§ Mr. Deputy Speaker
Wait a moment. The Question is,That the Industry (Amendment) Bill, now standing committed to a Committee of the whole House, be committed to a Standing Committee.
§ 1.21 a.m.
§ Mr. Tom King (Bridgwater)
The Deputy Chief Whip on the Treasury Bench need not think that by a quick cry of "Aye" he will be able to cover up the appalling mistakes in the Gov- 584 ernment's business arrangements reflected in the motion.
The Industry (Amendment) Bill was committed to a Committee of the whole House by a Resolution which the House approved immediately after Second Reading. The Government now come back to the House and ask that, instead, the Bill should be committed to a Standing Committee. That shows the state of confusion of the Government's business.
The Government have had this motion on the Order Paper on three occasions. On one occasion the motion was due to be debated at 10 o'clock, but the Government thought better of it and withdrew the motion. At this late hour tonight they tried to slip through the motion on the nod. That is symptomatic of the Government's handling of the Bill.
When the Bill was introduced, the Secretary of State for Industry described it as a minor matter, a straightforward amendment of one subsection of one section of a previous Act, which would cost £1,000 million. He described that, in a charming understatement, as a simple, if sizeable, increase. That shows 585 to what extent the Department of Industry has been permeated by the language of inflation.
Although we understand perhaps why the Government are keen to have the Bill transferred from the Floor of the House, we believe that the expenditure of a sum of money of that magnitude deserves the attention of the whole House. The Bill consists of two clauses, the second of which is the Title. This single sheet of paper represents £1,000 million of public money.
We applauded the Government's decision to take the Bill on the Floor of the House. The Government looked to us for support in that, and we were pleased to give it. What are we supposed to do now that the Government have asked us to approve the exact opposite of the motion which they previously asked us to approve?
We are concerned about the measure of accountability in public expenditure. It should come under the scrutiny of the whole House. The Government tried to do this before at 10 o'clock at night but they withdrew the motion because they were warned that we were not inclined to pass £1,000 million at that time of night after only a one-and-a-half hour debate. The Government are behaving like the Duke of Plaza Toro—having marched the motion on to the Order Paper they promptly march it off again, showing the same instinct of self-preservation as the Secretary of State for Education and Science showed earlier when he decided that discretion was the better part of valour. That is an improper way in which to treat the House. Those of us who take an interest in such matters feel that £1,000 million of public money deserves the attention of the whole House.
One of the changes which the Government are making to the Bill is to increase the amounts for which the Government have to come to the House for approval for further sums from £100 million to £250 million. That means less scrutiny for increased spending. We have had no evidence why that massive increased sum is required at this time. It is important that the House as a whole knows what is happening.
§ Mr. Reginald Eyre (Birmingham, Hall Green)
On a point of order, Mr. 586 Deputy Speaker. Is it in order for the Strangers' Gallery to be cleared at this hour?
§ Mr. Deputy Speaker
That has nothing to do with me. If hon. Members were in the Chamber as late at night as I often have to be, they would know that this is matter of practice for security reasons and that strangers are only being moved to another section of the Gallery.
§ Mr. Robin Maxwell-Hyslop (Tiverton)
Further to that point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. Your attention has been drawn to the strangers in the Gallery. Is it not mandatory for you to put the Question by which strangers are ordered to withdraw?
§ Mr. Peter Bottomley (Woolwich, West)
Further to that point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. Your attention was drawn to the fact that there were no strangers in the Gallery. Therefore that Question does not apply.
§ Mr. King
We feel that the Bill should be considered by the whole House because under the provisions of the Industry Act 1975, for which the Bill provides extended funds, there are a number of remarkable Orders coming before the House late at night. If hon. Members are concerned about the way in which public money is spent, and if public expenditure cuts sign-posted by the Prime Minister at Question Time are to affect some of their pet schemes, they should pay attention to the way in which the Department of Industry has been spending funds in recent weeks under those provisions.
For example, two weeks ago approval was given to a payment of £10 million to a company jointly owned by the French Government and the largest Belgian oil company for the construction of an oil refinery at Immingham. There were grave doubts whether that fell within the terms of the accelerated investment scheme. It was a highly profitable venture by two companies well able to afford the funds. I trust that no hon. Member believes that Government funds are in such lavish supply that they can be invested in schemes where the money is available from normal financial sources.
587 In winding up the Second Reading debate, the Minister of State described the Bill asa proper job-creating and investment-inducing measure."—[Official Report, 29th April 1976; Vol. 910, c. 648.]The Order that we dealt with which will be covered by funds similar to those we are being asked to vote under the Bill represented an investment of £80 million and will produce 80 permanent jobs. If that is the yardstick of a job-creating measure it will be very expensive to get unemployment down from the levels under this Government.
There are other matters which are very germane. The House has been much exercised with the nationalisation of the aircraft and shipbuilding industries. One of the Government's main arguments was that the shipbuilding industry needed reorganisation, rationalisation and restructuring in certain areas. They then said that nationalisation was the only way to do it. But those who read the Secretary of State's speech on Second Reading of this Bill will see his tribute to the Wool Textile Scheme, under which for limited funds it was possible by a co-operative effort of the Government, the industry and the trade unions to carry out valuable restructuring and re-equipment. That scheme was started by the Conservative Government, and was supplemented by the present Government.
What happened under the Wool Textile Scheme gives the total lie to the Government's suggestion that only by nationalisation can there be a combined effort. Nationalisation is by far the most expensive way in which to do it. What is needed in the industries covered by the Bill are funds for equipment and to ease temporary employment difficulties, as under the Wool Textile Scheme, and to encourage more productivity and more mechanisation, as under that scheme. Under that scheme, which is the sort of scheme we can support, a limited sum went solely for those purposes. Nothing went to shareholders or to acquire assets of companies, to take money out of the companies and put it into shareholders' hands. It is a much more effective way than nationalisation to spend money.
In the Bill there are a number of matters that are central to the Government's industrial strategy. The Govern- 588 ment appeared to believe that the Bill should be considered by a Committee of the whole House. A motion to that effect was approved by the House. It is a measure of the way in which the Government now treat the House that they put before us one motion, which was carried without dissent, and have now put before us another on how to proceed with this short but substantial financial measure.
The Government decided that for reasons of which we are unaware, and the only explanation we have had was just now from the Deputy Chief Whip when he moved the motion with the words, "Now, Sir". Is that the sort of explanation we are supposed to accept? "Now, Sir"—what does that mean? Some explanation is due to us of the reason why the Government have decided to change this procedure.
