HC Deb 11 November 1975 vol 899 cc1241-328

Lords Amendment: No. 42, in page 55, line 43, leave out "2".

8.30 p.m.

Mr. John Silkin

I beg to move, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said amendment.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

It will be convenient to discuss at the same time Lords Amendment No. 46.

Mr. Silkin

This is a concession made to the Opposition in another place, since the existing wording under the present compulsory purchase legislation has been considered by the Government and we believe that it is adequate. The effect of these amendments is to restore in respect of compulsory purchase orders under the Bill relating to development land the requirements of Schedule I to the Acquisition of Land Acts, or Regulations made thereunder, that the purpose for which the land is required has to be specified.

Mr. Keith Stainton (Sudbury and Woodbridge)

The paragraph which has in being deleted on page 56 of the Bill, which I think is comprised in Lords Amendment No. 46, would appear to the layman to be comforting. Is the Minister saying that it was an entire superfluity?

Mr. John Silkin

Is the hon. Member's point that there is no need for the amendment? I cannot see why that should be so.

Mr. Stainton

My point is that the Minister said that he is prepared to concede this amendment to the other place on the ground that adequate protection existed in the basic legislation of 1946 and 1947. On the face of it, the layman could find comfort in paragraph (2) which is being deleted. Therefore, one is caused to ask how it comes about that we have this superfluity introduced into the Bill at a drafting stage and persisting within the text of it for such a long time when the Minister can now say with such abandon that it is superfluous.

Mr. Graham Page

I agree with my hon. Friend that it is confusing to see the removal of a paragraph which seems to be for the citizen's benefit when he is involved in compulsory purchase. As I understand it, however, the purpose of removing the paragraph is that, as it stands, it says that although, under normal compulsory purchase procedure, the acquiring authority has to specify the purpose for which the land is being acquired, the paragraph states that, far from specifying the purpose, if the authority specifies the reasons for its acquisition, that will be taken to be the purpose.

It emerged in Committee that we were urging that in the procedure under the Bill we should have the same procedure as normally applies on compulsory purchase orders—that the acquiring authority must say the purpose for which the acquisition is being made, so that the person from whom the property is being acquired can say that it should not be acquired for that purpose because it is not a true or worthwhile purpose.

We got an amendment to that procedure by abolishing the specifying of the purpose, a concession that if the reasons why an authority wanted to acquire the property were specified, that would be sufficient. The reason might be that the town clerk rather liked the look of the land, with perfectly good reason; but that would not be the purpose for which it was required. It might be required for housing or development or because it was a good planning objective. I now understand that the Minister has conceded the whole of our point and has restored the normal compulsory purchase procedure to this new procedure so far as the acquiring authority must specify the purpose for the acquisition. To that extent, we would support the removal of this paragraph.

Mr. John Silkin

I am doubly grateful to the right hon. Gentleman, first for explaining the thoughts which were in my mind, although I shall come back to them, but second and much more for explaining what his hon. Friend meant, which I found some difficulty in understanding, though no doubt he was totally clear in his own mind.

As between reasons and purpose—this is really what it is about—I have never understood where the difference lies. I understand that in Spanish, a language with which I have no great acquaintance, there are two words for "why"—perque and porque. No doubt, if one can make a distinction between two uses of the same word, one can make a real distinction between "reasons" and "purpose". But the plain reason why the purpose we undertook was to change "reason" into "purpose" was that it seemed not to make all that much difference, it created an equality with previous compulsory purchase provisions and seemed to satisfy my hon. Friends, noble Lords and hon. Members opposite. So who are we to complain?

Question put and agreed to.

Lords Amendment: No. 43, in page 55, line 45, leave out "the land" and insert: there are no material interests".

Mr. John Silkin

I beg to move, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said amendment.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

It will be convenient at the same time to discuss Lords Amendments Nos. 44 and 45.

Mr. Silkin

I think that we should consider Lords Amendments Nos. 43 and 44 together and No. 45 separately.

Amendments Nos. 43 and 44 treat land with no outstanding interests in the same way as excepted development for compulsory purchase orders. The reason for this amendment is one of logic. There are two ways in which the Bill provides for taking things outside the normal scope of the scheme—one by means of the excepted development Regulations under Clause 3 and the other by the use of the concept of outstanding material interests under Clause 4. The different approaches are needed because in one case the exclusion depends on the nature of the development and in the other on the nature of the interest. But from the point of view of Schedule 4 it is logical to have the same treatment, however the exclusion is achieved.

Lords Amendment No. 45 provides that a certificate to be provided with a compulsory purchase order under paragraph 1(2) cannot be questioned in any legal proceedings. The Bill originally defined a certificate as conclusive evidence of the facts stated in it. The amendment is designed to cover the slight anxiety of some of their Lordships that, if a certificate was to be conclusive, it could bind the Secretary of State in considering a compulsory purchase order. It is difficult to see how this could happen because the Secretary of State would be exercising his discretion on whether to reply on the modified CPO procedure to which the certificate is primarily directed, but the amendment is helpful because it makes the position much clearer.

Mr. Graham Page

If the certificates are not to be questioned in any legal proceedings, it will be impossible to carry appeals on matters of law to the High Court if certificates have been granted without proper consideration or if they are invalid.

I appreciate that the original version of this paragraph was a useful way of avoiding unnecessary evidence in courts, but, whereas a certificate might be conclusive of the facts stated in it, it might still be subject to legal objections because it was issued in a fraudulent way or without proper discretion being exercised. I am highly suspicious of this amendment. I do not know whether my party supported it in another place or whether it was put into the Bill by the Government, but I do not think it is better than what is already in the Bill. In fact, it is a lot worse because it might preclude a person from questioning the wrong method of issuing a certificate.

Mr. Michael Latham

Despite listening to the Minister's explanation of the amendment and following what he was saying on the notes he has so kindly shared around, I am at a complete loss to understand the purpose of the amendments, particularly Nos. 43 and 44. Paragraph 1 (2) of Schedule 4 states: Modications made by paragraphs 2, 3 and 4 below shall not have effect unless the land comprised in the compulsory purchase order is development land, and…". Lords Amendments Nos. 43 and 44 would make that part of the Bill read: The modifications…shall not have effect unless there are no material interests comprised in the compulsory purchase order other than outstanding material interests in development land, and…". In order to understand this, one must turn back to the definitions in Clause 4 where "material interest" is defined in relation to land as the freehold or a lease, the unexpired term of which at the relevant time is not less than seven years". Having read that explanation, I am at a complete loss to understand what change the right hon. Gentleman is attempting to achieve. I understand the Bill as it is at present and I understand the definition of "material interest" in Clause 4, but can the right hon. Gentleman explain exactly what is achieved by the proposed changes? Despite having put a wet towel round my head I cannot for the life of me understand these amendments, and I have had a reasonable affinity with this Bill for some months.

8.45 p.m.

Mr. John Silkin

From time to time—one hopes very rarely—a position of confrontation arises between the two Houses of Parliament. When that happens, so the history books tell us, it is always because another place is dominated by a somewhat reactionary political party whereas the natural governors of this House are my right hon. and hon. Friends. The problem that is presented to me by the right hon. Member for Crosby (Mr. Page) is that the amendment he dislikes so much—and which my noble Friends in the other place at first themselves did not like very much—was moved by Lord Colville of Culross. It was drafted and supported with considerable vigour by that noble Lord.

If we are to have confrontation between the two Houses of Parliament which consists of confrontation between the right hon. Member for Crosby and Lord Colville, I prefer to stay neutral. However, I do not think I can. I am there-for in the unfortunate position—and I hope that I have the sympathy of the House in this—of deciding between the right hon. Gentleman and the noble Lord. I have equal respect, affection and admiration for them, so what am I to do? I regret to say that I have come down on the side of the noble Lord. For these reasons—not very good, I confess—and for these purposes, I think we had better, perhaps, stick with the noble Lord's amendment.

The hon. Member for Melton (Mr. Latham) referred to Lords Amendments Nos. 43 and 44. They are particularly important in the case of a material interest in land by charities on White Paper day which under Clause 4 should not be treated as outstanding. They are, however, also of considerable significance to the other authorities and bodies mentioned in that provision, especially local authorities and parish and community councils, to whose land special parliamentary procedure will no longer apply by virtue of Clause 40. Under that clause, if they objected to a compulsory purchase order under the Bill in respect of their land, an inquiry or hearing would be automatic. That should be welcomed by them as giving their land a special measure of protection.

Mr. Michael Latham

What is the difference between the word "land" as it stands in the Bill and "outstanding material interests" as in the amendment? What material interest other than land does the right hon. Gentleman have in mind?

Mr. Silkin

I refer to charity land as an example of this. It could be development land. Thus, with the Bill as drafted, the modified CPO procedure could apply to the acquisition of charity land. Charity interests are not outstanding material interests and therefore, under the amendment, the modified CPO procedures could not be applied.

Question put and agreed to.

Subsequent Lords amendment agreed to.

Division No. 394.] AYES [8.50 p.m.
Abse, Leo English, Michael Latham, Arthur (Paddington)
Allaun, Frank Evans, Fred (Caerphilly) Leadbitter, Ted
Anderson, Donald Evans, Ioan (Aberdare) Lee, John
Archer, Peter Ewing, Harry (Stirling) Lestor, Miss Joan (Eton & Slough)
Armstrong, Ernest Fernyhough, Rt Hon E. Lever, Rt Hon Harold
Ashley, Jack Fitch, Alan (Wigan) Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)
Ashton, Joe Fitt, Gerard (Belfast W) Lipton, Marcus
Atkins, Ronald (Preston N) Flannery, Martin Litterick, Tom
Atkinson, Norman Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) Loyden, Eddie
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Foot, Rt Hon Michael Luard, Evan
Barnett, Rt Hon Joel (Heywood) Forrester, John Lyon, Alexander (York)
Bates, Alf Fowler, Gerald (The Wrekin) Lyons, Edward (Bradford W)
Bean, R. E. Fraser, John (Lambeth, N'w'd) Mabon, Dr J. Dickson
Benn, Rt Hon Anthony Wedgwood Freeson, Reginald McCartney, Hugh
Bennett, Andrew (Stockport N) Garrett, John (Norwich S) McElhone, Frank
Bidwell, Sydney Garrett, W. E. (Wallsend) MacFarquhar, Roderick
Bishop, E. S. George, Bruce McGuire, Michael (Ince)
Boardman, H. Gilbert, Dr John Mackenzie, Gregor
Booth, Albert Ginsburg, David Mackintosh, John P.
Bottomley, Rt Hon Arthur Golding, John Maclennan, Robert
Boyden, James (Bish Auck) Gould, Bryan McMillan, Tom (Glasgow C)
Brown, Hugh D (Provan) Gourlay, Harry Madden, Max
Buchan, Norman Graham, Ted Magee, Bryan
Buchanan, Richard Grant, George (Morpeth) Mahon, Simon
Butler, Mrs Joyce (Wood Green) Grant, John (Islington C) Mallalieu, J. P. W.
Callaghan, Rt Hon J. (Cardiff SE) Grocott, Bruce Marks, Kenneth
Callaghan, Jim (Middleton & P) Hamilton, James (Bothwell) Marquand, David
Campbell, Ian Hardy, Peter Marshall, Dr Edmund (Goole)
Canavan, Dennis Harper, Joseph Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)
Cant, R. B. Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) Maynard, Miss Joan
Carmichael, Neil Hart, Rt Hon Judith Meacher, Michael
Carter, Ray Hatton, Frank Mellish, Rt Hon Robert
Carter-Jones, Lewis Hayman, Mrs Helene Mikardo, Ian
Cartwright, John Healey, Rt Hon Denis Millan, Bruce
Castle, Rt Hon Barbara Heffer, Eric S. Miller, Dr M. S. (E Kilbride)
Clemitson, Ivor Hooley, Frank Miller, Mrs Millie (Ilford N)
Cocks, Michael (Bristol S) Horam, John Molloy, William
Coleman, Donald Howell, Denis (B'ham, Sm H) Moonman, Eric
Concannon, J. D. Hoyle, Doug (Nelson) Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)
Conlan, Bernard Huckfield, Les Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)
Cook, Robin F. (Edin C) Hughes, Rt Hon C. (Anglesey) Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon)
Corbett, Robin Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N) Moyle, Roland
Cox, Thomas (Tooting) Hughes, Roy (Newport) Mulley, Rt Hon Frederick
Craigen, J. M. (Maryhill) Hunter, Adam Murray, Rt Hon Ronald King
Cronin, John Irvine, Rt Hon Sir A. (Edge Hill) Newens, Stanley
Crosland, Rt Hon Anthony Irving, Rt Hon S. (Dartford) Noble, Mike
Cryer, Bob Jackson, Colin (Brighouse) Oakes, Gordon
Cunningham, G. (Islington S) Jackson, Miss Margaret (Lincoln) Ogden, Eric
Cunningham, Dr J (Whiteh) Janner, Greville O'Halloran, Michael
Davidson, Arthur Jay, Rt Hon Douglas O'Malley, Rt Hon Brian
Davies, Bryan (Enfield N) Jeger, Mrs Lena Orbach, Maurice
Davies, Denzil (Llanelli) Jenkins, Hugh (Putney) Orme, Rt Hon Stanley
Davies, Ifor (Gower) Jenkins, Rt Hon Roy (Stechford) Ovenden, John
Deakins, Eric John, Brynmor Owen, Dr David
Dean, Joseph (Leeds West) Johnson, James (Hull West) Padley, Walter
Delargy, Hugh Johnson, Walter (Derby S) Palmer, Arthur
Dell, Rt Hon Edmund Jones, Alec (Rhondda) Park, George
Dempsey, James Jones, Barry (East Flint) Parker, John
Doig, Peter Jones, Dan (Burnley) Parry, Robert
Douglas-Mann, Bruce Judd, Frank Pavitt, Laurie
Duffy, A. E. P. Kaufman, Gerald Price, C. (Lewisham W)
Dunn, James A. Kelley, Richard Price, William (Rugby)
Dunnett, Jack Kerr, Russell Radice, Giles
Eadie, Alex Kilroy-Silk, Robert Richardson, Miss Jo
Edelman, Maurice Kinnock, Neil Roberts, Albert (Normanton)
Edge, Geoff Lambie, David Roberts, Gwilym (Cannock)
Edwards, Robert (Wolv SE) Lamborn, Harry Robertson, John (Paisley)
Ellis, John (Brigg & Scun) Lamond, James Roderick, Caerwyn

Lords Amendment: No. 45, in page 56, line 1, leave out from "shall" to end of line 2 and insert not be questioned in any legal proceedings whatsoever".

Motion made, and Question put, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said amendment:—[Mr. John Silkin.]

The House divided: Ayes 273, Noes 30.

Rodgers, George (Chorley) Strang, Gavin Weetch, Ken
Rodgers, William (Stockton) Strauss, Rt Hon G. R. Weitzman, David
Rooker, J. W. Summerskill, Hon Dr Shirley Wellbeloved, James
Roper, John Swain, Thomas White, Frank R. (Bury)
Rose, Paul B. Taylor, Mrs. Ann (Bolton W) White, James (Pollok)
Ross, Rt Hon W. (Kilmarnock) Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery) Whitehead, Phillip
Rowlands, Ted Thomas, Mike (Newcastle E) Whitlock, William
Sandelson, Neville Thomas, Ron (Bristol NW) Willey, Rt Hon Frederick
Sedgemore, Brian Thorne, Stan (Preston South) Williams, Alan (Swansea W)
Selby, Harry Tierney, Sydney Williams, Alan Lee (Hornch'ch)
Shaw, Arnold (Ilford South) Tinn, James Williams, Rt Hon Shirley (Hertford)
Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-u-Lyne) Tomlinson, John Williams, W. T. (Warrington)
Short, Rt Hon E. (Newcastle C) Tomney, Frank Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)
Short, Mrs Renée(Wolv NE) Torney, Tom Wilson, Rt Hon H. (Huyton)
Silkin, Rt Hon John (Deptford) Tuck, Raphael Wilson, William (Coventry SE)
Silkin, Rt Hon S. C. (Dulwich) Urwin, T. W. Wise, Mrs Audrey
Sillars, James Varley, Rt Hon Eric G. Woodall, Alec
Silverman, Julius Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne V) Woof, Robert
Small, William Walden, Brian (B'ham, L'dyw'd) Wrigglesworth, Ian
Smith, John (N Lanarkshire) Walker, Harold (Doncaster) Young, David (Bolton E)
Spearing, Nigel Walker, Terry (Kingswood)
Spriggs, Leslie Ward, Michael TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Stallard, A. W. Watkins, David Mr. J. D. Dormand and
Stonehouse, Rt Hon John Watkinson, John Mr. David Stoddart.
Stott, Roger
Bain, Mrs Margaret Hooson, Emlyn Stainton, Keith
Bulmer, Esmond Howells, Geraint (Cardigan) Thomas, Dafydd (Merioneth)
Costain, A. P. Johnston, Russell (Inverness) Thompson, George
Crawford, Douglas Latham, Michael (Melton) Wainwright, Richard (Colne V)
Drayson, Burnaby MacCormick, Iain Watt, Hamish
Durant, Tony Pardoe, John Welsh, Andrew
Evans, Gwynfor (Carmarthen) Penhaligon, David Wilson, Gordon (Dundee E)
Fairgrieve, Russell Rawlinson, Rt Hon Sir Peter
Fletcher, Alex (Edinburgh N) Reid, George TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Gray, Hamish Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight) Mr. Douglas Henderson and
Griffiths, Eldon Smith, Cyril (Rochdale) Mr. Dafydd Wigley.
Grimond, Rt Hon J.

Question accordingly agreed to.

Subsequent Lords amendment agreed to.

Lords Amendment: No. 47, in page 56, line 28, after "development"' insert: of a kind consistent with the purpose specified as that for which the land is required

9.0 p.m.

Mr. John Silkin

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

This amendment would limit the Secretary of State's power to dispense with a public inquiry or hearing into a compulsory purchase order on the basis of a planning permission granted on appeal, to cases where the planning permission was of a kind consistent with the purpose of acquisition.

Sub-paragraph (3) in the new paragraph 4 to Schedule 1 of the Acquisition of Land Acts, inserted by paragraph 3 of Schedule 4 to the Bill, deals with the situations in which the Secretary of State has power to dispense with a public inquiry or hearing. They are, broadly, where planning permission has been granted for relevant development following the holding of a public inquiry, or where the grant of such permission would be in accordance with an adopted or approved statutory plan. This definition of the scope of the Secretary of State's discretion to dispense with a public inquiry was inserted at Commons Report stage, following intensive discussion in Committee, and with the Council on Tribunals, which expressed itself content with the approach then adopted.

This amendment attempts to qualify one of the three heads in sub-paragraph (3)—that dealing with the situation where planning permission for relevant development has been granted after an inquiry. It says that in this case, but not in those cases where the grant of planning permission for relevant development would be in accordance with the plan, the development for which planning permission has been granted must be consistent with the purpose of acquisition which the authority specifies when it makes a compulsory purchase order.

At first glance, the amendment may appear to have some attraction, but on closer inspection it appears that these attractions spring from a misunderstanding of the basic principle of subsection (3), together with a confusion over the respective rôles of planning inquiries and inquiries into compulsory purchase orders. The principle of the scheme is that development land—that is, land needed for relevant development within 10 years—should come into public ownership.

Once it has been settled that land is development land, there is a presumption in favour of public ownership. It is on this basis that it is reasonable for the Secretary of State to have power to dispense with an inquiry. Any planning permission for relevant development makes land development land. There having been an opportunity for those with an interest in the land to object at the earlier stage—either to the actual grant of planning permission or to the adoption or approval of the plan—there is no case for the Secretary of State to hold a further inquiry into a proposed compulsory acquisition, whatever the purpose for which the authority concerned was proposing to acquire the land.

