HC Deb 22 July 1976 vol 915 cc2187-217


1.—(1) In this Schedule— noted amount" means an amount noted under paragraph 2(1) below; period of delay" means a period of two years beginning with the date of registration of a rent; permitted increase" means the amount by which the rent for any rental period may be increased; previous rent limit" means, subject to sub-paragraph (2) below, the amount which at the date of registration was recoverable by way of rent or would have been so recoverable upon service of a notice or notices of increase under section 15 of this Act; rental period" means a period in respect of which a payment of rent falls to be made and which begins during the period of delay; service element" means any amount calculated under paragraph 2 below; services" means services provided by the landlord or a superior landlord;

Case Service element
Case A. A specified amount or proportion was in the previous rent limit attributable to the provision of services, and came to less than the noted amount. The service element is the difference between the amount or proportion and the noted amount.
Case B. No amount or proportion attributable to the provision of services is specified, but an amount less than the noted amount appears to the rent officer or rent assessment committee to have been attributable to such provision. The service element is the difference between— (a) an amount bearing to the previous rent limit the same proportion as the noted amount bears to the registered rent, and (b) the noted amount
Case C. No amount appears to the rent officer or rent assessment committee to have been attributable in the previous rent limit to the provision of services. The service element is the noted amount.
(3) The amount of the service element shall be recorded in the register, and in Case C above may be recorded by adding to the note under sub-paragraph (1) above a statement that the noted amount is the service element.

"specified sum" means £0.40 per week for a rental period which begins during the first year of the period of delay and £0.80 per week for a rental period which begins during the second year.

(2) Where the rent includes an amount payable in respect of rates, the previous rent limit shall be decreased by the amount so payable.

(3) The Secretary of State may by other substitute for the specified sum, in relation to the first year of the period of delay or the second, or to the whole period, a sum other than the sum mentioned in sub-paragraph (1) above.

(4) An order made under sub-paragraph (3) above—

  1. (a) may apply to any specified description of dwelling-houses,
  2. (b) may contain transitional and other supplemental and incidental provisions,
  3. (c) may be varied or revoked by a subsequent order so made, and
  4. (d) shall be contained in a statutory instrument which shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either house of Parliament.

Service element

2.—(1) Where—

  1. (a) the registered rent includes a payment in respect of services, and
  2. (b) the rent is not registered as a variable rent in accordance with section 47(4) of the Rent Act 1968 as applied by section 14 of this Act, but
  3. (c) not less than 5 per cent. of the amount of the registered rent is in the opinion of the rent officer or rent assessment committee fairly attributable to the services,
the amount so attributable shall be noted in the register.

(2) In the cases mentioned in the first column of the Table below, the amount of the service element shall be calculated as specified in the second column.

General formulae for calculating increases in rent

3.—(1) Subject to sub-paragraph (4) below, the permitted increase is an increase to an amount calculated in accordance with the formula set out in sub-paragraph (2) or (3) below, where PRL is the previous rent limit, SE is the service element, RR is the registered rent and SS is the specified sum.

(2) The permitted increase for a rental period which begins during the first year of the period of delay as an increase to the greater of the following amounts namely

  1. (a) PRL +SE+⅓[RR-(PRL+SE)];
  2. (b) PRL+SE+SS

(3) The permitted increase for a rental period which begins during the second year of the period of delay is an increase to the grater of the following amounts, namely

  1. (a) PRL+SE++⅔ [RR-(PRL+SE)];
  2. (b) PRL+SE+SS.

(4) The maximum permitted increase by virtue of this Schedule is an increase to the registered rent.

Subsequent registrations

4.—(1) Where the registration of the rent is in a period of delay beginning with an earlier registration—

  1. (a) from the date of the registration the limitation under the period of delay beginning with the earlier registration shall cease to apply; and
  2. (b) a fresh period of delay shall begin with the later registration.

(2) This Schedule shall apply in relation to any such case as if the previous rent limit were the aggregate of the limit at the date of the earlier registration and any addition permitted under this Schedule in the portion of the earlier period of delay which elapsed before the later registration.


5. The amount of any service element or of any amount sought to be noted in the register in pursuance of this Schedule shall be included among the matters with respect to which representations may be made or consultations are to be held or notices given under Part I of Schedule 6 to the Rent Act 1968 as applied by section 14 of this Act.

6. In ascertaining for the purposes of this Schedule whether there is any difference between amounts, or what that difference is, such adjustments shall be made as may be necessary to take account of periods of different lengths; and for that purpose a month shall be treated as one-twelfth and a week as one-fifty-second of a year.

7.—(1) Where a registration takes effect from a date earlier than the date of registration, references in this Schedule to the date of registration shall nonetheless be references to the later date.

(2) Where a rent determined by a rent assessment committee is registered in substitution for a rent determined by a rent officer, the preceding provisions of this Schedule shall have effect as if only the rent determined by the rent assessment committee had been registered; but the date of registration shall be deemed for the purposes of this Schedule (but not for the purposes of section 15(2) of this Act) to be the date on which the rent determined by the rent officer was registered'.—[Mr. Armstrong.]

Schedule added to the Bill.

Order for Third Reading read.

Queen's Consent, on behalf of the Crown and of the Duchy of Lancaster, and Prince of Wales's Consent, on behalf of the Duchy of Cornwall, signified.]

11.45 p.m.

Mr. Strang

I beg to move, That the Bill be now read the Third time.

The central purpose of the Bill is to remove the fear of homelessness that is inherent in the agricultural tied cottage system. Insecurity in agricultural tied cottages has been with farm workers for generations.

The Bill will end once and for all this injustice. There are some good employers and some bad employers among farmers, but that is not the question with which we are concerned. The central issue is that the agricultural worker in a tied cottage has no statutory right to that cottage when he ceases to work on the farm.

Hon Members opposite have suggested that the Government should not have singled out agricultural tied cottages. We have been over the argument time and again and have pointed out that the scale of injustice in the agricultural system is greater than in any other industry. The fact that we have singled out the agricultural tied cottages has meant that we have been able to deal with the real practical problems associated with this form in agriculture.

The Government have accepted as crucial throughout all the discussions that the need to make provision for the farmer who needed a cottage for an incoming worker and that the sensible way to do that was to put a statutory obligation on local authorities to provide alternative accommodation when a farmer genuinely needs a cottage for an incoming worker.

Mr. Pym

Why does the Minister keep talking about a statutory obligation when the Bill clearly does not provide such an obligation? It is a misuse of language and he is misleading the House as he has constantly misled the public on this issue. There is no statutory obligation of any significance.

Mr. Strang

I reject the right hon. Gentleman's remarks. There were various ways in which the Government could have achieved their aim through local authorities. We could have issued a circular, which is a common way of seeking to influence the decisions of local authorities, but we decided against that and chose to incorporate the provision in the Bill.

A great deal of the Opposition's objection to the Bill relates to their belief that the rehousing obligation placed on housing authorities is not strong enough. I must say to the whole House, as I said to the Committee, that my right hon. and hon. Friends and I disagree with this completely. It is an attitude which obviously cannot be based on any factual knowledge of what will happen and, in making the gloomiest posible estimate of what will happen, the Opposition are making assumptions about the responsibility and competence of housing authorities which are quite unwarranted.

