HC Deb 05 March 1975 vol 887 cc1527-742
'(1) Where any of the following property was included in the estate of a person immediately before his death, that is to say—
(a) land which in the opinion of the Treasury is of outstanding scenic or historic or scientific interest;
5 (b) a building for the preservation of which special steps should in the opinion of the Treasury be taken by reason of its outstanding historic or architectural interest;

5.30 p.m.

Mr. Joel Barnett

I beg to move, That the clause be read a Second time.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

We are to take with this the amendments to the new clause.

Mr. Barnett

The clause stems from an undertaking which I gave in Committee. Paragraph 11 of Schedule 6 exempts gifts of national heritage property which are made to non-profit-making bodies. The clause offers similar relief for national heritage property in private hands. The intention is to avoid liability of national heritage properties until a decision is taken in the light of the report of the Select Committee on the Wealth Tax. We intend to have a fresh look at the whole question of lifetime transfers, but there should not be cause for concern because there is no need to make transfers for lifetime in the interim period, and in the event of tragic accident or death there would be no liability to capital transfer tax.

Mr. Peter Hordern (Horsham and Crawley)

The right hon. Gentleman will, I know, wish to deal with one important matter which came up in Committee; that is to say, chattels of historic value held not by individuals but by discretionary trusts. I understand from what the right hon. Gentleman said that those objects will be caught by the tax if they are held in discretionary trusts for the 10-year period or if they are passed on in any way. I hope that the Chief Secretary will deal with this matter, as he gave in Committee what I took to be an undertaking.

Mr. Barnett

I am obliged to the hon. Gentleman. I was saying that the intention is to avoid liability of national heritage properties until a decision is taken in the light of the report of the Select Committee. Effectively, until that report is received and we have made further decisions, there will be no need for capital transfer tax to arise on national heritage properties. As we made clear in Committee, it is our intention to try to preserve as far as possible national heritage properties.

For the benefit of the House I will give a brief summary of what we are doing in the clause and the extent to which it differs from what some hon. Gentlemen might prefer. There are three basic differences from the relief under paragraph 11 of Schedule 6, which allows the exemption for gifts to non-profit-making bodies.

The first is that in paragraph 11 the cost of preserving buildings of aesthetic interest is allowed. The second is that the land adjoining the building has been more closely defined than in paragraph 11. It must be land which is essential for the protection of the character and the amenities of the building. I do not think that the House will find that unreasonable. The third is that the chattels need not necessarily be first-class works of art but must be historically associated with the building. Again, I hope that will be acceptable to the House.

We come to how one decides whether a property should qualify. I give the House the assurance that the Treasury will consult other Departments and outside bodies to make absolutely certain that all historic houses and properties which should be included are included as recommended by the appropriate bodies. I hope that that will be acceptable to the House.

I turn to the question of upkeep and maintenance to which we referred in Committee. It is possible that there may have been a misunderstanding, and to the extent that it may have been my fault I apologise to the House and to the hon. Members for Horsham and Crawley (Mr. Hordern) and Cirencester and Tewkesbury (Mr. Ridley). In discussions upstairs my specific commitment in the early hours of one morning related to maintenance funds and arose when we were debating paragraph 11(2)(e), which refers to non-profit-making bodies. Because of the procedural arrangements, we debated Schedule 6 before debating Schedule 4 and Clause 29, on which we discussed the matter again later.

When we debated the matter at the Seventh Sitting—which was the same day as the day on which we finished the Sixth Sitting—the hon. Member for Cirencester and Tewkesbury said: Then there is the more remote and, I agree, more difficult question of land which might have been an endowment for the house. If extra land or even other assets are exempted, that will provide the money for the upkeep of the house. Clearly, no one can keep up a house of the character of which we are speaking on one acre. I put those three possibilities for inclusion among the assets which could be exempted while waiting for Godot. I replied to that by saying: The hon. Member for Cirencester and Tewkesbury mentioned other assets. The problem here—indeed, this is what one hopes for from a Select Committee—is defining other assets, and that might be a little difficult. That is the problem. Later, on Clause 29, it is possible that I might have misled the Committee when I was thinking in terms of Schedule 11, on which I had given a commitment earlier that morning. I may have given the impression that I would put down an amendment relating to the more general aspect of historic houses, and I would not want the House to have that impression.

Mr. Robert Cooke (Bristol, West)

A little later on the right hon. Gentleman said: anything required for the upkeep of any particular national heritage would be covered and would be exempt."—[Official Report, Standing Committee A, 6th February 1975; c. 1095–7.] Those are the words upon which our hopes depend, and I am sure that the right hon. Gentleman will not mind my reminding him of them. Perhaps he will explain what he will not carry into action, or give us some hope of action in the future.

Mr. Barnett

I am disappointed in the hon. Gentleman. I know that he sat through the night to listen to what I had to say, and I am always grateful to anyone who does that, apart from members of the Committee who had to—other than those who went into another room for a sleep. [Interruption.] I agree that the Liberal Member never stayed. He told us that he turned into a pumpkin at 12 o'clock.

I fairly told the House that I may inadvertently have misled the Committee. As is clear to anyone who reads the Official Report or who listened to what I said, I was referring to the other schedule which relates to public bodies. I will come in a moment to whether we can give relief for the maintenance of transfers in private hands.

The treatment that we offer in the clause is not unreasonable. I know that the hon. Member for Bristol, West (Mr. Cooke) is not a churlish man. He has been generous in praising what we have done in the clause, and I am obliged to him. It is a change for someone to say something nice about us, and I appreciate it.

On the question whether we should go further and give additional relief for funds to maintain a historic house in the hands of a private owner, that is an important matter about which I know that some of my hon. Friends are also concerned. There is a major difference between a public body and a house of this kind in private hands. What would be the size of the fund which could be set aside? How would we define an endowment or settle an amount for these purposes?

I hope to deal with the amendments taken with this clause when I have heard what hon. Gentlemen have to say about them. At present the amendments go very wide on this point and I certainly could not agree to accept them.

As I said in Committee, I recognise the problem. Having given relief under this clause we have no wish to see historic houses destroyed. That is not our intention. The very nature of the new clause makes that clear. However, to allow an unspecified sum for the maintenance of those houses as opposed to the maintenance of any other house would be going much too far. We have been quite generous in this clause. We have no desire to harm the national heritage.

I shall be happy to look again to see whether we can do anything about maintenance. At present I hope that the House feels that we have gone a long way towards meeting the problem, perhaps further than hon. Members have asked.

Mr. Robert Cooke

I hope that the right hon. Gentleman does not find me in any way churlish if I return to the matter on which we have just exchanged views. All those who have been campaigning throughout these long tedious months are grateful to the Government for putting down new Clause 6. The right hon. Gentleman said that there is no need to bother about lifetime gifts. He might like to think about the case where an ageing owner, perhaps approaching senility, wants to hand over his property to an heir who is in the prime of life. If we enact the Bill as it stands, the ageing owner will have to keep the property until he dies because it would not be convenient to hand it over in life.

We are not ungrateful. This proposal is the result of months of work by many interests outside this House and by many hon. Members. I hope that no one is against us in what we are trying to do, although not all hon. Members are yet prepared to take all the positive action required.

There is one glaring omission in new Clause 6. I turn to the question of resources. We have dealt with historic houses, gardens, contents, and amenity lands protected from the effects of the capital transfer tax in exchange for reasonable public access. It is difficult to see how these places can be maintained for reasonable public access without maintaining resources. It is not to put any class of owner in a specially privileged position. It is so that these houses can be maintained and enhanced in the future and enjoyed by a wider public.

5.45 p.m.