We could not accept the general proposition that an inquiry into a compulsory purchase order would be the right place to consider the planning merits of the way in which the authority intended that the land should be developed. Of course, a change in planning proposals will be a matter of concern to neighbouring owners. But, in general, it would not seem to matter to an individual owner whether his land was to be taken for one kind of relevant development rather than another.

This is the logical and philosophical case against the amendment, and it explains why the Government cannot accept it. But it must be emphasised that all that these provisions do is to give the Secretary of State discretion to dispense with an inquiry where one of the conditions in sub-paragraph (3) is satisfied. It does not follow that the Secretary of State will always dispense with an inquiry wherever he has power to do so. He will have to exercise his discretion reasonably. There may well be cases where it will still be right to hold an inquiry even where one of the conditions is satisfied—and a change in planning intentions may be one such circumstance.

Mr. Graham Page

The right hon. Gentleman has put forward a most extraordinary philosophical argument. When he left his brief for a moment he turned to philosophy. How he can argue this on a philosophical basis I am not sure. His objection to the Lords amendment, as he said when reading his brief at the beginning of his speech, is that it limits the Secretary of State's powers to dispense with an inquiry. It would have been better if he had said that he is objecting because he wants to limit the right of an individual to an inquiry. That is what we are talking about.

I do not care about the Secretary of State's discretion to limit the individual with regard to public inquiries. I am concerned with whether the individual who is having his land taken away will have the right to an inquiry. By his opposition to the Lords amendment the right hon. Gentleman is depriving certain individuals in certain cases of the right to an inquiry into whether their land should be compulsorily purchased.

Let me go back to the beginning, because I do not believe that the Minister has put the case before the House. The schedule to which this is an amendment is brought into the Bill by Clause 15—the clause giving local authorities the power to acquire land in circumstances extended far beyond those applying at present. When using these extended powers, they will use an abbreviated procedure, which is set out in Schedule 4. It is Schedule 4 and that abbreviated procedure about which we are talking.

What Schedule 4, and particularly paragraph 3, says is that if an objection duly made is not withdrawn: then, before confirming the order, the confirming authority may if it considers it expedient to do so, and shall if sub-paragraph (3) below applies—(a) cause a public inquiry to be held". It is only if that sub-paragraph applies.

In the following sub-paragraph we are told when it does apply and when it does not apply. It is always a little confusing to move from the positive to the negative, but this is the way it works. If there has been planning permission given in respect of this land which is to be compulsorily acquired, the Secretary of State may dispense with the inquiry. This is in respect of any planning permission.

Let us suppose that the planning permission was for desirable residences, perhaps one to the acre, for the development of the land. The local authority may wish to acquire a property for the purpose of building an abattoir. What has the planning permission for desirable residences to do with the new purpose for which the land is being acquired? We can all think of comparisons between different types of planning permission. It is the height of illogicality to say that the Secretary of State shall deprive the owner of a property with planning permission of the right to an inquiry. There is nothing philosophical about it. It is a practical matter.

It was stated earlier that paragraph 2 of the schedule had been deleted. That paragraph stated that in future the acquiring authority would not need to state the purpose for which it was acquiring a property. However, that procedure has now been restored. The acquiring authority must state the purpose for the acquisition. What is the purpose of such a statement if no one is to be allowed to question it? It is illogical that an owner should be deprived of an inquiry as a result of this irrelevant planning permission procedure.

Throughout the debates on the Bill we have objected to the fact that the citizen is deprived of his rights as a result of the compulsory purchase procedure. The purpose of the Bill is to enable the local authority to acquire the development land. But the local authority will be allowed to acquire the land for practically any purpose it thinks fit. The Minister argued that we need not worry about compulsory purchase inquiries. He asked what there was to inquire into. The Bill specifies that development land shall be acquired by means of a compulsory purchase order. That being so, why should the Secretary of State have the discretion whether to hold an inquiry? Let us be honest and abolish the compulsory purchase order inquiries procedure and steamroller the measure through in a dictatorial fashion. It seems that that is what the Minister wants to do.

While there is power to hold an inquiry, let the procedure be sensible. We do not support the inquiry procedure originally suggested. Their Lordships have corrected the procedure in a small but important particular. I hope that the House will support their Lordships.

Mr. Michael Morris

I support my right hon. Friend the Member for Crosby (Mr. Page). I am greatly disturbed. From my experience of local government, I know that it is difficult for local authorities to act when dealing with compulsory purchase orders. Many families have grievously suffered as a result of CPOs, but until now owners have had the right to call for a public inquiry. They have had the opportunity at a public inquiry to question the uses to which the local authority states that the land will be put.

As I understand my right hon. Friend—to whom I am grateful for making matters clearer—the local authority may wish substantially to change the type of development for which planning permission has been given. The residents in the area know that there is an outstanding planning application for a certain type of development to which they have not objected. A completely different type of development may then be proposed because the local authority has changed political colour or has altered its strategy.

The Minister says that he may on occasion agree to a public inquiry but, depending on how he feels, he may say that there is no necessity for one. Once again the local people will have to create a furore to get a public inquiry. It is wrong to rely on the energy and resources of the local people to make such a fuss that in the end the Secretary of State has no option but to grant a public inquiry.

9.15 p.m

Their Lordships have put forward sensible, straightforward arguments to the right hon. Gentleman. I believe that the right hon. Gentleman wishes to safeguard the rights of the individual. He certainly gave that impression in Committee. If he does not wish to do that, he should say so. Their Lordships have made a contribution here which, if not of enormous moment, is useful, because it protects the rights of the individual and is a safeguard against his having to build up a froth of activity to get a public inquiry. I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will think again and see the considerable merit of the amendment.

Mr. Michael Latham

I was surprised that the Minister should ask the House to reject the amendment, which is one of the most meritorious of all the amendments which the Lords have made against the wishes of the Government.

As the Bill stands, the Secretary of State has power to refuse a public inquiry into a compulsory purchase order if the confirming authority is satisfied that planning permission for relevant development is in force in respect of the land comprised in the order—not specific relevant development but any relevant development. Their Lordships rightly considered this to be unsatisfactory. Justice was critical of this procedure in one of its memoranda.

Their Lordships want to make sure that the development shall be of a kind that is consistent with the purpose specified as that for which the land is acquired. It is elementary justice that a person whose land is to be acquired shall not have it taken away from him without having the right to put his case. If a person has his land taken away without a specific inquiry, which would be of use to him, as opposed to a generalised inquiry into the development plan which may already have taken place, it is wrong to say that he shall not have that unusual power if the planning permission which is in force is different from that which is envisaged in future.

The right hon. Gentleman was less forthcoming than he usually is. He gave only a brief explanation, and I understand why. He wishes to make progress. None of us has any objection to that, but there are many hon. Members in the House, if not in the Chamber, who are not as familiar with the Bill as is the right hon. Gentleman. In particular, they are perhaps not as familiar with the discussion in the House of Lords on 24th October.

My noble Friend Viscount Colville of Culross moved this amendment. I am not allowed to quote him, but I am allowed to quote Lord Melchett, who was the Government spokesman. I think that Lord Melchett got himself into rather a mess. That is not directly our concern, except that the right hon. Gentleman has not helped much to untangle it, so we need to get it clear now.

In resisting the amendment, Lord Melchett said: In cases falling within paragraph 3(3)(a), the Secretary of State will need to have granted planning permission after a public inquiry for development falling within the definition of 'relevant development'. In that event, the principle that the land falls within the scope of the land scheme will have been settled. If there was any proposal to carry out relevant development of a kind not covered by the planning permission granted by the Secretary of State, a further planning inquiry would have to be held, if the planning procedure so required. That is simply not accurate. There is nothing in the Bill to show that a further planning inquiry would have to be held. The right hon. Gentleman has not made any such suggestion. He has told us that in certain circumstances, he would feel it necessary to grant such a public inquiry even if, on the strict wording of the Bill, he was under no obligation to do so.

On this matter Lord Colville challenged Lord Melchett, who then said, rather differently from what he had said previously: When deciding whether or not to have an inquiry the Secretary of State would, of course, bear in mind whether the reasons stated by the authority were justified by the previous inquiry. If an authority, having bought land on the basis of a plan, wants to grant permission for some other kind of development…the proposal will be subject to public participation. Again I have to correct Lord Melchett. There is no obligation that the proposal should be subject to public participation. Where, in the planning manuals and Acts, in the circumstances I have described, and to which Lord Melchett was referring, is there provision that the proposal will be subject to public participation? I think that Lord Melchett was in error.

Later in his speech, he qualified what he had said. He stated that the Department encourages local authorities to put their proposals to public participation in cases where this would be necessary if the proposals were being carried out by a private person. We propose to amend the general regulations to make it an obligation on local authorities to do so in such circumstances. It is not that they have to do so but that new Regulations are to be made which we have not seen, the contents of which we do not know and which will make it obligatory to have public participation.

The House may regard this as an extremely unsatisfactory state of affairs. We are asked to disagree with the Lords amendment based on remarks made by Lord Melchett which have not been fully amplified by the right hon. Gentleman and which are at the least misleading and certainly require elucidation.

When the noble Lord was dealing specifically with this amendment—Amendment No. 55A in another place—he said: The reasons given by the authority go to the merits of the order rather than whether the planning background is such that an inquiry or hearing may be dispensed with. But the reasons given by the authority would be taken into account in deciding whether it was expedient to hold an inquiry."—[Official Report, House of Lords, 24th October 1975; Vol. 354, c. 1774–7.] I emphasise the words the reasons given by the authority would be taken into account in deciding whether it was expedient to hold an inquiry. That is simply not good enough for the rights of the citizen. The rights of the citizen should be absolutely clear. If his land is to be taken from him, he should have the right to go to a public inquiry and to put his case in terms which relate to his plot of land. He should not have to go to a general development plan inquiry and try to get his oar in there and be told by the inspector, if it be a structure plan inquiry, that it is too general a hearing to deal with his specific point.

Here we have an even worse consideration, where an inquiry is held and there is then to be another planning permission different from what was originally in force, different from what was originally envisaged, and then, on the basis of the reasons given by the local authority—not the rights of the individual or the specific circumstances of his case, but the reasons given by the local authority—the Secretary of States decides whether it is expedient to hold a public inquiry. I do not believe that anyone here who has considered this matter seriously would regard that as in any way a satisfactory state of affairs.

When the right hon. Gentleman replies to the debate, I hope he will tell us, first, why it was that Lord Melchett, as a member of the Government, in dealing with the amendments, gave to another place what I can only consider a mistaken description of the position. This seems to me to be a matter of some importance. I should like to know why the right hon. Gentleman, in introducing the debate, made no attempt at all to explain it and why he came to the House with so little explanation that he was prepared to stand by and ask this House to allow people to have their land taken away without the right of public inquiry where a different planning permission was envisaged.

I call that a disgraceful state of affairs, and I believe that the people of this country think so too.

Mr. Stainton

I warmly support the comments on this matter from the Conservative side. I should not have thought that the House of Lords, in propounding Amendment No. 47, was asking very much. One detected that the Minister seemed to be saying that the amendment neither added nor subtracted anything. I happen to think that it adds quite a lot, and I hope that my hon. Friends will support the House of Lords in this amendment.

I want to deviate from the general argument and press the Minister about interpretation. It may be that I have come rather too late to the scene. I am by no means a legal or drafting expert, but we are now talking about the contents of paragraph 3, which deals with substitutions for paragraph 4 of Schedule 1. I have been searching the schedule—

Mr. John Silkin

It is Schedule 1 to the Acquisition of Land Act.

Mr. Stainton

Precisely, and one learns this through going back to the preceding paragraph 2, which is now deleted. Paragraph 2 read: So much of Schedule 1 or of any regulations made under the Act of 1946", and so on. That is now deleted. I emphasise again that I am not discussing this matter as a legal expert. But I wonder how anyone picking up this document would be able to identify the schedule in question.

Pursuing this argument in a little more detail, I notice that in line 12 we start with the opening of quotations, but I look in vain for their closing. We are invited to substitute "the following paragraph". May we be told which is the following paragraph? The quotations do not terminate anywhere.

I am at a loss about Schedule I, having seen paragraph 2 deleted. I am also at a loss about "the following paragraph" in that the quotations do not terminate, and there is no one paragraph obviously to be substituted, but a series of sub-paragraphs.

9.30 p.m.

Mr. Raison

My right hon. and hon. Friends have made out an overwhelming case. The Secretary of State is seeking to limit the rights of the individual to an inquiry, and we cannot believe that that is correct. His argument is that there is an earlier chance to object during the planning permission process. But that is not sufficient. Circumstances change. I cannot see why the right hon. Gentleman should seek to remove this right.

Again, what is the value of the requirement on the local authority to state reasons for acquisition if there need not be an inquiry? It is possible for the reasons to change. There is no necessary way in which it is possible to challenge.

The right hon. Gentleman has failed to sustain his argument. I hope that my right hon. and hon. Friends will support their Lordships in this amendment.

Mr. John Silkin

With some diffidence, I had better deal first with the matters raised by the hon. Member for Sudbury and Woodbridge (Mr. Stainton). I confess that I thought that he bowled an extremely fast ball. However, I understand that the quotes terminate in page 57, line 41. The paragraph to be substituted is a new paragraph 4 in page 56, line 12, just after the quotes open. I hope that that explains that difficulty, though I must say that, reading it quickly, it does not really explain it to me. However, I am sure that the hon. Gentleman has had time to follow it and has already seen that it is correct.

Mr. Stainton

I cannot identify Schedule 1 formally within the contents of Schedule 4, and I submit that it should and must be identified within that schedule.

Mr. Silkin

Perhaps I might be allowed to return to that in a moment. I am sure that the hon. Gentleman is wrong and that we can show it to him in due course.

I turn then to the hon. Member for Melton (Mr. Latham). His remarks give rise to three comments. First, he and his hon. Friends do not agree with the purpose of the Bill. That is one of the matters on which we can never agree, and there it is. Naturally, when we introduce a Bill the purpose of which is to give local authorities the power and then the duty to acquire all land on which relevant development is to take place in their areas, I do not expect the Opposition to begin cheering. So when we come to that, of course there is a difference between us.

Therefore, naturally there is a difference of view concerning development land and whether it should be acquired. Whether the land is development land for one purpose or another logically and philosophically makes no difference. The scheme is concerned with the acquisition of relevant development land by local authorities.

The hon. Member for Melton spoke about my noble Friend Lord Melchett. On the question of a public inquiry he probably said that there "would" be a public inquiry instead of saying that there "could" be a public inquiry. However, I understand that the position has now been corrected and therefore there should be no misconception about that matter.

Mr. Michael Latham

This is obviously a most important point. Lord Melchett said: a further planning inquiry would have to be held".—[Official Report, House of Lords, 24th October, 1975; Vol 364, c. 1775.] Is the Minister saying that the noble Lord made a mistake and subsequently corrected Hansard, that he was wrongly reported, or what?

Mr. Silkin

No. I am saying that the noble Lord in the long watches of the night or day slipped into saying "would" rather than "could". It is a mistake that some hon. Gentlemen make. Even the hon. and learned Member for Kinross and West Perthshire (Mr. Fairbairn) has been known to make a mistake. I remember that on one occasion he even called me "learned".

Mr. Nicholas Fairbairn (Kinross and West Perthshire)

Will the Minister explain what would be the meaning if, even in the long watches of the night—we have not reached that stage yet—the noble Lord had said "A planning inquiry could have to be held"? That would be rubbish.

Mr. Silkin

That is not what I said. I said that the noble Lord slipped into saying that there "would" rather than there "could" be a public inquiry. He said "would" when he meant "could". There is a sense in which the noble Lord was right, but I shall deal with that matter in a moment.

I turn to the point raised by the hon. Member for Sudbury and Woodbridge. I have further news for him. The reference to Schedule 1 derives from paragraph 1 of Schedule 4 which deals with modification to the Acquisition of Land Acts. Therefore, it is Schedule 1 of those Acts which is being modified.

I return to the point raised by the hon. Member for Melton. I was saying that there was a sense in which the noble Lord was right. The noble Lord was talking about participation as well as an inquiry. I hope the hon. Gentleman agrees that where there is a major departure from a plan, there has to be an advertisement. I am sure that the right hon. Member for Crosby (Mr. Page) agrees with me about this, because we can revert to the 1971 Act of which we are both so fond. If there is an advertisement, is there not also the opportunity of participation? Surely that must be so.

Mr. Michael Latham

I am in some difficulty, because under the rules of order I must paraphrase rather than quote. However, on 24th October—c. 1775 of Hansard—my noble Friend Viscount Colville of Culross made the point that the Department had just issued Circular 96/75, which substantially modified the old rules about departures and reduced the number of occasions when local authorities have to advertise such departures. Will the Minister comment on that?

Mr. Silkin

I was talking about a major departure from the plan and not about what the noble Lord said. I am concerned with the truth of the matter. I want to put this situation to the hon. Member for Melton and to the right hon. Member for Crosby, with whose rather interesting illustration I propose to deal. The point is that where there is a major departure from a plan, it becomes nearly certain—it depends what kind of major departure it is—that the Secretary of State would exercise his discretion.

Perhaps I may use the illustration given by the right hon. Member for Crosby to show the force of the argument. We are dealing with a compulsory purchase order inquiry, not the planning situation. Someone proposes to sell land which the local authority has said is residential land, but then the authority decides that it will be suitable for the erection of an abattoir. I do not think that an abattoir is a good example because, as the right hon. Gentleman knows, other considerations may apply. Nevertheless, let us assume some rather noisome, unfortunate development for those living nearby. We all know that certain other developments might be considered nuisances by neighbours.

From the point of view of the person selling the land on which a CPO is placed, it does not make any difference. At that stage there has been a planning inquiry. Now the question is whether there should be another inquiry on the compulsory purchase order. It does not matter to the person selling the land. To whom does it matter? It matters to his neighbours, because there will be a total change in the area from residential to something else which they might not find so attractive. In that case the Secretary of State would use his discretion.

Mr. Graham Page

Would he?

Mr. Silkin

Yes, he would. The right hon. Gentleman would do it just as I would do it in those cases. There is no question about that.

Let me take a better illustration, which has been put forward by hon. Gentlemen opposite. I want to put the argument as strongly as I can. Let us take the case of someone who owns land part of which has been compulsorily acquired. Let us assume that the authority has zoned all the land for residential purposes and, because it was looking only five years ahead, acquired part of it and then on the other part wanted to build an abattoir, or whatever it may be. The Secretary of State would look at that case and say "This is a bit different. There will be a great difference in the planning procedures regarding that land. Of course there must be an inquiry." In those two examples that I have given the Secretary of State would exercise his discretion.

Mr. Michael Latham

The right hon. Gentleman is giving illustrations of circumstances in which the Secretary of State would grant a public inquiry, that is, would not exercise his right to forbid a public inquiry on the ground that one had already taken place. Will he indicate in what circumstances there would not be a public inquiry?

Mr. Silkin

I should like to finish my train of thought. I was hoping that the hon. Gentleman would be very much on it. I was dealing with the point made by the right hon. Member for Crosby who, in his usual histrionic and dramatic fashion, asked "Why on earth does he want to bother with his discretion? He will take it in all cases." I was attempting to give examples of cases in which the Secretary of State would be virtually duty bound to do it. These are important cases, especially as the first one was illustrated by the right hon. Gentleman.

