HC Deb 27 October 1975 vol 898 cc1169-97

10.30 p.m.

Mr. Norman St. John-Stevas (Chelmsford)

I beg to move, That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the Direct Grant Grammar Schools (Cessation of Grant) Regulations 1975 (S.I., 1975, No. 1198), dated 21st July 1975, a copy of which was laid before this House on 30th July, be annulled. The reason why we are debating an issue of this importance so late at night is the responsibility of the Government. I suppose that we should be grateful that they have given this motion a slightly higher priority than the Hare Coursing Bill.

By using regulations, which is a procedure intended under Section 100 of the 1944 Act to provide grants for these schools, and by using this procedure to do away with them, the Government are using regulations correctly according to the letter of the law but they are using them quite contrary to its spirit. A change of this magnitude should have been made by legislation.

If the regulations are confirmed tonight, a principal responsibility will rest upon the members of the Liberal Party if they support the Government in this policy.

Mr. Cyril Smith (Rochdale) rose

Mr. St. John-Stevas

I have hardly begun, but as it is the hon. Gentleman who wishes to interrupt me I will give way.

Mr. Smith

In the last Division 12 Liberals voted with the Official Opposition, but the Government still had a majority of 20. Does the hon. Gentleman persist in blaming us for what will happen in the Division on these regulations?

Mr. St. John-Stevas

If 12 Liberals support me in the Lobby later I shall be well satisfied.

If the regulations are confirmed tonight, I suppose it will be some kind of parliamentary political victory. If the regulations are confirmed tonight, leaving the politics of it aside there will be a major defeat for education, and it will be a major set-back to the cause of maintaining and raising the quality of education in our schools.

There may indeed even be a political penalty, because no doubt, although the destruction of the grammar schools—the vendetta against the direct grant schools is a part of that—is the official policy of the Labour Party and the Liberal Party, it is not favoured by many Labour and Liberal voters in the country and we shall see that when they have a chance to show their hands in the local elections next year.

To show the division within the Government I give the Secretary of State this quotation: I personally hope that where grammar schools are of adequate size in reasonable buildings and with a good tradition they will be left undisturbed. They are in themselves good educational units which are not easy to come by and they act as a bridge between the general level of the State sector and the private sector. It will be fully in accord with both the liberal outlook of the Labour Party and the flexible tradition with great play left to local initiative of British education. Those are the words of the present Home Secretary. They show that this sudden conversion to a vendetta against the grammar schools does not have deep roots within the Labour Party.

Whatever the political sanction may be, the educational penalty will be grave and cumulative. At a time when there has never been greater anxiety amongst parents and teachers about what the educational system is achieving and where it is heading, it is surely crazy to do away with schools which are of proven worth academically, in the traditions of discipline and in the moral teaching which they provide. They are being done away with on grounds that have nothing to do with education. They are being done away with on grounds of social engineering.

Even that aim will not be achieved, because Professor Jencks and other academics who have studied this problem have shown conclusively that what determines equality is not school but primarily the home. So we shall lose these schools, and we shall gain nothing in return.

What is the offence of the direct grant schools? It is not that they have failed; it is that they have succeeded. That is their crime. That is why we are being asked to pass sentence of death upon them tonight.

First, the academic record of the direct grant schools is unequalled by any other group of schools in the country. Thirty-two per cent. of the pupils gain university places as against only 20 per cent. in independent schools, 19 per cent. in maintained grammar schools an 4 per cent. in comprehensive schools. In addition to that university record, 30 per cent. of direct grant school leavers go on to other forms of higher education. That constitutes a unique academic record.

The Secretary of State may say that only a small number of children are concerned; but the number is not as small as all that. It is well over 100,000, which may be small in relation to the total number but not in relation to the provision of sixth forms. As the Donnison Report pointed out, the direct grant schools account for 10 per cent. of sixth formers. What is important about these schools is not only what they do for the pupils who attend them but the fact that they give a service to those who have never entered through their doors because they provide two things—centres of academic excellence, which benefit the whole system, and, equally important, standards of comparison by which the performance of other types of school can be judged.

Secondly, the direct grant schools provide an element of choice and variety within the maintained system. Of course it is limited—I do not dispute that—but that is not an argument for doing away with them altogether.

The third contribution of the direct grant schools, as the Home Secretary has so rightly said, is to provide a bridge between the independent and the maintained sectors so that the divisions between these sectors are softened instead of being exacerbated. They provide opportunities for children of a far wider range of background than those who attend independent schools or neighbourhood comprehensive schools.

Perhaps the most famous direct grant school in the country is Manchester Grammar School. The home background of the pupils there is interesting.

The Under-Secretary of State for Industry (Mr. Gerald Kaufman)

Hear, hear.

Mr. St. John-Stevas

I am unnerved by that support, but I shall continue.

The home background of the pupils is made up as follows: managerial, 16.7 per cent.; professional, 20.1 per cent.; scholastic, 14.9 per cent.; clerks, 11.9 per cent.; commercial, 10.1 per cent.; engineers and draughtsmen, 11 per cent.; industrial workers, 8.1 per cent.; unskilled, 2.4 per cent.; unknown, 4.8 per cent. That is as wide a range of people as will be found in any school in the country. If there is criticism from the Government that that range is not wide enough, they should be devoting their efforts to widening, not destroying, the institution.

I know from my experience of speaking at direct grant and other grammar schools that it is nonsense to suggest, as the Secretary of State has suggested, that these schools are the preserve of the rich and the privileged, of the great and the good. If that were so, how could it be that such a high proportion of the Labour Cabinet was educated at them? I do not utter that as a reproach, but surely it must show that these schools provide a ladder of opportunity for those who come from families of modest means to be able to advance and, in certain cases, to escape the only alternative, which is a bad neighbourhood comprehensive school. Why do they knock away the ladder for others, having used it themselves? That is what will inevitably happen.

Already half of the direct grant schools have opted for independence. The total figure is likely to reach 100. That means that this type of academic education will be available in the future only to those who are able to afford it. The paradox of the situation is that in pursuit of egalitarian theories the Labour Party is creating more inequality, not less.

The direct grant schools make a fourth contribution. They meet special needs which are not fully met within the maintained system. I shall give two examples to illustrate my meaning. I refer first to boarding accommodation. The direct grant schools provide 10,000 places. Those are not places for the children of the rich. They are for the children of those in the Services, those working in the EEC, and others who for one reason or another must live abroad. They are provided at a cost which is much less than that of places in private schools. Boarding accommodation is not provided in the maintained sectors. Local authorities cannot provide it by themselves. When the schools are taken over by individual local authorities they will not be able to provide boarding accommodation, as that needs a consortium of from three to five local authorities.