We accept the right hon. Gentleman's explanation that he meant to refer to something different. When he replies to the debate I hope he will make it clear that the Government realise that these places we all seek to protect cannot be kept going without resources. Are the house and the amenity land to be protected in isolation? Can we envisage a situation in which places like Chatsworth or Blenheim Palace are protected from capital transfer tax and perhaps from the wealth tax but in which the great estates which support these houses are gradually chipped away because of CTT and the wealth tax? I do not believe that the Government want that to happen.

Perhaps they could send a message to the Select Committee examining the wealth tax asking it to bear in mind the need to protect these vitally necessary resources. I am member of that Select Committee and we meet in public. It is no secret to say that there have been massive representations on this matter as it affects the national heritage, just as there were on the capital transfer tax.

I want to leave the right hon. Gentleman in no doubt that, although there are Labour Members who support us, the Opposition are absolutely solid in believing that the Government must protect resources so that private owners can continue to operate for a public purpose. We seek to give resources to private owners so that these houses can continue to be enjoyed by a wider public and so that more property is available to be enjoyed.

If the right hon. Gentleman is in doubt about how the amount should be specified, let him take note of the case of Heveningham, now costing the taxpayer £30,000 a year, and increasing, because the resources for historic houses have been withdrawn.

I hope I have said enough to convince the right hon. Gentleman that, although he is not prepared to go all the way today, this is a matter to which we shall wish to return in the near future.

Mr. G. R. Strauss (Vauxhall)

I thank the Chief Secretary, the Chancellor and all Ministers responsible for meeting the case which some of us put forward at an early stage. I have never had any doubt that they were all sympathetic to our objective and anxious to do nothing to destroy our national heritage or anything which might endanger the continued existence of historic houses. When we put forward our case none of us had any doubt but that the Government would go as far as possible to meet our request. They have gone a long way towards it. Everyone interested in the preservation of our national heritage must be grateful to the Government.

The problem of exempting properties whose revenue is essential for their upkeep was mentioned by the hon. Member for Bristol, West (Mr. Cooke) and is elaborated in an amendment which I hope to move. The Chief Secretary has said that it is exceedingly difficult to define which properties should be exempt from capital transfer tax. We could make the exemption too wide, which would make it ridiculous, or too narrow, which would be useless. For this reason those societies and those hon. Members who are interested in the preservation of our national heritage have not attempted themselves to put forward detailed proposals as to the properties which should be exempt.

I do not blame the Chief Secretary for not going into detail now or saying that he will exempt this, that or the other property. However, I ask him to appreciate that this debate throws up a real problem. It is no use preserving buildings of national interest for cultural or historic reasons unless funds are available for their upkeep. Unless some action is taken on the lines set out in the amendment, some of these buildings will not be kept up and their contents will be sold or will decay. They will certainly be lost to the public and the public will no longer be able to visit these houses and enjoy their contents.

I ask no more of the Chief Secretary than that he should look at the problem again to see whether there is any way of defining such properties as exempt, and whether they could be put into categories, making such restrictions as he feels fit. Surely there is some way of tackling this problem, and I hope that that way will be found. We suggest that three months after the passage of the Bill the Government should present a statutory order setting out proposals in detail. That may or may not be a good idea. But it is important to take some sort of action soon to preserve the fine buildings in various parts of the country which may otherwise be lost to the public.

I beg the Government not to say "No, this cannot be done. It is too difficult." I hope that they will not take the view that no practical definition is possible. I hope they will decide that something must be done.

I thank my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary sincerely for his sympathy and interest and for tabling the new clause. It is nearly perfect—and it would be quite perfect if he were to accept the spirit of our amendments.

Mr. Hordern

I join the right hon. Member for Vauxhall (Mr. Strauss) in thanking the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary for making a determined effort to put articles of historic national importance outside the capital transfer tax provisions. I wish to draw the attention of the right hon. Gentleman to some remarks in Committee; I know that he is anxious to help and to achieve certain objectives.

The Chief Secretary said on 5th February: I shall be happy to look at that. I have no wish, and neither has the Chancellor, to leave any threat to the national heritage, in which I include historic houses. When the endowment issue was raised, he said: The second point is that the amendments would widen the scheme of the exemption provided by the paragraph so as to provide exemption for property given as a source of income for the upkeep."—[Official Report, Standing Committee A, 5th February 1975; cc. 991–4.] Again I see no objection to that relatively minor extension.

I am sure that the Chief Secretary accepts the point made by my hon. Friend the Member for Bristol, West (Mr. Cooke) that it is not possible to keep these buildings unless some form of endowment is allowed as well. I do not know what is the best way to secure this end. I only know what will be the consequences if some form of endowment is not allowed. I am sure that the Chief Secretary is conscious that, whatever the form is, we all agree that some form of allowance must be made for the owners of historic properties to enable the proper upkeep of goods and chattels of national importance.

I wish to refer to objects of national interest and chattels of national importance held in discretionary trusts. I know that the Chief Secretary has tried to deal with the point and has given an undertaking to return to this matter. He emphasised that articles now held in discretionary trusts need not be put at risk because the Government will be entering into detailed considerations. However, the matter is not quite like that. The situation in respect of objects so held in discretionary trusts, and as it affects those who are in the position of trustees, is that, while the 10-year rule is no longer a threat, what the trustees have to advise upon is a scale under which objects will be subject to a charge of 10 per cent. if action is taken in the first year. That charge will rise in future years.

This is an unsatisfactory situation because the trustees will be in no position to advise those who are beneficiaries of these trusts or who would qualify in every other way on how best to proceed. This will not happen unless a clear undertaking is given by the Government, and particularly by the Chief Secretary, that if objects of great national importance are held in discretionary trusts the Government will see to it that they are exempted from the charge. Unless they have such an assurance it will be impossible for trustees to give proper advice or take proper action.

This is no small matter. The objectives are clear. If objects and chattels are owned by private individuals they are now exempt; but many objects, such as pictures, worth hundreds of thousands of pounds in buildings open for viewing by the public are now, as the situation stands, under considerable threat. It may well be the trustees' duty to look at the position as it is and to suggest that pictures of real national need, and indeed of world-wide interest, should be disposed of rather than held in discretionary trust. This is an important matter, and I believe that the Chief Secretary should give a clear undertaking that all such objects—objects which are plainly of national importance and interest, whether held privately or in discretionary trusts—should be exempt, whatever arrangements the Government may bring forward later.

Mr. John Parker (Dagenham)

I wish to declare interests as a member of the Historic Building Council and as a member of the Executive of the National Trust. We have in the United Kingdom a national heritage equal to that anywhere in the world, and certainly in Europe. Therefore, everything should be done to preserve that heritage.

Before I turn to the subject of historic houses, which is the nub of this debate, I wish to make clear that the public do not fully understand that the Historic Buildings Council and the National Trust are not interested only in the highlights such as Chatsworth. The National Trust owns enormous properties in the Lake District and around our coasts, much of which brings in little revenue. It owns many woodlands, especially in the Lake District, of a deciduous character and maintained for amenity purposes at great expense. The work of the Historic Buildings Council is increasingly moving into the core of historic towns, such as Bath and Chester, and of conservation areas, many of which are in the old industrial towns such as Newcastle, where a great deal has been done to stir up public interest, through both individuals and local authorities in seeking to make the best of our heritage in those areas. I appreciate the fact that the Govern- ment have increased the grant to the council to enable it to extend its work especially in this sphere.

I should like to inquire of my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary what he believes should be done to preserve our heritage. In one respect we are lucky, since, apart from German bombing during the war, the main damage inflicted on our historic heritage has been that brought about by the activities of developers in pulling down buildings, the attraction of which they do not appreciate. However, at least we have not had battles since the Civil War in our countryside which have destroyed our buildings. That is one great point of advantage we have in attracting tourists to come to the United Kingdom to see some of the best things we have to show. We should remember that fact when considering the award of grants to enable our national heritage to be cared for.