§ Mr. King
We are not prepared to be treated in this way. We have no explanation, through usual or unusual, formal or informal channels. This proposal should be explained as a matter of common courtesy, I say to the Minister of State, who is normally courteous in this matter. He has been stuck with a motion in the name of the Leader of the House, who is noticeably absent. In the normal case a motion of this kind might be moved formally, but when it reverses a previous Government motion, the House is entitled to a modicum of explanation for their action.
I hope that the Minister will take an early opportunity to put before us the reasons for the motion. Unless they are extremely convincing, I shall have to advise my hon. Friends not to support it.
§ 1.37 a.m.
§ Mr. Michael Grylls (Surrey, North-West)
It is right, in debating this extraordinary situation, to point to Government business and to say how remarkable it is that they should bring this motion forward, having on 29th April, with agreement, committed the Bill to a Committee of the whole House. Now, without a word, they expect the House to change it.
We object most strongly because we will not be treated like shuttlecocks at the whim of the Government. I described 589 the Bill, on Second Reading, as the most expensive piece of paper ever produced—£1,000 million in one sheet of paper containing one clause. Perhaps it would have been better to say that it was like a Scotch mist, now here, and now not, because it has come forward on so many occasions in the last few weeks. We have taken a great interest in it because it has appeared several times. Now it is back again. It is back only momentarily, to be taken away upstairs. Perhaps "The Upstairs, Downstairs Bill" would be a better description. It is an indication that the Department of Industry does not know what it is doing and that the only thing it can do is press a button marked "Spend money". That is not helpful at present.
It seems that the Government's programme is in tatters. Perhaps it was not, on 29th April, but now they find that their programme is jammed up and they want to push this Bill upstairs. Although it is only a short time since then, there can probably be no other explanation.
I agree that the motion is so important and that the addition to public expenditure is so important in the present economic crisis that the whole House would wish to take part in the debate. This is not a matter for just a small number of Members who take an interest in the subject to disappear upstairs and have a theoretical argument about it. It is an argument in which the whole House would wish to join. It would inevitably flow into a general debate on how public expenditure is dealt with.
If the Minister of State gets his way, which I doubt, and the Bill goes to a Committee upstairs, it will be examined line by line. There are not many lines, but we shall spend a long time on them. I have not worked out the cost per line, but they must be expensive lines. Those of my hon. Friends who are examining the Government's proposals for nationalising the aircraft and shipbuilding industries are doing so with great care and determination. We shall do the same with this Bill. Unlike the Government, we take seriously the spending of taxpayers' money.
If the Government had asked for this sum five years ago it would not have been granted without the most massive 590 and detailed explanation. The Secretary of State for Industry, who introduced the Bill on 29th April, gave no explanation. It was clearly pointed out to him that there was already more money in the kitty than was necessary. In the end he almost had to admit that the money was being asked for some time in advance. We wonder what it is all about.
There are many questions to ask which are particularly relevant today when the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection has announced a new consultative document on the Price Code. If the Government's proposals for the Price Code are effective and allow industry to retain more of its profits to invest and to create more jobs, do we need this money? Industry will have the funds without needing an injection of taxpayers' money.
Many would say that the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection has not gone far enough in relaxing the Price Code. That is a matter for argument. The right way to fund industry is to allow it to do so from its profits. The parrot cry from the Government Benches, usually from below the Gangway, is that we must have more investment. Those who say that do not know what they are talking about. What we want is more profitable investment.
A very interesting figure was released today, pointing a finger to the malaise in industry—
§ Mr. Deputy Speaker
Order. I am afraid that the hon. Gentleman is going wide of the motion. We are not discussing economics.
§ Mr. Grylls
I apologise, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I will try to demonstrate that what I am saying is relevant to profitable investment in industry. If we can get that, do we need the Bill? A document issued today showed that the return on investment in industry fell from 10 per cent. in 1965 to 2 per cent. for the current year. Clearly something has to be done. If the right action is taken by the Government, the Minister of State need not come to the House with this extravagant, spendthrift Bill. If the Government insist on having such expensive tastes— and no Department has more expensive tastes than the Department of Industry—
§ Mr. Deputy Speaker
The hon. Member has said that something has to be done. We have to decide whether this Bill goes upstairs or downstairs—that is all.
§ Mr. Grylls
I will do my best to stick to that, Mr. Deputy Speaker. The Minister of State must respond to our requests for a proper explanation why the Bill, which was to be a downstairs Bill, is now to be an upstairs Bill. We think that it should remain a downstairs Bill because of the amount of money involved, and we shall continue to hold that view unless the Government can give us very powerful reasons for their change of mind.
§ 1.47 a.m.
§ Mr. Victor Goodhew (St. Albans)
The most extraordinary thing about this is that we have a motion in the name of the Leader of the House, yet he sneaked out a moment before the motion was put to the House. This is a discourtesy which is not surprising. [HON. MEMBERS: "Typical."] No, it is certainly not surprising after some of the extraordinary behaviour we have seen from the Leader of the House in recent weeks. We have learned to expect some very strange things from him. We have had cheating votes put through the House, we have had the rights of petitioners denied by cheating in the pairing arrangements—[Interruption.] I am not going to be as mild as my hon. Friend the Member for Bridgwater (Mr. King). I am going to say what I think. I remind hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway that only shortly after the Aircraft and Shipbuilding Industries Bill, the Leader of the House had his hon. Friend introduce a Bill to deny the right of petition against the compulsory purchase of land in his own constituency. Here we have a motion which the Leader of the House should be moving—
§ Mr. Deputy Speaker
Order. I am sorry to intervene in the speech of an hon. Member who is a colleague on the Chairman's Panel, but if the hon. Gentleman had to listen to a similar speech he would say that it was either a filibuster or out of order. I do not say that he is filibustering, but certainly he is out of order.
§ Mr. Goodhew
I was saying that I was not surprised that he should sneak out of the Chamber tonight instead of staying to move this motion.
Many hon. Members are aware of the pressure on Standing Committees upstairs. A number of Committees are making very slow progress because the Bills were introduced so late in the Session. I do not know what the Leader of the House is doing. He has mismanaged the business of the House in a way I have not seen equalled in 16 years. Also he disregards entirely the rights of hon. Members, which he is supposed to protect.
