HC Deb 05 November 1975 vol 899 cc431-49

Lords Amendment: No. 2, in page 5, line 9, at end insert— (6) In any case in which the Corporation is in competition with any private company operating in the energy sector the provisions of this and the next succeeding subsection shall have effect for the purposes of securing that such competition is fair. (7) Neither the Treasury nor the Secretary of State nor any other Minister nor local authority nor any public corporation conducted wholly or in part under national ownership or control shall, or shall counsel, procure or incite others to discriminate unfairly as between the Corporation and a petroleum company operating in the private sector in competition with each other in favour of the Corporation, whether in respect of the terms of any loan, or any contracts, the making available of land, buildings or equipment, the granting of contracts, the prices and other terms for supplies or purchases of petroleum, goods or services or otherwise howsoever. For the purposes of determining whether discrimination is unfair, regard may be had not only to the economic but also to the social consequences of any matter. (8) No criminal proceedings shall lie against any person on grounds that he has committed, or aided, abetted, counselled or procured the commission of or conspired or attempted to commit or incited others to commit any contravention of this section. But any person who suffers or apprehends that he will suffer any loss or damage by reason of any such contravention may bring civil proceedings in respect of such contravention or an apprehended contravention whether for an injunction or interdict or for the recovery of the full amount of the loss or damage or for any other appropriate relief or for any two or more of them.

The Under-Secretary of State for Energy (Mr. John Smith)

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

Mr. Deputy Speaker

With this we may discuss Lords Amendment No. 10.

Mr. Smith

I think it will be for the convenience of the House if I state the Government's position fairly shortly. The amendment was dealt with fairly shortly in another place.

As I understand it, the purpose of the amendment was to offer some protection against what was feared might be some form of unfair competition by the British National Oil Corporation. In asking the House not to approve the amendment, the Government are in no way saying that they will pursue a policy of preference for and subsidy to the Corporation. On the contrary, I want to make it clear—this stands on the record, as the point was made throughout Committee and throughout the various stages in this House—that we want the Corporation to become, as the British Gas Corporation and the National Coal Board already are, a respected and wholly commercial partner in licences. We want it to work in cooperation with private licensees. We have given an assurance that the Corporation shall not receive preferential treatment in public sector purchasing.

I find it a little surprising to think that the mighty oil companies need some form of protection from the Corporation. However, that appears to have been the reasoning behind the amendment. Perhaps this reaffirmation of the Government's view will make it clear to the House that our objection to the amendment does not arise from any feeling that we want to give special subsidies or privileges for the Corporation. On the other hand, that is not to say that we do not think it appropriate that in certain circumstances the Corporation shall become a sole licensee. As we made clear earlier, we intend the Corporation to perform services for the Government. We do not think that those activities are inconsistent with the Corporation acting as a fully commercial enterprise when it is in partnership with private sector licensees. Our main objection to the amendment is that it would create practical difficulties for the Corporation.

5.0 p.m.

Every public corporation is necessarily close to the Government and engages in a vast number of transactions with the Government. The opportunity to appeal to the courts with the prospect of compensation for the complainant will no doubt be welcomed by the unsuccessful competitor. This could happen every time the corporation borrowed from the National Loan Fund or, under Government guarantee, from private lenders at rates not available to all its competitors. The Government could be taken to court because an unsuccessful applicant for licences thought that the corporation was getting an unfair share. One cannot predict what would be likely to happen, but these are possibilities that the Government must bear in mind.

It is not simply that the Corporation would be hobbled or weakened by these conditions, but we must bear in mind that the Corporation will be an instrument of the national interest. It will become the Government's adviser on oil matters and may manage the Department's pipeline and storage system. I hope that the House will wish to see the Corporation becoming strong and vigorous in extending its activities. That is largely the point of setting up the Corporation. We have given assurances time after time to reassure the Corporation's partners and competitors. But it is clear that, if the Lords amendment is allowed to stand, this aspect of the Corporation's functions will make it more vulnerable to vexatious litigation even than the other public corporations.

I believe that the procedure suggested in the amendment would be excessively restrictive of the Corporation's operations. I say this in the context of an industry where most of the oil companies are fairly large enterprises, and I am sure the House would agree that they are not the least powerful of commercial enterprises operating in this country. I do not think they need the special protection that is offered to them in the amendment.

If one examines Lords Amendment No. 10, one feels that it is difficult to see how in practice that protection would operate in the way suggested. In view of the background of Government policy, which has been made crystal clear, we believe that it would be wise for the House to resist the amendment.

Mr. Peter Rost (Derbyshire, South-East)

The Minister's answer was disappointing and hardly did justice to the debate in another place when this amendment was agreed to. It is disgraceful that the Minister should attempt to reject an amendment without putting forward one single profound or cogent argument.

