a time of great national crisis consensus is required, and that it is the duty of Government to abandon contentious policies in favour of consensus policies. To the Tory Party consensus consists of all other parties dropping their own policies and adopting Tory policies. Then we are all truly non-political and objective.

If these policies embodied in the Bill were important when they were first conceived in the early 1970s, today they are absolutely essential. To deal with the crisis we face today, the Opposition put forward a range of contradictory policies from which we are asked to perm any three out of seven.

Mr. Heffer

I am sorry to interrupt my hon. Friend, but he has talked about guidelines about which, up until now, we have had no indication. When he talks about a figure of 10 per cent., this means that the NEB could be put at a disadvantage in relation to ordinary private industry. This point surely needs spelling out.

Mr. Kaufman

I assure my hon. Friend that this is not the case. I assure him that we shall return to this matter.

Mr. Heseltine

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I seek your guidance about a most significant development. Although we have considered the Bill for 146 hours, and we are now asked to give a Third Reading to the Bill, the Minister now has the effrontery to tell the House about guidelines which have never been put before the House.

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Oscar Murton)

That is not a matter for the Chair.

Mr. Kaufman

The hon. Member for Henley has been like it for 25 years. He has not changed.

Throughout the debate on the Government's industrial policy over the last year, we have heard again and again of the need to unite the country in common cause, to end divisive policies and to seek consensus.

The deepest of divisions in our society is to be found in the concept of the managing class and the work force—"masters and men"—as Harold Macmillan could still call them only a few years ago, those who take the decisions and those who carry them out. But the workers are no longer prepared to be the class that mindlessly does what the managing class plans for it. They want to know what is going on and to have a voice in the decisions of industry. A large part of this Bill is to provide for the destruction of this damaging and artificial barrier between the managers and the

managed, and for its replacement by a new partnership in industry.

This Bill is of the utmost relevance both to the country's current problems and to its underlying malaise. I ask the House to give it a Third Reading.

Question put, That the Bill be now read the Third time:—

The House divided: Ayes 289, Noes 276.