I have a great deal of sympathy with the Minister for being placed in the position of having to answer the debate, which is rather one-sided now, simply because we were not given an explanation at the beginning why the Bill is to go upstairs. It would have been much better if we had had a speech from the Front Bench first to tell us why the Bill should be taken upstairs. Then we might have been able to understand and have some sympathy with the Government's actions. For the House to be treated in this cavalier fashion, especially after recent events, is quite disgraceful, and I hope that the House will vote against the motion.
§ 1.51 a.m.
§ Mr. Giles Shaw (Pudsey)
My hon. Friend the Member for St. Albans (Mr. Goodhew) should not be surprised that the Leader of the House is not here. None of us is surprised at it. The fiddler is on the roof, and that is where he ought to be. We know why the Leader of the House wants to get the Bill away from the Floor of the House. The reason is that the Government are deeply concerned at the way in which it would be handled on the Floor of the House.
My hon. Friend the Member for Bridgwater (Mr. King) has drawn attention to some of the major elements in the Government's industrial policy which will be contained within the Bill. This comes from a Government who attempted late last night to suggest that the parents of children should not have enshrined in legislation information about what went on inside the schools.
593 It is a Government who on the one hand believe in open government and wish to put out more information. My hon. Friends who were on the Industry Committee of last year will remember the hours we spent on the question of disclosure of information. But when it comes to disclosing information to the House to help the taxpayer, the Government want to shovel it away, hide it, and do it by sleight of hand in the early hours of the morning if they possibly can. This is the way in which the Government are treating the taxpayers on this issue.
My hon. Friend made it clear that the scrutiny of the size of tranche now involved in the Bi11—£250 million at a time, amounting to a total of £1,000 million—brings into play the very core of the economic policy of the Government. It is apparent from the Chancellor of the Exchequer's announcement tonight that the target of a lower inflation rate is slipping into 1977–78, and that the Government are way off target in their attempts to bring down inflation. We as of right must assure taxpayers and our constituents that any Government expenditure will be crucially examined.
We also have to bear in mind that at least one-fifth of it, according to average statistics, will be borrowed abroad. Week after week decisions have to be taken affecting not only the credibility of sterling but also jobs and the way in which the economy is to be run.
It is for these reasons that a full and proper disclosure of this Bill and the reasons for it, and the explanations the Government should give, should be provided to all Members of this House on the Floor of the House. That was the original decision of the Government, and now they want to get out of it and shovel it away upstairs.
We demand full rights in this issue and that the Government should stick to their original course and stop fiddling away as they have done on so many other measures. My hon. Friends and myself would certainly wish to press this hard in the Lobby tonight to make absolutely certain that we are seen to stand for open government and disclosure of the way in which taxpayers' money is being spent by this spendthrift Government.
§ 1.55 a.m.
§ Mr. Robin Maxwell-Hyslop (Tiverton)
I make the amount of money involved £50 million more than my hon. Friends have said. It is made up of four increased tranches of £150 million, a total of £600 million, and an increase from £150 million to £600 million, which is £450 million. Therefore, the total amount, consideration of which it is proposed should be shifted from the Floor of the House to a Committee upstairs, is no less than £1,050 million. That is £50 million more than the sum of £1,000 million which, in a moment of madness, Sir Douglas Wass, the Permanent Secretary to the Treasury, told the Trade and Industry Sub-Committee was not material to the rate of inflation.
Why does this matter need to be examined on the Floor of the House rather than upstairs? That is the matter to which I am sure, Mr. Deputy Speaker, you wish us to direct our attention.
The Floor of the House is a forum to which all hon. Members have access. A Standing Committee of the House is one to which only very few hon. Members have access. Moreover, it is a necessary arithmetical fact that, of the minority parties, it is likely that only one would be represented in a Standing Committee, whereas all the minority parties can participate in debates on the Floor of the House. One effect of the Government's motion, therefore, is to deprive all but one of the minority parties of the right to participate in the debate. That in itself is a very serious step to take, especially when there is this enormous sum of money involved.
I do not believe that anyone holds the view today that, if £1,050 million is spent in this way, it can nevertheless be spent in other ways as well and that the well from which money is drawn is bottomless. It is of concern to all hon. Members to know from the Government where other cuts will be made in order to facilitate the release of this sum of money. Most hon. Members will be deprived of the opportunity of finding that out if the Bill is removed from the Floor of the House to a Committee upstairs.
We are not even given that opportunity tonight. Not only is the Leader of the House an absentee from the debate on 595 his own motion; as far as I can see, so is every sponsor of the Bill. The Bill purports to be presented by Mr. Secretary Varley, supported by Mr. Secretary Benn—
§ Mr. Maxwell-Hyslop
Where is he? Mr. Secretary John Morris: where is he? Mr. Secretary Booth: where is he? Mr. Joel Barnett: where is he?
§ Mr. Maxwell-Hyslop
Mr. Gregor MacKenzie: where is he? Mr. Gerald Kaufman: where is he? Of those who have affixed their names to the Bill, not one has thought it necessary to come here in order to explain why most hon. Members should be disfranchised from the Committee stage of this Bill. It is typical of the way in which members of the present Government treat the House of Commons.
The House of Commons wishes to participate in the control and allocation of public expenditure. It can do so effectively only when the Committee stage of a Bill of this kind is taken on the Floor of the House. Presumably the reason why the Government tabled the motion that it should be taken on the Floor of the House was precisely that. It was not that the Government had such a light legislative programme that they could comprehend no other way of occupying the time of the House. That is the least probable and the least tenable explanation of any. It was because the Government realised that this was a massive increase in public expenditure which would entail cuts in public expenditure in other directions. That was why the Government thought it right—and by an accident, of course, they were right—that it should be taken on the Floor of the House.
We are given no reason why what was good in April is no longer good. It is certainly not the case that there has been a sudden flush of available public funds, 596 that, owing to the generosity of foreign bankers, the Treasury is now in funds to such an extent that the trivial sum of £1,050 million can be disbursed without inconveniencing any other Government Department or the left wing of the Labour Party. That would be an improbable explanation.
Why do the Government want to take the Bill upstairs? It is precisely so that they can avoid legitimate examination and criticism. In that case the House should deny them permission to do so.
The criteria in the Bill have been altered not by Act of Parliament but by White Paper. That is a somewhat unusual form of legislation which is not subject to amendment on the Floor of the House. The White Paper alters the criteria in the Industry Act, I believe quite sensibly. The paradox is that at the same time that the criteria are tightened, the Government are asking for an extra £1,050 million to be spent.