When we look at the nationalised industries and their performance at the present time, we can be forgiven for asking why even the present Government do not seem to have the sense to have second thoughts before creating yet another monstrosity, especially where there is no justification for it on economic grounds. The British National Oil Corporation will be unnecessary, expensive and damaging to the national interest. It will have no proper commercial discipline and will be a waste of national resources. We cannot stop it, but at least we can attempt to harness it to prevent it from ravaging and ruining the thriving private sector oil and petrochemical industry and ancillary industries. We can do this by ensuring that the State industry competes fairly with the private sector.

For these reasons, the Lords injected into the Bill two important amendments. We have not yet been given any reason to help us to understand why the Government have stubbornly resisted these amendments and are now attempting to throw out these safeguards. The safeguards are aimed at preventing the Government, in the public sector, whether it affects the nationalised industries or the BNOC, from trading unfairly. The safeguard contained in Amendment No. 10 seeks to give those who claim to have been subjected to discrimination in unfair trading the right of complaint against the Corporation.

We believe that these amendments should remain in the legislation. Although we have had numerous verbal assurances from Ministers that the Corporation will trade fairly, we have had no written guarantees in the legislation to safeguard those verbal assurances. Why have we had no written guarantees? Why is the Minister now attempting to throw them out? Surely the reason is that the Government know, even if they dare not admit it, that in practice it will not be possible for the Corporation to trade fairly against private sector industry.

A number of apprehensions have been expressed on a number of occasions to which there have been no satisfactory answers. The first, and probably most important, is the vastness of the Corporation as it is proposed to be set up. The Secretary of State for Energy earlier this afternoon said that it was the intention of the BNOC to become an immensely powerful oil company. The very vastness that will be created in terms of power to dominate the rest of private industry and the limitless financial resources put at the disposal of the Corporation will make it a powerful organisation. It will own 51 per cent. of the whole industry by voluntary or bullying persuasion. It will take the royalty income from oil found in the North Sea, and that will be siphoned off by the Treasury into the oil accounts and put at the disposal of the Corporation. The Corporation will have a huge cash flow and wide-ranging powers.

There are various ways in which those powers and pressures can be brought to bear on the private sector, and this can lead only to unfair trading. We all know that the Government, for political reasons, will need to justify the success of the Corporation. They cannot afford to have a flop. Therefore, there will be endless ways in which favoured treatment through the patronage system can be exercised to ensure that the Corporation has certain advantages. We need to spell them out to know what they are.

Let me give one or two examples. First, we have the public sector as a major buyer of oil products, and power can be used to arrange special deals, if that is desired. The public sector is also a major supplier—or will be—to the nationalised state oil industry. Public authorities will have the opportunity to assist the nationalised oil industry against the interests of the private sector.

Then we have the most important factor—namely, that the nationalised State industry will be exempt from the petroleum revenue tax, whereas the private sector will have to pay it. How can the Minister explain that there can be fair competition between two industries operating in the same area in the oil industry—one industry that has most of its profits extracted in taxation, and the other not having to pay tax at all? Inevitably, this must lead to unfair competition. One will have a substantial cash flow and the other will have to raise its cash in the normal way, either by using what little retained profits it is allowed, or from marketing operations carried out in a normal commercial way. I believe that this can lead only to unfair competition.

Mr. Russell Kerr (Feltham)

Following the rough logic of the hon. Gentleman's argument, is he suggesting that the private sector industry should now be withdrawn?

Mr. Rost

I do not see the relevance of that intervention. The hon. Gentleman can make his own contribution to the debate, and we await it with interest.

There are various other matters that cause concern. In particular, we must be concerned about downstream operations in the petrochemical industry. With the vast resources which will be available to the State industry, and with the declared intention to move downstream, there could be unfair competition. New refineries or petrochemical plans can be put up only if the demand exists, and as demand for them expands, the Minister will have discretion as to those to whom he grants planning consent for new refineries. One wonders to what extent those powers will be used against the private sector and in favour of the nationalised State sector, to allow it to expand into the refinery business.

There is a great deal of uncertainy in the petrochemical industry, and uncertainty is the greatest danger to capital investment. What we need is not vague assurances but something written into the Bill to provide the safeguards to which the industry is entitled if it is to continue to plan its major capital investment projects and to insure itself against any possibility of unfair State competition.

There are a number of other areas in which unfair competition can develop. We have already had the debate about the powers of the civil servants and how they will undoubtedly have inside expect knowledge. Even if it is not disclosed to the Board of BNOC, they will still have it. How can the Government have those civil servants on the Board without admitting that their presence must represent some element of discrimination and possibly unfair competition with the private sector?