6.0 p.m.

The National Trust owns many historic houses. That causes great problems. The National Trust cannot accept a house unless there is an endowment to go with it. Some of its properties were accepted without adequate endowments and became a charge on the general funds, which again presents a problem. In the past the Government have tried to unload on the National Trust a number of properties which came their way. The Government suggested, and almost insisted, that the Historic Buildings Council should give grants to the National Trust to maintain buildings such as Hardwick. That has not always worked out well financially. The National Trust is not keen to accept further properties passed to it by the Government even if grants are awarded for their upkeep. That is not a satisfactory way of trying to deal with part of our national heritage.

In the main, the Department of the Environment looks after buildings such as castles which are ruins. It maintains buildings of national importance, such as Hampton Court. An interesting exception is provided by the house at Audley End, which I visited in 1947 when it first came into the hands of the Government to be looked after. That building was then in very bad condition. However, I must give credit where it is due since that is now a fine example of a house which has been well preserved and maintained. However, it has been very expensive for the Treasury to do that over the years.

We have a similar problem as regards Heveringham, which was taken over prior to 1970 when the Labour Government were in office, to prevent its being pulled down because it was in danger. Ever since then the Treasury has tried to get rid of it. However, it still has to maintain that house.

If houses are to be preserved and maintained by private owners and opened to the public for the benefit of the nation, we must look at the problem of finance. Do the Government wish to give large subsidies to maintain such houses? I would have thought, given the present financial circumstances, that no Government could recommend a policy of that kind. I suggest, therefore, that the most economic way of preserving our national heritage is to make suitable financial arrangements for the maintenance of such houses. I do not suggest that undue privileges should be granted to owners. I suggest that there must be an adequate endowment for the maintenance of the house, which may partly come from fees charged to visitors. We know that such fees will go only a small way towards meeting the cost of the upkeep and running of a country house, although that may be a fact to take into consideration. I suggest that there must be an adequate endowment to go with a house which is worth preserving, if it is to be preserved in the most economic way for the benefit of the nation.

There is a need to establish a body to vet applications from persons for special endowments for the preservation of their houses. What better body can there be than the Historic Buildings Council to do that job? Its present job is to vet applications made for grants for the maintenance of houses. I think that is the right body for the Treasury to use if endowments are to be made for the preservation of houses.

The present legislation governing the Historic Buildings Council is aimed at the idea of people putting up some of the money themselves, with the Historic Buildings Council, by means of Government grants, putting up the other part of the money. Frequently 50 per cent. comes from a local authority owning such a house or from a private owner. A problem arises if no one has the money to put up to preserve that house, since the house then tends to become a ruin. As a nation we must face up to that problem. It is impossible for local authorities to take over such houses. Given the present rating system, which local authority will do so?

Another problem is: what shall be done about historic houses whose owners have no money to put towards preservation? The Historic Buildings Council cannot pay 100 per cent. of the costs in a great many cases, although it may pay more than 50 per cent.

I request the Financial Secretary to say what the Government feel is the most economic way of maintaining those houses which are worth preserving. Will he consider referring the problem to the Select Committee on the wealth tax? That body could go into the matter very fully and make suggestions. The problem must be faced. We cannot just leave it on one side.

Mr. W. R. Rees-Davies (Thanet, West)

The Opposition congratulate the members of the Standing Committee and my hon. Friend the Member for Bristol, West (Mr. Cooke) and those outside the House who have been associated with the sterling efforts to persuade the Government of the real need to finish what has been started.

The speech of the hon. Member for Dagenham (Mr. Parker) showed experience and knowledge of the subject, as did that of the Father of the House, the right hon. Member for Vauxhall (Mr. Strauss).

There is undoubtedly a wealth of talent on this subject in the Treasury. It is not generally recognised that the British Museum, which is so well looked after, comes under what is sometimes regarded as an ogre but which nevertheless possesses a wealth of wisdom in regard to the fine arts.

I wish to deal with the problem of the small houses which form part of our historic heritage. The large houses and grounds are clearly provided for within the terms of the clause. My hon. Friend the Member for Horsham and Crawley (Mr. Hordern) dealt with the position of the discretionary trust. From a fairly long knowledge of the background of our smaller houses, I think that the clause will require widening and amending. Curiously enough, I think that the words appear already in another subsection.

The new clause deals not only with outstanding scenic, historic and scientific interest as regards land but also with the inclusion of land adjacent to buildings which in the opinion of the Treasury is essential for the protection of their character and amenities. However, that definition does not apply to contents. The words deal merely with an object which in the opinion of the Treasury is historically associated with the building. That is not the reality of the picture.

There are two different classes. Let us take a case such as Bleak House in Thanet. Bleak House is associated with Charles Dickens. As a house it is certainly no beauty—quite the contrary. Presumably it would come within the terms of a building of outstanding historic interest. However, the whole of its historical interest devolves around the contents. Basically they are historically associated with the house and are essential for the protection of the character and amenities of the house. Although I agree with that, I nevertheless feel that the application of some of the amendments is much too wide.

We have to ensure that the class 2 and class 3 houses of great character are maintained. There are many in my own county of Kent. They are buildings of the fifteenth, sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, all of which are of great interest to the public. A good example is Mereworth, which is probably one of the finest buildings of the eighteenth century. The whole essence of it is also part of its contents. Another good example is Knole, probably the greatest seventeenth-century house in England. But it would be nothing without its silver and its Venetian room. As for Bleak House, it is pointless to attempt to certify it, but it is essential that the Dickensian objects in it and the sense of Dickens are maintained. Every encouragement should be given to see that some of these houses are developed and maintained along these lines, because we want to see the public going to them.

However the problem of endowments is dealt with—and clearly everyone will listen to the National Trust and the Historic Buildings Council on the subject—there are wealthy people who may be persuaded to maintain these places so that they can be seen by the public. Provided that they do not have to pay the capital transfer tax and provided that there is some form of definition that where the objects and chattels are in the opinion of the Treasury reasonably necessary to protect the character and amenities of a house, I am sure we can secure the protection not only of the building and grounds but also of the contents. That is not to say, of course, that they will protect everything in a house. But it is necessary to ensure that we protect the reality of the heritage, which must be viewed in a broad spectrum.

As we lawyers know, the use of the words in the opinion of the Minister or in the opinion of the Treasury does not result in the danger of that view being overruled by the courts. The test is entirely subjective and depends entirely upon that decision. In the context of this measure, that is the right approach.

A great deal of excellent work has been done along the right lines. But I join with other hon. Members in saying that this is only part of the road. I hope that the Chief Secretary will reiterate that all the matters which have been taken into account until now and all the arguments advanced today will be borne in mind when the Government consider the future work of the Select Committee on the Wealth Tax. The two must run parallel. When the Government reconsider all these problems, it is to be hoped that any further amendments that may be necessary will be forthcoming in what appears to be an almost round-the-clock succession of Finance Bills that we are likely to have. They should be just about in time for the Standing Committee on the next Finance Bill to meet the difficulties which have been put forward today.

Mr. Ted Graham (Edmonton)

I rise to assure my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary that in this matter at least he has friends on both sides of the House. That is quite a change from the atmosphere in Committee upstairs and in earlier debates on Report.

Despite the genuine disappointment that has been voiced, most of it based entirely on misunderstandings, my right hon. Friend can draw a great deal of satisfaction from the fact that there is a genuine feeling that he has attempted to put into legislation what was said by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in earlier debates and by himself and his colleague upstairs and that the Bill has been improved by the addition of this clause. There are interests outside this House who recognise that, and they have asked me and others to say so.

6.15 p.m.

