HC Deb 04 February 1976 vol 904 cc1337-43

Queen's Recommendation having been signified—

Motion made and Question proposed, That, for the purposes of any Act of the present Session to amend the law relating to education, it is expedient to authorise the payment out of moneys provided by Parliament of—

  1. (a) any increase in the sums so payable in respect of—
    1. (i) grants under section 102 or loans under section 105 of the Education Act 1944, or
    2. (ii) rate support grant under the Local Government Act 1974,
which is attributable to any provision of the said Act of the present Session relating to proposals for any such action as is mentioned in section 13 (1) or (2) of the Education Act 1944;
  1. (b) any increase in the sums so payable in respect of grants under section 8(2) of the Local Government Act 1974 which is attributable to any provision of the said Act of the present Session applying section 1 of the Education Act 1962 to courses for the higher diploma of the Technician Education Council or the Business Education Council;
  2. (c) any increase in the sums so payable in respect of rate support grant under the Local Government Act 1974 which is attributable to any provision of the said Act of the present Session relating to the provision of milk by local education authorities.—[Mr. Gerry Fowler.]

10.16 p.m.

Mr. Geoffrey Dodsworth (Hertfordshire, South-West)

I shall not detain the House long. I wish to draw its attention to the form of the Money Resolution and to ask a number of questions about it. This is a curious Money Resolution and perhaps my experience in the House makes me unable to understand its total cost and content.

It says That, for the purposes of any Act of the present Session to amend the law relating to education, it is expedient to authorise the payment out of moneys provided by Parliament of and then lists in paragraphs(a), (b) and (c) certain definitions. However, at no stage does it indicate any sum of money.

By coincidence, I deduce that paragraph (a) refers to Clause 3 of the Education Bill which has just had its Second Reading. Why do we have to authorise an item of expenditure without any limit or ceiling to it in connection with a Bill which has just received its Second Reading? If we relate the paragraphs to the clauses, we discover that Clause 3 refers to the approval and implementation of the proposals. What is the cost of the implementation of the proposals likely to be? I do not want an answer which relates only to the cash cost today.

In the unemployment debate which took place a short time ago—

Mr. Peter Rost (Derbyshire, South-East)

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I am prepared to accept that your hearing, Mr. Speaker, may be substantially better than mine, but I am finding it extremely difficult to hear my hon. Friend's important remarks.

Mr. Speaker

Order. The House should listen with respect to any hon. Member.

Mr. Dodsworth

I am obliged to you, Mr. Speaker, and to my hon. Friend.

I should like to point out that 172 grammar schools are likely to be affected by the proposals contained in the Resolution. There must be a cost analysis. In the unemployment debate there was a continual call for the cost benefit analysis on a total basis. When we discussed unemployment we wanted to know about redundancy, social security and loss of production. When we discuss education we want to know not only the Government's expenditure but the local authority expenditure. This is a reasonable question to ask at a time when we are being asked to pass a Money Resolution.

Paragraph (b) refers to Clause 7. Paragraph (c) refers to Clause 8 which deals with milk. In the Explanatory Note on the Financial effects of the Bili[...] it states that it will cost £6 million to £9 million. Those figures are not contained in the motion which we are being asked to approve.

This is a curious procedure whereby we are asked to approve expenditure in respect of legislation which has not yet been approved and for which the amount involved is uncertain. The only matter which is certain is that in 1976–77 £25 million is to be spent on the reorganisation of schools for comprehensive purposes.

What provisions are there in the Government's capital expenditure estimates to provide for this type of cost? Have the sums been done? Have the calculations been made? Our experience is that the Government machine succeeds in bungling the figures time after time. We have the Treasury's book-keeping record. The Home Office is unable to get the immigration figures right. I want to be sure that the Minister of State, Department of Education and Science has got his sums right. We want to know the cost. That is the purpose of the Resolution.

10.19 p.m.

The Minister of State, Department of Education and Science (Mr. Gerry Fowler)

I should like, Mr. Speaker, to add my congratulations to those of other hon. Members on your election to the Chair.