If the House wants evidence, we already have the first example of jiggery-pokery by the State industry, before it has even got off the ground, in a way which involves unfair competition. BNOC is taking over from the National Coal Board for a nominal face value of £50,000 assets estimated to be worth £100 million. That must mean a hidden subsidy, which will fudge the calculations of return on capital employed, if any are to be attempted. Failure to have assets realistically valued on the balance sheet must have an effect on the calculations and assessments of proper commercial practice, and must therefore result in unfair competition. I regard that as an inauspicious start, and hardly good accounting practice. It represents the beginnings of cross-subsidisation before BNOC has even started.

The powers to force BNOC's partners in the North Sea, perhaps under authority from the Secretary of State, to develop uncommercial fields, against the best interests of the private sector, perhaps, but to the advantage of BNOC, constitute another area in which we could see unfair trading. There are also the powers for revocation of licences which can be applied against the interests of the private sector and to the advantage of, and extension of the powers of, the State industry.

In addition, there is the possibility that if—perhaps I should say "when"—BNOC decides to move downstream into the refineries there will be arbitrary political decisions which will create unfair trading by a nationalised concern at the expense of the private sector.

5.15 p.m.

Those are some of the anxieties, some of the areas in which we feel that it will be extremely difficult to draw the line between what is fair trading and what is not. For those reasons, we believe that safeguards should be retained in the Bill, and we cannot understand why the Government wish to remove the amendments made by the other place.

The Government have given plenty of assurances—we heard more this afternoon—that BNOC will act and trade commercially. If those assurances are valid, why are the Government afraid to write them into the Bill? We believe that there is evidence that it will not be possible for BNOC to trade fairly in every respect. Therefore, we must challenge the motives behind the Government's resistance to including these protective provisions.

We are told that there is already a guarantee against unfair competition in the Fair Trading Act and that anybody who feels aggrieved can have a reference made to the Monopolies Commission. But the Minister will know only too well that that Act is designed especially to protect consumers and is hardly suitable for application to industries.

Then we have the explanation from the Minister that the amendments might result in vexatious accusations of unfair trading. If the Government are to argue that we cannot have a complaints procedure because there might be vexatious complaints or chronic litigants, should not that argument apply to all independent appeals, tribunals and arbitrations—indeed, to all courts of law? Why should it be so different in this case? That argument is arrogant and suitable for a dictatorial point of view rather than one acceptable to a democratic institution.

We believe that there is a special need to protect the smaller companies. The hon. Gentleman said that the large oil companies could look after themselves. That may be, but there are many smaller operators who will be particularly endangered by unfair trading practices by the State, and who need protection. We also need long-term assurances for the sake of the confidence needed for capital investment if the private industry is not to be smothered. The assurances by Ministers so far are not enough.

The vastness of the proposed new nationalised industry represents a threat to fair trading in many ways. If our suspicions of Government motives are unjustified, the Government should be happy to accept the amendements. They say that BNOC will trade fairly. If that is so, there is no need to reject the amendments.

Unless the assurances are written into the Bill and the Government remove the uncertainty about unfair competition between a State monstrosity and the private sector, future relations between the two sectors will be endangered, as will the industry's prosperity. If our fears will prove to have been unjustified, there is no harm in accepting the amendments. The Government claim that favouritism and abuse will not occur. The removal of any risk of their occurrence would be a small price to pay for a concession by the Government in allowing the amendments to stand.

The BNOC is being created as an entirely new nationalised industry in direct competition with the private sector, and it is starting in a privileged position. Therefore, it is not a question of justice being done but one of justice being seen to be done. I therefore urge the House not to reject these amendments.

Mr. Ted Leadbitter (Hartlepool)

I have strong reservations about what I understand to be the nationalised industries. That does not mean that I could be persuaded to pursue a line which might be difficult to incorporate in a Bill of this kind. Even if we adopt an attitude of using phraseology which suggests that there is to be discrimination, we must still seek the best definition of what we mean.

The word "discrimination" caused great difficulties in another context in deciding what was right and what was wrong. It is not sufficient to write into a Bill of this kind: to discriminate unfairly as between the Corporation and a petroleum company operating in the private sector in competition with each other in favour of the Corporation, There is something wrong with that. If that amendment were accepted, as a corollary to that language we should have to write into the Bill equivalent discriminatory restrictions on oil companies. On that count the Opposition argument falls.

All reasonable Members of Parliament must agree that—apart from the normal political discussion which is bound to occur in the House—there cannot exist in law a purely one-sided state of discrimination. On that ground the hon. Gentleman's case fails. Much of what the hon. Gentleman said is not his own homework, as he retailed some of the concerns of the oil companies.

The last sentence of the amendment to Clause 3(7) reads: For the purposes of determining whether discrimination is unfair, regard may be had not only to the economic but also to the social consequences of any matter. In terms of reasonable practice, how can we pursue either litigation or the actions specified in the amendment—the remedying of a complaint in a manner which would be satisfactory to all parties—when we use the words "of any matter"? But, worse than that, how do we measure the economic and social consequences?