That does not prevent us from expressing disappointment that the clause does not fulfil all that we had hoped. I do not believe that anyone prior to looking at the clause would have quibbled with the general expressions and declarations of intent, which have been referred to in detail already. All that I wish to do in order to underline that view is to quote from a speech I made in Committee. I said: To show my absolute confidence in the belief that the future will bring all that has been forecast by the Chancellor and the Chief Secretary, I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment."—[Official Report, Standing Committee A, 18th February 1975, c. 2119.] There was a genuine feeling that what my hon. Friends had in mind would be put into legislative form.

Having heard the explanation from my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary, however, it is clear that we have not been on the same wavelength when listening to earlier debates. That is acceptable to me, and I hope that the Chief Secretary means what he said. We are going through a number of stages. My right hon. Friend and his colleagues feel that they have gone as far as they need to go and are able to go in the circumstances. Many of us feel that it was possible to go further. But care has been taken to separate the issues of gifts on death and lifetime gifts. What is more, from the numerous allusions which have been made to the fact that the Select Committee on the Wealth Tax is sitting, there is clearly another stage in which aspects of our national heritage will be protected. I have in mind especially the need to recon- cile the belief that it should be protected with the hope that we shall not be silly enough to say that what we wish to do is to maintain a house and its grounds but that we shall deny the wherewithal to those who wish to do it. There is a dichotomy there, and on close examination the illogicality of making such a sweeping statement and then ignoring the inevitable consequence of having to deliver the goods will be seen in good time.

I enjoyed very much a phrase used by thet hon. Member for Bristol, West (Mr. Cooke). He said that he liked the idea of private owners operating for public purposes. In the matters that we are discussing, I can see this being possible. It is obvious that there are properties, land and assets which are best owned, managed, controlled and funded publicly. But this is an area in which there is a wide range of sizes, circumstances, abilities and interests which need considering carefully.

The Bill contains a range of provisions, specifications and designations of what can and cannot be accepted as part of our national heritage. There is a wide understanding of the people who can guide the Treasury, and the Treasury has been honest enough to say that it will not be able to manage to dot every "i" and cross every "t". My hon. Friend the Member for Dagenham (Mr. Parker) mentioned the bodies which are available to assist the Treasury. They include the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, the Georgian Group, the Victorian Society, the Civic Trust, the Ancient Monuments Society, the Historic Buildings Council, and the National Trust.

I want finally to say to my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary that many people welcome the steps he has taken and believe that he is on the right lines. All of us want him to keep up the good work. We believe that he intends to be logical in the steps he takes. For us, logicality means practicality. We hope that he will listen to our arguments and welcome genuine expressions of opinion based on experience so that that which we all want will be achieved.

Miss Harvie Anderson (Renfrewshire, East)

I am grateful for this opportunity of speaking in the debate, and I apologise to the Chief Secretary for coming in rather late.

I should declare my interest. Like the hon. Member for Dagenham (Mr. Parker), I am a member of the Historic Buildings Council for Scotland. I should like to add one or two particular points to which reference has been made by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Thanet, West (Mr. Rees-Davies).

We, too, in Scotland have many small houses. The Historic Buildings Council for Scotland runs, as does its English counterpart, on a shoe-string budget. I think that it does miraculously good work. In every case where a grant is given a considerable effort is made by the owner of the property, otherwise no grant is given. Therefore, the owner in every case is playing a part and often undertaking a lot of hard work in making available to an increasingly wide public that part of our national heritage which otherwise cannot be preserved. If we help owners by giving them public money, we must clearly make it possible for them to make their own contribution. Otherwise the whole scheme will not work.

In Scotland the vast proportion of houses that we help are extremely small. If one travels from the border at Berwick anywhere up the whole of the east coast of Scotland, one will see in every village and town tiny houses included in those we are discussing today. We welcome the clause because it goes some way towards recognising the need to pursue our efforts in this sphere, which is very wide indeed.

In contrast to our small houses—and some of our great houses are able to some extent to maintain themselves—we have in our national heritage immense problems in other directions. We have, for example, the whole new town of Edinburgh. It has been variously estimated—I do not wish to give the Chief Secretary a shock—that it would cost over £20 million simply to preserve the new town. That is a formidable task for owners, public bodies and the Treasury alike. Yet there can be little doubt that throughout the whole of Western Europe there can be no greater single heritage than that part of Edinburgh which is so costly to us.

Now I should like to turn to the exhibition which was recently held in the Victoria and Albert Museum depicting the destruction of country houses, which is the other side of this same coin. It was tragic to look at room after room of photographs and pictures of houses already demolished and gone. Admittedly those houses were on the whole rather large, but there were many smaller ones as well.

I should also like to refer to a letter from the Chairman of the Historic Buildings Council for Scotland which covered evidence to the Select Committee on the Wealth Tax. The letter states: The council consider that the present climate of public opinion is in favour of the preservation of historic houses, and we welcome the Government's proposals towards this being possible. The letter contains a phrase which is important and should be remembered today. It states: It is no good keeping these houses as State-run empty monuments or even as museums. The important thing is to enable them to be kept in living occupation. It is that aspect that attracts the wide public that they enjoy and that we have a duty to support.

Mr. Ridley

I should like to add my thanks to the Chief Secretary for tabling the clause and also for making what I thought was a fulsome apology for any misleading of the House or the Committee which might have been inferred from his remarks at various hours early in the morning on the two occasions when this matter was debated. It was because I thought that the right hon. Gentleman was not on the same point as my hon. Friend the Member for Horsham and Crawley (Mr. Hordern) and myself that I pressed him so hard. However, I do not think he is guilty of having breached an undertaking, although there was perhaps something misleading in what he said. I am prepared to accept his words at the Dispatch Box this afternoon.

I should like to press the point, which has been the theme of the debate, that assets of some kind must be available to keep the roof on and to keep repairs to a building up to standard. In only a few cases will the receipts from visitors be enough to discharge that burden. Often major repairs to a large historic house can run into tens of thousands of pounds.

It is necessary to press this point, even before the Select Committee on the Wealth Tax has reported, because an owner who cannot leave land or assets to support his house will clearly prefer to leave them to his heir, who will have to pay tax, or the owner will otherwise have to pay capital transfer tax. There will be no advantage in doing anything else. Therefore, it seems desirable, even at this late stage, to make provision for assets to be left for the upkeep of buildings.

Schedule 6, paragraph 11(2)(e), of the Bill refers to property given as a source of income for the upkeep of property within any of the preceding paragraphs of this sub-paragraph". That relates to gifts for public benefit. The Government have met the need there. If it is possible to do that for gifts for public benefit, I do not see why it is not possible to exempt such assets for historic buildings which remain in private ownership.

The hon. Member for Dagenham (Mr. Parker) will know that I was one of his predecessors on the executive of the National Trust. The problem was always getting enough out of owners to make a reasonable endowment, partly because they might not have it and partly because they would prefer to leave as much as possible to their heirs. If the Chief Secretary were to accept any of the amendments in this group, the problem would not be that too much money would be left for the upkeep of houses and there could be too little upon which to pay tax, but that too little would be left by the owners because they would want to ensure that there was something left to pass on to their heirs.

If a scheme can be designed whereby property left for the upkeep of a house is put into a fund or trust which can be used only for the upkeep of such a house, I think that the need would be met. I cannot believe that a major form of avoidance would develop, because nobody would want to give more to the upkeep of a house than he believed to be strictly necessary. Indeed, there would be no advantage in so doing, because the more a person gave in trust for the upkeep of his house the less he would have to pass to his heirs or inheritors for their enjoyment.

I therefore strongly urge the acceptance of Amendment (k). It would give the Government time to design a form of trusteeship or holding account for any funds to be used for repairs. This would not be rushing matters. It is difficult now to devise a new form of words. However, I hope that when the Chief Secretary replies he will look favourably upon Amendment (k) or any of the other amendments which roughly meet the same need. We can lose some of our historic houses if we do not make provision now without waiting for the report of the Select Committee.