Mr. Graham Page

The Minister is persisting in the argument that the compulsory purchase order is for the acquisition of development land and that therefore nobody can argue about it. But the argument which is used in compulsory purchase order inquiries is that there is no reason to acquire the land for the purpose stated by the acquiring authority, that the purpose is not there, or it is a bad purpose. That is the basis of the present CPO inquiries. Is that to go altogether? Is not the objector to have a chance to say that the purpose is wrong, unnecessary, or irrelevant?

Mr. Silkin

This brings us to our fundamental differences. That is why, although I thought that the right hon. Gentleman was chiding me about talking logic and philosophy, it is logic and philosophy that divide us. Our logic and philosophy believe that land on which relevant development takes place should be publicly owned. That is where we differ from the right hon. Gentleman. I am therefore saying that where land exists on which relevant development is to take

Division No. 395.] AYES [9.40 p.m.
Abse, Leo Benn, Rt Hon Anthony Wedgwood Callaghan, Jim (Middleton & P)
Allaun, Frank Bennett, Andrew (Stockport N) Campbell, Ian
Anderson, Donald Bidwell, Sydney Canavan, Dennis
Archer, Peter Bishop, E. S. Cant, R. B.
Armstrong, Ernest Boardman, H. Carmichael, Neil
Ashley, Jack Booth, Albert Carter, Ray
Ashton, Joe Bottomley, Rt Hon Arthur Carter-Jones, Lewis
Atkins, Ronald (Preston N) Boyden, James (Bish Auck) Cartwright, John
Atkinson, Norman Brown, Hugh D (Provan) Castle, Rt Hon Barbara
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Buchan, Norman Clemitson, Ivor
Barnett, Rt Hon Joel (Heywood) Buchanan, Richard Cocks, Michael (Bristol S)
Bates, Alf Butler, Mrs Joyce (Wood Green) Coleman, Donald
Bean, R. E. Callaghan, Rt Hon J. (Cardiff SE) Concannon, J. D

place, it does not matter whether it is one development or another. It is relevant development, so the local authority should acquire it.

Mr. Graham Page

What is the purpose of the sub-paragraph that their Lordships are trying to amend, that the individual will have the right to a public inquiry if there is planning permission for relevant development? Why take that out altogether if he cannot argue that?

Mr. Silkin

I am trying to explain that the Secretary of State may want to exercise his discretion. I do not expect the right hon. Gentleman to go along with my philosophy, but, looking at it through the philosophical eyes of believing that all relevant development land should be publicly-owned, surely he would want the Secretary of State to have discretion to say, in the case that he gave us, that residential land to abattoir was a major development and a case for discretion.

The hon. Member for Melton asked whether there were cases where the Secretary of State would not exercise his discretion: of course—in the general course of events where he was satisfied that the land was relevant development land and there was no other indication of a planning change which was major or would embarrass or cause difficulty to those living in the neighbourhood.

What divides us is the political and philosophical division. That is a proper division for two political parties. If Conservative Members feel so strongly about it that they wish to test the strength of feeling in the Lobby, I regard that as perfectly within their rights, and I shall be happy to see the result tested.

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

The House divided: Ayes 274, Noes 267.

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

Question accordingly agreed to.

It being after Ten o'clock, further consideration of the Lords amendments stood adjourned.


That the consideration of Lords Amendments to the Community Land Bill may be proceeded with at this day's Sitting, though opposed, until any hour.—[Mr. John Ellis.]

Lords amendments further considered.

Lords Amendment: No. 48, in page 56, line 33, after "approved" insert: after a local inquiry or hearing".

Mr. Oakes

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

The purpose of the amendment is to limit the Secretary of State's power to dispense with a public inquiry into a compulsory purchase order on the basis of an adopted or approved local plan to cases where there had been a public inquiry into that plan.

The amendment is not concerned with a very wide point. When it was debated in another place there was no dispute that the combined effect of Section 13 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1971 and the Regulations made under it was to ensure that where there is an objection to a local plan there will always be a public inquiry before that plan can be adopted or approved. But the argument put forward was that, in some cases, a local plan might have been adopted without an inquiry because there were no objections to it.

In practice, it is almost inconceivable that this will happen. But if it were to happen, there seems no reason whatever for binding the Secretary of State to hold an inquiry into the CPO. The only argument that was put forward for this proposition in the Lords was that, whilst there might at the time have been good reasons for a person not objecting to a local plan, circumstances might have changed by the time the CPO was made. But this could arise equally where there had been a public inquiry into the local plan. It is precisely to allow for this possibility that there is simply a power to dispense with a public inquiry rather than an automatic provision for proceeding without an inquiry.

There is, therefore, nothing special to distinguish cases where a local plan has been adopted without an inquiry from cases where there has been an inquiry. The amendment is therefore misguided. But the fact that circumstances had changed substantially since a previous inquiry—or since a plan had been adopted without an inquiry—is precisely the sort of point that the Secretary of State would need to consider in exercising his discretion on this matter.

As I have said in many of these debates, the Secretary of State is responsible to the House for his decisions.

Mr. Graham Page

The Undersecretary said that in no case, if there was an objection, would there fail to be a local inquiry. The purpose of the amendment is to ensure that the citizen whose land is being taken away from him can require an inquiry into the compulsory purchase order to see that there is a proper purpose for acquiring the land. As the Bill stands, he is to be deprived of that right to an inquiry if there has been an inquiry into a local plan or if there is a local plan which has been approved, whether there has been a public inquiry or not.

The Under-Secretary of State seeks to justify his argument by saying that a plan would not be approved without a public inquiry if objections were made. That does not meet the case entirely. Under Section 13 of the 1971 Act it is not necessary to have a public inquiry if there is an objection. What is required is another hearing. Even if there were an objection, the Secretary of State need not have a public inquiry but could have some form of hearing which might not be known to the person from whom the property was eventually to be acquired. Secondly, the person from whom the property was to be acquired might not have owned the property at the time of the inquiry into the local plan. Indeed, he might not have been living in the district. In that case, he would not have had the opportunity of objecting. There being no objection, there would be no local inquiry and no other type of hearing.

I base my objection to what the hon. Gentleman has been saying on the ground that Section 13 does not require the Secretary of State to have a public inquiry in every case where there is an objection. He can avoid having a public inquiry by having another form of hearing before an inspector. In that event, a citizen loses his right to have a public inquiry into a plan to acquire his property by means of a compulsory purchase order.

Mr. Durant

As, regrettably, the previous amendment was defeated, this amendment becomes even more important. We are debating the rights of the citizen. As a result of the previous Division, we have limited the objections that a citizen can raise at a public inquiry. We must now press for the provision of a second inquiry. We have heard from my right hon. Friend the Member for Crosby (Mr. Page) some of the reasons for taking such a stance. We must seek to protect the rights of the individual.

In another place, the protection of the individual citizen was the nub of the discussion. Like my hon. Friend the Member for Melton (Mr. Latham), having read the report of the debate I found the proceedings in another place to be somewhat confusing. The Opposition spokesman was the only participant who concentrated on the right of the individual to have his or her case heard before a public inquiry.

The Bill seeks to turn the local authority in to the planner, the developer and the organisation which takes the cash. It is only right that when that power is put in the hands of the local authority we should seek to strengthen the public inquiry provisions. Justice wrote to Members of Parliament on 26th September and made the very important point that circumstances could change between the first and second inquiries. The letter reads: For example, an area of houses may be zoned in the plan for residential purposes, the zoning reflecting the existing use. A proposal to put flats in that area would no doubt be ' in accordance with the provisions of the plan' because it is residential in character, but whether the area was suitable for redevelopment with flats would not have been an issue at the inquiry". That means that the individual would not have the right to object to the change which had taken place between the main plan and the present situation. That is an important aspect of a second inquiry.

I have been in local government for many years, and I have always thought that provisions to protect the citizen at public inquiries were not good enough. The individual finds himself in a weaker position than a local authority. The local authority often pays for the services of a legal adviser, sometimes a barrister, to put its case, but the ordinary citizen is on his own and often does not do well under cross-examination. Therefore, the House of Commons should always try to assist the individual in his appearance at inquiries.

I thought that the House of Commons was the place where the individual's rights were protected. However, it would appear that the other place is the defender of the rights of the individual. Their Lordships take that rôle while the House of Commons appears to run roughshod over everybody. This is an amendment of importance, and we should seek to uphold it.

Mr. Michael Latham

I wish to support the arguments in favour of the Lords amendment. Once gain, I wish to refer to the wit and wisdom of Lord Melchett, the Government Minister in charge of the Bill in another place. When resisting an amendment moved by my noble and learned Friend Lord Colville of Culross, Lord Melchett said: To put all that simply, if there is any valid objection to a local plan there will always have to be a public inquiry into the plan. Therefore, it is our view that the Amendment is not necessary. If there are no objections to local plans—if someone has had the right to object to a local plan and thereby force an inquiry and has not done so—we take the view that the Secretary of State should have the power to dispense with an inquiry."—[Official Report, House of Lords, 5th November 1975, Vol. 365, c. 1170.] The noble Lord resisted the amendment because he could envisage a situation in which there would be no public inquiry because nobody had raised an objection. However, that is not the point at issue in this instance. The point is whether a private citizen should have his rights removed by having a compulsory purchase order made against him without having the opportunity of a hearing at which the matter would be considered. The person concerned might have moved into the area after the local plan had been draw up and the local situation might have changed dramatically since the plan was laid. That man might be unaware of what had happened at a previous local inquiry, and that again could cause great difficulty.

The provision in question envisages the Secretary of State having the power to say that a man's land can be confiscated by the State without his having any right to have the case heard in public. The Minister said earlier that there was a great political divide between the two sides of the House on this matter.

Indeed there is, because it is wrong that a man should have his house taken away from him without his having the right to put his case in public. That is the simple issue for the public to understand, and that is the important point to be considered as we go into the Lobby in support of the amendment.

10.15 p.m.

Mr. Rossi

I reinforce the arguments of my right hon. and hon. Friends in support of this amendment. We firmly and strongly believe that no private citizen should be dispossessed of his property, be it his home, garden or any piece of land he may own, without the opportunity to have the matter publicly discussed. The issue must first be arbitrated judicially, in public. We do not accept the proposition that the mere fact that there has been public participation in some kind of planning procedure should deny a man the right to have his own personal situation judicially determined in the open if he so desires, so that not only may justice be done but it may be seen to be done. That has always been a principle of justice in this country and it is one to which we should adhere.

This amendment seeks to avoid the situation when there may not be any kind of public discussion. If there is no objection to a local plan, there is no inquiry. It is only when there is an objection that there is a planning inquiry. We consider that to be insufficient even for compulsory purchase purposes. Here it is even worse. The purpose of the amendment is to insert words which will ensure that a public inquiry on a compulsory purchase can be omitted only after there has been a local inquiry or hearing. If there has been no such inquiry or hearing, there must be a public inquiry when a man is being sought to be dispossessed. I hope that my right hon. and hon. Friends will support their Lordships.

Mr. Oakes

The hon. Member for Hornsey (Mr. Rossi) and the right hon. Member for Crosby (Mr. Page) have shifted their ground considerably since the argument on this amendment was pressed in the other place. What they are now saying is that they are opposed to a hearing instead of a public inquiry. If they read the amendment, they will see that that is not what it says. The amendment says that there shall be an inquiry or a hearing. For the reasons I advanced when I asked the House to disagree with the Lords in this amendment, the arguments which Conservative Members are using when they say that there has not been an inquiry or hearing could equally apply when there had been such an inquiry or hearing. The man concerned could have moved to the area; circumstances could have changed. All of these things could have happened when there had been a hearing. In pressing this amendment, their Lordships were not using even remotely the same arguments as those used tonight.

The hon. Member for Reading, North (Mr. Durant) put forward a somewhat bizarre proposition, namely that their Lordships—that palace of privileges—were defending the rights of the ordinary citizens. I would prefer the rights of the ordinary citizen—I am certain that Conservative Members would too—to be looked after in this matter of inquiries not by their Lordships but by the Council on Tribunals. The Council was quite satisfied with this provision as drafted. It did not ask for any of the additions proposed by their Lordships. When the liberty of the individual and the rights of the citizen are involved, I would back the Council on Tribunals against their Lordships any day.

Mr. John Peyton (Yeovil)

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I wonder whether the Minister is making the best of his case, or helping it at all—it is not a very good one—by using such phrases as "palace of privileges" in describing another place—

Mr. Grocott

You have only just come in.

Mr. Peyton

The hon. Member is intervening in a most impertinent manner. I have been here longer than he has. I wonder whether you would consider it right, Mr. Deputy Speaker, to direct the Minister to withdraw so offensive and quite unnecessary a phrase which, as I understand it, is wholly beyond the rules of order.

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Sir Myer Galpern)

I shall certainly take action when I consider that unparliamentary language is being used. I do not think that so far the Minister has used such language.

Mr. Peyton

I wonder, Mr. Deputy Speaker, whether you heard the phrase "palace of privileges". That is a tendentious, offensive and unnecessary way of supporting an admittedly barren argument. I suggest that that phrase is out of order and should be withdrawn.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Such phrases are used repeatedly by hon. Members in the House. We may not like those phrases but they are not offensive. Sometimes they probably hurt. However, I do not regard what the Minister said as being unparliamentary.

Mr. Oakes

Whether there is an inquiry or a hearing or whether discretion is involved, the Secretary of State is responsible to the House. If he exercises his discretion badly, he must answer for it to the House.

Mr. Stainton

Should not the Secretary of State be called to answer to the House?

Mr. Oakes

But not on this Bill since it is not yet law.

It may amaze the Opposition to know that even now there need not be an inquiry into a compulsory purchase order, although there may be an opportunity for a hearing. That is the present position. We say in the amendment that any Secretary of State, of any Government, will exercise his discretion wisely as he is responsible to the House for the exercise

Division No. 396.] AYES [10.24 p.m.
Abse, Leo Callaghan, Rt Hon J. (Cardiff SE) Davidson, Arthur
Allaun, Frank Callaghan, Jim (Middleton & P) Davies, Bryan (Enfield N)
Anderson, Donald Campbell, Ian Davies, Denzil (Llanelli)
Archer, Peter Canavan, Dennis Dairies, Ifor (Gower)
Armstrong, Ernest Cant, R. B. Deakins, Eric
Ashley, Jack Carmichael, Neil Dean, Joseph (Leeds West)
Ashton, Joe Carter, Ray Delargy, Hugh
Atkins, Ronald (Preston N) Carter-Jones, Lewis Dell, Rt Hon Edmund
Atkinson, Norman Cartwright, John Dempsey, James
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Castle, Rt Hon Barbara Doig, Peter
Bain, Mrs Margaret Clemitson, Ivor Dormand, J. D.
Barnett, Rt Hon Joel (Heywood) Cocks, Michael (Bristol S) Douglas-Mann, Bruce
Bates, Alf Coleman, Donald Duffy, A. E. P.
Bean, R. E. Concannon, J. D. Dunn, James A.
Benn, Rt Hon Anthony Wedgwood Conlan, Bernard Dunnett, Jack
Bennett, Andrew (Stockport N) Cook, Robin F. (Edin C) Eadie, Alex
Bidwell, Sydney Corbett, Robin Edelman, Maurice
Bishop, E. S. Cox, Thomas (Tooting) Edge, Geoff
Boardman, H. Craigen, J. M. (Maryhill) Edwards, Robert (Wolv SE)
Booth, Albert Crawford, Douglas Ellis, John (Brlgg & Scun)
Bottomley, Rt Hon Arthur Crawshaw, Richard English, Michael
Boyden, James (Bish Auck) Cronin, John Evans, Fred (Caerphilly)
Brown, Hugh D (Provan) Crosland, Rt Hon Anthony Evans, Gwynfor (Carmarthen)
Buchan, Norman Cryer, Bob Evans, Ioan (Aberdare)
Buchanan, Richard Cunningham, G. (Islington S) Ewing, Harry (Stirling)
Butler, Mrs Joyce (Wood Green) Cunningham, Dr J (Whiteh) Fernyhough, Rt Hon E.

of that discretion. I therefore ask my hon. Friends to resist the amendment.

Mr. Stainton

I seek clarification. I do not know what rights or powers the Under-Secretary has to reply to the debate. The anchor of the case he presented to the House was the responsibility of the Secretary of State, which we were assured would not be abused because ultimately he was answerable to the House. When I asked for examples of the responsibility of Secretaries of State in terms of public inquiries, I received the slick answer that this measure had not come into force. That was a deceptive and futile answer.

I obviously raised the question of the Secretary of State's responsibility in the context of town and country planning inquiries. All Members of Parliament have considerable traffic with Secretaries of State, of both parties, when trying to bring about public inquiries. Sometimes we are successful; at other times we are not successful. Although I admit that the Under-Secretary has some grounds on which to defend the situation which he described, if he rests his case on the answerability of the Secretary of State he must be more explicit. He must not try to pawn me off by saying that the Bill is not yet law. I referred to the context of the whole procedure.

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

The House divided: Ayes 285, Noes 253.