Indeed these assumptions are certainly not shared by the Association of District Councils, the body covering the councils which will have to rehouse. They are in no doubt that this is a firm obligation. They refer to it as a very high degree of obligation on housing authorities; indeed it is difficult to see what higher degree of obligation there can be—in practice a housing authority could not go beyond this". I quote again: such an obligation is higher than that owed to any other class of housing applicant". It is clear that the housing authorities realise that to "use their best endeavours" is to do their very best. It is difficult to see how they can in practice be asked to do more.

I should point out in this connection that Government Amendment No. 117 adds a new subsection to Clause 29, on the duty of the housing authority, which provides that an applicant for rehousing who is aggrieved by a failure of an authority to discharge its duty—that is, to use its best endeavours to provide suitable alternative accommodation where it is satisfied that a case is made out—has the right of an action for damages. This right of action for damages does not prejudice any other remedy such as mandamus which the applicant or any other person may have. The right of action could stem, for example, from an incorrect assessment of priorities. This provision discharges an undertaking given by the Solicitor-General in Committee. I am sure it is right that the possibility of an action should be spelt out in this way as a safety net, but I hope that it will never come to that.

The hon. Member for Norfolk, South (Mr. MacGregor) confirmed that the district councils in his area intend to co-operate in carrying out this legislation by doing their best to ensure that it works to the benefit of the agriculture industry. We must ensure that it works in practice. I think that we have now got the right legal framework in which to achieve that objective.

We intend to monitor the Act when it has had a chance to run in. We shall be consulting the interests concerned on the best way of achieving this aim. Undoubtedly, the Government's decision to incorporate a system of agricultural dwelling-house advisory committees, which can be invoked by the farmer or the farm worker—or, indeed, by the local authority—if either party wishes to secure an assessment of the agricultural need and urgency for the cottage for an incoming worker, is practical. We believe that the scheme will work flexibly and quickly.

I should remind hon. Gentlemen opposite, who glibly speak about a dairy farmer, for example, needing a dairyman the next day if his present dairyman should cease to work on the farm, that that problem exists now and can exist to some extent in future under the provisions of the Bill. The problem of the worker who ceases to work on a holding and has to vacate a dwelling for an incoming worker exists now. Although the dairyman has no statutory right to that house, in practice if the farmer has to go to court to secure a possession order invariably it takes about six months. Under this legislative framework we hope to create a situation which will be more responsive to the real needs of the agriculture industry.

I come back to the central point that, although we are introducing a reform which will meet the practical needs of the industry, the basic purpose is to achieve social justice. We want to remove the insecurity of the farm worker who, for example, may not be getting on well with his boss but knows that he cannot afford to fall out with him because he may lose the roof over his family's heads. We also want to remove the insecurity of the wife of a farm worker whose health is deteriorating severely who knows that if her husband can no longer work on the farm the family will have to move out of the house and perhaps have nowhere to live.

Mr. Jerry Wiggin (Weston-super-Mare)

Will the hon. Gentleman explain why the social justice about which he talks should not extend north of the border?

Mr. Strang

I have already dealt with that matter at some length. I do not think that on Third Reading, having been over the issue raised by the hon. and learned Member for Kinross and West Perthshire (Mr. Fairbairn), I should go into it again in great detail. We have always enacted separate housing legislation for Scotland. The Government are fully committed to a Bill to put these provisions into effect in Scotland. That Bill will be implemented. Scottish Office Ministers have reaffirmed that.

The Bill will bring social justice to the agricultural community. It will remove the insecurity of the young worker with a young family, the insecurity of the wife of the worker whose health is deteriorating, and the insecurity of the older worker who has long since passed retiring age but carries on working as he is concerned that when he stops working he will have nowhere to live. That is what this Bill is about. That is why it is a historic social reform. I commend it to the House.

11.56 p.m.

Mr. Rossi

On behalf of the Opposition must register the strongest possible protest at the way in which the Government have treated the Opposition and Parliament over this guillotine motion.

Some 63 groups of amendments were selected. In spite of the fact that we made good progress, only 14 groups were debated. The majority were left unprobed and undiscussed. We have discussed only 25 out of 100 Government amendments. We detected and pointed out two possibly serious errors in those 25 amendments. The Government agreed that they must take another look at those errors, write to us and possibly correct them in the House of Lords. What is the position of the other 75 Government amendments which we have not had the opportunity to probe and discuss? What about the amendments that the Government put down on the Notice Paper and withdrew at the last moment? The amendments that were not moved were fully considered in Committee.

The Government agreed that we made our case, and we received an undertaking from the Minister. I refer to the question whether a mandatory order for possession should be made where a farm worker refuses an offer of accommodation made to him by a local authority. The amendment proposed by the Government, which would have been accepted by the Opposition, would have meant that if a farm worker refused the alternative accommodation offered by the local authority, the farmer could have gone to the county court and automatically obtained an order for possession.

We are told that the Bill is in the interests of agricultural efficiency and that there is an almost absolute obligation upon a local authority to rehouse a person when efficiency is at stake. However, a court order may not be granted if the farm worker arbitrarily refuses to accept the alternative accommodation offered to him by the local authority. We have had no explanation why the Government have changed their mind.

Where has the Minister of Agriculture been during a debate on a matter that is vital to agriculture? At no stage of the discussion on the Bill has he given the House the courtesy of his presence. We may only conclude how deep is his interest in agricultural matters when he absents himself without explanation.

For my hon. and right hon. Friends who were not here during the discussion on Report, I should like to refer briefly to one of the matters over which the Government are patently in difficulty on their amendments that we have seen. I cannot discuss the amendments that we have not seen. The Government have altered the definition of "agriculture" to include consumable produce which may be grown in any medium other than land and which may be used for any purpose. Under that definition it is possible that the brewery industry may be included because yeast is grown in a medium other than land. The Minister accepted that this was a possible interpretation of the amendment.

Another interpretation occurs to me. The definition may include scientific research workers who grow cultures in a medium not land which will be used for a purpose other than consumption. The Bill could possibly extend to a great many people other than agricultural workers.

Here we are concerned with agriculture. We are disappointed that we have not been able to discuss our amendments and the Government's amendments, especially as we have not reached the heart of the Bill, Clause 29, which deals with the obligation on the local authority to rehouse when it is necessary for the farmer to obtain possession of his cottage.

We discussed that subject at length in Committee. We discussed "best endeavours", which the Minister told us tonight was almost tantamount to an absolute obligation—the highest possible obligation that can be imposed upon local authorities short of an absolute obligation. He read out the memorandum issued by the Association of District Council which was in precisely those terms. Yet when we probed the matter in Committee we discovered conflicting court cases on the meaning of "best endeavours". In one case of many years ago it was decided that "best endeavours" meant "no stone should be left unturned". To most people that would mean something just short of an absolute obligation. In a more recent case it was decided that "best endeavours" meant to do what can reasonably be done in the circumstances. That is an entirely different standard of duty. Yet that term is used in the Bill in spite of the conflicting line of cases.

What duty does that impose upon local authorities? Why use language on which there is conflict in the courts? Why not use language that is clear and precise and upon which there are firm judicial decisions? That is what we said in Committee. The Govenment would not accept our arguments and we wished to return to the subject, but we have been denied that opportunity because of the guillotine. The Bill will proceed in this uncertain and unsatisfactory manner to another place.