These schools meet another special need. I refer to the provision of single-sex schools. Not all parents want single-sex schools for their children. Some parents want it. They may be few but they are an important minority. The direct grant schools cater to the important minority who want the element of choice. If this policy is adopted this is another area of choice and variety which will vanish.

All that has been achieved not only at no cost to the taxpayer but at a positive saving of money to the taxpayer. The fees which parents pay for these schools are probably between £12 million and £15 million. Perhaps the Secretary of State will give us the most up-to-date figures. These schools save the education service large sums of money by providing sites and buildings at no cost to the State. They raise their own funds. They are not allowed to receive capital sums from the education service. All that will be put at risk if this foolish policy is persisted with. What a policy of priorities it is! Would not the Secretary of State be much better employed devoting some of that money, which he must now spend on direct grant schools, to restoring the cuts in the nursery schools programme, which stood at £30 million when the Leader of the Opposition left office but has now been cut by the Government to £9 million?

The Secretary of State for Education and Science (Mr. Frederick Mulley)

I shall do so, with the hon. Gentleman's help. I have already received intimation that a large number of Conservative authorities will not use their allocation out of that sum of £9 million. If I send a list to the hon. Gentleman, will he write to those authorities and persuade them to look at the situation again?

Mr. St. John-Stevas

Local authorities are unable to take that allocation because of the inflation which the Government have failed to control and which makes it impossible for local authorities to run even skeleton local education services, let alone expand them. That does not require a letter from me, as the local education authorities know where the responsibility lies. It lies upon the Government, who have failed to check inflation at its source.

It is equally important that these schools should co-exist happily with comprehensive schools. The creaming off argument, which has been deployed so often by Government supporters, does not apply in this situation, where fewer than 5 per cent. of the children in a given area attend grammar or direct grant schools. In my constituency, Chelmsford, grammar and comprehensive schools are supported by all the educational leaders in the community—including the heads of comprehensive and grammar schools—because the numbers of pupils are such that the argument that a true comprehensive school cannot emerge does not apply. The Bristol Research Project confirms this judgment.

There are seven direct grant schools in Bristol, which cater for only 4.8 per cent. of the children in the city. Indeed, 78 per cent. of the children with verbal reasoning quotients of above 115 attend the non-direct grant schools. Therefore, one can deduce from that example that the direct grant schools do not pose a threat to the comprehensive school or the emergence of a comprehensive school.

However, what does pose a threat is the setting up in a city like Bristol of a series of rigid zones which prevent the children from one zone passing into another. Such a system would deprive a school of an academic top much more effectively than any direct grant school ever could.

In brief, that is the case for the direct grant schools. There is no educational case for abolishing them.

Why are the Government proceeding in this way? I believe that they are doing so because they have abandoned every other pledge in their manifesto and education has to take the burden in this case.

I wish to ask the Secretary of State four important questions, but no doubt others will be raised by my hon. Friends who will intervene in the debate.

First, how does the Secretary of State propose to fulfil the pledge of his predecessor, given in this House on 11th March, to the effect that arrangements to safeguard the interests of pupils already at school will be made? Will he tell the House what arrangements have been made to continue courses already started?

Secondly, and equally important, how does the Secretary of State propose to protect parents with children now at the schools against steep rises in fees if capitation grants are to be kept pegged at 1973 levels? Without an increase in those grants, how are facilities to be preserved at these schools in a period of unprecedented inflation?

Thirdly, what measures has the Secretary of State in mind to protect the jobs, the status and the salaries of head teachers and staff at these schools who opt for the maintained system at a time when we already have unprecedentedly high teacher unemployment?

Fourthly, will the Secretary of State confirm that under Section 18(1) of the 1944 Act and Section 6 of the 1953 Act local authorities have the right to continue to take up places at direct grant schools when they go independent?

The final issue is what is to happen to these schools in the future. The phasing out of the grants, according to these regulations, is to start in the autumn of 1976. That means that the policy of destruction will not be completed until 1984, which some people may think is an extraordinarily appropriate year. I trust that long before then this Government will be no more than an unhappy memory.

Therefore, the policy of the next Conservative Government is of extreme importance for the future of these schools. It is equally important that it is clearly understood. The next Conservative Government will re-open the direct grant school list. In doing so we shall be turning the clock forward so that opportunities to attend these schools are available to more children than ever before.

Secondly, we will give priority to returning to the list those schools which already enjoy direct grant status.

Thirdly, we will restore these schools on a statutory basis so that they are safeguarded by the highest protection which our constitution affords, which is by Act of Parliament. In that way, never again shall we have the shameful spectacle of some of our finest schools being destroyed with the House of Commons able to give little more than an hour's debate to what future generations will rightly regard as an act of vandalism unprecedented in our educational history.

10.36 p.m.

Mr. Kevin McNamara (Kingston upon Hull, Central)

I propose to speak briefly on this matter as many of my hon. Friends wish to take part in the debate.

I wish to speak particularly about one special group of schools which, by an accident of history and for no other reason, are direct grant schools—namely, the Catholic direct grant schools.

At present there are nearly 3,000 Catholic schools in this country. Of those, 2,639, catering for about 800,000 pupils, are voluntary aided, 56 are direct grant containing 39,000 pupils, and 347 are independent schools containing 86,000 pupils.

I support the Government's policy, which is correct for education generally and for the education of Catholic children. I declare my interest. My children go to Catholic aided comprehensive schools: primary, junior and senior high.

One terrible aspect about the way that opposition to the Government's policy has been whipped up has been that it is the implication of an attack upon religion and religious schools. Nothing could be further from the truth. This Government, implementing a policy started by the right hon. Member for Finchley (Mrs. Thatcher), have increased the grant to religious maintained schools. Indeed, when we were in Government before, my right hon. Friend the Member for Grimsby (Mr. Crosland) increased the grant to maintained Catholic and other religious schools.

The situation is that at the time of the 1944 Act a decision had to be made whether to become direct grant or to become voluntary aided, and some opted one way and others another. But the important point is that there is nothing in these regulations which in any way puts at risk the teaching of religion in Catholic or other denominational grant schools.

I regard it as the height of foolishness when people at the public schools jamboree of headmasters, or whatever it is called, say that the only schools in which religion will be left will be in the independent sector. If we relied on the independent sector and the class of people that it represents, we would have very few people of the Catholic religion left in this country, because we have been betrayed by our so-called leaders on so many occasions in the past.

It is an insult to many Catholics engaged in teaching in voluntary aided schools—comprehensive, primary and some grammar—that, somehow or other, the education given by them to children in those schools is of inferior quality and of less excellence than that which is given by a chance of Fate in direct grant schools. In reorganisation there will be problems of geography, location and catchment areas, but nothing is at stake which affects the teaching of religion. If the State wanted to attack the teaching of religion in schools, the existence of any independent direct grant or voluntary aided school would not stand in its way. We live in a pluralistic society which gives parents the benefit of being able to make a choice—a real choice and not the artificial choice presented to us by the Opposition this evening.