Surely there are many more hon. Members than the handful who will be selected by the Committee of Selection who would wish to participate in discussing amendments on the Committee stage to ensure that other necessary forms of public expenditure are not hazarded by the Bill, were it to pass unamended. The control of public expenditure is a duty which the House of Commons has taken lightly at some time in its history. It is noticeably one which all sections of the House, even the left wing of the Labour Party, are taking more seriously because they realise that the shoe might pinch their favourite project. If the Tribune Group does not object to the Bill going upstairs it cannot object later to public expenditure cuts that affect its favourite projects. It will have been a party to cutting some of its favourite shibboleths.
That does not exhaust the reasons why the Bill should not have its Committee stage upstairs. Least of all does it exhaust the Government's obligation to justify to the House such an apparently unreasonable motion which deprives so many hon. Members and a substantial number of parties of their rights to examine and control public expenditure.
§ 2.4 a.m.
§ Mr. Kenneth Warren (Hastings)
At first sight the motion before us looks like 597 the investment of about £40 extra by the Government in every worker in the country. But in practice it means that half the workers in the country will be disfranchised because the Industry Act allows them no benefit.
The hon. Member for Luton, West (Mr. Sedgemore) criticises and laughs at our complaints against the Bill going upstairs, but he should be careful that the workers in his constituency are not excluded. I think the hon. Member would share my concern that we should debate on the Floor of the House the question where this money is to be spent. Why should the North-East of Scotland continue to receive development assistance under the Industry Act 1972? Perhaps we know the answer to that question following the events of last night.
It is worrying that we should find ourselves disfranchised from discussing a number of matters. Why is the sum involved £1,050 million? What is so magic about that figure? Where will it come from? The Government's borrowing requirement is about £1,000 million a month. Is this money to come from the borrowing requirement?
§ Mr. Deputy Speaker
Order. We are not discussing the Bill but merely whether it should be dealt with by a Committee upstairs.
§ Mr. Warren
I am trying to draw attention to the critical nature of these sums of money to all hon. Members, Mr. Deputy Speaker. This does not involve only those hon. Members on the Standing Committee.
It is wrong that some hon. Members should be disfranchised from discussing which parts of industry should have claims over other parts. We should discuss, for instance, whether oil development in the East Coast of Scotland should receive aid while oil developments off the South Coast receive no assistance. Such matters can be discussed adequately only on the Floor of the House.
I hope the Government understand that they should not take away from hon. Members the right to discuss matters relating to this country's industrial affairs, particularly when so much money is involved.
§ 2.7 a.m.
§ Mr. Peter Bottomley (Woolwich, West)
I hope that at least one of the eight or nine promoters of the Bill will come here tonight to explain some of the matters arising from this motion.
Is it true that the £1,050 million is one of the reasons why, a few days ago, we were able to give only 8p a week to the 300,000 single-parent families in this country? If so, every hon. Member will want to table amendments in Committee because every hon. Member has single-parent families as constituents and we could give them considerably more than an average of 8p a week if the Government have £1,050 million to spread around without the House being able to examine their motives or where the money is to be spent.
This may also be another reason for the Government's embarrassment when the carrier bag or shopping basket was opened to reveal how the Government had misled the House, the TUC and the public over the child benefit scheme. Do the paper rodents on the Government side need reminding that this affects about 7 million families—14 million parents and 14 million children—about half the population?
§ Mr. Deputy Speaker
Order. The hon. Member does not need guidance. He seems to be chancing his arm.
§ Mr. Bottomley
I was trying to explain that none of the Bill's promoters has had the courtesy to explain to you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, or to the House why the Government want the Bill taken upstairs. I know that you would call me to order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, if I spoke about something that I saw happening outside the Chamber, so I merely say that a white-haired Minister looked in and went away again.
§ Mr. Bottomley
I shall explain briefly why I feel that the Committee stage should be taken on the Floor of the House. My hon. Friends have referred 599 on several occasions to the £1,050 million, and I am sure that all hon. Members would want the opportunity of explaining what else should be done with that sum. If the economists below the Gangway on the Government Benches need this spelt out to them, that is called opportunity costing. If it means a family allowance of £10 a week for the first child for the 7 million families to whom I have referred, the 28 million people—admittedly half of them without a vote—who are forbidden to share in this bonanza of £1,050 million, Labour Members below the Gangway should change their spots and support the claim that the Committee stage should take place on the Foor of the House.
All hon. Members will have received plenty of correspondence from constituents who are asking for money to be diverted to worthy causes—for example, ex-Servicemen who left the Armed Forces before 1950 and war widows whose pensions are generally recognised as being inadequate. Bearing in mind the number of Members who supported the relevant Early-Day Motion, many would want the opportunity to speak in Committee on the Floor of the House.
Did the Government think that they did not have enough time on the Floor of the House? Did they think that the Chamber was so occupied with pressing business that there would not be an opportunity for all the Members about whom I have spoken to speak in Committee on the Floor of the House? It must be pointed out that the business that started yesterday, which, I understand, will continue today, could have gone on continuously. The Education Bill, which started, stopped and is likely to start again, could have gone on from one o'clock this morning until half-past two this afternoon. That would have given us another 13½ hours. If the Government had cared to use that time for consideration of the Industry (Amendment) Bill in Committee on the Floor of the House, we should have welcomed that course. If more notice had been given to more hon. Members, I am sure that they would have been here on the Back Benches of both sides of the Chamber to try to catch your eye, Mr. Deputy Speaker.
The Government managed to stop Members such as myself from speaking 600 on the Education Bill by moving the Closure and reporting progress. They should not have the opportunity of doing so on the Industry (Amendment) Bill. Any hon. Member who writes for Labour Weekly, or any other journal, arguing for a diversion of public expenditure to one of his pet projects should be able to come to the House while the Bill is being discussed in Committee and argue for higher priority for his project. He should be able to argue against the £1,050 million going into the Government's pocket, to be handed out without reference to the House, while widows, one-parent families and children go without.
Alternatively, the Government might argue that their prospective programme is so full of essential measures that they will not have time in future. As we do not have the pleasure of the presence of the Leader of the House, one can only speculate. A form of speculation that I do not want to go into is whether the right hon. Gentleman is so frightened of me that when he saw me speaking he raced away. I find that slightly surprising, although much of his conduct during the past month or so has been surprising. When I was elected to this House, the Leader of the House was talking about changes in the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Amendment) Bill, and about the closed shop excluding various people from the opportunity of continuing work if they did not join a union.