There are other matters which we wanted to raise in our amendments. One is the right of appeal against a decision by the advisory committee on whether it is in the interests of agricultural efficiency that a farmer should have his cottage. That should not be left to a simple decision without a possible right of appeal.

Where the local authority, in the opinion of one of the parties concerned whether the farmer or the farm worker —does not discharge whatever the duty under the Bill may be, there should be a right of appeal either to a Minister or to a court of law. We have tabled amendments to that effect, but we are not able to discuss them because of the way the Government have treated the House.

Mr. Patrick Cormack (Staffordshire. South-West)


Mr. Rossi

I agree entirely with my hon. Friend. It is outrageous.

What is the justification for the Bill? The justification, we are told, is that, over the generations, agricultural workers have been struggling for security of tenure and somebody 75 years ago, in the embryonic Labour Party, made them a pledge. Now the Labour Party thinks it is time for it to get round to discharging the pledge. It is living in the antediluvian past and the world has moved on. The farming industry is no longer what it was 75 years ago. The relationship between the farmer and the farm worker is entirely different. If the hon. Member for Sheffield, Brightside (Miss Maynard) denies it, as she no doubt will in her bitter class warfare, one need only refer, as we have done in all stages of the Bill, to the number of impartial reports produced by non-politicians on this matter.

Indeed, the Government's own consultative document praised the agriculture industry for utilising 14 per cent. of its housing stock for housing widows, former farm workers who had fallen sick and were unable to work, and those who had retired. Few industries can compare with that. Yet the Bill is still regarded as necessary in the light of that?

There is other evidence that we have seen: about 1,000 applications for possession a year. But we are told by those who investigate these cases that the majority are bogus, simply to get a high position on a council housing list, not because of bad treatment by farmers or farm workers. In fact, their record is superb.

We are now altering that situation, and the efficiency of perhaps one of the most important industries of our country, the industry upon which a great part of our food supply depends, is to be placed in jeopardy because this measure will mean that farmers will not be able to carry on their business efficiently.

We have discussed the position of the farmer with the dairy herd where it is essential to him to have a stockman, or cowman, on the spot, near the herd, day and night. As a result of this Bill the position can readily and easily arise that they will be denied to the farmer.

The local authority will be obliged, depending upon the degree of the duty we believe we have imposed on it by the Bill, to rehouse as it thinks fit. That presumes, of course, that, even with the best will in the world, the local authority has the resources to rehouse.

Let us say we have a situation where a farmer finds that the farm worker has left to work in the city. The farmer applies to the advisory committee, and the committee says "Yes. It is essential to you to have that accommodation to run your farm efficiently. You must have another cowman to take that cottage." Armed with that, the farmer goes to the local authority and says "Please rehouse. Use your best endeavours." The authority says "Certainly, but we have no houses or money to spend on building or buying houses, because we are in an economic crisis and the Chancellor keeps saying that we must cut back on expenditure."

That is an impossible situation for both farmer and local authority, but it is the situation which the Bill creates. It is a damnable situation for which there is no justification whatever.

If the Minister is so fond of quoting from the memorandum of the Association of District Councils, as to the extent of the burden which the Bill is placing on it, why does he not read those passages where it is beseeching the Government to give the local authorities additional resources so that they have the means to provide alternative accommodation for which they may be called upon under the Bill?

Councils have asked for a greater facility for lending money to former farm workers who want to buy farm cottages. A circular from the Department of the Environment to all local authorities has said that they should grant loans only to certain classes of people, and former farm workers in the situation created by the Bill are not on that list. Therefore, the Association of District Councils asked us to ask the Minister to add former farm workers. He did not answer, but sidestepped the request. The inference we must draw from an answer he gave several weeks ago is that there is no intention to do that.

Is it not even more unlikely to happen after today's announcement by the Chancellor of the Exchequer that £146 million of local authority loans will be cut? Therefore, where are the resources? Where is the potential for local authorities to cope with whatever duty the Bill may impose upon them? It will not exist. Agriculture and the nation will suffer as a result.

This is a bad Bill. I ask my right hon. and hon. Friends to join me in the Lobby to reject it.

12.12 a.m.

Miss Maynard

The hon. Member for Hornsey (Mr. Rossi) accuses me of a bitter class attitude. The devotion of the hon. Gentleman and his hon. Friends to their class is obvious to me. The farmers have fought as bitterly to retain the tied cottage system as our union has fought to get rid of it. [AN HON. MEMBER: "The hon. Lady does not represent the farm workers."] I am the only sponsored Member for farm workers.

Mr. Temple-Morris

The hon. Lady keeps bringing class into the debate. Do class reasons make us oppose a man's remaining in a house when he has left his agricultural job? Do class reasons make us support a man who wants a job but will remain unemployed if he cannot go into that house?

Miss Maynard

It was not I but the hon. Member for Hornsey who raised the issue of class. A former hon. Member, Ellen Wilkinson, was right when she said that the Tories do not preach class war because they are much too busy practising it.

Conservative Members have complained bitterly about the guillotine, but they guillotined a much more contentious measure, the Industrial Relations Act. They complained tonight about a lack of interest in agriculture by my party. That is an affront to a party which has done more for agriculture, by the 1947 Act, than any other party, although the Labour Party is based on industrial areas and not rural areas.

The hon. Member for Hornsey said that the Bill was about agricultural efficiency. It certainly is not. As the Parliamentary Secretary of State pointed out this Bill is about social justice. I do not accept for one moment that agricultural efficiency is affected by the Bill.

I have not yet had an answer, either tonight or during Second Reading, from hon. Gentlemen opposite about how it is that farm workers, who live in a free house and work for farmers, are quite able to carry on those farms successfully without living in a tied cottage. It was also argued, when we got Saturday afternoons off, that the farming industry would go to ruins and that agricultural efficiency would be ruined. But that has not happened. In a few years' time the tied cottage system as we have known it for many years—this feudal system—will be forgotten. More than that, the Bill will be of great service to the agriculture industry because it will get rid of the feudal image that it has in relation to the tied cottage system.

I believe that the Government have got it absolutely right in relation to local authorities. It is right that the local authorities should use their best endeavours to re-house farm workers. To have made it obligatory would have been wrong in respect of the people on the housing waiting list. It would have meant imposing on local authorities an open-ended commitment which no one could really have expected them to accept.

Many hon. Gentlemen have argued that the tied cottage system is necessary for agricultural efficiency and so on. I would suggest that the reason why farmers have fought to retain the system is that it gives them control over the labour force so that they can retain that labour force on low wages.

The hon. Member for Hornsey said that the reason why more than 1,000 cases are taken before the courts each year is that it has to be done that way in order to get a house for the farm worker. He said that it is done in collusion with the farm worker and often with the local authorities. That may well be so, but it is also done to solve the farmer's problem. Whatever the reason, it means that our people are dragged through the courts like common criminals.

Often, when I have been with them I have heard about cases of a bad debt followed by a tied cottage case. Our people are taken to court for no other reason than they had become too ill to work in the industry, or they had an accident and could no longer work in the industry, or they had become too old. None of those three things is a crime; yet our people have been taken through the courts for years on those very issues.

Mr. Rossi

Does the hon. Lady realise that this is in the hands of the local authorities themselves? If they make a requirement that they will re-house only where there is a possession order they are compelling the authorities to go through the farce of applying to the county court. All they need to do is alter that rule to say that they will re-house farm workers in these circumstances without the need of a court order. That is all that is required.