In my area there is no opportunity for children of my religion to go to a Catholic direct grant school. There is no opportunity for thousands of children, Catholic or otherwise, to go to direct grant schools, because direct grant schools do not exist, and, if they did, it would be purely and simply because of their policy of choosing their pupils. There would be no real choice for parents. There never has been and never will be. The guarantees given by the hon. Member for Chelmsford (Mr. St. John-Stevas) if ever the Conservatives come back into Government—which on their present showing is very doubtful—are a load of rubbish.

I make my brief intervention to ask my co-religionists, particularly the religious orders, to remember why many of them came to this country and why they started their schools. They came to teach impoverished working-class children. Why should they desert the children they came to teach and seek to go independent to teach the children of people who are well able to look after themselves? I ask the Irish Christian Bothers, who taught me, to go back to teaching working-class children. They did a good job, and continue to do a good job in areas where it is desperately needed.

Several Hon. Members rose

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Sir Myer Galpern)

Order. The Opposition Front Bench spokesman has already spoken of the shortness of the debate. It must finish at 11.30 p.m., and at 11.15 p.m., the Minister will rise to reply. I appeal to hon. Members for five-minute speeches, such as the one we have just heard from the hon. Member for Kingston-upon-Hull, Central (Mr. McNamara), so that as many speakers as possible may be accommodated.

10.42 p.m.

Mr. R. Graham Page (Crosby)

The hon. Member for Kingston-upon-Hull, Central (Mr. McNamara) said that in his constituency there is no choice of going to a Catholic school. He was at one time in my constituency, where he had the choice of going to a Catholic direct grant school—there are two of the finest in the land—and he was educated at one by the Irish Christian Brothers.

I do not want to follow directly on what the hon. Gentleman said. I want to draw attention to the note on the Order Paper below the Prayer: The Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments have not yet completed their consideration of the Instrument. The Joint Committee has considered the Instrument and has asked for witnesses from the Department to come before it to explain how the regulations come within the power quoted in the preamble to the regulations.

The short point is that the Secretary of State has power by order to make grants, but has he the power by order to refuse to make them? The wording of the statutory power quoted in the preamble to the regulations is a little unusual. Section 100(1)(b) of the Education Act 1944 provides that the Secretary of State: shall by regulations make provision… (b) for the payment by him to persons other than local education authorities"— which is always taken to refer to direct grant schools— of grants in respect of expenditure incurred or to be incurred for the purposes of educational services". In Section 100(1)(c) the Secretary of State— shall by regulations make provision:— (c) for the payment by him, for the purpose of enabling pupils to take advantage without hardship to themselves or their parents of any educational facilities available to them". Therefore, the power is mandatory.

It is difficult to see how those words can be construed to mean that the Secretary of State may by regulation prohibit payment. Of course, he is left with a reasonable discretion as to the amount of payment. He also has power to make the maintenance of certain standards in the schools a condition of payment under subsection (3). However, he cannot pray that in aid to say that the order is valid. That would require him to make conditions which, if they were fulfilled, would entitle a school to payment of the grant, but no such thing is specified in the regulations. Eventually there will be no conditions which can be fulfilled to obtain those payments. Rightly, the Secretary of State does not appear to be acting under that power.

For myself, I wish that the right hon. Gentleman had taken exactly the opposite road and instead of abolishing the direct grant had extended it to the whole of the educational system, to all schools and to all pupils, abolishing the present system whereby education is financed by rates and the rate support grant. I have for some time advocated that expenditure on education should be borne by the Exchequer and that local authorities should no longer be required to find the two-thirds of educational expenditure out of the rates.

Mr. Mulley

Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman will agree with the proposition that I could not do that by regulation.

Mr. Page

Indeed, but the right hon. Gentleman could do it by statute. That is what we are saying. It is our contention that the right hon. Gentleman should not have taken any step to abolish direct grant by order because he has not the power to do so.

The direct grant system or a per capita grant for each school in a district in place of the present rate and rate support grant system would have provided considerable advantages. First, such a system would relieve the ratepayer of the burden of producing about £6,000 million. I accept that that would be at the expense of the taxpayer, but education is a national service far more than a local service. Secondly, it would encourage each school to develop into a scholastic entity. Direct grant grammar schools have shown that that is possible.

That is what the right hon. Gentleman could have chosen to do instead of abolishing the direct grant, instead of making regulations which I suspect are not within his powers under the statute. He may well be advised that they are ultra vires, that he has thereby increased the burden on the ratepayers and done nothing to improve education. In the circumstances of his acting ultra vires the House should annul the regulations tonight.

10.49 p.m.

Mr. Ron Thomas (Bristol, North-west)

I support the Government on this issue. We made it clear in our manifesto that we intended to phase out the direct grant. In my judgment, any system of selection is a system of rejection to the majority of children.

Mention has already been made of Bristol. My hon. Friend the Member for Bristol, South (Mr. Cocks) has done some research on the situation in Bristol between 1968 and 1972. During that period there were 433 non-Catholic free places awarded. About one-third of those places went to the independent schools. That left 314 places to be awarded to the children from primary schools. As there are 91 non-Catholic primary schools, it might be assumed there were three places to each school—but not a bit of it. About half of those places went to seven schools in Bristol residential areas where the wealthier people live. The other 84 schools shared the remaining places. Indeed my hon. Friend the Member for Bristol, South has a map showing the primary schools from which the children came who took up these places, and over vast working-class areas there is not one little flag representing awards to children from those areas.

Faced with the demolition of the social mix argument, we have recently had in Bristol the use of the kind of statistical table offered by the Opposition Front Bench a little earlier in the debate, and it received from most people the same kind of response in comparing pupil intake with the National Register social class definitions. But such figures have little meaning without more detail and comparisons, and unless we know from where the statistics come and where the free places fall within particular groups.

In any event, privilege relates to more than money. I do not believe one can justify privilege simply in terms of cost, as was suggested earlier. The efficacy of any school is better tested by an analytical statistical study as opposed to descriptive matter of the kind we have seen so far from the Opposition Front Bench. We need to consider a whole range of variables, including ability, opportunity to develop potential, attainment, privilege, status and so on. Achievement in relation to potential is an essential. The direct grant schools, on the other hand, are related to privilege and status and are a self-perpetuating elitist system. They are also self-protecting by offering crumbs from the table to a few of the IQ-defined "bright youngsters" from working-class homes in order to bolster a sagging achievement in comparison with the State sector.