Having realised the impractical nature of this amendment. we should proceed to reject it so that we can pass the Bill at an early stage. The Opposition should not persist in using valuable time on an amendment such as this. Front Bench Members on both sides know that if this amendment is written into the Bill it will create problems.

On those grounds, we should not support the amendment. We should agree with the Secretary of State. We should not agree to the Lords amendment.

Mr. Patrick Jenkin

My hon. Friend the Member for Derbyshire, South-East (Mr. Rost) deployed a formidable case in favour of this pair of Lords amendments It would be superfluous to repeat his case. However there are one or two points which I might add and of which the Minister would be wise to take account before he replies. I shall also comment briefly on what the hon. Member for Hartlepool (Mr. Leadbitter) said.

The issue is simple. This is a test of the Government's good faith towards the oil industry. Although the Department of Energy sponsors the BNOC, it is responsible for the whole of the oil industry. Ministers therefore have a continuing responsibility for the health and confidence of the whole industry.

Having read the speeches of Lord Balogh in another place, I have the impression that the current attitude is that what is good for the oil industry must be bad for the British people, and vice versa. [Interruption.] I am grateful for the sedentary renunciation of that view from the Government, in view of the impression which is left with the person who reads the speeches of Lord Balogh.

Mr. John Smith

The right hon. Gentleman must not mislead the House. I have read the speeches of Lord Balogh.

There are frequent references in them to a concern for the health of the whole oil industry, both public and private.

Mr. Jenkin

Those sentiments are negatived by the often snide remarks made when attacking the oil industry and the frequent references to the seven sisters. Lord Campbell of Croy pointed out in debate that the effect of exempting the BNOC from petroleum revenue tax would be to leave a tax loophole, as the whole of the oil allowance would accrue to the private partners. The immediate reaction of Lord Balogh was to the effect that that suggestion would not have originated from those who were to benefit from the loophole. The fact is that that suggestion emerged from the oil industry, members of which pointed out that the exemption of petroleum revenue tax would leave a tax loophole which the Government should close. That provides an instance of the reaction of the noble Lord.

It would be wise for Ministers to recognise, when considering this amendment about discrimination, that the industry's confidence has been badly shaken over the past 18 months. All but the mose rabid apologists for Government policy will put that down to political uncertainty. The prolonged hesitation in development is affecting jobs, the pace of exploration and orders for platforms. I beg Ministers to recognise the truth of that.

In a recent Panorama television broadcast, Lord Balogh was at pains to point out that there was a carefully orchestrated campaign and a conspiracy of self-impoverishment by the industry in the hope that it would thereby put pressure on the Government. Does that extend to the bankers, suppliers and contractors? Of course not. It is rubbish. It is a dangerous belief. It underestimates the risk of doing lasting harm to the pace and momentum of the exploration and development which we so badly need. The fear is that, not in the next two or three years but further ahead, there will be no new exploration, no developments and no new oil fields.

All our debates—especially the debate on the amendment about discrimination—have to be conducted against the background of two facts. One is that the Department of Energy is the sponsoring Department for the whole industry. The second is that the confidence of the industry in the Government has been badly shaken. Here are two realistic proposals, positive steps which the Government could take to reassure the industry in a clear and practical way.

5.30 p.m.

I come to the speech made by the hon. Member for Hartlepool. There is a precedent in the hon. Gentleman's constituency where important parts of the steel industry are located. When the Iron and Steel Bill was going through the House in 1967 the Government yielded to Opposition pressure to insert a non-discrimination clause and to provide a remedy in the event of discrimination by the British Steel Corporation against the private sector. Further, the hon. Gentleman will know that that procedure had to be invoked.

In 1972 the Government appointed Lord Hirshfield to examine a complaint made by the private sector that by pricing its products differently the BSC was effectively squeezing that part of the industry which remained in the hands of the private sector, namely, the special steels. It would be wrong for me to go into detail, but Lord Hirshfield found that the complaint was well founded. Mr. Richard Marsh had been wise in yielding to the arguments addressed to him to include such a clause in the Iron and Steel Bill. There is a precedent, it has been used and it has been found necessary.

I deplore the fact that the Government are still rigid and adamant against inserting a similar clause in this Bill when it is their own desire that the BNOC should become a large, powerful and integrated oil company. I hope that even now, at the eleventh hour, the Government will accept one or other amendment, or preferably both, but if they are not prepared to yield I must advise my hon. Friends to join me in resisting the motion.

Mr. John Smith

With the leave of the House, I shall try to reply briefly to some of the arguments put forward by hon. and right hon. Gentlemen. I was not surprised when the hon. Member for Derbyshire, South-East (Mr. Rost) began by saying that my opening remarks had been unsatisfactory. As I have become accustomed to being condemned by the hon. Gentleman for unsatisfactory replies in Committee before I had even addressed the Committee, I am not completely surprised. In the months that have passed since we heard the hon. Gentleman's contributions in Committee, his style has become no more emollient. He remains completely devoted to the protection of every private company interest, whether British or foreign, and completely neglectful of any form of protection of the national interest against private interests. Unfortunately, that has been characteristic of the way in which the Conservative Party has approached not only the setting up of a new public corporation but the regulation of companies which is a major feature of the Bill.