The provisions in the Bill relating to comprehensive education will not give rise to additional public expenditure. My right hon. Friend explained that he intends to use his power to require proposals to be treated as Section 13 proposals only where in his view resources are already available or provision can be made from future building programmes. I cannot estimate the size of future building programmes.

Regarding school milk, the Bill does no more than make possible the introduction, by regulations, of more flexible arrangements for the provision of milk by local education authorities. I am not yet in a position to say what form the new Regulations will take. My right hon. Friend, after consulting the local authority associations in due course, will doubtless report to the House. That is why there is a range of figures in the Financial Memorandum regarding what might be the additional cost.

Question put:—

The House divided: Ayes, 293, Noes 252.

Division No. 52.] AYES 10.21 p.m.
Abse, Leo Coleman, Donald Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)
Allaun, Frank Colquhoun, Mrs Maureen Foot, Rt Hon Michael
Anderson, Donald Conlan, Bernard Ford, Ben
Archer, Peter Cook, Robin F. (Edin C) Forrester, John
Armstrong, Ernest Corbett, Robin Fowler, Gerald (The Wrekin)
Ashley, Jack Craigen, J. M. (Maryhill) Fraser, John (Lambeth, N'w'd)
Ashton, Joe Crawshaw, Richard Freeson, Reginald
Atkins, Ronald (Preston N) Cronin, John Freud, Clement
Atkinson, Norman Crosland, Rt Hon Anthony Garrett, John (Norwich S)
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Cryer, Bob Garrett, W. E. (Walisend)
Barnett, Rt Hon Joel (Heywood) Cunningham, G. (Islington S) George, Bruce
Bates, Alf Cunningham, Dr J. (Whiteh) Gilbert, Dr John
Bean, R. E. Davidson, Arthur Ginsburg, David
Beith. A. J. Davies, Bryan (Enfield N) Golding, John
Benn, Rt Hon Anthony Wedgwood Davies, Denzil (Llanel[...]i) Gould, Bryan
Bennett, Andrew (Stockport N) Davis, Clinton (Hack[...]ev C) Gourlay, Harry
Bidwell, Sydney Deakins, Eric Graham, Ted
Bishop, E. S. Dean, Joseph (Leeds West) Grant, George (Morpeth)
Blenkinsop, Arthur Delargy, Hugh Grant, John (Islington C)
Boardman, H. Dell, Rt Hon Edmund Grocott, Bruce
Booth, Albert Dempsey, James Hardy, Peter
Bottomley, Rt Hon Arthur Doig, Peter Harper, Joseph
Boyden, James (Bish Auck) Dormand, J. D. Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)
Bradley, Tom Douglas-Mann, Bruce Hart, Rt Hon Judith
Brown, Hugh D. (Provan) Duffy, A. E. P. Hattersley, Rt Hon Roy
Brown, Robert C. (Newcastle W) Dunn, James A. Hayman, Mrs Helene
Brown, Ronald (Hackney S) Dunnett, Jack Healey, Rt Hon Denis
Buchan, Norman Eadie, Alex Heffer, Eric S.
Buchanan, Richard Edge, Geoff Hooley, Frank
Butler, Mrs Joyce (Wood Green) Edwards, Robert (Wolv SE) Hooson, Emlyn
Callaghan, Rt Hon J. (Cardiff SE) Ellis, John (Brigg & Scun) Horam, John
Callaghan, Jim (Middleton & P) English, Michael Howell, Denis (B'ham, Sm H)
Campbell, Ian Ennals, David Howells, Geraint (Cardigan)
Canavan, Dennis Evans, Fred (Caerphilly) Hoyle, Doug (Nelson)
Cant, R. B. Evans, Gwynfor (Carmarthen) Huckfield, Les
Carmichael, Neil Evans, Ioan (Aberdare) Hughes, Rt Hon C. (Anglesey)