Division No. 273.] AYES [11.00 p.m.
Abse, Leo Doig, Peter Johnson, James (Hull West)
Allaun, Frank Dormand, J. D. Johnson, Walter (Derby S)
Anderson, Donald Douglas-Mann, Bruce Jones, Alec (Rhondda)
Archer, Peter Duffy, A. E. P. Jones, Barry (East Flint)
Armstrong, Ernest Dunn, James A. Jones, Dan (Burnley)
Ashley, Jack Dunnett, Jack Judd, Frank
Ashton, Joe Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth Kaufman, Gerald
Atkins, Ronald (Preston N) Eadie, Alex Kelley, Richard
Atkinson, Norman Edelman, Maurice Kerr, Russell
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Edge, Geoff Kilroy-Silk, Robert
Barnett, Guy (Greenwich) Ellis, John (Brigg & Scun) Kinnock, Neil
Barnett, Rt Hon Joel (Heywood) Ellis, Tom (Wrexham) Lambie, David
Bates, Alf English, Michael Lamborn, Harry
Bean, R. E. Ennals, David Lamond, James
Benn, Rt Hon Anthony Wedgwood Evans, Ioan (Aberdare) Latham, Arthur (Paddington)
Bennett, Andrew (Stockport N) Evans, John (Newton) Leadbitter, Ted
Bidwell, Sydney Fernyhough, Rt Hon E. Lee, John
Bishop, E. S. Fitch, Alan (Wigan) Lestor, Miss Joan (Eton & Slough)
Blenkinsop, Arthur Flannery, Martin Lever, Rt Hon Harold
Boardman, H. Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) Lewis, Arthur (Newham N)
Booth, Albert Foot, Rt Hon Michael Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)
Boothroyd, Miss Betty Ford, Ben Lipton, Marcus
Bottomley, Rt Hon Arthur Forrester, John Litterick, Tom
Boyden, James (Bish Auck) Fowler, Gerald (The Wrekin) Lomas, Kenneth
Bradley, Tom Fraser, John (Lambeth, N'w'd) Loyden, Eddie
Bray, Dr Jeremy Freeson, Reginald Luard, Evan
Brown, Hugh D. (Provan) Garrett, John (Norwich S) Lyon, Alexander (York)
Brown, Robert C. (Newcastle W) Garrett, W. E. (Wallsend) Lyons, Edward (Bradford W)
Brown, Ronald (Hackney S) George, Bruce McCartney, Hugh
Buchan, Norman Gilbert, Dr John MacFarquhar, Roderick
Buchanan, Richard Ginsburg, David McGuire, Michael (Ince)
Callaghan, Jim (Middleton & P) Golding, John Mackenzie, Gregor
Campbell, Ian Gould, Bryan Mackintosh John P.
Canavan, Dennis Gourlay, Harry Maclennan, Robert
Cant, R. B. Graham, Ted McMillan, Tom (Glasgow C)
Carter, Ray Grant, George (Morpeth) McNamara, Kevin
Carter-Jones, Lewis Grant, John (Islington C) Madden, Max
Cartwright, John Grocott, Bruce Magee, Bryan
Castle, Rt Hon Barbara Hamilton, James (Bothwell) Mahon, Simon
Clemitson, Ivor Hamilton, W. W. (Central Fife) Malialieu, J. P. W.
Cocks, Michael (Bristol S) Hardy, Peter Marks, Kenneth
Cohen, Stanley Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) Marquand, David
Coleman, Donald Hart, Rt Hon Judith Marshall, Dr Edmund (Goole)
Concannon, J. D. Hattersley, Rt Hon Roy Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)
Conlan, Bernard Hatton, Frank Mason, Rt Hon Roy
Cook, Robin F. (Edin C) Hayman, Mrs Helene Maynard, Miss Joan
Corbett, Robin Healey, Rt Hon Denis Meacher, Michael
Cox, Thomas (Tooting) Heffer, Eric S. Mellish, Rt Hon Robert
Craigen, J. M. (Maryhill) Hooley, Frank Mikardo, Ian
Crawshaw, Richard Horam, John Miller, Dr M. S. (E Kilbride)
Cronin, John Howell, Denis (B'ham Sm H) Mitchell, R. C. (Soton, Itchen)
Crosland, Rt Hon Anthony Hoyle, Doug (Nelson) Molloy, William
Cryer, Bob Huckfield, Les Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)
Cunningham, G. (Islington S) Hughes, Rt Hon C (Anglesey) Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)
Cunningham, Dr J. (Whiteh) Hughes, Mark (Durham) Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon)
Dalyell, Tam Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N) Moyle, Roland
Davidson, Arthur Hughes, Roy (Newport) Mulley, Rt Hon Frederick
Davies, Bryan (Enfield N) Hunter, Adam Newens, Stanley
Davies, Denzil (Llanelli) Irvine, Rt Hon Sir A. (Edge Hill) Noble, Mike
Davies, Ifor (Gower) Irving, Rt Hon S. (Dartford) Oakes, Gordon
Davis, Clinton (Hackney C) Jackson, Colin (Brighouse) Ogden, Eric
Deakins, Eric Janner, Greville O'Halloran, Michael
Dean, Joseph (Leeds West) Jay, Rt Hon Douglas O'Malley, Rt Hon Brian
de Freitas, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Jeger, Mrs Lena Orbach, Maurice