Mr. Rost

Would it not be more helpful if, instead of attacking me personally, the Minister tried to justify his attempt to throw out these Lords amendments?

Mr. Smith

I hope that the hon. Gentleman is as good at taking criticism as he is at handing it out. The amount of criticism he has made of me and the Government over many hours of proceedings on the Bill entitles me to make the odd remark back in his direction.

I am happy to take up his arguments. The notion that the BNOC is to be seen as a vast, powerful, economic conglomerate which will dominate the oil industry is surprising when one remembers that the BNOC will have to make its way against some of the most powerful multinational corporations that the world has seen in its economic history, corporations which have more assets at their disposal than have many nation States. The notion that the BNOC will frighten and crush these multinational corporations into submission I find laughable.

We have given the BNOC wide powers to operate as a fully integrated oil company. Why should it not have those powers? Every one of its competitors will have those powers, and not to give a public corporation exactly the same rights would be seriously to neglect the public interest.

Mr. Patrick Jenkins

Will the hon. Gentleman answer the point that competitors are not being fed with the royalties that all the rest of the oil industry is paying?

Mr. Smith

The BNOC has to be financed by public funds, and that is one way in which it will be financed. I shall answer each of the criticisms that has been made in the debate in my own time and in my own way, if the right hon. Gentleman will allow me to do so.

I noticed that the right hon. Gentleman did not speak very closely to the terms of the amendment, no doubt because he had reservations about it. The Conservative Party is not only reflecting but magnifying private worries and sometimes even distorting them in its anxiety to hobble, restrict and attack a new public corporation.

One of the most important issues in the short debate was raised by my hon. Friend the Member for Hartlepool (Mr. Leadbitter) who drew attention to one of the provisions in the amendment and pointed out the impossibility of deciding whether any discrimination could arise on the basis of the social consequences of any matter. I do not understand how a court would be able to make sense of that provision. That is the answer to the hon. Member for Derbyshire, South-East who asked whether the setting up of an independent appeal tribunal would encourage vexatious litigants. The way in which the supposed protection is framed could not be of more assistance to the vexatious litigant if it had been framed for that precise purpose. The vagueness of the phrasing is such that it would encourage a litigant to take up a case however doubtful might be his prospects of success. The BNOC, engaged in making its way in the world against powerful and intense competition, would have to keep on meeting complaints, some of which were totally unfounded. It would be ridiculous to expect that arrangement to work in practice. I noticed that Opposition Members were much more concerned to state the principle behind the amendments than to justify their working out in practice.

Mr. Rost

Is the hon. Gentleman opposing the amendments on technical grounds or on principle? If he is opposing them on technical grounds, he has had the opportunity in another place, and since, to tidy them up.

Mr. Smith

It is not opposing an amendment on technical grounds to say that it is unworkable. I am opposing the amendments because they are completely impracticable. They could not be made to work in practice.

Conservative Members have a wrong sense of proportion if they think that the oil industry needs protection from the BNOC. It is more likely that the BNOC might need a little care for its interests when it is facing powerful competition from private interests. Ministers have made clear that they wish to see fair trading, fair competition, co-operation and partnership when the BNOC and private interests—as licensees—work together, as they will often do. Public corporations are already working with private interests in the North Sea, and both sides are satisfied with the arrangements they have made.

The attitude of Conservative Members is completely out of proportion. In their handling of oil policy the protection of the public interest has not figured very largely. It is inappropriate for the right hon. Member for Wanstead and Wood-ford to read to me or to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State a lecturette about the political uncertainties of the oil industry. Perhaps he will tell his right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition—who made silly remarks about selling off part of the BNOC if a buyer could be found in the unfortunate event of a return to power by the Conservatives—that nothing would cause more uncer-

tainty in the oil industry than a serious belief that the Conservative Party had a chance of electoral success. It does not lie in the right hon. Gentleman's mouth to give us lectures about uncertainty. When the right hon. Lady made that statement I imagine it was heard with dismay by the right hon. Member for Wanstead and Woodford, who had carefully refrained from making any such statement during all the months when we were engaged on the Bill. I do not think it lies at his hand to give us any lectures about political uncertainty. He knows perfectly well that the Government have made a whole series of reasonable concessions to legitimate points made by the industry—and accepted far more generously by the industry than by the Conservative Opposition in the House of Commons.

But we have insisted on certain rights. We have insisted that the BNOC shall have an opportunity to develop into an important addition to the public sector in this country. The amendment would hobble it before it started. That is why we ask the House to reject it today.