Carter, Ray Ewing, Harry (Stirling) Hughes, Roy (Newport)
Carter-Jones, Lewis Faulds, Andrew Hunter, Adam
Cartwright, John Ferny hough, Rt Hn E. Irvine, Rt Hon Sir A. (Edge Hill)
Castle, Rt Hon Barbara Fitch, Alan (Wigan) Irving, Rt Hon S. (Dartford)
Clemitson, Ivor Flannery, Martin Jackson, Colin (Brighouse)
Cocks, Michael (Bristol S) Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston) Jackson, Miss Margaret (Lincoln)
Janner, Greville Miller, Dr M. S. (E Kilbride) Smith, Cyril (Rochdale)
Jay, Rt Hon Douglas Miller, Mrs Millie (Ilford N) Smith, John (N Lanarkshire)
Jeger, Mrs Lena Molloy, William Snape, Peter
Jenkins, Hugh (Putney) Moonman, Eric Spearing, Nigel
Jenkins, Rt Hon Roy (Stechford) Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe) Spriggs, Leslie
John, Brynmor Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw) Stallard, A. W.
Johnson, James (Hull West) Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon) Steel, David (Roxburgh)
Johnson, Walter (Derby S) Mulley, Rt Hon Frederick Stoddart, David
Johnston, Russell (Inverness) Murray, Rt Hon Ronald King Stott, Roger
Jones, Alec (Rhondda) Newens, Stanley Strang, Gavin
Jones, Barry (East Flint) Noble, Mike Strauss, Rt Hon G. R.
Jones, Dan (Burnley) Oakes, Gordon Summerskill, Hon Dr Shirley
Judd, Frank Ogden, Eric Swain, Thomas
Kaufman, Gerald O'Halloran, Michael Taylor, Mrs Ann (Bolton W)
Kelley, Richard O'Malley, Rt Hon Brian Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)
Kerr, Russell Orbach, Maurice Thomas, Mike (Newcastle E)
Kilroy-Silk, Robert Orme, Rt Hon Stanley Thomas, Ron (Bristol NW)
Kinnock, Neil Ovenden, John Thorne, Stan (Preston South)
Lambie, David Owen, Dr David Tierney, Sydney
Lamborn, Harry Padley, Walter Tinn, James
Lamond, James Palmer, Arthur Tomlinson, John
Latham, Arthur (Paddington) Park, George Tomney, Frank
Leadbitter, Ted Parry, Robert Torney, Tom
Lestor, Miss Joan (Eton & Slough) Pavitt, Laurie Tuck, Raphael
Lever, Rt Hon Harold Peart, Rt Hon Fred Urwin, T. W.
Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Pendry, Tom Varley, Rt Hon Eric G.
Lipton, Marcus Perry, Ernest Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne V)
Litterick, Tom Phipps, Dr Colin Walden, Brian (B'ham, L'dyw'd)
Loyden, Eddie Prentice, Rt Hon Reg Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Luard, Evan Price, William (Rugby) Walker, Terry (Kingswood)
Lyon, Alexander (York) Radice, Giles Ward, Michael
Lyons, Edward (Bradford W) Rees, Rt Hon Merlyn (Leeds S) Watkins, David
Mabon, Dr J. Dickson Richardson, Miss Jo Watkinson, John
McCartney, Hugh Roberts, Albert (Normanton) Weetch, Ken
McElhone, Frank Roberts, Gwilym (Cannock) Wellbeloved, James
MacFarquhar, Roderick Roderick, Caerwyn White, Frank R. (Bury)
McGuire, Michael (Ince) Rodgers, George (Chorley) White, James (Pollok)
Mackenzie, Gregor Rodgers, William (Stockton) Whitehead, Phillip
Mackintosh, John P. Rooker, J. W. Whitlock, William
Maclennan, Robert Roper, John Wigley, Dafydd
McMillan, Tom (Glasgow C) Rose, Paul B. Willey, Rt Hon Frederick
McNamara, Kevin Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight) Williams, Alan (Swansea W)