The Opposition Front Bench are worried that if they refuse the bright boys from working-class areas they will be unable to quote the kind of statistics quoted this evening. The argument of achievement related to privilege cannot be resolved because the guardians of privilege will not give access to information which inevitably will be self-defeating to their own arguments. If direct grant schools cannot exist on their own, public money should not be used to perpetuate the system. If those involved in these schools are concerned about social mix and about the advancement of education, they should come into the State system. If they mean what they say, that is what they should do. In my judgment, while some of the decision-makers in our society opt out of the State system and buy their way into education, we shall not achieve the kind of comprehensive system we deserve and very much need.

10.55 p.m.

Mr. Clement Freud (Isle of Ely)

I should like to begin by quoting an educationalist called Rudolf Klein, who wrote: It is possible to have a system of education based on selection by ability which steers resources towards academically talented children, and it is possible to have a system which gets rid of selection by having schools which take all comers. What cannot be done is to combine the two. There is not much doubt that the phasing out of the direct grant schools is a soft and easy target for those who really wish to tackle the private sector but fear the consequence of doing so.

It has to be admitted that the private sector is probably the most divisive element in education at the moment. But as a Liberal I maintain that we must have the right to spend our money as we will. It would be quite iniquitous for the Government, who have already done so much to interfere with our way of life, now to decide how we can or how we cannot spend money. Anyone who wants to buy education should have the right to do so, just as anyone who wants a second car, a third house or a fourth television set should have the right to buy those things.

The first report of the Royal Commission on Public Schools said: Public schools should not be abolished or left as they are but integrated into the national educational system, the main factor being the allocation of boarding places according to need and not ability to pay. We acknowledge that there is an anomaly in the direct grant schools, and as a party we support the principle of the Government's decision to phase out the grant from autumn 1976.

Let me also say that, while we support comprehensive schools, we deplore the threatened closure of specialist schools—brought up by the hon. Member for Chelmsford (Mr. St. John-Stevas)—because the specialist schools and boarding schools successfully meet the different needs of the students. It is impossible to support comprehensives, which we do, and believe that the existence of a more eclectic form of education running alongside can do anything but harm. The constant assertion of Conservative spokesmen that direct grant schools do not harm the public sector should be laid to rest.

As The Times Educational Supplement said in October last year: The bulk of direct grant does not go to helping individual parents but in reducing the overall level of the fees, and in fact for those who pay for their children to go to direct grant schools the local education authority contributes an average of £120 per annum. That money is taken from the education budget.

My party's criticism of the phasing out is that it was too sudden and too inflexible. Were it not for that, I think all my colleagues who support the principle would vote with me with the Government in the No Lobby. [Interruption.] Why should it be regarded as weakness when a man is honest enough to announce that there are members of his party who have doubts? I totally oppose that attitude. It is strength to have the honesty to admit that in certain sectors those two types of education can run alongside perfectly well, but that by and large the principle is one which is destructive.

Mr. St. John-Stevas

I should like to put an eclectic question. On what side is the Liberal Party voting tonight?

Mr. Freud

If that is an eclectic question, I hate to think what a common or garden question would be, and I suggest that the hon. Gentleman should await the Division.

The phasing out period is reasonable; schools wishing to become independent would be free of Government finance in the early 1980s. It is the period for decision that was too short to allow gainful negotiations between the schools and the local education authorities. I feel that even those hon. Members who would give no quarter to the direct grant system would agree that it is in the interests of local authorities and the public purse to ensure a satisfactory transition; this speed of destruction is extremely wasteful financially.

I have said that the Liberal Party is committed to the principle of non-selective secondary education. We welcomed the move away from the old tripartite system, with its waste of talent, its social divisiveness and the insistence that there was a single age at which to gauge the academic potential of a child. We welcomed the introduction of a genuine, carefully planned comprehensive system, and at the time this was generally accepted by all parties, even by the Tories. But the Tories have conducted a sustained campaign of denigration ever since. It has been this denigration against comprehensive schools which has been a considerable factor in making the public feel comprehensive apprehensive. Even the lip-service that they once patronisingly paid to the comprehensive principle is now barely observed.

I come now to three myths about the direct grant schools, and we have heard them again tonight from the hon. Member for Chelmsford. The first one is that they have a wide social mix. Let me explain: one child in 13 at a direct grant school comes from a semi-skilled or unskilled worker's family. I do not call that a wide social mix. In fact, the subsidy is predominantly one which helps the well-to-do from funds which are provided by all classes of society.

The second myth is that the system gives parental choice. By a process of rigorous academic selection at an age which has no scholastic significance—though I suppose that one has to take some age—97 per cent. of children are excluded from any chance of going to a direct grant school. Can one call that parental choice of any significant order? What is more, the choice is further restricted geographically. For instance, there are only four direct grant schools in Wales, and if anyone in Wales wants his child educated at a co-educational non-denominational school, there is not one.

The third myth is that the direct grant school remains the guarantor of academic excellence. By and large, that is true. But I think that it is explicable more in terms of intake than tuition. The more selective the system, the better the results obtained. It is equally true that educational attainment is heavily influenced by home background. The social class, as ever, is the safest indicator of scholastic success.

I return to Rudolf Klein and his assertion, with which I began my remarks. He said that it was possible to have an education system based on selection by ability, and one which eliminated selection and took all comers, but that what could not be done was to combine the two. At the moment, we are combining the two. But what Klein meant was combining the two systems successfully. We have the two systems running side by side unsuccessfully.

The creaming off of talent, splendid as it is for the creamed-off students, does infinite damage to those left behind, to those who are rejected. It not only does academic harm. It wrecks much more. It wrecks the football teams and the cricket teams. It wrecks friendships. It wrecks the academic standards. It wrecks those kids who look to someone, for example, at primary school and lose them in the secondary sector.

The two-party dogfight over education should be ended. In 1972, when the Leader of the Opposition was Secretary of State, she abolished free milk and at the same time increased the direct grant. Now the Government are hastily phasing out the direct grant—but not a word about restoring milk. If an election is called before the transition of direct grant schools into independence or the State system, and the Conservatives should win and fulfil their pledge to reopen and extend the direct grant schools, is that for the good of education?

There is not a child in this country who will benefit from the yo-yo system of being in a direct grant school one year, the maintained sector the next and back in a direct grant school the year after. We need a steady and gradual progress to non-selective systems of secondary education. We want a frank recognition of the comprehensive ideal but also the realisation that the designation of a school as comprehensive does not instantly remove all problems.

11.6 p.m.

Mr. Martin Flannery (Sheffield, Hillsborough)

It is always difficult to follow the exotic histrionics of the hon. Member for the Isle of Ely (Mr. Freud). Some time ago I did a TV broadcast with the hon. Member and the hon. Member for Ripon (Dr. Hampson). I am glad to see that in the process he was converted to some of the beliefs about comprehensive education which many of us hold.