Miss Maynard

The hon. Gentleman is saying that the local authorities should solve the farmer's problem at the expense of the rest of the people on the housing waiting list. Where is the justice in that? I do not know what the hon. Member for Hornsey knows about agriculture but he told me—someone who was born and bred in the industry—that the industry has moved on. I would say that in this country we have the most efficient and mechanised agriculture industry in the world. It is one of the most progressive in animal husbandry. In every development that there has been we have been in the forefront. It is only when we come to the treatment of farm workers and the tied cottage system that we go back to the eighteenth century out of feudal England, and into the twentieth century. As the Minister said, the Bill is about establishing social justice in the countryside.

12.20 a.m.

Mr. Nicholas Winterton (Macclesfield)

Whatever we on this side may think about the attitudes adopted by the hon. Member for Sheffield, Brightside (Miss Maynard) we must respect the sincerity with which she expresses them. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] I do respect her sincerity. But I also believe that she is fundamentally wrong. She implied that she was the only representative of farm workers in the House. She added that she was the only hon. Member sponsored by the National Union of Agricultural and Allied Workers. That is true but she is not the only representative of farm workers. Many of my right hon. and hon. Friend represent farm workers, and have done so very well for many years.

I represent a constituency which is both urban and rural. There are many farmers in my constituency, involved with sheep, pigs, beef and dairy farming. They need the tied cottage because of the work which they are doing, and because of their determination to implement the proposals contained in the Government's own document, "Food from our own resources". They are seeking to follow the encouragement given them by the Government to produce more of the food which this nation requires. I therefore have a considerable constituency interest.

Since I had the opportunity of speaking on the Second Reading of the Bill, I have received numerous letters from farmers and some from farm workers opposing it. I have not received one single letter from a farm worker in support of the Bill. From what the Parliamentary Secretary said earlier about the social content of the Bill, one would think that farmers were evil dragons. From my dealings with farmers over many years, I know that they are compassionate people, not only where their livestock is concerned but where their workers are involved.

I could quote instances in which farmers, although they had an immediate use for their tied cottages, have allowed their farm workers to stay in them. They have done this for the very reasons advanced by the hon. Member for Brightside—that the workers have been injured or made ill in their work or because they have retired after many years in the industry. This has often meant considerable sacrifices for the farmers.

Despite the Minister's argument, it is extraordinary that this Socialist Government should have singled out agriculture for action on the tied cottage. What about the National Coal Board and the police authorities? What about certain Ministers of the Crown? I wonder whether they will be guaranteed security of tenure when they shortly lose their positions.

Labour Members often quote the NFU in support of an argument. Certainly they did so in the debates on the Agriculture (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill in regard to the inheritance of tenancies. But it is not true that the NFU is strongly opposed to this Bill? It has tried to make the Government change their view and amend the Bill but has failed to do so, just as my hon. Friends have failed throughout the debates on the Bill.

As a brief that it has issued makes clear, the NFU has tried to meet the Government halfway. It has suggested that an absolute duty to provide alternative accommodation should be placed on local authorities where a positive recommendation of agricultural need is made by the advisory council. Furthermore, the union suggests that this should be done when the statutory tenant is a retired agricultural worker, a person who has become injured or sick during the course of his employment on the farm; a widow of an agricultural worker who has died in service; or where the advisory committee indicates that there is a particularly urgent need to provide a house on a farm for an incoming worker. The Government have failed to respond to the union—not to the union represented by the hon. Member for Brightside but to the NFU, which represents both farmers and farm workers.

Does the Minister appreciate the position of local authorities? I can say quite openly that the local authorities in my constituency, the Congleton Borough Council and in Macclesfield Borough Council, have always given priority to agricultural workers who have retired. They have followed that policy for many years. Today we heard that the Chancellor of the Exchequer is to cut back on money advanced to local authorities for housing except in areas of deprivation or priority areas. Does that include rural areas? Whatever is the case, the Chancellor is placing an extremely heavy duty on local authorities, and I wonder whether he is aware of what he is doing.

I conclude by quoting a short paragraph from my Second Reading speech: I challenge the necessity for the Bill. The Government are creating a bureaucratic monster to interfere with the most efficient agricultural industry in the world. The hon. Member for Brightside agrees that the industry is the most efficient in the world, so I have that confirmation. I went on to say: There is a fine industrial relations record in the British agricultural industry, which is virtually second to none in any other sector of the economy. There is a fine record of relationship between worker and employer, and I am deeply concerned that the legislation will destroy the fine relationship that has been built up over so many years."—[Official Report, 4th May 1976: Vol. 910, c. 1177.] This is a bad Bill. My hon. Friend the Member for Hornsey (Mr. Rossi) was right to highlight the disadvantages of the Bill and the damage it would do to the industry. I urge my hon. and right hon. Friends to oppose the measure.

12.28 a.m.

Mr. Joseph Dean (Leeds, West)

Having listened to the hon. Member for Macclesfield (Mr. Winterton), I can only say that I have never heard such nonsense in my life. The behaviour of some Opposition Members towards my hon. Friend the Member for Sheffield, Bright-side (Miss Maynard) leaves a great deal to be desired. The remarks of Opposition Members have lacked objectivity and have been sadly lacking in courtesy when directed at my hon. Friend.

The hon. Gentleman talked of the wonderful record in the industry in terms of the relationship between farmer and farm labourer. He said that it was a well-run industry and had an excellent history. I would remind him that until wage agreements were conducted on a national basis under the aegis of a Labour Government, farm workers historically were among the lowest-paid workers in our community. That was the result of the splendid relationship they were sup- posed to have had with the farmers for whom they worked.

There is no point in saying that the matters which the Bill seeks to cover have arisen only in the last few years. We know that the last century saw major measures of social reform. We also know that the present century has been noted for some social reform by Conservative and Labour Governments, and indeed also by Liberal Governments. A large section of the population have for many years agreed that the tied cottage system is a feudal relic. As a result the numbers employed in the industry have fallen. The hon. Member for Macclesfield underlined what my hon. Friend the Member for Brightside said about Britain having one of the most efficient farming industries in the world—and that is when about 50 per cent. of farm workers do not live on site. The Opposition's argument does not hold water.

The hon. Member for Macclesfield also paid tribute to his own local authority and said that it gave priority to farm labourers who were dispossessed of their home. A farm labourer is part and parcel of the community and no local authority can give supreme priority to one section of the community.

Are the Opposition really serious in their suggestion that it should be obligatory for local authorities to set up local committees to provide housing? How can they be serious when the main plank in their policy is the sale of council houses? They want to make it mandatory for local authorities to re-house farm laborourers before others whose needs might be as great or greater. Most tied cottages are not in areas of abundant housing. The Association of District Councils has said that to go further would be wrong and that local authorities must use their best endeavours to house all in need. The whole thing would end in the melting-pot if one said that local authorities must re-house, because it is useless to set a mandatory obligation which cannot physically be carried out. The Opposition's argument is phoney. They cannot have it both ways.

We have a different opinion—and that is right, because there is no point in political debate or political parties if we decide that we are all good fellows and have the same view. The Bill represents a great social reform which is long overdue but which will be shortly on the statute book.

12.34 a.m.