Delargy, Hugh Jenkins, Hugh (Putney) Orme, Rt Hon Stanley
Dell, Rt Hon Edmund Jenkins, Rt Hon Roy (Stechford) Ovenden, John
Dempsey, James John, Brynmor Owen, Dr David
Padley, Walter Short, Rt Hon E. (Newcastle C) Varley, Rt Hon Eric Q.
Palmer, Arthur Short, Mrs Renée (Wolv NE) Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne V)
Park, George Silkin, Rt Hon John (Deptford) Walden, Brian (B'ham, L'dyw'd)
Parker, John Silkin, Rt Hon S. C. (Dulwich) Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Parry, Robert Sillars, James Walker, Terry (Kingswood)
Pavitt, Laurie Silverman, Julius Ward, Michael
Peart, Rt Hon Fred Skinner, Dennis Watkins, David
Phipps, Dr Colin Smith, John (N Lanarkshire) Watkinson, John
Prentice, Rt Hon Reg Snape, Peter Weetch, Ken
Prescott, John Spearing, Nigel Weitzman, David
Price, C. (Lewisham W) Spriggs, Leslie Wellbeloved, James
Price, William (Rugby) Stallard, A. W. White, Frank R. (Bury)
Radice, Giles Stewart, Rt Hon M. (Fulham) White, James (Pollok)
Richardson, Miss Jo Stoddart, David Whitehead, Phillip
Roberts, Albert (Normanton) Stott, Roger Whitlock, William
Roberts, Gwilym (Cannock) Strang, Gavin Williams, Alan (Swansea W)
Robertson, John (Paisley) Strauss, Rt Hon G. R. Williams, Alan Lee (Hornch'ch)
Roderick, Caerwyn Summerskill, Hon Dr Shirley Williams, Rt Hon Shirley (Hertford)
Rodgers, George (Chorley) Swain, Thomas Williams, W. T. (Warrington)
Rodgers, William (Stockton) Taylor, Mrs Ann (Bolton W) Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)
Rooker, J. W. Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery) Wilson, William (Coventry SE)
Roper, John Thomas, Mike (Newcastle E) Wise, Mrs Audrey
Rose, Paul B. Thomas, Ron (Bristol NW) Woodall, Alec
Rowlands, Ted Thorne, Stan (Preston South) Wool, Robert
Ryman, John Tierney, Sydney Wrigglesworth, Ian
Sandelson, Neville Tinn, James Young, David (Bolton E)
Sedgemore, Brian Tomlinson, John
Selby, Harry Tomney, Frank TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Shaw, Arnold (Ilford South) Torney, Tom Mr. Joseph Harper and
Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-u-Lyne) Tuck, Raphael Miss Margaret Jackson.
Shore, Rt Hon Peter Urwin, T. W.
Adley, Robert Drayson, Burnaby Heath, Rt Hon Edward
Aitken, Jonathan du Cann, Rt Hon Edward Henderson, Douglas
Alison, Michael Dunlop, John Heseltine, Michael
Amery, Rt Hon Julian Durant, Tony Hicks, Robert
Arnold, Tom Dykes, Hugh Higgins, Terence L.
Atkins, Rt Hon H. (Spelthorne) Eden, Rt Hon Sir John Holland, Philip
Awdry, Daniel Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke) Hooson, Emlyn
Bain, Mrs Margaret Elliott, Sir William Hordern, Peter
Baker, Kenneth Emery, Peter Howe, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey
Banks, Robert Evans, Gwynfor (Carmarthen) Howell, David (Guildford)
Beith, A. J. Ewing, Mrs Winifred (Moray) Howell, Ralph (North Norfolk)
Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torbay) Eyre, Reginald Hurd, Douglas
Bennett, Dr Reginald (Fareham) Fairbairn, Nicholas Hutchison, Michael Clark
Benyon, W. Farr, John Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)
Berry, Hon Anthony Fell, Anthony Irving, Charles (Cheltenham)
Biffen, John Finsberg, Geoffrey James, David
Biggs-Davison, John Fisher, Sir Nigel Jenkin, Rt Hon P. (Wanst'd & W'df'd)
Blaker, Peter Fletcher, Alex (Edinburgh N) Jessel, Toby
Body, Richard Fletcher-Cooke, Charles Johnson Smith, G. (E Grinstead)
Boscawen, Hon Robert Fookes, Miss Janet Johnston, Russell (Inverness)
Bottomley, Peter Fowler, Norman (Sutton C'f'd) Jones, Arthur (Daventry)
Bowden, A. (Brighton, Kemptown) Fox, Marcus Jopling, Michael
Boyson, Dr Rhodes (Brent) Fraser, Rt Hon H. (Stafford & St) Joseph, Rt Hon Sir Keith
Bradford, Rev Robert Freud, Clement Kaberry, Sir Donald
Braine, Sir Bernard Fry, Peter Kellett-Bowman, Mrs Elaine
Brittan, Leon Galbraith, Hon. T. G. D. Kershaw, Anthony
Brotherton, Michael Gardiner, George (Reigate) Kilfedder, James
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Gardner, Edward (S Fylds) Kimball, Marcus
Bryan, Sir Paul Gilmour, Rt Hon Ian (Chesham) King, Evelyn (South Dorset)