§ Mr. Bottomley
That is why, Mr. Deputy Speaker, I thought that you would not want me to go into it in any great detail. Perhaps I may refer briefly to the fact that the Leader of the House said then that if things were not going right, if people were losing their jobs without reasonable cause, he would amend what he had put through the House. People are now losing their jobs. There is no notification system from the right hon. Gentleman's previous Department, and he does not come back and explain that, in the same way as he has not come back to explain why he put this motion on the Order Paper this morning.
601 I hope that all those who can think of better ways of spending over £1,000 million, all those who feel that spending an extra £1,000 million is wrong for Britain in its present economic situation, and all those who will perhaps be called back to the Chamber having seen the House of Commons spend more time paying attention to public spending than the Government appear to be, will make sure that the motion is rejected.
§ 2.16 a.m.
§ Mr. Ian Gow (Eastbourne)
Just four and a quarter hours ago the Government moved a business motion to the effect that the consideration of this motionmay be proceeded with, though opposed, until any hour.We can at least be grateful to the Government for that because, though the House may be denied an opportunity of considering the measure concerned in Committee of the whole House, they have thoughtfully provided that we may consider the motion before us "until any hour". We must be thankful for that mercy.
There is one very significant aspect of the motion—that is, that we are invited to approve a motion of two lines and a Bill, to which the motion relates, of two clauses only, yet the two lines of the motion and the two clauses of the Bill contain authority for the Government, without coming back to the House and without any further parliamentary approval—except by Order later—to spend up to another £1,050 million.
Even you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, may have become so immune to the profligacy of the present Government that you may think that no very great sum of money is at stake. However, the Government are borrowing £35 million a day. Some of my hon. Friends look surprised by that figure. It is £1⅓ million an hour, £22,831 a minute and £381 a second that the Government are borrowing.
The Government are trying to get away with what they hoped would be a short debate tonight. They were hoping for a short debate, but they will not get a short debate because, thank goodness, the motion that the Government themselves put forward means that we may go on until any hour. I hope that we do, because we may be denied the oppor- 602 tunity of debating this matter. Unfortunately we cannot all serve on the Standing Committee to which the Bill is to be referred if the Government get their way.
There is almost no limit to the blessings that would flow if the Bill were considered on the Floor of the House. It would be possible for Labour Members below the Gangway to propose that—
§ Mr. Deputy Speaker
Order. Mr. Deputy Speaker is sitting here, and the hon. Member should address his remarks to the Chair.
§ Mr. Gow
I apologise, Mr. Deputy Speaker. When, quite rightly, you reminded me that I should address my remarks to you, I was saying that there is almost no limit to the blessings that would flow if the Bill were considered by a Committee of the whole House. It would enable Labour Members below the Gangway to advance their case as to why the proposed increase of £1,050 million was much too small. They could then have the opportunity of saying to the Secretary of State and, indeed, to the Lord President, if he could be found, that the figure of £1,050 million is miserly and ought to be increased. If, however, the Bill is considered by a Standing Committee, the Patronage Secretary, through the usual channels—if they are operating—will be unable to pack the Standing Committee with every member of the Tribune Group. It is desirable that every Labour Member should have the opportunity to say why the £1,050 million is not enough.
§ Mr. Maxwell-Hyslop
I am sure my hon. Friend would not wish to mislead the Members of the Tribune Group sitting below the Gangway. Has he examined the Money Resolution to make quite sure that it has not been drawn in such tight and depressing terms as to deny the Tribune Group the opportunity of endeavouring to amend the Bill so that it is even more profligate?
§ Mr. Deputy Speaker
Order. I am trying to rescue the hon. Gentleman, 603 because I know that he does not know the answer.
§ Mr. Gow
I was saying that if only the Industry (Amendment) Bill were to be considered by a Committee of the whole House, hon. Gentlemen opposite, notably those below the Gangway, would have an opportunity of advancing their case, whereas the representation from the Tribune Group in Standing Committee would be very small. Also, many of my hon. Friends, many of whom will be seeking to catch your eye, Mr. Deputy Speaker, a little later, perhaps about midday, may not have the opportunity of doing so this morning but would have the opportunity of doing so if only the Bill were considered by a Committee of the whole House.
The figure of £1,050 million additional spending power for this Government derives from the Industry Act 1972. I was not a Member of the House at that time. If I had been, I would have opposed what was then the Industry Bill of 1972. I do not like the Industry Act. I believe that it is quite wrong to give the Secretary of State, and particularly the present Secretary of State, power to spend money in this way without coming back to the House. We should not be invited at this hour to agree to a Bill of this immense importance to the fiscal, financial and economic probity of the country being sent to Standing Committee without representation of the Tribune Group, without representation from the minority parties and without representation—
§ Mr. Hal Miller (Bromsgrove and Redditch)
On the subject of minority parties, has my hon. Friend considered the blessing to the Government that it the Bill were taken on the Floor of the House they might be able to do a deal with the Scottish National Party that £250 million, or perhaps £500 million, could be reserved exclusively for industrial development in Scotland?
§ Mr. Gow
I am grateful to my hon. Friend. It is not only the Scottish nationalists with whom a deal could be done. There are nationalists from the Principality of Wales. There is almost no limit to the mischief that the Patronage Secretary could get up to unless the Bill were debated on the Floor of the House.
604 Perhaps the most notable omission from our proceedings is the courtesy which should be extended to the House and to you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, with your long record of service to the House. To introduce the motion without so much as an explanation to you—
§ Mr. Deputy Speaker
Order. I am grateful to the hon. Member for his consideration, but I am quite happy with the situation.
§ Mr. Gow
Out of courtesy, Sir, I was referring first to the discourtesy done to you. I wish now to refer to the discourtesy shown to Labour Members, notably those below the Gangway. They will be deprived of the opportunity of speaking in Committee on the Bill—[An HON. MEMBER: "When is your birthday?"] I am asked when my birthday is, but I do not see the relevance of that. There is about another eight months to go.
§ Mr. Deputy Speaker
I agree with the hon. Gentleman that hon. Members should not ask about his birthday. He should be much more interested in the question of what star he was born under.
§ Mr. Gow
You have raised a point which will fascinate the House, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I have never followed the stars, but if I were to tell the House the date of my birthday I should no doubt be told what star it was. The date is 11th February.
It is customary for most of us on this side to show immense consideration for the Labour Party. We are genuinely grieved that only a few of its Members will be able to make their views known in Committee.