6.30 p.m.

Mr. Cormack

Like the hon. Member for Dagenham (Mr. Parker) I, too, must declare something of an interest. I have the honour to be vice-chairman of Heritage in Danger, an all-party committee which has been formed to seek to point out to the Government many of the difficulties which could arise were CTT and the wealth tax to be imposed without considerable attention being paid to this problem. I add my congratulations to those which have been offered to the Chief Secretary for the thought which has been put into the new clause and, like other hon. Members who have spoken in this brief but constructive debate, I welcome it and thank the Government for bringing it in.

However, I think that the clause will frustrate the Government's good intentions unless they listen carefully to the points that have been made during the debate, particularly about the endowment of these properties. My right hon. Friend the Member for Renfrewshire, East (Miss Harvie Anderson) referred to the remarkable exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum, "Destruction of Country Houses". One thing that came out clearly from the exhibition, as anybody who visited it will agree, is that inheriting a property of this sort these days is no windfall, but brings enormous problems to the owners.

I have seen an example of this in my constituency, where a marvellous house built in the eighteenth century by Soane, with a magnificent Capability Brown landscaped park, has created great problems for the owner. He is having to devote his all to keeping that house for the nation. It is not a house which is full of prime national treasures, but Staffordshire would be very much poorer without it and it is important that it should be maintained.

The owners of these houses, as was pointed out by William Morris, who should commend himself to Labour Members, are trustees for posterity rather than owners of things of incalculable worth. One remembers Ruskin, who said he would rather live in a cottage and have Warwick Castle to be amazed at than live in Warwick Castle and have nothing to be amazed at.

This has been a constant theme of those who appreciate and feel for our national heritage. I know that this feeling is shared by the Chief Secretary, the Chancellor of the Exchequer and other Ministers on the Treasury Bench. I hope they will consider most carefully that unless there are proper funds to maintain these houses there will be one of two consequences. The owners will sell up, make themselves temporarily rich and contribute to the one-generation society which has been talked about in recent weeks and then the house will either fall down or be pulled down, as so many have, as was graphically illustrated at the Victoria and Albert Museum exhibition. Or the houses will become a charge upon public funds.

I can mention another example from my constituency. Weston Park must be known to many hon. Members. It is meticulously maintained, with many fine treasures: wonderful furniture, pictures and silver. It gives enormous pleasure not to tens of thousands but to more than 100,000 people each year. If it suddenly became a totally intolerable burden for its owner no Government could stand by and see it pulled down or closed down. Any Government, of whatever complexion, would wish that house to remain open and its treasures kept intact. It is best that it should remain open and its treasures kept intact under its present trusteeship—with no charge on public funds and no drain on local authority resources or the ratepayers—lovingly maintained, and, most important of all, kept not as a museum but as a home, with an atmosphere which no museum could ever emulate.

I hope the Chief Secretary will realise that the great houses and the small which help to make up the rich and varied fabric of our English landscape, some of which are constantly open and receive tens of thousands of visitors every year, and some of which it is impracticable to have open in that way, are part of our history and our heritage, and that their owners must be put in a position of being able to play that public part to which my hon. Friend the Member for Bristol, West (Mr. Cooke) referred. Therefore, they must have the back-up resources, be it agriculture or forestry, which enable them to do that, and I hope the Chief Secretary will make sure that this matter is dealt with properly.

The Select Committee on the Wealth Tax, to which Heritage in Danger has made detailed submissions, is discussing these matters, but because—

Mr. Robert Cooke

We decided not to meet this week because this debate was so important, but we shall be back at work next week.

Mr. Cormack

I am grateful to my hon. Friend. That underlines the point.

So important and fundamental is this business of the national heritage, and so fundamentally does it transcend all party differences and lines, that there is no one who would wish to see these places closed and their treasures dispersed. It might be a good thing if there were a Special Select Committee on our national heritage. That might be the best way of dealing with the problem. I throw that out as a further suggestion to the Chief Secretary, and I hope that what he says today and what follows from his words will not in any way put in jeopardy this priceless part of England's history.

Mr. Jasper More (Ludlow)

I apologise to the Chief Secretary for not being present to hear him open the debate. I congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Bristol, West (Mr. Cooke) on the way in which he moved the amendment to the new clause. Perhaps I ought to declare an interest as the owner of a house, fortunately not an enormous one, of some architectural character built in 1742.

The alarming prospect which we face is that, increasingly, there will not be a sufficient source of income to maintain either the houses or the land which the new clause affects. The nub of the clause is to be found in subsection 2(a) and (b) where provision is made for the maintenance, repair and preservation of properties. Some hon. Members may have read in the Press fairly recently how the estate at Chatsworth has had to cut down largely on its staff employed for the maintenance of its grounds. Anybody who has been concerned with the maintenance of house property must be aware of the appalling and continuing escalation of building costs.

What we ought to be aiming for is securing for these houses, if they really are of national importance, any endowments that can be obtained for them. I am not so optimistic as the hon. Member for Dagenham (Mr. Parker), who said that what we need is adequate endowment. I think that if any private owners are prepared to offer any endowment the offer should be grabbed, and if the Government can work out some means by which these endowments can be secured for the preservation of these properties that will be an alleviation in the long run of the demands on the national Exchequer and at the same time will help to preserve our important national heritage.

Mr. Joel Barnett

May I start by thanking hon. Members for their kind remarks to me personally. It is quite overwhelming.

I say to my hon. Friend the Member for Edmonton (Mr. Graham) that we welcome advice about our historic houses and so on. I assure him that we in the Treasury welcome advice from all quarters on all subjects, but I go on to say that we are never short of advice on all subjects.

I have always very much appreciated the sincerely-held views of all those who have spoken in this debate about our national heritage, and I want to reply to the detailed points that have been put to me. Before doing that, however, perhaps I may give the hon. Member for Horsham and Crawley (Mr. Hordern) the assurance he seeks. He asked about discretionary trusts. With regard to works of art held in discretionary trusts, we think it unlikely that any problem will arise in the next year. However, I promise the hon. Gentleman and the House that we intend to meet the point in a future Bill. It is unlikely, because of the concessions we have made under discretionary trusts, that there will be a charge under the periodic charge for some years, at least until 1980, and long before that we shall have taken the necessary measures. I hope that that will reassure the hon. Gentleman and trustees who may be concerned.

The hon. Member for Bristol, West (Mr. Cooke) has an interest in these matters so great that he was able to stay up through the night about them. I hope he will agree, having referred to the problem of lifetime gifts and the ageing owner who would not want to hang on to them, that this is not really a problem because the owner would need to hang on to them himself for only a very short period until we have gone over the next step of the problem and had the report of the Select Committee on the Wealth Tax. We shall be considering that report and taking further action. There would be no need for that owner to dispose of the property and make himself liable for the tax.

A number of speakers have referred to some of the amendments. Amendment (r) would add to the property ranking for conditional exemption a group consisting of land, buildings and objects. Indeed, there is another amendment on the question of objects, to which the hon. and learned Member for Thanet, West (Mr. Rees-Davies) referred. This in some way relates to the whole question of the upkeep and preservation of property, to which I shall be coming shortly. However, as I think my right hon. Friend the Member for Vauxhall (Mr. Strauss) recognised, Amendment (r) would go much too wide. Incidentally, I am delighted to see the right hon Member for Renfrewshire, East (Miss Harvie Anderson) present in our discussions. She told us about the small houses in Scotland which need preserving—we all agree—and about the cost to private owners of preserving them. However, to include all objects would be to go too far. That would mean including for owners of historic private houses any object, whether or not it was in keeping with a house. I see that the hon. and learned Gentleman recognises that that would be to go much too wide.

Two of the amendments, (b) and (1) are not really necessary.