Buck, Antony Gilmour, Sir John (East Fife) King, Tom (Bridgwater)
Budgen, Nick Glyn, Dr Alan Kirk, Peter
Bulmer, Esmond Godber, Rt Hon Joseph Kitson, Sir Timothy
Burden, F. A. Goodhart, Philip Knight, Mrs Jill
Carlisle, Mark Goodhew, Victor Knox, David
Carr, Rt Hon Robert Goodlad, Alastair Lamont, Norman
Chalker, Mrs Lynda Gorst, John Lane, David
Churchill, W. S. Gow, Ian (Eastbourne) Langford-Holt, Sir John
Clark, Alan (Plymouth, Sutton) Gower, Sir Raymond (Barry) Latham, Michael (Melton)
Clark, William (Croydon S) Grant, Anthony (Harrow C) Lawrence, Ivan
Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe) Griffiths, Eldon Lawson, Nigel
Clegg, Walter Grist, Ian Le Marchant, Spencer
Cockcroft, John Grylls, Michael Lester, Jim (Beeston)
Cooke, Robert (Bristol W) Hall, Sir John Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)
Cope, John Hall-Davis, A. G. F. Lloyd, Ian
Cordle, John H. Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) Loveridge, John
Cormack, Patrick Hampson, Dr Keith Luce, Richard
Crawford, Douglas Hannam, John McAdden, Sir Stephen
Crouch, David Harrison, Col Sir Harwood (Eye) McCrindle, Robert
Crowder, F. P. Hastings, Stephen McCusker, H.
Davies, Rt Hon J. (Knutsford) Havers, Sir Michael Macfarlane, Neil
Dean, Paul (N Somerset) Hawkins, Paul MacGregor, John
Dodsworth, Geoffrey Hayhoe, Barney Macmillan, Rt Hon M. (Farnham)
McNair-Wilson, M. (Newbury) Pink, R. Bonner Stanbrook, Ivor
McNair-Wilson, P. (New Forest) Powell, Rt Hon J. Enoch Stanley, John
Madel, David Prior, Rt Hon James Steel, David (Roxburgh)
Marshall, Michael (Arundel) Pym, Rt Hon Francis Steen, Anthony (Wavertree)
Marten, Neil Raison, Timothy Stewart, Ian (Hitchin)
Mates, Michael Rathbone, Tim Stokes, John
Mather, Carol Rawlinson, Rt Hon Sir Peter Stradling Thomas, J.
Maude, Angus Rees, Peter (Dover & Deal) Tapsell, Peter
Maudling, Rt Hon Reginald Rees-Davies, W. R. Taylor, R. (Croydon NW)
Mawby, Ray Reid, George Taylor, Teddy (Cathcart)
Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin Renton, Rt Hon Sir D. (Hunts) Tebbit, Norman
Mayhew, Patrick Renton, Tim (Mid-Sussex) Temple-Morris, Peter
Meyer, Sir Anthony Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon Thatcher, Rt Hon Margaret
Miller, Hal (Bromsgrove) Ridley, Hon Nicholas Thomas, Rt Hon P. (Hendon S)
Mills, Peter Rifkind, Malcolm Thorpe, Rt Hon Jeremy (N Devon)
Miscampbell, Norman Roberts, Michael (Cardiff NW) Townsend, Cyril D.
Mitchell, David (Basingstoke) Roberts, Wyn (Conway) Trotter, Neville
Moate, Roger Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight) Tugendhat, Christopher
Molyneaux, James Ross, William (Londonderry) van Straubenzee, W. R.
Montgomery, Fergus Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey) Vaughan, Dr. Gerard
Moore, John (Croydon C) Rost, Peter (SE Derbyshire) Viggers, Peter
More, Jasper (Ludlow) Royle, Sir Anthony Wainwright, Richard (Colne V)
Morgan, Geraint Sainsbury, Tim Wakeham, John
Morris, Michael (Northampton S) St. John-Stevas, Norman Walker, Rt Hon P. (Worcester)
Morrison, Charles (Devizes) Scott, Nicholas Walters, Dennis
Morrison, Hon Peter (Chester) Scott-Hopkins, James Warren, Kenneth
Mudd, David Shaw, Giles (Pudsey) Watt, Hamish
Neave, Airey Shaw, Michael (Scarborough) Weatherill, Bernard
Nelson, Anthony Shelton, William (Streatham) Wells, John
Neubert, Michael Shepherd, Colin Welsh, Andrew
Newton, Tony Shersby, Michael Whitelaw, Rt Hon William
Normanton, Tom Silvester, Fred Wiggin, Jerry
Nott, John Sims, Roger Wigley, Dafydd
Oppenheim, Mrs Sally Sinclair, Sir George Winterton, Nicholas
Osborn, John Skeet, T. H. H. Wood, Rt Hon Richard
Page, John (Harrow West) Smith, Dudley (Warwick) Young, Sir G. (Ealing, Acton)
Page, Rt Hon R. Graham (Crosby) Speed, Keith Younger, Hon George
Pardoe, John Spence, John
Pattie, Geoffrey Spicer, Jim (W Dorset) TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Penhaligon, David Spicer, Michael (S Worcester) Mr. Adam Butler and
Percival, Ian Sproat, Iain Mr. Cecil Parkinson.
Peyton, Rt Hon John Stainton, Keith

Question accordingly agreed to.

Bill read the Third time and passed.