Fitch, Alan (Wigan) Loyden, Eddie Selby, Harry
Fitt, Gerard (Balfast W) Luard, Evan Shaw, Arnold (Ilford South)
Flannery, Martin Lyon, Alexander (York) Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-u-Lyne)
Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) Lyons, Edward (Bradford W) Short, Rt Hon E. (Newcastle C)
Foot, Rt Hon Michael Mabon, Dr J. Dickson Short, Mrs Renée(Wolv NE)
Forrester, John McCartney, Hugh Silkin, Rt Hon John (Deptford)
Fowler, Gerald (The Wrekin) MacCormick, Iain Silkin, Rt Hon S. C. (Dulwich)
Fraser, John (Lambeth, N'w'd) McElhone, Frank Sillars, James
Freeson, Reginald MacFarquhar, Roderick Silverman, Julius
Garrett, John (Norwich S) McGuire, Michael (Ince) Small, William
Garrett, W. E. (Wallsend) Mackenzie, Gregor Smith, John (N Lanarkshire)
George, Bruce Mackintosh, John P. Spearing, Nigel
Gilbert, Dr John Maclennan, Robert Spriggs, Leslie
Ginsburg, David McMillan, Tom (Glasgow C) Stallard. A. W.
Golding, John Madden, Max Stoddart, David
Gould, Bryan Magee, Bryan Stott, Roger
Gourlay, Harry Mahon, Simon Strang, Gavin
Graham, Ted Mallalieu, J. P. W. Strauss, Rt Hon G. R.
Grant, George (Morpeth) Marks, Kenneth Summerskill, Hon Dr Shirley
Grant, John (Islington C) Marquand, David Swain, Thomas
Grocott, Bruce Marshall, Dr Edmund (Goole) Taylor, Mrs. Ann (Bolton W)
Hardy, Peter Marshall, Jim (Leicester S) Thomas, Dafydd (Merioneth)
Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) Maynard, Miss Joan Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)
Hart, Rt Hon Judith Meacher, Michael Thomas, Mike (Newcastle E)
Hatton, Frank Mellish, Rt Hon Robert Thomas, Ron (Bristol NW)
Hayman, Mrs Helene Mikardo, Ian Thompson, George
Healey, Rt Hon Denis Millan, Bruce Thorne, Stan (Preston South)
Heffer, Eric S. Miller, Dr M. S. (E Kilbride) Tierney, Sydney
Henderson, Douglas Miller, Mrs Millie (Ilford N) Tinn, James
Hooley, Frank Molloy, William Tomlinson, John
Horam, John Moonman, Eric Tomney, Frank
Howell, Denis (B'ham, Sm H) Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe) Torney, Tom
Hoyle, Doug (Nelson) Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw) Tuck, Raphael
Huckfield, Les Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon) Urwin, T. W.
Hughes, Rt Hon C. (Anglesey) Moyle, Roland Varley, Rt Hon Eric G.
Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N) Mulley, Rt Hon Frederick Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne V)
Hughes, Roy (Newport) Murray, Rt Hon Ronald King Walden, Brian (B'ham,L'dyw'd)
Hunter, Adam Newens, Stanley Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Irvine, Rt Hon Sir A. (Edge Hill) Noble, Mike Walker, Terry (Kingswood)
Irving, Rt Hon S. (Dartford) Oakes, Gordon Ward, Michael
Jackson, Colin (Brighouse) Ogden, Eric Watkins, David
Jackson, Miss Margaret (Lincoln) O'Halloran, Michael Watklnson, John
Janner, Greville O'Malley, Rt Hon Brian Watt, Hamish
Jay, Rt Hon Douglas Orbach, Maurice Weetch, Ken
Jeger, Mrs Lena Orme, Rt Hon Stanley Weitzman, David
Jenkins, Hugh (Putney) Ovenden, John Wellbeloved, James
Jenkins, Rt Hon Roy (Stechford) Owen, Dr David Welsh, Andrew
John, Brynmor Padley, Walter White, Frank R. (Bury)
Johnson, James (Hull West) Palmer, Arthur White, James (Pollok)
Johnson, Walter (Derby S) Park, George Whitehead, Phillip
Jones, Alec (Rhondda) Parker, John Whitlock, William
Jones, Barry (East Flint) Parry, Robert Wigley, Dafydd
Jones, Dan (Burnley) Pavitt, Laurie Willey, Rt Hon Frederick
Judd, Frank Price, C. (Lewisham W) Williams, Alan (Swansea W)
Kautman, Gerald Price, William (Rugby) Williams, Alan Lee (Hornch'ch)
Kelley, Richard Radice, Giles Williams, Rt Hon Shirley (Hertford)
Kerr, Russell Reid, George Williams, W. T. (Warrington)
Kilroy-Silk, Robert Richardson, Miss Jo Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)
Kinnock, Neil Roberts, Albert (Normanton) Wilson, Gordon (Dundee E)
Lambie, David Roberts, Gwilym (Cannock) Wilson, Rt Hon H. (Huyton)
Lamborn, Harry Robertson, John (Paisley) Wilson, William (Coventry SE)
Lamond, James Roderick, Caerwyn Wise, Mrs Audrey
Latham, Arthur (Paddington) Rodgers, George (Chorley) Woodall, Alec
Leadbitter, Ted Rodgers, William (Stockton) Woof, Robert
Lee, John Rooker, J. W. Wrigglesworth, Ian
Lestor, Miss Joan (Eton & Slough) Roper, John Young, David (Bolton E)
Lever, Rt Hon Harold Rose, Paul B.
Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Ross, Rt Hon W. (Kilmarnock) TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Lipton, Marcus Rowlands, Ted Mr. Joseph Harper and
Litterick, Tom Sandelson, Neville Mr. James Hamilton.
Sedgemore, Brian
Adley, Robert Bennett, Dr Reginald (Fareham) Braine, Sir Bernard
Aitken, Jonathan Benyon, W. Brittan, Leon
Alison, Michael Biffen, John Brocklebank-Fowler, C.
Amery, Rt Hon Julian Biggs-Davison, John Brotherton, Michael
Arnold, Tom Blaker, Peter Brown, Sir Edward (Bath)
Atkins, Rt Hon H. (Spelthorne) Body, Richard Bryan, Sir Paul
Awdry, Daniel Boscawen, Hon Robert Buchanan-Smith, Alick
Baker, Kenneth Bottomley, Peter Buck, Antony
Banks, Robert Bowden, A. (Brighton, Kemptown) Budgen, Nick
Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torbay) Boyson, Dr Rhodes(Brent) Bulmer, Esmond
Burden, F. A. Howe, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Peyton, Rt Hon John
Butler, Adam (Bosworth) Howell, David (Guildford) Pink, R. Bonner
Carlisle, Mark Howells, Geraint (Cardigan) Powell, Rt Hon J. Enoch
Carson, John Hunt, John Price, David (Eastleigh)
Chalker, Mrs Lynda Hurd, Douglas Prior, Rt Hon James
Channon, Paul Hutchison, Michael Clark Pym, Rt Hon Francis
Clark, Alan (Plymouth, Sutton) Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye) Raison, Timothy
Clark, William (Croydon S) Irving, Charles (Cheltenham) Rathbone, Tim
Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe) James, David Rawlinson, Rt Hon Sir Peter
Clegg, Walter Jenkin, Rt Hn P. (Wanst'd & W'dt'd) Rees, Peter (Dover &Deal)
Cockcroft, John Johnson Smith, G. (E Grinstead) Rees-Davies, W. R.
Cooke, Robert (Bristol W) Johnston, Russell (Inverness) Renton, Rt Hon Sir D. (Hunts)
Cope, John Jones, Arthur (Daventry) Renton, Tim (Mid-Sussex)
Cormack, Patrick Jopling, Michael Ridley, Hon Nicholas
Costain, A. P. Joseph, Rt Hon Sir Keith Ridsdale, Julian
Crowder, F. P. Kaberry, Sir Donald Rifkind, Malcolm
Dean, Paul (N Somerset) Kershaw, Anthony Rippon, Rt Hon Geoffrey
Dodsworth, Geoffrey Kimball, Marcus Roberta, Michael (Cardiff, NW)
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James King, Evelyn (South Dorset) Roberts, Wyn (Conway)
Drayson, Burnaby King, Tom (Bridgwater) Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight)
du Cann, Rt Hon Edward Kitson, Sir Timothy Ross, William (Londonderry)
Dunlop, John Knight, Mrs Jill Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)
Durant, Tony Knox, David Rost, Peter (SE Derbyshire)
Eden, Rt Hon Sir John Lamont, Norman Royle, Sir Anthony
Elliott, Sir William Langford-Holt, Sir John Sainsbury, Tim
Emery, Peter Latham, Michael (Melton) St. John-Stevas, Norman
Eyre, Reginald Lawrence, Ivan Shaw, Giles (Pudsey)
Fairbairn, Nicholas Lawson, Nigel Shelton, William (Streatham)
Fairgrfeve, Russell Le Marchant, Spencer Shepherd, Colin
Fell, Anthony Lloyd, Ian Sims, Roger
Finsberg, Geoffrey Loveridge, John Sinclair, Sir George
Fisher, Sir Nigel Luce, Richard Skeet, T. H. H.
Fletcher, Alex (Edinburgh N) McAdden, Sir Stephen Smith, Cyril (Rochdale)
Fletcher-Cooke, Charles McCrindle, Robert Speed, Keith
Fookes, Miss Janet McCusker, H. Spence, John
Fowler, Norman (Sutton C'f'd) Macfarlane, Neil Spicer, Michael (S Worcester)
Fox, Marcus MacGregor, John Sproat, Iain
Fraser, Rt Hon H. (Stafford & St) Macmillan, Rt Hon M. (Farnham) Stainton, Keith
Freud, Clement McNair-Wilson, M. (Newbury) Stanbrook, Ivor
Fry, Peter McNair-Wilson, P. (New Forest) Stanley, John
Galbraith, Hon. T. G. D. Madel, David Steel, David (Roxburgh)
Gardiner, George (Reigate) Marshall, Michael (Arundel) Steen, Anthony (Wavertree)
Gardner, Edward (S Fylde) Marten, Neil Stewart, Ian (Hitchin)
Gilmour, Rt Hon Ian (Chesham) Mates, Michael Stokes, John
Glyn, Dr Alan Mather, Carol Stradling Thomas, J.
Godber, Rt Hon Joseph Maude, Angus Tapsell, Peter
Goodhart, Philip Maudling, Rt Hon Reginald Taylor, R. (Croydon NW)
Goodhew, Victor Mawby, Ray Taylor, Teddy (Cathcart)
Goodlad, Alastair Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin Tebbit, Norman
Gorst, John Mayhew, Patrick Temple-Morris, Peter
Gow, Ian (Eastbourne) Meyer, Sir Anthony Thatcher, Rt Hon Margaret
Sower, Sir Raymond (Barry) Mills, Peter Thomas, Rt Hon P. (Hendon S)
Grant, Anthony (Harrow C) Miscampbell, Norman Thorpe, Rt Hon Jeremy (N Devon)
Gray, Hamish Mitchell, David (Basingstoke) Townsend, Cyril D.
Grieve, Percy Moate, Roger Trotter, Neville
Griffiths, Eldon Molyneaux, James Tugendhat, Christopher
Grimond, Rt Hon J. Monro, Hector van Straubenzee, W. R.
Grist, Ian Montgomery, Fergus Vaughan, Dr Gerard
Grylls, Michael Moore, John (Croydon C) Viggers, Peter
Hall, Sir John More, Jasper (Ludlow) Wakeham, John
Hall-Davis, A. G. F. Morgan, Geraint Walder, David (Clitheroe)
Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) Morris, Michael (Northampton S) Walker, Rt Hon P. (Worcester)
Hampson, Dr Keith Morrison, Charles (Devizes) Wall, Patrick
Hannam, John Morrison, Hon Peter (Chester) Walters, Dennis
Harrison, Col Sir Harwood (Eye) Mudd, David Weatherill, Bernard
Harvie Anderson, Rt Hon Miss Neave, Airey Wells, John
Hastings, Stephen Neubert, Michael Whitelaw, Rt Hon William
Havers, Sir Michael Newton, Tony Wiggin, Jerry
Hawkins, Paul Nott, John Winterton, Nicholas
Hayhoe, Barney Onslow, Cranley Young, Sir G. (Ealing, Acton)
Heseltine, Michael Oppenheim, Mrs Sally Younger, Hon George
Hicks, Robert Page, Rt Hon R. Graham (Crosby)
Higgins, Terence L. Pardoe, John TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Holland, Philip Pattie, Geoffrey Mr. Fred Silvester and
Hordern, Peter Penhaligon, David Mr. Cecil Parkinson.
Percival, Ian

Question accordingly agreed to.

Lords Amendment: No. 49, in page 57, line 46, at end insert— ( ) Where the land comprised in a compulsory purchase order consists of a dwelling-house and the occupier of the dwelling-house duly objects to the order and that objection is not withdrawn, the Secretary of State shall not rely on the foregoing modifications made by this paragraph. ( ) Where the land comprised in a compulsory purchase order comprises a dwelling-house together with other land and the occupier of the dwelling-house duly objects to the order and that objection is not withdrawn, then, if the Secretary of State relies on the foregoing modifications made by this paragraph, he shall not confirm the compulsory purchase order without excluding the dwelling-house from that order. ( ) Where the land comprises in a compulsory purchase order consist of, or comprises with other land, a dwelling-house, the Secretary of State may disregard for the purpose of Schedule 1 any objection made by the occupier of the dwelling-house which in the opinion of the Secretary of Stale amounts in substance to an objection to the provisions of the development plan defining the proposed use of the dwelling-house or any other land. ( ) In this paragraph "dwelling-house" means any building or part of a building in which a person is residing, and includes any other building or part of a building in which a person normally resides but from which he is temporarily absent.

Mr. Oakes

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

It is a somewhat complicated amendment. I therefore hope that I shall be forgiven for going into some of the details of it. Paragraph 3 of Schedule 4 provides for two modifications in compulsory purchase procedure. The first is the ability for the Secretary of State to dispense with an inquiry where the status of the land as development land has already been settled at an earlier inquiry. The second is the ability for the Secretary of State to disregard an objection made on the ground that the acquisition is unnecessary or inexpedient.

The amendment would disapply these modifications in relation to an objection made by a resident occupier and would provide instead that the Secretary of State could disregard an objection by such an occupier where he was of opinion that the objection amounted in substance to an objection to the provisions of the development plan defining the proposed use of the dwelling-house or of any other land.

This is an amendment the case for which was never fully explained by the Opposition in another place. Although it appears to disapply the modifications provided for in paragraph 3 of Schedule 4 where an objection by a residential occupier is concerned, it goes on to provide for a different modification in procedure which is taken from Section 132 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1971.

It is not easy to see what the Opposition were trying to achieve by their amendment in another place. Briefly, the comparison would seem to be as follows. First, on the basis proposed by the Government, the Secretary of State would be able to disregard an objection which amounted to an objection against the principle of public ownership, and as he was disregarding the objection he would clearly not need to hold an inquiry. Even in relation to an objection which could not be disregarded, he would have discretion to dispense with an inquiry where the status of land as development land had already been settled at an inquiry.

Secondly, under the Lords amendment the position would be as I have stated for all objectors other than residential occupiers, but the Secretary of State would be able to disregard such an occupier's objection—and thus not hold an inquiry—where he took the view that the objection was really an objection to the provisions of the development plan.

These are different ways of approaching the same thing, and it is not clear that there would be a great deal of difference between them in practice. Certainly there is a marked similarity between the tests for deciding whether an inquiry may be dispensed with—in sub-paragraph (3)—and the reliance on the provisions of the development plan in the Opposition's formulation of the circumstances in which the Secretary of State may disregard an objection and thus decide not to hold an inquiry.

This is not an issue which the Government wish to elevate into an argument of principle, although, with the mood of the House as it is at the moment, I have no doubt that the Opposition will do so. As has been explained in earlier debates, our approach to the disregard of objections is founded squarely on a provision which has been in existence in the New Towns Acts ever since 1946, and we do not see any reason to prefer the formulation in the Lords amendment which derives from the 1947 Planning Act. So far as the link with planning issues is concerned, it appears that the Government's statement in sub-paragraph (3) is both more comprehensive and better adapted to the circumstances of the Bill than the formulation which the Opposition have taken from the Planning Act.

No convincing argument has been put forward for holding that the provisions governing disregard of objections and dispensing with inquiries should be different for residential occupiers on the one hand and all other objectors on the other. If the argument had been that the modifications in sub-paragraph (3) should simply not apply to residential occupiers, that would be understandable, though not particularly logical. But it is difficult to see what is to be gained by having one basis for objectors generally and a somewhat different one for residential occupiers.

In these circumstances, there seems to be no case for the Lords amendment. The modifications in sub-paragraph (3) have been the subject of intensive discussion during the Bill's progress through this House, and they have been accepted by the Council on Tribunals. There would certainly need to be strong justification for making a switch at this stage, and no such justification has been put forward. I am at a loss to understand precisely what the Lords were seeking to achieve in their amendment.

Mr. Clegg

At least the hon. Gentleman is right to say that this is a very complicated issue. When we try to explain the provisions of this measure to our constituents, we shall not find it easy.

In connection with this amendment, for example, Mr. Deputy Speaker, I have in mind a constituent coming into your surgery and asking "Can you advise me as to my rights under Section 15 of the Community Land Act?" When you look at Section 15(4), you will find yourself able to read to your constituent these golden words: The Acquisition of Land Acts shall apply in relation to the compulsory acquisition of land in pursuance of this section as if—

  1. (a) this section were contained in an Act in force immediately before the commencement of the Act of 1946, or as the case may be the Scottish Act of 1947,
  2. (b) the Land Authority for Wales, a new town authority and the Peak Park Joint and Lake District Special Planning Boards were local authorities."
What is more, you can tell your constituent, who will be panting for a reply, that subsection (5) says: Schedule 4 to this Act in which—
  1. (a) Part I modifies the said Acts of 1946 and 1947 as applied by subsection (4) above,
  2. 1286
  3. (b) Part II deals with the acquisition of land by agreement…".
Therefore, in search of the answer to your constituent's question, you will turn to the magic Schedule 4—

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. The hon. Gentleman is addressing himself to the possibility of one of my constituents asking me for advice and my reading the clause to him. Faced with that situation, I should adopt a much simpler course and say "I do not know".

10.45 p.m.

Mr. Clegg

In that case, Mr. Deputy Speaker, I hope that you would send him to a solicitor who would know and who would make money out of what he told him.

Having declared that interest, I suggest that you would then say to your constituent that these modifications to the Acquisition of Land Act start off by saying. Subject to sub-paragraph (2) below, the Acquisition of Land Acts shall apply in relation to the compulsory acquisition of land under section 15 of this Act with the modifications made by the following provisions of this Part of this Schedule. We are all considering this legislation, but none of us understands it well. [Interruption.] Even the hon. Member for Feltham and Heston (Mr. Kerr) says that he does not understand the amendments very well. It is not always easy to understand the Bill.

I am encouraged to think that we can have a good debate on this issue as a result of the speech made by Baroness Birk in the other place. As she is a Minister, I believe that I am allowed to quote what she had to say on this amendment, because it may lead us to have a more rational discussion. Her opening words were as follows: This Amendment has now become the principal Amendment on which we are discussing the question of the owner-occupier. There are one or two brief points that I feel I should make which are absolutely essential, because this thread has run through the stages of the two Second Reading debates and also the Committee stage of the Bill up to now. Those words can probably be understood both inside and outside the House.

The modifications in the amendments put forward by the other place are to clarify and strengthen the position of the owner-occupier.

In closing her remarks on this amendment, Baroness Birk said: One cannot defend the sort of system we have at the moment where we have so many people still not housed, and say that to continue a free market system would work. Nor can we accept the view that a development land tax alone will make this work. It is absolutely implicit to this whole scheme that the ownership and the planning should go together. I submit that the Government have done everything that is possible within the scheme to safeguard the position of the owner-occupier."—[Official Report, House of Lords, 24th October 1975; Vol. 364, c. 1819,1823.] That is perhaps the crunch of what the Bill is about.

The implication and the consistent argument which has been put forward today, as on almost every other occasion when the Bill has been discussed, is that positive planning will be the absolute remedy to all the ills to which the present system of planning is subject. In my view this is an alarming proposition. If the negative planning which we now have has done so much harm to the country, I cannot imagine that positive planning can do anything but more harm. It has already been said that positive planning concerns the right of a local authority to take over land and develop it. That is what positive planning is about, and that view was put forward from the Government side of the House.

Like the noble Lords, we believe that, if there is to be this system of positive planning, the individual who may suffer from that system should be protected. There is no other reason for the amendments which are now being put forward. It is easy to say that the market system has failed and that we can put everything right with positive planning. A lot of people will vote for someone if he says, "By positive planning we shall provide you with more houses. All the profits which are being made under the free enterprise system will be made in future by the State." The Minister may say that under the provisions of the Bill the way that positive planning will work and be paid for is that for every £1 million which is paid to citizens by the State for land, the State will expect to make £4 million and, therefore, a profit of £3 million. However, who will pay for that profit? It will be the other citizens who get the land from the State. That was the whole basis of the Bill. [Interruption.] If the hon. Member for Feltham and Heston would like me to give way, I should be happy to do so.

Mr. Russell Kerr (Feltham and Heston)

No. The hon. Gentleman is doing very well.

Mr. Clegg

It is nice to know that the hon. Gentleman has great interest in this matter.

I am sure that many votes were gained from people who believed that they would get land from the State cheaper than from private individuals. This is nonsense. The basis of the Bill is that the State will make the profits in future. There will be no cheap land for the individual and there will be less protection for the individual than there is now. I support their Lordships in the amendment because it seeks to protect the individual against the planning provisions in the Bill.

Mr. Oakes

I confess that I could not understand what their Lordships were doing when they passed this amendment. Having listened carefully to the hon. Member for North Fylde (Mr. Clegg), I understand the reasons even less. The hon. Gentleman comes from the same part of the country as myself. No matter how he entertains the House, in his capacity not as a Member of Parliament but as a good solicitor he would explain to his clients rather than to his constituents the exact provisions of the Bill more satisfactorily with the wording as it is than with the amendment which has been passed in the other place. In the circumstances, I must ask the House to reject the Lords amendment.

Question put and agreed to.