The two debates we have had today—this one very brief, the previous one rather longer—have been about the same thing, about Conservatives defending, as they ever will, privileges and favours for themselves. [An HON. MEMBER: "Rubbish."] The hon. Member will have to learn what comprehensive education means. It is true that they want special social services, special beds, special everything for themselves. They want special education bought for their children at the expense of other children, in the same way as, in the hospital service, they want the best for themselves at the expense of the sick in general. These are the realities, and no amount of talk about "a good social spread" can change them.

As I have said before in this Chamber, when the Leader of the Opposition was Secretary of State for Education she visited Sheffield when there were 250 State schools and one direct grant girls' high school in the city. I will give the House three guesses, with no prizes, which school she choose to deliver an edict on education worthy of the Conservative Party.

The hon. Member for Chelmsford (Mr. St. John-Stevas) said that Manchester Grammar School is a splendid example of a good social spread. In giving us the figures, he said that the percentage of the children of industrial workers in the school was 8 per cent. If this is the hon. Gentleman's idea of what a good social spread in education means—when the other 92 per cent. were middle-class—I must tell him that that is something that we, as democrats, are totally against. The reality is that until recently only 20 per cent. of children were allowed to choose, through their parents, which school they would go to, and 80 per cent. to 90 per cent., as the hon. Member for the Isle of Ely said, had no choice whatsoever of where they would go. They had to go to the secondary modern school. That was the reality, and the Opposition know that.

Comprehensive education demands that no élitist school runs at the side of those schools which would then, to that extent, be decomprehensivised, and when Tory Members talk about a vendetta against direct grant and grammar schools they ought to realise that the vendetta is against the advances in education being made by comprehensive schools.

The hon. Gentleman spoke about schools of proven worth and said that they had not failed but had succeeded. Succeeded in what, and not failed in what? The reality is that they have succeeded in showing how elitist they are in excluding the majority of our children from that type of school.

As I said, the hon. Gentleman spoke about schools of proven worth. All things are of proven worth in the world, but we want better things than that. We want schools of greater proven worth for the majority of our children. Hence selection at 11-plus is on its way out. The campaign against comprehensive education in favour of the direct grant schools is an ideological campaign for elitist education against the democratisation of education, and it will fail because the vast majority of parents throughout the country want comprehensive education and are against direct grant schools and elitist education.

Several Hon. Members rose

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. I hope that the hon. Member who catches my eye will remember that the Minister wishes to begin his reply to the debate at 11.15 p.m. I call the hon. Member for Wokingham (Mr. van Straubenzee).

11.13 p.m.

Mr. William van Straubenzee (Wokingham)

If you say, Mr. Deputy Speaker, and it is proper, that the Secretary of State should have adequate time to reply to the debate, I can only for a few moments put my argument succinctly and shortly. I do so as a signatory to the Prayer and as one who speaks, as the right hon. Gentleman knows, from what at times is a significantly different emphasis in education matters in my party.

I am as firmly opposed as any other signatory to the Prayer to these regulations, and I am as keen as anyone to retain not every direct grant school—for that, I believe, is not a tenable proposition—but the direct grant system which is a bridge between the independent and the State systems.

In the few moments that I have I give two additional reasons that have not been mentioned. The first is learning or scholarship. I reject totally the concept, which I hear too often, that learning and scholarship are not possible and are not to be found in comprehensive schools. But I know that many of my friends who teach in comprehensive schools accept that in the early days of these schools it is probably true that an undue proportion of time, and understandably so, has been given to the less able child.

If that be right, and I find it widely accepted inside comprehensive schools, we are dealing with schools which, by common consent, are jewels of learning and scholarship, and surely it cannot be right at this moment in our education history to do away with them and par- ticularly to cease to make available from them the services that they provide for many children who go there without payment.

Secondly, if someone was really concerned about educational issues as opposed to political dogma, he would have sought a compromise with the direct grant system. It is perfectly possible for there to be some understanding on, for example, the age of entry, the sharing of sixth form facilities, the giving of priority to young people in certain catchment areas, the provision of places on an incomes scale and the widening of the range of the intelligence quotient. All these would have been possible for someone who was driven not by political dogma but by concern and care about our education system.

As a result we have one of the greatest paradoxes in modern history—a total change of thought by Labour Members. Those who have been most critical of what are generally called the public schools are now engaged in an operation to drive into the public school sector many of the finest schools in the country, and those who are their forebears in political thought must tonight be looking on in wonder and astonishment.

11.16 p.m.

The Secretary of State for Education and Science (Mr. Frederick Mulley)

The hon. Member for Wokingham (Mr. van Straubenzee) brings to education debates a great knowledge and sincerity. I assure him that it is with no misgivings that I am unable to agree with the propositions that he has put forward tonight.

This debate is about regulations which will give effect to the plain and quite unmistakable commitment that we made in our October 1974 manifesto, that we would bring to an end the system of direct grant grammar schools. [Interruption.] Opposition Members should be tolerant; in an education debate tolerance is something that we should expect. I shall give shortly the reasons for putting our proposals forward. It could not be argued that we have put our proposals forward without giving the public an opportunity of discussing it at a General Election.

For a long time we have consistently held the view that the system of selection at the age of 11 is iniquitous and monstrous on any grounds. One cannot be sure when children reach the age of 11 that one is picking all the winners. Under the old system, of which the direct grant schools are part, we condemn at the age of 11, or sometimes 12, about 85 per cent. of children to secondary modern schools. This means that for the majority of such children any chance they might have had of professional or higher education depends largely upon the decision taken at the age of 11.

There is substantial support in the electorate and among educationists for the abolition of the 11-plus. If we devise and develop a system of non-selective secondary schools, it is simply not possible in that system sensibly to provide for the direct grant schools. They are a particular form of grammar school, the only difference being one of funding. I wonder whether the hon. Member for Chelmsford (Mr. St. John-Stevas) understands what they are. I took careful note of what he said. He said that we should retain them to provide variety within the maintained system. That is exactly what we are seeking to do by these regulations. We are seeking to bring these schools into the maintained system. They are independent schools in every respect, except that some children are allocated free places provided by local authorities. But for the most part the parents who send their children to these 170 schools are sending them there to get the equivalent of an independent school education at much less than the actual cost, the difference being paid for by the local and the national taxpayers.

The fact is that £42 million is provided in fees at these schools, of which £23 million comes from the local education authorities, £5 million from my Department by way of fee-remission grants and £14 million from the parents. The cost of maintaining this system is twice as much to the taxpayer as it is to the parent. Over and above that, a further £10.3 million comes from capitation fees, so out of the total income of £52 million, some £38 million is provided by the local and national taxpayer.

Dr. Keith Hampson (Ripon)

Will the right hon. Gentleman give way?

Mr. Mulley

No. Time is short, and I have been asked many questions.