Madden, Max Ross, Rt Hon W. (Kilmarnock) Williams, Alan Lee (Hornch'ch)
Magee, Bryan Rowlands, Ted Williams, Rt Hon Shirley (Hertford)
Mahon, Simon Sandelson, Neville Williams, W. T. (Warrington)
Mallalieu, J. P. W. Sedgemore, Brian Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)
Marks, Kenneth Selby, Harry Wilson, Rt Hon H. (Huyton)
Marquand, David Shaw, Arnold (Ilford South) Wilson, William (Coventry SE)
Marshall, Dr Edmund (Goole) Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-u-Lyne) Wise, Mrs Audrey
Marshall, Jim (Leicester S) Shore, Rt Hon Peter Woodall, Alec
Mason, Rt Hon Roy Short, Rt Hon E. (Newcastle C) Woof, Robert
Maynard, Miss Joan Short, Mrs Renée (Wolv NE) Wrigglesworth, Ian
Meacher, Michael Silkin, Rt Hon John (Deptford) Young, David (Bolton E)
Mellish, Rt Hon Robert Silkin, Rt Hon S. C. (Dulwich)
Mendelson, John Silverman, Julius TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Mikardo, Ian Skinner, Dennis Mr. Thomas Cox and
Millan, Bruce Small, William Mr. James Hamilton.
Adley, Robert Brocklebank-Fowler, C. Critchley, Julian
Altken, Jonathan Brotherton, Michael Crouch, David
Alison, Michael Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Crowder, F. P.
Amery, Rt Hon Julian Bryan, Sir Paul Davies, Rt hon J. (Knutsford)
Arnold, Tom Buchanan-Smith, Alick Dean,Paul (N Somerset)
Atkins, Rt Hon H. (Spelthorne) Budgen, Nick Dodsworth, Geoffrey
Awdry, Daniel Bulmer, Esmond Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James
Baker, Kenneth Burden, F. A. Drayson, Burnaby
Banks, Robert Butler, Adam (Bosworth) du Cann, Rt Hon Edward
Bell, Ronald Carlisle, Mark Dunlop, John
Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torbay) Carson, John Durant, Tony
Bennett, Dr Reginald (Fareham) Chalker, Mrs Lynda Eden, Rt Hon Sir John
Benyon, W. Channon, Paul Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke)
Berry, Hon Anthony Clark, Alan (Plymouth, Sutton) Elliott, Sir William
Biffen, John Clark, William (Croydon S) Eyre, Reginald
Biggs-Davison, John Clarke, Kenneth ([...]usncliffe) Fairbairn, Nicholas
Blaker, Peter Clegg, Walter Farr, John
Body, Richard Cockcroft, John Fell, Anthony
Boscawen, Hon Robert Cooke, Robert (Bristol W) Finsberg, Geoffrey
Bottomley, Peter Cope, John Fisher, Sir Nigel
Bowden, A. (Brighton, Kemptown) Cordle, John H. Fletcher-Cooke, Charles
Boyson, Dr Rhodes (Brent) Cormack, Patrick Fookes, Miss Janet
Braine, Sir Bernard Corrie, John Fowler, Norman (Sutton C'f'd)
Brittan, Leon Costain, A. P. Fox, Marcus
Fraser, Rt Hon H. (Stafford & St) Loveridge, John Ridsdale, Julian
Fry, Peter Luce, Richard Rifkind, Malcolm
Galbraith, Hon. T. G. D. McAdden, Sir Stephen Rippon, Rt Hon Geoffrey
Gardiner, George (Reigate) McCrindle, Robert Roberts, Wyn (Conway)
Gilmour, Rt Hon Ian (Chesham) McCusker, H. Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks)
Gilmour, Sir John (East Fife) Macfarlane, Neil Ross, William (Londonderry)
Glyn, Dr Alan MacGregor, John Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)
Godber, Rt Hon Joseph Macmillan, Rt Hon M. (Farnham) Rost, Peter (SE Derbyshire)
Goodhart, Philip McNair-Wilson, M. (Newbury) Royle, Sir Anthony