Lords Amendment: No. 50, in page 58, line 2, leave out the development plan in sub-paragraph (3)(c) and insert a local plan in sub-paragraph (3)(b).

Mr. Oakes

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

Mr. Deputy Speaker

We are taking at the same time as this amendment the Minister's amendments in lieu thereof.

Mr. Oakes

The Lords amendment here is concerned with the reserve power for the Secretary of State to rely on a draft or non-statutory plan in deciding whether to dispense with an inquiry. Originally this power operated by substituting the references to such plans for the reference to "development plan" in paragraph 4(3)(c) as set out in paragraph 3(1) of Schedule 4. In the Lords, it was argued that logically the correct substitution should instead be for the reference to "local plan" in paragraph 4(3)(b).

The Government accepted this point. However, further examination of the drafting of the Lords amendment has shown that the amendment is defective in drafting since it only achieves part of the necessary substitution. The reserve provisions must substitute a draft or non-statutory plan, not for the reference to "local plan" but for the reference to adopted or approved local plan". Otherwise, a draft or non-statutory plan could not be relied upon unless it had been adopted or approved, which would negate the whole point of the provision. The Government amendment to the Lords amendment therefore remedies this defect. The principle of the Lords amendment, however, is accepted by the Government.

Question put and agreed to.

Amendments made to the Bill in lieu thereof: In page 58, line 2, leave out to the development plan in sub-paragraph (3)(c)". and insert in sub-paragraph (3)(b) to a local plan adopted or approved under Part II of the Act of 1971". In page 58, line 32, leave out "reference to" and insert references to Part II and". In page 58, line 33, leave out "a reference to" and insert references to Part II and".—[Mr. Oakes.]

Lords Amendment: No. 51, in page 58, line 40, at end insert— . Where an owner, lessee, or occupier of land comprised in an order made under this Act has made and not withdrawn an objection to such order, he shall be entitled to legal assistance and representation under the Legal Aid Act 1974 for the purpose of making representations at any public local inquiry held for the purpose of considering such objection.

Mr. Oakes

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

Mr. Deputy Speaker

I have to call the attention of the House to the fact that Privilege is involved in this amendment.

Mr. Oakes

This is an amendment the subject of which is frequently discussed in this House not only in connection with the Bill but often by many of my hon. Friends on the vexed question of legal aid, entitlement to legal aid and where legal aid provisions shall apply.

What their Lordships have done in the amendment is to give an objector to a compulsory purchase order the right to legal aid for the purpose of making representations at any inquiry into the order. Therefore, under the Bill any owner, lessee or occupier who objects to a compulsory purchase order would be entitled to legal assistance and representation for the purpose of making representations at the inquiry into the order.

I am in some difficulties here because in principle I sympathise with the spirit of legal aid being given in cases—[Hon. Members: "Ah."] Perhaps hon. Members will wait to hear the full argument. I sympathise with the spirit of the amendment.

In considering the purpose of this amendment, it is important to remember that as the law stands at present, although legal aid for representation is not available, legal advice and assistance under what is known as the green form scheme are available in respect of inquiries under the Bill. This means that an objector to a compulsory purchase order who wishes to make representations at an inquiry and who is within the financial limits of eligibility for the scheme will be able to obtain advice and preliminary help with his case, including its preparation. This is an important facility which could be extremely valuable in the case of a CPO inquiry under the Bill, and it is there to be used.

Full legal aid is not available, under the legal aid legislation, for representation before any statutory inquiry. Nor is it available for any tribunal, apart from the Lands Tribunal and the Commons Commissioners. My noble and learned Friend's Legal Aid Advisory Committee, in its 24th Report published in November of last year, having considered all the tribunals involved, recommended that legal aid should be extended to all statutory tribunals under the supervision of the Council on Tribunals. Although it recommended that it should next study the need for legal advice, assistance and representation before statutory inquiries as defined by Section 19 of the Tribunals and Inquiries Act 1971, which includes an inquiry under the Bill, it gave priority to legal aid for statutory tribunals.

As the House will know, my noble and learned Friend, although he has considerable sympathy with his Advisory Committee's recommendation that legal aid be made available for tribunals, has had to say that in the present economic situation it would not be practicable to implement the recommendation. In view of this, he has decided not to ask the Committee to embark on its further study of legal aid for statutory inquiries for the moment—and I emphasise those last words.

Nevertheless, in view of the intention to do so when possible, it would clearly be quite wrong for one particular statutory inquiry under one Act only to be singled out in this Bill anomalously for the benefits of legal aid. There are many other forms of public inquiry—for instance planning inquiries, an associated field—for which legal aid would be equally desirable, if not more so. It is important that the question of extending legal aid to tribunals or inquiries is considered as a whole and that this whole issue should be considered in the context of legal aid and legal services and should be balanced against competing and often more urgent priorities.

There is another difficulty, apart from the financial constraints which the nation faces at present. That is the nature of a public local inquiry itself. It is not a court of law, nor is it indeed a tribunal. It is intended to be a relatively cheap and informal way of publicly discussing issues and assisting the Secretary of State to come to an administrative or policy decision. Most of what might be called, for want of a better term, "evidence" is assertion or subjective judgment, and decisions are based on policy and merits, which the courts are not entitled to question.

Moreover, if we accept that legal representation is to be the norm, both for those who can afford it and for those who cannot, we shall be in great danger of destroying the public inquiry system as we now know it and as it has operated for nearly 30 years. In fact, in more recent times it has been criticised for becoming too formal, too lengthy and too expensive.

11.0 p.m.

There is also the question whether the present principle, that costs incurred at inquiries should be awarded only to successful objectors—on the ground that the acquiring authority should not have put them to the trouble and expense of having to defend their land against an enforced sale—is not a sound one. It might well be argued that anyone who knows that it will not cost him a penny for legal representation whether he is successful or not would not hesitate to employ the services of a lawyer even on the slimmest of grounds. Therefore, the possibility of an unnecessary proliferation and lengthening of inquiries is a further factor to be weighed in the balance of argument.

It is, therefore, the question of principle just as much as the cost to the public purse which needs to be examined, and it would be quite wrong in this Bill to set a precedent which would have such far-reaching consequences without a thorough examination of all aspects of the matter—for how can one logically give rights to legal representation for one kind of CPO but not another, or for one kind of statutory inquiry and not another?

I have read most of this speech because it is a complex and difficult subject. I have presented it fairly to the House. It is a question of the balance between proper and adequate legal representation for those without the ability or know-how to present their own case—a matter about which I, as a practising solicitor, feel very strongly—and the difficulty of turning what is essentially a public inquiry into a court of law which it was never intended to be.

I ask the House to reject the amendment because it would be anomalous to provide legal aid for only one kind of inquiry. We need to look at the balance of arguments between the individual who needs representation by a qualified lawyer and turning public inquiries into an even more tortuous process than they are at present.

Mr. Budgen

I declare an interest as a practising barrister though I think all hon. Members, whether legally qualified or not, must be gravely disturbed at the way the Minister has presented his argument.

Many of the arguments in the Bill have been discussed before on the Floor of the House and in Committee, but this matter arose only as a result of their Lordships' consideration of the Bill and I hope that the House will give careful and sufficient consideration to their proposal.

The Minister said he had considerable sympathy with the amendment, and he was plainly ill at ease with his brief when he read out that the green form scheme for legal aid was a satisfactory alternative. As a practising solicitor he should know that the green form £20 scheme is no alternative to being properly represented at a tribunal. Under the scheme, a solicitor may investigate a client's situation and give him the most cursory preliminary advice. It does not provide for the presentation of a case or for the expert cross-examination of town hall people with a great deal of expertise and a firm desire to kick somebody off his land.

The Minister then gave us the usual administrative argument that there are similar situations, such as other tribunals, where people might want to be defended. He says that the situation we are discussing here could not be considered in isolation from all the others. That is rubbish.

The Bill is a scheme for confiscation. By it people may be deprived of their land at considerably less than market value. Under the scheme their rights to objection and public inquiry are being eroded. If ever a person should be entitled to legal aid, it is in respect of this Bill. Labour Members, who must spend a great deal of their time dealing with complaints by individual citizens, should be disgusted that the Minister's protestations of sympathy were followed by a turgid reading of a brief with which he obviously disagreed.

The Minister's third point was that the system of public inquiry would be changed if persons were regularly represented. So it would, because the system of public inquiry today is that on the whole the big battalions are represented. It is no secret that in this difficult and complex area of the law they are represented by the best-paid members of the Bar. On the whole, the people who are not represented are the little people. If the Minister says that he wants to continue a situation in which the little people are ground under by those who are representing either the big property companies or the local authorities, that is disgraceful. That is not a fit view for someone who seeks in some way to represent the whole of the national interest.

The real argument, however, concerns Government expenditure. It is interesting that so many of our proposals amount to saying that we will not consider any increase in Government expenditure. This highlights the important philosophical difference between the two sides of the House. Of course, my right hon. and hon. Friends and I are regularly blamed for proposing cuts in Government spending but of not being prepared to say where—

Mr. Michael English (Nottingham, West)

Does the hon. Member agree that most people do not necessarily think that, but blame the Conservatives for the increase in local government expenditure because of their extraordinary local government reorganisation?

Mr. Budgen

The hon. Gentleman was not here for the earlier part of my speech. Perhaps I may therefore continue with the point I was about to develop. Surely all hon. Members can agree that in some areas there is a priority for an increase in public expenditure. I yield to no one in my desire for reduced public expenditure, but I, no doubt like many of my hon. Friends, attach a priority to the defence of the realm and to the maintenance of law and order.

It is terrifying. The Government are proposing to spend about £400 million on the acquisition of land and £50 million on increased administration expenses and to employ 14,000 extra civil servants to run the horrible scheme. Yet at the same time they are watching a dreadful increase in crimes of violence and murder, while police forces are 13,000 men below strength. That is the lack of priority and understanding in Government expenditure to which we attach so much importance.

On the other hand, I suppose that Labour Members would say that their first priority in expenditure is the extension of the power of the State and that the second, perhaps, is expenditure with a view towards social engineering.

Mr. Brian Sedgemore (Luton, West)

And cuts in defence.

Mr. Budgen

That is one of the matters on which Labour Members disagree with us.

But is not equality under the law something to which all hon. Members attach high priority, and is not an essential element in such equality something approaching equality of representation? Do we not believe that the bullying landlord or bullying trade union committee should not be able to take advantage of the little man, because the little man cannot afford to be adequately represented?

Yet let us took at the situation of the little man who wishes to defend his property rights. Before hon. Members sneer at the proposition that I am supporting the rights of the little man, let them remember that we are talking about persons who, at best, have a middling income and a middling amount of capital, and about people with less than that, because the better-off person will not be eligible for legal aid. He will have too much income or capital. It follows that when the little man is defending his property rights he must be defending what is probably his only substantial capital asset.

Let us consider the position when the little man is defending his property rights in a row with a neighbour, perhaps about a couple of feet of land. All of us who are in the legal profession have spent many days in the county court arguing about sometimes a foot, sometimes even an inch of land. We have seen the most bitter and protracted fights between neighbours. The State has rightly decided that, notwithstanding the expense—sometimes even the wasteful expense—the individual should be given legal aid to defend such property rights.

Yet if the little man is hauled before some form of tribunal or inquiry and has to defend his only substantial capital asset against confiscation, after reduced powers of objection he is told that be cause it is not administratively convenient to give him legal aid he must stand alone against the might of the State—at a time when he has to fight the power of a swollen bureaucracy which has behind it wide-ranging discretionary powers, as set out in this abortion of a Bill.

Mr. Patrick Cormack (Staffordshire, South-West)

A Frankenstein's monster of a Bill.

Mr. Budgen

The little man has to fight against such unequal odds that he has little chance of defending his most important capital asset. The whole House should be rallying to the cause of the little man, because in fighting against the measure he fights against confiscation at a time when he is certain to be blinded by the complexity and obscurity of this maze of legislation.

If the Minister says that he has sympathy but is not prepared to do anything about it, all I can say is that that is what Socialism means. Socialism means kicking the little man into the floor. We are proud to be supporters of the individual. Most of all, we are proud to be supporters of the little man.

Mr. Stephen Ross

Will the hon. Gentleman tell me why his party did not introduce legal aid into planning inquiries and like matters when it was in Government?

11.15 p.m.

Mr. Budgen

I think it should have done so. Maybe the Conservative Government can be severely criticised for not having done so. However, the consequence of a decision in a planning inquiry in the past was not confiscation. Now that there is to be confiscation, there should be legal aid.

If I have been rather vigorous in putting forward some of my arguments, perhaps I should finish on a quieter note. It is said by the Minister that great profits will be made from local authorities' dealings in land. If that is true, why cannot some of those profits go towards letting the little man defend himself against the great State machine? Why cannot some of those profits be used to provide private legal aid for people who wish to be represented before the tribunals?

Let the Minister remember that the last attempt at land nationalisation was to a large extent discredited by the effect of the betterment levy on small land owners. The Minister has been clever in distorting the effects of this extremely complicated and detailed Bill so as to try to take account of many of the criticisms that were justly levelled against the betterment levy and the Land Commission. If he makes the mistake of giving no protection to the little man, this legislation will surely be discredited in exactly the same way as by the betterment levy's attack on the widow's orchard. He is unwise if he stands out against the demand from another place for legal aid in representation before the tribunals. He is playing into the hands of the Tories if he does, because nothing will do better in discrediting the Bill and nothing will give us more justification in our ultimate objective of repealing this legislation.

Mr. Sedgemore

There is nothing more unctious and nauseating than special professional pleading masquerading as concern for the little man. None of my right hon. and hon. Friends needs a lecture on justice or equality before the law, but it would seem that there may well be Opposition Members who need lectures on lining their own pockets.

Mr. Cormack

Listen to Big Brother Redshirt.

Mr. Sedgemore

I speak partly as a barrister who has appeared before planning and housing tribunals and partly as a civil servant who has, without reference to the Minister, signed a number of compulsory purchase appeals. I shall tell Conservatives what happens in the real world, thereby exposing the cant and humbug of the speech of the hon. Member for Wolverhampton, South-West (Mr. Budgen).

I have signed a number of compulsory purchase appeals relating to London's housing. On no occasion do I remember having looked at the legal arguments which took place at the inquiry. I can honestly say that I know of none of my superiors ever referring to them. I never passed a file to my superiors containing the so-called brilliant cross-examination of lawyers.

In trying to decide issues on their merits the last thing one wants to do is to turn a case into a dazzling display between so-called brilliant lawyers. If ever there was an element of doubt in my mind as to what was the right decision to take, I discovered that the best course was to pay a visit to the site. I agree that there may be complicated housing or planning decisions that require to be set out by lawyers, but in 99 per cent. of the cases that come before Departments the argument by lawyers, in the interests of either party, is irrelevant.

Conservative Members are living in cloud-cuckoo-land. The effect of inviting lawyers to appear in every simple compulsory purchase will result in "jobs for the boys"—and certainly in no more justice for the people involved.

Mr. Fairbairn rose

Hon. Members

Oh, no.

Mr. Fairbairn

I have waited many times for idiots in court to be silent, and I am willing to wait in this House until those who are members of the English Bar are silent to allow a member of the Scottish Bar to speak.

I wish to declare an interest in that I am a member of the Bar. I have attended planning inquiries and have spent most of my professional life in defending individuals against the power of the State—

Mr. Sedgemore

God help them.

Mr. Fairbairn

God helped them on many occasions and, luckily for them, I was on their side too. As somebody who believes in the principles of justice—which I always understood was one of the claims of Socialism—I am unimpressed by a member of the English Bar—somebody who took an oath to administer justice—who tries to mock anybody who speaks of its principles.

The Minister said that we did not want to turn public inquiries into courts of law. What are the characteristics of public inquiries as opposed to what happens in courts of law? I can speak only from my experience in Scotland—because in England they manage to take 10 times as long as we do in Scotland and cases in England cost a hundred times more than they do in Scotland—but there are clear rules of evidence to be observed in both countries. The issues are focused and matters are argued according to strict rules of equity. That is the purpose of all inquiries. All inquiries are aimed at getting the matter right according to simple principles of equity.

I have taken part in many public inquiries and I believe that the reason why they are so unsatisfactory arises from the fact that there is no criterion in justice by which they are conducted. When there is an inquiry into whether someone should be allowed to make lollipops in his shop, whether motor vehicles should wait outside the shop, whether an airport should be built here or a road there, there is no issue, no restriction and no criterion of justice. Anyone who cares to enter the inquiry can take the ball and kick it into deserts far beyond the inquiry's remit. That is done most often by those who are untrained in focusing the issues and arguing cases.

Anyone who has been involved in the recent inquiries concerning oil development in Scotland, in Kinshorn or Drambuie, will know that local authorities can come along with proposals into which they have made no sensible investigation and without the proper information. Such proposals are often fatuous in the extreme. They waste the money of everyone, including the humble people whom Labour Members claim they are elected to represent. Their rights are involved more often than those of the "important" people. There is no discipine upon public inquiries as there is in a court of law.

I am horrified that the Minister, admittedly a member of an alien profession—since it is not my half of the profession nor my half of the country—should say that the principles of justice which we have cherished in this country through the courts of law should not apply in investigating the simple rights of the citizen when authority is taking away his property. I am horrified by that proposition and I shall never forget to repeat it to my electorate and, if possible, to the Minister's.

The Minister said that public inquiries were intended to be cheap. For whom? For the local authority? I have usually appeared for the defence at these inquiries. The State has all the money and the facilities to prepare its case. The accused has only his own money or legal aid. A local authority can state any proposition, and the citizen is guilty until he can prove his innocence at a public inquiry. The hon. Member for Luton, West (Mr. Sedgemore) said that when he was a member of an inquiry he never bothered about the lawyers' arguments. Of course not, because he is typical of Left-wing Socialism. I am ashamed to think that the English Bar ever admitted anyone with so few principles.

I would be the last person to wish to increase public spending in any way. [Interruption.] The hon. Member for Aberdeen, North (Mr. Hughes) shakes his head. I have defended more of his constituents than he has ever done.

Mr. Sedgemore

Where are they now?

Mr. Fairbairn

We seem to have lost sight of the proposition that people serve others for the sake of doing so and not to make a profit out of it. The Minister spoke of philosophy. The Government's philosophy is not that the land should belong to the people but that it should be taken from them and put into the hands of the bureaucracy. It is an anonymous bureaucracy acting against defenceless people. It is scandalous that in this neuter form it should be allowed to ride over them and that they should not have the protection of representation and advice. That is the proposition put forward by the Government.

Labour Members see no harm in adding 14,000 more drones to society, no harm in giving them inflation-proof salaries and pensions, no harm in giving them flash offices at our expense, but when it comes to the individual defending himself against the filthy machine which they are creating they do not mind if the individual suffers, because Socialism detests the individual and is determined to destroy him. The Government are resisting the amendment because they would hate the individual to be able to defend himself against the State machine.

11.30 p.m.

Mr. Stephen Ross

We are getting a little wide of the amendment, but I understood that it was the Conservative Government which introduced inflation-proof pensions for civil servants.

I go along with the Minister and other hon. Members who would like to make legal aid available to the people who will be affected by this legislation, but many improvements are needed in the legal aid system and they cannot be made in this Bill. I am sure that many hon. Members are constantly seeing people concerned in litigation who need legal aid but cannot get it. I know of many people of small means who have been unable to get legal aid, and the appeals procedure is couched in mystery. The legal aid system should be burst wide open so that we can find out why legal aid is not available. A lady came to see me in my surgery on Saturday. She told me that she was entitled to legal aid but had not been repaid the £150 which she had spent on legal fees.