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

The House divided: Ayes 264, Noes 247.

Division No. 384.] AYES [5.41 p.m.
Allaun, Frank Canavan, Dennis Dempsey, James
Anderson, Donald Cant, R. B. Doig, Peter
Archer, Peter Carmichael, Neil Dormand, J. D.
Armstrong, Ernest Carter, Ray Douglas-Mann, Bruce
Ashley, Jack Carter-Jones, Lewis Dunn, James A.
Atkins, Ronald (Preston N) Cartwright, John Dunnett, Jack
Atkinson, Norman Castle, Rt Hon Barbara Eadie, Alex
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Clemitson, Ivor Edge, Geoff
Barnett, Guy (Greenwich) Cocks, Michael (Bristol S) Edwards, Robert (Wolv SE)
Barnett, Rt Hon Joel (Heywood) Cohen, Stanley English, Michael
Bates, Alf Coleman, Donald Ennals, David
Bean, R. E. Conlan, Bernard Evans, Fred (Caerphilly)
Benn, Rt Hon Anthony Wedgwood Cook, Robin F. (Edin C) Evans, Ioan (Aberdare)
Bennett, Andrew (Stockport N) Corbett, Robin Evans, John (Newton)
Bidwell, Sydney Cox, Thomas (Tooting) Ewing, Harry (Stirling)
Bishop, E. S. Craigen, J. M. (Maryhill) Faulds, Andrew
Boardman, H. Crawshaw, Richard Fernyhough, Rt Hon E.
Booth, Albert Crosland, Rt Hon Anthony Fitch, Alan (Wigan)
Boothroyd, Miss Betty Cryer, Bob Flannery, Martin
Bottomley, Rt Hon Arthur Cunningham, G. (Islington S) Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston)
Boyden, James (Bish Auck) Cunningham, Dr J. (Whiteh) Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)
Bradley, Tom Davidson, Arthur Foot, Rt Hon Michael
Brown, Hugh D. (Provan) Davies, Bryan (Enfield N) Forrester, John
Brown, Ronald (Hackney S) Davies, Denzil (Llanelli) Freeson, Reginald
Buchan, Norman Davies, Ifor (Gower) Garrett, John (Norwich S)
Buchanan, Richard Deakins, Eric Garrett, W. E. (Wallsend)
Butler, Mrs Joyce (Wood Green) Dean, Joseph (Leeds West) George, Bruce
Callaghan, Jim (Middleton & P) Delargy, Hugh Gilbert, Dr John
Campbell, Ian Dell, Rt Hon Edmund Ginsburg, David
Golding, John
Gould, Bryan MacFarquhar, Roderick Shaw, Arnold (Ilford South)
Gourlay, Harry McGuire, Michael (Ince) Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-u-Lyne)
Graham, Ted Mackenzie, Gregor Shore, Rt Hon Peter
Grant, George (Morpeth) Mackintosh, John P. Short, Rt. Hon E. (Newcastle C)
Grant, John (Islington C) Maclennan, Robert Short, Mrs Renée (Wolv NE)
Grocott, Bruce McMillan, Tom (Glasgow C) Silkin, Rt Hon John (Deptford)
Hamilton, James (Bothwell) Madden, Max Silkin, Rt Hon S. C. (Dulwich)
Hamilton, W. W. (Central Fife) Magee, Bryan Sillars, James
Hardy, Peter Mahon, Simon Skinner, Dennis
Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) Mallalieu, J. P. W Small, William
Hart, Rt Hon Judith Marks, Kenneth Smith, John (N Lanarkshire)
Hatton, Frank Marquand, David Snape, Peter
Hayman, Mrs. Helene Marshall, Dr Edmund (Goole) Spearing, Nigel
Heffer, Eric S. Marshall, Jim (Leicester S) Spriggs, Leslie
Hooley, Frank Maynard, Miss Joan Stallard, A. W.
Horam, John Mellish, Rt Hon Robert Stonehouse, Rt Hon John
Howell, Denis (B'ham, Sm H) Mendelson, John Stott, Roger
Hoyle, Doug (Nelson) Mikardo, Ian Strang, Gavin
Huckfield, Les Millan, Bruce Strauss, Rt Hon G. R.
Hughes, Rt Hon C. (Anglesey) Miller, Dr M. S. (E Kilbride) Summerskill, Hon Dr Shirley
Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N) Miller, Mrs Millie (Ilford N) Swain, Thomas
Hughes, Roy (Newport) Molloy, William Taylor, Mrs Ann (Bolton W)
Hunter, Adam Moonman, Eric Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)
Irvine, Rt Hon Sir A. (Edge Hill) Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe) Thomas, Ron (Bristol NW)
Irving, Rt Hon S. (Dartford) Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw) Thorne, Stan (Preston South)
Jackson, Colin (Brighouse) Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon) Tierney, Sydney