The geographical spread of these schools is very uneven. As the hon. Member for the Isle of Ely (Mr. Freud) said, there are only three in Wales. There are whole counties in England with no direct grant grammar schools. It is only very recently that the Conservative Party has found such enthusiasm for them. I would suggest that this is very typical. There is hardly one Opposition Member who does not, when he makes a speech outside the House, talk about the necessity of cutting public expenditure to the bone, but inside the House on every major education issue Opposition Members say they want us to spend more.

Dr. Hampson rose

Mr. Mulley

I cannot give way.

Dr. Hampson rose

Mr. Mulley

I shall not give way.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. This is an education debate.

Mr. Mulley

I want to try to reply as fully as possible to the debate, and time is very short. If the hon. Member for Ripon (Dr. Hampson) wants to put one question, I shall give way, but I shall not be talked out.

Dr. Hampson

What will it cost the Treasury to find about 70,000 or 80,000 places which will be the shortfall in the State system caused by these schools going independent, and particularly sixth form places, which are so few in many of the areas in which these schools are situated?

Mr. Mulley

I was about to give these figures. The cost factor is brought out. At one end of the range of possibilities, the worst thing that can happen may involve a cost of up to £12 million, but, alternatively, it may well be possible to make a saving of £30 million. We cannot give exact figures because, as the hon. Gentleman will know, the schools have until the end of the year before they make their decision—whether to come into the maintained sector or to go independent. Most of them have not told us yet. Until we know that, we cannot give an exact figure or even an estimate of the cost. We might save £30 million. It might cost £12 million extra if they were all to come into the maintained sector.

I was asked by the hon. Member for Chelmsford about the interests of the pupils in the schools. We intend to continue the capitation grants in respect of children presently in direct grant schools until they complete their secondary education. In the case of those schools which decide to come into the maintained sector we have not recommended broader organisational changes because we do not yet know which schools will be coming in, and the detailed arrangements will have to be worked out with local authorities.

As to the actual amount of fees, the fees may rise if the schools go independent. If the schools come into the public sector there will be no fees. If the fees rise because the schools wish to go independent, the poorer parents will continue to get the benefit of the remission of fees scheme. But, clearly, if they opt to go independent there is no obligation on our part to keep raising the remission levels in the years to come for parents who are able to pay the higher fees. We have given the assurance that the jobs and status of teachers coming into the public sector will be safeguarded. Where this is not possible in certain cases, the question of compensation will be gone into with the teachers and schools concerned.

As regards Section 81 of the 1944 Act and Section 6 of the 1953 Act, at present local authorities have the right to send children to direct grant schools if they go independent, but this is a matter about which I am consulting the local authorities and at the end of the consultations I hope to make a statement. The hon. Gentleman asked whether in the interim period local authorities can continue to send children to direct grant schools, and the answer is that they can.

Mr. St. John-Stevas

I am grateful to the Secretary of State for answering my questions so concisely. Will he now say whether he intends to increase the capitation fees so that the facilities at these schools for the pupils already there can be maintained?

Mr. Mulley

I have no immediate plans to deal with the capitation fees. I said that if the fees rise because the schools go independent, parents who cannot afford them under the existing arrangements will get the benefit of the remission of fees scheme, but I am not intending to increase the levels of grant at this time.

I want the House to get this matter into some sense of proportion. I warn the hon. Gentleman that his language at times is far from moderate. For example, he spoke about there being well over 100,000 pupils in these schools. He is right: the number is over 100,000; it is 104,000. But this figure must be set against the total number of 10 million in maintained schools.

The hon. Gentleman also gave figures—for the Manchester Grammar School. My hon. Friend the Member for Manchester, Ardwick (Mr. Kaufman), in whose constituency the school is located, tells me that in his constituency some 55 per cent. of the population come within the categories of skilled and unskilled labour, only 8 per cent. of which is represented in that school. It is nonsense, therefore, to suggest that the direct grant schools operate for the benefit of working-class children. One has only to visit such schools to realise just what nonsense this is.

In many areas the direct grant schools make it difficult, if not impossible, to develop a proper system of non-selective secondary education. They provide for many parents who choose to go outside the public sector a subsidised system of independent academic education for their children at a lower cost than that which must be paid by parents who do not happen to have direct grant schools in their areas and who choose to send their children to independent schools.

I have said before, and I say again, that many of these schools played a prominent and distinguished part in the development of our education system when it was organised on the basis of selection for secondary education. However, the system is gradually changing; in the local education authority of the hon. Member for Chelmsford himself, for example, before the recent boundary changes 88 per cent. of the children of secondary school age were in compresensive schools.

The hon. Gentleman said that there will be no local authority boarding provision when our proposals are implemented. There are 9,000 boarders in the direct grant grammar schools. But many local authorities make boarding provision. The Inner London Education Authority, for example, has two boarding schools—Woolverstone Hall and Crown Woods School. There is one in Norfolk. There is one in the hon. Gentleman's county. The hon. Gentleman takes such an interest in the public sector of education that he does not even realise that his

own authority maintains a boarding school at Fyfield.

I ask the House to reject the Prayer and to support the decision to abolish the direct grant grammar schools.

Question put:—

The House divided: Ayes 249, Noes 292.