Lawyers are not always the best people to represent parties at public inquiries. I have appeared as a so-called expert on many ocacsions and wished that I could take the case because the lawyers were making such a mess of it. When a Claude Dampier-type person comes up from the Bar and says in an affected voice "Hello, Mrs. Gibson, I am sorry that Mr. X cannot be here; he has been called to Scotland, and I am replacing him", one realises one is on a loser.

There is the mysterious procedure at the Bar whereby one chooses the judge before whom one wishes to appear. One hears such remarks as "Do not go in front of Mr. Justice X. He is not the person to hear your case. You would do better to go before Mr. Justice Y". My firm lost £300 because of all the jiggling about that occurred in deciding which judge to go before. There was a long delay, the case never came on and a settlement much larger than that originally intended had to be made.

The lawyers should not have it all their own way. It is often better for a layman to take his own case in front of an inquiry. Sometimes it is better for a chartered surveyor than for a lawyer to take a case.

I am all for an improvement in the legal aid system across the board, but I shall support the Government on this occasion if it comes to a vote.

Mr. Patrick Mayhew (Royal Tunbridge Wells)

The hon. Member for Luton, West (Mr. Sedgemore) told us that when dealing with these matters in an administrative capacity he paid no attention to any legal argument that was advanced. That is rather surprising, because he objected to the amendment on the ground that inquiries should not be cluttered up with lawyers. If that were the ground for his thinking, surely he should argue that there should be no legal representation at all at the inquiries.

That is not what the Bill proposes. The Bill does not propose that the wealthy man shall not be represented at these inquiries. All that the Bill secures in this regard is that the man who cannot afford to pay for legal representation shall not have it. That is what seems to my hon, and learned Friend the Member for Kinross and West Perthshire (Mr. Fairbairn) and me to be so unfair.

It was in repect of the person who can not afford to pay for legal representation that the amendment was made. I should have thought that anybody whose interests genuinely lay with the furtherance of justice would wish to support the amendment. The Government are saying "We are providing for you to be deprived of your property. It is true that we are setting up inquiries before which you may voice your objections, but, unfortunately, the machinery that we have to operate this complex arrangement is so complicated, the machinery that we need to deprive you of your property and to enable us to decide what to do with it once we have it is so complicated, that it is very expensive to operate, and therefore you must understand that there will be no money left to enable you to try to stop us from getting your land". That is not a fair way to go about the matter.

If I may detain the House for a few moments I should like to examine what is at stake when a man is confronted by a compulsory purchase order. As has been said, he may lose his home and what is his primary economic asset and his major interest in life. Those are all substantial matters. There are not many instances when any issue arising before the Lands Tribunal gives rise to so much being at stake, and yet anyone coming before the Lands Tribunal is entitled to legal aid. There are not many matters that arise when one appears before the Commons Commissioners, important though they may be, that rank with those confronting a man upon whose land officialdom descends when a compulsory purchase order is made—although important issues come before the Commons Commissioners, right of piscary, turbary and estover among them—but one is entitled to legal aid when one comes before the Commons Commissioners.

I hope that we shall hear where the principle lies that permits legal aid in cases coming before the Lands Tribunal and the Commons Commissioners but not in cases before the inquiries that are to be set up under the Bill. I know that those others are statutory tribunals whereas this is to be a statutory inquiry. I know that statutory tribunals are subject to the supervision of the Council on Tribunals, but that is simply a matter of labelling, a matter of procedure. Where lies the distinction in principle that permits legal aid for those appearing before the Lands Tribunal and the Commons Commissioners but denies it to a man who may be deprived of his home, his livelihood and his major interest?

Mr. Stephen Ross

It is possible for a lawyer to represent someone appearing before the Lands Tribunal without the specific consent of the chairman, but as a chartered surveyor I cannot appear for someone coming before the Lands Tribunal without the consent of the chairman.

Mr. Mayhew

That is an interesting observation, but I do not see that it diminishes the force of my argument. As Lord Denning said recently, the legal aid scheme ranks with the National Health Service as a social service in this country.

The way in which to judge is to see what the citizen stands to lose before the proposed inquiry. If a man can lose his home and his livelihood and his major interest, his major economic asset, he is entitled to rank with the wealthy man in having legal representation. That is all that we say.

It is said that this would cost too much. How much would it cost? We have not been told, but I venture to suggest that it would cost substantially less than the £150,000 a year that the Lord Chancellor announced in the other place last month had already been authorised as expenditure on the law centres this year. I believe that the annual cost of meeting the amendment would be substantially less than £150,000 a year.

Yet law centres, however excellent they and their work may be, in many instances are subject to political take over.In one case at least only last month, the founder of a well-known one in South London said that it had been taken over for the furtherance of extreme Left-wing politics. I have seen a banner of one in a demonstration in Fleet Street. Yet legal aid is to be denied to those appearing before these tribunals, although it would put those who cannot afford it on an equal footing with those who can.

I have spoken vigorously, but if Labour Members sincerely feel that issues of justice and equality are at stake they will join us in the Division Lobby.

Mr. Ivan Lawrence (Burton)

I declare an interest, although I do not practise in this section of the Bar—it would probably be too complicated for me and certainly too boring.

I was much heartened when the Undersecretary of State said that he had the greatest sympathy with the amendment. He is surely just the person to have sympathy with it and support it—sympathy born of a solicitor who has had many years of practice in dealing with the sort of problems that the small individual will have to face before tribunals of this kind. He should also have sympathy as a Socialist because, although we do not yield quarter to the claims of Socialists that they have a monopoly of sympathy for human beings, we allow that a Socialist has as much sympathy for them, or ought to have if he is true to his creed, as we have.

It was, therefore, with a great sense of disappointment that we heard the rest of the hon. Gentleman's speech. He did not fully appreciate and was not in full accord with his brief. He simply read the Civil Service explanation. There is no blame to the civil servants, because the Government merely said to them "We have decided not to extend legal aid to these cases, so give us arguments as to why we should not do it." The civil servants, according to their lights, gave the Minister his answer.

There is a great gulf between us about the Bill. As the Minister has said many times, we have here an issue as to whether the State should take greater power over the private individual. We think that the Bill is the beginning of the helter-skelter down the road to the fulfilment of the Communist manifesto. [Interruption.] Hon. Members may laugh, but the Communist manifesto requires State ownership of land, if necessary by means of confiscation.

That aim is being pursued in the Bill. There is, therefore, the deep rift between the two sides. I understand it. I sympathise with the reasons for the rift. But where there should not be a an issue between us, where we should be united, is in the defence of the rights of the individual. Many times have I seen Labour Members rise at appropriate moments and speak in defence of the rights of the small man, the individual, and the oppressed in our society. There are many examples of double standards.

11.45 p.m.

If an issue between the establishment and the individual arises, which is the first organisation to contact us? It is the National Council for Civil Liberties. It is always to be seen or heard whenever an issue contrary to the establishment arises. But I have received not one letter from the National Council for Civil Liberties sticking up for the rights of the small man and the individual in the matter of the Community Land Bill.

We have been witnessing—and it is high time—a Government campaign on behalf of 2 million people who can neither read nor write. I hazard the guess that a fair proportion of those persons own some sort of property and may be threatened by some facet of the Bill. If these people cannot read or write and if they feel strongly about these matters, why is it that they cannot have the right of representation in a tribunal which raises one complicated issue after another?

It is not merely a question of going for preliminary advice. Anyone acquainted with the operation of a tribunal or a court will know that the issues are constantly changing, that new issues arise as the days or the hours go by and that it is for ever necessary for someone to rise and correct, to answer and to check. If the only advice that a person charged with a criminal offence had was advice before the trial started, the trial would be a farce. It is no answer, therefore, to say that a person has had preliminary advice before going to a tribunal or that people who can neither read nor write should not have the right of representa tion and explanation before a complicated tribunal.

The Minister says that if we grant this right in these cases it will not be available elsewhere. On practically every amendment put forward in their Lordships' House the Advisory Committee's recommendation has been brought out and paraded before us. This has been looked into by the Advisory Committee in its 24th report. Having looked into it, it decided that there was no support for the amendment. I seem to remember hearing the words "I would rather accept the recommendation of the Advisory Committee than of their Lordships' House." But when it does not suit the Minister to quote the Advisory Committee or to rely upon it, he does not do so.

Mr. Oakes

I was talking about the Council on Tribunals, not about the Advisory Committee on Legal Aid.

Mr. Lawrence

If that is a misunderstanding on my part, I accept the correction. Nevertheless, the fact is that there is a Government Advisory Committee on Legal Aid, as the Minister has told us, which has recommended that there should be the right of legal representation in the tribunal set up under this legislation. There is a double standard about citing authorities and picking those which one will follow and those which one will not.

Then it is said that this would not be practicable because of the cost. As my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Royal Tunbridge Wells (Mr. Mayhew) has said, what is the cost? Legal aid has been discussed since March, and it surely cannot be beyond the wit of the Government's advisers to give us some assessment of the likely legal aid cost for tribunals in these matters, but the Government have not bothered to do this.

This is like so many of the subjects that we hear debated in this Parliament. When it does not suit the Government to bother, they do not bother. They have not bothered to give us the cost, so let us hear no more talk about cost. When we are spending £1,000 million on the Industry Act, when it is proposed to spend £1 million a day on the acquisition costs and £1 million a week on the administration of this legislation, let us have no more talk about the cost of legally representing an individual before the big battalions.

It is said that the acceptance of this proposal would be anomalous. It is said that if it is granted in this case, why should it not be granted in other cases? My answer to that is that if we cannot immediately have the others, let us at least make a start. In any event, this whole Bill is anomalous. [Interruption.] It is no good the Government saying to my hon Friends that this proposal should not be accepted because it would be anomalous. The whole of this legislation is a grotesque anomaly, and one of the easiest ways in which we could mitigate the full effects of the Bill would be to introduce the so-called anomaly of legal aid representation before the tribunal in these cases. [Interruption.]

Mr. Durant

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. Would you ask the hon. Member for Luton, West (Mr. Sedgemore) to listen to my hon. Friend's speech? The hon. Gentleman attacked the legal profession. My hon. Friend is making a case, and the hon. Gentleman should at least listen to it.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

I should not like to assume that responsibility.

Mr. Lawrence

I must confess that I have long since learned to ignore the interruptions of the hon. Member for Luton, West (Mr. Sedgemore).

The Minister said that if this amendment were approved by this House, there would be a danger of destroying the public inquiry system. My reply to that is that, if the public inquiry system allows an individual's rights to be taken away by confiscation without representation, it is high time that the public inquiry system was destroyed.

Others of my hon. Friends have referred to the big battalions. It always astounds me how Government supporters can find excuses for why the wealthy, the big, the private enterprise that they pretend to dislike and even to hate should always have rights which are denied to the small man. Before a tribunal of inquiry, the big battalions may be represented. They will run rings round the small man.

Is this not a double standard which the Government would do well to ponder? Why should the rich be represented and the poor not? Can any Government supporter stand on a platform in his constituency before a slogan saying "Let the rich be represented, but let the poor go without legal assistance"?

Mr. Nicholas Winterton (Macclesfield)

Does not my hon. Friend agree also that the local authority will be using ratepayers' money to defeat the individual ratepayer before such an inquiry?

Mr. Lawrence

As usual, my hon. Friend has hit another nail on the head. I venture to think that it will be another of the nails in the coffin of a Government who have been responsible for the sort of double standards we are hearing about here.

The gravamen of my speech is that where there is an issue between the two sides of the House because of the differences between Socialism and Conservatism, that we understand, but that on any issue affecting the private individual there should be only agreement between us. Every action to the contrary by this Government is nothing short of a double standard.

I want to draw the attention of the Houseto Early-Day Motion No. 691. It reads: That this House regrets the denial of legal aid to individuals appearing before tribunals, many of whom are under-privileged and unable to afford legal representation; believes that justice is jeopardised when only one side is legally represented; and calls upon the Government to extend legal aid to all tribunals. That Early-Day Motion was tabled by the hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent, Central (Mr. Cant). It was signed by 52 hon. Members, nearly all of whom were Labour Members.

Mr. Dennis Canavan (West Stirlingshire)

Did the hon. Gentleman sign it?

Mr. Lawrence

I can express only the wish that when the question of double standards is considered—perhaps there will be time to discuss it before a vote is taken on this amendment—hon. Members who signed that Early-Day Motion will be true to their principles and will join my hon. Friends and defeat the Government's refusal to accept the amendment.

Mr. Robin Corbett (Hemel Hempstead)

Name them!

Mr. Michael Morris

As we listen to the debate, is it any wonder that Conservative Members who took part in the Committee proceedings have constantly questioned the right of the Secretary of State to issue orders and regulations? I am sure that the Minister was as horrified as my hon. Friends and I were to hear that the hon. Member for Luton, West (Mr. Sedgemore), when he was an officer in a local authority somewhere, never bothered with the legal arguments concerning a public inquiry. I hope that the hon. Gentleman will publicly admit to the House where he was an officer.

Mr. Sedgemore

I was an administrative civil servant in the then Ministry of Housing.

Mr. Morris

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman, but I suspect that those who had the misfortune to have their cases considered by him will bear in mind that the legal arguments were tossed out of the window and that he simply got into his car, turned round and decided there and then how the decision should be taken. Many hon. Members have taken the view for some time that in certain local authorities, decisions controlled by—

Mr. Percy Grieve (Solihull)

Is it not right that every case dealt with by the hon. Member for Luton, West (Mr. Sedgemore) should now be referred to the Parliamentary Commissioner?

Mr. Morris

I should have thought that any hon. Member in such a situation would have stated what were the years when these matters were under consideration. I wonder whether the hon. Member for Luton, West ever said "No" to any of the applications. Perhaps he exempted them all. I hope that the Minister, like my hon. Friends and I, views with horror a statement of that nature from below the Gangway. Public inquiries were simply tossed out of the window because of the arrogance of the hon. Members for Luton, West, who could not care less what anyone's argument or rights might have been. The hon. Gentleman may laugh about this matter, but there are many people in the land who do not think that it is funny. I am glad that the Under-Secretary does not think it is very funny.

This debate is mainly about legal aid. The Under-Secretary was fair when he said that he had enormous sympathy for their Lordships and their desire to give legal aid. He gave three reasons why it was not possible to do so at this time. First, he gave the reason that it would destroy 30 years of planning or public inquiries. Public inquiries have changed a little over 30 years. Thirty years ago there was not the public participation that there is now, and I suspect that 30 years ago the inquiries were not as long as they are at present.

We have had the Land Compensation Act and growing concern has been expressed about the rights of individuals as we have seen the encroachment by the State. The public inquiry system has changed over those 30 years. It has not been a static situation.

12 midnight.

Secondly, the Under-Secretary mentioned the danger of the lengthening of inquiries. Public inquiries already take up a lot of time. But if the rights of individual owners are to be protected, it is no bad thing if they take a few days longer and proper answers are obtained.

Thirdly, the hon. Gentleman suggested that a precedent would be set. More precedents have been set with this Bill than this House has seen in many a long day. The Bill is full of precedents. The whole idea of confiscating somebody's land for the bogus reasons of State influence is a precedent. If the hon. Gentleman genuinely feels that there is a case for legal aid but that, for one reason or another, it is not administratively convenient or the Secretary of State has been so tied up in trying to straighten out the charity situation that he has not had time to deal with the legal aid question, we do not mind. However, he must tell us now that he has not had time to deal with it but will take it on board. We would then know where we stood. It seems that the Under-Secretary is in favour of legal aid for everybody who qualifies but that it is not convenient at the end of a parliamentary Session to take it on board.

I come back to my proposition that in life it always seems that if a bus is going one's way and in the right direction one should get on it. This seems an apt moment to show a degree of initiative by accepting the Lords amendment on legal aid.

Mr. Durant

I should like to follow what my hon. Friend the Member for Northampton, South (Mr. Morris) said about the Bill being a precedent in itself and therefore dealing with the whole question of precedent. The Undersecretary talked about helping the public purse. The simple answer to that problem is to drop the Bill. That is the best way to help the public purse from the word "go".

We are not talking about large sums of money. For example, in the 10 months up to the end of October the Lands Tribunal has given legal aid to the tune of only £1,788. We must bear in mind that if a person has more than a certain amount of money, he will not get legal aid. Therefore, we are not talking about big money.

It is important to remember that, particularly with development land, the property concerned is very small indeed—two up, two down. Such property is often owned by widows and may represent their only capital asset. Widows are quite poorly placed financially. It is important, therefore, for them to be represented.

With such a complicated Bill, we shall have to breed a new brand of lawyer and solicitor to advise people at tribunals, because they will not understand the implications. Indeed, it has taken us long enough to understand the Bill. Goodness knows how any ordinary citizen will be able to argue his case before a tribunal. Therefore, I am in favour of the Lords amendment.

Mr. Oakes

When I opened this debate on the serious issue of legal aid and the nature of a planning inquiry, I hoped that we would have a serious debate. The nearest approach to that was the speech of the hon. Member for the Isle of Wight (Mr. Ross), with whom I entirely agreed and who has temporarily left the Chamber. He tackled the subject sensibly and properly.

I said that there might be a case for legal representation at local inquiries. The first two speakers from the Opposition side, one from the English Bar and one from the Scottish Bar, disabused me of that idea. Like them I am a lawyer, although in a different branch of the profession. The difference between us is that I am not so arrogant as to believe that justice can be arrived at only when lawyers are present. In the majority of cases, justice is arrived at without lawyers being on the scene.

Mr. Budgen rose

Mr. Oakes

No, hon. Members have spoken for a long time and I shall not give way.

Some of the arguments of those two Opposition spokesmen showed that justice can be denied by the presence of lawyers rather than achieved.

Mr. Budgen rose

Mr. Oakes

No, I shall not give way. This has been a long debate, and it has been largely irrelevant to the issue we are discussing.

In my previous speech I read from what was in front of me, which I thought would be more convenient, rather than addressing the House as I am doing now. But I repeat the view which I then expressed—that the principle of legal aid before tribunals is good and right. The hon. Member for the Isle of Wight has now returned. I repeat his argument: that there are many spheres where legal aid could and should be granted which take precedence over this one. Therefore, instead of dealing with this matter piecemeal, we should consider the whole matter with a view to its implementation when the country can better afford it.

Mr. Anthony Fell (Yarmouth)

In 10 years' time?

Mr. Oakes

I am hoping for a much smaller time scale than that.

My point remains. I do not want planning inquiries turned into long legal wrangles at which justice would be denied, not given. That could happen if we accepted the arrogant arguments of some hon. and learned Members on the Conservative side that justice does not exist without lawyers being present.

Mr. Rossi

The Minister has chided my hon. Friends for the frivolous note of this debate. I detected that the atmosphere changed after the contribution of his hon. Friend the Member for Luton, West (Mr. Sedgemore). Contributions like that cannot but be expected—

Mr. Budgen

Would my hon. Friend agree that the view that I was putting forward and that my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Kinross and West Perthshire (Mr. Fairbairn) was putting forward was simply that some people who objected to a compulsory purchase order might take the Minister's view and not wish to be represented, which is a perfectly tenable view? Others might wish to be represented. If so, it is only right that they should have legal aid.

Mr. Rossi

If I may turn to the two points that the Minister was making, he objected to the Lords amendment for two reasons. First, he said that to have legal aid, enabling private citizens who otherwise could not afford to do so to be properly represented, would alter the whole character of compulsory purchase inquiries. The hon. Gentleman is a solicitor and he knows that, at public inquiries into any sizeable acquisition under a CPO, a local authority is always represented by leading counsel and junior counsel, in addition to all the expert witnesses from the council's planning, legal and housing departments. The citizen is seriously disadvantaged unless his pocket is deep enough to enable him to employ counsel and expert witnesses to counter the evidence given by the local authority.