§ Mr. Tom King
My hon. Friend's point is perhaps much more relevant than he may have appreciated. It might interest him to know that when the Secretary of State moved the Second Reading of the Bill, which involves the expenditure of £1,050 million, there was precisely one Member from his own party behind him for virtually the whole of his speech, which lasted nearly 40 minutes. Therefore, if Labour Members do not get a chance in Committee, they will never have seen the Bill at all.
§ Mr. Gow
I am grateful for that relevant point, to which some of my hon. 605 Friends will no doubt wish to refer shortly—or at length.
There is another matter of concern to the House and to you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, as the guardian of the rights of of Back Benchers. We do not know how many hon. Members will serve on the Standing Committee. Perhaps the Minister might break his silence to let us in on that secret. If it were a very large Committee, it might be possible to accommodate members of the Scottish National Party or the United Ulster Unionist Party. It might even be possible to accommodate me.
It is just conceivable that by the end of next month the Committee stage of the Finance Bill will have been completed. If so, those of us who are serving on that Committee might be able to serve on the Industry (Amendment) Bill Standing Committee if the Government get their motion. It is relevant for us to know how many hon. Members are to serve on the Committee. If we were told by the Minister that in view of the immense importance of the Bill it was intended to have a Committee consisting of, say, two-thirds of the House, we might view the matter differently?
§ Mr. Gow
My hon. Friend says "No", but perhaps he will develop that later.
In the absence of any explanation from the Government Front Bench, in the absence of all the Ministers whose names appear on the Bill and in the absence of the Leader of the House—who is also Lord President of the Council, a very high office—it is extremely difficult for us to form anything but the most sinister views of the motives which prompt the Government.
I have already referred to the discourtesy shown to Labour Members below the Gangway, but another discourtesy is being committed to the people whose money the Government intend to spend. We were sent to this place to scrutinise and keep the closest watch on public expenditure, and we shall not allow our constituents to be insulted by committing this miserable Bill to a small Committee upstairs.
When you glance to the right. Mr. Deputy Speaker, and look at the Government Front Bench, it must be a breath- 606 taking sight. Not one Minister whose name appears on the Bill is on the Front Bench. It must be without precedent for no explanation to be given to the House and the country for the committal of a Bill of this nature to a Standing Committee. To allow my hon. Friends to develop their arguments, I shall resume my seat—unless I have leave to address the House again.
§ Mr. Deputy Speaker
The hon. Gentleman asks about the leave of the House to speak again. He has the leave of the House to sit down now. Mr. Alan Williams.
§ Mr. Teddy Taylor (Glasgow, Cathcart)
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. As a Scot, you must be aware that there is an important Scottish dimension to the motion, and it would be unthinkable if no speaker were called to represent Scotland.
§ 2.33 a.m.
The Minister of State, Department of Industry (Mr. Alan Williams)
Further to that point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. The hon. Member for Eastbourne (Mr. Gow) asked for an explanation from the Government Front Bench of why the motion is on the Order Paper. I am responding to that request. If the loquacious Scotsman below the Gangway on the Opposition side sees any discourtesy, it comes from his colleagues who clearly would prefer to hear what I have to say rather than listen to what he has to say.
§ Mr. Teddy Taylor
Will the Minister answer the point I raised about the Scottish dimension? We are to debate the Estimates in the next few weeks, and we have heard no arguments.
I hope that the Committee of Selection will bear in mind the hon. Gentleman's interest when it is considering who is to serve on the Committee.
§ Mr. Andrew Bowden (Brighton, Kemp-ton)
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I had not attempted to catch your eye because I was hoping for that opportunity after the Minister had spoken. Shall I have that opportunity?
The hon. Member for Bridgwater (Mr. King) said that there had been no consultations through the usual channels, but that is because the Opposition have been pathetically sulking in corners. If they want to shed their tears, let them do so, but let them not expect us to take them seriously when they make irrelevant and senseless points.
§ Mr. Tom King
Because the Minister has been lost in the Department of Industry, he may not be aware that the usual channels are working, although pairing arrangements are not operating.
The hon. Member for Bridgwater has a narrow view of what constitutes the usual channels.
The motion is simple and straightforward. The Opposition have had their entertainment and fun and indulged in discussion which, for some peculiar reason, they think is relevant to whether the Bill goes to a Standing Committee.
It has been argued that the minority parties are to be deprived of an opportunity to make their points, and yet Members from those parties are so interested that they are already tucked up in their beds. During the Second Reading debate I recall only one speech from a Member of the Liberal Party. That was the extent of the minority parties' participation. I do not see any enthusiasm among them to rush into the Division Lobby tonight. If they feel that they are being deprived of the right to articulate on behalf of their constituents, they should be in the Chamber tonight.
The hon. Member for Woolwich, West (Mr. Bottomley) must have established some unusual channels between himself and his Front Bench. Hon. Members on his Front Bench have said that they opposed the original motion when it came up at 10 o'clock at night, and the hon. Member for Woolwich, West asks why we cannot spend all night discussing the motion and, if necessary, go on until tomorrow. I shall listen to the Opposition when they are sure of their position.
There appears to be an orchestrated attempt by the Opposition to suggest that there is something unusual in taking to Committee a measure of the type we are 608 discussing. That, however, is natural common sense in view of the way in which the Opposition are irresponsibly blocking progress on the Floor of the House. The original Industry Act, the Finance Bill and the Prices Bill went to Committee. I am happy to listen to the Opposition provided they realise that no one will take them seriously.
On Second Reading the Opposition said that they wanted full discussion. I am sorry that they have such little confidence in their own Front Bench as to feel that it would not be possible to have full discussion in Committee. Some Opposition Members have said that if the Bill went to Committee they would ensure a full discussion. They cannot have it both ways. They cannot argue that there will be a full examination in Committee and also claim that there will not be full discussion.
§ Mr. Norman Tebbit (Chingford) rose—
§ Mr. Tebbit rose—
§ Mr. Tebbit rose—
§ Mr. Tebbit rose—
§ Mr. Tebbit rose—
§ Mr. Tebbit
I am grateful to the Minister for taking the advice of the Deputy Chief Whip and giving way. Will he tell us what motivated his Government originally to move a motion which was precisely the opposite of the one which has been moved tonight? Then we shall be able to understand a little better why they have changed horses in midstream.
The Opposition are indulging in an unscrupulous and irresponsible attempt to block proceedings on the Floor of the House. If that is what they intend to do, so be it. If so, we shall use the procedures which seem relevant to us.
The Bill is so important, so deep is the feeling on the Opposition Benches, and so wound up was the Opposition Front Bench in its concern about it that when we dealt with it after 10 o'clock on the occasion to which the hon. Member for Bridgwater referred the Opposition did not table an amendment, and, therefore, it looked as if there would be virtually nothing to debate.