Mr. Joseph Godber (Grantham)

I have not sought to intervene in the debates on the Bill until now but I cannot let it pass without making clear that the line taken by my right hon. and hon. Friends has had my complete and full support throughout. I do not understand why a Bill of this nature was introduced. It is deplorable in its conception and could be dangerous in its implementation.

I have been connected with agriculture throughout my life. I have represented an agricultural constituency in the House for 25 years. I have spent six years in the Ministry of Agriculture in one capacity or another, and I claim to know a certain amount about the subject and the relations between farmers and farm workers. I do not recognise the situation which the hon. Member for Sheffield, Brightside (Miss Maynard) described to the House. Nor do I understand how anyone could continue to hold that view if he or she is in close touch with the farming community.

The relationship between the farmer and the farm workers in the vast majority of cases is far better than the relationship between those hon. Members below the Gangway opposite and those above it. The introduction of a Bill of this kind can do only harm to that relationship because it seeks to create distrust where none existed before. I have known scarcely any cases in my career where real difficulty has arisen, simply because the farming community is such that people do understand and are willing to make allowances for one another in particular circumstances.

It is very seldom indeed that any real case of hardship has arisen in my knowledge. I do not say that such cases have never arisen, but I can recall only two in my experience where there could have been any genuine degree of hardship. It is totally absurd to introduce such a Bill on the basis on which this Bill has been introduced. I fear that we all on this side of the House know that it was introduced merely to carry out a pledge which had been extracted from the Labour Party by the National Union of Agricultural Workers. I have always had a good relationship with the union and have always understood its feelings on this issue, but I do not believe that it is serving the workers in the industry well in pressing this case, and the Government have failed in their duty in accepting the union's advice.

I regret that the Minister of Agriculture is not here. I do not believe that he is convinced of the need for the Bill, and perhaps his absence tonight is significant. I shall vote against the Third Reading. This is a thoroughly bad Bill, and I know that there is no need for me to urge my hon. Friends to vote against it, too, because we all feel exactly the same about it.

12.37 a.m.

Mr. Douglas-Mann

The right hon. Member for Grantham (Mr. Godber) has unconsciously illustrated the need for the Bill. Indeed, the anachronistic attitude which right hon. and hon. Members opposite have displayed amply demonstrates that a Bill of this kind is essential. They are saying, in effect, that the farm workers must rely on the benevolence of the farmers, who are jolly good chaps. I do not dispute that the great majority of farmers are, but the right hon. Gentleman himself admitted that he had known some cases of hardship.

Although I practise in town as a lawyer, I have been called to defend certain eviction cases in the country which have involved hardship. They were not put-up jobs to get a council house, but cases where the farmer was determined to get the farm worker out. In one case, the worker had been employed on the farm for a considerable number of years, and the farmer decided that he no longer wished to have him.

Generally speaking, there is a good relationship, but it rests on the employer generally maintaining benevolent relationship towards his workers. In any industry, to have to have to depend on the charity and good will of one's employer is to ensure that the relationship is one where the employee never feels that he has security or freedom. Any one of us who has canvassed in the countryside for the Labour Party is aware of that.

I thought that the hon. Member for Hornsey (Mr. Rossi) was less than fair to the Government. We expected him to give a welcome to certain amendments. Admittedly, we did not debate some of them, but he himself took up so much of the time of the House so he cannot complain about that. I am sure that he welcomes Amendment No. 117, which makes it clear that there is right of action in the county court.

The hon. Member referred to Amendment Nos. 41, 42, and 51, which the Government have not moved. These were amendments to which he attached his name. I am very glad that the Government did not move them. Can the hon. Member seriously suggest that it would be desirable to have provisions which say that a county court must make an order for possession if the local authority is offering alternative accommodation, even if the judge thinks that it is unreasonable to make the order? I hope that on reflection he will feel that these amendments were better not being included in the Bill.

When the Bill was introduced I believed that there were ways in which it could be improved. As we proceeded with our discussions in Committee, I think that even Conservatives accepted that by and large the Government had got it right.

Had we imposed an absolute duty on the local authority it would have impinged on the discretion that authority must have. In the overwhelming majority of cases the local authority will lean over backwards to help the farmer, but if it does not do so, the worker must have security of tenure in his home in order to live his life reasonably freely.

I am delighted that the Government have introduced this Bill. I am surprised that the right hon. Member for Grantham thinks that it is disgraceful that we should honour our election pledges. I hope that this legislation will remain on the statute book for a very long time.

12.42 a.m.

Mr. David Price (Eastleigh)

In commenting quickly on the speech of the hon. Member for Mitcham and Morden (Mr. Douglas-Mann) I must say that I personally would prefer the benevolence of a farmer to that of most local authorities.

I deeply regret the fact that the guillotine has been placed on this Bill and that we have not had a proper opportunity to debate it. This applies particularly to those of use who were not on the Standing Committee. The Parliamentary Secretary displayed a peculiar doctrine earlier tonight when he chided one of my hon. Friends for asking him to develop a point which he had already developed in Standing Committee. That is not sufficient reason for refusing to develop it at Report stage. A Standing Committee looks at a Bill and then reports back to the House as a whole, and Ministers have to defend their Bill as it comes out of Standing Committee. This has not been done. It is not the Ministers' fault. They have not been given the opportunity to defend the Bill to the rest of the House and I deeply deplore that.

The hon. Member for Sheffield, Brightside (Miss Maynard) and the Parliamentary Secretary both spoke in archaic language. The hon. Lady spoke of "feudalism", but most of her speeches on this Bill read like Victorian melodramas—"Maria Marten and Murder in the Red Barn". I wish that some hon. Members opposite would not try, three generations later, to overcome the wrongs of the past, but would address themselves to the problems of the present, and preferably the future.

I am not opposed in principle to extending security of tenure to farm workers. But let us look at the reasons why it is necessary to have tied cottages in agriculture just as it is necessary in the police force, the fire service and many other occupations. I and many other hon. Members have occupied tied cottages, and we have been jolly glad to have them. In terms of the reality of life in agriculture, the farmers most affected by this Bill will be those on small farms, stock farms, or isolated farms, and those whose farm workers live very close to if not actually on the job. That is not always the case.

The farming community, as represented through the NFU, has attempted to meet the Government at least halfway in their dogmatic purpose. They have received little change from that. We come back to the phrase in Clause 29—"best endeavours". I urge the Parliamentary Secretary to examine the terminology of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act in respect of access for the disabled to public buildings. He should see how that has worked out. A similar phrase was used there. It deals with "best endeavours" and things that are "practical". The result, as anyone concerned in these matters knows, has been totally unsatisfactory. The Under-Secretary of State for Health and Social Security who is responsible for the disabled will confirm that for the hon. Gentleman. I see exactly the same thing happening under this Bill, and therefore I am unhappy about it.

The Parliamentary Secretary spoke about social justice. He mentioned cases which in general terms would be examples of injustice. But is it not unjust for him to forbid the socially-conscious employer, the farmer with a remote undertaking, to ask a man to work unsocial hours looking after animals and equipment and to provide the man with a home on the job? I suggest that to forbid him from doing that, which is the implication of the Bill, prompts one to ask just who is creating social injustice. The Bill will prevent farmers from being good employers. It will reduce the mobility of farm workers and discourage the medium-sized farmer. It will not affect the small farmer because he has hired help. It will be particularly prejudicial to the mixed farm and the dairy farm, encouraging a shift to arable and monoculture farming.