Division No. 397.] AYES [12.13 a.m.
Abse, Leo Cocks, Michael (Bristol S) Ewing, Harry (Stirling)
Allaun, Frank Coleman, Donald Fernyhough, Rt Hon E.
Anderson, Donald Concannon, J. D. Fitch, Alan (Wigan)
Archer, Peter Conlan, Bernard Fitt, Gerard (Belfast W)
Armstrong, Ernest Cook, Robin F. (Edin C) Flannery, Martin
Ashley, Jack Corbett, Robin Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)
Ashton, Joe Cox, Thomas (Tooting) Foot, Rt Hon Michael
Atkins, Ronald (Preston N) Craigen, J. M. (Maryhill) Forrester, John
Atkinson, Norman Crawshaw, Richard Fowler, Gerald (The Wrekin)
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Cronin, John Fraser, John (Lambeth, N'w'd)
Barnett, Rt Hon Joel (Heywood) Crosland, Rt Hon Anthony Freeson, Reginald
Bates, Alf Cryer, Bob Freud, Clement
Bean, R. E. Cunningham, G. (Islington S) Garrett, John (Norwich S)
Benn, Rt Hon Anthony Wedgwood Cunningham, Dr J (Whiteh) Garrett, W. E. (Wallsend)
Bennett, Andrew (Stockport N) Davidson, Arthur George, Bruce
Bidwell, Sydney Davies, Bryan (Enfield N) Gilbert, Dr John
Bishop, E. S. Davies, Denzil (Llanelli) Ginsburg, David
Boardman, H. Davies, Ifor (Gower) Golding, John
Booth, Albert Davis, Clinton (Hackney C) Gould, Bryan
Bottomley, Rt Hon Arthur Deakins, Eric Gourlay, Harry
Boyden, James (Bish Auck) Dean, Joseph (Leeds West) Graham, Ted
Brown, Hugh D (Provan) Delargy, Hugh Grant, George (Morpeth)
Brown, Robert C. (Newcastle W) Dell, Rt Hon Edmund Grant, John (Islington C)
Buchan, Norman Dempsey, James Grocott, Bruce
Buchanan, Richard Doig, Peter Hardy, Peter
Butler, Mrs Joyce (Wood Green) Dormand, J. D. Harper, Joseph
Callaghan, Rt Hon J. (Cardiff SE) Douglas-Mann, Bruce Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)
Callaghan, Jim (Middleton & P) Duffy, A. E. P. Hart, Rt Hon Judith
Campbell, Ian Dunn, James A. Hatton, Frank
Canavan, Dennis Dunnett, Jack Hayman, Mrs Helene
Cant, R. B. Eadie, Alex Healey, Rt Hon Denis
Carmichael, Neil Edelman, Maurice Heffer, Eric S.
Carter, Ray Edge, Geoff Hooley, Frank
Carter-Jones, Lewis Edwards, Robert (Wolv SE) Hooson, Emlyn
Cartwright, John English, Michael Horam, John
Castle, Rt Hon Barbara Evans, Fred (Caerphilly) Howell, Denis (B'ham, Sm H)
Clemitson, Ivor Evans, Ioan (Aberdare) Howells, Geraint (Cardigan)

The character of public inquiries into CPOs is determined by the approach of local authorities to them. Constituents often complain that they feel frustrated because they cannot fight the power and expertise ranged against them.

We are talking of a limited market. Legal aid is available to only a very few people with small disposable incomes or capital. We are not talking of substantial sums of money. If the Minister is concerned about the impact of this proposal on public expenditure and the fact that he might have difficulty in persuading the Treasury to do what he has conceded is desirable, might I suggest that, within the millions of pounds which the Treasury will determine is to be made available for the operation of the land scheme, provision should be made for a scheme that would enable citizens to feel that justice was being done to them? We are asking not for additional public expenditure but for a provision in that global sum to be determined by the Treasury so that the private citizen can defend himself.

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

The House divided: Ayes 281, Noes 253.

Hoyle, Doug (Nelson) Maynard, Miss Joan Sillars, James
Huckfield, Les Meacher, Michael Silverman, Julius
Hughes, Rt Hon C. (Anglesey) Mellish, Rt Hon Robert Small, William
Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N) Mikardo, Ian Smith, Cyril (Rochdale)
Hughes, Roy (Newport) Millan, Bruce Smith, John (N Lanarkshire)
Hunter, Adam Miller, Dr M. S. (E Kilbride) Spearing, Nigel
Irvine, Rt Hon Sir A. (Edge Hill) Miller, Mrs Millie (Ilford N) Spriggs, Leslie
Irving, Rt Hon S. (Dartford) Molloy, William Stallard, A. W.
Jackson, Colin (Brighouse) Moonman, Eric Steel, David (Roxburgh)
Janner, Greville Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe) Stoddart, David
Jay, Rt Hon Douglas Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw) Stott, Roger
Jeger, Mrs Lena Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon) Strang, Gavin
Jenkins, Hugh (Putney) Moyle, Roland Strauss, Rt Hon G. R.
Jenkins, Rt Hon Roy (Stechford) Mulley, Rt Hon Frederick Summerskill, Hon Dr Shirley
John, Brynmor Murray, Rt Hon Ronald King Swain, Thomas
Johnson, James (Hull West) Newens, Stanley Taylor, Mrs. Ann (Bolton W)
Johnson, Walter (Derby S) Noble, Mike Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)
Johnston, Russell (Inverness) Oakes, Gordon Thomas, Mike (Newcastle E)
Jones, Alec (Rhondda) Ogden, Eric Thomas, Ron (Bristol NW)
Jones, Barry (East Flint) O'Halloran, Michael Thorne, Stan (Preston South)
Jones, Dan (Burnley) O'Malley, Rt Hon Brian Thorpe, Rt Hon Jeremy (N Devon)
Judd, Frank Orbach, Maurice Tierney, Sydney
Kaufman, Gerald Orme, Rt Hon Stanley Tinn, James
Kelley, Richard Ovenden, John Tomlinson, John
Kerr, Russell Owen, Dr David Tomney, Frank
Kilroy-Silk, Robert Padley, Walter Torney, Tom
Kinnock, Neil Palmer, Arthur Tuck, Raphael
Lambie, David Pardoe, John Urwin, T. W.
Lamborn, Harry Park, George Varley. Rt Hon Eric G.
Lamond, James Parker, John Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne V)
Latham, Arthur (Paddington) Parry, Robert Walden, Brian (B'ham, L'dyw'd)
Leadbitter, Ted Pavitt, Laurie Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Lee, John Penhaligon, David Walker, Terry (Kingswood)
Lestor, Miss Joan (Eton & Slough) Price, C. (Lewisham W) Ward, Michael
Lever, Rt Hon Harold Price, William (Rugby) Watkins, David
Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Radice, Giles Watkinson, John
Litterick, Tom Richardson, Miss Jo Weetch, Ken
Loyden, Eddie Roberts, Albert (Normanton) Wellbeloved, James
Luard, Evan Roberts, Gwilym (Cannock) White, Frank R. (Bury)
Lyon, Alexander (York) Robertson, John (Paisley) White, James (pollok)
Lyons, Edward (Bradford W) Roderick, Caerwyn Whitehead, Phillip
Mabon, Dr J. Dickson Rodgers, George (Chorley) Whitlock, William
McCartney, Hugh Rodgers, William (Stockton) Willey, Rt Hon Frederick
McElhone, Frank Rooker, J. W. Williams, Alan (Swansea W)
MacFarquhar, Roderick Roper, John Williams, Alan Lee (Hornch'ch)
McGuire, Michael (Ince) Rose, Paul B. Williams, Rt Hon Shirley (Hertford)
Mackenzie, Gregor Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight) Williams, W. T. (Warrington)
Mackintosh, John P. Ross, Rt Hon W. (Kilmarnock) Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)
Maclennan, Robert Rowlands, Ted Wilson, William (Coventry SE)
McMillan, Tom (Glasgow C) Sandelson, Neville Wise, Mrs Audrey
Madden, Max Sedgemore, Brian Woodall, Alec
Magee, Bryan Selby, Harry Woof, Robert
Mahon, Simon Shaw, Arnold (Ilford South) Wrigglesworth, Ian
Mallalieu, J. P. W. Sheldon. Robert (Ashton-u-Lyne) Young, David (Bolton E)
Marks, Kenneth Short, Rt Hon E. (Newcastle C)
Marquand, David Short, Mrs Renée(Wolv NE) TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Marshall, Dr Edmund (Goole) Silkin, Rt Hon John (Deptford) Mr. John Ellis and
Marshall, Jim (Leicester S) Silkin, Rt Hon S. C. (Dulwich) Mr. James Hamilton.
Adley, Robert Brotherton, Michael Crouch, David
Aitken, Jonathan Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Dean, Paul (N Somerset)
Alison, Michael Bryan, Sir Paul Dodsworth, Geoffrey
Amery, Rt Hon Julian Buchanan-Smith, Alick Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James
Arnold, Tom Buck, Antony Drayson, Burnaby
Atkins, Rt Hon H. (Spelthorne) Budgen, Nick du Cann, Rt Hon Edward
Awdry, Daniel Bulmer, Esmond Dunlop, John
Bain, Mrs Margaret Burden, F. A. Durant, Tony
Baker, Kenneth Butler, Adam (Bosworth) Eden, Rt Hon Sir John
Banks, Robert Carlisle, Mark Elliott, Sir William
Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torbay) Carson, John Emery, Peter
Bennett, Dr Reginald (Fareham) Chalker, Mrs Lynda Eyre, Reginald
Benyon, W. Channon, Paul Fairbairn, Nicholas
Berry, Hon Anthony Churchill, W. S. Fairgrieve, Russell
Biffen, John Clark, Alan (Plymouth, Sutton) Fell, Anthony
Biggs-Davison, John Clark, William (Croydon S) Fisher, Sir Nigel
Blaker, Peter Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe) Fletcher, Alex (Edinburgh N)
Body, Richard Clegg, Walter Fletcher-Cooke, Charles
Boscawen, Hon Robert Cockcroft, John Fookes, Miss Janet
Bottomley, Peter Cooke, Robert (Bristol W) Fowler, Norman (Sutton C'f'd)
Bowden, A. (Brighton, Kemptown) Cope, John Fox, Marcus
Boyson, Dr Rhodes(Brent) Cormack, Patrick Fraser, Rt Hon H. (Stafford & St)
Braine, Sir Bernard Costain, A. P. Fry, Peter
Brittan, Leon Craig, Rt Hon W. (Belfast E) Galbraith, Hon. T. G. D.
Brocklebank-Fowler, C. Crawford, Douglas Gardiner, George (Reigate)
Gardner, Edward (S Fylde) Luce, Richard Rippon, Rt Hon Geoffrey
Gilmour, Rt Ron Ian (Chesham) McAdden, Sir Stephen Roberts, Michael (Cardiff, NW)
Glyn. Dr Alan MacCormick, Iain Roberts, Wyn (Conway)
Godber, Rt Hon Joseph McCrindle, Robert Ross, William (Londonderry)
Goodhart, Philip McCusker, H. Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)
Goodhew, Victor Macfarlane, Neil Rost, Peter (SE Derbyshire)
Goodlad, Alastair MacGregor, John Royle, Sir Anthony
Gorst, John Macmillan, Rt Hon M. (Farnham) Sainsbury, Tim
Gow, Ian (Eastbourne) McNair-Wilson, M. (Newbury) Scott, Nicholas
Gower, Sir Raymond (Barry) McNair-Wilson, P. (New Forest) Shaw, Giles (Pudsey)
Grant, Anthony (Harrow C) Madel, David Shelton, William (Streatham)
Gray, Hamish Marshall, Michael (Arundel) Shepherd, Colin
Grieve, Percy Marten, Neil Silvester, Fred
Griffiths, Eldon Mates, Michael Sims, Roger
Grist, Ian Mather, Carol Sinclair, Sir George
Grylls, Michael Maude, Angus Skeet, T. H. H.
Hall, Sir John Maudling, Rt Hon Reginald Speed, Keith
Hall-Davis, A. G. F. Mawby, Ray Spence, John
Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin Spicer, Michael (S Worcester)
Hampson, Dr Keith Mayhew, Patrick Sproat, Iain
Hannam, John Meyer, Sir Anthony Stainton, Keith
Harrison, Col Sir Harwood (Eye) Mills, Peter Stanbrook, Ivor
Harvie Anderson, Rt Hon Miss Miscampbell, Norman Stanley, John
Hastings, Stephen Mitchell, David (Basingstoke) Steen, Anthony (Wavertree)
Havers, Sir Michael Moate, Roger Stewart, Ian (Hitchin)
Hawkins, Paul Molyneaux, James Stokes, John
Hayhoe, Barney Monro, Hector Tapsell, Peter
Henderson, Douglas Montgomery, Fergus Taylor, R. (Croydon NW)
Heseltine, Michael Moore, John (Croydon C) Taylor, Teddy (Cathcart)
Hicks, Robert More, Jasper (Ludlow) Tebbit, Norman
Higgins, Terence L. Morgan, Geraint Temple-Morris, Peter
Holland, Philip Morris, Michael (Northampton S) Thatcher, Rt Hon Margaret
Hordern, Peter Morrison, Charles (Devizes) Thomas, Rt Hon P. (Hendon S)
Howe, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Morrison, Hon Peter (Chester) Thompson, George
Howell, David (Guildford) Mudd, David Townsend, Cyril D.
Hunt, John Neave, Airey Trotter, Neville
Hurd, Douglas Neubert, Michael Tugendhat, Christopher
Hutchison, Michael Clark Newton, Tony van Straubenzee, W. R.
Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye) Nott, John Vaughan, Dr Gerard
Irving, Charles (Cheltenham) Onslow, Cranley Viggers, Peter
James, David Oppenheim, Mrs Sally Wakeham, John
Jenkin, Rt Hn P. (Wanst'd & W'df'd) Page, Rt Hon R. Graham (Crosby) Walder, David (Clitheroe)
Johnson Smith, G. (E Grinstead) Pattie, Geoffrey Walker, Rt Hon P. (Worcester)
Jones, Arthur (Daventry) Percival, Ian Wall, Patrick
Jopling, Michael Peyton, Rt Hon John Walters, Dennis
Joseph, Rt Hon Sir Keith Pink, R. Bonner Watt, Hamish
Kaberry, Sir Donald Powell, Rt Hon J. Enoch Weatherill, Bernaro
Kershaw, Anthony Price, David (Eastleigh) Wells, John
Kimball, Marcus Prior, Rt Hon James Welsh, Andrew
King, Evelyn (South Dorset) Pym, Rt Hon Francis Whitelaw, Rt Hon William
King, Tom (Bridgwater) Raison, Timothy Wiggin, Jerry
Kitson, Sir Timothy Rathbone, Tim Wigley, Dafydd
Knight, Mrs Jill Rawlinson, Rt Hon Sir Peter Wilson, Gordon (Dundee E)
Knox, David Rees, Peter (Dover & Deal) Winterton, Nicholas
Lamont, Norman Rees-Davies, W. R. Young, Sir G. (Ealing, Acton)
Langford-Holt, Sir John Reid, George Younger, Hon George
Latham, Michael (Melton) Renton, Rt Hon Sir D. (Hunts)
Lawrence, Ivan Renton, Tim (Mid-Sussex) TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Lawson, Nigel Ridley, Hon Nicholas Mr. Spencer Le Marchant and
Lloyd, Ian Ridsdale, Julian Mr. Cecil Parkinson.
Loveridge, John Rifkind, Malcolm

Question accordingly agreed to.

Lords Amendment: No. 52, in page 59, line 32, at end, insert—

"Special Parliamentary Procedure

6A.—(1) For paragraph 12 of Schedule I there shall be substituted the following paragraph:— 12.A compulsory purchase order, in so far as it authorises the purchase of land being, or being the site of, an ancient monument or other object of archaeological interest, or of any other land of a nature specified by an order of the Secretary of State, shall be subject to special parliamentary procedure unless the Secretary of State certifies that the acquiring authority has entered into an undertaking with the Secretary of State to observe such conditions as to the use of the land as in his opinion are requisite having regard to the nature thereof.

(2)The Secretary of State shall lay before both Houses of Parliament an order specifying the and to which paragraph 12 of Schedule I shall apply.

(3)An order made under the last sub-paragraph shall not be effective until a draft has been approved by a resolution of each Houses of Parliament.

(4)Before making the above draft order the Secretary of State shall consult with the Statutory advisory bodies concerned, and such other bodies as may seem to him expedient."

Mr. Oakes

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

The terms of the amendment seem to be irrelevant to the purposes of the Bill. The argument put forward in another place in support of the amendment was that since the passing of the Acquisition of Land (Authorisation Procedure) Act 1946 and the corresponding Scottish Act—

Mr. Speaker

Order. Will hon. Members conduct their conversations outside the Chamber.

Mr. Oakes

Since the passing of that legislation there has been a considerable number of designations of land of important environmental significance—for example national parks, areas of outstanding beauty, heritage coastal areas and conservation areas—yet inalienable land of the National Trust, commons, open spaces, fuel and field garden allotments, ancient monuments and other subjects of archaeological interest are still the only categories of land of this kind protected by special parliamentary procedure.

In the Government's view there is nothing about the community land scheme which suggests that any land in these special areas, which are already well protected under the planning machinery, is more likely to be at risk of compulsory purchase because of the scheme. The Bill does not introduce any new policy in relation to land in national parks or areas of outstanding natural beauty. The Bill is concerned with development land. Land which has been formally recognised in one way or another as worthy of conservation will be most unlikely to be the kind of land with which the land scheme is concerned. Moreover, it has been emphasised repeatedly that the Bill is planning-based, so that planning permission for development which would conflict with the objectives of the designation would not lightly be granted and compulsory purchase for the purpose of such development would not readily be authorised.

The Government do not accept that there is any justification for using the Bill as a vehicle for imposing on the Secretary of State a duty to bring before Parliament proposals for adding new categories of land to special parliamentary procedures which would apply whether the compulsory purchase order was made under the Bill or under any other compulsory purchase power.

The objects of the amendment seem to the Government to be entirely irrelevant to the purpose of the Bill. I ask my hon. Friends to reject it.

12.30 a.m.

Mr. Cormack

I do not see why the Minister takes such a view, because in a Bill of such wide-ranging character there is surely no harm in adding extra protection in respect of land which has always been regarded as being worthy of special consideration.

I wish to refer to the arguments advanced in the other place by Lord Sandford. I shall not refer directly to what Lord Sandford said, but he pointed out with considerable force and clarity that a special category of special land was overdue for consideration. Lord Sandford said that although the Bill did a great deal to promote the compulsory acquisition of land, it did not at the same time take the opportunity to stimulate measures to protect designated land or seek to provide for changes to meet the situation. He regarded that as a remarkable omission by the Government.

I see no reason for rejecting this extremely sensible amendment and I hope that the Minister will think again. All we are asking is that land which is the site of an ancient monument or the object of archaeological interest specified by an order of the Secretary of State should be subject to special parliamentary procedure. It is surely a curious anomaly in European Architectural Heritage Year for the Government to discard this amendment. I do not think there is any need to go into detail at this hour, but I urge the Minister to think again about this matter.

The fact that subsection (4) of the amendment asks that the Secretary of State should consult with the statutory advisory bodies, such as the Council for the Preservation of Rural England, the Civic Trust and others, will give little comfort to the many people who have worked hard to protect what is best in our heritage and whose regard for amenity land cannot be open to dispute. Therefore, I ask the Minister to think again about this provision and to allow us to proceed to the next amendment by agreeing to this one.