It is true. The hon. Gentleman can consult the record. I shall not go into private conversations, because that would be unfair to him and to me.
§ Mr. Tom King
I do not mind the Minister's quoting any private conversations he wishes to quote. The hon. Gentleman is wrong. The business was withdrawn. We knew that it might come on. We are not fast asleep. There were seven amendments on the Notice Paper. I do not know where the Minister obtained that information. I do not want to accuse him of wilful misrepresentation, but my memory is clear.
Both of us are relying on our memory. My recollection is that it was said that we should have to deal with manuscript amendments. The Opposition legitimately made the point that they would want amendments to be considered. We were astonished that the amendments were not tabled, and we gave time for that to be done. Now that the
§ amendments have been tabled, it is clear that the Opposition, having recovered from their somnolence, want certain technical points to be considered. Therefore, it seemed right to us that we should follow the normal procedures of the House, which are that we should allow a Committee to consider matters of detail and technicality.
§ Mr. Tom King
I think that the Minister and I are talking about two different occurrences. There was an occasion when the Government attempted to put the Bill on with no notice. We made representations that if that happened we should insist on the right to submit manuscript amendments. On the further occasion, when the Government withdrew it, the amendments were prepared.
The hon. Gentleman endorses my point that the Opposition had tabled no amendments. [HON. MEMBERS: "Withdraw."] There is no need to withdraw. If anyone should withdraw, it is the Opposition. They withdrew from their responsibilities. That is why no amendments were put down. In a sense, we helped the Opposition cover up their botched-up handling of the matter by allowing the debate to be deferred. They have now discovered that there are points they want to consider, and we are giving them the opportunity in the appropriate place—in Committee.
§ Mr. Walter Harrison rose in his place and claimed to move, That the Question be now put.
§ Question put, That the Question be now put:—
§ The House divided: Ayes 117, Noes 58.611
|Division No. 214.]||AYES||[2.46 a.m.|
|Armstrong, Ernest||Clemitson, Ivor||Ellis, John (Brigg & Scun)|
|Barnett, Guy (Greenwich)||Cocks, Michael (Bristol S)||Fernyhough, Rt Hon E.|
|Barnett, Rt Hon Joel (Heywood)||Coleman, Donald||Fitch, Alan (Wigan)|
|Bates, Alf||Concannon, J. D.||Flannery, Martin|
|Bean, R. E.||Cook, Robin F. (Edin C)||Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston)|
|Bishop, E. S.||Cox, Thomas (Tooting)||Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)|
|Blenkinsop, Arthur||Craigen, J. M. (Maryhill)||Foot, Rt Hon Michael|
|Bray, Dr Jeremy||Crowther, Stan (Rotherham)||Forrester, John|
|Buchan, Norman||Cryer, Bob||Fraser, John (Lambeth, N'w'd)|
|Buchanan, Richard||Cunningham, G. (Islington S)||Garrett, John (Norwich S)|
|Callaghan, Jim (Middleton & P)||Davidson, Arthur||Garrett, W. E. (Wallsend)|
|Campbell, Ian||Davies, Bryan (Enfield N)||George, Bruce|
|Canavan, Dennis||Dormand, J. D.||Graham, Ted|
|Cant, R. B.||Douglas-Mann, Bruce||Grocott, Bruce|
|Carmichael, Nell||Dunn, James A.||Hardy, Peter|
|Carter-Jones, Lewis||Edge, Geoff||Harper, Joseph|
|Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)||Maynard, Miss Joan||Stallard, A. W.|
|Hart, Rt Hon Judith||Mendelson, John||Stoddart, David|
|Heffer, Eric S.||Miller, Mrs Millie (Ilford N)||Stott, Roger|
|Horam, John||Newens, Stanley||Strang, Gavin|
|Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)||Noble, Mike||Taylor, Mrs Ann (Bolton W)|
|Hunter, Adam||O'Halloran, Michael||Thomas, Ron (Bristol NW)|
|Janner, Greville||Ovenden, John||Tinn, James|
|Jeger, Mrs Lena||Parry, Robert||Urwin, T. W.|
|Johnson, James (Hull West)||Pavitt, Laurie||Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne V)|
|Kerr, Russell||Peart, Rt Hon Fred||Walker, Terry (Kingswood)|
|Kilroy-Silk, Robert||Price, C. (Lewisham W)||Ward, Michael|
|Kinnock, Neil||Robinson, Geoffrey||Watkins, David|
|Lambie, David||Roderick, Caerwyn||Weetch, Ken|
|Lamborn, Harry||Rodgers, George (Chorley)||White, Frank R. (Bury)|
|Latham, Arthur (Paddington)||Rooker, J. W.||White, James (Pollok)|
|Leadbitter, Ted||Sedgemore, Brian||Whitlock, William|
|Litterick, Tom||Selby, Harry||Williams, Alan (Swansea W)|
|Loyden, Eddie||Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-u-Lyne)||Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)|
|Lyons, Edward (Bradford W)||Silkin, Rt Hon John (Deptford)||Wise, Mrs Audrey|
|McCartney, Hugh||Skinner, Dennis||Woodall, Alec|
|McElhone, Frank||Small, William|
|McNamara, Kevin||Smith, John (N Lanarkshire)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Madden, Max||Snape, Peter||Mr. James Hamilton and|
|Marks, Kenneth||Spearing, Nigel||Mr. Tom Pendry.|
|Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)|
|Aitken, Jonathan||Johnston, Russell (Inverness)||Rathbone, Tim|
|Atkins, Rt Hon H. (Spelthorne)||Jopling, Michael||Rees, Peter (Dover & Deal)|
|Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torbay)||King, Tom (Bridgwater)||Roberts, Michael (Cardiff NW)|
|Berry, Hon Anthony||Kitson, Sir Timothy||Roberts, Wyn (Conway)|