I admit a bias in favour of high farming, as does the ecologist, the naturalist and the historian. This Bill is prejudicial to high farming, and so I am against it.

12.48 a.m.

Mr. Geraint Howells

I have waited a long time to speak in the debate and I am grateful to have caught your eye, Mr. Speaker. I declare my interest as a hill farmer. I have lived on a hill farm all my life. I have listened with great interest to hon. Members on both sides in today's debate. Some of them have overstated their cases.

Let us look at the reality of the situation. I remember farming 250 acres on my father's farm when the net takings were only £60 and we were paying farm workers £5 a year and they were living in. I also remember in my younger days in Aberystwyth seeing hundreds of farm workers standing on the corners of the streets hoping that a farmer would hire them for a year. I felt sorry for them and I made a pledge then, if ever I were given some authority, in some way to help them.

I am glad to say this evening that I am in favour of the Bill. It will do something to help to solve the problems of our skilled farm workers. Over the last 25 years we have lost half our labour force from the land, mainly because the men have been underpaid. I blame not the farmers but successive Governments over the past 20 years. I include Conservative Governments and Labour Governments. It is only twice in the past 20 years that farmers have been recouped for their costs. That is why we have lost the farm workers from the land. Production has increased, but unless we look after the skilled labour force, protect our farm workers and give them better incentives and houses in which to live, that may not always be the position. I should not like to live in a house where the landlord could turn me out tomorrow morning.

Mr. Charles Morrison

How can the landlord do that?

Mr. Howells

There are ways and means whereby anyone can be turned out. That is why I am supporting the Bill.

We welcomed the Bill on Second Reading as a sensible compromise between the need to provide the security of the Rent Acts for the farm worker—

Mr. Charles Morrison

The hon. Gentleman has said that there are ways and means whereby landlords can get tenants out overnight. Perhaps he will elaborate on that.

Mr. Howells

I said that there are ways and means of getting tenants out from any house.

Mr. Charles Morrison

What are they?

Mr. Howells

There is a need to retain an adequate stock of rural housing to attract and keep labour in the agricultural industry. However, the success of the Bill in satisfying both sides of the industry was dependent to a degree on the obligation placed upon local authorities to rehouse in cases of proven agricultural need.

We took the view, which we reiterated in Committee, that to require local authorities to use their best endeavours to provide suitable alternative accommodation was a legal nonentity equivalent to asking the local authorities to do nothing unless they felt like doing something. We argued that if there is to be any real benefit from the Bill it will be achieved only by placing a mandatory responsibility on local authorities to provide accommodation if the local agricultural housing advisory committee decides that there is a proven case for rehousing on the ground of efficiency.

I must protest that the guillotine has been put on the Bill this evening. I voted for the Bill, but I believe that the Government should have given us another day to discuss it.

Mr. Rees-Davies

Did not the hon. Member for Berwick-upon-Tweed (Mr. Beith) give a clear undertaking yesterday that if matters continued as they were, and if the Liberal amendments were not called, the Liberals would not support the Bill on Third Reading?

Mr. Howells

I am not responsible for what my colleague said because I was not here yesterday.

Mr. Beith

I take the opportunity of telling the hon. and learned Member for Thanet, West (Mr. Rees-Davies) that I gave no such undertaking yesterday. I was present for the debate and I would have heard such an undertaking being given.

Mr. Howells

Perhaps we are getting confused about days.

Since Second Reading we have continued to press for the strengthening of the statutory obligation on local authorities in Clause 29. The Government remained inflexible in Committee but they brought forward some improvements on Report. We recognise that the Bill as it stands, for all its deficiencies and likely problems on implementation, represents an advance on the current situation. We believe that it provides security for the farm worker at the expense of the farmer and efficient agriculture. However, after listening to the Minister's speech and the assurances that we have received, it is my duty to advise my hon. Friends to support the Bill.

12.55 a.m.

Mr. Armstrong

May I, Mr. Deputy Speaker—

Mr. Jopling

I am grateful to the Minister for giving way at the start of his speech. He will have observed that I have not sought to wind up the debate because of the very large number of my hon. Friends who wish to speak.

The Government have truncated the whole debate and behaved disgracefully throughout this Bill. Would it not be better for the Minister to remain sitting and to listen to what my hon. Friends have to say?

Mr. Rees-Davies

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. It has always been the practice of this House on Third Readings that, if there are two promoting speeches, there are either two winding-up speeches or none. In this case, the debate was left open, because of the guillotine, to allow short speeches by hon. Members.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

That is not a matter for the Chair.

Mr. Cormack

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. The House has been treated outrageously. The Government have castrated their own legislation and are now—

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. That is not a point of order. It is a point of debate.

Mr. Armstrong

May I, Mr. Deputy Speaker—

Mr. Cormack

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. Are there any precedents for the experience that we are having to suffer tonight?

Mr. Deputy Speaker

That is not a matter of order.

Mr. Armstrong

If the House looks tomorrow at the time taken on Third Reading by the hon. Member for Hornsey (Mr. Rossi) and the time taken by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary and I, it will be seen that the Opposition Front Bench speech took longer than our combined speeches. The remarks now being made by hon. Members opposite are typical of their exaggeration throughout the Bill.

The Bill will mean the end of a long campaign by agricultural workers to get security of tenure—which most people have taken for granted for a long time.

I have time to mention only one fact.

Mr. Michael Brotherton (Louth)

Will the Minister give way?

Mr. Armstrong

No. Each year, 1,200 farmworkers are evicted from their tied homes.

Mr. Brotherton

The Foreign Secretary has just come into the House. Does he

welcome the Bill promoted by the hon. Member for Sheffield, Brightside (Miss Maynard)?

It being One o'clock, Mr. DEPUTY SPEAKER proceeded, pursuant to Orders [20th July and this day], to put the Question already proposed from the Chair.

Question put, That the Bill be now read the Third time:—

The House divided: Ayes 297, Noes 261.