Jackson, Miss Margaret (Lincoln) Mulley, Rt Hon Frederick Tinn, James
Janner, Greville Murray, Rt Hon Ronald King Tomlinson, John
Jay, Rt Hon Douglas Newens, Stanley Tomney, Frank
Jeger, Mrs Lena Noble, Mike Torney, Tom
Jenkins, Hugh (Putney) Oakes, Gordon Tuck, Raphael
John, Brynmor O'Halloran, Michael Urwin, T. W.
Johnson, Walter (Derby S) O'Malley, Rt Hon Brian Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne V)
Jones, Alec (Rhondda) Orbach, Maurice Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Jones, Barry (East Flint) Ovenden, John Walker, Terry (Kingswood)
Jones, Dan (Burnley) Owen, Dr David Ward, Michael
Judd, Frank Padley, Walter Watkins, David
Kaufman, Gerald Palmer, Arthur Watkinson, John
Kelley, Richard Park, George Weitzman, David
Kerr, Russell Parry, Robert Wellbeloved, James
Kilroy-Silk, Robert Peart, Rt Hon Fred White, Frank R. (Bury)
Kinnock, Neil Pendry, Tom White, James (Pollok)
Lambie, David Prentice, Rt Hon Reg Whitehead, Phillip
Lamborn, Harry Price, C. (Lewisham W) Whitlock, William
Lamond, James Price. William (Rugby) Willey, Rt Hon Frederick
Latham, Arthur (Paddington) Radice, Giles Williams, Alan Lee (Hornchurch)
Leadbitter, Ted Richardson, Miss Jo Williams, Rt Hon Shirley (Hertford)
Lee, John Roberts, Albert (Normanton) Williams, W. T. (Warrington)
Lestor, Miss Joan (Eton & Slough) Roberts, Gwilym (Cannock) Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)
Lever, Rt Hon Harold Robertson, John (Paisley) Wilson, William (Coventry SE)
Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Roderick, Caerwyn Wise, Mrs Audrey
Lipton, Marcus Rodgers, George (Chorley) Woodall, Alec
Litterick, Tom Rodgers, William (Stockton) Woof, Robert
Loyden, Eddie Rooker, J. W. Wrigglesworth, Ian
Luard, Evan Roper, John Young, David (Bolton E)
Lyon, Alexander (York) Rose, Paul B.
Lyons, Edward (Bradford W) Ross, Rt Hon W. (Kilmarnock) TELLERS FOR THE AYES
Mabon, Dr J. Dickson Rowlands, Ted Mr. David Stoddart and
McCartney, Hugh Sandelson, Neville Mr. Joseph Harper
McElhone, Frank Sedgemore, Brian
Adley, Robert Brittan, Leon Drayson, Burnaby
Aitken, Jonathan Brotherton, Michael du Cann, Rt Hon Edward
Alison, Michael Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Durant, Tony
Arnold, Tom Bryan, Sir Paul Eden, Rt Hon Sir John
Atkins, Rt Hon H. (Spelthorne) Buchanan-Smith, Alick Elliott, Sir William
Awdry, Daniel Budgen, Nick Emery, Peter
Bain, Mrs Margaret Bulmer, Esmond Evans, Gwynfor (Carmarthen)
Baker, Kenneth Butler, Adam (Bosworth) Ewing, Mrs Winifred (Moray)
Banks, Robert Carlisle, Mark Eyre, Reginald
Beith, A. J. Chalker, Mrs Lynda Fairbairn, Nicholas
Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torbay) Churchill, W. S. Fairgrieve, Russell
Bennett, Dr Reginald (Fareham) Clark, Alan (Plymouth, Sutton) Farr, John
Benyon, W. Cockcroft, John Fell, Anthony
Berry, Hon Anthony Cooke, Robert (Bristol W) Fisher, Sir Nigel
Biffen, John Cope, John Fletcher, Alex (Edinburgh N)
Biggs-Davison, John Cormack, Patrick Fletcher-Cooke, Charles
Blaker, Peter Corrie, John Fookes, Miss Janet
Boscawen, Hon Robert Costain, A. P. Fox, Marcus
Bottomley, Peter Crawford, Douglas Fry, Peter
Bowden, A. (Brighton, Kemptown) Crowder, F. P. Galbraith, Hon. T. G. D.
Bovson, Dr Rhodes (Brent) Dodsworth, Geoffrey Gardiner, George (Reigate)
Braine, Sir Bernard Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James Gardner, Edward (S Fylde)
Gilmour, Rt Hon Ian (Chesham) MacGregor, John Sainsbury, Tim
Glyn, Dr Alan Macmillan, Rt Hon M. (Farnham) St. John-Stevas, Norman
Goodhart, Philip McNair-Wilson, M. (Newbury) Scott, Nicholas
Goodhew, Victor McNair-Wilson, P. (New Forest) Shaw, Giles (Pudsey)