Mr. Rees-Davies

I said that I thought they were too wide and I suggested that a reasonable criterion was that which the Treasury has already laid down—namely, that the objects should be such as are reasonably necessary, in the opinion of the Treasury, to retain the character and amenities of the building. That is, in fact, using almost the very words of the new clause. Something along those lines would be probably much narrower and much more protective of the interests that the right hon. Gentleman has in mind.

Mr. Barnett

I shall be happy to look at that matter. What is in the Bill now, however, relates to public bodies and it is a different question, as I have pointed out.

Amendment (b) seeks to make sure that land of "scientific interest" includes land of "horticultural or silvicultural interest". The answer is that it does. Therefore, the Amendments (b) and (1) are unnecessary.

The main question, as every speaker in the debate has recognised, is the problem of preservation. The crux of the problem arises very much out of the point made by my hon. Friend the Member for Dagenham (Mr. Parker). The problem of preservation and upkeep of these private houses is not altogether—indeed, not very much—a question of tax. It is a matter of financial resources for the preservation of these houses.

6.45 p.m.

We have tried to help in some ways, although not as much as many would have liked or as much as I should have liked, with grants. But as the House will know, we have some problems in relation to public expenditure. Much as I should like to increase public expenditure by increasing these grants for the preservation of historic houses and other parts of the national heritage, I am bound to look closely at any proposal for even the most valuable and helpful increase in public expenditure. The amendments go into a much narrower field and seek to give relief from capital transfer tax alone for the preservation and upkeep.

My right hon. Friend the Member for Vauxhall noted the difficulties in one of his amendments and he tried to deal with them by suggesting a statutory order to give us time to consider the best way of dealing with the matter.

The hon. Member for Thanet, West, my hon. Friend the Member for Dagenham and the hon. Member for Staffordshire, South-West (Mr. Cormack) suggested that we should have yet another Select Committee to consider these matters. But a number of right hon. and hon. Members may not be too happy about that.

As has been said, we are taking these matters in steps. We have given the relief in this new clause which should ensure that until the next step, when we have the report of the Select Committee on the Wealth Tax, there should be no problem for virtually all the private historic houses because there will be no need to transfer them in lifetime and at death they would then be exempt. The next step will be when we have the report of the Select Committee on the Wealth Tax, and that will be the time when we shall consider what it has to say and what hon. Members have said in this debate.

I hope the House will feel that this is the best way to deal with the matter, because it is a serious problem. We must contrast the positions of an owner of an ordinary private house, perhaps a large one that is not an historic house, and the owner of an historic private house. Both have problems in maintaining their houses. Therefore, in anything we do we must be particularly fair.

The hon. Member for Cirencester and Tewkesbury (Mr. Ridley) pointed out quite fairly that there would be no question of avoidance here. The particular owner could not leave too much because, first, he probably would not have all that much if he had been maintaining a historic house for many years and, second, he would want to leave something to his children or his wife. That may be so, but nevertheless one has to define the amount fairly closely, otherwise large sums could be left.

Mr. Robert Cooke

The right hon. Gentleman will appreciate that until he has the report from the Select Committee on the Wealth Tax and has taken action upon whatever it may suggest, whether or not he agrees about the resources, in the meantime we could easily have a situation in which historic houses and the amenities, gardens, land and contents of the houses might be protected but the estate could be sold off and we should have another national white elephant on our hands.

Mr. Barnett

I do not see why that should be so. The owner would know that at death there would be no question of any capital transfer tax arising. He would know, as I have said, that as soon as we have the report of the Select Committee on the Wealth Tax—which I hope will not be too long delayed, although even if it is a little delayed it will not be that long in coming—we shall look at the whole question of lifetime transfers. I cannot be fairer than that. This is a reasonable approach. As one hon. Member said, let us approach it in stages and in the first instance ensure that there is no danger to historic houses in the event of a sudden and tragic death. We have done that.

I hope hon. Members will think that what we have done is the best way of approaching the matter. Our whole purpose has been constantly to ensure that the national heritage is preserved as far as possible. The problem is largely one of money and not one of tax. Generally I hope that the way in which we have approached the problem will commend itself to the House.

Mr. David Howell

The Chief Secretary will not be surprised if the House is a shade disappointed with his reply, for two reasons. First, we welcome the new clause, and our hopes were raised by words in the clause which to some extent improve the situation and in another respect reprieve those parts of our national heritage over which a shadow was cast, as it was cast over so many other parts of our life, by the tax.

Our second reason for being disappointed arises from what occurred in Standing Committee. We fully accept the Chief Secretary's explanation of his words in Committee, but my hon. Friends have pointed out one or two instances where as a result of the right hon. Gentlemen's words we might have been misled.

Before we conclude the debate it is right to go further and remind the Chief Secretary of some further exchanges in Committee. The hon. Member for Edmonton (Mr. Graham), who spoke with great authority and enthusiasm on these matters when we dealt with Schedule 4, said: We must try to design a form of protection which will provide not only for the fabric but for its maintenance. That was very much the point that hon. Members on both sides have made this afternoon.

The Chief Secretary replied in this way: In looking at how to deal with it I promise the Committee that I accept what lies behind the amendment. The right hon. Gentleman repeated himself: In that sense, I accept what lies behind the amendment. We shall seek to incorporate all that has been said by hon. Gentlemen when we come to our conclusion on the matter."—[Official Report, Standing Committee A, 18th February 1975; cc. 2191–95.] Many of us had the strong impression—it was more than just a hope; it was more than just hanging on to yet another of what we call the "happy to look at" undertakings which were so numerous in Standing Committee—that the matter was to be set right by appropriate amendments on Report. We have been disappointed on looking at the new clause.

The point is an essential one. It concerns, in the graphic words of my hon. Friend the Member for Bristol, West (Mr. Cooke), the question of private resources dedicated to a public purpose. It concerns support for the mansion—the great house, or whatever it is—without which, in too many countries and in too many parts of this country and neighbouring countries, the net result is that most pathetic of all sights—the great derelict house, the rotting mansion of the past, with its estate removed from it. Without private resources there is no possibility of maintaining the heritage which both sides of the House want maintained.

The Chief Secretary referred to the practical problems. Certainly there are problems. I do not regard them as insuperable. I believe that the Historic Buildings Councils of England, Scotland and Wales and the appropriate bodies in Northern Ireland have the necessary skills to assess cases. The Chief Secretary was worried about how it would be possible to decide what income would be needed. Schedule 6, paragraph 11(3)(c) provides—this is dealing with gifts for public benefit, which is a different case—a means by which the Treasury can assess what income is needed for the upkeep of the property. Therefore, I do not think that the administrative problem is insuperable.

Although, obviously, we welcome the new clause I do not think that we have seen fulfilled this afternoon what we had a right to expect would be fulfilled. I recommend my hon. Friends that they support Amendment (k) in the names of the hon. Members for Dagenham and Edmonton and the right hon. Member for

Vauxhall (Mr. Strauss) which I shall move at the appropriate stage.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause read a Second time.

Amendment proposed to the proposed new clause: (k), in line 79, at end add: '( ) The Treasury shall, by statutory instrument laid before Parliament within three months of the passing of this Act, make provision for leaving out of account the value of a transfer of value on death consisting of property of any description to be attached to such property as may fall in subsection (1) above to be a source of income for the upkeep of that property and transferred to the owner of that property to hold for that purpose (in this section referred to as endowment property) and for the application to such a transfer of the provisions of this section with modifications and enlargements thereto as may be appropriate'.—[Mr. David Howell.]

Question put, That the amendment be made:—

The House divided: Ayes 254, Noes 268.