|Biggs-Davison, John||Lamont, Norman||Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)|
|Boscawen, Hon Robert||Lawrence, Ivan||Shaw, Giles (Pudsey)|
|Bowden, A. (Brighton, Kemptown)||Lawson, Nigel||Shepherd, Colin|
|Cooke, Robert (Bristol W)||Le Marchant, Spencer||Stradling Thomas, J.|
|Cope, John||Lester, Jim (Beeston)||Taylor, Teddy (Cathcart)|
|Durant, Tony||MacGregor, John||Tebbit, Norman|
|Eyre, Reginald||Mather, Carol||Thomas, Rt Hon P. (Hendon S)|
|Fairgrieve, Russell||Maxwell-Hysiop, Robin||Warren, Kenneth|
|Giyn, Dr Alan||Mayhew, Patrick||Weatherill, Bernard|
|Goodhart, Philip||Miller, Hal (Bromsgrove)||Wiggin, Jerry|
|Goodhew, Victor||Monro, Hector||Winterton, Nicholas|
|Gow, Ian (Eastbourne)||Montgomery, Fergus||Younger, Hon George|
|Gryils, Michael||Morrison, Charles (Devizes)|
|Hampson, Dr Keith||Newton, Tony||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Hordern, Peter||Page, Rt Hon R. Graham (Crosby)||Mr. Clement Freud and|
|Howell, David (Guildford)||Parkinson, Cecil||Mr. Peter Bottomley.|
|Howells, Geraint (Cardigan)||Pattie, Geoffrey|
§ Question accordingly agreed to
§ Question put accordingly:—612
§ The House divided: Ayes 118 Noes 57.613
|Division No. 215.]||AYES||[2.57 a.m.|
|Armstrong, Ernest||Davies, Bryan (Enfield N)||Jeger, Mrs Lena|
|Barnett, Guy (Greenwich)||Dormand, J. D.||Johnson, James (Hull West)|
|Barnett, Rt Hon Joel (Heywood)||Douglas-Mann, Bruce||Kerr, Russell|
|Bates, Alf||Dunn, James A,||Kilroy-Silk, Robert|
|Bean, R. E.||Edge, Geoff||Kinnock, Neil|
|Bishop, E. S.||Fernyhough, Rt Hon E.||Lambie, David|
|Blenkinsop, Arthur||Fitch, Alan (Wigan)||Lamborn, Harry|
|Bray, Dr Jeremy||Flannery, Martin||Latham, Arthur (Paddington)|
|Buchan, Norman||Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston)||Leadbitter, Ted|
|Buchanan, Richard||Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)||Litterick, Tom|
|Callaghan, Jim (Middleton & P)||Foot, Rt Hon Michael||Loyden, Eddie|
|Campbell, Ian||Forrester, John||Lyons, Edward (Bradford W)|
|Canavan, Dennis||Fraser, John (Lambeth, N'w'd)||McCartney, Hugh|
|Cant, R. B.||Garrett, John (Norwich S)||McElhone, Frank|
|Carmichael, Neil||Garrett, W. E. (Wallsend)||McNamara, Kevin|
|Carter-Jones, Lewis||George, Bruce||Madden, Max|
|Clemitson, Ivor||Grocott, Bruce||Mallalieu, J. P. W.|
|Cocks, Michael (Bristol S)||Hamilton, James (Bothwell)||Marks, Kenneth|
|Coleman, Donald||Hardy, Peter||Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)|
|Concannon, J. D.||Harper, Joseph||Maynard, Miss Joan|
|Cook, Robin P. (Edin C)||Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)||Mendelson, John|
|Cox, Thomas (Tooting)||Hart, Rt Hon Judith||Miller, Mrs Millie (Ilford N)|
|Craigen, J. M. (Maryhill)||Heffer, Eric S.||Newens, Stanley|
|Crowther, Stan (Rotherham)||Horam, John||Noble, Mike|
|Cryer, Bob||Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)||O'Halloran, Michael|
|Cunningham, G. (Islington S)||Hunter, Adam||Ovenden, John|
|Davidson, Arthur||Janner, Greville||Parry, Robert|
|Pavitt, Laurie||Smith, John (N Lanarkshire)||Watkins, David|
|Peart, Rt Hon Fred||Snape, Peter||Weetch, Ken|
|Pendry, Tom||Spearing, Nigel||White, Frank R. (Bury)|
|Price, C. (Lewishum W)||Stallard, A. W.||White, James (Pollok)|
|Robinson, Geoffrey||Stoddart, David||Whitlock, William|
|Roderick, Caerwyn||Stott, Roger||Williams, Alan (Swansea W)|
|Rodgers, George (Chorley)||Strang, Gavin||Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)|
|Rooker, J. W.||Taylor, Mrs Ann (Bolton W)||Wise, Mrs Audrey|
|Sedgemore, Brian||Thomas, Ron (Bristol NW)||Woodall, Alec|
|Selby, Harry||Tinn, James|
|Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-u-Lyne)||Urwin, T. W.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Silkin, Rt Hon John (Deptford)||Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne V)||Mr. Ted Graham and|
|Skinner, Dennis||Walker, Terry (Kingswood)||Mr. John Ellis.|
|Small, William||Ward, Michael|
|Aitken, Jonathan||Howell, David (Guildford)||Parkinson, Cecil|
|Atkins, Rt Hon H. (Spelthorne)||Howells, Geraint (Cardigan)||Pattie, Geoffrey|
|Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torbay)||Johnston, Russell (Inverness)||Rathbone, Tim|
|Berry, Hon Anthony||Jopling, Michael||Rees, Peter (Dover & Deal)|
|Biggs-Davison, John||King, Tom (Bridgwater)||Roberts, Michael (Cardiff NW)|
|Boscawen, Hon Robert||Kitson, Sir Timothy||Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)|
|Bottomley, Peter||Lamont, Norman||Shaw, Giles (Pudsey)|
|Bowden, A. (Brighton, Kemptown)||Lawrence, Ivan||Shepherd, Colin|
|Cooke, Robert (Bristol W)||Lawson, Nigel||Stradling Thomas, J.|
|Cope, John||Le Marchant, Spencer||Taylor, Teddy (Cathcart)|
|Durant, Tony||Lester, Jim (Beeston)||Thomas, Rt Hon P. (Hendon S)|
|Eyre, Reginald||MacGregor, John||Warren, Kenneth|
|Fairgrieve, Russell||Mather, Carol||Weatherill, Bernard|
|Freud, Clement||Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin||Winterton, Nicholas|
|Glyn, Dr Alan||Mayhew, Patrick||Younger, Hon George|
|Goodhart, Philip||Miller, Hal (Bromsgrove)|
|Goodhew, Victor||Monro, Hector||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Gow, Ian (Eastbourne)||Montgomery, Fergus||Mr. Norman Tebbit and|
|Grylls, Michael||Morrison, Charles (Devizes)||Mr. Jerry Wiggin.|
|Hampson, Dr Keith||Newton, Tony|
|Hordern, Peter||Page, Rt Hon R. Graham (Crosby)|
§ Question accordingly agreed to.