Goodhew, Victor McNair-Wilson, P. (New Forest) Sainsbury, Tim
Goodlad, Alastair Madel, David St. John-Stevas, Norman
Gorst, John Marshall, Michael (Arundel) Shaw, Giles (Pudsey)
Gow, Ian (Eastbourne) Marten, Neil Shelton, William (Streatham)
Gower, Sir Raymond (Barry) Mather, Carol Shepherd, Colin
Grant, Anthony (Harrow C) Maude, Angus Shersby, Michael
Gray, Hamish Mawby, Ray Silvester, Fred
Grieve, Percy Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin Sims, Roger
Griffiths, Eldon Mayhew, Patrick Sinclair, Sir George
Grist, Ian Meyer, Sir Anthony Skeet, T. H. H.
Grylls, Michael Miller, Hal (Bromsgrove) Smith, Dudley (Warwick)
Hall, Sir John Mills, Peter Speed, Keith
Hall-Davis, A. G. F. Miscampbell, Norman Spence, John
Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) Mitchell, David (Basingstoke) Spicer, Michael (S Worcester)
Hampson, Dr Keith Moate, Roger Sproat, Iain
Hannam,John Molyneaux, James Stainton, Keith
Harvie Anderson, Rt Hon Miss Monro, Hector Stanbrook, Ivor
Havers, Sir Michael Montgomery, Fergus Stanley, John
Hawkins, Paul Moore, John (Croydon C) Steen, Anthony (Wavertree)
Hayhoe, Barney Morgan, Geraint Stewart, Ian (Hitchin)
Heath, Rt Hon Edward Morris, Michael (Northampton S) Stokes, John
Hicks, Robert Morrison, Charles (Devizes) Stradling Thomas, J.
Higgins, Terence L. Morrison, Hon Peter (Chester) Tapsell, Peter
Holland, Philip Mudd, David Taylor, Teddy (Cathcart)
Hordern, Peter Neave, Airey Tebbit, Norman
Howell, David (Guildford) Nelson, Anthony Temple-Morris, Peter
Hunt, John Neubert, Michael Thatcher, Rt Hon Margaret
Hutchison, Michael Clark Newton, Tony Thomas, Rt Hon P. (Hendon S)
Irving, Charles (Cheltenham) Nott, John Townsend, Cyril D.
James, David Onslow, Cranley Trotter Neville
Jenkin, Rt Hon P. (Wanst'd & W'df'd) Oppenhelm, Mrs Sally Tugendhat, Christopher
Jessel, Toby Page, John (Harrow West) van Straubenzee, W. R.
Johnson Smith, G. (E Grinstead) Page, Rt Hon R. Graham (Crosby) Vaughan, Dr Gerard
Jones, Arthur (Daventry) Paisley, Rev Ian Viggers, Peter
Jopling, Michael Parkinson, Cecil Wainwright, Richard (Colne V)
Joseph, Rt Hon Sir Keith Pattie, Geoffrey Wakeham, John
Kaberry, Sir Donald Penhaligon, David Walder, David (Clitheroe)
Kellett-Bowman, Mrs Elaine Percival, Ian Wall, Patrick
Kershaw, Anthony Peyton, Rt Hon John Walters, Dennis
Kimball, Marcus Pink, R. Bonner Warren, Kenneth
King, Evelyn (South Dorset) Powell, Rt Hon J. Enoch Weatherill, Bernard
King, Tom (Bridgwater) Price, David (Eastleigh) Wells, John
Kitson, Sir Timothy Prior, Rt Hon James Whitelaw, Rt Hon William
Knight, Mrs Jill Pym, Rt Hon Francis Wiggin, Jerry
Knox, David Raison, Timothy Winterton, Nicholas
Lamont, Norman Rathbone, Tim Wood, Rt Hon Richard
Lane, David Rawlinson, Rt Hon Sir Peter Young, Sir G. (Ealing, Acton)
Latham, Michael (Melton) Rees, Peter (Dover & Deal) Younger, Hon George
Lawrence, Ivan Rees-Davies, W. R.
Lawson, Nigel Renton, Rt Hon Sir D. (Hunts) TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Le Merchant, Spencer Renton, Tim (Mid-Sussex) Mr. Jim Lester and
Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland) Ridley, Hon Nicholas Mr. Michael Roberts.
Lloyd, Ian

Question accordingly agreed to.