Division No. 366.] AYES [11.30 p.m.
Adley, Robert Fox, Marcus Luce, Richard
Aitken, Jonathan Fraser, Rt Hon H. (Stafford & St) McAdden, Sir Stephen
Alison, Michael Fry, Peter McCrindle, Robert
Amery, Rt Hon Julian Galbraith, Hon. T. G. D. Macfarlane, Neil
Arnold, Tom Gardiner, George (Reigate) MacGregor, John
Atkins, Rt Hon H. (Spelthorne) Gardner, Edward (S Fylde) Macmillan, Rt Hon M. (Farnham)
Awdry, Daniel Gilmour, Rt Hon Ian (Chesham) McNair-Wilson, M. (Newbury)
Baker, Kenneth Gilmour, Sir John (East Fife) McNair-Wilson, P. (New Forest)
Banks, Robert Glyn, Dr Alan Madel, David
Bell, Ronald Godber, Rt Hon Joseph Mates, Michael
Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torbay) Goodhart, Philip Mather, Carol
Bennett, Dr Reginald (Fareham) Goodlad, Alastair Maude, Angus
Berry, Hon Anthony Gorst, John Maudling, Rt Hon Reginald
Biffen, John Gow, Ian (Eastbourne) Mawby, Ray
Biggs-Davison, John Gower, Sir Raymond (Barry) Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin
Blaker, Peter Grant, Anthony (Harrow C) Mayhew, Patrick
Body, Richard Gray, Hamish Meyer, Sir Anthony
Boscawen, Hon Robert Grieve, Percy Mills, Peter
Bottomley, Peter Grist, Ian Miscampbell, Norman
Bowden, A. (Brighton, Kemptown) Grylls, Michael Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)
Boyson, Dr Rhodes (Brent) Hall, Sir John Moate, Roger
Braine, Sir Bernard Hall-Davis, A. G. F. Montgomery, Fergus
Brittan, Leon Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) Moore, John (Croydon C)
Brocklebank-Fowler, C. Hampson, Dr Keith More. Jasper (Ludlow)
Brotherton. Michael Hannam, John Morgan, Geraint
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Harrison, Col Sir Harwood (Eye) Morgan-Giles, Rear-Admiral
Bryan, Sir Paul Harvie Anderson, Rt Hon Miss Morris, Michael (Northampton S)
Buchanan-Smith, Alick Hastings, Stephen Morrison, Charles (Devizes)
Buck, Antony Havers, Sir Michael Morrison, Hon Peter (Chester)
Budgen, Nick Hawkins, Paul Mudd, David
Bulmer, Esmond Hayhoe, Barney Neave, Airey
Burden, F. A. Heath, Rt Hon Edward Nelson, Anthony
Carlisle, Mark Heseltine, Michael Neubert, Michael
Carr, Rt Hon Robert Hicks, Robert Newton, Tony
Chalker, Mrs Lynda Higgins, Terence L. Nott, John
Channon, Paul Hordern, Peter Onslow, Cranley
Churchill, W. S. Howe, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Oppenheim, Mrs Sally
Clark, Alan (Plymouth, Sutton) Howell, David (Guildford) Osborn, John
Clark, William (Croydon S) Howell, Ralph (North Norfolk) Page, John (Harrow West)
Cockcroft, John Hunt, John Page, Rt Hon R. Graham (Crosby)
Cooke, Robert (Bristol W) Hurd, Douglas Pattie, Geoffrey
Cope, John Hutchison, Michael Clark Percival, Ian
Cordle, John H. Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye) Peyton, Rt Hon John
Cormack, Patrick Irving, Charles (Cheltenham) Pink, R. Bonner
Corrie, John James, David Powell, Rt Hon J. Enoch
Costain, A. P. Jenkin, Rt Hn P. (Wanst'd & W'df'd) Price, David (Eastleigh)
Craig, Rt Hon W. (Belfast E) Jessel, Toby Pym, Rt Hon Francis
Critchley, Julian Johnson Smith, G. (E Grinstead) Raison, Timothy
Crouch, David Jones, Arthur (Daventry) Rathbone, Tim
Davies, Rt Hon J. (Knutstord) Joseph, Rt Hon Sir Keith Rawlinson, Rt Hon Sir Peter
Dodsworth, Geoffrey Kellett-Bowman, Mrs Elaine Rees, Peter (Dover & Deal)
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James Kershaw, Anthony Rees-Davies, W. R.
Drayson, Burnaby Kilfedder, James Renton, Rt Hon Sir D. (Hunts)
du Cann, Rt Hon Edward Kimball, Marcus Renton, Tim (Mid-Sussex)
Durant, Tony King, Evelyn (South Dorset) Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon
Dykes, Hugh King, Tom (Bridgwater) Ridley, Hon Nicholas
Eden, Rt Hon Sir John Kitson, Sir Timothy Rifkind, Malcolm
Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke) Knight, Mrs Jill Rippon, Rt Hon Geoffrey
Elliott, Sir William Knox, David Roberts, Michael (Cardiff NW)
Eyre, Reginald Lamont, Norman Roberts, Wyn (Conway)
Fairbairn, Nicholas Lane, David Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks)
Fairgrieve, Russell Langford-Holt, Sir John Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)
Fell, Anthony Latham, Michael (Mellon) Rost, Peter (SE Derbyshire)
Finsberg, Geoffrey Lawrence, Ivan Royle, Sir Anthony
Fisher, Sir Nigel Lawson, Nigel Sainsbury, Tim
Fletcher, Alex (Edinburgh N) Le Marchant, Spencer St. John-Stevas, Norman
Fletcher-Cooke, Charles Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland) Scott, Nicholas
Fookes, Miss Janet Lloyd, Ian Scott-Hopkins, James
Fowler, Norman (Sutton C'f'd) Loveridge, John Shaw, Giles (Pudsey)
Shaw, Michael (Scarborough) Stokes, John Wakeham, John
Shelton, William (Streatham) Stradling Thomas, J. Walder, David (Clitheroe)
Shepherd, Colin Tapsell, Peter Walker, Rt Hon p. (Worcester)
Shersby, Michael Taylor, R. (Croydon NW) Wall, Patrick
Sims, Roger Taylor, Teddy (Cathcart) Walters, Dennis
Sinclair, Sir George Tebbit, Norman Wells, John
Skeet, T. H. H. Temple-Morris, Peter Wiggin, Jerry
Smith, Dudley (Warwick) Thatcher, Rt Hon Margaret Winterton, Nicholas
Speed, Keith Thomas, Rt. Hon P. (Hendon S) Wood, Rt Hon Richard
Spicer, Jim (W Dorset) Townsend, Cyril D. Young, Sir G. (Ealing, Acton)
Spicer, Michael (S Worcester) Trotter, Neville Younger, Hon George
Sproat, Iain Tugendhat, Christopher
Stainton, Keith van Straubenzee, W. R. TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Stanbrook, Ivor Vaughan, Dr Gerard Mr. Cecil Parkinson and
Steen, Anthony (Wavertree) Viggers, Peter Mr. Adam Butler.
Stewart, Ian (Hitchin)
Allaun, Frank Doig, Peter Jenkins, Rt Hon Roy (Stechford)
Anderson, Donald Douglas-Mann, Bruce John, Brynmor
Archer, Peter Duffy, A. E. P. Johnson, Walter (Derby S)
Armstrong, Ernest Dunnett, Jack Jones, Alec (Rhondda)
Ashley, Jack Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth Jones, Barry (East Flint)
Atkins, Ronald (Preston N) Eadie, Alex Jones, Dan (Burnley)
Atkinson, Norman Edge, Geoff Judd, Frank
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Edwards, Robert (Wolv SE) Kaufman, Gerald