Division No. 126.] AYES [6.56 p.m.
Adley, Robert Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke) Hicks, Robert
Aitken, Jonathan Elliott, Sir William Holland, Philip
Alison, Michael Evans, Gwynfor (Carmarthen) Hooson, Emlyn
Atkins, Rt Hon H. (Spelthorne) Ewing, Mrs Winifred (Moray) Hordern, Peter
Awdry, Daniel Eyre, Reginald Howe, Rt Hn Sir Geoffrey
Bain, Mrs Margaret Fairbairn, Nicholas Howell, David (Guildford)
Banks, Robert Fairgrieve, Russell Howells, Geraint (Cardigan)
Beith, A. J. Farr, John Hunt, John
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Fareham) Fell, Anthony Hurd, Douglas
Berry, Hon Anthony Finsberg, Geoffrey Irving, Charles (Cheltenham)
Biffen, John Fletcher, Alex (Edinburgh N) James, David
Biggs-Davison, John Fletcher-Cooke, Charles Jenkin, Rt Hon P. (Wanst'd & W'df'd)
Blaker, Peter Fookes, Miss Janet Jessel, Toby
Bowden, A. (Brighton, Kemptown) Fowler, Norman (Sutton C'f'd) Johnston, Russell (Inverness)
Boyson, Dr. Rhodes (Brent) Fox, Marcus Jones, Arthur (Daventry)
Bradford, Rev Robert Fraser, Rt Hon H. (Stafford & St) Jopling, Michael
Brittan, Leon Fry, Peter Joseph, Rt Hon Sir Keith
Brotherton, Michael Galbraith, Hon. T. G. D. Kaberry, Sir Donald
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Gardiner, George (Reigate) Kellett-Bowman, Mrs Elaine
Bryan, Sir Paul Gardner, Edward (S Fylde) Kershaw, Anthony
Buchanan-Smith, Alick Gilmour, Sir John (East Fife) Kilfedder, James
Buck, Antony Glyn, Dr Alan Kimball, Marcus
Budgen, Nick Goodhart, Philip King, Evelyn (South Dorset)
Bulmer, Esmond Goodhew, Victor King, Tom (Bridgwater)
Burden, F. A. Goodlad, Alastair Knight, Mrs Jill
Butler, Adam (Bosworth) Gorst, John Lamont, Norman
Chalker, Mrs Lynda Gower, Sir Raymond (Barry) Lane, David
Churchill, W. S. Grant, Anthony (Harrow C) Langford-Holt, Sir John
Clark, Alan (Plymouth, Sutton) Gray, Hamish Latham, Michael (Melton)
Clark, William (Croydon S) Grieve, Percy Lawrence, Ivan
Clegg, Walter Griffiths, Eldon Lawson, Nigel
Cockcroft, John Grimond, Rt Hon J. Le Marchant, Spencer
Cooke, Robert (Bristol W) Grist, Ian Lester, Jim (Beeston)
Cope, John Grylls, Michael Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)
Cormack, Patrick Hall, Sir John Lloyd, Ian
Corrie, John Hall-Davis, A. G. F. Loveridge, John
Costain, A. P. Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) MacCormick, Iain
Craig, Rt Hon W. (Belfast E) Hampson, Dr Keith McCrindle, Robert
Crawford, Douglas Hannam, John McCusker, H.
Crouch, David Harrison, Col Sir Harwood (Eye) Macfarlane, Neil
Crowder, F. P. Harvie Anderson, Rt Hon Miss MacGregor, John
Dodsworth, Geoffrey Hastings, Stephen Macmillan, Rt Hon M. (Farnham)
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James Havers, Sir Michael McNair-Wilson, M. (Newbury)
Durant, Tony Hayhoe, Barney McNair-Wilson, P. (New Forest)
Dykes, Hugh Henderson, Douglas Madel, David
Eden, Rt Hon Sir John Heseltine, Michael Marten, Neil
Mates, Michael Pink, R. Bonner Steel, David (Roxburgh)
Mather, Carol Powell, Rt Hon J. Enoch Steen, Anthony (Wavertree)
Maude, Angus Pym, Rt Hon Francis Stewart, Donald (Western Isles)
Maudling, Rt Hon Reginald Raison, Timothy Stewart, Ian (Hitchin)
Mawby, Ray Rathbone, Tim Stokes, John
Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin Rawlinson, Rt Hon Sir Peter Stradling Thomas, J.
Mayhew, Patrick Rees, Peter (Dover & Deal) Tapsell, Peter
Meyer, Sir Anthony Rees-Davies, W. R. Taylor, R. (Croydon NW)
Miller, Hal (Bromsgrove) Reid, George Taylor, Teddy (Cathcart)
Mills, Peter Renton, Tim (Mid-Sussex) Tebbit, Norman
Miscampbell, Norman Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon Temple-Morris, Peter
Mitchell, David (Basingstoke) Ridley, Hon Nicholas Thatcher, Rt Hon Margaret
Moate, Roger Ridsdale, Julian Thomas, Dafydd (Merioneth)
Molyneaux, James Rifkind, Malcolm Thompson, George
Monro, Hector Rippon, Rt Hon Geoffrey Thorpe, Rt Hon Jeremy (N Devon)
Montgomery, Fergus Roberts, Michael (Cardiff NW) Townsend, Cyril D.
Moore, John (Croydon C) Roberts, Wyn (Conway) Trotter, Neville
More, Jasper (Ludlow) Ross, William (Londonderry) Tugendhat, Christopher
Morgan-Giles, Rear-Admiral Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey) van Straubenzee, W. R.
Morrison, Charles (Devizes) Rost, Peter (SE Derbyshire) Vaughan, Dr. Gerard
Morrison, Hon Peter (Chester) Royle, Sir Anthony Viggers, Peter
Mudd, David Sainsbury, Tim Wainwright, Richard (Colne V)
Neave, Airey St. John-Stevas, Norman Wakeham, John
Nelson, Anthony Scott, Nicholas Walters, Dennis
Neubert, Michael Shaw, Giles (Pudsey) Warren, Kenneth
Newton, Tony Shaw, Michael (Scarborough) Watt, Hamish
Normanton, Tom Shelton, William (Streatham) Weatherill, Bernard
Nott, John Shepherd, Colin Welsh, Andrew
Onslow, Cranley Silvester, Fred Whitelaw, Rt Hon William
Oppenheim, Mrs Sally Sims, Roger Wiggin, Jerry
Osborn, John Sinclair, Sir George Wigley, Dafydd
Page, John (Harrow West) Skeet, T. H. H. Wilson, Gordon (Dundee E)
Page, Rt Hon R. Graham (Crosby) Smith, Cyril (Rochdale) Winterton, Nicholas
Paisley, Rev. Ian Speed, Keith Wood, Rt Hon Richard
Pardoe, John Spence, John Young, Sir G. (Ealing, Acton)
Parkinson, Cecil Spicer, Jim (W Dorset) Younger, Hon George
Pattie, Geoffrey Spicer, Michael (S Worcester)
Penhaligon, David Stainton, Keith TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Percival, Ian Stanbrook, Ivor Mr. W. Benyon and
Peyton, Rt Hon John Stanley, John Mr. Richard Luce.
Abse, Leo Corbett, Robin Forrester, John
Allaun, Frank Cox, Thomas (Tooting) Fowler, Gerald (The Wrekin)
Archer, Peter Craigen, J. M. (Maryhill) Fraser, John (Lambeth, N'w'd)
Armstrong, Ernest Cronin, John Freeson, Reginald
Ashley, Jack Crosland, Rt Hon Anthony Garrett, John (Norwich S)
Ashton, Joe Cryer, Bob Garrett, W. E. (Wallsend)
Atkins, Ronald (Preston N) Cunningham, G. (Islington S) Gilbert, Dr John
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Cunningham, Dr J. (Whiteh) Ginsburg, David
Barnett, Guy (Greenwich) Dalyell, Tam Golding, John
Barnett, Rt Hon Joel (Heywood) Davidson, Arthur Gould, Bryan
Bates, Alf Davies, Bryan (Enfield N) Gourlay, Harry