Goodlad, Alastair Madel, David Shaw, Michael (Scarborough)
Gorst, John Mates, Michael Shelton, William (Streatham)
Gow, Ian (Eastbourne) Mather, Carol Shepherd, Colin
Gower, Sir Raymond (Barry) Maude, Angus Silvester, Fred
Gray, Hamish Maudling, Rt Hon Reginald Sims, Roger
Griffiths, Eldon Mawby, Ray Sinclair, Sir George
Grimond, Rt Hon J. Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin Skeet, T. H. H.
Grist, Ian Mayhew, Patrick Smith, Cyril (Rochdale)
Grylls, Michael Meyer, Sir Anthony Speed, Keith
Hall, Sir John Miller, Hal (Bromsgrove) Spence, John
Hall-Davis, A. G. F. Mills, Peter Spicer, Jim (W Dorset)
Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) Miscampbell, Norman Spicer, Michael (S. Worcester)
Hampson, Dr Keith Mitchell, David (Basingstoke) Sproat, Iain
Hannam, John Moate, Roger Stainton, Keith
Harrison, Col Sir Harwood (Eye) Monro, Hector Stanbrook, Ivor
Harvie Anderson, Rt Hon Miss Montgomery, Fergus Stanley, John
Hastings, Stephen Moore, John (Croydon C) Steen, Anthony (Wavertree)
Havers, Sir Michael More, Jasper (Ludlow) Stewart, Donald (Western Isles)
Hawkins, Paul Morgan, Geraint Stewart, Ian (Hitchin)
Hayhoe, Barney Morris, Michael (Northampton S) Stokes, John
Heath, Rt Hon Edward Morrison, Charles (Devizes) Stradling Thomas, J.
Henderson, Douglas Morrison, Hon Peter (Chester) Tapsell, Peter
Heseltine, Michael Mudd, David Taylor, R. (Croydon NW)
Hicks, Robert Neave, Airey Taylor, Teddy (Cathcart)
Holland, Phillip Nelson, Anthony Tebbit, Norman
Hooson, Emlyn Neubert, Michael Temple-Morris, Peter
Hordern, Peter Newton, Tony Thatcher, Rt Hon Margaret
Howe R. Hon Sir Geoffrey Normanton, Tom Thomas, Rt Hon P. (Hendon S)
Howell, David (Guildford) Onslow, Cranley Thompson, George
Hunt, John Oppenheim, Mrs Sally Thorpe, Rt Hon Jeremy (N Devon)
Hurd, Douglas Osborn, John Townsend, Cyril D.
Hutchison, Michael Clark Page, John (Harrow West) Trotter, Neville
Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye) Page, Rt Hon R. Graham (Crosby) Tugendhat, Christopher
Irving, Charles (Cheltenham) Pardoe, John van Straubenzee, W. R.
James, David Parkinson, Cecil Vaughan, Dr Gerard
Jenkin, Rt Hn P. (Wanst'd & W'df'd) Pattie, Geoffrey Viggers, Peter
Johnson Smith, S. (E Grinstead) Percival, Ian Wainwright, Richard (Colne V)
Jones, Arthur (Daventry) Peyton, Rt Hon John Wakeham, John
Joseph, Rt Hon Sir Keith Price, David (Eastleigh) Walder, David (Clitheroe)
Kaberry, Sir Donald Prior, Rt Hon James Wall, Patrick
Kershaw, Anthony Pym, Rt Hon Francis Walters, Dennis
King, Evelyn (South Dorset) Raison, Timothy Warren, Kenneth
King, Tom (Bridgwater) Rathbone, Tim Watt, Hamish
Kitson, Sir Timothy Rawlinson, Rt Hon Sir Peter Weatherill, Bernard
Knight, Mrs Jill Rees, Peter (Dover & Deal) Wells, John
Knox, David Rees-Davies, W. R. Welsh, Andrew
Lamont, Norman Reid, George Wiggin, Jerry
Langford-Holt, Sir John Renton, Rt Hon Sir D. (Hunts) Wigley, Dafydd
Latham, Michael (Melton) Renton, Tim (Mid-Sussex) Wilson, Gordon (Dundee E)
Lawrence, Ivan Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon Winterton, Nicholas
Lawson, Nigel Ridley, Hon Nicholas Wood, Rt Hon Richard
Le Marchant, Spencer Ridsdale, Julian Young, Sir G. (Ealing, Acton)
Lester, Jim (Beeston) Rifkind, Malcolm Younger, Hon George
Lloyd, Ian Roberts, Wyn (Conway)
Loveridge, John Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks) TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
McAdden, Sir Stephen Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight) Mr. Michael Roberts and
MacCormick, Iain Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey) Mr. Richard Luce.
Macfarlane, Neil Rost, Peter (SE Derbyshire)

Question accordingly agreed to.

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