Mr. Michael Morris

I wish to support what has been said by my hon. Friend the Member for Staffordshire South-West (Mr. Cormack). I appreciate that the occasions on which a compulsory purchase order will operate on the type of land with which we are now dealing will be reasonably rare. Having said that, I can think of a case in my constituency where the local authorities have mixed views about a listed building, and indeed there is a difference of opinion on the matter between borough and county. It is conceivable that under the new legislation a public inquiry might have been held.

It is true to say that their Lordships were able to stand back a little further than did hon Members in Committee and were able to examine safety aspects which might otherwise have been overlooked. I believe that the present provision falls into that category.

This does not involve any great issue of principle. It involves our having to face the fact that times have changed since 1946 when the original legislation was introduced. That legislation contained certain safeguards in respect of ancient monuments, National Trust and common land. Many developments have taken place since that time, and I acknowledge that Labour Members have played as large a part in those changes as we have. There are now areas of outstanding natural beauty, national parks and many other areas. Therefore, I see no great disadvantage in our adding this dimension of safety.

We all know that there are nevertheless circumstances in the private and public sectors in which significant buildings have been demolished before an order could be put on them. There are buildings which have orders governing them and which unfortunately fall down. This is an additional safeguard. I hope that the Minister, if he cannot agree to this suggestion, will at least give an undertaking that this type of extension will form part of the Government's programme early in the new Session.

Mr. Oakes

This has been a much more rational debate than the previous one. I was not quite sure what the hon. Member for Northampton, South (Mr. Morris) meant when he spoke about Government action in the next Session. If he is asking me to give an undertaking that when any listed building, archeological site, national park or anything like that comes before us for consideration we will give special attention to it, I can obviously give such an undertaking.

The Lords amendment seeks to graft on to the Bill a special parliamentary procedure which we say is unnecessary. It is unnecessary for any responsible Secretary of State of any party to be subjected to that special procedure. The hon. Member mentioned archaeological sites and ancient monuments. It is extremely unlikely that there would ever be representations to the effect that such land should be development land. If there were, any Secretary of State—since he has responsibility for ancient monuments—would clearly treat the matter with the greatest caution. An overwhelming case would need to be put forward before a Secretary of State went against such a designation. He would be answerable not only to Parliament but to outraged public opinion. I can give the hon. Gentleman the assurance that any Secretary of State would rack his brains before making any decision adverse to such a special interest.

Mr. Cormack

Little safeguards and little assurances—if I may speak by leave of the House—are not much comfort. The Government's obduracy is illustrated by the Minister's reply. I do not doubt his integrity or his desire to safeguard what we hold dear. Any Bill of this sort—

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. The hon. Member has already spoken. When I took over the Chair he was on his feet. He cannot speak twice.

Mr. Peyton

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I think you were a little hasty with my hon. Friend, who distinctly said that he sought the leave of the House. Perhaps you did not hear him because you were consulting the Clerk. He omitted it at first but then asked for the leave of the House.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

I thought that my hearing was pretty good. The right hon. Member seems to cast some doubts on it. Perhaps I should see someone about earphones.

Mr. Peyton

I think you were at that moment consulting the Clerk. My hon. Friend, realising his omission, distinctly said "by leave of the House."

Mr. Deputy Speaker

I disagree with the right hon. Gentleman. The hon. Member was on his feet for quite a few seconds. A Member does not ask for the leave of the House after he has spoken for half an hour. He asks for it before he begins. That is the vital difference.

Mr. Cormack

Further to that point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I uttered about six words and then said "by leave of the House." Surely it is perfectly permissible to make a short, polite preamble and then to say "by leave of the House."

Mr. Deputy Speaker

I did not hear it. I shall clear up the matter. The Question is—

Mr. Graham Page

I am not rising on a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I wish to call attention—

Mr. Deputy Speaker

The right hon. Gentleman is in order. I wish hon. Members would rise promptly, so that we may proceed more rapidly.

Mr. Page

I rise because my hon. Friend the Member for Staffordshire, South-West (Mr. Cormack) was ruled out of order, and I hope I shall be able to say what he intended to say.

The value of the amendment in introducing the special parliamentary procedure is that that procedure includes a local inquiry. There is advertisement of the intention to acquire the property, and

Division No. 398.] AYES [12.43 a.m.
Abse, Leo Canavan, Dennis Dean, Joseph (Leeds West)
Allaun, Frank Cant, R. B. Delargy, Hugh
Anderson, Donald Carmichael, Neil Dell, Rt Hon Edmund
Archer, Peter Carter, Ray Dempsey, James
Armstrong, Ernest Carter-Jones, Lewis Doig, Peter
Ashley, Jack Cartwright, John Dormand, J. D.
Ashton, Joe Castle, Rt Hon Barbara Douglas-Mann, Bruce
Atkins, Ronald (Preston N) Clemitson, Ivor Duffy, A. E. P.
Atkinson, Norman Cocks, Michael (Bristol S) Dunn, James A.
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Coleman, Donald Dunnett, Jack
Barnett, Rt Hon Joel (Heywood) Concannon, J. D. Eadie, Alex
Bates, Alf Conlan, Bernard Edelman, Maurice
Bean, R. E. Cook, Robin F. (Edin C) Edge, Geoff
Benn, Rt Hon Anthony Wedgwood Corbett, Robin Edwards, Robert (Wolv SE)
Bennett, Andrew (Stockport N) Cox, Thomas (Tooting) Ellis, John (Brigg & Scun)
Bishop, E. S. Craigen, J. M. (Maryhill) English, Michael
Boardman, H. Crawshaw, Richard Evans, Fred (Caerphilly)
Booth, Albert Cronin, John Evans, Ioan (Aberdare)
Bottomley, Rt Hon Arthur Crosland, Rt Hon Anthony Ewing, Harry (Stirling)
Boyden, James (Bish Auck) Cryer, Bob Fernyhough, Rt Hon E.
Brown, Hugh D (Provan) Cunningham, G. (Islington S) Fitch, Alan (Wigan)
Brown, Robert C. (Newcastle W) Cunningham, Dr J (Whiteh) Fitt, Gerard (Belfast W)
Buchan, Norman Davidson, Arthur Flannery, Martin
Buchanan, Richard Davies, Bryan (Enfield N) Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)
Butler, Mrs Joyce (Wood Green) Davies, Denzil (Llanelli) Foot, Rt Hon Michael
Callaghan, Rt Hon J. (Cardiff SE) Davies, Ifor (Gower) Forrester, John
Callaghan. Jim (Middleton & P) Davis, Clinton (Hackney C) Fowler, Gerald (The Wrekin)
Campbell, Ian Dakins, Eric Fraser, John (Lambeth. N'w'd)

if there are objections a local inquiry is held. Before the matter comes before the House we know that there has been a local inquiry. The Order is laid before the House and there is opportunity for hon. Members to consider the matter, knowing what has happened at the inquiry.

Unless the amendment is accepted there will be no public inquiry, which the special parliamentary procedure provides. It is right that their Lordships should call our attention by the amendment to the need for a public inquiry and the special parliamentary procedure where there is a take-over by the local authority of an ancient monument or other object of archaeological interest, or of any other land of a nature specified by an order of the Secretary of State". The Under-Secretary of State said that the amendment did not seem to be relevant to the purposes of the Bill. It is relevant. We have been arguing about whether there should be public inquiries. Here is a special case where the compulsory purchase should be drawn to the attention of the public in the area, and to right hon. and hon. Members so that the House may have the opportunity of debating it.

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

The House divided: Ayes 269, Noes 256.

Freeson, Reginald Lyon, Alexander (York) Sandelson, Neville
Garrett, John (Norwich S) Lyons, Edward (Bradford W) Sedgemore, Brian
Garrett, W. E. (Wallsend) Mabon, Dr J. Dickson Selby, Harry
George, Bruce McCartney, Hugh Shaw, Arnold (Ilford South)
Gilbert, Or John McElhone, Frank Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-u-Lyne)
Ginsburg David MacFarquhar, Roderick Short, Rt Hon E. (Newcastle C)
Golding, John McGuire, Michael (Ince) Short, Mrs Renée(Wolv NE)
Gould, Bryan Mackenzie, Gregor Silkin, Rt Hon John (Deptford)
Gourlay, Harry Mackintosh, John P. Silkin, Rt Hon S. C. (Dulwich)
Graham, Ted Maclennan, Robert Sillars, James
Grant, George (Morpeth) McMillan, Tom (Glasgow C) Silverman, Julius
Grant, John (Islington C) Madden, Max Small, William
Grocott, Bruce Magee, Bryan Smith, John (N Lanarkshire)
Hamilton, James (Bothwell) Mahon, Simon Spearing, Nigel
Hardy, Peter Mallalieu, J. P. W. Spriggs, Leslie
Harper, Joseph Marks, Kenneth Stallard, A. W.
Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) Marquand, David Stott, Roger
Hart, Rt Hon Judith Marshall, Dr Edmund (Goole) Strang, Gavin
Hatton, Frank Marshall, Jim (Leicester S) Strauss, Rt Hon G. R.
Hayman, Mrs Helena Maynard, Miss Joan Summerskill, Hon Dr Shirley
Healey, Rt Hon Denis Meacher, Michael Swain, Thomas
Heffer, Eric S. Mellish, Rt Hon Robert Taylor, Mrs. Ann (Bolton W)
Hooley, Frank Mikardo, Ian Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)
Horam, John Millan, Bruce Thomas, Mike (Newcastle E)
Howell, Denis (B'ham, Sm H) Miller, Dr M. S. (E Kilbride) Thomas, Ron (Bristol NW)
Hoyle, Doug (Nelson) Miller, Mrs Millie (Ilford N) Thorne, Stan (Preston South)
Huckfield, Les Molloy, William Tierney, Sydney
Hughes, Rt Hon C. (Anglesey) Moonman, Eric Tinn, James
Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N) Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe) Tomlinson, John
Hughes, Roy (Newport) Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw) Tomney, Frank
Hunter, Adam Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon) Torney, Tom
Irvine, Rt Hon Sir A. (Edge Hill) Moyle, Roland Tuck, Raphael
Irving, Rt Hon S. (Dartford) Mulley, Rt Hon Frederick Urwin, T. W.
Jackson, Colin (Brighouse) Murray, Rt Hon Ronald King Varley, Rt Hon Eric G.
Janner, Greville Newens, Stanley Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne V)
Jay, Rt Hon Douglas Noble, Mike Walden, Brian (B'ham, L'dyw'd)
Jeger, Mrs Lena Oakes, Gordon Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Jenkins, Hugh (Putney) Ogden, Eric Walker, Terry (Kingswood)
Jenkins, Rt Hon Roy (Stechford) O'Halloran, Michael Ward, Michael
John, Brynmor O'Malley. Rt Hon Brian Watkins, David
Johnson, James (Hull West) Orbach, Maurice Watkinson, John
Johnson, Walter (Derby S) Orme, Rt Hon Stanley Weetch, Ken
Jones, Alec (Rhondda) Ovenden, John Wellbeloved, James
Jones, Barry (East Flint) Owen, Dr David White, Frank R. (Bury)
Jones, Dan (Burnley) Palmer, Arthur White, James (Pollok)
Judd, Frank Park, George Whitehead, Phillip
Kaufman, Gerald Parker, John Whitlock, William
Kelley, Richard Parry, Robert Willey, Rt Hon Frederick
Kerr, Russell Price, C. (Lewisham W) Williams, Alan (Swansea W)
Kilroy-Silk, Robert Price, William (Rugby) Williams, Alan Lee (Hornch'ch)
Kinnock, Neil Radice, Giles Williams, Rt Hon Shirley (Hertford)
Lambie, David Richardson, Miss Jo Williams, W. T. (Warrington)
Lamborn, Harry Roberts, Albert (Normanton) Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)
Lamond, James Roberts, Gwilym (Cannock) Wilson, William (Coventry SE)
Latham, Arthur (Paddington) Robertson, John (Paisley) Wise, Mrs Audrey
Leadbitter, Ted Roderick, Caerwyn Woodall, Alec
Lee, John Rodgers, George (Chorley) Woof, Robert
Lestor, Miss Joan (Eton & Slough) Rodgers, William (Stockton) Wrigglesworth, Ian
Lever, Rt Hon Harold Rooker, J. W. Young, David (Bolton E)
Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Roper, John
Litterick, Tom Rose, Paul B. TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Loyden, Eddie Ross, Rt Hon W. (Kilmarnock) Mr. Laurie Pavitt and
Luard, Evan Rowlands, Ted Mr. David Stoddart.
Adley, Robert Brains, Sir Bernard Cockcroft, John
Aitken, Jonathan Brittan, Leon Cooke, Robert (Bristol W)
Alison, Michael Brocklebank-Fowler, C. Cope, John
Arnold, Tom Brotherton, Michael Cormack, Patrick
Atkins, Rt Hon H. (Spelthorne) Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Costain, A. P.
Awdry, Daniel Bryan, Sir Paul Craig, Rt Hon W. (Belfast E)
Bain, Mrs Margaret Buchanan-Smith, Alick Crouch, David
Baker, Kenneth Buck, Antony Dean, Paul (N Somerset)
Banks, Robert Budgen, Nick Dodsworth, Geoffrey
Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torbay) Bulmer, Esmond Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James
Bennett, Dr Reginald (Fareham) Burden, F. A. Drayson, Burnaby
Benyon, W. Butler, Adam (Bosworth) du Cann, Rt Hon Edward
Biffen, John Carlisle, Mark Dunlop, John
Biggs-Davison, John Carson, John Durant, Tony
Blaker, Peter Chalker, Mrs Lynda Eden, Rt Hon Sir John
Body, Richard Channon, Paul Elliott, Sir William
Boscawen, Hon Robert Clark, Alan (Plymouth, Sutton) Emery, Peter
Bottomley, Peter Clark, William (Croydon S) Eyre, Reginald
Bowden, A. (Brighton, Kemptown) Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe) Fairbairn, Nicholas
Boyson, Dr Rhodes(Brent) Clegg, Walter Fairgrieve, Russell
Fell, Anthony Knox, David Renton, Tim (Mid-Sussex)
Fisher, Sir Nigel Lamont, Norman Ridley, Hon Nicholas
Fletcher, Alex (Edinburgh N) Langford-Holt, Sir John Ridsdale, Julian
Fletcher-Cooke, Charles Latham, Michael (Melton) Rifkind, Malcolm
Fookes, Miss Janet Lawrence, Ivan Rippon, Rt Hon Geoffrey
Fowler, Norman (Sutton C'f'd) Lawson, Nigel Roberts, Michael (Cardiff, NW)
Fox, Marcus Loveridge, John Roberts, Wyn (Conway)
Fraser, Rt Hon H. (Stafford & St) Luce, Richard Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight)
Freud, Clement McAdden. Sir Stephen Ross, William (Londonderry)
Fry, Peter MacCormick, Iain Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)
Galbraith, Hon. T. G. D. McCrindle, Robert Rost, Peter (SE Derbyshire)
Gardiner, George (Reigate) McCusker, H. Royle, Sir Anthony
Gardner, Edward (S Fylde) Macfarlane, Neil Sainsbury, Tim
Gilmour, Rt Hon Ian (Chesham) MacGregor, John Scott, Nicholas
Glyn. Dr Alan Macmillan, Rt Hon M. (Farnham) Shaw, Giles (Pudsey)
Godber, Rt Hon Joseph McNair-Wilson, M. (Newbury) Shelton, William (Streatham)
Goodhew, Victor McNair-Wilson, P. (New Forest) Shepherd, Colin
Goodlad, Alastair Madel, David Silvester, Fred
Gorst, John Marshall, Michael (Arundel) Sims, Roger
Gow, Ian (Eastbourne) Marten, Neil Sinclair, Sir George
Gower, Sir Raymond (Barry) Mates, Michael Skeet, T. H. H.
Grant, Anthony (Harrow C) Mather, Carol Smith, Cyril (Rochdale)
Gray, Hamish Maude, Angus Speed, Keith
Grieve, Percy Maudling, Rt Hon Reginald Spence, John
Griffiths, Eldon Mawby, Ray Spicer, Michael (S Worcester)
Grist, Ian Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin Sproat, Iain
Grylls, Michael Mayhew, Patrick Stainton, Keith
Hall, Sir John Meyer, Sir Anthony Stanbrook, Ivor
Hall-Davis, A. G. F. Mills, Peter Stanley, John
Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) Miscampbell, Norman Steel, David (Roxburgh)
Hampson, Dr Keith Mitchell, David (Basingstoke) Steen, Anthony (Wavertree)
Hannam, John Moate, Roger Stewart, Ian (Hitchin)
Harrison, Col Sir Harwood (Eye) Molyneaux, James Stokes, John
Harvie Anderson, Rt Hon Miss Monro, Hector Tapsell, Peter
Hastings, Stephen Montgomery, Fergus Taylor, R. (Croydon NW)
Havers, Sir Michael Moore, John (Croydon C) Taylor, Teddy (Cathcart)
Hawkins Paul More, Jasper (Ludlow) Tebbit, Norman
Hayhoe, Barney Morgan, Geraint Temple-Morris, Peter
Henderson, Douglas Morris, Michael (Northampton S) Thatcher, Rt Hon Margaret
Heseltine, Michael Morrison, Charles (Devizes) Thomas, Rt Hon P. (Hendon S)
Hicks, Robert Morrison, Hon Peter (Chester) Thompson, George
Higgins, Terence L. Mudd, David Thorpe, Rt Hon Jeremy (N Devon)
Holland, Philip Neave, Airey Townsend, Cyril D.
Hooson, Emlyn Neubert, Michael Trotter, Neville
Hordern, Peter Newton, Tony Tugendhat, Christopher
Howe, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Nott, John van Straubenzee, W. R.
Howell, David (Guildford) Onslow, Cranley Vaughan, Dr Gerard
Howells, Geraint (Cardigan) Oppenheim, Mrs Sally Viggers, Peter
Hunt, John Page, Rt Hon R. Graham (Crosby) Wakeham, John
Hurd, Douglas Pardoe, John Walder, David (Clitheroe)
Hutchison, Michael Clark Parkinson, Cecil Walker, Rt Hon P. (Worcester)
Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye) Pattie, Geoffrey Wall, Patrick
Irving, Charles (Cheltenham) Penhaligon, David Walters, Dennis
James, David Percival, Ian Weatherill, Bernard
Jenkin, Rt Hn P. (Wanst'd & W'df'd) Peylon, Rt Hon John Wells, John
Johnson Smith, G. (E Grinstead) Pink, R. Bonner Welsh, Andrew
Johnston, Russell (Inverness) Powell, Rt Hon J. Enoch Whitelaw, Rt Hon William
Jones, Arthur (Daventry) Price, David (Eastleigh) Wiggin, Jerry
Jopling, Michael Prior, Rt Hon James Wilson, Gordon (Dundee E)
Joseph, Rt Hon Sir Keith Pym, Rt Hon Francis Winterton, Nicholas
Kaberry, Sir Donald Raison, Timothy Young, Sir G. (Ealing, Acton)
Kershaw, Anthony Rathbone, Tim Younger, Hon George
Kimball, Marcus Rawlinson, Rt Hon Sir Peter
King, Evelyn (South Dorset) Rees, Peter (Dover & Deal) TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
King, Tom (Bridgwater) Rees-Davies, W. R. Mr. Anthony Berry and
Kitson, Sir Timothy Raid, George Mr. Spencer Le Marchant.
Knight, Mrs Jill Renton, Rt Hon Sir D. (Hunts)

Question accordingly agreed to.

Subsequent Lords amendments agreed to.

Subsequent Lords amendment disagreed to.

Subsequent Lords amendments agreed to.

Forward to