Bean, R. E. Davies, Denzil (Llanelli) Graham, Ted
Benn, Rt Hon Anthony Wedgwood Davies, Ifor (Gower) Grant, John (Islington C)
Bennett, Andrew (Stockport N) Davis, Clinton (Hackney C) Grocott, Bruce
Bidwell, Sydney Deakins, Eric Hamilton, W. W. (Central Fife)
Blenkinsop, Arthur Dean, Joseph (Leeds West) Hamling, William
Boardman, H. Delargy, Hugh Hardy, Peter
Booth, Albert Dempsey, James Harper, Joseph
Bottomley, Rt Hon Arthur Doig, Peter Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)
Boyden, James (Bish Auck) Dormand, J. D. Hart, Rt Hon Judith
Bradley, Tom Douglas-Mann, Bruce Hattersley, Rt Hon Roy
Bray, Dr Jeremy Duffy, A. E. P. Hatton, Frank
Brown, Hugh D. (Provan) Dunn, James A. Hayman, Mrs Helene
Brown, Robert C. (Newcastle W) Dunnett, Jack Healey, Rt Hon Denis
Buchan, Norman Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth Heffer, Eric S.
Butler, Mrs Joyce (Wood Green) Eadie, Alex Hooley, Frank
Callaghan, Jim (Middleton & P) Edelman, Maurice Horam, John
Campbell, Ian Edge, Geoff Howell, Denis (B'ham, Sm H)
Canavan, Dennis Edwards, Robert (Wolv SE) Hoyle, Doug (Nelson)
Carmichael, Neil Ellis, Tom (Wrexham) Huckfield, Les
Carter, Ray English, Michael Hughes, Rt Hon C. (Anglesey)
Carter-Jones, Lewis Ennals, David Hughes, Mark (Durham)
Castle, Rt Hon Barbara Evans, Ioan (Aberdare) Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)
Clemitson, Ivor Evans, John (Newton) Hughes, Roy (Newport)
Cocks, Michael (Bristol S) Ewing, Harry (Stirling) Hunter, Adam
Cohen, Stanley Fernyhough, Rt Hon E. Jackson, Colin (Brighouse)
Coleman, Donald Fitt, Gerard (Belfast W) Jackson, Miss Margaret (Lincoln)
Colquhoun, Mrs Maureen Flannery, Martin Janner, Greville
Concannon, J. D. Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) Jay, Rt Hon Douglas
Conlan, Bernard Foot, Rt Hon Michael Jeger, Mrs Lena
Cook, Robin F. (Edin C) Ford, Ben Jenkins, Hugh (Putney)
Jenkins, Rt Hon Roy (Stechford) Moonman, Eric Silverman, Julius
John, Brynmor Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe) Skinner, Dennis
Johnson, James (Hull West) Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw) Small, William
Johnson, Walter (Derby S) Murray, Rt Hon Ronald King Smith, John (N Lanarkshire)
Jones, Alec (Rhondda) Newens, Stanley Snape, Peter
Jones, Barry (East Flint) Noble, Mike Spearing, Nigel
Jones, Dan (Burnley) Oakes, Gordon Spriggs, Leslie
Judd, Frank Ogden, Eric Stallard, A. W.
Kaufman, Gerald O'Halloran, Michael Stewart, Rt Hon M. (Fulham)
Kelley, Richard Orbach, Maurice Stoddart, David
Kerr, Russell Orme, Rt Hon Stanley Strang, Gavin
Kilroy-Silk, Robert Ovenden, John Strauss, Rt Hon G. R.
Kinnock, Neil Owen, Dr David Summerskill, Hon Dr Shirley
Lambie, David Padley, Walter Swain, Thomas
Lamborn, Harry Palmer, Arthur Taylor, Mrs Ann (Bolton W)
Lamond, James Park, George Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertiliery)
Latham, Arthur (Paddington) Parry, Robert Thomas, Mike (Newcastle E)
Leadbitter, Ted Pavitt, Laurie Thomas, Ron (Bristol NW)
Lee, John Peart, Rt Hon Fred Thorne, Stan (Preston South)
Lever, Rt Hon Harold Pendry, Tom Tierney, Sydney
Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Perry, Ernest Tinn, James
Lipton, Marcus Phipps, Dr Colin Tomlinson, John
Litterick, Tom Prentice, Rt Hon Reg Torney, Tom
Lomas, Kenneth Prescott, John Urwin, T. W.
Lyon, Alexander (York) Price, C. (Lewisham W) Varley, Rt Hon Eric G.
Lyons, Edward (Bradford W) Price, William (Rugby) Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne V)
McCartney, Hugh Radice, Giles Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
McElhone, Frank Rees, Rt Hon Merlyn (Leeds S) Walker, Terry (Kingswood)
MacFarquhar, Roderick Richardson, Miss Jo Ward, Michael
Mackenzie, Gregor Roberts, Albert (Normanton) Watkins, David
Mackintosh, John P. Roberts, Gwilym (Cannock) Watkinson, John
Maclennan, Robert Robertson, John (Paisley) Weitzman, David
McMillan, Tom (Glasgow C) Roderick, Caerwyn Wellbeloved, James
McNamara, Kevin Rodgers, George (Chorley) White, Frank R. (Bury)
Madden, Max Rodgers, William (Stockton) White, James (Pollok)
Magee, Bryan Rooker, J. W. Whitehead, Phillip
Mahon, Simon Roper, John Whitlock, William
Marks, Kenneth Rose, Paul B. Willey, Rt Hon Frederick
Marquand, David Ross, Rt Hon W. (Kilmarnock) Williams, W. T. (Warrington)
Marshall, Dr Edmund (Goole) Rowlands, Ted Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)
Marshall, Jim (Leicester S) Ryman, John Wilson, Rt Hon H. (Huyton)
Mason, Rt Hon Roy Sandelson, Neville Wilson, William (Coventry SE)
Meacher, Michael Sedgemore, Brian Wise, Mrs Audrey
Mellish, Rt Hon Robert Seiby, Harry Woodall, Alec
Mikardo, Ian Shaw, Arnold (Ilford South) Wrigglesworth, Ian
Millan, Bruce Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-u-Lyne) Young, David (Bolton E)
Miller, Dr M. S. (E Kilbride) Shore, Rt Hon Peter
Miller, Mrs Millie (Ilford N) Short, Mrs Renée (Wolv NE) TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Milchell, R. C. (Soton, Itchen) Silkin, Rt Hon John (Deptford) Mr. John Ellis and
Molloy, William Sillars, James Mr. James Hamilton.

Question accordingly negatived.

Clause added to the Bill.

7.0 p.m.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. Robert Mellish)

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I am raising no query about the Division. I am not asking that it should be taken again or anything like that. The point I wish to raise is that I understand from a number of Members on the interview

  1. New Clause 7
  2. cc1563-624
  3. DISPOSITION FOR MAINTENANCE OF FAMILY 15,824 words, 1 division
    1. New Clause 8
      1. cc1605-24
      2. RELIEF FOR WOODLANDS 7,296 words
  5. cc1625-52
  6. FINANCE BILL 10,432 words
  7. New Clause 3
    1. cc1653-7
    2. AGRICULTURE ASSETS 2,069 words, 1 division
  8. New Clause 20
    1. cc1657-69
    2. PROVISIONS AS TO TRANSFER OF PROPERTY 4,872 words, 1 division
  9. NORTON VILLIERS TRIUMPH LTD. (FINANCE) 22,346 words, 1 division
  10. c1729
  11. ADJOURNMENT 13 words
  12. cc1730-42
  13. BARNES (ENVIRONMENT) 3,961 words
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