Division No. 272. AYES 1.00 a.m.
Abse, Leo de Freitas, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Irving, Rt Hon S. (Dartford)
Allaun, Frank Dell, Rt Hon Edmund Jackson, Colin (Brighouse)
Anderson, Donald Dempsey, James Jackson, Miss Margaret (Lincoln)
Archer, Peter Doig, Peter Janner, Greville
Armstrong, Ernest Dormand, J. D. Jay, Rt Hon Douglas
Ashton, Joe Douglas-Mann, Bruce Jeger, Mrs Lena
Atkins, Ronald (Preston N) Dunn, James A. John, Brynmor
Atkinson, Norman Dunnett, Jack Johnson, Walter (Derby S)
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth Johnston, Russell (Inverness)
Barnett, Guy (Greenwich) Eadie, Alex Jones, Barry (East Flint)
Barnett. Rt Hon Joel (Heywood) Edge, Geoff Jones, Dan (Burnley)
Bates, Alf Edwards, Robert (Wolv SE) Judd, Frank
Bean, R. E. Ellis, Tom (Wrexham) Kaufman, Gerald
Beith, A. J. English, Michael Kelley, Richard
Benn, Rt Hon Anthony Wedgwood Ennals, David Kerr, Russell
Bennett, Andrew (Stockport N) Evans, Fred (Caerphilly) Kilroy-Silk, Robert
Bidwell, Sydney Evans, Ioan (Aberdare) Kinnock, Neil
Bishop, E. S. Evans, John (Newton) Lambie, David
Blenkinsop, Arthur Ewing, Harry (Stirling) Lamborn, Harry
Boardman, H. Faulds, Andrew Lamond, James
Booth, Rt Hon Albert Fernyhough, Rt Hon E. Latham, Arthur (Paddington)
Boothroyd, Miss Betty Fitch, Alan (Wigan) Leadbitter, Ted
Bottomley, Rt Hon Arthur Flannery, Martin Lee, John
Boyden, James (Bish Auck) Fletcher, L. R. (Ilkeston) Lestor, Miss Joan (Eton & Slough)
Bradley, Tom Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) Lever, Rt Hon Harold
Bray, Dr Jeremy Foot, Rt Hon Michael Lewis, Arthur (Newham N)
Brown, Hugh D. (Provan) Ford, Ben Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)
Brown, Robert C. (Newcastle W) Forrester, John Lipton, Marcus
Brown, Ronald (Hackney S) Fowler, Gerald (The Wrekin) Litterick, Tom
Buchan, Norman Fraser, John (Lambeth, N'w'd) Lomas, Kenneth
Buchanan, Richard Freeson, Reginald Loyden, Eddie
Butler, Mrs Joyce (Wood Green) Garrett, John (Norwich S) Luard, Evan
Callaghan, Jim (Middleton & P) Garrett, W. E. (Wallsend) Lyons, Edward (Bradford W)
Campbell, Ian George, Bruce Mabon, Dr J. Dickson
Canavan, Dennis Gilbert, Dr John McCartney, Hugh
Cant, R. B. Ginsburg, David McDonald, Dr Oonagh
Carmichael, Neil Golding, John MacFarquhar, Roderick
Carter, Ray Gould, Bryan McGuire, Michael (Ince)
Cartwright, John Gourlay, Harry MacKenzie, Gregor
Castle, Rt Hon Barbara Graham, Ted Mackintosh, John P.
Clemitson, Ivor Grant, George (Morpeth) Maclennan, Robert
Cocks, Michael (Bristol S) Grant, John (Islington C) McMillan, Tom (Glasgow C
Cohen, Stanley Grocott, Bruce Madden, Max
Coleman, Donald Hamilton, James (Bothwell) Magee, Bryan
Colquhoun, Ms Maureen Hardy, Peter Mahon, Simon
Conlan, Bernard Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) Mallalieu, J. P. W.
Cook, Robin F. (Edin C) Hart, Rt Hon Judith Marks, Kenneth
Corbett, Robin Hattersley, Rt Hon Roy Marquand, David
Cox, Thomas (Tooting) Hatton, Frank Marshall, Dr Edmund (Goole)
Craigen, J. M. (Maryhill) Healey, Rt Hon Denis Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)
Cronin, John Heffer, Eric S. Mason, Rt Hon Roy
Crosland, Rt Hon Anthony Hooley, Frank Maynard, Miss Joan
Crowther, Stan (Rotherham) Horam, John Meacher, Michael
Cryer, Bob Howell, Rt Hon Denis (B'ham.Sm H) Mellish, Rt Hon Robert
Cunningham, G. (Islington S) Howells, Geraint (Cardigan) Mendelson, John
Dalyell, Tam Hoyle, Doug (Nelson) Mikardo, Ian
Davidson, Arthur Huckfleld, Les Millan, Bruce
Davies, Bryan (Enfield N) Hughes, Rt Hon C. (Anglesey) Miller, Dr M. S. (E Kilbride)
Davies, Denzll (Lianelli) Hughes, Mark (Durham) Miller, Mrs Millie (Ilford N)
Davies, Ifor (Gower) Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N) Mitchell, R. C. (Soton, Itchen)
Davis, Clinton (Hackney C) Hughes, Roy (Newport) Moonman, Eric
Deakins, Eric Hunter, Adam Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)
Dean, Joseph (Leeds West) Irvine, Rt Hon Sir A. (Edge Hill) Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)
Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon) Rooker, J. W. Tinn, James
Moyle, Roland Roper, John Tomlinson, John
Mulley, Rt Hon Frederick Rose, Paul B. Tomney, Frank
Murray, Rt Hon Ronald King Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight) Torney, Tom
Newens, Stanley Ross, Rt Hon W. (Kilmarnock) Tuck, Raphael
Noble, Mike Rowlands, Ted Urwin, T. W.
Oakes, Gordon Sedgemore, Brian Varley, Rt. Hon Eric G.
Ogden, Eric Selby, Harry Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne V)
O'Halloran, Michael Shaw, Arnold (Ilford South) Walden, Brian (B'ham, L'dyw'd)
Orbach, Maurice Sheldon, Robert (Aahton-u-Lyne) Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Orme, Rt Hon Stanley Shore, Rt Hon Peter Walker, Terry (Kingswood)
Ovenden, John Short, Rt. Hon E. (Newcastle C) Ward, Michael
Owen, Or David Short, Mrs Renée (Wolv NE) Watkins, David
Padley, Walter Silkin, Rt Hon John (Deptford) Watkinson, John
Palmer, Arthur Silkin, Rt Hon S. C. (Dulwich) Weetch, Ken
Pardoe, John Silverman, Julius Weitzman, David
Park, George Skinner, Dennis Wellbeloved, James
Parker, John Small, William White, Frank R. (Bury)
Parry, Robert Smith, John (N Lanarkshire) White, James (Pollok)
Pavitt, Laurie Snape, Peter Whitehead, Phillip
Peart, Rt Hon Fred Spearing, Nigel Whitlock, William
Pendry, Tom Stallard, A. W. Williams, Alan (Swansea W)
Penhaligon, David Steel, David (Roxburgh) Williams, Alan Lee (Hornch'ch)
Perry, Ernest Stewart, Rt Hon M. (Fulham) Williams, Rt Hon Shirley (Hertford)
Phipps, Dr Colin Stoddart, David Williams, Sir Thomas (Warrington)
Prentice, Rt Hon Reg Stott, Roger Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)
Prescott, John Strang, Gavin Wilson, Rt Hon Sir Harold (Huyton)
Price, C. (Lewisham W) Strauss, Rt. Hon G. R. Wilson, William (Coventry SE)
Price, William (Rugby) Summerskill, Hon Dr Shirley Wise, Mrs Audrey
Radice, Giles Swain, Thomas Woodall, Alec
Richardson, Miss Jo Taylor, Mrs Ann (Bolton W) Woof, Robert
Roberts, Albert (Normanton) Thomas, Dafydd (Merioneth) Wrigglesworth, Ian