Barnett, Guy (Greenwich) Ellis, Tom (Wrexham) Kelley, Richard
Barnett, Rt Hon Joel (Heywood) English, Michael Kerr, Russell
Bates, Alf Ennals, David Kilroy-Silk, Robert
Bean, R. E. Evans, Fred (Caerphilly) Lambie, David
Beith, A. J. Evans, Ioan (Aberdare) Lamborn, Harry
Benn, Rt Hon Anthony Wedgwood Evans, John (Newton) Lamond, James
Bennett, Andrew (Stockport N) Ewing, Harry (Stirling) Latham, Arthur (Paddington)
Bidwell, Sydney Faulds, Andrew Leadbitter, Ted
Bishop, E. S. Fernyhough, Rt Hon E. Lestor, Miss Joan (Eton & Slough)
Blenkinsop, Arthur Fitch, Alan (Wigan) Lever, Rt Hon Harold
Boardman, H. Fitt, Gerard (Belfast W) Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)
Booth, Albert Flannery, Martin Lipton, Marcus
Bottomley, Rt Hon Arthur Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) Litterick, Tom
Boyden, James (Bish Auck) Foot, Rt Hon Michael Loyden, Eddie
Bradley, Tom Ford, Ben Luard, Evan
Bray, Dr Jeremy Forrester, John Lyon, Alexander (York)
Brown, Hugh D. (Provan) Fowler, Gerald (The Wrekin) Lyons, Edward (Bradford W)
Brown, Robert C. (Newcastle W) Fraser, John (Lambeth, N'w'd) Mabon, Dr J. Dickson
Buchan, Norman Freeson, Reginald McCartney, Hugh
Buchanan, Richard Freud, Clement McElhone, Frank
Butler, Mrs Joyce (Wood Green) Garrett, John (Norwich S) MacFarquhar, Roderick
Callaghan, Rt Hon J. (Cardiff SE) Garrett, W. E. (Wallsend) McGuire, Michael (Ince)
Callaghan, Jim (Middleton & P) George, Bruce Mackenzie, Gregor
Campbell, Ian Gilbert, Dr John Mackintosh, John P.
Canavan, Dennis Ginsburg, David Maclennan, Robert
Cant, R. B. Gould, Bryan McMillan, Tom (Glasgow C)
Carmichael, Neil Gourlay, Harry McNamara, Kevin
Carter-Jones, Lewis Graham, Ted Madden, Max
Cartwright, John Grant, George (Morpeth) Magee, Bryan
Castle, Rt Hon Barbara Grant, John (Islington C) Maguire, Frank (Fermanagh)
Clemitson, Ivor Hamilton, W. W. (Central Fife) Mahon, Simon
Cocks, Michael (Bristol S) Harper, Joseph Mallalieu, J. P. W.
Cohen, Stanley Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) Marks, Kenneth
Coleman, Donald Hart, Rt Hon Judith Marquand, David
Colquhoun, Mrs Maureen Hattersley, Rt Hon Roy Marshall, Dr Edmund (Goole)
Concannon, J. D. Hayman, Mrs Helene Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)
Conlan, Bernard Healey, Rt Hon Denis Mason, Rt Hon Roy
Cook, Robin F. (Edin C) Heffer, Eric S. Maynard, Miss Joan
Corbett, Robin Hooley, Frank Meacher, Michael
Cox, Thomas (Tooting) Hooson, Emlyn Mellish, Rt Hon Robert
Craigen, J. M. (Maryhill) Horam, John Mikardo, Ian
Crawshaw, Richard Howell, Denis (B'ham, Sm H) Millan, Bruce
Cronin, John Howells, Geraint (Cardigan) Miller, Dr M. S. (E Kilbride)
Crosland, Rt Hon Anthony Hoyle, Doug (Nelson) Miller, Mrs Millie (Ilford N)
Cryer, Bob Huckfield, Les Mitchell, R. C. (Soton, ltchen)
Cunningham, G. (Islington S) Hughes, Rt Hon C. (Anglesey) Molloy, William
Cunningham, Dr J. (Whiten) Hughes, Mark (Durham) Moonman, Eric
Dalyell, Tam Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N) Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)
Davidson, Arthur Hughes, Roy (Newport) Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)
Davies, Bryan (Enfield N) Hunter, Adam Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon)
Davies, Denzil (Llanelli) Irvine, Rt Hon Sir A. (Edge Hill) Moyle, Roland
Davis, Clinton (Hackney C) Irving, Rt Hon S. (Dartford) Mulley, Rt Hon Frederick
Deakins, Eric Jackson, Colin (Brighouse) Murray, Rt Hon Ronald King
Dean, Joseph (Leeds West) Jackson, Miss Margaret (Lincoln) Newens, Stanley
de Freitas, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Janner, Greville Noble, Mike
Delargy, Hugh Jay, Rt Hon Douglas Oakes, Gordon
Dell, Rt Hon Edmund Jeger, Mrs Lena Ogden, Eric
Dempsey, James Jenkins, Hugh (Putney) O'Halloran, Michael
O'Malley, Rt Hon Brian Shaw, Arnold (Ilford South) Urwin, T. W.
Orbach, Maurice Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-u-Lyne) Varley, Rt Hon Eric G.
Orme, Rt Hon Stanley Short, Rt Hon E. (Newcastle C) Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne V)
Ovenden, John Short, Mrs Renée (Wolv NE) Walden, Brian (B'ham, L'dyw'd)
Owen, Dr David Silkin, Rt Hon John (Deptford) Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Padley, Walter Sillars, James Walker, Terry (Kingswood)
Palmer, Arthur Skinner, Dennis Ward, Michael
Pardoe, John Small, William Watkins, David
Park, George Smith, Cyril (Rochdale) Watkinson, John
Parker, John Smith, John (N Lanarkshire) Weetch, Ken
Parry, Robert Snape, Peter Weitzman, David
Peart, Rt Hon Fred Spearing, Nigel Wellbeloved, James
Pendry, Tom Spriggs, Leslie White, Frank R. (Bury)
Penhaligon, David Stallard, A. W. White, James (Pollok)
Phipps, Dr Colin Steel, David (Roxburgh) Whitehead, Phillip
Prescott, John Stewart, Rt Hon M. (Fulham) Whitlock, William
Price, C. (Lewisham W) Stoddart, David Willey, Rt Hon Frederick
Price, William (Rugby) Stott, Roger Williams, Alan (Swansea W)
Radice, Giles Strauss, Rt Hon G. R. Williams, Alan Lee (Hornch'ch)
Richardson, Miss Jo Summerskill, Hon Dr Shirley Williams, Rt Hon Shirley (Hertford)
Roberts, Albert (Normanton) Swain, Thomas Williams, W. T. (Warrington)
Roberts, Gwilym (Cannock) Taylor, Mrs Ann (Bolton W) Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)
Robertson, John (Paisley) Thomas, Dafydd (Merioneth) Wilson, Rt Hon H. (Huyton)
Roderick, Caerwyn Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery) Wise, Mrs Audrey
Rodgers, George (Chorley) Thomas, Ron (Bristol NW) Woodall, Alec
Rooker, J. W. Thorne, Stan (Preston South) Woof, Robert
Roper, John Thorpe, Rt Hon Jeremy (N Devon) Wrigglesworth, Ian
Rose, Paul B. Tierney, Sydney Young, David (Bolton E)
Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight) Tinn, James
Ross, Rt Hon W. (Kilmarnock) Tomlinson, John TELLERS FOR THE NOES
Rowlands, Ted Tomney, Frank Mr. J. D. Dormand and
Sandelson, Neville Torney, Tom Mr. James Hamilton.
Sedgemore, Brian Tuck, Raphael

Question accordingly negatived.