Roberts, Gwilym (Cannock) Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery) Young, David (Bolton E)
Robinson, Geoffrey Thomas, Mike (Newcastle E)
Roderick, Caerwyn Thomas, Ron (Bristol NW) TELLERS FOR THE AYES
Rodgers, George (Chorley) Thorne, Stan (Preston South) Mr. John Ellis and
Rodgers, William (Stockton) Thorpe, Rt Hon Jeremy (N Devon) Mr. Joseph Harper
Tierney, Sydney
Adley, Robert Davies, Rt Hon J. (Knutsford) Hall-Davis, A. G. F.
Aitken, Jonathan Dean, Paul (N Somerset) Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury)
Alison, Michael Dodsworth, Geoffrey Hampson, Dr Keith
Amery, Rt Hon Julian Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James Hannam, John
Arnold, Tom Drayson, Burnaby Harrison, Col Sir Harwood (Eye)
Atkins, Rt Hon H. (Spelthorne) du Cann, Rt Hon Edward Harvie Anderson, Rt Hon Miss
Awdry, Daniel Dunlop, John Hastings, Stephen
Baker, Kenneth Durant, Tony Havers, Sir Michael
Banks, Robert Dykes, Hugh Hawkins, Paul
Bell, Ronald Eden, Rt Hon Sir John Hayhoe, Barney
Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torbay) Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke) Heath, Rt Hon Edward
Bennett, Dr Reginald (Fareham) Elliott, Sir William Heseltine, Michael
Biffen, John Emery, Peter Hicks, Robert
Biggs-Davison, John Eyre, Reginald Higgins, Terence L.
Blaker, Peter Fairbairn, Nicholas Holland, Philip
Body, Richard Fairgrieve, Russell Hordern, Peter
Boscawen, Hon Robert Farr, John Howe, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey
Bottomley, Peter Fell, Anthony Howell, David (Guildford)
Bowden, A. (Brighton, Kemptown) Finsberg, Geoffrey Howell, Ralph (North Norfolk)
Boyson, Dr Rhodes (Brent) Fletcher, Alex (Edinburgh N) Hunt, David (Wirral)
Brittan, Leon Fletcher-Cooke, Charles Hunt, John (Bromley)
Brotherton, Michael Forman, Nigel Hurd, Douglas
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Fowler, Norman (Sutton C'f'd) Hutchison, Michael Clark
Buchanan-Smith, Alick Fox, Marcus Irving, Charles (Cheltenham)
Buck, Antony Fraser, Rt Hon H. (Stafford & St) James, David
Budgen, Nick Fry, Peter Jenkin, Rt Hon P. (Wanst'd & W'df'd)
Bulmer, Esmond Galbraith, Hon. T. G. D. Jessel, Toby
Burden, F. A. Gardiner, George (Reigate) Johnson Smith, G. (E Grinstead)
Butler, Adam (Bosworth) Gardner, Edward (S Fylde) Jones, Arthur (Daventry)
Carlisle, Mark Gilmour, Rt Hon Ian (Chesham) Jopling, Michael
Chalker, Mrs Lynda Gilmour, Sir John (East Fife) Joseph, Rt Hon Sir Keith
Channon, Paul Glyn, Dr Alan Kaberry, Sir Donald
Churchill, W. S. Godber, Rt Hon Joseph Kellett-Bowman, Mrs Elaine
Clark, Alan (Plymouth, Sutton) Goodhart, Philip Kimball, Marcus
Clark, William (Croydon S) Goodhew, Victor King, Evelyn (South Dorset)
Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe) Goodlad, Alastair King, Tom (Bridgwater)
Clegg, Walter Gorst, John Kirk, Sir Peter
Cockcroft, John Gow, Ian (Eastbourne) Kitson, Sir Timothy
Cooke, Robert (Bristol W) Gower, Sir Raymond (Barry) Knight, Mrs Jill
Cope,John Grant, Anthony (Harrow C) Knox, David
Cordle, John H. Gray, Hamish Lamont, Norman
Cormack, Patrick Griffiths, Eldon Lane, David
Critchley, Julian Grist, Ian Latham, Michael (Melton)
Crouch, David Grylls, Michael Lawrence, Ivan
Crowder, F. P. Hall, Sir John Lawson, Nigel
Le Marchant, Spencer Oppenheim, Mrs Sally Speed, Keith
Lester, Jim (Beeston) Osborn, John Spence, John
Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland) Page, John (Harrow, West) Spicer, Jim (W Dorset)
Lloyd, Ian Page, Rt Hon R. Graham (Crosby) Spicer, Michael (S Worcester)
Luce, Richard Parkinson, Cecil Sproat, Iain
McAdden, Sir Stephen Percival, Ian Stainton, Keith
McCrindle, Robert Peyton, Rt Hon John Stanbrook, Ivor
Macfarlane, Neil Pink, R. Bonner Stanley, John
MacGregor, John Powell, Rt Hon J. Enoch Steen, Anthony (Wavertree)
McNair-Wilson, M. (Newbury) Price, David (Eastleigh) Stewart, Ian (Hitchin)
McNair-Wilson, P. (New Forest) Prior, Rt Hon James Stokes, John
Madel, David Pym, Rt Hon Francis Stradling, Thomas J.
Marshall, Michael (Arundel) Raison, Timothy Tapsell, Peter
Marten, Neil Rathbone, Tim Taylor, R. (Croydon NW)
Mates, Michael Rawlinson, Rt Hon Sir Peter Taylor, Teddy (Cathcart)
Mather, Carol Rees, Peter (Dover & Deal) Tebbit, Norman
Maude, Angus Rees-Davies, W. R. Temple-Morris, Peter
Maudling, Rt Hon Reginald Renton, Rt Hon Sir D. (Hunts) Thomas, Rt Hon P. (Hendon S)
Mawby, Ray Renton, Tim (Mid-Sussex) Townsend, Cyril D.
Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon Trotter, Neville
Mayhew, Patrick Ridley, Hon Nicholas Tugendhat, Christopher
Meyer, Sir Anthony Ridsdale, Julian van Straubenzee, W. R.
Miller, Hal (Bromsgrove) Roberts, Michael (Cardiff NW) Vaughan, Dr Gerard
Mills, Peter Roberts, Wyn (Conway) Viggers, Peter
Miscampbell, Norman Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks) Wakeham, John
Mitchell, David (Basingstoke) Ross, William (Londonderry) Welder, David (Clitheroe)
Moate, Roger Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey) Walker, Rt Hon P. (Worcester)
Molyneaux, James Rost, Peter (SE Derbyshire) Walker-Smith, Rt Hon Sir Derek
Monro, Hector Royle, Sir Anthony Wall, Patrick
Montgomery, Fergus Sainsbury, Tim Walters, Dennis
Moore, John (Croydon C) St. John-Stevas, Norman Warren, Kenneth
More, Jaeper (Ludlow) Scott, Nicholas Weatherill, Bernard
Morgan, Geraint Scott-Hopkins, James Wells, John
Morgan-Giles, Rear-Admiral Shaw, Giles (Pudsey) Whitelaw, Rt Hon William
Morris, Michael (Northampton S) Shaw, Michael (Scarborough) Wiggin, Jerry
Morrison, Charles (Devizes) Shelton, William (Streatham) Winterton, Nicholas
Morrison, Hon Peter (Chester) Shepherd, Colin Wood, Rt Hon Richard
Mudd, David Shersby, Michael Young, Sir G. (Ealing, Acton)
Neave, Airey Silvester, Fred Younger, Hon George
Nelson. Anthony Sims, Roger
Neubert, Michael Sinclair, Sir George TELLERS FOR THE NOES.
Newton, Tony Skeet, T. H. H. Mr. Anthony Berry and
Normanton, Tom Smith, Dudley (Warwick) Mr. William Benyon.
Onslow, Cranley

Question accordingly agreed to.

Bill read the Third time and passed.